LET’S ENCRYPT VS PAID SSL; THE MAJOR DIFFERENCES

LET’S ENCRYPT VS PAID SSL

There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds and half of all cyber attacks are directed at small businesses. This is because small businesses often do not pay attention to cyber security.

Fortunately, websites can be protected in different ways . A secure socket layer(SSL) certificate is a type of website encryption key that protects websites and its users from hackers and there are different SSL options..

Why is SSL Certificate so important?

SSL certificates in simple terms encrypts your visitors’ connection to your site. This protects both your site and customers from security breaches. SSL certificates act as the pillar of a secure internet and protect any sensitive information we all send over the web.

You can recognize SSL-secured websites easily.The URLs of such websites starts with HTTPS instead of the regular HTTP. Sometimes, you may see a small padlock icon beside the URL. This is the browser letting you know the site you are visiting is secure.

Additionally, apart from website security, SSL Certificate also helps in google SEO rankings as google considers websites with SSL Certificate trustworthy and ranks them higher on search engine results page

Types of SSL Certificate

You may probably know that  SSL Certificate has two types. The first one is ‘Free SSL Certificate’, which is available for free. The other one is paid which is known as just ‘SSL Certificate’

Free SSL Certificate

Let’s Encrypt is a free and open-source Certificate Authority (CA) that offers SSL certificates to anyone who has a domain name. The purpose of making an SSL certificate available free of charge was to make access to HTTPS available for all websites. It is run by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), a non-profit organisation based in California.Let’s Encrypt is ‘a free, automated, and open certificate authority, run for the public’s benefit.  Let’s Encrypt is ideal for taking a first step into the world of HTTPS

 

MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FREE SSL AND PAID SSL

1) The Type of SSL Certificate

Free SSL certificates only come with a Domain Validation (DV) option.These are only used to provide a basic level of authentication.Free SSL certificates don’t have the capacity for Organization validation (OV) and Extended validation (EV) Certificates. On the other hand, the paid SSL certificates comes with OV & EV options, which are absolutely necessary for protecting business websites.

2)  Validation Levels

Types of SSL Certificates differ based on the type of validation they provide. The three main levels are Domain Validation (DV), Organization Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV) certificates. Each offers a higher level of security than the previous and requires a more comprehensive vetting process.

In verifying a website owner’s business details before issuing a free certificate, Let’s encrypt does not validate any other thing except the identity of the website owner. On the other hand, for paid SSL certificates, verification of the identity of the website owner is a must before issuing the certificate to the site owner and in the case of OV & EV certificates, in-depth verification of the business is carried out by the certificate authority (CA). Sites that are secured with OV and EV certificates are also more often displayed as secure in browsers, which as we mentioned earlier,is vital for improving visitor confidence in your site.

3) Support

Let’s Encrypt and paid SSL options offer different levels of support and warranty as a part of their plans, alongside the certificate itself. Due to its small team, Let’s Encrypt cannot afford to provide direct support to users facing technical issues

Paid SSLs will also typically provide direct technical support, and offer troubleshooting help incase anything goes wrong

It’s also important to know that SSL certificates come with a limited lifespan. Let’s Encrypt certificates have a maximum lifetime of 90 days, although the renewal process is 100% automated. Paid SSLs have a longer lifespan, usually ranging from one to three years, and renewals may be either automatic or manual.

4 ) Warranty

Using free SSL certificate, if anything goes wrong on the CA’s end – like, a catastrophic failure of their PKI for instance – you are completely out of luck. Paid SSL certificates don’t have this issue, because they come backed by warranties.

 

5) Price

It’s difficult to compete with a no cost price tag as Let’s Encrypt is able to provide SSL certificates for free. However, a lower price tag means the absence of some features and support.

Fortunately, some companies offer reasonable prices for paid SSL Certificates like Garanntor SSL Certificates.

