The small amounts of people who know me know that I am an active poster on PRO Webmasters which is a part of the Stack Exchange Network. I started off by answering a question and before I knew it I had over 11 images and thought to myself this merits posting on my blog since well as you know Google loves fresh and it had been over 2 months since I last did an update… So here’s my update!
Before I start I ranting on about how all website designers and businesses should be opting to use responsive designs on all their websites rather than a fixed size design, I’ll start the article off by telling you all a little bit about the history of mobiles phones and why people are increasingly starting to use their phone for more and more tasks, and in addition what to expect in the upcoming years.
You may have heard that last week GoDaddy the massive online domain registrar and Webhosting Company had experienced yet another big outrage, this time this was due to a technical glitch on one or more of their domain name servers (DNS). Sadly this problem caused millions of sites to be knocked offline and left small and larger businesses out of pocket.
Finally Rackspace are now offering customers the option to use a SQL database cloud this is without doubt exciting news for us speed freaks! What’s more since it is an scheme still in pilot it’s absolutely FREE.
So what are the major benefits of using an SQL on a cloud?
Well there’s absolutely many reason why, so here are just a few major benefits.
- Frees up resources on your vps by removing mysql-server.
- Redundant storage by default on all clouds.
- Clouds are monitored.
- Clouds are scalable with demand.
- Built for performance.
There are more benefits than the ones I've listed a simple Google search or looking on Rackspaces homepage should display many more, but lets move on and find out exactly how you can make use of putting your database onto a cloud.
Using Rackspace’s SQL Database Cloud Guide
This guild is split into 7 steps, if you have a questions or encounter any problems please don’t hesitate to ask using our comment system found at the bottom of this page.
Step 1 - Rackspace Server Backup
Before we proceed please ensure that you either have a backup of your server which is current either by a daily scheduled backup or an on-demand backup. Making a backup could not be any simpler on Rackspace, I’m sure you know already but if you forgot using the 1st generation control navigate click:
Even our professional web designers here at ByBe Web Design Bournemouth occasionally fall victim of nasty malware, this practically article is about how to remove Incredibar from Google Chrome in the event you are infected with this nasty toolbar on Firefox then please visit how to Removing MyStart Incredibar Search from Firefox.
I recently installed the social booking marking content management system called Pligg, I quickly found myself disliking the color scheme of the default theme which is called Wistie. The layout of this template I did like, so rather than building a complete new design from start to finished I opted to modify the original styling to something I did like. I must say that I have to give the Pligg team a round of applause I have designed templates for many platforms such as Wordpress, Joomla etc and Pligg happens to be one of the easiest platforms I worked on.
Hi Folks, We at ByBe Web Design here in Bournemouth have been using various Firefox add-ons for some time to make our jobs that little bit easier. We happen to use various extensions from the online Mozilla Firefox Add-on Library that allow us to easily detect if links on the page are using the link attribute REL=”nofollow” as well as displaying links that do not use this attribute.
You are most likely to be aware that websites today offer far more content than they did 5 to 10 years ago, a huge factor why this is happening is because the way search engines are preferring sites that are not only fresh but offer lots of quality content. It is recommended by SEO professionals and Google that businesses should have some kind of blog on their website, by having a blog not only are you more likely to get more hits to your site because your site is fresh Google and other online search engine bots are more likely to visit your site more often and index important content quicker than without a blog but also it should increase your visible on all other pages, especially if people are linking to your inner blog pages. Word of advice however is to post quality blog content and should be kept relevant to the rest of your site, Reason I mention this is that I see many sites blogging all type of things, if your site is about Cars, blog about cars and try not to stray away from that, writing about one topic can be hard but it’s important to keep your site with good authority and on subject to the rest of the site.
SQL Database Speed Explained - Sort Of
Anyhow, you’re here to read about Rackspace Cloud Database services so I won’t rant on to much about the way blogs can help you! Blogs and other regular content updates quickly increase your SQL database size which normally slows down the site depending on the amount of visitors at any one time and the hardware being used on the site. As databases and visitors increases so does the demand for better hardware to power your site, VPS’s provide much better performance for sites than shared hosting but it’s important to keep your VPS with good CPU/RAM increases demanding on the amount of visitors and the size of your database. Rackspace offer great VPS on a scalable cloud which means you can quickly on the fly increase your RAM/CPU when required, this generally works for most but ultimately if you want lighting fast response times then a SQL Database in a cloud setup is a must.
