Web Hosting News
Written by Sean Valant
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
We at HostGator have always vehemently opposed any piece of legislation that contradicts the idea of a free and open Internet. If you haven’t read our prior blog posts about CISPA and it’s earlier incarnation SOPA, then please do so now in order to bring yourself up to speed:
The problem with legislation such as these is not what it appears to do on the front end, rather it’s the back end implications that make it frightening. Cyber security is serious business, and it is a realm that could use some tightening up. However, this tightening up cannot come at the expense of your privacy due to a circumvention of existing privacy laws.
Why are we mentioning CISPA now? Well, it has reared its head once again and is being voted on by the House of Representatives today. It seems this piece of legislation refuses to die. Unfortunately, the longer something like this sticks around, the less attention the media at large will pay attention to it.
Truth be told, we’ve outlined in great detail what is wrong with this piece of legislation in our previous blog posts. We don’t want to be redundant, but we didn’t want to let this day pass without mentioning again this issue that truly affects us all.
Fortunately, President Obama maintains that he would veto this bill were it to pass in the House. Hopefully, it won’t come to the necessity of a veto. Let’s put this legislation to sleep, once and for all, and let it not awaken until it has matured into a form that would actually benefit the people as opposed to slowly eroding your right to online privacy.
Written by Sean Valant
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
As I type these words, there is an on-going and highly-distributed, global attack on WordPress installations across virtually every web host in existence. This attack is well organized and again very, very distributed; we have seen over 90,000 IP addresses involved in this attack.
At this moment, we highly recommend you log into any WordPress installation you have and change the password to something that meets the security requirements specified on the WordPress website. These requirements are fairly typical of a secure password: upper and lowercase letters, at least eight characters long, and including “special” characters (^%$#&@*).
You have now changed your WordPress password, correct? Good.
The main force of this attack began last week, then slightly died off, before picking back up again yesterday morning. No one knows when it will end. The symptoms of this attack are a very slow backend on your WordPress site, or an inability to log in. In some instances your site could even intermittently go down for short periods.
We are taking several steps to mitigate this attack throughout our server farm, but in the same breath it is true that in cases like this there is only so much that can actually be done. The servers most likely to experience service interruptions will be VPS and Dedicated servers hosting high numbers of WordPress installations, due to the incredibly high load this attack has been seen to cause.
If you are hosted on a VPS or Dedicated server and you would like for us to take a more severe, heavy-handed approach to mitigate this attack, we can do this via means such as password-protecting (via .htaccess) all wp-login.php files on the server. If you would like our assistance with this, please contact us via normal support channels.
Again, this is a global issue affecting all web hosts. Any further information we could provide at this moment would be purely speculation. Our hope is that this attack ends soon, but it is a reminder that we must all take account security very seriously.
We will update this blog post when we have further information.
If you have just a few WordPress sites, you can add the additional layer of security mentioned above, as well as block this attack, by following the instructions outlined in this article from our KnowledgeBase: http://support.hostgator.com/articles/specialized-help/technical/wordpress/wordpress-login-brute-force-attack
Written by Sean Valant
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Blogging.org, a well-respected site in the blogging community, recently conducted a comprehensive survey of 5,600 bloggers in order to determine the “Top 25 Hosting Companies” for bloggers. HostGator took first place, with 1907 out of 5600 votes; just shy of 900 more votes than 2nd place received. This is an honor that we at HostGator do not take lightly, and we are very happy to be able to share this news with you.
The voting criteria was based on which host the aforementioned 5,600 bloggers used and which host they would recommend to their peers. With over 203 million blogs online today, blogging is an undeniable online presence these days. There are 31 million bloggers in the US alone, with 43% of the total bloggers using WordPress, including this HostGator blog.
It is worth noting that this survey was completely unbiased and affiliate payouts were not a factor in this survey; it truly is simply the honest opinion of the blogging community.
Please visit http://blogging.org/blog/top-25-hosting-companies/ in order to see a further breakdown of the related statistics as well as the other 24 hosts that made the cut.
Now is the perfect time to start your blog with (or move your existing blog to) HostGator. Take advantage of our 1-click installs of WordPress and have your blog online today. Use coupon code BLOG to receive 25% off your first invoice on any new sign-up*!
*this coupon expires on October 9th, 2012.
Written by Sean Valant
Sunday, May 6th, 2012
We’ve been having a lot of fun with our blog lately, and we promise to continue to do so. However, we need to address some serious business once again. Back in December, we posted about SOPA. That beast has changed forms, returned and is now attacking more forcefully. CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, aka H.R. 3523) was passed by the United Stated House of Representatives on April 26th, by a vote of 248 to 168.
Ostensibly, CISPA exists to “help the U.S Government investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyber attack.” However, this wolf in sheep’s clothing also allows complete, unfettered access to your online activities without regard to existing privacy laws, provided the government suspects you of having committed some type of cyber crime. Criminals should absolutely be investigated, prosecuted and punished if found guilty. However, the scope of this bill is far too broad to be an effective piece of legislation and lacks any clear parameters as to what would constitute a justifiable suspicion, or when and how the government can monitor your internet browsing information; basically making all of us potential suspects, guilty until proven innocent.