 

Conclusion

With so much threats and security risks, it is imperative to make websites as secure as possible. Web security has become a matter of ‘No Compromise’ and SSL certificates offer a great help to site owners.Paid SSL Certificates are like investments. They come with 24×7 technical team support which makes it an ideal choice for an online business no matter what’s its size is.  Of course, free SSL certificate  is also a  great option for many, but the downside is that it comes with several constraints.

 

 

 

 

 

cPanel Announces Account Based Pricing

cPanel Announces Account Based Pricing

cPanel Announces Account Based Pricing

 

On June 27, 2019, cPanel announced a massive price increase and a complete change to their billing model, the most-used control panel for web hosts around the world, including Garanntor.

 

In the past cPanel always used a simple pricing structure with a flat rate for a VPS license and a flat rate for a Dedicated Server license. This flat rate was applicable regardless of the number of accounts hosted on a server.

This has now all changed as the new pricing model is based on the number of accounts running on each server. This means that the license cost for some servers will increase by as much as 800% and for some cPanel account licenses.

 

How will this Impact Me?

This will depend on the kind of hosting plan you are on. Please read through the information below to see how we plan to proceed.

It’s also our goal to absorb as much of the cost as possible

  • Shared Hosting Accounts – At the present time we have no plans to increase the price of our LH Plans, WP Plans and WB Plans.
  • Reseller Hosting Accounts – We have updated the pricing of our current Reseller plans and we will now have to place limits on the number of cPanel accounts that can be created under each plan for obvious reasons. We have also added unlimited storage to all reseller plans.
  • cPanel License Clients – Server clients choosing cPanel License as an Addon will feel the impact of this price increase the most.

 

cPanel License for Enterprise Servers (i.e Cloud Hosting, Virtual Server)
Old cPanel License Price: N8,500 per Server/Month
New Package Name

 

No of Hosting Accounts on ServerNew Package Price (Monthly)New Package Price (Monthly)New Package Price (Monthly)New Package Price (Monthly)
Cloud Solo1$10N3700Ksh1000Ghc55
Cloud AdminUp to 5$18N6500Ksh1800Ghc100
Cloud ProUp to 30$25N9250Ksh2500Ghc135
Cloud PlusUp to 50$36N13300Ksh3600Ghc200
Cloud PremierUp to 100$42.5N15500Ksh4250Ghc230
Metal Pro1$19N6800Ksh1900Ghc105
Metal PremierUp to 100$42.5N15500Ksh4250Ghc230

* each account above 100 accounts cost $0.15, N55, Ksh15, 0.8Ghc per month.

 

Deleting unused Accounts

Since earlier there were no restrictions on the number of cPanel accounts we could have on a server, we might be having some cPanel accounts that are no longer in use today and just sitting idle. It’s time to delete those accounts and save on your licensing cost.

 

When Does the New Price Kick In?

cPanel have announced that the new pricing for partners will start on September 1st, 2019

 

I Don’t Host with Garanntor, Does It Impact Me?

YES! These price rises are being applied to any web host that uses cPanel. If you haven’t yet heard from your web host then you should be hearing from them very soon.

 

We hope this has provided you with some clarity on the situation. We hate having to raise prices and cause disruption to clients but due to the actions of cPanel we have been left with no choice as we simply can’t afford to absorb such a huge cost increase.

 

If you have any further questions or comments on this price rise, then please do get in touch with our customer service and we will get back to you ASAP.

 

 

5 BEST PLUGINS FOR WORDPRESS BLOGS IN 2019

best plugin for wordpree

One of  the benefits of having a WordPress blog or website is that there are tons of plugins available from both WordPress and third parties. Although not advisable to install them all, you have to be able to choose the ones that are really worth it. While creating WordPress blogs or websites using WordPress hosting, installing themes for WordPress is quite easy, but installing plugins need careful consideration. Plugins help to add functionality in your  blog or website. They help the website owners as well as the readers properly navigate through the website. Some plugins are for specific purposes while some are for general purposes.Choosing the best plugins for your website will depend on your goals and what you plan to achieve but the plugins listed below pretty much works for everyone.

