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Coupons and Promo Codes Hosting Tips & Deals

Super Cheap Cloud VPS: 1 Core, 1024MB, SSD, Managed – Just $21.25 / Month

Some of my sites such as ConvertHub has grown out of the 512MB box I have had for over 2 years at Linode. It’s been great but as I’m fed up with managing the server myself (I’ll come to that later), I went ahead looking for a solid VPS plan with WHM / cPanel that’s managed for me. After searching for a few weeks, I finally landed my deal with A Small Orange.

See their cloud VPS planner at here: http://asmallorange.com/hosting/cloud/

A Small Orange Double RAM Cloud VPS Sale

What I did was:

  1. Select 1 Core + 1024MB RAM + 15GB Drive (It’s SSD!) + 500GB Bandwidth for $30 / month.
  2. Opt to pay annually so I can get 2 months free. Not that you will get 2 months free, but you will be paying $25 / month instead of $30 / month if you pay annually, working out to be $60 discount over a year from $360 / year to just $300 / year.
  3. Click and use the 15% coupon code:
    ASO15PERCENTOFF
    Click To Open/Copy
    to claim an additional 15% discount off the annual price from $300 to just $255.

That’s it. You get all these awesome stuff for just $255 / year, that’s just $21.25 / month:

  1. 1 Core – Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2640 0 @ 2.50GHz
  2. 1024MB RAM
  3. 15GB SSD (Solid-State Drive)
  4. 500GB monthly transfer
  5. WHM / cPanel
  6. 2 Dedicated IPs that are far from each other – NOT in the same C-class! This is a huge benefit for SEO reasons. Another proof that A Small Orange thinks in the customers’ shoes.
  7. Fully managed
  8. Almost instant response to support tickets – I have only been with them for a few days and the support response is well within 30 minutes each time I submit a ticket.
  9. It’s A Small Orange, an established business and brand since 2003. Just search for their reviews.

I challenge you to find a better VPS deal than this cause’ it’s mission impossible. The only downside is that the disk storage will have only about 8GB available for your websites / applications after the system takes 7GB. However, I doubt your websites would need that much unless they have millions of image files or tens of millions of records in the database.

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Hosting Tips & Deals Manage Your Own Server SQL / MySQL Tips and Tutorials

Make phpMyAdmin Show Exact Number of Records for InnoDB Tables

By default, phpMyAdmin shows an estimated number of records for InnoDB tables that have more than 20,000 rows. It can vary by every fresh as much as 50% or even more. Makes it hard to get an exact number of records for the tables as we have to explicitly run an SQL query to do that:

SELECT COUNT(*) FROM table_name

While it would make it a bit slower for phpMyAdmin to open up the database tables list page because it has to count the exact total number of records of each table in the database by this query, it’s worth it for some of us as we want to know the exact number of rows the InnoDB table currently has. phpMyAdmin does it for MyISAM tables, and we want it to do the same with InnoDB tables.

So how can we make phpMyAdmin show exact number of records for InnoDB tables?

Simple. Just open the config.inc.php in your phpMyAdmin installation directory and add this line:

$cfg['MaxExactCount'] = 2000000;

This configuration parameter sets the threshold that phpMyAdmin executes COUNT(*) against the table.

In this case, if the total number of recrods in this InnoDB table is larger than 2,000,000, the Rows count will be estimated, starting with a wave sign, ~; on the other hand, if the total number of records in this InnoDB table is smaller than 2,000,000, phpMyAdmin will run COUNT(*) against the table so an exact Rows count is displayed.

You get the idea.

To make phpMyAdmin show exact number of rows on all InnoDB tables, simply make the parameter $cfg[‘MaxExactCount’] large enough.

Categories
Coupons and Promo Codes Hosting Tips & Deals Kavoir & Whatever

KnownHost Coupon Code (75% and 10% Off) and My New Office

I’m having Kavoir moved to Knownhost and now that I have 2 different VPS packages with them, I’m qualified to have an VIP coupon to spread out for 10% off any hosting package purchased with it. It’s one of the best managed VPS hosts around if you search for their reviews on WHT. I’d highly recommend the VS-2 package that is their most cost-effective plan.

KnownHost.com – 75% Off First Month + 10% Off Lifetime

Anyway, if you do make up your mind to sign up with them, go ahead and use this coupon code to claim the 75% off first month and then 10% off lifetime discount:

KnownHost: 75% Off First Month + 10% Off Lifetime
KHBESTUPTIME
Click To Open/Copy

Other than this

I just moved to my new office with a bigger, compound space on 2 floors. Pictured here is the first floor which will serve as a salon for people who are interested in Internet marketing and online businesses. We will talk here about trends and potential opportunities and collaborate on some of them. The second floor will be the actual place where my employees work which is still being decorated and for now is only equipped with a 4-men working unit with 4 DELL Vostro All-in-One computers.

