Internet bots — or web robots — are software applications that run repetitive tasks across the web. And while they may sound like something out of sci-fi, they are, for the most part, less “Minority Report” than “Wall-E.” While it’s true that bots can be designed with malicious intentions, the most common bots — web crawlers and other web robots — are quite useful.
Internet search providers use web robots to index websites and turn those scans into searchable results. This is an essential function for people who care about search result rankings and SEO. Without bots, no one would find your website when they searched Google. In fact, there would be no Google.
However, there are circumstances when robots can have a negative impact on your site. Most of the time it is not their fault, they’re just doing what they’re designed to do, but if you have a bot or two indexing your site it can really slow things down.
A robots.txt file can help
That’s where the robots.txt file comes in. The robots.txt file is a file that robots look for, which dictates how a bot behaves on your site. Think of your robots.txt file as your website’s house rules. Most bots will look at this file and behave according to the rules you’ve laid out.
Most legitimate bots obey all of the rules in a robots.txt file, but some do not. Googlebot, for example, requires Google Webmaster Tools. Still, it’s important to manage as many bots as possible so it pays to have a robots.txt file in place. This way you can promote good SEO by allowing search engine bots to do their work, and prevent them from slowing your website down in the process. Read more
NetBeans IDE lets you quickly and easily develop Java desktop, mobile, and web applications, while also providing great tools for PHP developers. Now, with the Jelastic plugin for Netbeans IDE, you can develop, test and deploy your Java and PHP applications directly into the Jelastic cloud.
The Jelastic plugin for Netbeans is a set of software development tools that simplifies the process of application management and development in NetBeans IDE in the form of projects at the Jelastic platform.
The Jelastic plugin for Netbeans makes development of web applications on the Jelastic platform much more convenient, since developers can now log into Jelastic and deploy the app in the cloud right from NetBeans IDE.
- Deploy NetBeans IDE projects to Jelastic
- Access and manage server log files
- Manage user environments
- Work with application contexts
To learn how to install and use the Jelastic plugin for Netbeans IDE, please refer to the following KnowledgeBase articles:The Tech Bench is an ongoing blog series featuring the answers to common questions the ServInt MST fields everyday. You can find more great tech tips in the ServInt KnowledgeBase. Photo by Martin Long
For this week’s Tech Bench, we’re going to take a look at a very common question our VPS users have that happens to have a quite simple answer.
How do I increase or decrease my client’s disk space quota in cPanel? Read more
We were just moving some boxes around the office, and I uncovered a time capsule: a stack of ServInt Newsletters from the late 1990s. (We actually sent this newsletter out in the mail, when we all still thought it was clever to call it “snail mail.”
Our very first issue in May of 1997 profiled the recent additions to our tech staff. Reed’s quote about the six new hires perfectly captures the innocence of us and the Internet in 1997: “Clients wanted better tech support, so we wanted to give it to them… We’ve assembled a really good team. Clients will see we’ve got a tech staff now that they can rely on.”
Another great page I found from July of ’97 offers “Expert Help” with articles about how to test your line to see if you can use 56k modems for your ServInt dial-up account and the benefits of using content tags like <strong> over physical tags like <bold>. Oh, for the simpler days.
The Internet was a very different beast when we were writing these newsletters, but the excitement of the technology and the time is something that we still hold close at ServInt today.
I hope you enjoy this look into the past, and who knows, you may see more in the future.
Click on the images below to see more of our vintage rag, and see if you can pick out our very own Director of Information, Curtis Berry in the back row of the picture. He was one of the new hires profiled in our first issue.
Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on the Jelastic blog.
The online shopping industry is gaining popularity all over the world, and e-commerce sites are extremely popular. There are many options available online to build an e-commerce website, but Magento is considered to be one of the most robust, flexible and scalable open source e-commerce platforms on the market.
Magento also includes a wide range of tools to build and manage an online store. It is well known in the developer community for its use of object-oriented programming (OOP) and especially for its use of the EAV model. This allows Magento to be much more versatile than most e-commerce platforms at storing a large range of data.
Now, combine Magento with the the autoscaling of a cloud environment and you have a truly powerful e-commerce tool ready to scale to meet any traffic you generate.
Last week ServInt released an updated SLA that covers all of our products, from VPS to dedicated to cloud. And like everyone else, we laid out the “uptime guarantee” for network, servers, support, etc. This guarantee, though, is simply a threshold, if your service dips below which, you may request hosting credits.
What’s ridiculous is the way some hosts – and some industry “experts” – glibly refer to uptime guarantees as if they were some sort of literal guarantee of future performance: “Wow, they’re offering five nines in their SLA,” “Did you hear about the host that guarantees 100% uptime?”
Uptime guarantees don’t promise what percentage of the time your server will remain online without network disruption, and they are not evidence of future network performance.
An uptime guarantee is – no matter which host you look at – simply a promise of what refund the host offers customers if there is a network outage.
