Migration to Managed WooCommerce

Liquid Web is here to support your migration needs into our Managed WooCommerce Hosting platform. Whether you are migrating from an external or internal source, our in-house team of migration experts transforms the data migration process into a simple task. To ensure the smoothest and best possible data transfer, we have a quick overview and a few points for your consideration.

 

Our first step includes taking a copy of your live site (known as the origin site) and migrating it over to our Managed WooCommerce Hosting platform. Rest assured, when performing the migration, the only changes made to the site will be to assist in the movement. Within this timeframe, it is advised to avoid making changes or updates to the site as it will extend the migration timeline and could result in data loss. Changes and updates are included but not limited to themes, designs, contents, products, blog posts or WordPress versions. The initial sync process should result in no downtime for your live site.

Once the initial sync is complete, our Migration Specialists perform a series of basic tests to the site. During this time, our team will send information on ways to test out your new site to ensure that all aspects have carried over correctly and are in working order. Before going live, it is essential to take the time to thoroughly review your site and if at any point you do find a discrepancy our specialist is there to assist.

The third and most exciting step is the push to go live. We will coordinate the best date and time for the final sync of your site. This last sync will ensure the latest data on orders, products, and customers transfers to your new server. Upon completion of the final sync, you will be asked to update the staging domain’s name and DNS record. With a little DNS propagation time, you will begin to see the new site populate!

With the updating of DNS and the site name, you are now entirely done with the migration process. In subsequent steps, we will create a ticket with our Product Team to connect your store to our partnered applications, Glew and Jilt. Credentials to these valued applications will be sent out in an email, after which, our product team can suggest performance optimization methods to get the most out of your eCommerce store.

 

Knowing the details behind the migration process aligns us with our next step in creating a migration request from your Liquid Web control panel! Once completed, our Migration Specialists will be in touch to schedule the migration and answer any questions you may have.

 

How to Remove (Delete) a User on Ubuntu 16.04

User management includes removing users who no longer need access, removing their username and any associate root privileges are necessary for securing your server. Deleting a user’s access to your Linux server is a typical operation which can easily be performed using a few commands.  

Pre-flight Check

  • We are logged in as root on an Ubuntu 16.04 VPS powered by Liquid Web!

Step 1: Remove the User

Insert the username you want to delete by placing it after the userdel command. In our example, I’ll be deleting our user, Tom.

userdel tom

Simultaneous you can delete the user and the files owned by this user with the -r flag.  Be careful these files are not needed to run any application within your server.

userdel -r tom

If the above code produces the message below, don’t be alarmed, it is not an error, but rather /home/tom existed but /var/mail/tom did not.

userdel: tom mail spool (/var/mail/tom) not found

 

Step 2: Remove Root Privileges

By removing Tom’s username from our Linux system we are halfway complete, but we still need to remove their root privileges.

visudo

Navigate to the following section:

## Allow root to run any commands anywhere
root ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
tom ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

Or:

## User privilege specification
root ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
tom ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

With either result, remove access for your user by deleting the corresponding entry:

tom ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

Save and exit this file by typing :wq and press the enter key.

To add a user, see our frequently used article, How to Add a User and Grant Root Privileges on Ubuntu 16.04. Are you using a different Ubuntu version? We’ve got you covered, check out our Knowledge Base to find your version.

Cloud vs. Dedicated Hosting

Cloud and dedicated servers are two types of hosting solutions that you will find across professional web hosting companies. Whether your a small business or a thriving enterprise the question remains, what is the difference between Cloud and Dedicating hosting and which one is the best solution for you? For a third year in a row voted by Cloud Spectator, in top server side performance, we are here to give you a comprehensive break down of these two types of hosting environments as well as impactful aspects:  performance through speed and uptime, and most importantly cost.

Simply put the cloud a virtual space on multiple servers. A typical product of the cloud environment is a Cloud VPS. We can compare Cloud hosting to the service of a restaurant. The restaurant would represent the physical server, within that server lives the Cloud VPS, in this case, represented by the restaurant’s tables. Each waitress/waiter equals the resources that each table or Cloud VPS can pull from. If your party is growing, you can add another table (Cloud VPS) together and therefore increase your waiter/waitresses (resources). If your party is leaving the same concept can be applied, quickly adjusting to your needs. On the other hand, a dedicated server would have one table, the whole restaurant to yourself, having six wait staff attending to your dedicated server needs.

