Using the ping command to check for domain or IP connection.

how to use the ping command to check for domain or IP connection?

In this article we are going to show you how to use the ping command in order to check for domain or IP connection. We will cover the whole procedure from starting the cmd to reading the output from the ping command. We will use Windows OS in this particular case.

  1. Click on the “Start” button on the bottom left of your screen. When a text box appears, simply type cmd” in it.

    Start menu: cmd ping image

    Start menu: cmd ping image

  2.  Now simply click on the “cmd.exe” that appears on the “Start menu”. There will appear a black window like this one:

    cmd Ping Black Window

    cmd Ping Black Window

  3. For your convenience, you can maximize it to fit your whole screen. Using this “black window” you type and execute commands in your Windows OS. Almost every command in Windows has additional options. In this article we will use the “ping” command so we will demonstrate to you the most common additional options to it. For the following example we will use the command in its basic form to check for connetion with the domain icn.bg:
    Simple ping sample

    Simple ping sample

    You can read the following rows:
    Reply from 91.215.218.14: bytes=1024 time=11ms TTL=59
    Which means:
    There is a reply from 91.215.218.14 (the IP of the icn.bg domain),
    with a data package with size 1024 bytes,
    that took 11ms to be delivered to you.
    The TTL value is the number of hops the packet takes along the path until destination. (don’t bother remembering this).
    If there was no reply from the domain/IP, you would receive this row:
    Request timed out.

    cmd Ping request timed out

    cmd Ping request timed out

  4. You can add additional information to the “ping” output by simply adding the following “extensions” to the command: -n (to specify the number of sent packages) and -l (to specify the size of the package).
    ping with extensions sample

    ping with extensions sample

    After the extension -n we specify the number of the packages that we want to send to the domain/IP (in our case 5).
    After the extension -l we specify the size of the packages in bytes (in this case 1024 bytes that is equal to 1K).
    On the bottom you can see the summarized information. This information show if there is or there is not a connection. It also shows parameters for the quality of the connection:
    0% loss. (which means that all the 5 packages are sent and received respectively).
    Average – 7ms.
    Which means: no lost packages, the average time for package delivery is 7ms (which is good).

    Also you can add the extension -t so the ping will continue until interrupted. It’s very useful when you want to check if your international internet connection is stable.

Now you know how to use the “ping”. Simple, isn’t it ?

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What is php.ini

What is the php.ini file purpose?

In this post we are going to explain to you what is the php.ini file purpose and what do you use it for.

php.ini file is a configuration file which is used to configure different directives in the exectuion of the PHP script. This allows an easy administration of the Apache web servers as well as intalling different application manually or using Softaculous. In the php.ini file are located all applications’ module settings. For example settings like:

  • Memory limit
  • Time for execution of a script
  • Global variables – some applications require an additional directives in the main php.ini file or an additional one in particular directory.
  • Max uploading file size
  • Log error
  • Customized Errors and others.

Locations of the php.ini file.

 

  • SAPI module specific location (PHPIniDir directive in Apache 2, -c command line option in CGI and CLI, php_iniparameter in NSAPI, PHP_INI_PATH environment variable in THTTPD)
  • The PHPRC environment variable. Before PHP 5.2.0, this was checked after the registry key mentioned below.
  • As of PHP 5.2.0, the location of the php.ini file can be set for different versions of PHP. The following registry keys are examined in order: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\PHP\x.y.z],[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\PHP\x.y] and [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\PHP\x], where x, y and z mean the PHP major, minor and release versions. If there is a value for IniFilePath in any of these keys, the first one found will be used as the location of the php.ini (Windows only).
  • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\PHP], value of IniFilePath (Windows only).
  • Current working directory (except CLI).
  • The web server’s directory (for SAPI modules), or directory of PHP (otherwise in Windows).
  • Windows directory (C:\windows or C:\winnt) (for Windows), or –with-config-file-path compile time option.

Or you can choose to create a script to show the location of the file:

You’ll need to create a very simple php script and place it in your home directory. Using a script editor or a plain text editor (not a word processor) create file called phpinfo.php with this code:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

That’s all you need. Just one single line. Save the file and name it phpinfo.php.

Upload this file to the public_html directory or whatever your main HTML directory is called.

In your browser address bar, access the file by typing in: http://yourdomain.com/phpinfo.php

You’ll get a complete list of all your php settings. In the phpinfo.php page you can see:

php.ini location

php.ini location

  • the PHP version at the top of the file.
  • the location of your php.ini file

If you scroll down the page, and you can find the current version of MySQL. and php settings like safe_mode and register_globals and much much more.

Execution of the php.ini file.

During the execution of a PHP script, the web server first looks for a php.ini file in order to execute the particular configuration for the application. It’s like setting up the application with its parameters. For the server module versions of PHP, this happens only once when the web server is started. For the CGI and CLI versions, it happens on every invocation.

The php.ini file is mainly configured by the server administrator for optimal settings. Every webserver has one default php.ini file which is global for every user on the server. This global php.ini file is load on every script’s execution. If there are any changes in the php.ini file, the webvserver must be restarted so the changes will take effect. So, if a user requires specific configuration, the best way is to create a separate php.ini file. The separate php.ini file is only effective for the directory and subdirectories of its location.

The best way is to make a php.ini file backup copy before you make any changes to it.

Now you know how to use php.ini file. Simple isn’t it?

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Check for open ports: how to do this?

How can I check for open ports?

In this post we are going to explain to you, how can you check for open ports.

What does it mean “check for open ports”? It simply means that a TCP or UDP port is configured to receive data packages. The opposite – when a port declines data packages, it means that this port is closed.

You can check for open ports either on your own computer or on remote one. The main reason to check for open ports is when you are not able to connect to a particular server with particular service.

For example: you are not able to connect to your mail server, so you can’t send mails.

There are a lot of programs, which could check for open ports. There are even online ones. All you need to do, is to write in Google “check for open ports” or “port scanner”.

