Progressive Web Apps

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a web app that uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users. These apps meet certain requirements (see below), are deployed to servers, accessible through URLs, and indexed by search engines.

Progressive Web Apps are user experiences that have the reach of the web, and are:

  • Reliable – Load instantly and never show the downasaur, even in uncertain network conditions.
  • Fast – Respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling.
  • Engaging – Feel like a natural app on the device, with an immersive user experience.

This new level of quality allows Progressive Web Apps to earn a place on the user’s home screen.

pwa

Why build a Progressive Web App?

Building a high-quality Progressive Web App has incredible benefits, making it easy to delight your users, grow engagement and increase conversions.

ding a high-quality Progressive Web App has incredible benefits, making it easy to delight your users, grow engagement and increase conversions.

  • Worthy of being on the home screen
    When the Progressive Web App criteria are met, Chrome prompts users to add the Progressive Web App to their home screen.
  • Work reliably, no matter the network conditions
    Service workers enabled Konga to send 63% less data for initial page loads, and 84% less data to complete the first transaction!
  • Increased engagement
    Web push notifications helped eXtra Electronics increase engagement by 4X. And those users spend twice as much time on the site.
  • Improved conversions
    The ability to deliver an amazing user experience helped AliExpress improve conversions for new users across all browsers by 104% and on iOS by 82%.

What is required?

To be considered a Progressive Web App, your app must be:

  • Progressive – Work for every user, regardless of browser choice, because they are built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.
  • Responsive – Fit any form factor, desktop, mobile, tablet, or whatever is next.
  • Connectivity independent – Enhanced with service workers to work offline or on low quality networks.
  • App-like – Use the app-shell model to provide app-style navigation and interactions.
  • Fresh – Always up-to-date thanks to the service worker update process.
  • Safe – Served via HTTPS to prevent snooping and ensure content has not been tampered with.
  • Discoverable – Are identifiable as “applications” thanks to W3C manifests and service worker registration scope allowing search engines to find them.
  • Re-engageable – Make re-engagement easy through features like push notifications.
  • Installable – Allow users to “keep” apps they find most useful on their home screen without the hassle of an app store.
  • Linkable – Easily share via URL and not require complex installation.

What is Cloudfare

Cloudflare is on a mission to help build a better Internet.

Cloudflare is one of the world’s largest networks. Today, businesses, non-profits, bloggers, and anyone with an Internet presence boast faster, more secure websites and apps thanks to Cloudflare.

How it works?

In the early days of the Internet, when you wanted to load a website, your request would go from your computer to a server, which would then return the web page you requested.

If too many requests came in at once, that server could be overwhelmed and crash, becoming unresponsive to anyone trying to access the resources it hosted.

This made it difficult for owners of Internet properties to provide content that was fast, safe, and reliable. Cloudflare was created to ease these difficulties and empower users with the resources to make their sites, apps, and blogs safe and performant. This is done through the use of a powerful edge network that provides content and other services as close to you as possible, so you get the information as fast as possible.

How Cloudflare differs from Other CDN?

Content delivery network or CDN is a lot different from Cloudflare in the sense that CDN mirror the complete site from a particular domain/subdomain/subfolder. You can use alternative mirrored CDN url to serve the static content from the CDN.

Once you are serving static content from a separate cookieless subdomain, the browser doesn’t need to send extra header information for the static content reducing the packet size of to and fro data transfer speeding up the site’s loading time.

Advantages of Cloudflare

Free

Cloudflare is entirely free to get started, whereas other CDN services cost money. Cloudfront by Amazon’s pay as you go option, but still it costs money to use their services.

Performance Improvement

As the site traffic is filtered, only genuine traffic passes. So the hosting resources can serve actual users at a better speed. Moreover, Cloudflare also caches the static content and helps them without requesting each time from the host. So the host needs lesser processing to serve the content.