Note:
Dedicated and Cloud both have the option to manage or self-manage. Unmanaged means you’ll be responsible for running routine software updates, which are essential to security, as opposed to your hosting provider. The choice to go managed or unmanaged is better left to a broader discussion but as you can guess unmanaged is usually the cheaper option.

Cloud hosting wins over with price as there is no hardware to buy and you usually pay for what you use. While your business grows, you’ll be able to scale up by adding more file space for more or larger websites.  Because these are actual physical pieces that you can own, dedicated servers, sometimes have a setup fee associated with them. The freedom of having your server means you’ll be paying for maximum power even with you are not utilizing the whole server.  Your hosting provider can maintain both Cloud VPS and Dedicated, but dedicated servers often will need an additional team with a deeper understanding of resource monitoring and network setup. Lastly, Cloud VPS average entry-level servers start around $60 per month while dedicated entry level starts off around $199 per month.

Cloud Costs
  • Average entry level $60 per month
  • No hardware to buy
  • Unlimited resource scaling
  • Pay for what you use
Dedicated Costs
  • Average entry level $199 per month
  • Initial setup fees

Uptime, defined as the amount of time your server is online and available to your users.  For most, uptime is of the utmost importance because businesses rely on the revenue or information that their site provides. More and more cloud environments uptimes are improving though there is always the chance of downtime due to resource abuse from other customers on the same server.  Dedicated servers face similar issues with, but those are due to a different reason such as hardware failures. You’ll also find cloud environments are resilient and redundant with their environmental setup and are ideal for minimal downtime in scaling up. Scaling up within dedicated will prove to be more of an impact on uptime due to its intricacies. Regardless of their scaling and known for their superb uptime, dedicated servers are favorites to more significant e-commerce business with larger mission-critical websites.

Cloud Uptime
  • More for small to medium business because uptime can sometimes be an issue
  • Resilient and Redundant
  • Can have occasional downtime due to shared resources
Dedicated Uptime
  • Great uptime for larger websites, such as e-commerce businesses and high-traffic sites
  • One point of failure

How fast a network or website is most often the number one concern amongst website developers and users.  When differentiating whether the cloud or a dedicated server is faster, the short of it is, dedicated will usually be faster. It’s difficult to compare the two environments because not all websites are created equal, front-end and backend development play into speed.  In this instance, we are going to assume the code is sufficient for optimal performance. If we think of our restaurant analogy from earlier, resources (the wait staff) are limited in Cloud environment. These resources get pulled by the website’s processes, so you may reach a limit that your hosting provider or Cloud VPS cant handle as fast as a dedicated server. (Though there are some free caching services you can implement to be SEO competitive.)  Remember resources for dedicated servers are all yours, and this equals out to a significant increase in speed.

Cloud Speed
  • Average page load times
  • Extra work needed to implement caching
Dedicated Speed
  • Quicker website load times
  • High performance due to unshared resources
You’ll find that determining the current need of your business will help to ease the choice of hosting environments.  Dedicated servers remain the best choice where performance is critical if you have the money to spend but can be rigid in upscaling.  Most small to medium sites are optimal to run on the cloud or can stand for the occasional downtime and are best for growing businesses.   For a side by side comparison, visit our products to see how our Dedicated Servers  and Cloud VPS win over big name hosting providers.

 

Migrating Your DNS to Liquid Web

In order to simplify your website management and to receive speedy DNS support, including restoration of website service during DDoS attacks, we recommend you move your website DNS name server records to Liquid Web. You will still have full control to add and modify your DNS records at any time.

There are two critical steps needed to move your DNS to Liquid Web.

  1. Create or Verify the DNS zone records at: https://manage.liquidweb.com > Domains tab > DNS tab
  2. At the Domain’s Registrar, Update the listed Name Servers to be ns.liquidweb.com and ns1.liquidweb.com
Note:
For uninterrupted services, your existing DNS zone must be imported or manually inputted into our Liquid Web DNS previous to switching nameservers.