But here in this post we are going to explain how you could check for open ports by yourself, without any additional software. This could be done using telnet client which is already installed on your Windows.

How to check for open ports in Windows?

 

Important: If you are using Windows XP your telnet is already installed, but if you are using Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10 you should start it manually, using the following steps:

go to Start menu -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows features on or off -> Mark Telnet Client -> press OK.

In order to start telnet, press Windows button + R and then write down cmd. This command will open your Command Prompt (a black window). Now, if you want to check for open ports like port 25 for example, write down the following command:

telnet <your IP> <port number>
Example: telnet 77.70.55.121 25

 

 

Now, after you’ve wrote down the command, press Enter. The telnet client has two types of respond:

1. Connecting To77.70.55.121…Could not open connection to the host, on port 25:Connect failed
This means that port 25 on address77.70.55.121 is closed.

Check for open ports: closed port

Check for open ports: closed port

If the port of the IP address is open, there should be an instant connection.
If the port of the IP address e configured not to respond when someone tries to connects through it, there will be a pitch black screen (Command Prompt) or, if configured with a message, there will be a message like this:

Check for open ports: not responding port

Check for open ports: not responding port

Important: some ports might be closed by your Antivirus software, Firewall or Router.

Now you know how to check for an open port. Simple, isn’t it?

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Hosting plan for your website

Choose a Hosting plan for your website

In this article we are going to cover more about what a hosting plan is. What’s more, we are going to offer you a good Hosting provider – the one that we use for this website.

They are very professional and they offer the best quality for their customers… oh, and their service is cheap as well. Their customer support is 24/7 and they will respond to your question in less than 15m. What’s more – they offer a huge free knowledge base with information about anything – websites, CMS, tweaks, hosting, settings, configuration and much more. Of course, if you need further details – you can always call on their hotlines.

They are from Bulgaria so the only temporary drawback at the time we are writing this post, is that their website is in Bulgarian. Anyway, they are in the process of translating it to several languages including english. In this step-by-step guide, we will cover the whole process of ordering your Hosting plan. In order to do this, we are going to use a lot of detailed information and screenshots. In future, we will also offer video tutorials, but for now we are going to use screenshots only.

So, ladies and gentlemen, without further cheap talking – meet our hosting provider: ICN.BG.

(Note that this is going to be a very long article, so take your time and have brakes regularly.)

Who are ICN.BG and what do they offer?

ICN.BG is a Bulgarian hosting provider. They are on the market for more than 12 years. Also they are the number 1 on local level. They reinvest a big share of their income into new and better equipment and service. They have implemented the newest technology in their service. Also, they have a solid backup system, so don’t worry if you get hacked or break your website.

What’s good in not being a huge company? In contrast to the huge hosting providers, small ones like ICN.BG can offer quality over quantity because they can offer personal assistance in short time to any of their customers. This is something that the huge companies can’t do, just because they have millions of customers, obviously millions of requests at the same time. So you will have to wait with hours, sometimes even days, before you have a response. With ICN.BG you will wait no more than 15m. Also, small companies have their drawbacks as well.

So, in order to make it easier for you to choose, we have made a list of ICN.BG’s pros and cons.

PROs

• Their service is not expensive so everybody can afford it.

• They offer 24/7 support through the phone or email/ticket.

• Usually they respond in 15m.

• They have huge and free knowledgebase that include nice tweaks, tricks and information about anything concerning your website or hosting.

• They provide quality over quantity. This is very important!

• ICN.BG’s have very good backup system, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

• They reinvest a lot of their income in new and modern equipment, so you will enjoy a modern, secure and fast service.

• They have flexible hosting plans, so you can include or exclude a lot of extras anytime you need it.

• They often have very nice discounts (right now they offer up to -71% discount on new hosting plans).

• They offer a lot of ways to pay.

• ICN.BG provide a wide range of services to your website – hosting plan, domain name registration, email accounts, additional security, additional software/services that can be useful for your business.

CONs

 Their website is still in Bulgarian (though they are working on english version).

 They are not famous.

So, if you already made up your mind, let’s continue with this article and let’s look at the hosting plans.

 

What Hosting plan (type) should I choose?

Basically, there are 4 main types of hosting.

   • Shared hosting.

   • VPS/Cloud hosting.

   • Dedicated server hosting.

   • RS (Reseller) hosting.

 

SHARED HOSTING

A shared hosting is a web hosting service, where many users share the same web server with its configuration. Imagine that you are living in a dorm. You still have your “place”, but you share it with others.

     PROs of the shared hosting:

  • It’s the cheapest possible hosting plan option. Its’s a lot cheaper than all the other types.
  • Its maintenance is automated and done by the hosting provider, so you don’t have to do anything.

      CONs of the shared hosting:

  • You share the server and its parameters with other users.
  • The available parameters for you are limited.
  • If one user gets hacked it can affect the quality of the service (though it happens very rare).

 

VPS/Cloud HOSTING

Though there are few differences between VPS and Cloud hosting, they basically are the same thing. While the shared hosting is a dorm – you share your room with other people, the VPS/Cloud hosting is more like an appartement – you share only the “building”. Basically VPS/Cloud hosting is a web server, divided into smaller web servers. So, you still share the same configuration, but you do not share the same web server – it is dedicated to you only. The good thing here is that the parameters are scalable – you can choose when and what parameters you want – RAM, HDD, Processor power, etc. Basically you pay only for what you use so it’s more “flexible” than the shared hosting.

     PROs of the VPS/Cloud hosting:

  • It’s more flexible than the shared hosting.
  • It’s more secure than the shared hosting.
  • It provides wider range of possibilities.
  • It could sustain more and bigger websites than the shared hosting.

