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January 2016

What you need to know about PHP7

1. What is PHP7?

PHP7 is the next major update to the PHP programming language that powers most of the internet. It’s upcoming release will mark over 11 years since the initial release of PHP5.

2. What happened to php 6?

PHP6 was (and still is) a very large and highly publicized project/branch of the PHP project. It is not related to the upcoming PHP7 release and risked creating confusion for both the developers and users alike. A vote was taken from 7/23/2014-7/30/2014 to determine the name of the successor to PHP5 (latest branch being 5.6). PHP7 was selected with 58 votes vs. only 24 votes for calling it PHP6.

3. What are the benefits of PHP7?

Performance improvements and security are the underlying goals of PHP7. In fact, PHP7 has been tested to perform twice faster than the current latest PHP branch (PHP5.6). Specifically for WordPress, the same server can handle more than double the requests/second with PHP7.

php7-wordpress-testing

4. Backwards compatibility: Is my script/site compatible?

Being a major release, there is a big potential for older scripts to break or not work properly. Amongst the bigger changes in PHP7, asp-style tags (<% %>) will no longer be supported, so you would have to make sure all the php tags follow the proper format ). Major CMS’s like WordPress, Magento, etc.. already use coded that is compatible with PHP7 so no further action will be needed. However, it’s always useful to keep in mind any custom themes or plugins you installed in your CMS and checking to make sure those are still being maintained and updated.

5. PHP 7 Release Date

PHP 7.0.0 was released on 12/3/2015 and then updated to PHP 7.0.1 on 12/17/2015. However, it will take some time for the major hosting platforms to start supporting it. At T35 Hosting, we plan to roll out PHP7 within the next couple of weeks as we finish our own internal testing to make sure none of our clients are negatively impacted. cPanel, the leading hosting platform, is planning on rolling out support for it by the end of February, at which point it will be much easier for web hosts to implement.

Website Offline or Overloaded due to Exposure/Traffic?

Huge exposure for your business can be the best news ever – but only if your website can sustain the traffic. We’ve had several clients who got TV exposure that instantly brought their site traffic from hundreds of visitors per day to millions. Earlier today we had just that kind of situation where a small site got exposure on several nation TV networks and brought their traffic to over 100 hits/second. Luckily, we never oversell our servers and always have reserve capacity to handle these kind of situations. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with most other web hosts and we’ve gotten tons of SOS calls from clients over the years in these kind of situations.

So how does this all look like at the server level? First, apache takes the brunt of the initial hit since it’s the first server-level interaction the visitor makes (before php exectures and mysql loads).

This is how it looks with over 100 requests/sec:

apache-stats

Here’s how it looks over-time:

apache_accesses-week

CPU usage impact:

cpu-day

Memory usage impact:

memory-day

Bandwidth impact:

mrtg-spike

Most businesses don’t get to pick and choose when they get national attention. It pays to be prepared and not to miss your golden opportunity. Luckily this user was on T35 Hosting and was able to take advantage of the national attention and is now in buy-out talks to sell his business for millions. Although, these kind of situations are rare, it pays to be prepared – you never know when your business & website will take off.

T35 Hosting Tier 1 Data Center & Security

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All of our servers have been hosted out of the NYC-Metro Tier-1 Data Center since 2002. Located on the Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus New Jersey, we have access to the top bandwidth providers in the NYC-metro and North East corridor. The Tier-1 Data Center offers the best possible combination of premium bandwidth, security, and reliability.

The facility features:

– 6,500 Sq Ft. Datacenter
– (4) HVAC Units Totaling 80 Tons
– Overhead A/C Ducts for Air Distribution
– Pre-action Dry Pipe Sprinkler System
– ADT Security Badge Entrance
– 2,000 AMPS of 480v Input Power
– (2) 500KVA Powerware UPS units

The Data Center is staffed 24/7 and has surveillance monitoring at all times. It’s equipped to handle several days of power outage with backup diesel generators and has several backup internet uplinks for maximum reliability and security. The datacenter features a 100% power up-time guarantee and a 99.9% network up-time guarantee.

Below you’ll find the exact server that this blog post is loading from as we speak!

data-center-server

cPanel Video Tutorials

Did you ever need some help with cPanel? Or have you not used it for a while and need a refresher? Good news! The folks at cPanel actually put together some great tutorials that are useful for both beginners and intermediate users. Check them out!

cPanel 11.x Video Tutorials

cpanel

MySQL

A guide to creating and modifying MySQL databases in cPanel.

Quality: High | Low

Change Style

A quick guide on changing the look and feel of cPanel to fit your personal style.

Quality: High | Low

Updating Your Contact Information

Change your contact information as well as preferences.

Quality: High | Low

Shortcuts

Easily access your cPanel by adding cPanel shortcuts to your desktop or browser’s bookmarks toolbar.

Quality: High | Low

Subdomains

Learn all about creating and managing subdomains.

Quality: High | Low

MySQL Wizard

Create and manage MySQL databases with this step by step wizard.

Quality: High | Low

Addon Domains

Learn about creating and managing addon domains.

Quality: High | Low

Parked Domains

Learn about creating and managing parked domains.

Quality: High | Low

Redirects

Learn how to make a specific web page redirect to another page and display the contents of that page with redirects

Quality: High | Low

Change Password

Change the main password for your account.

Quality: High | Low

Password Protect Directories

Learn how to limit access to a certain part of your site by requiring a user name and password to access a folder or folders from the web.

Quality: High | Low

GnuPG Keys

Generate or import GnuPG Keys to encrypt messages using a “public key” that can only be decrypted by a “private key”, which is retained by the intended recipient of the message.