Yoast SEO

best plugin for WordPress

Whatever you do, you need a good search engine optimization for WordPress blogs. Yoast is the most widely recommended SEO plugin for WordPress. It has been trusted by most of the WordPress website owners and is also frequently updated for better upgrades.  Not only does it optimize your website for search, but it comes with built-in content analysis functionality which helps you to optimize your content.

It helps you add meta tags, generate sitemaps, connect your site to Google Search Console,optimize it for social media, and more. Yoast offers the most comprehensive solution with all the features and tools that you need to improve your on-page SEO

WPForms

best plugins for wordpress

You need a contact form on your website because you want your website visitors to be able to get in touch with you for feedbacks or whatever. WPForms is a one-stop shop for creating any type of WordPress form including order forms, survey forms, donation forms, email subscription forms, etc.

 

WP-Touch

best plugins for wordpress

This plugin enables you design a touch friendly mobile website. It automatically adds elegant themes for your website visitors.It also automatically enables a mobile friendly version of your website while not tampering with your SEO rankings.

 

WP Rocket

best plugins for wordpress

This  allows you to instantly improve the speed of your WordPress website and performance with no technical skills required. It’s one of the best WordPress caching plugin.It offers Imagify also,which is a free image optimization service to help you speed up your website even further.

Shared Counts

best plugin for wordpress

This plugin allows your website visitors share your post on social media channels. It  allows you to easily add beautiful social sharing buttons on your website.

It also shows share counts, which helps you add social proof to your website.

Also, check out 10 Top tools for Bloggers and WordPress Websites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREATE A WEBSITE FOR YOUR PARTY

having a .party domain name

Ways of celebrating parties has evolved over time. Moreover, parties are always taken serious in these climes. You have a party coming up? You can tell your stories online

Having a party is always taken serious in these climes. You can have a unique feature for your party and have a .party domain. You getting married? You can use both your names with .party. Having a child dedication, a graduation or whatever the celebration is about, you can pick the celebrant’s name with the .party extension. Put up details about the party, venue, dates, pictures, after party pictures etc. Such a great and unique feature for a party!

.party as the domain extension also allows people’s works to be showcased. The event planner, the photographer, the tailors can all refer people to the website to showcase their works. Guests can also be referred to the website to know details of the party both before and after.

Using a .party domain extension for your event is obviously an extraordinary feature for your event!

5 Security tips for cloud users

5 tips of cloud security

As businesses rely more on cloud computing, the number of personal cloud users also increases. Photos and other personal information are now sent via emails while some are even stored on the cloud permanently. Housing data and information in the cloud has lots of benefits such as data encryption. However, as regards to all technology and computing, security measures has to be taken seriously. No matter how you host on physical or virtual servers, security must be well managed.

 

1 Backup!!!

This is very important. Always have a backup of your data in case of data loss or users are blocked by ransomware from accessing their information. You may contract for backup services to have your data secured. For critical data, you may consider having a local copy of that incase anything happens

2 Two-step Authentication login and strong passwords.

Two factor authentication can be used for important accounts. This can be done by sending codes to the via SMS.

Passwords must be complex with minimum password length of eight characters, enforcing alphanumeric characters and mixed case. Passwords can also be changed regularly(for example every 60 days). Never use the same password on more than one site and never reuse an old password.

3 Encrypt.

This is one of the best ways to protect your data. It works in two ways;

The first one, your service provider may offer services like local encryption and decryption for your data . This means the service provider takes care of encrypting your files on your computer and storing them safely on the cloud. There is therefore a bigger chance that no one has access to your files. Companies like Garanntor offer this service.

The other way to do this is to encrypt your data yourself. If you have a file you want to move to the cloud for example, you can encrypt locally before moving to the cloud. You  do this by using certain software to create a password for that file and then move the file to the cloud. No one will be able to view the file without knowing the password. In creating the password, remember rule number 1.

