Monthly Archives: April 2015

3 Reasons Your Server Location Matters

When choosing a web host, many people overlook certain aspects. Today we’re going to delve into one of those commonly forgotten aspects — server location. Customers are eager to sign up with the cheapest web host, but they forget the importance of choosing a web host with a server location near their target audience.

  1. Boost in local SEO rankings
  2. Lower ping (particularly important for game servers)
  3. Faster site loading times

Server location is particularly important if there are certain markets that you’re looking to target.

HostMyBytes has locations across the globe to help bring lightning fast speeds to your target audience:

  • Los Angeles (great uplink to Asia & North America)
  • United Kingdom (great for UK & eastern Europe)
  • Germany (great for western Europe)

Growing Pains & Getting Back to Excellence

It’s no secret that HostMyBytes has grown considerably over the first few months of 2015. Growth is something that entrepreneurs strive for — it’s the first sign of success. Many companies, however, become victims of their own growth.

This is partially due to the cyclical nature of support issues. Most support issues come from mediocre (sometimes even poor) server management, and poor server management creates more support issues. At HostMyBytes, we understand the implicit relation between support and server management.

In the coming weeks, you will be finding a lot of changes at HostMyBytes. For one, we’re in the process of revamping our support staff with only level 3 administrators. That means that tickets will get faster resolutions (no “In Progress” replies) and will be actively investigated from the start.

We’ve begun running a two-tiered support system where tier I comprises our first-responders who can handle 90% of support issues. Tier II  comprises our support leaders who handle complex issues, as well as issues relating to billing and sales.

To make that happen, we’ve brought on an entirely new support team. Meet some of our team leaders:

  • Andrew Sudduth (@HMBAndrew) – Andrew handles Tier I, Tier II, and Live Chat, with a focus on customer service.
  • Shiraz Gupta (@HMBShiraz) – I handle both Tier I and Tier II but focus on server administration tasks.
  • Jonathan A. – Jonathan handles Tier I, Tier II, focusing on our quality assurance within support to ensure that each client receives the same fantastic experience
  • Uttam G. – Uttam is a Server Analyst III and shift manager who works during the US business day.
  • Alex S. – Alex is a Server Analyst III and the graveyard shift manager who usually works during the US late night & early morning hours

How to Harden a cPanel Server

Popular among both web hosting magnates and newbies, cPanel is the world’s most well known control panel. In terms of security, however, it isn’t necessarily a good thing that the control panel is so popular since its popularity makes it a target for exploits. There’s good news: in just a few minutes, you can dramatically reduce the risk of your server being exploited.

cPanel Hardening Script

We use a custom cPanel hardening script that we’re now sharing with the system administration community at large. It’s very easy. As a matter of fact, it’s just a script that walks you through everything.

Step 0 – Prerequisites

Let’s make sure that we have wget installed on the server, so we can download the script:
yum install wget

You should already have wget if you’ve installed cPanel, but there’s no harm in being sure.

Step 1 – Download the script

Now we’re going to download the hardening script file:
wget http://hostmybytes.com/hardening.sh

Step 2 – Run the script

Now we’re going to run the cPanel hardening script:
sh hardening.sh

Step 3 – Let it run
The script will take a few minutes to run, depending on your server specs. It will ask a couple yes or no questions about whether to harden certain services within the server.

Don’t feel like hardening your server manually? No problem. Our managed VPS come pre-hardened, and we’ve already done the work for you.

What does the script do?

This script performs most of the common hardening tasks, including:

  • Installs, configures, and tweaks ConfigServer Firewall (CSF)
  • Installs ConfigServer Mail Manager (CSMM)
  • Installs ConfigServer Mod Security (CSMC)
  • Installs ConfigServer Mail Queue Manager (CMQ)
  • Installs maldet and updates maldet rules
  • Installs and configures rootkit hunter
  • Tweaks cPanel settings (cPanel “Tweak Settings”)
  • Enables and configures cPHulkD (brute force detection)
  • Enables background process killer
  • Hardens SSH daemon (change to custom port)
  • Optimizes Apache settings
  • Optimizes MySQL settings
  • Tweaks FTP settings