New cPanel Tool: Compare Backups

We’ve created a new custom cPanel plugin that lets you compare your current folders and files against any of the multiple backups we provide.  You can easily see at a glance what folders and files have been altered, and you can even see which lines in a file have been changed.

This is useful in dealing with hacked files, or to easily recover from a mistaken edit, for example.

The tool is available now in your cPanel interface.  It is located in the “FILES” section and is called “Compare Backups” and has the following icon:

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Enjoy!

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Alternate File Manager for cPanel – elFinder

We’ve created a custom plugin for cPanel that provides an alternate file manager interface (based on elFinder).  It’s available to everyone, just look for this icon in the Files section of your cPanel interface.

elfinder

elFinder provides an interface that is more like what you’d expect if you are used to using a Mac or PC.

It also allows you to do things like mount an external FTP account and drag and drop files.

It also allows you to browse the daily backups of your account, and restore files and folders.

Enjoy!

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Softaculous

We are happy to announce that we have added the Softaculous Application Installer to our cPanel servers.

“Softaculous is a great auto installer having 394 great scripts, 1115 PHP Classes and we are still adding more. Softaculous is ideal for Web Hosting companies and it could give a significant boost to your sales. These scripts cover most of the uses a customer could ever have. We have covered a wide array of Categories so that everyone could find the required script one would need to power their Web Site.”

With this addition, Islandhosting.com customers now have two choices for automated installation and updating of software for their websites (Installatron is also available)

There is no extra cost for using Softaculous or Installatron.  Enjoy!

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FREE SSL Certificates at Islandhosting with Let’s Encrypt

Islandhosting is happy to announce that we now provide FREE SSL certificates from the Let’s Encrypt project.

You can request and install an SSL certificate for your domain that is recognised by all major browsers within 15 seconds with just a couple of clicks.  Just log into your Islandhosting cPanel interface and look for this icon in the SECURITY section:

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Having an SSL certificate installed for your web site allows all traffic to and from your web site to be encrypted, which not only boosts customer confidence, but it’s becoming more and more critical to search engine ranking.

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. Let’s Encrypt is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).

Please note that Let’s Encrypt is itself still in BETA, so our support for them is too.  But we’re already using their certificates on some of our personal projects and so far, so good!

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CloudFlare Railgun™

As a CloudFlare Optimized Partner, we are thrilled to offer the CloudFlare Railgun™ technology to all our customers  for free.

Railgun is CloudFlare’s latest performance optimization technology that gives you significant improvements in site load times. To activate Railgun, log into your CloudFlare control panel and select Railgun “On”. Read on for additional details and instructions:

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.

Even highly dynamic websites change slowly

Railgun works by recognizing that uncacheable web pages do not change very rapidly. For example, during an experiment, the CNN.com homepage HTML was captured once, and then again after 5 minutes and then again after one hour. The page sizes were 92,516, five minutes still 92,516 and one hour later 93,727.

CNN sets the caching on this page to 60 seconds. After one minute, it is necessary to download the entire page again. However, looking inside the page, not much has changed. In fact, the change between versions is on the order of 100s of bytes out of almost 100k. Here’s a screenshot of one of the binary differences between the CNN home page at five minute intervals. The yellow bytes have changed, the rest have not.

Experiments at CloudFlare have revealed similar change values across the web. For example, reddit.com changes by about 2.15% over five minutes and 3.16% over an hour. The New York Times home page changes by about 0.6% over five minutes and 3% over an hour. BBC News changes by about 0.4% over five minutes and 2% over an hour.

Although the dynamic web is not cacheable, it is also not changing quickly. That means that from moment to moment there’s only a small change between versions of a page. CloudFlare Railgun uses this fact to achieve very high rates of compression. This is very similar to how video compression looks for changes from frame to frame; Railgun looks for changes on a page from download to download.

Railgun Technology

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 Islandhosting has installed on our network for customers.

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.

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