4 Know the location of your data

In active organizations, data is mobile. Think about sensitive information, like customer records or employee data. Where is it located? In the cloud? On local servers? On employees’ desktops or laptops or phones? Can it be copied onto a USB stick, or emailed outside your secure domain? It is important to not only understand your information life cycle management process but also where the cloud storage and services fit into that process. The security of data that is no longer considered active should be taken into consideration as part of your overall security model – you should have plans to archive it, delete it, or otherwise make sure it is safe.

5 Always test

Just because a server or database is in the cloud don’t make it magically secure. With the assistance of your service provider, you should be able to carry out an active assessment of the security of the cloud service in much the same way that you do on your local resources. Security scanning, vulnerability assessment tools, and penetration testing can give you a higher level of confidence in your cloud security or provide notification of issues that need to be addressed.

ALL GOOGLE+ USER ACCOUNTS TO BE DISCONTINUED BY APRIL 2,2019

google discontinues Google+

 

Google announced last year that that it will discontinue its social network, google+. It was revealed that the consumer version of google+ will shut down on April 2, 2019. The decision to discontinue was reportedly because of a security breach. A privacy bug was found which gave developers access to data of over 500,000 users. This was discovered after a third-party review of its security and privacy controls called Project Strobe.

Official post by google says “On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your album archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. You can download and save your content ,just make sure to do so before April. Note that photos and videos backed up in Google photos will not be deleted.

However, Google says they have no evidence of developers being aware of this bug. It was revealed that the usage and engagement of Google+ is really low as 90% of user sessions lasted less than 5 seconds.

It was revealed the data breach does not include “any data you may have posted or which is connected to Google+ or any other service, like Google+ posts, messages, Google account data, phone numbers, or G Suite content.”

It is however important to note that G Suite customers can access Google+ after April, as their Gogle+ accounts will remain active

 

5 IMPORTANT SME TRENDS FOR 2019

trends for sme 2019

 

Business environment keeps changing rapidly. While some SMEs try to keep up, some are lost in the dynamics. In order to keep up and be relevant, SMEs have to try to evolve as technology and the business space evolves.  Below are ways businesses are changing in 2019,

SOCIAL MEDIA – STORY TELLING AND USING ITS NEW ADDITIONS

Unlike before, SMEs and even big businesses are now on social media. Realizing that both present and potential customers spend a large amount of time on social media will make SMEs realize the effect social media has on businesses. Being on social media has a lot of advantages for SMEs and top on the list is the low cost and amount of work needed to run a social media page. Hiring a social media expert allows for growth of the pages, create presence on social media platforms and potentially increase sales which gives small business owners free space to focus on other aspects of the business.

CUSTOMER PROTECTION AND CYBER SECURITY

Cyber security is a growing concern as most businesses are carried out over the internet, and most especially for SMEs. As dependency of SMEs on IT increases, so does vulnerability to new IT threats.

Big data has a huge impact on SMEs as data generated can be converted to insights in growing the business. A larger collection of data can provide SMEs with a better understanding of the state of their company both presently and in the future.

It is therefore important that SMEs focus on keeping  their customer’s data safe by offering a safe environment for business.

CLIENT SERVICE

More obvious now is that small businesses must compete for every client acquisition and retention. The cost of this has more impact on small businesses than it does on big businesses ,as big businesses have larger budgets on advertising. With good customer service comes client acquisition and retention as customers will keep going back to businesses that they feel treated them well, and also refer other people to the business. Companies should also endeavor to bring customer service to the place where most customers are which is on social media. Due to this, inclusion of chat apps is necessary.

MORE MOBILE ADAPTATION

It’s no news anymore that mobile internet users have surpassed desktop internet users. The fact that mobile phones can be used for so much more than making calls has made it a center of interest for SMEs. Penetration of mobile phones into developing countries is fast making businesses aware that majority of their clients are mobile phone users.With internet and phones becoming cheaper due to competition, it is becoming enticing for SMEs to carry out their work on phones as well.