Save Hosting Bandwidth

Not all the traffic goes to host. So one can save on the bandwidth that you may waste otherwise to spammers and hackers. Moreover, static content served as cached from Cloudflare will save on the hosting bandwidth as well.

Spam Protection

One can filter out the bad traffic and protect the hosting or servers from automated bots and spammers.

Accurate Site Analytics

Google Analytics or any other analytics that you may use in HTML relies on the fact users have JavaScript enabled, and the page loads to the point where you have the tracking code. With Cloudflare, stats are way more accurate than JavaScript-based stats because they catch all the traffic stats that JavaScript may miss because of blocked JavaScript content or page not loaded completely.

DNS Changes are faster

Cloudflare controls your DNS. So when changing hosts, at the most you need to do is change the IP address your old host to the new host. It can complete in minutes instead of 24 to 48 hours one typically may need to wait for DNS changes to propagate.

Blocks DoS and DDoS

Cloudflare blocks DDoS and DoS.

DDoS is an attack on the server to send too many automated requests from various locations to bring it down.

If your IP Address is known to the hacker, Cloudflare cannot protect your server from DDoS as the attacker targets IP directly bypassing the Cloudflare. The solution is to change the IP address and use the new IP address only in Cloudflare.

What is Cloud Hosting ?

Cloud hosting is the procurement of computing resources from a cloud computing provider or facility to host data, services and/or solutions.

Cloud hosting is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud delivery model that provides a suite of remote/virtual services. These are delivered on an on-demand basis and hosted on top of a cloud computing infrastructure.

What are the benefits of a cloud server?

  • A cloud server gives the business user stability and security because any software problems are isolated from your environment. Other cloud servers won’t impact on your cloud server and vice versa. If another user overloads their cloud server, this will have no impact on your cloud server, unlike with physical servers.
  • Cloud servers are stable, fast and secure. They avoid the hardware issues seen with physical servers, and they are likely to be the most stable option for businesses wanting to keep their IT budget down.
  • Cloud servers provide a faster service for your money. You’ll get more resources and a faster service than you would for a similar price of physical server. A cloud-hosted website will run faster.
  • You get scalability with cloud servers. It is very easy and quick to upgrade by adding memory and disk space, as well as being more affordable.

Benefits of Cloud Hosting

  • Flexible Pricing Structure
  • Very Easy to Scale Server Resources
  • Redundant Server Environment
  • High Uptime and Availability
  • Speedy Server Setup Process
  • Safety From Server Hardware Issues
  • Faster Website Speed and Performance
  • Works Great for Sites With Scalable Traffic
  • Simple Server Management Dashboard
  • Decrease Your Overall Environmental Impact

CDN – Content Delivery Network

A content delivery network (CDN) refers to a geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content. A CDN allows for the quick transfer of assets needed for loading Internet content, including HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets, images, and videos.

The popularity of CDN services continues to grow, and today the majority of web traffic is served through CDNs, including traffic from major sites like Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon.

Map of CDN Service Works

Is a CDN the same as a web host?

When delivering large scale websites to a global audience, CDNs can reduce latency, accelerate site load times, reduce bandwidth consumption secure applications and even block data scrappers and other forms of spammers hitting your server.

What are the benefits of using a CDN?

Although the benefits of using a CDN vary depending on the size and needs of an Internet property, the primary benefits for most users can be broken down into 4 different components:

  • Improving website load times – By distributing content closer to website visitors by using a nearby CDN server (among other optimizations), visitors experience faster page loading times. As visitors are more inclined to click away from a slow-loading site, a CDN can reduce bounce rates and increase the amount of time that people spend on the site. In other words, a faster a website means more visitors will stay and stick around longer.
  • Reducing bandwidth costs – Bandwidth consumption costs for website hosting is a primary expense for websites. Through caching and other optimizations, CDNs are able to reduce the amount of data an origin server must provide, thus reducing hosting costs for website owners.
  • Increasing content availability and redundancy – Large amounts of traffic or hardware failures can interrupt normal website function. Thanks to their distributed nature, a CDN can handle more traffic and withstand hardware failure better than many origin servers.
  • Improving website security – A CDN may improve security by providing DDoS mitigation, improvements to security certificates, and other optimizations.

