All posts by Sarah Wilson

How Important is Hosting Location? Questions to Ask Your Hosting Provider

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/05/site-hosting-location/

The importance of your hosting partner location will depend on your organisation’s requirements and your business needs. For a small business focussed on a single country with fairly low traffic, starting with shared hosting, or small virtual private server is generally the most cost effective place to host your site.  Hosting your site or web application in the same geographical location as your website visitors reduces page load times and latency (the lag between requesting data and receiving it) and will greatly improve user experience. If you are running a business critical website or ecommerce application, or have customers or visitors from various global locations, then incorrectly placing your website in an unsuitably located data centre will cost you much more than a monthly hosting fee!

Does the Location of My Hosting Provider Matter?

Location also matters when it comes to service.  Selecting a hosting provider you should be aware of their usual operation hours and ensure this fits with your companies requirements, and timezone! Why does this matter? You can’t choose when an unexpected outage of your site happens, so if your hosting provider is based in a different time zone with limited service hours, there may be no one to help you.  Here at Anchor,  we’ve implemented a “follow the sun support” model, around our 8am-6pm AEST operating hours. This means that anywhere you are in the world with a problem, you can pick up the phone and our friendly support team will be on hand to help.

But Why Do I Care Where the Data Centre is?

Data centres require state of the art cooling and power in order to keep the servers and hardware in perfect condition. Redundancy in the network is also a vital part of infrastructure, i.e. if something in the network fails, there is backup infrastructure, power or cooling so it can operate as normal. The data centre that Anchor uses for our shared hosting and VPS is brand new, with 24/7 security and state of the art technologies, located in Sydney.

On the flip side of this location conundrum is how you may serve customers in locations outside of Australia which can now be achieved via a public cloud offering such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). With AWS, your business can leverage a network of global data centres around the globe so you can serve your customers and audiences wherever they are located! For example, if your business operates in Australia and you have customers in Singapore, United Kingdom and USA, you can now have your application deployed in all four data centres so all of your customer sessions can be routed to the closest server.

Anchor provides fully managed hosting in our own Sydney based data centre, or on public clouds such as AWS. Get in touch to find out more about our managed hosting services.

The post How Important is Hosting Location? Questions to Ask Your Hosting Provider appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

How Important is Hosting Location? Questions to Ask Your Hosting Provider

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original https://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/05/site-hosting-location/

The importance of the location of your hosting partner will depend on your organisation requirements and your business needs. For a small business focussed on a single country with fairly low traffic, starting with shared hosting, or small virtual private server is generally the most cost effective place to host your site.  Hosting your site or web application in the same geographical location as your website visitors reduces page load times and latency (the lag between requesting data and receiving it) and will greatly improve user experience. If you are running a business critical website or ecommerce application, or have customers or visitors from various global locations, then incorrectly placing your website in an unsuitably located data centre will cost you much more than a monthly hosting fee!

Does the Location of My Hosting Provider Matter?

Location also matters when it comes to service.  Selecting a hosting provider you should be aware of their usual operation hours and ensure this fits with your companies requirements, and timezone! Why does this matter? You can’t choose when an unexpected outage of your site happens, so if your hosting provider is based in a different time zone with limited service hours, there may be no one to help you.  Here at Anchor,  we’ve implemented a “follow the sun support” model, around our 8am-6pm AEST operating hours. This means that anywhere you are in the world with a problem, you can pick up the phone and our friendly support team will be on hand to help.

But Why Do I Care Where the Data Centre is?

Data centres require state of the art cooling and power in order to keep the servers and hardware in perfect condition. Redundancy in the network is also a vital part of infrastructure, i.e. if something in the network fails, there is backup infrastructure, power or cooling so it can operate as normal. The data centre that Anchor uses for our shared hosting and VPS is brand new, with 24/7 security and state of the art technologies, located in Sydney.

On the flip side of this location conundrum is how you may serve customers in locations outside of Australia which can now be achieved via a public cloud offering such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). With AWS, your business can leverage a network of global data centres around the globe so you can serve your customers and audiences wherever they are located! For example, if your business operates in Australia and you have customers in Singapore, United Kingdom and USA, you can now have your application deployed in all four data centres so all of your customer sessions can be routed to the closest server.