1

Eiffel Eames style plastic armchairs, you can find similar items on Amazon at here and here as well. I love green and black, with a modern tone.

2

Quite spacious, until a 3.9m sofa I ordered comes in. I’m planning to get a bigger library unit than the bookshelf to accommodate more books from Amazon.

3

How does the curtain go with the room theme?

4

Some books I bought on Amazon.

Here are 2 updated pictures of the office after the sofa has shipped in.

Photos taken by the built-in camera of Nokia E71. Not bad for a grandpa phone, eh..

In case you would travel to Xi’an, China, drop me a comment or message and I’ll be very glad to be your host! Winking smile

Categories
Domains Hosting Tips & Deals

Add Wildcard DNS Subdomain *.example.com in cPanel

Lots of people ask this question and most of them probably made the matter complicated by editing the DNS Zone from WHM in the DNS Functions. But they actually should just do it in cPanel which is A LOT easier.

Just log in your cPanel which manages the domain that you want to add support for wildcard (*) subdomains. Go to:

Domains > Subdomains

And enter asterisk * in the Subdomain and choose the domain you need it added to.

Click “Create”.

adding subdomain wildcard in cpanel

That’s it. Now you can access your domain from any random subdomain and it will automatically use the A record of the main domain as their own.

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Hosting Tips & Deals Infographics Web Applications & Online Software

Global Data Center Facts – Power Usage [Infographic]

Data centers are the fastest-growing energy vacuums in the IT industry in the UK, Europe, and beyond. As data centers grow larger to store the world’s data, their energy us is growing, too. Utilizing more environmentally-friendly power sources is tremendously important for the data center industry. Using renewable energy saves money, conserves natural resources, and contributes to keeping our planet cleaner for a longer period of time.

Check out this awesome infographic for some rare facts about data center power usage and green energy adoption in world’s top data centers and SaaS providers.

This infographic is created by Peer1 Hosting.

Energy Efficient Data Centres

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Hosting Tips & Deals Information Security

SSH Web Hosting as Socks5 Proxy for VPN Tunnels via PuTTY

ssh consoleFew know that those who have web hosting are at the same time endowed with a free VPN (Virtual Private Network, a very safe connection to transfer important data). With a few simple steps by the help of PuTTY, the tiny legendary SSH program, anyone with a web hosting account can have a private VPN that’s dedicated, premium and only limited by the monthly bandwidth of your hosting account. This is the safest VPN because it’s not even monitored by the VPN company. It’s completely YOURS.

Before proceeding, you need to make sure your hosting account has SSH enabled. Most hosts offer that nowadays.

What you will get?

You will have an awesome auto-login VPN program on your Windows desktop via SSH tunnels, based on PuTTY. Should get you the same thing on other systems following the same steps outlined below.

Double click to start the program, and a dedicated socks5 proxy will be established on your local computer which connects to your hosting server to form a VPN you can use.

How to get it?

To turn your web hosting account into a private VPN so you can use it to surf the web safely and anonymously, simply follow these steps:

  1. Finish these steps: http://www.shanghaiwebhosting.com/web-hosting/use-your-web-hosting-ssh-session-as-a-tunnel-for-socks5-proxy-server
  2. In step 4 at the above URL, you will save the session and give it a name, e.g. ‘my_server’.
  3. Create a shortcut of this command: C:\tools\putty.exe -load my_server -l your_user_name -pw your_password

Make sure to use your own path to putty.exe rather than “C:\tools\putty.exe”.

The 3rd step is what makes all the difference – manual login or auto-login.

Without the 3rd step, you could still establish the VPN connection but you need to manually enter user name and password every time you start the SSH session. To make things simple, you want PuTTY to auto-login with pre-entered user name and password. That’s where the command line shortcut comes in.

The -load directive loads the saved session, -l specifies the SSH login user name, and -pw specifies the SSH password.

Double click, and that’s it!

Double click the shortcut and an SSH session window will be opened, PuTTY then automatically logs in with the user name and password you provided. If the auto-login is successful, a connection to your hosting server is established, thus VPN created.

Simply leave the session window open and configure your web browser to use ‘localhost’ as socks5 proxy on port ‘8844’ (you can specify a different port in Step 3 of this article), and you will be surfing the web safely and anonymously on a privately premium VPN!