How does a CDN work

In order to improve speed and connectivity, a CDN will place servers at the exchange points between different networks. These Internet exchange points (IXPs) are the primary locations where different Internet providers connect in order to provide each other access to traffic originating on their different networks. By having a connection to these high speed and highly interconnected locations, a CDN provider is able to reduce costs and transit times in high speed data delivery.

Scheduled maintenance : Hostingmela Server

We hope you’re doing well today. As part of our commitment to provide the best possible infrastructure for your services, we have scheduled the following upgrade for the server on which your account for hostingmela.com resides. Please read the following details carefully:

Reason for maintenance:
We’re always working to improve the performance and reliability of our services. As this server is currently running on legacy hardware, we’ve decided that an upgrade to our latest hardware and software configurations would be best to ensure that we’re providing the highest quality of service moving forward.

Action:
Our team is going to be taking your server offline in order to prevent any updates to websites during that time from being lost once the upgrade is complete. We will be backing up all server data, migrating it to the new server, and finally restoring the data. This full upgrade should improve performance and reliability for you and your clients across the board.

Maintenance Window:
START: Friday, March 23rd, 2018 @ 11:00PM IST
END: Saturday, March 24th, 2018 @ 11:00AM IST

Estimated Downtime:
We understand the importance of uptime for you and your clients and will be working as quickly as possible to complete this process. Your server will be taken offline during the process in order to prevent any changes from being made during the maintenance window. This will protect any data from being lost during the process. Still, we advise that you do not make any changes to your website after the full maintenance window has ended as we cannot guarantee such changes will transfer. In addition we highly encourage clients to backup any integral data prior to the migration and to thoroughly check and verify all sites and configurations post-migration.

Although we do not expect the downtime to last the entire maintenance window, we would advise you to prepare for 6-10 hours of downtime during the restore just in case. It is also important to read the notes below in order to prepare your account for this upgrade.

Upgrading from CentOS 6 to CentOS 7:

1) Latest version of cPanel

2) Password strength must be secure (cPanel will let you know if it is secure or not. We recommend several variables making sure to include caps, numbers, and symbols).

3) Upgraded version of MySQL which adds the Trigger option for MySQL privileges.

4) Older mail clients (such as Outlook 2010 and older, or older versions of Mozilla Thunderbird/MacMail) will no longer be supported on CentOS 7. We recommend that you upgrade your current mail client to one that can support TLS version 1.0 or higher, and uses ciphers other than Triple DES.

Thank you so much for taking the time to review this maintenance notice. If you have any questions or concerns about this upgrade, please don’t hesitate to contact our staff for more details.

Importance of SSL Certificates

Chrome/Firefox Shows HTTP Sites as Not Secure

In January 2017, with the release of Chrome 56, a “Not secure” message  presented on pages with password and credit card form fields that are not protected with an SSL/TLS certificate.

Google does not plan to stop there. In a to-be-announced release, Chrome will not show the circle-i, but will show the red triangle for all HTTP pages. This is the same indication that is provided for broken HTTPS sites and will further stress the “not secure” message.

Website owners and administrators need to consider Always-On SSL or the HTTPS Everywhere concept. Now HTTPS will provide the following advantages:

  • Security to all websites and pages regardless of content
  • Mitigate known vulnerabilities such as SSLstrip and Firesheep
  • Provide browser user privacy
  • Higher search engine optimization (SEO) for Google
  • Higher trust indication with a green lock icon and no “Not secure”

In a similar fashion, Mozilla Firefox :

This is a new feature that is available starting in Firefox version 51.

Firefox will display a grey lock icon with a red strike-through in the address bar, when a login page you’re viewing does not have a secure connection. This is to inform you that if you enter your password it could be stolen by eavesdroppers and attackers.