Anchor provides fully managed hosting in our own Sydney based data centre, or on public clouds such as AWS. Get in touch to find out more about our managed hosting services.

The post How Important is Hosting Location? Questions to Ask Your Hosting Provider appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Magento Imagine Round Up

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/04/magento-imagine-summary/

When it comes to Magento, what happens in Vegas certainly doesn’t stay there! This year the Magento Imagine conference was yet again, no exception to the rule. 

This year we, and over 2500 attendees heard the likes of Tennis pro, Serena Williams and Magento CEO, Mark Lavelle discussing the importance of thinking differently and outside the box.

Missed out on the event?

Here’s what some of our partners had to say about Magento Imagine:

 

Daniel Mylnikov- Head of Solutions Delivery at eWave, the Magento APAC  Partner of the Year at this year’s conference.

A highlight of the conference were  the breakout sessions on Magento Business Intelligence, The Future of Active Magento Cyber Security and the Special Preview: See New Magento B2B Capabilities in Action.

 

Derek Nolde the Enterprise Sales Director at Section.io, said, “It was great connecting with all the merchants and developers and learning what they are doing with Magento and how they view website performance within their Magento setup.” Everyone loves a good freebie at a conference, and this year, the most popular (with Derek adding to the tally) was the Super Llama’s from Classy Llama.

 

 

Peter Dumanian- Business Development at Cloudflare“The most exciting thing I learned was to see Magento energized after its spin-off. On a more personal note, I was happy to have lots of happy Magento customers who use Cloudflare (we have 12k of them) come by our booth and say good things.”

 

We hope the next 300+ days roll around quickly because we cannot wait to hit up Magento Imagine 2018 in Vegas next year, and see what improvements and announcements Magento has in store for us!

Interested in becoming on of our partners? Sign up here for our brand new relaunch coming soon! 

The post Magento Imagine Round Up appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Magento Imagine Round Up

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original https://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/04/magento-imagine-summary/

When it comes to Magento, what happens in Vegas certainly doesn’t stay there! This year the Magento Imagine conference was yet again, no exception to the rule. 

This year we, and over 2500 attendees heard the likes of Tennis pro, Serena Williams and Magento CEO, Mark Lavelle discussing the importance of thinking differently and outside the box.

Missed out on the event?

Here’s what some of our partners had to say about Magento Imagine:

 

Daniel Mylnikov- Head of Solutions Delivery at eWave, the Magento APAC  Partner of the Year at this year’s conference.

A highlight of the conference were  the breakout sessions on Magento Business Intelligence, The Future of Active Magento Cyber Security and the Special Preview: See New Magento B2B Capabilities in Action.

 

Derek Nolde the Enterprise Sales Director at Section.io, said, “It was great connecting with all the merchants and developers and learning what they are doing with Magento and how they view website performance within their Magento setup.” Everyone loves a good freebie at a conference, and this year, the most popular (with Derek adding to the tally) was the Super Llama’s from Classy Llama.

 

 

Peter Dumanian- Business Development at Cloudflare“The most exciting thing I learned was to see Magento energized after its spin-off. On a more personal note, I was happy to have lots of happy Magento customers who use Cloudflare (we have 12k of them) come by our booth and say good things.”

 

We hope the next 300+ days roll around quickly because we cannot wait to hit up Magento Imagine 2018 in Vegas next year, and see what improvements and announcements Magento has in store for us!

Interested in becoming on of our partners? Sign up here for our brand new relaunch coming soon! 

The post Magento Imagine Round Up appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

The Importance of a CDN: Speed and Security

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/03/importance-cdn-website-speed-security/

Many Anchor customers ask us for assistance with getting the best performance out of their website. Website performance is a complex topic to which there are many contributing factors:   from a hosting perspective, these can be as simple as underpowered infrastructure or over-contention, but geographic location and latency can often come into play as well.

Having your site hosted in a modern, high-speed environment with world class managed services provides a solid foundation for your website. Utilising a Content Delivery Network (CDN) as well can assist in giving your website an extra boost in speed and performance.
Anchor is an official partner with Cloudflare; a global Content Delivery Network designed to optimize security, performance and reliability. Cloudflare offers robust CDN capabilities in addition to other security services including DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) protection and web application firewalls (WAF).