And every network—even the most robust, redundant networks—at some point will experience an outage. Our last network outage was in 2004.
The question is not: Will my host have an outage in the future? They are: How likely is it that my host will be the next to experience an outage? and, How quickly and efficiently will they respond and fix any problem that occurs? Read more
A few week’s ago in the Tech Bench, our Director of Network Compliance, Mike Witty, discussed some of the finer points of preventing your important emails from ending up in your clients’ spam folders. Next, we looked at how to configure SpamAssassin in cPanel.
This week, it’s time to turn our attention to configuring SpamAssassin in Plesk.
ServInt VPS accounts using the Plesk control panel come with SpamAssassin as part of the standard installation. The default configuration has SpamAssassin enabled.
If you need to reenable SpamAssassin:
- In Plesk, click Tools and Settings on the left-hand navigation bar.
- In the Mail group, click “Spam Filter Settings.”
- Select the check box for “Switch on server-wide SpamAssassin spam filtering.” Read more
This week, ServInt was one of a dozen hosts to send a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee to support updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, along with the i2Coalition which coordinated the hosting industry’s participation.
The government needs a warrant based on probable cause to search our mail or the documents in our homes. It’s one of our most fundamental rights, guaranteed in the 4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. But because of this outdated law — the ECPA — which passed in 1986 before the commercial Internet even existed, law enforcement only need a subpoena (issued without a judge’s approval) to read emails that have been opened or are more than 180 days old. Under the ECPA, communications stored on a server over 180 days are said to be abandoned. This rationale has allowed the government to demand access to older electronic communications without a warrant issued by a judge.
That’s right… the government says it doesn’t need a warrant to search through your old email.
This year, Congress is finally considering updating ECPA. ServInt plans to directly engage in this much overdue process, offering its perspective and expertise in dealing with 18 years of serving customers online and dealing responsibly with law enforcement information requests.
We know that aiding law enforcement in responsible ways doesn’t need to come at the expense of our fundamental Constitutional rights. ServInt will be carrying that message, along with other i2Coalition members, up to Capitol Hill this year.
Stay tuned to the ServInt Source where we’ll keep you updated on the status of this and other important Internet legislation.Image by g4114is.
Last time in the Tech Bench, our Director of Network Compliance, Mike Witty, discussed some of the finer points of preventing your important emails from ending up in your clients’ spam folders. For this edition, we thought we’d give you a quick how-to on using and configuring SpamAssassin — the spam software of choice — to actually grade your outgoing emails for you.
ServInt VPS accounts using the cPanel/WHM control panel come with SpamAssassin as part of the standard installation. The default configuration has SpamAssassin enabled.
If you need to reenable SpamAssassin:
- In WHM, under Server Configuration on the top of the left-hand navigation bar, click on Tweak Settings.
- Click the Mail tab.
- Select On for “Enable SpamAssassin spam filter.”
Note: ServInt recommends leaving “Enable BoxTrapper spam trap” set to Off.
To force all the users on your VPS to use SpamAssassin:
- Scroll down the left left hand navigation bar in WHM to Service Configuration and click on Exim Configuration Manager.
- Select the SpamAssassin tab.
- Set “Spam Assassin: Forced Global ON” to On.
This will filter all of your email for spam. It will not, however, force your users to do anything with it after it’s filtered. It will simply mark spam as spam, nothing more.
To prevent spam from being sent from your server: Read more
Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on the Jelastic blog.
Jelastic is growing rapidly, and we are constantly asked how we differ from other Platform-as-a-Service cloud applications on the market. Today we’ll compare Jelastic to AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk?
Amazon Web Service’s Elastic Beanstalk enables you to deploy and manage applications in the AWS cloud. You simply upload your application and Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring.
What is Jelastic?
Jelastic offers a Java and PHP cloud hosting platform. Jelastic automatically scales Java and PHP applications and allocates server resources, thus delivering true next-generation Java and PHP cloud computing.
To identify the main differences, we examined Jelastic and Elastic Beanstalk solutions based on the top concerns we hear from our customers: auto-scaling, supported software stacks, plugins, replication, building projects in the cloud, GUI, and pricing.
- It’s a significant amount of work to deploy your app to the Amazon cloud for the first time. The spacial toolkit requires manual installation and code changes.
- In order to use a database, you need to use Amazon’s RDS service (which provides a MySQL, Oracle or SQL server database), which comes with various additional charges.
- Amazon started with Beanstalk and never really finished it. They are attempting to redo the whole thing from scratch with OpsWorks, with no guarantees.
How Jelastic is Different:
- Jelastic automatically installs, configures and interconnects your server instances with your selected software stacks.
- You don’t need to code to our APIs – just upload your application and select your stack. You can also mix and match software stacks at will.
- Jelastic is also blazingly fast. CPU and RAM changes take place in just a few seconds, so when the load goes up, your environment gets the resources it needs automatically and instantly.
- Jelastic provides a rich tool set to analyze and monitor your application. Read more