Step 1: DNS Zone Records

You can create and manage your DNS records in the Liquid Web customer portal.  If you need to start from scratch or wish to import records, we have added new tools in our portal to make your process easier.  The below Help Center article walks you through the entire process.

https://help.liquidweb.com/s/article/Adding-and-Editing-DNS-Records

For our legacy Rackspace customers, we created a copy of your websites’ DNS records at Liquid Web as a courtesy.  You can find these DNS zones in your https://manage.liquidweb.com > Domains tab > DNS tab.  It is critical you verify that these records are correct before updating the nameservers at the Registrar.

If you want to check your current Rackspace DNS zone records, log into https://mycloud.rackspace.com (using your old Rackspace credentials),  then click on Networking, then on Cloud DNS.  From there you can compare. If they match the records at Liquid Web, you can move to Step 2.

If your DNS zones do not match, you can contact Rackspace support for assistance with exporting (downloading) a copy of your DNS zone (bind file).  If you need assistance with the import, just create a ticket with the bind file attached and we’ll work to import your zones for you.

Step 2: Update Your Domain Registrar

Until your website Domain Registrar information is updated, the DNS zone in the Liquid Web system is invisible to the internet. Your Domain Registrar is the key and directs your visitors’ requests based on which name server is linked to your domain. The below Help Center article provides information on how to change your name servers.

https://help.liquidweb.com/s/article/Changing-Your-Websites-Nameservers

Domains in Liquid Web Enom Domain Registrar

If your website is registered through Liquid Web at our domain registrar (Enom), we can assist directly.  Once you complete Step 1 and update this ticket with the verification of your domain zone files, we can update your Enom name servers for you.

If you use a different domain registrar for your website, you will need to log into them directly through their control panels to update the name servers.  You can find your domain registrar by searching for your website in https://www.whois.com.

These changes are requested so that we may serve you better and they improve your website availability during network attacks.  Managing your domains and DNS in one location will also save you time.

We are constantly working to improve your hosting experience and website availability. If you have any questions or concerns reach out to our 24/7 support team by chat, phone or tickets.

 

Remove a Domain from our Email Hosting Service

Our email hosting service takes the pain out of setting up email within a VPS.  You get your own space, separate from your VPS to do simple tasks like setting up a domain to have email.  If you haven’t already explored the features of our Premium Business Email, we offer robust services like Microsoft Exchange that over up to 1TB worth of space!  Alternatively, if you are looking for something smaller, our Standard and Plus mail service may fit your needs with 25 GB worth of space. Check out how straightforward it is to delete a domain from our user-friendly control panel.

To remove a domain from your Premium Business Email hosting service, log in to your Liquid Web control panel.  If you have never logged into the Liquid Web control panel, you can follow our article to learn how!

Deleting a Domain from our Email Hosting

Note:
Performing this action deletes your data permanently. However, the email system retains your mailbox information on the servers for 14 days after permanent deletion. Should you need to recover your deleted mailboxes? Contact our support team to assist with recovery of deleted mailboxes.

1. Log into your Liquid Web control panel.  From the main overview screen, click on the Domains tab on the left-hand side. You will be taken to the Domains Dashboard window, now click on the Email tab.
Domains and Email Hosting Tab in manage.liquidweb.com

2. On the Email Domains Dashboard, find the domain that you want to delete and click on the three dots to the right hand side of the screen. Once you click the three dots, you will be prompted with a Remove Email Service button.
Mail Hosting: Removing Email Domain
3.After you click on the Remove Email Service button you will be presented with window that will ask you to verify that you do indeed wish to delete the email domain from our Premium Business Email service. For confirmation you will need to type in the email domain, once entered, the Delete all Mailboxes and Messages button will light red.
Email Hosting: Domain Name to Delete

There you have it! Effortlessly remove and add a domain within your control panel, it’ s everything you need to be an email admin, all located in one spot.  Check out our affordable options and find out why more people are switching to Premium Business Email.

 

Free Website Migration Service

How To Request Free Website Migrations from Liquid Web

The Migration team at Liquid Web is dedicated to providing you with an efficient and as uneventful a migration as possible. Whether you are migrating from a current Liquid Web server (internal migration) or from another host (external migration) into Liquid Web, it is important that we work together to ensure an effective transfer of information.