CloudFlare utilises more than 105 data centres across the world, and use the size of their ‘quietly built cloud’ to process more than 5% of the world’s web traffic. It provides:

  • A Global CDN
  • DDoS Protection
  • Page Rules
  • much more

What are Global CDNs?

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers that are distributed across many geographical locations (referred to as a Point of Presence, or PoP). These servers act as a reverse proxy cache to your website. When a user visits your website, their request is routed to the nearest CDN PoP – the CDN reverse proxy will then either return the requested component of the website from its cache, or retrieve it on behalf of the user from your website server (referred to as the origin server). Typically many components that form your website, such as images, can be cached by the CDN, avoiding the need to retrieve it from the origin server.

Because the CDN PoPs are geographically distributed, they are likely to be closer to your users than your website origin. Users of your website will be able to request an asset and receive a response more quickly than if the request were served by the origin. Consider an example in which a user in Europe is attempting to access your website in Australia: It will be quicker for them to retrieve an image from a PoP in Europe than it will be for their request to traverse all the way to Australia.

If you are looking to take advantage of a CDN, a great place to to start is Cloudflare’s free plan. This basic plan can be set up in less than 5 minutes and only requires a simple change to your domain’s DNS settings to get you up and running. There is no hardware or software to install or maintain and you do not need to change any of your site’s existing code. As a partner of Cloudflare, we can offer discounted pricing to our customers if you are looking to take advantage of some of Cloudflare’s advanced performance and security features such as image optimisations, web application firewall (WAF) and PCI-DSS compliance to name just a few.

 

DDoS Protection – Why do I need it and how does it protect against attack?

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks are designed to make your website inaccessible, and can have disruptive effects should your business rely on your website being available. Attacks can be targeted, premeditated, but can also be neither. These attacks most commonly involve an attacker sending an overwhelming quantity of requests or data to your website, exhausting the capacity of your web server to service these requests. During an attack, no capacity remains to service legitimate requests, and your website will become inaccessible.

CDNs mitigate the effectiveness of this kind of DoS attack by “absorbing” the attack across the network’s many Points of Presence; instead of a single server being overwhelmed, each server in the CDN is able to handle a smaller quantity of traffic. CloudFlare additionally monitors requests and can automatically block requests that it identifies to be part of a DoS attack. Meanwhile, your server continues to only serve the legitimate requests that CloudFlare forwards to it.
On the modern internet, any website may find itself a target of a DoS attack; taking preventative steps now can lessen the risk of prolonged downtime from falling victim to a DoS attack.

Cloudflare also provides website traffic insight and other analytics such as threat monitoring, so that you can improve your site even further.

As a partner of Cloudflare, Anchor can help you to implement a cost effective CDN that can have positive influence on your site performance.  The easiest part about Cloudflare, however, is that it only requires a simple change to your domain’s DNS settings. There is no hardware or software to install or maintain and you do not need to change any of your site’s existing code.

If your site is running slow and want know how you can boost your site performance, contact us for a free, no obligation site hosting check up.

The post The Importance of a CDN: Speed and Security appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

The Importance of a CDN: Speed and Security

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original https://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/03/importance-cdn-website-speed-security/

As a hosting provider, we speak with many businesses who need a fix for their slow site speeds. There are many contributing factors why hosting infrastructure may be constraining your site performance but typically; old infrastructure used by some hosting providers, contention issues and even the physical location of the servers.  Having your site hosted in a high-speed environment with world class managed services (such as Anchor) provides the right foundations and utilising a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that can give you that extra boost in speed and performance you desire – and deserve. One of the more popular site performance applications is Cloudflare; global network designed to optimize security, performance and reliability, without the bloat of legacy technologies. Cloudflare  has some robust CDN capabilities in addition to other security services like DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) protection and reverse proxies.

A traditional CDN is a group of web servers distributed across multiple locations around the world, which delivers content more efficiently to users. The server selected for delivering content to a specific user is typically based on a measure of network proximity. For example, the server with the fewest network hops or the server with the quickest response time is chosen.

