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Nucleus Changes To Shared Hosting

Category : Nucleus.NEWS

Over last few months, Nucleus has made some MAJOR improvements to our shared hosting environment, with many more improvements on the horizon. The large majority of these improvements are already active and deployed to you at no additional cost.

Changed: Minimum Password Requirements
To help protect your information, the minimum password requirements in our shared hosting environment have been changed for hosting panel access, ftp, and email. This does not mean your current password has been changed on you but next time you update your password it will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Contain characters of at least two types (lower or upper-case characters, digits, or special symbols). Example: Password12.

Changed: Secure FTP
Secure FTP has been updated on all Linux shared hosting servers at Nucleus.
Available settings for connecting to the shared hosting servers using FTP are:

  • Non Secure FTP Active
  • Non Secure FTP Passive
  • FTP over TSL Passive = True
    • Implicit FTP over TLS = No
    • Explicit FTP over TLS = YES
  • SFTP over SSH Active
    • Requires SSH to be enabled on the hosting subscription and for the FTP User SFTP over SSH Passive
    • Requires SSH to be enabled on the hosting subscription and for the FTP User

Changed: CPU and Memory Caps
Earlier this month we increased the amount of CPU usage your website is allowed burst to use while compiling PHP websites as well as greatly increasing the amount of memory PHP can access.
* Does not apply to grandfathered plans

Changed: PHP Memory per process increased
We have doubled the amount of memory a single PHP process can use on all our hosting packages.
* Does not apply to grandfathered plans

Changed: Backup Retention
We have tripled our backup storage and have increased our backup retention free of change from 2 days to 6 days.
See our Backup Policy

Updated: OPcache on PHP 5.5+
OPcache improves PHP performance by storing precompiled script bytecode in shared memory, thereby removing the need for PHP to load and parse scripts on each request. OPcache greatly improves PHP based websites and is enabled by default on PHP 5.5.x and higher. To disable it please see the php.ini settings section in your hosting control panel.
It DOES NOT affect the dynamic content of your websites.
For more information please visit http://php.net/manual/en/intro.opcache.php

NEW: XCache on php 5.2.x, 5.3.x, and 5.4.x
Like Opcache, XCache optimizes the performance by eliminating the compilation time of PHP code by caching the compiled version of code into the memory. This way the compiled version loads the PHP script directly from the memory. XCache greatly improves PHP based websites and is enabled by default on PHP versions 5.2.x, 5.3.x, and 5.4.x. To disable it please see the php.ini settings section in your hosting control panel. It DOES NOT affect the dynamic content of your websites.

NEW: DNS Servers
We are pleased to announce the replacement of our old DNS servers that host your domains DNS, with better/faster more responsive DNS servers. The IP and names of these servers are the same so no change is needed for you to use them.

NEW: FTP Send and Receive Restart
FTP Restarts is now enabled on all our Linux Shared hosting environments. FTP programs can now restart interrupted file transfers if the FTP client they are using supports the functionality.

NEW PostgreSQL SQL support
PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system. It has more than 15 years of active development and a proven architecture that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, data integrity, and correctness. PostgreSQL is available to you now as an option when setting up websites and web applications.
NOTE: The PostgreSQL service only runs on the local control panel you are on and is not in a cluster like the default MySQL options available to you.

NEW: OptimumCache
OptimumCache is a de-duplicating file cache optimized specifically for shared hosting. Typical shared hosting server runs a number of sites with WordPress and Joomla as well as other popular software. This usually means that there are hundreds of duplicate files that are constantly being read into file cache – both wasting precious disk IO operations as well as memory. OptimumCache creates a cache of such duplicated files and de-duplicates the file cache. With OptimumCache, if a duplicate of an already loaded file is requested, the file gets loaded from filesystem cache. By doing that, system bypasses disk IO, significantly improving the speed of reading that file, while lowering load on the hard disk. As the file had been read from disk just once, it is cached by filesystem cache just once, minimizing amount of duplicates in file system cache and improving overall cache efficiency. This in turn reduces memory usage, decreases the number of disk operations – all while improving the websites response time.
OptimumCache is enabled by default and is set server wide. It DOES NOT affect the dynamic content of your websites.