If you would like to skip the overview and go straight to the request form, you can do that clicking on this link for Requesting A Migration. At the bottom of this article we guide you through making a migration request. To request a Windows server migration, please open a Support Ticket with the Windows Team indicating that you are requesting a migration.

Otherwise, check out some helpful terms to know before your migration begins. Still have questions about what to expect? We have a handy guide called What to Expect During a Site Migration.

Before Your Migration Begins

Before you start your migration, there are a few terms that we use that you will need to be familiar with:

  • Initial Sync – This is the first of three stages of a migration. In this stage, access levels are determined and tested, version matching occurs, and the initial seed of data for your websites being migrated is brought to the new server.
  • Hosts File – The hosts file is a computer file used by an operating system to map hostnames to IP addresses. This file is a plain text file and stored on your computer or workstation, it is the first stop when your browser looks up a domain name via DNS. You can edit the hosts file to re-route requests for a particular domain name to a different IP Address. This is the preferred method of testing your site on your new server. This allows you to view the site as if it were live on the new server at Liquid Web and verify that all pages are working as intended prior to going live with a DNS update.
  • Final Sync – The final sync is the last transfer of data in the migration process. This is completed after you confirm that all testing has come back without any major issues to fix before the site goes live. The final sync typically updates files, email, and databases that have been changed since the initial migration of data. This is done with the source server no longer serving requests and is most effective when a DNS update is performed in tandem.
  • DNS Update – A DNS update is part of the final sync of your migration which makes the target server (the new server at Liquid Web) live. The DNS update can be performed in conjunction with a final sync, or on its own if a final sync is not possible.
Note:
Your site is not live on the new server until the DNS update has occurred. It is normal to see some errors during testing and most will resolve once the DNS has been updated.
  • Authoritative Nameservers – a specific nameserver which holds the authoritative DNS records for a specific domain. Authoritative nameservers are defined for a specific domain at that domain’s registrar. A change to DNS at the authoritative nameserver will make its way around the internet through propagation. This is why it can sometimes take a little while for your DNS changes to take effect.
  • Nameserver – A nameserver is computer hardware or software that implements a network service for providing responses to DNS queries. Nameservers serve several types of information for a certain domain name, including A Records, MX Records, and CNAME records.
  • Nameserver Glue – Nameserver glue is a record which associates a named nameserver with an IP address on the internet, much like a A Record associates a domain name with an IP address. This record is stored at the domain registrar. During migrations, if nameserver authority is moving from one machine to another, the glue records at the registrar will need to be changed after the final sync and DNS update.

Requesting a Migration

Migrations begin by filling out our form through your Liquid Web account.
1. Once you log into your account, click on the Migration Center link at the top of the page.

2. You will be directed to the Migration Center home page. Click on Create a Migration Request to begin filling out the form.

Note:
If you want more information about migrations to Liquid Web, we have linked our Help Center Migration articles in the Migrations tab. Here you can read our articles What to Expect During a Site Migration and Testing Best Practices for Migrations.

3. Once the Request Migration form opens, you will be given the option to name your migration and add your source account. Click on the Add a Source Account button to add information about the hosting account you are migrating from.

4. Click on the Add a Source button to add server access information for the source account. This is where you would add SSH or panel login details for the server or cPanel account you are migrating.

5. You can add more than one source by clicking the link Add a Source Account at the bottom of the section.

6. Next, you will select your destination. You can choose the server from the drop-down menu.  If you do not currently have a server at Liquid Web, click on the Create a New Server link to be directed to a page for you to purchase and create a server.

7. Provide us with information on what software you’d like to have updated with the migration, or if you don’t need or want updates, you can leave this as it is.

8. We will need information from you on the domains on the incoming server and DNS settings. You can choose what domains you want tested and how you want the DNS handled.

9. The final step before submitting your request is to review the information you’ve provided. When you are ready, click the Submit button and a ticket will be sent to our Heroic Migration team.

We will contact you to schedule the migration and stay in contact with you through the entire process. Once the migration is complete, the last step is to test your site.