If you are looking to take advantage of a CDN,  a great place to to start is Cloudflare’s free plan. This basic plan can be set up in less than 5 minutes and only requires a simple change to your domain’s DNS settings to get you up and running. There is no hardware or software to install or maintain and you do not need to change any of your site’s existing code. As a partner of Cloudflare, we can offer discounted pricing to our customers if you are looking to take advantage of some of Cloudflare’s advanced performance and security features such as image optimisations, firewalls and PCI compliance to name just a few.

CloudFlare utilises more than 40 data centres in almost as many countries, and use the size of their ‘quietly built cloud’ to process more than 5% of all web requests. It includes:

  • A Global CDN
  • DDoS Protection
  • Page Rules

DDoS Protection- Why do I need it and how to protect against attack?

In 2015 the internet saw the highest rate of DDoS attacks ever. Generally, the attackers will flood a network or service (usually with thousands of IP addresses) in order to overwhelm the server and make a network or website unavailable for its users. It is extremely important to make sure your site is protected from such an attack, especially if your site is eCommerce and down time will prevent customers completing their purchases.

What are Global CDN’s?

As mentioned above, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are important for a number of reasons. The primary feature that a CDN does, is provides alternative server nodes, or locations for the user to download resources (usually JavaScript or static content). This means that although the server may be located in the US, someone in Sydney can still experience fast load speed and response times due to this reduced latency.  This is extremely important for sites that have users in other countries, especially those who are shopping online, as these sites generally have a large volumes of images, which can be timely to load. Overall, it improves your user’s experience in terms of speed.

Page Rules

Page Rules give you the ability to control how Cloudflare actually works on a URL or subdomain basis, which means it allows you to customise it’s functionality to match your domain’s unique needs. They give you the ability to take various actions based on the page’s URL, such as creating redirects, fine tuning caching behavior, or enabling and disabling our various services. This helps you to optimize speed, harden security, increase reliability, maximize bandwidth savings, and much more.

Other benefits include, the added scalability or capacity effects that a CDN like Cloudflare has, not only does it have higher availability but also lower packet loss. Further, Cloudflare provides website traffic insight and other analytics such as threat monitoring, so that you can improve your site even further.

As a partner of Cloudflare, Anchor receives discounted rates for the Pro and Business plans, as well as can help you install the free plan if you are a customer.  The easiest part about Cloudflare however, is that it only requires a simple change to your domain’s DNS settings. There is no hardware or software to install or maintain and you do not need to change any of your site’s existing code.

If your site is running slow and want know how you can boost your site performance, contact us for a free, no obligation site hosting check up.

The post The Importance of a CDN: Speed and Security appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Free Your Time: Why Outsourcing AWS Management is Vital!

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/02/free-time-outsourcing-aws-management-vital/

While most drivers are capable of carrying out a few basic car maintenance tasks, the majority wouldn’t attempt to reconfigure the clutch or modify the engine, no matter how many YouTube videos or handy guides there might be. Sending the car to a trusted mechanic not only saves a great deal of time and stress—often worth the fee alone— but also gives us the confidence that it is done RIGHT.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is incredibly powerful, flexible and complex. When a competitive advantage can rely on squeezing every last ounce of performance or uptime from your infrastructure, expert help can make a massive difference that can easily justify—and often more than repay— any management fee. Plus, a certified AWS partner may have access to economies of scale that allow for more competitive pricing—further stretching your AWS spend.

Outsourcing the management of your AWS services isn’t laziness, wasted fees or an admission of defeat. It is a commitment to getting the most from your AWS budget for the benefit of your business.

For more time saving ideas, download our FREE EBook!

The post Free Your Time: Why Outsourcing AWS Management is Vital! appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Free Your Time: Why Outsourcing AWS Management is Vital!

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original https://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/02/free-time-outsourcing-aws-management-vital/

While most drivers are capable of carrying out a few basic car maintenance tasks, the majority wouldn’t attempt to reconfigure the clutch or modify the engine, no matter how many YouTube videos or handy guides there might be. Sending the car to a trusted mechanic not only saves a great deal of time and stress—often worth the fee alone— but also gives us the confidence that it is done RIGHT.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is incredibly powerful, flexible and complex. When a competitive advantage can rely on squeezing every last ounce of performance or uptime from your infrastructure, expert help can make a massive difference that can easily justify—and often more than repay— any management fee. Plus, a certified AWS partner may have access to economies of scale that allow for more competitive pricing—further stretching your AWS spend.