Databases that are stored in a cloud will be on dedicated hardware and software dedicated purely for serving up SQL enquires with lightening response times and far quicker than any dedicated server or vps. You may have heard of “first byte” a large database and many visitors at once can increase your byte time, it’s one of many factors which can affect the first byte and many server administrators do not take into account the SQL sides of things. Clearing spam comments, revision articles and anything else unrequired data within the SQL can help increase the time to takes to seek within the SQL but ultimately just like the euro crisis your delaying a problem and not solving it. An increase of technology will be required somewhere down the line. As mentioned before a simple increase in VPS resources can help most, but for mission critical stuff, and those wanting the very best in speed then nothing compares to having the SQL within a cloud setup.
Overview of Features
Here is a snippet taken directly from the Rackspace UK website overviewing some of its features, take a look what it offers.
It seems we hit a busy streak here at ByBe web design hence why we have not posted any blog posts for over a month, which isn’t really a bad thing but sure doesn’t help our Google ratings. Anyway, here is a brand new bespoke design we did for the Rustic Stone Group.
With the ongoing changes at Google such as the Panda Update and more so the evil Penguin Update which has left many small businesses in a tricky situation, many believe that Google is less than desirable to use these days as they are focusing far too much on big profits and not taking into account that most small businesses do not have millions of bucks to blow on Google Adwords for little return.
It’s been a very dull week for many small businesses on Google’s Search Engine, as you may be aware Google has introduced yet another update to fight web spam though many believe they have gone too far and have wiped some really good honest small business sites of the face of the planet. Matt Cutts who happens to be one of the Top Dogs at Google for search engine index updates and SEO changes warned everyone about the update of which the majority of users favored this changed, but soon changed their vibe after they seen that GOOD honest sites had been affected.
I was sitting in my little office here today at ByBe and bored since I was on my lunch and well my lunch was a tad lite today as I’m trying to eat less and more healthier but moving on… I spent my time toying with some 3D design work and decided to touch base on Olympic Games since it’s only around the corner.
Since I’m a big fan of Pacman and love 3D Design work I decided to see what Pacman’s would look like in the form of the Olympics Rings, this only took me 30mins so it’s not very professional and in no way does it show our skills to full potential, but you should get a rough idea what we can potentially do with more given time.
As you may be aware having a social presence for any company is extremely important and with more and more companies trying to stand out from the crowd custom Facebook page designs are on the increase, since so many people don’t know exactly how to design a page nor do they even know how to add it to their page we thought that we would design our very own Facebook Page and Release it to the public for free.
A team of students from the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology made an unusual discovery on a beach near the town of Woodbridge. Several carved stones in excellent condition were found under the golden sands yesterday, when the group of students were strolling along the beach at Bawdsey Quay, 10 miles from Sutton Hoo, an important archaeological site itself.
Over the past couple of weeks we have released 2 handy webmaster add-ons for both Joomla and Prestashop, basically these bang tidy modules and plugins allow website administrators to easily verify their sites with various verification sites such as Google Apps and Bing Webmaster using the Meta tag method. Using these add-ons saves the administrators needing to edit template files or upload any files to verify their sites.
We recently finished a job for a client of which involved us making a new Prestashop template design for their online shop as well as a few modules. Seeing as last week we released a Webmaster Site Verification Plugin for Joomla we thought we would release one for our favorite open source ecommerce content management system.
Webmaster Site Verification Module for Prestashop is a simple module which allows site owners and administrators to easily verify their online shops with popular webmaster related sites such as Google Webmaster.
Extensions Menu > Click Extension Manager
Upload Package File > Click Browse > Select plg_webmastersiteverification_v0.2-J25 > Click Upload & Install
You should then see a notification from Joomla 2.5 that the plugin has successfully been installed.