      CONs of the VPS/Cloud hosting:

  • Though it’s flexible and you pay only pay for what you use, usually the VPS/Cloud hosting is more expensive.
  • If you want the service provider to take care of your VPS/Cloud hosting maintenance, you must pay for it. Or you can choose to do it by yourself.
  •  The maintenance of the VPS/Cloud hosting requires a lot more knowledge and experience.

The work with VPS/Cloud server requires a user with at least intermediate knowledge. Please take in mind that if you are not confident with your knowledge, you could do much more harm than good to your website.

 

DEDICATED SERVER HOSTING

A dedicated server hosting is a service that allows you to rent a whole server machine only for yourself. Unlike the Shared hosting and VPS/Cloud hosting, a dedicated server is like “the whole building” just for your needs. Of course, these benefits comes at price… a pretty expensive one though. Also, the experience and knowledge here must be proficient.

   PROs of the dedicated server hosting

  • The best possible security of all hosting types.
  • The best possible performance of all hosting types.
  • The best possible maintenance of all hosting types.
  • The most flexible of all hosting types.

   CONs of the dedicated server hosting

  • It’s the most expensive type of web hosting. By most, we mean it has a major difference in price.
  • It requires a proficient experience and knowledge to maintain a dedicated server.

 

RS HOSTING (Reseller hosting)

A RS hosting is a different service than all other hosting plan types.

With the RS Hosting, basically you buy the service and then you sell it to others for profit. Think of it as you monthly pay for an apartment, which later you give it out at higher price to other people. Of course, the main goal here is profit.

The other purpose of the RS Hosting is having it for multiple of your projects since it usually has better parameters than the shared hosting.

PROs of the RS Hosting

  • A reasonable price.
  • Possibility for a very good profit.
  • Better parameters than the Shared hosting.
  • Better security than the Shared hosting.
  • Very good flexibility.

CONs of the RS Hosting

  • Still more expensive than the Shared hosting.
  • It requires at least intermediate knowledge and experience.
  • Semi-free maintenance.

 

So what is the best hosting plan type for our purpose?

So as you probably figured it out, the best web hosting plan for our purpose is the Shared hosting. Despite its drawbacks, this hosting plan is just perfect for beginners or even intermediate users. Also, it usually offers maintenance free service, which will save you a lot of time and nerves. What’s more, the price for a shared hosting is more than attractive.

Anyway, if you have a wide budget and if some of the other hosting types looks more attractive to you – feel free to choose any of them. Just take in mind, that this is a beginner guide, so we will not cover anything other than the Shared hosting.

 

How can I order my shared hosting plan right now?

Enough with the bare information. Now it’s time to order your shared hosting plan. Feel free to order the service from anywhere you could find it. But in case you already chose ICN.BG, we will show you how to do it from their website.

Just remember that as the time we are writing this article, ICN.BG’s website is still in Bulgarian. Don’t panic, we will use screenshots for your convenience.

Step 1 – go to ICN.BG

To do this, just click on this link: “Go to ICN.BG”. Then you will see this page:

Web hosting plan main page

Web hosting plan main page

On the page you will see the following:

  1. Hosting plans – this is the section we will pay most attention on.
    These are the 4 main Hosting plans we will choose from. From left to right:
    1a. “Ultima”
    1b. “Economic”
    1c. “Business”
    1d. “Standart”
    1e. Hosting plan price per month. Take in mind that the longer the period you subscribe for your hosting plan, the lower the price it will be. Also, the prices are in Bulgarian lev (BGN). In order to convert them to USD $ , Euro or other currency – please use this currency calculator: Link or you can write in Google: BGN to USD.
    1f. Hosting plan order button – this is the “ORDER” button.
  2. CLOUD/VPS Hosting plans – you don’t need it, but you can check the prices if you are curious.
  3. Servers – dedicated server prices. Again you don’t need this service, but you can check the prices.
  4. SSL – if you don’t remember what an SSL certificate is, then please visit again our Terminology step. Please be sure that you know what an SSL certificate is, because it’s an essential option that you certainly need for your website. Usually, the SSL certificates are paid (not cheap) option for limited time (you have to renew it over time), but in ICN.BG they offer FREE SSL certificate. Yes, it’s not the best one, but it’s good enough. Anyway, that’s another good bonus.
  5. Business email – this is a very good service that ICN.BG offers. It’s developed and broadcasted only by ICN.BG. It’s called cMailPro and it’s focused on business communication – it offers a dedicated server for communication, a special e-mail panel, chat apps with great options and much more. If you are interested in this option – write to us and we will make an article for in-depth review of this service.
  6. This is where the promotions usually are.
  7. Reseller (RS) hosting. – again you don’t need it, but you can check the prices.
  8. Login – to your ICN.BG panel. VERY IMPORTANT! You will log into your hosting plan account from here!
  9. Your cart (obviously).

 

Step 2 – So what hosting plan should I choose? “Ultima”, “Economic”, “Business” or “Standart”?

On the bottom of the page you will find the following section: “ДЕТАЙЛНИ ХАРАКТЕРИСТИКИ“- the specific parameters for each of the Hosting plans. It’s not useful since it’s in Bulgarian. Anyway, for your convenience we have made a list in english with the specifications of each Hosting plan. We have also wrote a little description to each parameter, as well as the purpose of the Hosting plan – (e.g.: single website, multiple websites, corporative website, etc.). So it would be easy and convenient for you to choose.

(As we mentioned at the beginning, this article is very long. In case you did not take a brake yet – feel free to do it now.)

 

Hosting Plans Parameters:

 

EMAIL                                                  Ultima     Economic     Business     Standart


POP3/IMAP/SMTP support                  yes!            yes!               yes!              yes!
(these are the protocols used to
send/receive emails).


Auto-reply                                              yes!            yes!               yes!              yes!
(automatic reply to email)


Web-based email client                        yes!            yes!               yes!              yes!
(you can access your email
through your browser (like yahoo)).