Outsourcing the management of your AWS services isn’t laziness, wasted fees or an admission of defeat. It is a commitment to getting the most from your AWS budget for the benefit of your business.

For more time saving ideas, download our FREE EBook!

The post Free Your Time: Why Outsourcing AWS Management is Vital! appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux & CentOS 5 End-of-Life

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original https://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/02/rhel-centos-5-end-life/

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS 5 reaches end-of-life at the end of March, 2017. This means that maintenance will cease, and there will be no further updates to any software installed via vendor packages.

Although this change has no immediate effect on current services hosted by Anchor, it does mean that Anchor or any other hosting provider, can no longer make the same security guarantees. This means that any future vulnerabilities, detected in packaged software or the core operating system, will not be patched.

Anchor recommends that anyone still running these, or any previous versions, should migrate to a new machine running a supported operating system, such as CentOS 7, which is the current stable release. This process involves building a new machine, testing and migrating all of the applications, and then decommissioning the old machine. This upgrade conversation should not only involve your host but also your developer, as it is likely to have far-reaching effects, including application level changes.

For new or current Anchor customers, please contact us, if you have any further questions or are interested in migrating a new machine.

If you are in need of a new machine, it may be time to have the conversation about the switch to the cloud. For more information on this, please check out our new plans and info on our website or give us a call on 02 8296 5155.

The post Red Hat Enterprise Linux & CentOS 5 End-of-Life appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux & CentOS 5 End-of-Life

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/02/rhel-centos-5-end-life/

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS 5 reaches end-of-life at the end of March, 2017. This means that maintenance will cease, and there will be no further updates to any software installed via vendor packages.

Although this change has no immediate effect on current services hosted by Anchor, it does mean that Anchor or any other hosting provider, can no longer make the same security guarantees. This means that any future vulnerabilities, detected in packaged software or the core operating system, will not be patched.

Anchor recommends that anyone still running these, or any previous versions, should migrate to a new machine running a supported operating system, such as CentOS 7, which is the current stable release. This process involves building a new machine, testing and migrating all of the applications, and then decommissioning the old machine. This upgrade conversation should not only involve your host but also your developer, as it is likely to have far-reaching effects, including application level changes.

For new or current Anchor customers, please contact us, if you have any further questions or are interested in migrating a new machine.

If you are in need of a new machine, it may be time to have the conversation about the switch to the cloud. For more information on this, please check out our new plans and info on our website or give us a call on 02 8296 5155.

The post Red Hat Enterprise Linux & CentOS 5 End-of-Life appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Avoiding Simple Code Breaks on AWS

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original https://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/02/avoiding-simple-code-breaks-aws/

Faulty code remains one of the most common reasons for performance issues and unscheduled downtime. Yet, it is still possible for bad code to make its way into the Production environment, even with testing.

Your Production environment is most likely a collection of interlinked servers, load balancers and more. Does it really make sense to test your code on a single sandbox server that doesn’t equate in any way to the real world it will need to operate within? Of course your code performs flawlessly within the simplified, unchallenging environment of a single testing or staging server. But that’s no indication of what may happen upon release when it attempts to mesh with the harsh realities of your full Production environment.

Instead, code should be tested in a complete and exact replica of the current Production environment, right down to the last load balancer. Only then will you know if there are potential conflicts or if something will break under increased traffic load.

Thing is, it’s actually a doddle to create such replica environments in minutes. Platforms (such as Anchor Fleet) can completely automate the building of predefined infrastructure on demand. And as you can destroy testing environments when not in use, it can cost a lot less than maintaining permanent testing and staging servers.

Find out more about best AWS practices, by downloading our AWS EBook!

The post Avoiding Simple Code Breaks on AWS appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Avoiding Simple Code Breaks on AWS

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/02/avoiding-simple-code-breaks-aws/

Faulty code remains one of the most common reasons for performance issues and unscheduled downtime. Yet, it is still possible for bad code to make its way into the Production environment, even with testing.

