Over the next few weeks, we will be conducting scheduled maintenance on all of our shared servers. There are a number of updates occurring, including:
- cPanel updated from 11.34 to 11.38
- New Apache 2.2.25, Percona MySQL 5.5.33, and PHP 5.3.27 as default installations
- PHP 5.2.17 and 5.4.19 alternate installs made available to customers.
- Improved Mod_Security rule sets
- Improved monitoring and load management capabilities
- Addition a Nginx Acceleration stack that will be available to customers
- Improved default MySQL and PHP configurations
- Replacement of Fantastico Deluxe with Softaculous Auto Installer
For PHP, all existing users will default to 5.2.17 and all new users will default to 5.3.27. We encourage customers to use the latest PHP version available to help ensure optimal website performance and security. If you run a current version of WordPress, we recommend using PHP version 5.4. Customers that have enabled PHP version 5.4 have seen up to a 20% increase in performance.
To use the respective PHP versions, please edit your htaccess entries to include one of these lines:
For version 5.4: AddType application/x-httpd-php54 .php
For version 5.2: AddType application/x-httpd-php52 .php
For PHP 5.3, simply comment out any AddType PHP definition (if any).
Our plan is to begin the maintenance on a small group of servers starting this evening and then upgrade approximately 5 servers per day until the upgrades are completed on all servers. Most upgrades will start at approximately 8 pm Eastern time. Expected downtime is approximately 20-30 minutes for web services, followed by an additional 10 minutes of cPanel inaccessibility. We expect fairly minimal disruption to customers and sites after the changes are complete.
We have already rolled out these upgrades to some servers over the past month or two and have seen great results. We believe these changes will lead to much more stable and much better performing servers, and subsequently a better experience for all of our customers.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our support team. They will be happy to take a look at our schedule of upgrades and let you know when your accounts will be affected.
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Recently, Experian Marketing Services issued its 2013 Digital Marketer Report, which has provided search engine marketers and small businesses alike with some interesting information. In short, the report essentially says what we’ve known all along, if you can’t climb the rankings, no one is going to click on your site. However, the report pounds the point home using some eye-opening statistics:
- For every Google search made, the odds are one in five that the searcher will click on a link leading to Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, or Wikipedia.
- Approximately half of the time someone searches, they click on one of the top 500 ranked sites in the world.
- About three-fourths of the clicks go to the top 10,000 websites in the world.
What We Can Learn From the 2013 Digital Marketer Report
So what exactly does that mean to you, the small business owner looking to get his head above water in the land of Google? Well, there are a few key takeaways here.
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As social media becomes more and more entwined with daily life, it continues to change how we do business at virtually all levels. Most importantly, it has redefined marketing as we know it, and created an entire new segment of jobs (yes, I’m talking about you, guy running your company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts). Case in point—look what it’s done to press releases. What was once arguably the most bland part of a copywriter’s job, composing a third person release with the facts and nothing but the facts, has transformed into something a whole lot more complex. I’m talking about the social media news release.
Is There a Big Difference Between a Social Media News Release and a Traditional Press Release?
You betcha. Sure, they both provide breaking news, but the similarities pretty much stop there. Think of the difference between the two as the difference between the average guy working out at the gym and the meathead on steroids who can bench press your entire family. The social media news release is the meathead, with bulging biceps, protruding veins, and all.
Thought up by the brain of SHIFT Communications principal, Todd Defren, the social media release is built to appeal to and attract media reps online. It takes into account all social media-related tools at their disposal, and is put together in an easy-to-read, web-friendly format.
Beginning with a title and single sentence summary like a traditional release, it breaks the mold with things like:
- Eye catching photos.
- Bullet point facts to get right to the point, rather than long paragraphs that require reporters to dig for information.
- Links to social media accounts, information sources, and company blogs.
- Embed buttons to allow people to easily share your release.
- YouTube videos embedded for quick viewing.