Please see our article Editing Your DNS Hosts File for information on how to securely test your site. If at any time you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Heroic Support team by chat, phone or support ticket.

 

Setting up packages in WHM to use in WHMCS

Using Packages in WHM

Any new reseller’s first move when integrating WHMCS is to ensure that the products they are provisioning have the correct resources and limitations for their cPanel packages.

This article will walk you through the steps of setting up packages in WHM so you can use WHMCS.

Creating a package in WHM

  1. Log in to your server’s WHM as the root user (be sure this is the connected server to WHMCS that you intend to sell shared hosting on)
  2. Navigate to Add a Package
  3. Select Package Name – This will be used to identify within WHMCS
  4. Create Resource Limitations
    • Disk Quota (MB)
    • Monthly Bandwidth (MB)
    • Max FTP Accounts
    • Max Email Accounts
    • Max Email Lists
    • Max Databases
    • Max Sub Domains
    • Max Parked Domains
    • Max Addon Domains
    • Maximum Hourly Email by Domain Relayed
    • Maximum percentage of failed or deferred messaged a domain may send per hour

  5. Settings

    This is where you can specify if you want the package to have a dedicated IP, offer shell access (SSH), cPanel access (CGI), or Digest Authentication.
    Typically you can leave the Settings as default, but if you need to make changes, this is where you can do it.

WHMCS

Once you create a package in WHM, you will need to create a product in WHMCS and tie the two together in order to resell cPanel accounts with automated provisioning.

1.  Log in to your WHMCS as an Admin User

2. Navigate to Setup -> Products/Services -> Products/Services

3. As a new installation, you will first need to click “Create a New Group”

  • Set your Product Group Name (for example, Shared Hosting)
  • Set the Product Group Headline (this is customer facing, so something specific to the group of products)
  • Set the Product Group Tagline
  • Select your available Payment Gateways
  • Select the Order Form Template, if you don’t want the System Default
  • You have the option of making a product group hidden, the functionality of hidden products/groups will be covered in another article.
  • Save Changes

4. Now select “Create a New Product”

  • Select the product type, for this example we will be selecting “Hosting Account” as it will be for the shared product you created the package for
  • Choose your newly created Product Group
  • Set the Product Name and hit continue (note: the product name does NOT have to match the package name, but it can make tracking easier in the long run)
  • Details Tab

    • Enter the Product Description – Here you can enter the description that the customer will see, for example, if it is a shared hosting package with 5GB of disk, 100GB of bandwidth, etc. you can list the features of this product)
    • Welcome Email – This will give you a drop down of pre-existing email templates, for more on customizing WHMCS email templates, please see that article.
    • Require Domain – This means the client must have a domain for the package (You can offer domain registration for new clients, but this box just ensures that they enter a fully qualified domain name to proceed).
    • Stock Control – Set this if you only want to sell X number of this product
    • Apply Tax – If taxes apply, select this box
    • Featured – This will show the product more prominently in certain order form templates.
    • Hidden – See the benefits of hidden groups/products.
    • Retired – Often used in editing old products).
    • Pricing Tab –
    • Payment Type – Is this a free product (trial), one time bill, or recurring billing.
    • Allow Multiple Quantities – This allows the customer to order more than 1 of this package.
    • Recurring Cycles Limit – 0 is unlimited which will be the case for most hosting, change this if you want to limit how many cycles they can keep the product.
    • Auto Terminate/Fixed Term – 0 is disabled, this can be used to auto terminate accounts after a certain date, I’d suggest avoiding this as it could potentially delete/destroy user data, better to have a fixed limit and contact the customer prior to termination as it could potentially save a client.
    • Termination Email – This would need to be configured only if you use the previous option.
    • The next three options are around billing date modifications
      • Prorata Billing: Select this if you want to have universal billing dates.
      • Prorata Date: This would be the day of the month that all billing would exist for this product.
      • Charge Next Month: This will be the “cutoff” date for when the following month will be included in the original invoice.
  • Module Settings – This assumes you have a server already created, if you do not see the documentation on connecting your first server.

    • Module Name: Select cPanel from the drop down
    • Server Group: If you have a specific group for this product, select it here.
    • WHM Package Name: Select the correct package name to match the product.