Your Production environment is most likely a collection of interlinked servers, load balancers and more. Does it really make sense to test your code on a single sandbox server that doesn’t equate in any way to the real world it will need to operate within? Of course your code performs flawlessly within the simplified, unchallenging environment of a single testing or staging server. But that’s no indication of what may happen upon release when it attempts to mesh with the harsh realities of your full Production environment.

Instead, code should be tested in a complete and exact replica of the current Production environment, right down to the last load balancer. Only then will you know if there are potential conflicts or if something will break under increased traffic load.

Thing is, it’s actually a doddle to create such replica environments in minutes. Platforms (such as Anchor Fleet) can completely automate the building of predefined infrastructure on demand. And as you can destroy testing environments when not in use, it can cost a lot less than maintaining permanent testing and staging servers.

Find out more about best AWS practices, by downloading our AWS EBook!

The post Avoiding Simple Code Breaks on AWS appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Tips on Winning the ecommerce Game

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original https://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/02/tips-ecommerce-hosting-game/

The ecommerce world is constantly changing and evolving, which is exactly why you must keep on top of the game. Arguably, choosing a reliable host is the most important decision that an eCommerce business has, that’s why we have noted 5 major reasons as to why a quality hosting provider is vital.

High Availability

The most important thing to think about when choosing a host and your infrastructure, is “How much is it going to cost me when my site goes down”.
If your site is down, especially over a large period of time, you could be losing customers and profits. One way to minimise this is to create a highly available environment on the cloud. This means that there is a ‘redundancy’ plan in place to minimise the chances of your site being offline for even a minute.

SEO Ranking

Having a good SEO ranking isn’t purely based on your content. If your site is extremely slow to load, or doesn’t load at all, the ‘secret Google bots’, will push your site further and further down the results page. We recommend using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) such as Cloudflare to help improve performance.  

Security

This may seem like a fairly obvious concern, but making sure you have regular security updates and patches is vital, especially, if credit cards or money transfers are involved on your site. Obviously there is no one way to combat every security concern on the internet, however, making sure you have regular back ups and 24/7 support will help any situation.

Scalability 

What happens when you have a sale or run an advertising campaign and suddenly have a flurry of traffic to your site? In order for your site to be able to cope with the new influx, it needs to be scalable. A good hosting provider can make your site scalable so that there is no downtime when your site is hit with a heavy traffic load. Generally, the best direction to follow when scalability is a priority, is the cloud or Amazon Web Services. The best part of it is, not only do you only pay for what you use, but hosting on the Amazon infrastructure also gives you an SLA (Service Level Agreement) of 99.95% uptime guarantee.

Stress-Free Support

Finally, a good hosting provider will take away any stress that is related to hosting. If your site goes down at 3am, you don’t want to be the person having to deal with it. At Anchor, we have a team of expert Sysadmins available 24/7 to take the stress out of keeping your site up and online.

With these 5 points in mind, you can now make 2017 your year, and beat the game that is eCommerce.

If you have security concerns, experiencing slow page loads or even downtime, we can perform a free ecommerce site assessment to help define a hosting roadmap that will allow you to speed ahead of the competition. If you would simply like to learn more about eCommerce hosting on Anchor’s award winning hosting network, simply contact our friendly staff will get back to you ASAP. 

The post Tips on Winning the ecommerce Game appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Tips on Winning the ecommerce Game

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/02/tips-ecommerce-hosting-game/

The ecommerce world is constantly changing and evolving, which is exactly why you must keep on top of the game. Arguably, choosing a reliable host is the most important decision that an eCommerce business has, that’s why we have noted 5 major reasons as to why a quality hosting provider is vital.

High Availability

The most important thing to think about when choosing a host and your infrastructure, is “How much is it going to cost me when my site goes down”.
If your site is down, especially over a large period of time, you could be losing customers and profits. One way to minimise this is to create a highly available environment on the cloud. This means that there is a ‘redundancy’ plan in place to minimise the chances of your site being offline for even a minute.

SEO Ranking

Having a good SEO ranking isn’t purely based on your content. If your site is extremely slow to load, or doesn’t load at all, the ‘secret Google bots’, will push your site further and further down the results page. We recommend using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) such as Cloudflare to help improve performance.  