Email redirect                                         yes!            yes!               yes!              yes!
(redirect emails to another account)


Mailing list                                               NO!              1                                       3
(Make list of contacts and send emails to them).


Spam filtering/Spam assassin               yes!            yes!               yes!              yes!
(allows you to set filters for spam)


 

 

 

 DOMAINS                                               Ultima     Economic     Business     Standart


Free domain                                              NO!            NO!                1                    1
(domain names that
you don’t pay for)


Addon domains                                        NO!             24           unlimited         unlimited
(additional domains, a.k.a websites
that you can use for the same plan)


Alias domains                                           10                14              1000                 1000
(domains that show the same content
as the main domain)


Domain redirect                                       yes!              yes!             yes!                 yes!
(redirect a domain to another one)


Domain info (whois)                                yes!              yes!             yes!                 yes!
(check if a domain is already registered,
and who registered it)


 

 

 

SCRIPTS                                                    Ultima     Economic     Business     Standart


PHP 4/ 5.2/ 5.3/ 5.4/ 5.5/ 5.6/ 7.0                  yes!              yes!             yes!                 yes!
(the supported version of PHP)


Perl, CGI, Python                                         yes!              yes!             yes!                 yes!


Ruby on rails                                                 NO!                NO!             NO!              1 addon


Quick Time/Real media                                yes!              yes!             yes!                 yes!


Shcokwave/Flash                                         yes!              yes!             yes!                 yes!


 

 

 

DATABASES                                                  Ultima     Economic     Business     Standart


MySQL                                                         unlimited    unlimited     unlimited     unlimited
(No. of MySQL databases)


PostgreSQL                                                      NO!             NO!          unlimited    unlimited
(No. of Postgre MySQL databases)


 

 

 

SECURITY                                                      Ultima     Economic     Business     Standart


Everyday backup                                            yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!


Password directories                                     yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!


Hotlink protection                                          yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(protects your images
against stealing)


OpenPGP                                                         yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(encrypts your email
corespondation)


IP Deny manager                                            yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(Deny the access to your site
for certain IP (person))


SSL certificate                                                 yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!


 

 

 

ADMINISTRATION                                          Ultima     Economic     Business     Standart



Hosting panel                                                   yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(you can manage your
website/s from here)


Domain panel                                                   yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(you can manage your domains
sub/aliases/addons from here)


File manager                                                     yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(upload/download/edit/archive
files on your hosting plan)


HTML editor                                                       yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!


Log files access                                                yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(The main feature to troubleshooting
your website in case of problems)


SSH/Shell access                                     2.40 BGN/m.    2.40 BGN/m   yes! free!   yes! free!
(secure console connection
good for troubleshooting)


Error Pages Manager                                        yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(Change the error message that
appears when your site is offline)


Statistics                                                            yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(Statistics about the websites traffic,
visits, clicks and etc.)


Traceroute                                                          NO!             NO!             yes!              yes!
(trace the route to your website)


MIME Types                                                       yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(how to be treated different
types of files)


Apache Handlers                                               yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(similar to MIME types)


Index manager                                                   yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(how to index different directories)


HTTP2 support                                                   yes!             yes!             yes!              yes!
(the new, better version of HTTP.
It’s more secure and faster)


 

 

 

 

SERVER RESOURCES                                      Ultima     Economic     Business     Standart


CPU time                                                           30m/24h     55m/24h        95m/24h     140m/24h
(one of the main resources
that you need)


Apache Requests (simultaneous)                       80              100                 100              100 
(No. of visitors who can visit your website at the same time.
Usually at the same millisecond. So these connections are enough)


MySQL connections (simultaneous)                   30               30                   30                30
(No. of simultaneous connections to your Database.
similar to Apache Requests.)


MySQL requests                                              unlimited     unlimited       unlimited    unlimited
(requests to your database. The ones that can’t make
connection will wait on the queue)


Inodes                                                                    100k             150k              200k           300k
(basically the number of files that you can have)


Monthly Bandwidth                                            unlimited     unlimited       unlimited    unlimited
(the internet traffic (in MB) that your
website is allowed to have)


HDD/SSD                                                               25GB            50GB             65GB        180GB
(ICN.BG have invested in SSDs that are up
to 100x faster than a conventional HDD)


 

 


ADDITIONAL OPTIONS                                        Ultima     Economic     Business     Standart


Dedicated IP address                                         24 BGN/y    24 BGN/y         yes!            yes! 
(to receive the free dedicated IP in “Business”   and Standart”
you need to pay for year)
(on Shared hosting, the user usually shares its IP
with the other users. A dedicated IP is a good option
for better SSL certificates and emails)


Google Adwords Voucher (50/60 $)                        free!          free!             free!             free!
(it’s a very good option that you will need
in order to popularize your website)


ICN.BG Reputation Monitoring                               NO!          free!             free!             free!
(this extra is perfect for basic malware security of
your website. With its help you can easily find the
weak spots in the security of your website)


CDN Cloudflare + Railgun                                       free!          free!             free!             free! 
(CDN – Content Delivery Network – it helps for your website
to load faster. Also adds additional layer of security.)


So, if you are still wondering on what Hosting plan to choose, let us summarize it for you:

Hosting plan “Ultima” – this hosting plan is the bare minimum. Yes, you still can make your website with it, but it will be just a simple website. You will not be able to make a good security or optimization. Soon, after the visitors’ traffic grows, you will need to upgrade it. Also, it does not provide any extras, that is good to have – SSH, Dedicated IP, free domain name etc.
PROs of the “Ultima” hosting plan:

  • Price. It’s cheap. Still the best option for very tight budget.
  • Suitable for 1 basic website, though not big and not optimized.
  • Suitable for beginner users, who just want to “test” what is like to have a website.
  • Free SSL certificate.
  • Free Google Adwords Voucher (50/60$)
  • Free CDN Cloudflare + Railgun.