PERSONALIZED MARKETING TECHNIQUES USING AI

As it turns most SMEs and even big businesses rely on IT to carry out a lot of tasks and this has been instrumental in defining the success of businesses. However, most SMEs are reluctant to adopt new technologies like AI. The reasons given is that AI is not suited for small business, and also due inadequate funds. But as it is, even small businesses need technology and its benefits in order not to be left on the side lines as the dynamics of business keeps changing. If these tools are used at their best, they can completely turn things around for SMEs for good.AI will be used to support, not replace, human employees, allowing them to function at higher levels

A GUIDE TO WEBSITE SECURITY

Guide to website security

With 23,000 new malware samples per day and over 90,000 hacking attacks per minute, keeping your website safe is increasingly becoming very important. How would you rate your website security? There’s a great chance that it could get better. There is a statistic that 43% of cyber attack target small businesses which shows how important small businesses should take web security. Lack of website security is a major concern and even big organizations are prone to security breach. With so much people now on the web and things getting complex, it is imperative you know how to protect your website.

1)Backup! Backup!! Backup!!!

Every website owner should have a backup of their website. This is to avoid you from starting afresh incase something happens to your website or not lose valuable data. A hosting company like Garanntor offers backup service for all its clients on a weekly basis

2)Updates

Ensuring to download updates on any software attached to your website is really an important part in keeping your website secure. This may be your server operating system or any other software like CMS. Hackers are quick to take advantage of any security hole found in any software, which can be avoided by installing the necessary updates.

3)Secure Managed Hosting 

The more secure your web server is, the more secure your website is. Ensure hosting your website with a company that takes security seriously.

4) Link Clicks

Make sure you are really sure of a web link before clicking on such links. Spammers can use open redirect on your website to redirect web traffic from your website to the spammer’s website using a link that looks innocent. You can check to see if your is not affected by opening google search and typing sitethedomain.com, and replacing “thedomain” with your actual domain.

5)Check Password

Of course, it’s no news that complex passwords should be used but not everyone uses complex passwords. Ensure complex passwords are used to your admin and server admin area and also encourage web visitors to use strong passwords as well. This may be done by enforcing password requirements like using uppercase, password length etc. Passwords should be encrypted, using one way hashing algorithm, For advanced web security, you may salt the user passwords.

6)Use HTTPS

HTTPS is a protocol that is used to provide security on the internet. HTTPS guarantees that web users are linked to the servers they expect and that nobody can intercept or change whatever they are doing online. It is always highly recommended to use HTTPS, especially when users submit their personal information on your website. Fortunately, some hosting companies like Garanntor offers Let’s encrypt totally free with any web hosting subscription. Let’s encrypt provides automated certificates for enabling HTTPS. Google has also started flagging websites without HTTPS as “not secure”.(Read more).

 

7)Regular Scanning

Website scanners like Siteheck, Sitelock or Secure can help to scan your website for malware or any suspicious codes. If you think your website has been infected, you will want to scan it immediately. It is also advisable to scan your website once a month to be on the safe side.

8)Advanced Security

If you host your website with a hosting company, you may buy additional security for a token if they offer this. EV certificates, Thwarte SSL 123 are good examples of additional security that can be bought.

DO STUDENTS NEED A WEBSITE?

HAVING A WEBSITE AS A STUDENT

 

Do students really need a website? Well it’s the internet age. Most things are done on the internet now. Having a website of your own as a student has so much benefits you didn’t know. Read on to discover;

1 FACE OF YOUR CAREER

Recruiters now go online to search for online activities of candidates. Your website gives you an edge and lets you stand out. It’s a perfect opportunity to showcase your achievements better than your CV. It gives you a chance to tell your story your own way. Another advantage is that its more discoverable than your printed CV sitting in a folder. Any recruiter can come across your website at any time without you doing anything. Your website speaks for you even when you are asleep.

