We’re excited to announce that we now run all of our live chats via Intercom. Intercom is the leading customer messaging application and clearly stood out from the competition when we looked around for a world-class live chat solution. Intercom now lives in the bottom right-hand corner of our site, and the team are online 24/7 to handle conversations.
Along with Intercom, we’ve developed a live bot called Hugo 🤖 – Hugo can help ensure you’re connected to the best person to help, why not say hello now and see how he can assist you!
Our implementation of Intercom is another way we’re putting our customers at the heart of everything we do. We hope it will also become yet another reason why more people are switching to Hugoton Hosting!
If you have any questions, please do let us know … or, ask Hugo 🤖 !
With Spring officially underway, it’s time to expect “summer hosts” to start popping up. In this post we will explain what a summer web host is, why you should avoid them and of course, how to spot them.
What is a summer host?
A summer host is an industry term for a web hosting company that appears and immediately starts to offer low pricing for web hosting in the form of limited time offers etc. Only to disappear completely a few weeks or months later taking their clients websites offline and leaving the clients themselves frustrated & out of pocket. The summer host also typically offers large discounts/coupon codes for monthly or annual payments, money that the client never sees again once the host goes offline. These types of hosts are often referred to as “fly by night” scams and should be avoided at all times.
Why should they be avoided?
First and foremost signing up with a summer web host will result in a loss of your money, your website/data or both! While it will appear you’re getting a great deal on website hosting at the start, likely paying a fraction of what other web hosts are charging for fewer features than the summer web host is offering, the deal will soon turn sour when the summer host drops offline taking your website and e-mails with it. From that point onwards their support channels won’t respond and you’ll be left out of pocket and your website offline.
How can you avoid them?
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed method to determine if a new host is going to stick around and not become an infamous “summer host”, but if you consider the below when selecting your new hosting provider you’ll be much less likely to end up subscribing to a scam:
- Check their domain registration date
- Validate their WHMCS license
- WHMCS is a popular billing platform for many web hosting companies, if the host you’re looking at doesn’t pay for their WHMCS license then they’re using it illegally and should be avoided. Luckily WHMCS provide an online license verification tool, just enter the hosts’ web address to see if they hold a valid license or not
- See if they are a registered company
- While being a registered company isn’t a guarantee that the host will be around forever, it’s a good sign that they intend to conduct honest business as they have taken both the time and committed an investment to legally register themselves as a business in their country.
- Does the website look like a template?
- Look for ‘sample’ template text that doesn’t fit the context of the website
- Are all or many of the images stock images with no customization
- Does the text on the site have spelling mistakes/typos
- Are some links broken or link to a “#” (i.e placeholder links)
- Check their Terms and Conditions
- Have they been copied and pasted from another host, so they still refer to a host that is not them
- Are they relevant to web hosting or are they generic T & Cs referring simply to ‘products’ or ‘services’ etc.
- Are their deals too good to be true?
- Web Hosting with ‘unlimited’ features for a fraction of the price offered by other hosts are often false representations of what you will receive
- VPS’ with tons of RAM and CPU power is likely a clear sign of a summer hosts offering
- Check their ‘About Us’ page
- Does it give a history of the host
- Are staff members listed with realistic titles (a new host showing CEO, COO etc. is a red alert sign)
- Does the page detail where the host is physically located
- Chat to them
- If the host offers live chat, go ahead and open a conversation with them to talk about their services – a summer host will often be run by inexperienced individuals which will quickly come across during a live chat session
- Ask about the payment methods they accept and any money back guarantees they have
- If they don’t offer live chat drop them an e-mail and start a conversation that way to get a feel for how they communicate
- Look for reviews & Google their name
- Many reputable web hosts use independent review websites like TrustPilot to showcase honest reviews from their customers, along with Google and Facebook etc.
- If you can’t find any reviews ask the host where you can find some
- Google the hosts name to see if people have discussed them on forums, many poor web hosts will have been discussed on web hosting forums
If the hosting company you are looking at just doesn’t “feel” right, then it’s probably a summer host. Offers that are too good to be true likely are just that, your website is important to you – don’t gable its success & availability to save a few pennies.
Hugoton Hosting first launched in 2005, after 14 years in the business we’re confident that we will continue to serve our growing customer base for many more years to come. Why not take a look at our ‘An Insight Into Our Pricing & Infrastructure’ blog post to learn more about how we operate and why more people than ever are switching to Hugoton Hosting.
We know that choosing a web host can be daunting, whether you’re looking to host a website for the first time or you’re looking to transfer your existing website, with so many web hosting companies around the world to choose from the decision on who to host your website with can be a challenge.
With this in mind we set out to make the process a little easier and started to build comparison pages for both our UK & Europe customers and our USA based customers. The new pages make it easy for you to make an informed decision by comparing our offerings with our competition, no personal opinions or other bias are included just the facts to compare Hugoton Hosting to other big names in the market.