CONs of the “Ultima” hosting plan:

  • Low server resources in all parameters.
  • Lack of free SSH.
  • Lack of Dedicated IP.
  • Lack of free Domain name.
  • Lack of  free DDoS security.
  • Not enough for multiple websites.
  • Not enough even for 1 well-optimized and well-secured website. Enough just for 1 basic website.
  • No ICN.BG Reputation Monitoring.

 

Hosting plan “Economic” – this is an upgraded Ultima” hosting plan. It’s a good hosting plan for 1 well-optimized website, though it’s on the edge with its resources. Once your website is grown enough – you will inevitably face the need to upgrade this hosting plan.

PROs of the “Economic” hosting plan:

  • Still a cheap option.
  • Good for 1 well-optimized and well-secured website (though at the edge of its resources).
  • Free SSL certificate.
  • Free Google Adwords Voucher (50/60$)
  • Free ICN.BG Reputation Monitoring.
  • Free CDN Cloudflare + Railgun.

CONs of the “Economic” hosting plan:

  • Low CPU time.
  • Lack of free SSH.
  • Lack of Dedicated IP.
  • Lack of free Domain name.
  • Lack of free DDoS security.
  • Not enough for multiple websites.

 

Hosting plan “Business” – the Business hosting plan is well-balanced. It’s the best “price-to-value” option. It offers a lot of free benefits, extras and server resources. It’s enough for more than one websites. In our opinion – this is the best hosting plan for beginners.

PROs of the “Business” hosting plan:

  • The best price-to-value option.
  • Good for multiple websites.
  • Enough server resources.
  • Free ICN.BG Reputation Monitoring.
  • Free dedicated IP.
  • Free SSH.
  • Free SSL certificate.
  • Free Google Adwords Voucher (50/60$).
  • Free CDN Cloudflare + Railgun.
  • 1 Free Domain name (if you pay for at least 1 year).

CONs of the “Business” hosting plan:

  • Lack of free DDoS

 

Hosting plan “Standart” – the Standart hosting plan offers the highest server resources of all other plans. If you look closely, you will notice that it’s server resources are almost 2x higher even than the second best: “Business” hosting plan. With it, you wouldn’t have to worry about server resources. It’s enough for multiple, well-optimized and well-secured websites with lots of traffic. What’s more, it offers free DDoS security.

PROs of the “Standart” hosting plan:

  • Good for multiple websites.
  • Enough server resources.
  • Free ICN.BG Reputation Monitoring.
  • Free dedicated IP.
  • Free SSH.
  • Free SSL certificate.
  • Free Google Adwords Voucher (50/60$).
  • Free CDN Cloudflare + Railgun.
  • Free DDoS security.
  • 1 Free Domain name (if you pay for at least 1 year).

CONs of the “Standart” hosting plan

  • Price – it’s more expensive (though a little bit) than the other hosting plans.

In conclusion to what hosting plan you should choose…

Since it’s the best price-to-value option, our advice would be: go for the “Business” hosting plan.
If you are very tight with the budget – go for the Ultima” hosting plan or the “Economic” hosting plan.
If you can afford it – go for the Standart” hosting plan – this hosting plan allows a lot of features and it’s future-prooved for your business in case you want to expand.

Step 3 – Order your hosting plan (yay, last step)

In this step we are going to show you how to order your hosting plan from ICN.BG. For this tutorial we are going to use the Business” hosting plan as an example.

So we suggest that you are on this page:

Web hosting plan main page

Web hosting plan main page

(in case you are not, open ICN.BG)

Then choose the hosting plan you prefer (in our case this is the Business hosting plan), and click the orange button:  Hosting plan order button

 

You will be redirected to this page:

 

Hosting plan - order your domain name

Hosting plan – order your domain name

 

Now let’s check for a domain name.

1. Domain field – do you remember the domain name termin from our Terminology step? Good! You can’t have your website without a domain name. On this field you can order yours. You have to pay for domain name as well. Again, the price is minimal – usually 5$ to 20$ per YEAR, depending on the domain. We recommend the .com type/extension – it’s usually one of the cheapest, also it’s the most recognizable of all. Take in mind that hosting plans (“Business” and “Standart”) offer FREE domain name. Even though they are more expensive than the others, they are actually a better deal.

In this field enter the domain name you prefer. (For example we will use “DomainExample“). In your case, Replace “DomainExample” with the domain name for Your future website.

2. Domain name extensions (eg.: .com, .net, .us etc.) – Mark the boxes with domain name extensions you want to search for.

3. Click the blue button Hosting plan next buttonin order to check if the domain name is available.

You will see the results:

 

web hosting plan domain name availability check

web hosting plan domain name availability check

1. The ones with this sign  Hosting plan bought domain are already bought by someone else

2. The others with this sign Hosting plan free domain name are available:

 

3. This is the domain price in BGN for 1 year. (You can’t buy a domain name for less than 1 year).

(Take in mind that you have 1 free .com, .net, .org, .biz, .us or .eu domain name with “Business” and “Standart” hosting plans!)

4. Here you can choose for how many years you would like to buy the domain name. (The available period is different for some domain name extensions, but never less than 1 year).

Now choose one of the available domain names and the period you prefer. (If you don’t like the available extensions, go back to step  3.1 and repeat the procedure, this time with different domain name).