Note that all your browsing traffic is counted on your web hosting’s monthly bandwidth bills. Think twice when you want to perform large downloads (such as 5GBs or larger) because they might end up being a bit costy.

Categories
Hosting Tips & Deals My Personal Reviews

Review: Why I love WiredTree hosting

wiredtreeThis is the second time I wrote a review of WiredTree and also the second time to have signed up a VPS account with them. The last time it was a 512MB VPS (VPS512) that has now been upgraded to VPS1000, doubling everything, RAM, disk storage and monthly bandwidth (tripled!), yet the price tag stays the same. Here are a few coupons that you can use to get 50% off the first 2 months should you want to sign up. The old coupons you may find elsewhere for VPS512 AND VPS 768 have been invalidated.

Okay, to the review part. After about 2 months I feel I should start using the VPS – I admit it’s a impulsive buy, just can’t resist the monster upgrade and 50% off offer – and the primary domain I provided when I signed up with it was somehow randomly picked, and now I want it changed into something else. So I sent the support team an email.

Note it’s about 2:30 A.M. CST. One of them, John, quickly responded to my help request, in less than 10 minutes, did the change and taught me how to debug DNS myself with a free tool intodns.com which by the way is a very cool tool.

The tool showed that I still needed to set the name servers for my domain at the registrar. I didn’t know how to do that so John asked me which registrar I was using, searched for the documents for me and then sent me the exact steps I needed to follow to accomplish the task.

Blah blah blah.

Things kept going wrong because I had no idea what I was doing with the DNS. I wanted to use my own name servers. It was after about 20 emails that I finally got everything in place and the domain started working. They responded to EVERY message in less than 5 minutes. And it’s about 4:00 A.M. CST.

End of story? Not.

I suddenly changed my mind that I wanted to completely re-provision the slice, using the new domain / host name in the first place, because, you know, I have obsessive disorders that knowing the old domain is still somewhere in the box makes me uneasy. I could still find the old domain listed via traceroute and reverse-IP lookup.

So I’m compelled to send another support ticket. John kindly asked me why I needed to do that and I told him I just wanted to, because I feel compelled. He then suggested me that I back up everything I can and let him know when I was ready.

After about 5 hours, the rebuild was done. I had a brand new slice that was as new as just born. Not sure how much time they spent in the 5 hours just for easing my compulsive mentality, I am sure grateful for their dedicated support.

5/5.

Find more reviews of them here: http://www.wiredtreereviews.org/

Categories
Hosting Tips & Deals Internet Tools My Personal Reviews Web Applications & Online Software

Microsoft Office 365 Review & Screenshots – What will you get?

online software microsoft office365Office 365 is a set of team collaboration / productivity web applications for professionals, businesses, government agencies and education institutions. It currently offers 3 different plans:

  1. For professionals and small businesses, $6 / user / month, basic features
  2. For midsize businesses and enterprises, $12 and more / user / month, advanced features
  3. For education

And I signed up with the first one which is meant for individual professionals, or businesses / organizations with up to 25 employees, at $6 / user / month. For now, I have yet to reach the end of my first month, and I have only one user in my organization which is myself. So this review would be pretty straightforward and very limited to those who are looking at the multi-user features in team collaboration / communication.

You will need a credit card to sign up. To verify the credit card, They billed me $1 when I signed up and that’s it. So I guess they bill clients at the end of every month instead of at the beginning.

What I get for $6 / month?

For $6 / month at Microsoft Office 365, I get these cool stuff:

  1. Online web applications of Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. You can create documents, edit and save them in your favorite web browser, and publish them to your team site so you and your colleagues can collaborate on them. You can also upload existing documents from your computer to Office 365.
    office-suite_thumb2
    Shared documents:
    office-365-shared-documents_thumb
    Word web app:
    office-365-word-app_thumb1
    Excel web app:
    office-365-excel-app_thumb
  2. Instant communication tool Lync 2010 enables you and your team members to send instant messages, easily set up online meetings and perform PC-to-PC audio / video calls.
  3. SharePoint Online. A public company website at http://yourcompany.sharepoint.com/ that you can edit from SharePoint. The default theme looks like this:
    sharepoint-public-website_thumb6
    You can re-create your public website by 3 editing panels, namely Home, Insert and Design:
    public-website-editor-in-sharepoint_
    From the content navigation sidebar on the left, you can add new content and remove existing content to the Recycle Bin: pages, documents, images, etc.
    And as always, you can also add your own top-level domain to SharePoint, from the Admin panel, rather than using a subdomain of sharepoint.com.
  4. Other than a public website, a private Team Site is pre-configured and ready to be edited when you (as the administrator) first sign in. This site is used as a portal for all team members where you can list contacts, shared documents, calendar entries / meeting schedules, announcements, discussion posts, and so forth. Much like editing the public website, you can freely edit the Team Site as if it’s a web page: lists, tables, images, links, etc.
    office-365-team-site_thumb2
  5. Exchange Online. Emails hosting under the domain @yourcompany.onmicrosoft.com. Likewise, you can add your own domain for the emails thus having @yourcompany.com hosted at Office 365. Everything looks like the desktop applications. You would be using a very similar online version of Outlook (web app) and it’s very intuitive. The learning curve is minimal.
    office-365-outlook_thumb3
    A calendar (Week view): (also are Day view, Work Week view and Month view)
    office-365-calendar_thumb2
    User self management:
    office-365-outlook-manage-myself-con[1]
    Organization management:
    office-365-outlook-users-management_
  6. Full administration panel and organization management features:
    office-365-administrator-panel_thumb