Head over to our UK & Europe Comparison and USA Comparison pages now, we hope you will see that our value paired with our excellent commitment to quality & outstanding features makes it easy to see why more people are switching to Hugoton Hosting!
Today, Hugoton Hosting is excited to announce our partnership with Cloudflare, the website performance and security company!
Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) that increases the performance and security of every website on its network, protecting from a broad range of threats and attacks. Over 13,000,000 websites run on the Cloudflare network—ranging from individual blogs to e-commerce sites to the websites of Fortune 500 companies to national governments. Cloudflare powers almost a trillion monthly page views—more than Amazon, Wikipedia, Twitter, Zynga, AOL, Apple, Bing, eBay, PayPal and Instagram combined—and over 25% of the Internet’s population regularly passes through the Cloudflare network.
Faster web performance
Cloudflare was designed to take a hosting platform like Hugoton Hosting and make it faster, more secure, and even more reliable.
Cloudflare runs 165 data centers strategically located around the world. When you sign up for Cloudflare through Hugoton Hosting, we begin routing traffic to the nearest data center.
As your traffic passes through the data centers, Cloudflare intelligently determine what parts of your website are static versus dynamic. The static portions are cached on Cloudflare servers for a short period of time, typically less than 2 hours before they check to see if they’ve been updated. By automatically moving the static parts of your site closer to your visitors, the overall performance of your site improves significantly.
Cloudflare’s intelligent caching system also means you save bandwidth, which means your web application will run faster and more efficiently than ever. On average, Cloudflare customers see a 60% decrease in bandwidth usage, and a 65% in total requests to their servers. The overall effect is that Cloudflare will typically cut the load time for pages on your site by 50% which means higher engagement and happier visitors.
Broad web security
At the beginning of 2016, Cloudflare experienced and mitigated against some of the largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks ever seen. As attacks like these increase, Cloudflare is stepping up to protect websites.
Cloudflare’s security protections offer a broad range of protections against attacks such as DDoS, hacking or spam submitted to a blog or comment form. What is powerful about our Cloudflare’s is that the system gets smarter the more sites that are part of the Cloudflare community. Cloudflare analyze the traffic patterns of hundreds of millions of visitors in real time and adapt the security systems to ensure good traffic gets through and bad traffic is stopped.
In time, Cloudflare’s goal is nothing short of making attacks against websites a relic of history. And, given Cloudflare’s scale and the billions of different attacks they see and adapt to every year, they’re well on our way to achieving that for sites on the Cloudflare network.
As a CloudFlare Optimized Partner, we are thrilled to offer the CloudFlare Railgun™ technology to all our customers completely free for all new & existing customers!
Railgun is CloudFlare’s latest performance optimization technology that gives you significant improvements in site load times. To activate Railgun, log into your cPanel, select the Cloudflare option, enable Cloudflare and then select Railgun “On”. If you don’t have the toggle to enable Railgun just open a support ticket and will get you up & running in now time.
Railgun ensures that the connection between our network and the CloudFlare network is as fast as possible. Railgun achieves a 99.6% compression ratio for previously uncacheable web objects by using techniques similar to those used in the compression of high-quality video. The average website can expect a 1.43x performance increase.
When a request is made to a CloudFlare server for a web page that is not in cache CloudFlare makes an HTTP connection to the origin server to request the page. It’s that HTTP connection that Railgun accelerates and secures.
Railgun consists of two components: the sender and the listener. The sender is installed at every CloudFlare data center around the world. The listener is a software component that Hugoton Hosting has installed on our network for customers, on all of our nodes.
The sender and listener establish a permanent TCP connection that’s secured by TLS. This TCP connection is used for the Railgun protocol. It’s an all binary multiplexing protocol that allows multiple HTTP requests to be run simultaneously and asynchronously across the link. Or in other words, a persistent connection is opened between CloudFlare’s network and ours and eliminates the overhead of TCP.
Activating Cloudflare and Railgun™
Any website can deploy Cloudflare and Railgun, regardless of your hosting package or hosting location with us. By integrating closely with Hugoton Hosting, Cloudflare make the process of setting up “1 click” through your existing Hugoton Hosting control panel (cPanel). Just look for the Cloudflare icon, choose the domain you want to enable, and click the orange cloud, you can then enable Railgun straight after!
We’ve kept the price as low as possible, and the basic plan offered through Hugoton Hosting are free. Moreover, we never charge you for bandwidth or storage, therefore saving you tons via reduced bandwidth costs.
For site owners who would like to take advantage of Cloudflare’s advanced offerings, we also offer a ‘Pro’ tier of service for $20/month. The ‘Pro’ tier includes all of the ‘Free’ tier’s offerings, as well as extra features like image optimization, mobile acceleration, basic web application firewall (WAF), and 3 page rules.
If you have any questions about our new partnership ands the benefits it brings our customers check out our new CloudFlare dedicated page, CloudFlare & Railgun knowledge base articles or let us know via our contact us page!