2 MAKE MONEY ONLINE

You can advertise on your website or review products on your website. It’s a cool way to make extra cash on the side.

3 AIR IF PROFESSIONALISM

Whatever you are doing, whether applying for a job, run a business of your own, a customised email that comes with your website, added with good website content always gives a professional air and let people take you seriously.

4 FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Have something you want to share with the world, or thoughts in your mind you want to write down, you can create a blog on your website. You can raise money for an awareness, online journal to help people, how to on any topic you are good at.

5 ADDED EXPRESSION

Creating content for your website is an opportunity to get hands on experience. Researching for content is an opportunity to practice problem solving and research skills. It also allows you network with influencers and bloggers and luckily, these are skills that will be useful anywhere.

6 EASY PEASY

Having a website is easy. You can register a domain, get hosting and publish your first post within minutes. The good thing about owning a website is you don’t have to be technically savvy Putting in bite sized effort can bring big time reward.

Do students really need a website? Well it’s the internet and social media age. Most things are done on the internet now. Having a website of your own as a student has so much benefits you didn’t know. Read on to discover;

1 FACE OF YOUR CAREER

Recruiters now go online to search for online activities of candidates. Your website gives you an edge and lets you stand out. It’s a perfect opportunity to showcase your achievements better than your CV. It gives you a chance to tell your story your own way. Another advantage is that its more discoverable than your printed CV sitting in a folder. Any recruiter can come across your website at any time without you doing anything. Your website speaks for you even when you are asleep.

2 MAKE MONEY ONLINE

You can advertise on your website or review products on your website. It’s a cool way to make extra cash on the side.

3 AIR IF PROFESSIONALISM

Whatever you are doing, whether applying for a job, run a business of your own, a customised email that comes with your website, added with good website content always gives a professional air and let people take you seriously.

4 FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Have something you want to share with the world, or thoughts in your mind you want to write down, you can create a blog on your website. You can raise money for an awareness, online journal to help people, how to on any topic you are good at.

5 ADDED EXPRESSION

Creating content for your website is an opportunity to get hands on experience. Researching for content is an opportunity to practice problem solving and research skills. It also allows you network with influencers and bloggers and luckily, these are skills that will be useful anywhere.

6 EASY PEASY

Having a website is easy. You can register a domain, get hosting and publish your first post within minutes. The good thing about owning a website is you don’t have to be technically savvy Putting in bite sized effort can bring big time reward.

Do students really need a website? Well it’s the internet and social media age. Most things are done on the internet now. Having a website of your own as a student has so much benefits you didn’t know. Read on to discover;

1 FACE OF YOUR CAREER

Recruiters now go online to search for online activities of candidates. Your website gives you an edge and lets you stand out. It’s a perfect opportunity to showcase your achievements better than your CV. It gives you a chance to tell your story your own way. Another advantage is that its more discoverable than your printed CV sitting in a folder. Any recruiter can come across your website at any time without you doing anything. Your website speaks for you even when you are asleep.

2 MAKE MONEY ONLINE

You can advertise on your website or review products on your website. It’s a cool way to make extra cash on the side.

3 AIR IF PROFESSIONALISM

Whatever you are doing, whether applying for a job, run a business of your own, a customised email that comes with your website, added with good website content always gives a professional air and let people take you seriously.

4 FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Have something you want to share with the world, or thoughts in your mind you want to write down, you can create a blog on your website. You can raise money for an awareness, online journal to help people, how to on any topic you are good at.

5 ADDED EXPRESSION

Creating content for your website is an opportunity to get hands on experience. Researching for content is an opportunity to practice problem solving and research skills. It also allows you network with influencers and bloggers and luckily, these are skills that will be useful anywhere.

6 EASY PEASY

Having a website is easy. You can register a domain, get hosting and publish your first post within minutes. The good thing about owning a website is you don’t have to be technically savvy Putting in bite sized effort can bring big time reward.