Best Editor for Web Development 2017

Best Web Development Tools of 2017: Editors/IDEs and Package Management

The worlds of web hosting and web development are in a constant state of evolution. Every year we see design trends change, coding standards adapt and new frameworks/CMS created. With such a quick pace of change it’s easy to get lost trying to keep up.

In this article we will discuss and highlight a handful of tools that help make web development easy. Whether you work on Frontend, Backend, PHP, Javascript, or even Perl this list will have something helpful.

As a web hosting company we don’t often talk about the tools used to create the web. We’re usually ultra focused on the components that enable us to server and support you; things like: server hardware, Linux, Apache and etc.

We may not support development tools, but we do want to help our customers to build amazing stuff.
Continue reading “Best Editor for Web Development 2017”

Will my site be marked unsafe in Chrome 56+?

Lately there’s been a lot of speculation about Googles up-coming changes to how sites without an SSL are going to be treated. As January draws towards a close we have seen an increase in customers with concerns of how this will affect their site. Both in terms of people being able to see it and how it might affect their search ranking.

This article aims to clear up some of the confusion and to demystify the changes. If you are unfamiliar with how SSL/TLS or HTTPS works please take a look at our article on the subject.

If you aren’t interested in how these changes came about feel free to skip down to: How These Changes Affect Your Site
Continue reading “Will my site be marked unsafe in Chrome 56+?”

How KernelCare Protects Your Server

One of the most important things you can do to ensure the security and stability of your Linux server is to keep the kernel updated. Some Kernel updates patch security vulnerabilities and other issues. Kernel patches are released as issues are discovered.

Unless you are regularly checking for kernel updates, or your notified of a security issue, you may not be aware when a kernel update is available. Additionally, since updating the kernel traditionally requires a reboot, the prospect of associated downtime often prevents the updates from being applied as quickly as they should be.

KernelCare changes all that. Continue reading “How KernelCare Protects Your Server”

What Is KernelCare?

Tux the Penguin with Hotpatching (KernelCare)The concept of ‘Kernel hotpatching’, sometimes called live patching, was introduced to the Linux community around 2008. Soon after groups began developing differing implementations of the concept. KernelCare, one of the more popular implementations, was originally released in March 2014 by Cloud Linux, Inc. Continue reading “What Is KernelCare?”

Understanding the Default WordPress .htaccess

When maintaining a WordPress site you may find yourself attempting things that normally would work and find that they have unexpected results. This is usually due to how WordPress’ default .htaccess rules manipulate the configurations and provide ‘pretty permalinks’. Continue reading “Understanding the Default WordPress .htaccess”

What’s New in WHM 58 & What to Look For

In the 58 update of WHM & cPanel several rather large changes have been made to improve upon user experience and to expand available features. As cPanel works to continually expand and improve their offerings, we like to do our best to keep everyone informed and updated. Here are some of the highlights and items to look out for as the 58 update moves to release tier. Continue reading “What’s New in WHM 58 & What to Look For”

How To Boost Web Server Performance with Nginx and Apache

Apache is the most commonly used web server software on the Internet, and for good reason.

Its long history, general reliability, thorough documentation and active support community have helped it grow to include support for nearly anything a web developer can think to throw at it. But Apache’s universal support has not come without some trade-offs.

Why Apache Alone May Not Meet Your Needs

Apache excels at serving web pages, but its resource requirements (particularly memory) increase as it’s given more to do, thanks to the way Apache manages processes. Apache’s process management is governed by its Multi-Processing Module (MPM). The most common are prefork, worker, and event.

Each time a new request comes in, Apache creates a new process to handle it.

  • In prefork mode, each process contains a single thread (the code which runs inside of a process).
  • In worker mode, each process can contain multiple threads, each handling a single connection.
  • In event mode, each process can contain multiple threads, but each is able to handle more than one connection at a time.

Regardless of the MPM, new processes still are being created to handle new incoming requests (although worker creates fewer than prefork, and event creates fewer than worker).

As requests keep coming in and new processes are created to handle them, CPU and memory usage continue to increase. That drives up load, slows the server down, and ultimately (should the amount of incoming requests far exceed the server’s capabilities) could cause it to become unresponsive. With Apache, scaling up typically requires adding RAM or CPU cores to cope with greatly increased traffic.

And that’s the essential problem Nginx aims to solve: Scalability.

Unlike Apache, Nginx does not create new processes to handle incoming requests. It runs with a set number of processes, typically only one per CPU core, and each of its few processes uses a single thread to handle many requests (potentially thousands) at the same time.

Because of this, Nginx’s resource requirements don’t tend to increase with incoming requests as do Apache’s. And thanks to its small footprint, it’s also able to do the job considerably faster.

One Server’s Weakness Is Another’s Strength

While Nginx’s processes management can be much more efficient and it can serve pages at lightning speed, it’s important to note that the potential performance gains with Nginx are most dramatic when serving static content.

That’s because, unlike Apache’s all-in-one approach, Nginx can serve only static content natively (html, images, javascript and css, etc.). To keep it as lightweight as possible, Nginx relies on separate applications such as PHP FastCGI Process Manager (FPM), Tomcat, or Apache to serve dynamic content.

Unless your site is mostly comprised of static pages, you may decide that there’s not a tremendous amount to be gained by switching from Apache to Nginx outright, given that you’d still need to rely on another application to serve the dynamic content.

And that’s the beauty of using the more-powerful Apache and the more-nimble Nginx together.

In terms of resource usage, Apache doesn’t really care what type of content it’s serving. Processes are created and threads are spun off based only on the number of incoming requests. That makes it somewhat less than ideal for serving extremely large amounts of small, static resources.

By allowing Nginx to serve the static content and pass requests for dynamic content to Apache, you can (for a small amount of overhead up front) effectively eliminate the drain on resources that otherwise would have been caused by having Apache serve all that static content.

Meanwhile, Nginx is caching as it serves, making future requests that much faster still.

This setup, in which Nginx listens on the standard web port (typically 80) and transparently passes requests to the appropriate server, is called a reverse proxy configuration.

Depending on your site’s composition and the number of static resources served, you could find that pairing Nginx and Apache can yield dramatic results.

Considerations

  • Apache, assuming it already is installed and running, would need to be configured to run on another port.
  • After switching the Apache port, sites on the server would not be accessible at their normal URLs until Nginx is installed, properly configured, and running.
  • Nginx handles virtual hosts (vhosts) differently than Apache, and each existing virtual host entry would need to be recreated for Nginx.
  • Some control panel software, such as cPanel/WHM, does not officially support Nginx (although WHM/cPanel plugins are available).
  • The installation, configuration, troubleshooting and maintenance of Nginx is not supported by Liquid Web on any platform; do not attempt to install any software or modify any configuration files unless you have fully researched the process and know how to address any potential issues that may arise.

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