  • Custom Fields

    • These fields allow for you to collect additional information from your client, such as “How did you hear about us?” or “Are you interested in our newsletter?”
    • You can add any number of additional custom fields and you can make them public facing, or internal.
    • Some modules and addons will require a custom field to be set up and filled out to successfully run.
  • Configurable Options

    • This will remain blank unless you have something that will generate the configurable options. For example, the Liquid Web Plugin. (https://github.com/liquidweb/LiquidWeb-WHMCS-Plugin) can generate configurable options based around what is available via our API.
  • Upgrades

    • Package Upgrades: This box will show other products within WHMCS and you can select which you would like the customer to be able to upgrade to/from. For example, if you have a Bronze Shared Plan at 5GB of disk space and you would like to offer an upgrade path to the Silver Shared Plan at 10GB of disk space, you’d select it here.
    • Configurable Options: Selectable if you have configurable options generated and set up for the product list.
    • Upgrade Email: You can set an email in Email Templates if you would like them to receive something during the process.
  • Free Domain

    • Free Domain: You can select if you would like it to only be free for registration/transfer (one time), or if you would like it to remain free as long as they maintain the product.
    • Free Domain Payment Terms: You can select if you only want to offer free domain registrations for specific payment terms. For example, Annual payment terms for hosting are a fairly common requirement to receive the free domain in this case since the domain registration is annual.
  • Other

    • Custom Affiliate Payout:
      • Default – Uses the default set up in the system.
      • Percentage – Pays a percentage of their referral.
      • Fixed Amount – you set the amount they would earn for each product
      • No Commission – they can track referrals but no commission is paid, this is helpful for if you have a program with incentives for referrals aside from money.
    • Affiliate Pay Amount: Enter the amount you would like the affiliate to get paid for referring this product.
    • Subdomain Options: Allowing specific subdomains to be used if you want to specify.
    • Associated Downloads: You can set download files that are only available to clients who have this specific product.
    • Overages Billing: If you want to allow for a client to use more than the allocated amount and charge them for it you set it here. Just to clarify though, the package we set up in WHM previously will determine the true “hard limits” if you set up overage billing with soft limits, the client will still see the full “hard limit” in cPanel, there is no way to “hide” that.
  • Links

    • Direct Shopping Cart Link: This is a direct link you can provide customers (or code into your site) that will link directly to the “checkout” page with the product in the cart.
    • Direct Shopping Cart Link Specifying Template: If you’re running a specific promotion in which you want to utilize a specific shopping cart template, you can use that here
    • Direct Shopping Cart Link Including Domain: If you were to send a direct “quote link” and you want to pre-fill the domain for the client you’re sending it to, you can use this:
      • Replace the “sld=whmcs” with “sld=clientdomain”
      • Replace the “tld=.com” with “tld=clientstld”
      • If the client is using .com, you can leave this the same. If they are using .net you would enter “tld=.net”
    • Product Group Cart Link: This can link to the full group, if you had multiple products in the same group type.
  • Hit Save Changes and your product setup is now complete! You can begin selling that shared product right away.

You can repeat this process by setting up a different package in WHM and then in the “Module Settings” section, you would select that package instead. Just be sure that you adjust the pricing and any options that you need for each product.

If you need to purchase a WHMCS or have further questions, please contact our support team via chat! Happy to help.

What is DNSSEC?

Domain Name System Security Extensions or DNSSEC signs DNS Record Sets (RRsets) at each DNS zone level. This allows one to verify the DNS record they are receiving has not been altered.

For example, manage.liquidweb.com has these zone levels:

  • Root (.)
  • com, org, net
  • liquidweb
  • Manage

DNS Record Set (RRsets) is a group of records with the same record type, for example all DNS A records are one RRset.

Continue reading “What is DNSSEC?”

Best Practices for Firewall Rules

Basic Firewall Rules

In a firewall rule, the action component decides if it will permit or block traffic. It has an action on match feature. For example, if the traffic matches the components of a rule, then it will be permitted to connect to the network. It is essential to consider the potential security risks when modifying a firewall rule to avoid future issues. Following best practices for configuring firewalls can help you maximize the effectiveness of your solution.

Continue reading “Best Practices for Firewall Rules”