Representative Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat and onetime web entrepreneur, stated during the debate that ”allowing the military and NSA to spy on Americans on American soil goes against every principle this country was founded on,” and that CISPA would “…waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity.”
The author of CISPA, Representative Mike Rogers (R – Michigan) responded by asking his colleagues to ignore “all the things they’re saying about the bill that are not true.” That statement itself is curiously representative of the bill and an excellent example of stereotypical politician-speak; it moves towards the desired goal without identifying any parameters or setting any limitations.
The ACLU and Mozilla have both spoken out against CISPA, and the Obama administration has thus far maintained that it would veto the bill, due to it lacking confidentiality and civil liberties safeguards. However, this fight is not over. We at HostGator still very much support an Internet whereby free information and the unhindered distribution of said information is an unalienable human right; we do not want to lose this right, signed away as part of a malformed and ultimately counter-productive piece of legislation.
Please contact your Congressional Representative and let them know how you feel on this important issue. Vote no on CISPA!
Written by Patrick Pelanne
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
Imagine if you were able to genetically combine Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Darth Vader and Barbara Streisand into one horrifically terrifying being. Now imagine that being is actually a piece of proposed legislature — the terrifying creation in your midst would then be the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which is currently being considered by the House.
SOPA, aka H.R. 3261 is a bill right now in the House sponsored by R-TX Lamar Smith. It’s not just any bill though, it’s a bill that would allow the USDOJ, RIAA, MPAA and anyone else who lobbies for the entertainment industry to effectively censor the internet to suit their needs.
James Allworth recently wrote “Is this really what we want to do to the internet? Shut it down every time it doesn’t fit someone’s business model?” and I couldn’t agree more. Censorship is a slippery slope. Not only that but it also creates an absurd amount of bureaucratic busy work. Here at HostGator we already spend a HUGE amount of time answering DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) requests. If we allow our representatives to begin deciding what is and what isn’t ok for you to view on the internet then where will it end?
The bill itself is absurdly broad, creates a ton of liability for small to mid size e-commerce based businesses and will serve to stifle the tech industry in order to cater to lobbying groups paid by companies who refuse to adapt to a world in which free information is king (and almost as unstoppable as a force of nature).
A couple months back Godaddy CEO Bob Parsons decided to head to africa to help out the good african citizens by murdering elephants (pesky elephants!). They received so much hate in response to that you’d think they would take a more neutral tact in their views going forward. NOPE! Today Godaddy came out in support of SOPA (which is mind blowing to us as we’re both in the same sector) and they’re receiving a good amount of (well deserved) lashback:
We here at HostGator support a free internet. An Internet in which free information and unhindered distribution of said information is an unalienable human right. Do the same, contact your representative and tell them to vote NO on SOPA.
50% off Shared / Reseller / VPS first month. Coupon code: NOSOPA
Written by Chad Bean
Monday, October 26th, 2009
It looks like GeoCities, the Free Web Hosting service owned by Yahoo!, is officially ending service to website owners today. I’m sure many of you have used their service at one point or another, so it’s kind of sad to see them go down with all of the web sites they hosted. My first web site was on GeoCities, complete with a looping, low-quality instrumental midi file, and animated graphics. Many other free web hosting services like GeoCities have risen and fallen over the years because the free hosting business model just doesn’t seem sustainable.
It’s amazing how many web sites with no business model or profitability sunk during the .com internet bubble. Internet businesses, like any other company, aren’t immune from the age old philosophy of “you need to make money to stay in business”. Now there are a few exceptions to this rule. It’s still possible to come up with a great idea for a web site and receive funding from a venture capital firm (read: Twitter), but for the everyday web business owner, they understand the need to make a profit.
Many GeoCities refugees have migrated over to HostGator, and we want to welcome you all with open arms. We can assure you that HostGator won’t have the same fate as GeoCities because well, we’re a profitable company.
If you have a site with GeoCities and need a new home, post a comment and we’ll try to throw you some free months worth of Hosting at HostGator. …
Written by Chad Bean
Friday, August 21st, 2009
Inc. Magazine just ranked HostGator #239 overall on their prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing privately owned companies in America. Here’s how the companies that make Inc’s list are ranked:
The Inc. 500|5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2005 through 2008. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by the first week of 2005, and therefore able to show four full calendar years of sales. Additionally, they have to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent — not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies — as of December 31, 2008 (a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired since that date). Revenue in 2005 must have been at least $200,000, and revenue in 2008 must have been at least $2 million.
Additionally, HostGator ranked #6 in all Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX (Greater Houston area) companies, and #20 out of all companies in our category—Business Products & Services.
HostGator has managed to grow over 896% within the measured 3 year time period. We’ve nearly doubled in revenue from 2007 to 2008.
In 2008, HostGator was ranked at #21 overall. Although 2009’s rank was lower than the previous year’s, we’ve nearly doubled our revenue between the two periods. Despite the job market shrinking across the U.S., HostGator has also created 100 positions for highly qualified technicians and systems’ administrators in the Houston area over the last year.
I think I speak for everyone at HostGator, when I say we’re all really proud to be a part of this company and what we’ve been able to accomplish. The growth simply comes from doing what we’ve always done: providing our clients with reliable web hosting service, 24/7 support, and by offering as many features as possible.
Huge thanks goes to our clients and employees for our continued success. …