Security

This may seem like a fairly obvious concern, but making sure you have regular security updates and patches is vital, especially, if credit cards or money transfers are involved on your site. Obviously there is no one way to combat every security concern on the internet, however, making sure you have regular back ups and 24/7 support will help any situation.

Scalability 

What happens when you have a sale or run an advertising campaign and suddenly have a flurry of traffic to your site? In order for your site to be able to cope with the new influx, it needs to be scalable. A good hosting provider can make your site scalable so that there is no downtime when your site is hit with a heavy traffic load. Generally, the best direction to follow when scalability is a priority, is the cloud or Amazon Web Services. The best part of it is, not only do you only pay for what you use, but hosting on the Amazon infrastructure also gives you an SLA (Service Level Agreement) of 99.95% uptime guarantee.

Stress-Free Support

Finally, a good hosting provider will take away any stress that is related to hosting. If your site goes down at 3am, you don’t want to be the person having to deal with it. At Anchor, we have a team of expert Sysadmins available 24/7 to take the stress out of keeping your site up and online.

With these 5 points in mind, you can now make 2017 your year, and beat the game that is eCommerce.

If you have security concerns, experiencing slow page loads or even downtime, we can perform a free ecommerce site assessment to help define a hosting roadmap that will allow you to speed ahead of the competition. If you would simply like to learn more about eCommerce hosting on Anchor’s award winning hosting network, simply contact our friendly staff will get back to you ASAP. 

The post Tips on Winning the ecommerce Game appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Decide on your backup plan before it’s too late!

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original https://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/02/18227/

Most businesses don’t think twice about taking out insurance policies to protect against various forms of loss, such as workers compensation or public liability. They’re rightly considered a cost of doing business. But what about the cost of downtime? If your website or application is a critical part of your business, you should be taking every precaution to guard against outages in the same way you insure yourself against other forms of loss.

The most serious business consequences of downtime are often lost customer registrations, lost sales or frustrated customers. In 2015, one of Anchor’s larger e-commerce customers transacted more than $100 million dollars in revenue through their Magento store. Crunching those numbers means a single hour of downtime equals a potential revenue loss of around $11,415.

In reality, the loss could be far worse as outages tend to strike during your busiest times, such as a major sale or expensive campaign promotion. So, the real cost could be four or five times your ‘business as usual’ number. Add to that the reputational damage to your brand and the financial impacts keep growing. Fortunately, every cloud provider offers some form of Service Level Agreement (SLA), including an uptime guarantee, and AWS is no different. SLAs and guarantees set out to give us confidence in the resilience of the network, infrastructure and services while describing how we may be compensated should an unscheduled outage occur.

But do you understand how the Amazon Web Service’s (AWS) SLA and uptime guarantee work in practice? You may be surprised to learn that any compensation you might receive may be far, far less than your lost business revenue. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • Even a 99.5% uptime guarantee means your website or app can be offline for nearly 22 minutes each and every month without compensation—and that can add up to a lot of lost sales.
  • Compensation is in the form of service credit, capped at 10% of the monthly bill (although this increases to 30% capped if uptime is lower than 99.0%).

Relying on a cloud provider’s uptime guarantee is never an alternative to taking the necessary steps to ensure your deployment is highly available. It’s worth investing a little more to protect your bottom line.

Oh, and it’s entirely possible (even likely!) that you may have already voided any SLA protections…

Find out the other mistakes you need to avoid by downloading our FREE Ebook HERE!

The post Decide on your backup plan before it’s too late! appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

Decide on your backup plan before it’s too late!

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2017/02/18227/

Most businesses don’t think twice about taking out insurance policies to protect against various forms of loss, such as workers compensation or public liability. They’re rightly considered a cost of doing business. But what about the cost of downtime? If your website or application is a critical part of your business, you should be taking every precaution to guard against outages in the same way you insure yourself against other forms of loss.

The most serious business consequences of downtime are often lost customer registrations, lost sales or frustrated customers. In 2015, one of Anchor’s larger e-commerce customers transacted more than $100 million dollars in revenue through their Magento store. Crunching those numbers means a single hour of downtime equals a potential revenue loss of around $11,415.