5. Once you’ve made your choice, click the blue buttonHosting plan check button.

 

Now you will see the following section:

 

Confirm hosting plan order

Confirm hosting plan order

It basically confirms your selected hosting plan. Again just click the blue button Hosting plan check button

 

 

Here is the last section with the Additional Options:

Hosting plan additional options

Hosting plan additional options

Select any of the additional options you would like to have on your web hosting plan:

  1. Собствен IP адрес” (Dedicated IP address) – Free for “Business” and “Standart” hosting plans. So include it (make it appear as orange “ДА”).
    (Note that this option is paid (24 BGN/year) for “Ultima” and “Economic” hosting plans.)
  2. File Download  – skip it, you dont need this option.
  3. SSH/Shell достъп” – SSH/Shell access – Free for “Business” and “Standart” hosting plans. So include it (make it appear as orange “ДА”).
    (Note that this option is paid (2.40 BGN/month) for “Ultima” and “Economic” hosting plans.)
  4. DDOS защита (IP) – DDoS protection – a good option for more security against hack attacks. Free for “Standart” hosting plan. Include it if you chose this plan (make it appear as orange “ДА”).
    (Note that this option is paid (99 BGN/month) for “Ultima”, “Economic” and “Business” hosting plans.)
  5. GOOGLE ADWORDS ВАУЧЕР” – Google AdWords voucher – Free for all hosting plans. It’s a good-to-have bonus for our “Manage your own website: Intermediate guide”. So include it by checking the white box underneath.
  6. ICN.BG РЕПУТАЦИЯ МОНИТОРИНГ” – ICN.BG Reputation Monitoring – this option is perfect for basic malware security of your website. With it’s help you can easily find the weak spots in the security of your website. Free for “Economic”, “Business” and “Standart” hosting plans. Include it by checking the white box underneath.
    (Note that this option is probably unavailable for “Ultima” hosting plan.)
  7. SSL” – skip it, you don’t need it for now.
    7.1 “Rapid SSL” – skip it, you don’t need it for now.
    7.2 “QuickSSL” – skip it, you don’t need it for now.
  8. ICN.BG Security & Reputation” – this option is daily scanning of your website for:
    * Check if your website is blacklisted by Google, Yahoo or Bing.
    * Scans if your website contains viruses.
    * Scans if your website contains malware.
    (Note that this option is paid (119.94 BGN/year) so you decide whether to use it or not. Further in our guides you will learn how to do it yourself. Anyway, this service is made by professional so think about it.)

9. Once you are done selecting the Additional Options, click the grey  button Hosting plan next button

 

 

You will be redirected to this page:

Hosting plan order summary

Hosting plan order summary

 

Here is a summary of your order: Domain name, Hosting plan, Additional Option and the total price in BGN.

Click the grey button Hosting plan payment button

 

 

 

Now you are redirected to a page where you will create your new profile:

Hosting plan create new profile

Hosting plan create new profile

 

USER AND CONTACT INFORMATION

  1. User – Remember this! You will need it to access your hosting plan panel!
  2. Password – Remember this! You will need it to access your hosting plan panel!
  3. Repeat the Password – Remember this! You will need it to access your hosting plan panel!
  4. Name
  5. Last Name
  6. E-Mail
  7. E-Mail 2
  8. E-Mails for documents – you can skip it, since you are not Bulgarian citizen. (anyway if you are going to use a company account – better call ICN.BG for more information about documents you need.)
  9. City/Town
  10. Address
  11. Post Code
  12. Phone Number
  13. Private owner
  14. Company owner
  15. Terms and Conditions (check the box in order to finish the order).
  16. Methods to pay your order. We recommend:
    16.1 paying with Debit/Credit card.
    16.2 using Moneybookers.com
    16.3 using TransCard
    16.4 using PayPal.com

Select the payment method that you prefer and press the grey button Hosting plan finalize button

Soon you will receive an e-mail that your order is being processed. Once they confirm the payment, they will activate the service and then you will receive another email.

In conclusion…

That’s all! Simple isn’t it? Now you have an active hosting plan, so you can start creating your own website. In order to access your hosting plan panel and start making your own website, Go to the next step of this guide:

“Website creation”

If you find any difficulties in ordering your hosting plan, or you have any questions: feel free to contact us with this form:    Contact us

What is robots.txt file used for?

What is robots.txt file used for?

In this post we are going to explain you what is robots.txt file used for? We will explain the purpose of the robots.txt file as well as some examples of its content.

what is robots.txt - image

what is robots.txt – image

When you have a website, you should make a good SEO. One way to do this is to make “instructions” to all the bots and spiders that crawl your website. The instructions could be:

  • How often the bots, spiders and crawlers should crawl your website.
  • Which parts of your website should be crawled.
  • Which parts of your website shouldn’t be crawled.

In order to give these instructions, you need to create a robots.txt file in your website’s main directory. For example: if your website is MyWebsite.com the file must be located in:

http://MyWebsite.com/robots.txt

You can create this file simply by using a text editor as Notepad, or using your cPanel file manager.

Robots.txt contains instruction in specific format, which is strictly followed by the crawlers. If robots.txt does not exist, the crawlers decide that the owner of the website doesn’t want them to follow any particular instructions, so they will crawl all your website – all the pages, sub pages, posts, links, images and so on.

 

Robots.txt can give specific instructions to the web crawlers like which pages to be crawled and which ones not.

In case your website contains an information which you don’t want to be shown in Search Engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc., you can “hide” this information using the robots.txt file.

It doesn’t matter how many websites you have on your web hosting, any of the websites has its own robots.txt file.

 

Which are the most often used instructions in the robots.txt file?

You can control the robots, spiders and crawlers that crawl your website, simply through entering the following commands into your robots.txt file:

With this instruction you tell the crawlers that you want them to fully crawl your website and every of its web pages:

 

User-agent: *

Disallow:

 

With the following code you can hide specific directories from the web crawlers:

 

User-agent: *

Disallow: /cgi-bin/

Disallow: /tmp/

Disallow: /junk/

 

The next command tells the crawlers to stay away from a specific file:

 

 

User-agent:*

Disallow: /directory/file.html

 

Also you can block specific robos, spiders or crawlers from crawling your website:

 

 

User-agent:

 BadBot # replace ‘BadBot’ with the actual user-agent of the bot

Disallow: /

 

here, you should change the ‘BadBot’ with the name of the crawler that you wish to block from crawling your website.