NEW: Memcached
(pronunciation: mem-cash-dee) is a general-purpose distributed memory caching system. It is often used to speed up dynamic database-driven websites by caching data and objects in RAM to reduce the number of times an external data source (such as a database or API) must be read. Making use of this caching system my increase your websites performance. Some applications such as WordPress have plugins to make use of memcached so making use of this function can be as easy as installing a plugin. It is NOT enabled by default as using it has to be programed into your website.
For more information see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memcached

NEW: Local Proxy Cache on server
We are very pleased to announce the installation of Super-fast ram based Web Cache on all of our Linux Shared Hosting Environments. If your website is configured to allow client side caching of static files, this service will also keep a copy of those files in its own cache, reading them from much faster RAM instead of Disk as new users arrive at your site. This feature is not enabled by default.
NOTE: Enabling caching on dynamic content like php files is not recommended.

PHP-FPM (FastCGI Process Manager) is an alternative PHP FastCGI implementation with some additional features useful for sites of any size, especially busier sites and can sometime show performance improvements over FastCGI
For more information please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PHP#PHPFPM
PHP FPM is NOT enabled by default, if you want to use PHP-FPM on your website it is available in your php.ini settings tab in your hosting control panel. Depending on what server you are on there will be at least one of two options available:
1) PHP Served by NGINX – use for everything except sites using permalinks. This option is faster but does not adhere to settings in .htaccess files 2) PHP Served by APACHE – Safe to use for pretty much every other PHP website
NOTE: Some websites like WordPress that have “permalinks” enabled may not work correctly if “PHP-FPM using NGINX” is selected without some major configuration changes. PLEASE make sure you test your site thoroughly after making changes.

NEW backup MX server – $5/month
We are proud to announce a new addition to our web hosting portfolio.

For only $5/month Nucleus can enable secondary/backup MX hosting on your domain. In the event of your mail server going down or is inaccessible from the internet, your emails will automatically failover to our new backup MX server. Our mail server will queue your emails and automatically forward them on to your mail server after it comes back online.

This new add-on can be applied to:

  • Hosting Free
  • Hosting Starter
  • Hosting Basic
  • Hosting Advanced
  • Email hosting only

If you are a hosting Premier subscriber, you can add this service for free!

****This program can only be applied if your domains email and DNS is hosted on Nucleus Shared Hosting environment****

For more information or to sign up please contact us at sales@nucleus.com.

NEW: WordPress Security monitoring by Nucleus – $5/month
This service includes the installation of the free WordPress plugin called WordFence. The Wordfence WordPress security plugin provides free enterprise-class WordPress security, protecting your website from hacks and malware. WordFence has the option of alerting you when any of your WordPress Themes, Plug-ins, Translations or the WordPress Core files themselves need to be updated. Keeping your themes, plugins and core WordPress files updated reduces the risk of hacking to your WordPress website. Although this helps protect your WordPress site it cannot be 100% guaranteed that your site will not be hacked or become compromised.

NEW: Website optimization by Nucleus
Interested in making use of some or all of the new features our hosting platform has to offer? Want to make sure you are getting the best performance out of your hosting plan? We can help!
Website optimization – one time – $50
We will:

  • Test and Check your Websites PHP comparability and change your php version to the highest version your site will work with, without having to make code changes
  • Enable NGINX for static Content speeding up your website
  • Disable any unneeded logging
  • Make sure OPcache or XCache is enabled for your php website
  • Optimize your DNS zone file (if hosted with us)
  • If your website will work with it without any code changes we will adjust your PHP complier to PHP-FPM speeding up your website (we will convert .htacces to Nginx commands if needed)
  • Enable gzip to compress your websites data transfer delivering it to viewers faster
  • Enable static content caching for browsers

WordPress optimization – one time – $100
Includes website optimization plus the following:

  • Install and enable the plugin to use Memcached with your WordPress
  • Install and enable and configure WordPress Super cache plugin
  • Install and enable WordFence Free addition
  • Install and enable the MySQL PDO plugin for WordPress

Additionally we can enable HTTP2 protocol for your website with the purchase of a SSL Certificate through Nucleus.

New: Domain name gives you more
Starting in September, if your domain name is purchased with Nucleus and you have one of our premier shared hosting plans, we will be applying the equivalent of the “Free hosting with purchase of a domain name” plan to your Starter/Basic/Advanced/Premier hosting plan. It may not be much but it is what’s fair. Additional 1GB of space and 1 Email account will be added to your subscription.

Whats next?