In reality, the loss could be far worse as outages tend to strike during your busiest times, such as a major sale or expensive campaign promotion. So, the real cost could be four or five times your ‘business as usual’ number. Add to that the reputational damage to your brand and the financial impacts keep growing. Fortunately, every cloud provider offers some form of Service Level Agreement (SLA), including an uptime guarantee, and AWS is no different. SLAs and guarantees set out to give us confidence in the resilience of the network, infrastructure and services while describing how we may be compensated should an unscheduled outage occur.

But do you understand how the Amazon Web Service’s (AWS) SLA and uptime guarantee work in practice? You may be surprised to learn that any compensation you might receive may be far, far less than your lost business revenue. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • Even a 99.5% uptime guarantee means your website or app can be offline for nearly 22 minutes each and every month without compensation—and that can add up to a lot of lost sales.
  • Compensation is in the form of service credit, capped at 10% of the monthly bill (although this increases to 30% capped if uptime is lower than 99.0%).

Relying on a cloud provider’s uptime guarantee is never an alternative to taking the necessary steps to ensure your deployment is highly available. It’s worth investing a little more to protect your bottom line.

Oh, and it’s entirely possible (even likely!) that you may have already voided any SLA protections…

Find out the other mistakes you need to avoid by downloading our FREE Ebook HERE!

The post Decide on your backup plan before it’s too late! appeared first on AWS Managed Services by Anchor.

We’re at Magento Imagine 2016!

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2016/04/magento-imagine-2016/

April 11th- 13th, Las Vegas, USA

The Magento Imagine conference is in its sixth year of connecting global ambassadors and businesses to the ‘eCommerce ecosystem’. This year, it will bring together over 2 500 Magento ecommerce inspired merchants and technology providers from over 45 countries who will not only collaborate but also enjoy a once in a lifetime experience in the fast moving Las Vegas.

Anchor are excited to announce that they will be attending Imagine for the 2 nd year in a row, excited to connect and learn about what is happening with other Magento specialised companies around the world.

This year, the keynote speaker is, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, whose keynote speech will focus on what strategies he used to not only be an MVP on the court but also in the business world.

Anchor attended the conference last year, as a platinum sponsor, learning and growing, not only as a business but a Magento specialist. This year we hope to further build upon and grow.

If you are also attending, we would love to catch up with you! Just send us an email and we’ll get in contact with you.
For more information on the conference: http://imagine.magento.com/ or book in a meeting with us at:


The post We’re at Magento Imagine 2016! appeared first on Anchor Cloud Hosting.

Anchor partners with CloudFlare

Post Syndicated from Sarah Wilson original http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2015/12/anchor-partners-with-cloudflare/

CloudFlare LogoAnchor is proud to announce a new partnership with CloudFlare.
CloudFlare is a global CDN (Content Delivery Network) and DNS (Domain Name System) provider that helps to increase website performance and security. Further, it helps to keep web pages (especially with ad servers and third party widgets) quick on mobile phones, tablets and computers.
CloudFlare routes web traffic through their intelligent global network. This allows them to automatically optimise the delivery of the customer’s web pages to ensure that the pages have the fastest load times and performance figures. Additionally, routing through the CloudFlare network blocks threats and limits bots from wasting the customer’s bandwidth and server resources.
On average, a website using the CloudFlare network;

Loads twice as fast
Uses 60% less bandwidth
Has 65% fewer requests to deal with
Is far more secure

CloudFlare
CloudFlare recently added support for HTTP/2 and SPDY – the latest update to the HTTP protocol bringing advancements in efficiency, security, and speed. Importantly for many Anchor customers, CloudFlare provides some of the best and most cost-effective DDoS protection in existence. If you operate an ecommerce presence, this feature alone more than justifies the relatively small cost of the CloudFlare service.
CloudFlare operate from more than 40 data centres in almost as many countries, and use the size of their ‘quietly built cloud’ to process more than 5% of all web requests. For these reasons, Anchor strongly recommends the use of CloudFlare for almost all of our customers!
Contact the support team at Anchor and we can get your site behind the CloudFlare network in a matter of hours. Adding your website requires only a simple change to your domain’s DNS settings. There is no hardware or software to install or maintain and you do not need to change any of your site’s existing code.
The post Anchor partners with CloudFlare appeared first on Anchor Cloud Hosting.