 

Use the following command to hide a specific folder from specific crawler:

User-agent:

 BadBot # replace ‘BadBot’ with the actual user-agent of the bot

Disallow: /private/

 

With this command you can block the access of any crawler to your website:

 

 

User-agent: *

Disallow: /

 

This way you can be sure that the crawlers will not generate any traffic to your website.

 

You can also use the .htaccess file to block the crawlers from crawling your website. In order to block the crawlers to crawl your website, you should put the following code into your .htaccess file:

 

 

BrowserMatchNoCase \*bot bad_bot 
BrowserMatchNoCase bot\* bad_bot 
Order Deny,Allow 
Deny from env=bad_bot 

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^-?$ 
RewriteRule ^ – [F]

 

Of course, you need to change the bad_bot with the name of the specific bot you would like to block from crawling your website.

For example, if you want to block the Google bot from crawling your website, the .htaccess code should be like this:

 

 

BrowserMatchNoCase \*bot Googlebot 
BrowserMatchNoCase bot\* Googlebot 
Order Deny,Allow 
Deny from env=Googlebot 

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^-?$ 
RewriteRule ^ – [F]

 

 

How to hide directories using robots.txt?

As an example we will use a website made on Joomla CMS. If you want to hide specific directories from the crawlers, you can use the following code into your robots.txt file:

 

User-agent: * 
Disallow: /administrator/ 
Disallow: /cache/ 
Disallow: /components/ 
Disallow: /images/ 
Disallow: /includes/ 
Disallow: /installation/ 
Disallow: /language/ 
Disallow: /libraries/ 
Disallow: /media/ 
Disallow: /modules/ 
Disallow: /plugins/ 
Disallow: /templates/ 
Disallow: /tmp/ 
Disallow: /xmlrpc/

 

For example if we want to block the crawlers’ access to a folder with name “content”, we simply add the following row to our robots.txt file:

 

Disallow: /content/

 

Using web crawlers makes your website more “popular” in Search Engines like Google. It’s a very good start for your website’s SEO and advertisement, without investing any money.

*Just take in mind that any changes in the crawling configuration might affect your website in a negative way. Because of this particular reason, we advise you not to change any code if you are not sure in what you are doing.

Now you know what is robots.txt file and how to configure it. Simple, isn’t it?

For other useful posts, please visit our Library.

How to change the PHP version of your hosting plan?

How to change the PHP version of your hosting plan?

In this post we are going to explain you how to change the PHP version of your hosting plan. Though there are multiple ways to do this, we are going to show you the easiest and the most handy one – using the .htaccess file.

Using the .htaccess file to the change the PHP version of your hosting plan comes in handy. It is mainly because using this method allows the user to change the PHP version for just one directory and its’ allocated subdirectories. In other words, you can specify a particular PHP version for a particular domain, subdomain, CMS or other platform or software.

Step 1 – check your current PHP version:

In order to do this, first you need to make a file called “phpinfo.php” (you can do this using Notepad or the file manager in your cPanel) and put inside the file the following rows:

<?php
phpinfo();
?>

then save and close the file. Now upload this file into the directory you would like to check for its PHP version. Then access this file from your browser. For example, if your website is situated in the “Public_html” directory and your phpinfo.php file is there, you can access it by typing in your browser:

YourDomain/phpinfo.php

You will see a webpage showing your current PHP version as well as an additional information about the configuration of your PHP script. The webpage should look like this:

how to change the PHP version - image.

how to change the PHP version – image.

In order to change the PHP version, you should add one of the following rows into your “.htaccess” file.:

For PHP version 4: AddHandler application/x-httpd-php4 .php
For PHP version 5: AddHandler application/x-httpd-php5 .php .php5 .php4 .php3
For PHP version 5.1: AddHandler application/x-httpd-php51 .php .php5 .php4 .php3
For PHP version 5.2: AddHandler application/x-httpd-php52 .php
For PHP version 5.2(Suhosin patch): AddHandler application/x-httpd-php52s .php .php5 .php4 .php3
For PHP version 5.3: AddHandler application/x-httpd-php53 .php
For PHP version 5.4: AddHandler application/x-httpd-php54 .php
For PHP version 5.5: AddHandler application/x-httpd-php55 .php
For PHP version 5.6: AddHandler application/x-httpd-php56 .php .php5 .php4 .php3
For PHP version 7.0: AddHandler application/x-httpd-php70 .php .php5 .php4 .php3
For PHP version 7.1: AddHandler application/x-httpd-php71 .php .php5 .php4 .php3

We remind you that the “.htaccess” file is a system file which affects the current directory and its’ subdirectories.

Now you know how to change the PHP version of your directories. Simple, isn’t it?

For other useful posts, please visit our Library.

What is .htaccess file?

What is .htaccess file ?

Have you ever wondered what is .htaccess file and what do you use it for? In this post we are going to explain what is .htaccess file and what do you is it for.

.htaccess image

what is htaccess file – image

The name of the .htaccess file comes from Hypertext Access. This is a config file that works on directory level. This means that .htaccess file could change part of the global server configuration, located in php.ini. Take in mind that the .htaccess file changes the configuration only in its’ location directory and subdirectories respectively. The main purpose of the .htaccess file is to define who and what will have an internet access to the content of a particular folder. .htaccess file is used in Apache based webservers. .htaccess file is mainly used in the following situations:

  • Authorisation and authentication.
  • URL redirect.
  • Deny/Allow user access by IP.
  • Password protection for directories.
  • Deny of particular directory listing.
  • Hotlink protection.
  • Default page setup.
  • Server time zone configuration.
  • Create and assign your own error pages.
  • MIME types.
  • Cache Control.
  • PHP version change.

Unlike php.ini, the changes in the .htaccess file become active immediately after the change. This is due to the .htaccess file is read with every request to the domain, thus it is not needed to restart the application. The drawback of this “nature” is that the performance is little bit slower, because for every received request, the request itself looks for another .htaccess file in the subdirectories.