  • Target time is fall 2016
    • Better incoming spam scanning
    • Better outgoing spam scanning
    • Another backup MX server in Ontario
    • Another DNS server in Ontario
    • More Versions of MySQL
    • Memcached for PHP7
    • Cloudflare CDN support
    • Let’s Encrypt support
  • Target time Winter 2016
    • Adding SSD’s into the environment that will greatly increase read access to website files
    • RUBY support
    • Git Support
    • Docker Support
    • DNSSEC Support
    • NGINX only website hosting
    • SOE Safe redirect from HTTP to HTTPS
    • SSL Certs for your Webmail
    • Purchase TMPFS for WordPress SuperCache!!!
      • Speed up your SuperCache by running it of a RAMDISK
    • Dedicated Mailing List Server

TIPS: Optimizing your website:
Disclaimer: All of the suggestions below are for you to apply and test at your own risk. Please make sure you backup your website before, and test your website after making any of the changes below.

    1. Compress your data transfersCompressing your data is a great way to speed up your web sites load time and improve the quality of your viewer’s experience. Some applications may have the ability to enable compression such as gzip through there backend. If you wish to enable compression through the hosting control panel, go to the “Apache & nginx Settings” for your subscription and in the box called “Additional nginx directives” add in the following lines making modifications as you see fit:

      gzip on;
      gzip_http_version 1.1;
      gzip_comp_level 9;
      gzip_static on;
      gzip_vary on;
      gzip_proxied any;
      gzip_min_length 1400;
      gzip_types: text/plain text/css image/x-icon image/bmp image/png image/gif image/jpeg image/jpg application/json application/x-javascript text/javascript;
      gzip_buffers 16 8k;
      gzip_disable “MSIE [1-6]\.(?!.*SV1)”;

      NOTE: PLEASE make sure you test your site thoroughly after making changes

    1. Turn off logging unless you are troubleshootingLogging causes unneeded disk/io and is really only needed when doing website troubleshooting. To disable error_logging for PHP log into your hosting control panel, go to your php.ini settings and change “log_errors” to off, then at the bottom press “Apply”

    1. Let NGINX serve your static contentNGINX is the front end of our shared hosting environment. It’s incredibly fast at serving static files directly out of memory (disk cache) or disk. To enable NGINX to serve all your static content files like images and css files, instead of handing off the request to Apache, log into your hosting control panel, select “Apache & nginx Settings” for your subscription and place a checkmark in the box called “Serve static files directly by nginx” , then at the bottom press apply.

      NOTE: PLEASE make sure you test your site thoroughly after making changes

    1. Install Memcached plugins for your siteTo take advantage of the Memcached services in our shared hosting environment, see if the application you are using has a plugin for it. WordPress; for example, has a plugin called “MemcacheD Is Your Friend” (https://wordpress.org/plugins/memcached-is-your-friend/) that allows WordPress to be supercharged by making use of the memcached services on our server.

    1. Use PHP-FPMIf you have not tried it yet, test your website using PHP-FPM served by Apache or better yet, PHP-FPM served by NGINX in your php.ini settings page inside your hosting control panels subscription.

    1. Use OPcache or XcacheKeeping these opcache programs enabled will increase how long it takes for PHP to compile your website, greatly improving your visitors experience.

    1. Use MySQL_PDOPDO (PHP Data Objects) is a general database abstraction layer with support for MySQL among many other databases. It provides prepared statements, and significant flexibility in how data is returned. Using PDO on your php website insead of mysql or mysqli abstraction layers can have a positive impact on your websites performance. WordPress has a plugin called “WP DB Driver” (https://en-ca.wordpress.org/plugins/wp-db-driver/) that lets you use the improved PDO database layer to WordPress while we for the WordPress core to be updated by the developers.

  1. Enable Cache Controls

    Enabling cache controls for your website will tell cashing servers, as well as the viewer’s browser, to cache content for a period of time instead of reloading it every page or visit. To enable cache control logging your hosting control panel, select “Apache & nginx Settings” for your subscription. IF you have previously enabled “Serve static files directly by nginx” you will have to remove this checkmark. Next, scroll down to the box called “Additional nginx directives” and put in the following lines, making your own changes as you see fit, then press apply.

    location ~* \.(?:jpg|jpeg|gif|png|ico|cur|gz|svg|svgz|mp4|ogg|ogv|webm|htc)$ {
    expires 1M;
    access_log off;
    add_header Cache-Control “public”;
    location ~* \.(?:css|js)$ {
    expires 1d;
    access_log on;
    add_header Cache-Control “public”;

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