Some quick facts about Office 365

  1. It bills you at the end of each billing term. For instance, if you started the plan on Jan. 15th, it would first bill you $1 to verify credit card and then $6 / month each month on Feb. 15th and on.
  2. If you cancel the subscription, your subscription will remain active until the end of the billing term.
  3. You get 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  4. You can add multiple domains to your service. The default one is yourcompany.onmicrosoft.com for email and yourcompany.sharepoint.com for team site / public site.
  5. You can use different plans / multiple subscriptions under one administrator account.

Official tours

For administrators: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/videos/office-365-for-professionals-and-small-businesses-a-tour-for-administrators-HA102653442.aspx?redir=0

For users: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/videos/office-365-a-tour-for-users-HA102657904.aspx?redir=0

Categories
Coupons and Promo Codes Hosting Tips & Deals

DreamHost Promo Invitations – $100 Off!

DreamHost just gave me 5 promo invitations that could be used for new accounts only. Whoever uses one of the invitation codes to sign up with them would get $100 off for a two-year plan.

Just use one of the 12-digit invitation code in the “Promo Code” field when signing up at DreamHost:

  • 737871080684
  • 599411300419
  • 843524772888
  • 995826163955
  • 163012137693

Each code can only be claimed ONCE and after it is claimed it’s gone forever. Here are some more promo codes for DreamHost:

Categories
Coupons and Promo Codes Hosting Tips & Deals My Personal Reviews

My WiredTree Review and Some Discount Coupon Codes

Update: Here’s my most recent review of WiredTree.

I had an enjoyable experience with WiredTree (Some Coupons) half a year back when I was starting a joint venture with one of my friends and needed managed VPS hosting. Joe Doss was very helpful in answering my concerns and questions before sign-up. After testing out their demo download and ensured of a good data center and smooth Internet connections, I decided to go with them.

I went with the $99 managed hybrid plan. I was then pretty new to VPS hosting / dedicated hosting where you are in control of much more stuff than when you are with shared hosting. Though they are all very well managed at WiredTree (click to activate coupon), it’s still a bit overwhelming with all the options and different control panel sections. I asked questions. A lot of them. And they responded to my support tickets within 15 minutes EVERY time, no matter when you submit them. I dealt with not just one of their support staff but quite a few of them and they are all quick, polite and to the point. When I search through my Gmail inbox, there are a total of 60 conversations (hundreds of messages back and forth) I had with them in a short matter of less than one month. They were professional and kind in every message they addressed to me.

The hosting part of my joint venture was absolutely awesome. If it weren’t the decision to abort the project with my friend, I’d trust the most important of my sites to WiredTree. So when I told them that I had to close the contract and leave them after just one month, I was kind of upset for them because they have been so nice to me. They replied to my request to close my hosting account with complete understanding and even offered me refund for the remaining days of the month (it wasn’t a full month, just 20 days or so), I asked them to keep it.

As for uptime and server performance, I didn’t set up any 3rd party monitoring or pinging service but as I was working furiously on the project in the 20 days, accessing my websites at WiredTree thousands of times and hundreds of hours, I have not seen the slightest of indications of slowness or down time.

4.8 / 5 from me.

WiredTree Coupons

You can get very nice discounts by using one of these coupons of WiredTree when you host with them, such as extra 50% RAM, extra 50% bandwidth or lifetime 20% off. Just enter the code in the Coupon Code text box and hit Update Total button on the order page. All coupon codes listed there are confirmed to be working as of today, except V768-333333 that may be unreliable.