Starting in Firefox version 52, you will also see a warning message when you click inside the login box to enter a username or password.

pw.jpg

With proper installation of an SSL/TLS certificate, the “not secure” warning will disappear and be replaced by a green lock icon. Then the answer to the above questions will be “Yes, the site is secure.”

Secure your site and data now : Buy SSL Certificates here

When To Shift to VPS or a Dedicated Server ?

When is it appropriate to upgrade from a Shared Hosting plan to a VPS or even a Dedicated Server. Below is a breakdown of certain scenarios where you should definitely consider a VPS over your Shared Hosting account.

  • Your cron jobs are not finishing due to resource usage and PHP timeouts.
  • Resource limits are being reached on a consistent basis.
  • Your sites require non default configurations.
  • There are bursts of traffic to your sites with many concurrent users.
  • You have an online store with several hundred products.

    These are general guidelines for when you may need to upgrade. Of course there are several more reasons that would warrant a need to upgrade.

Even if you have a new or smaller site, it’s always a good idea to remain prepared for growth. That’s because over time as your websites grow, you’ll need a little bit more power to keep them running smoothly.

Cloud – The buzz word !

Cloud is more than just a fancy buzzword thrown around in tech circles. Understand the fundamentals of Cloud and how it is different from regular hosting, what makes it superior and what are the downsides, if any. Get a handle on the different flavors – Shared Cloud hosting, Cloud Servers as well as cloud hosted applications. Understand whether you or your customers should choose cloud and learn about the rapid innovations in cloud that have changed the shape of the Web Presence industry. Cloud servers, SAAS, PAAS, IAAS, ready-to-use server images, Virtualization, 1-click RAM, CPU, Bandwidth upgrades, case studies of brands using Cloud and everything you should know is here!

Why Cloud Hosting?

Performance:

  • With a top-of-the-line technology platform, leveraging high-end processors, high-performance storage & memory along with clearly defined resource isolation, our new cloud platform gives you the performance your customers are expecting
  • Low-density servers (fewer customers per server) coupled with Varnish, will help boost your web-page load speed two-fold!

Scalability:

  • If you wish to increase the performance of your site, simply click the upgrade button on the control panel for more resources to be applied to your site
  • No intrusive downtime or platform migration required, no surprise usage fees on your next bill, you are in complete control! In short, you can allocate more CPU (up to 8 additional cores) and RAM (up to 8 GB of Additional RAM) to your Cloud Hosting Package to handle traffic spikes

Redundancy: Since the storage backend is based on ceph  with 3 copies of data stored in different locations, across different drives and cabinets, we will migrate you onto another server if any hardware issues are detected on one server.

Fully Managed Support:  Ready to harness the benefits of cloud but not sure what that exactly means?  Don’t worry, our team of expert support agents is here every step of the way.

Securing a hacked site

This guide explains how to secure your web site after it has been hacked, and how to help prevent future attacks.

Determining the cause

The first step to securing your web site and getting back to normal operation is determining how it was hacked. In general, most hacks occur for one of the following reasons:

Your FTP password has been compromised.

File permissions for files or directories in the public_html directory are too permissive.

You have a software application installed on your web site that contains a vulnerability. The vulnerability is being exploited to run arbitrary code on the server.

Software vulnerability hacks are more common than FTP/SSH password hacks, primarily because of the huge growth in pre-bundled software applications. Users often set up an application and then forget to apply security updates, leaving their sites vulnerable to attack.

Similarly, if a file or directory in the public_html directory has permissions set to 777 (full access), code or data may be exposed and potentially exploited by an attacker.

Looking for FTP password compromises

Change your account password in cPanel immediately.

Stop using FTP. Regular FTP transmits your password over the Internet in unencrypted plaintext and is easily intercepted. Use SFTP or SSH instead. For information about how to do this, please see these articles.

Verify that you are running up-to-date virus and malware protection on any computers you have used to access your account.

After you have followed these steps, go to the Cleaning up after a hack section below. Otherwise, if you did not find any suspicious behavior, go to the next section.