The .htaccess file could be easily created using a simple text editor as Notepad or the file manager in cPanel. The file name could and must be only .htaccess. The file can not contain any other strings, names, symbols or extensions. For example it would not work if it’s called: htaccess.txt, my.htaccess, sample.htaccess and so on.

Now you know what is a .htaccess file and what you could use it for. Simple, isn’t it?

For other useful posts, please visit our Library.

What is an IDN Domain?

What is an IDN Domain?

In this post we are going to explain what is an IDN Domain.

what is an idn domain name

image of what is an idn domain name

IDN is an abbreviation of internationalized Domain Names. This type of domains allows to the user to register a domain name using specific symbols. These specific symbols could be different from the Latin Alphabet. For example, a user registering an IDN domain could use Slavian Alphabet, Chinese, Arabian or any different symbols (e.g.: лтсдемо.ею).

The standard Domain Name managing system (Domain Name System) which translates the domain names into IP addresses to localize certain internet resources is limited in using only ASCII signs and latin symbols. IDN is a technological solution, which offers the opportunity to translate the domain names to random “language” (such as your native). What’s more, IDN makes these domain names fully compatible with the Standard Domain Name System. IDN is using Punycode transcription, which translates the IDN domains into Latin symbols. The process is as follows: every single symbol starts with “xn--“. The encryption takes place during the process of communication between the user browser and the Domain System.

Here is an example of IDN domains: моятаигричка.com, юженпоток.бг, сиренце.ею.

In order to get access to a website with IDN domain name, the user also needs a specific software and OS (Operating System, eg.: Windows, Linux, MacOS) settings which allow using the specific language symbols.

That’s it. Now you know what is an IDN  domain name.

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How to use Google Translate as a proxy server?

How to use Google Translate as a proxy server?

In this post we will show you how to use Google Translate as a proxy server. We will also explain what a Proxy Server is and how you could use it.

What is a Proxy server?

The proxy server stands like a mediator between your computer and the internet.

proxy-server-image

proxy-server-image

A user can use a proxy server for the following reasons:

  • Anonymous access to certain service, file, web page or some other resource on the internet.
  • accelerates the access to certain resources through caching.
  • Managing of DNS requests.
  • Filters the access to certain websites.
  • Monitoring and analysis of the bandwidth and traffic.
  • Breaking through security and regional limitations.
  • Verification of the data before it’s sent to the user.
  • Scan of outgoing data and others.

The proxy server could be a computer or software application. All of your computer’s requests are directed through the server, so it could process them according to its purpose (translating in this particular case). There are different types of proxy servers:

  • Gateway proxy – all the requests and responds pass without any changes.
  • Forward proxy – redirects the connection to particular internet resource.
  • Reverse proxy – it doesn’t offer information about the last/first server. The respond is given as from the proxy server itself.

How to use Google Translate as a Proxy Server?

Google Translate could be used as a proxy server in order to receive access to your website. The request in this case is passed through the Google’s sever. To use Google Translate as a proxy server, first you need to open the Google Translate’s webpage: https://translate.google.bg/. Then you need to write down your website’s link as like you are going to translate it and choose a language.

using google translate as a proxy server

use google translate as a proxy server

After you press the “Translate” button the content of your link will be loaded as if it’s requested from Google’s IP.

 

 

using google translate as a proxy server

use google translate as a proxy server

That’s it. Simple isn’t it? Now you have access to your own website through a Google Translate proxy server. Congratulations!

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Website preparation

Website preparation  introduction

This is the website preparation you need to make before you create your own website. In this article we will talk about all the stuff you will need in order to begin building your website. Some of the services you are going to need are paid. The price for such services is minimal though there are more expensive options. In this step of the guide we will suggest such services. We work with the service-providers for a long time so we know that these companies are serious and stable. The services that they provide are well-balanced, affordable and offer very good quality. Anyway, in this step we will only make a list with what you need. We will cover more details on the next steps of this guide. So make comfortable and prepare yourself.

 What do we need before we start making our own website?

  1. Terminology – first of all you will need to know and understand the “Basic Terminology” that we covered in our previous step of “How to make your own website: Beginner guide”. If you are don’t feel confident  in your knowledge – then please re-read the “Terminology” step. To do so follow this link: Back to “Terminology”.
  2. Budget – the second most important thing is your budget. Let’s be honest, you will need to pay at least for hosting plan. Though there are free of charge hosting plans, in order to make a decent website which will accumulate good amount of money – you will need to pay a small charge. The investition itself is nearly 0. A good hosting plan for beginners can start anywhere from 2$/month. If you pay for an year or two – it may fall to 1$/month or less. What’s more – if you are lucky enough, probably you will find a promotion with a discount of -70%. Of course, there are much more expensive plans which could cost you a lot more. We will cover more about the hosting plans in the next step of this guide. For now, just take in mind that you will need to make some minor investition for a quality service.
  3. Time -yes, you will need some free time. The website making takes less than 30m, but you will need some hours to fill it up with information. The time for filling it with information is up to you – it may take 2-3 hours, it also may takes days. It’s all depending on your “vision” of the website. Once you feed enough information on it – you will only supervise your website for couple of minutes a day.
  4. Bank Account – though not strictly necessary, it will come in handy if you have a bank account with an active credit/debit card. Using a card to pay/receive and withdraw money is really convenient and time-saving.
  5. Desire – Once you finish this guide, you will have a fully functional website that could bring you money or just popularize your company or business. You can either stop when you are done making your website or continue to develop it. Desire is something you are going to need in order to bring out the maximum of your website, therefore your money income out of it.

In conclusion…

As you can see it’s up to you how far you will reach with your own website. It is required a basic knowledge and a minor investition, yes. But after all, it is up to you to bring out your website’s full potential.

In order to continue to the next step of our guide, click on this link:  “Hosting plan”.

If you want to go back to the main page of our guide, click on the following link:

“Create your own website: Beginner guide”.

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