If you’re constantly looking for ways of making your videos and content go viral here is a prime example how regularly watching X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent can help your campaigns, Many people will take advantage of annoying or catchy clips and edit them to reach many audiences.
Seeing as we install Joomla to a lot of new sites it only made sense that we start to develop plugins and other extensions, this is one of many we plan to release to the public domain.
Webmaster Site Verification is a very simple plugin to help aid people verify with webmaster tools such as Google and Bing without the need of having to change the template code or having the hassle of uploading a file.
Code7 Responsive Accordion Module
Well as you would expect this is an Accordion module for Joomla, you first notice that the look of the design is very sleek and clean as well as really responsive. Not many bad things can be said about this little extension apart from the fact we wished it had UI styles and the ability to use in more ways than just article linking! But it’s free and beggars can’t be choosers hey?
Rackspace for quite some time have failed to add the option that allows users to change the caching expire rates (TTL / Level Browser Caching) within the control panel despite other vendors offering this feature and constant requests by their users. The normal response from the Rackspace team is normally “you can setup a TTL expire of up to via 72 hours (3days) or if you require more you can use the API and change it up to 50 years”.
The interesting thing is that containers set a default TTL of 72 hours within the Rackspace control panel, however when doing speed checks on sites like webpagetest.org it displays our site having a leverage browsing caching of 15mins, upon further investigates we found that the main site of Rackspace.co.uk also had a 15mins expire rate on their file cloud which makes us believe that the default leverage browsing caching is actually 15mins.
Here at ByBe we are always looking at ways to give us the edge over our competitors, since Google and many other major search engines are now taking into consideration the speed of a site we are trying to optimise ours us well.
During testing we noticed the biggest factor to affect our site is the ‘First Byte’, while some of our actions have improved the first byte on our cloud server, we feel that there might be more to this than our configuration. We decided that we would test our host “Rackspace.co.uk” we are surprised to find that Rackspace was also suffering from the same issue.
I recently discovered that our server was taking between 2-3 minutes to load, and for a Cloud VPS that is extremely slow, upon investigating this issue I discovered that sendmail-mta was running as a system service, so you may be thinking well whys that a problem exactly, well a couple of weekends ago we removed both sendmail and postfix from our setup or least we thought we had, it would seem that using:
I am convinced that Akismet is falsely claiming their system as unique and intelligent; after various simple tests I have concluded, they are banning destination IP’s and website domain names.
This is not a normal blog post for us here at ByBe, since we are a web design company we normally stick to web-related topics such as news and guides. However… we can't resist.
It’s really easy to use sub domains with your file cloud (Also know to many as Content Delivery Network), in this example we will use Go Daddy since well that’s who I prefer to use when registering domains. Simply login to your domain registrar and view your domain in the DNS administration mode, it should look similar to this:
I see many people using far too many containers within their File Cloud Hosting account, my only guess why so many people are doing this is because due to the limitations of the control panels within their file cloud hosting accounts such as Rackspace.
Currently Rackspace and many others do not have the option to make folders within a container, unless you use 3rd party applications such as Cyberduck. <---- You can download Cyberduck here.
Here at ByBe we find unexpected installs of extensions and settings very annoying, these vary from a installing a toolbar, new home page or even changing your default search engine. A lot of the times people will find themselves with these bars and other undesired settings without actually being asked or being fooled somehow by an installer by not making it very clear what system changes will occur, upon install.
Lucky enough Browsers really have come a long way since they were first introduced; nowadays browsers come with configuration pages which allow users to remove extensions and settings very easily with just a few clicks of the mouse, no more need for applications like hijackthis for simple de-installing of bars and other miscellaneous settings.
Hey you! In this blog post, I’ll inform you how you can take further security measures to prevent spam on your website, please notice I said ‘PREVENT’ while this extra method will dramatically reduce the amount of spam your site receives there is no current way at present to stop spam 100%. You could always slam on moderation but that requires you to be at your PC a lot of the time and people want to see their messages once posted, in fact, they are more likely to return to your site on a regular basis looking for replys.
There are many ways to prevent spammers such as captcha, Akismet, IP Banning, Moderation and so on, while these may have some effect they do not dramatically reduce your spam as much as you would hope.