Looking for software vulnerabilities

Out-of-date software applications often contain well-known security vulnerabilities that malicious actors can exploit using automated scripts. Software applications include anything you have installed using Softaculous, as well as any packages that you have installed manually. Usually these are applications such as blogs, image galleries, forums, shopping carts, content management systems, etc.

You should review all of the software applications that are installed on your web site. Make sure you have installed the most recent version and all updates. When you update software applications, make sure you check the plugins as well. If you have any non-standard plugins installed with your applications, do a web search for the plugin name and the term “vulnerability” to see if there are any known issues with your version. If you discover any known vulnerabilities, either update the plugin or disable it.

You should also check for recent errors on your web site by using cPanel’s Error Log feature. Error messages can help you determine which software applications or files are vulnerable. For more information about how to access the error log in cPanel, please see this article.

After you have updated your software applications and plugins, go to the Cleaning up after a hack section below.

 Cleaning up after a hack

After you have secured your web site, the next step is to clean up the mess left behind by the perpetrators and restore normal operation.

Removing hacked files

You should go through all of the files in your account and delete anything that you did not put there. If you are using an FTP client, make sure it is set to show hidden files. Similarly, if you are using the command line in SSH, make sure you use the -a option with the ls command so it shows all files. (Many malicious files try to “hide” from casual observation by making themselves hidden.)

Although we recommend going through all of your files, you can prioritize your search. Look first for file modification timestamps that have changed since you last modified your site, or that occurred around the time the hack took place. If you identify a file that was modified during the hack (such as a defaced index page), you may be able to locate other affected files by searching for similar timestamps.

Setting correct file permissions

By default, every directory beneath the public_html directory should have its file permissions set to 755 (full access for the owner, and read and execute access for everyone else). Additionally, every file should have its permissions set to 644 (read and write access for the owner, and read access for everyone else).

After you make these changes, you may need to adjust permissions for a few individual files, depending on the applications you have installed. Nevertheless, it is a good security practice to set secure permissions initially, and then make any individual adjustments as necessary.

Restoring databases

Some hacks, particularly SQL injection attacks against vulnerable Joomla! installations, may alter the database with malicious code. These modifications can grant an attacker access to your account even after you update applications and remove altered files.

Therefore, you should review your databases to see if there are any suspicious changes. You may also want to restore the database from a backup that was completed before the attack occurred.

 Restoring lost and modified files

You can use the Server Rewind feature in cPanel to restore files in your home directory that have been lost or modified within the past month.

Re configuring WordPress

If you use WordPress, there are additional steps you must take to secure your site after an attack. For example, you must reset the WordPress security keys.

How ICANN’S new transfer policy will affect domain transfers

If you or your customers plan to transfer a domain name in the near future, read on to find out about new policy changes that may impact your transfer process.

Through this blog we hope to cover the following points,

  • What the IRTP is
  • How this impacts you
  • What aalpha net solution (ANS) is doing to aid you in this process
  • FAQ’s

What is the IRTP?

‘The Inter Registrar Transfer Policy’ is a new transfer policy by ICANN that affects all ICANN-accredited registrars and takes effect from the 1st of December 2016.

In our email dated November 3rd, we outlined the new process that would apply to any domain registrant who changes or modifies contact information post the 1st of December, 2016.

How the IRTP affects you?

ICANN has revised its IRTP to curb domain hijacking and fraudulent transfer of gTLDs. An IRTP action is triggered when you or your customers make any material change to the registrant’s name address or organisation – while transferring ownership of a domain name or merely updating contact information.

Since these policy changes will impact you and your customers, you need to complete additional steps in order to confirm a transfer to another party.

Electing the privacy protect feature on your domain name will also trigger a change and affect you and your customers as per the revised IRTP policy.

Note: We have also updated our Registration Registrant Agreement.

FAQ’s

We hope this was helpful and if you have any further questions please feel free to get in touch with us.