Security and conveniences 

Today, it is a short topic. I probably need a couple of day breaks. Anyway, it is about security and convenience. Most have gotten used to accessing an email account, an admin portal etc with just username and easy to remember password. I’m sure I was used to be like you, or anyone else. Right?

However, there is a need to enhance this area, especially a login to a place where it contains sensitive and important information. An extra layer of the sign-in mechanism is placed on the top of your usual login and limited to the authorized person. It can be a 2-factors authentication, another encoded  Admin URL. or another password layer, Whatever what it is, you have to spend more time and effort to sign in. Some very secure login might have multiple layers before you reach the sign in screen. The idea or objective is to make unauthorized login not possible.

While I’m describing, you already can feel the hassle, not yet doing it. Can you imagine the extra layers of the sign in can make you pull your hairs? I have seen many cases. For me, I’m kinda got used to it, my job needs me to sign in to servers. If I’m unable to practice good security measures, I will have troubles educating my clients.

To conclude,

if you preferred to be convenient, your security is compromised.  We must learn to adapt such hassle and environment to step up our security. It is a must for today cybersecurity.

Choosing the type of VPS

Basically, there is 2 type of VPS whether it is a VM, virtual machine or a VPS, they are virtualized. But if you are examing carefully, they could be different. The VPS is either virtualized by OpenVZ or the commercial licensed Virtuozzo, or Hypervisor like KVM. OpenVZ and Virtuozzo are the same types of virtualization. They are known as OS level virtualization while Hypervisor like KVM is a hardware level virtualization. In terms of usage, they are little differences but there are some restriction on an OS level virtualized environment as well as a con in like KVM full virtualization.

Let us begin,  the OpenVZ virtualization is like sharing CPU, memory and disk space dynamically. Although you are still catered to the resources you have purchased. Another word, you might use more if the server allowed but on other hands, you can be slower if your server has a lot of guest machines.  Many circumstances, an OS or a control panel files are shared using the template system. This is an advantage to the hoster, as this has greatly reduced the disk space used. And it has helped to speed up the deployment process if they are universal. You are not likely to customize it

OpenVZ uses host kernel. It’s not possible to install applications require kernel existence like Anti-Virus or Backup agent etc. However, the guest machines create instructions and make a call to the hardware directly, thus the overhead is lower and it is faster. Kernel updates might be an issue to address OS vulnerability if you do not use 3rd party solution like Kenerlcare on the host server. To take effect the changes, a reboot is required.

I prefer Hypervisor like KVM for these reasons; In a KVM guest OS is independent so the kernel. You can have a mix of OS guest machines not limited to the kind of OS installed on the host server. You can install any application, there is no such restriction like an OpenVZ VPS. No doubt KVM Full virtualization has higher overhead as their hardware is emulated and virtualization, however, these years there are improvements like ballooning and paravirtualization has improved a KVM guest machines.

If you are looking for better isolation and security. A hypervisor will do better in this area. This is one of the major reason why Vastspace has chosen KVM for our VPS plans.

Why WordPress? Do and Don’t

It’s WordPress again? Someone has written to our tech support department, asked if we can install WordPress for him. If you are using Plesk Onyx or cPanel, they have a one-click installer for WordPress in the control panel. Plesk Onyx has this WordPress Toolkit to manage your WordPress under one roof. But this is not the topic today. There are so many WordPress websites. If you are an amateur, I recommend you read further to understand WordPress further. This is extremely important and you will know why.

There are many websites are hacked each day, do you know it is 70% of them are WordPress websites. It is because most have installed WordPress and leave it in Auto-Pilot mode. Things start to turn ugly if you are doing this.

a. If you have decided to use the WordPress website, you need these skills like adjust the php.ini, restart your web server to address the changes if you have a VPS. For Shared Hosting users, you might need to address this through .htaccess or a custom php.ini, for example, time-out error when you are trying to upload a file through WordPress. Contact your web host if necessary.

b. Load only the plugins are needed. Not the more the better. A plugin uses resources like memory and processing power. They can slow down your website. This is bad for your visitors.

c, Compress your image. Do not use a large image with very high DPI. They will greatly slow down the loading time of the page and website. Keep it low enough resolution and still details enough on a computer screen.

d. Always protect your wp-admin login. You can use Sucuri Firewall Pro or Wordfence to protect any unauthorized login attempts to your wp-admin page. Remembered, you are using opensource CMS, anyone can download. The admin login URL or path is known to all. Thus, brute-force login using an automated script is possible and this is happening to all WordPress websites.

f. Update the WordPress and its plugins as soon as there are new releases. As they are opensource, it is vulnerable and especially you do not have any protection. If you are unable to spare the time to monitor and execute this, I will suggest you look for an alternative CMS. Frankly speaking, all opensource CMS has this nature in common. They are vulnerable and hacking is always possible. Tus, protection like Sucuri Firewall Pro is a must.

g. Backup your WordPress website, as often as you made changes. The backup will restore the website in the event if the website is hacked or any incompatibility of plugins. You never know when you will need them. But a backup can save you from a lot of works.

Control panel providers have made life easier to install WordPress into your website. Yes, it is not difficult to install. The problems will start to come when you are maintaining it. In my opinion, it is easy to start but not straightforward at all to maintain it or choosing a right platform isn’t easy. I have seen most WordPress sites are slow. There are a few plugins may help by implementing caching. Again, if you are working with limited resources, you have to avoid heavy plugin like woocommerce for example.