Quality: High | Low

Hotlink Protection

Prevents other websites from directly linking to files on your website.

Quality: High | Low

IP Deny Manager

Block a range of IP addresses to prevent them from accessing your site.

Quality: High | Low

Site Software

Blogs, Bulletin Boards, CMS, Chat, Ecommerce, and more!

Quality: High | Low

SSH/Shell Access

Manage your SSH keys to allow automation when logging in via SSH.

Quality: High | Low

T35 Free Hosting 1997-2012

A common question we get here: what happened to t35 free hosting? Great question! T35 was originally started back in 1997 as a free hosting provider, with paid hosting services rolling out a few years later. Although we ultimately discontinued free hosting almost 4 years ago, it was a part of our core services for from 1997 to 2012 (over 15 years!). Like many other free host providers we ultimately had to discontinue the service due to abuse, but let’s take a walk down memory lane and re-visit T35 Hosting during the free hosting years (1997-2012).

T35 Hosting 1999
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T35 Hosting 2001
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T35 Hosting 2004
t35-2004

T35 Hosting 2008
t35-2008

T35 Hosting 2010
t35-2009

T35 Hosting 2012
t35-2012

Were you among our 1 million+ free hosting clients pre-2012? Drop us a line, we’re still here! While our core services have slightly changed, our premise is the same. We’re here to help you succeed by providing the best hosting solutions.

Amazon S3 Cloud Backups

All web hosts claim to offer data protection and backups, but do you really need them? And which are the best? At T35 Hosting we only provide the best and include off-site Amazon S3 Cloud Backups with all hosting plans. Below you will find a comparison of the different levels of backups typically offered with your hosting.

Raid vs. Backups vs. Off-Site Cloud Backups

When talking about data protection there are 3 different levels and types.

RAID: Although often grouped with Backups, RAID offers redundancy, and is not a true backup solution. The way RAID works is that a single hard drive failure will not cause data loss. However, if a site is hacked or you accidentally delete a file, there is no previous revisions of the data to restore from. Nevertheless, RAID is an important feature and all of our hard drives run in a RAID-10 setup for maximum speed and reliability.

Standard Backups: The most typical offering by web hosts, this offers backups that are stored on a secondary drive in the same server. Although this offers restore solutions from a basic hacking or file deletion, it is a very mediocre solution. Situations of physical damage to the server or data center, hackings of the entire server, or power surges/outages will results in permanent data loss.

Amazon Cloud Backups: Included on all of our hosting plans, Amazon Cloud Backups are the ultimate in backup solutions. Accounts are encrypted and securely transmitted to the Amazon S3 Cloud for storage. Amazon, a pioneer in the cloud storage space, offers the most redundant and reliable storage solutions on the planet. All data is secured and can survive almost any catastrophic situation.

Amazon S3 Redundancy

amazon-s3

Website & Web Hosting Speed Test

All web hosts claim they are fast, but what does that mean? And how can a web host provide the quickest loading websites?

Web Hosting Technology

To have a fast loading website you need a combination of a couple of things:

Hardware: You need the latest and greatest in terms of hardware. Most importantly, for ultimate speed you need to be running enterprise-level SSD drives in a RAID-10 configuration. That’s something we do on all of our servers. The ensures that the data loading from the server hard drives loads without any delay. Traditional non-SSD hard drives can make websites load up to a second slower, which makes all the difference in today’s fast-loading world. Additionally, you need to be running the latest processors (the more core’s the better) and adequate amounts of ram. With enough ram, MySQL temp tables can be put completely into memory, increasing the speed of MySQL queries.

Software: Now all operating systems and http frameworks are made equal. We run a custom built Linux OS, with a custom optimized version of Apache bundled with FCGI for faster page loads, faster php executions and faster overall websites.

Optimizations: You can’t optimized a server to be the fastest at multiple platforms. For this reason, we custom build and optimized each server for each specific CMS. For example, Magento servers run a custom flavor of MySQL and are specifically built from the ground up to be optimized for Magento level queries.

Network: You can have the best hardware, most optimized server, and the best support – but if you’re hosted on a second-tier network, your sites will load slow. Our data center uses only tier-1 upstream bandwidth providers to make sure your site loads fast from everywhere in the world.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

So how do we compare? We pitted ourselves against the biggest web hosts in the world – specifically those that claim to offer the fastest hosting. In the end, the numbers speak for themselves:

#1. T35 Hosting 0.7s, 97/100, faster than 95% of all tested websites
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#2. RackSpace 2.64, 75/100, faster than 60% of all tested websites
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#3. HostGator 2.97s, 62/100, faster than 55% of all tested websites
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#4. BlueHost, 3.06s, 74/100, faster than 54% of all tested websites
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#5. MediaTemple 3.37s, 73/100, faster than 49% of all tested websites
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What’s the Difference Between Shared and Managed Hosting?

Shared and managed hosting are two of the main options available to host your website. Traditionally, managed hosting has been more applicable to a CMS platforms like WordPress and Magento where a certain degree of management is required for those that are not as familiar with the technical details of the CMS. However, a management component can be applied to almost any kind of hosting where the web hosting provider is able to provide extra support in setting up and maintaining the client website. At T35 Hosting, all hosting plans are “managed”, providing for the best hosting experience. Below is a quick comparison of regular shared hosting with managed hosting.

Shared Hosting

The most widely recognized kind of hosting, shared hosting is what you’ll find when you go to most major providers like GoDaddy and is often priced at just a few dollars a month. Websites hosted this way literally share server space with tens of thousands of other users, sharing the server resources between all the accounts. That means your site is using a piece of the disk space, processor speed, memory and bandwidth offered by the server while competing with tens of thousands of other accounts for the same resources.

While this setup is useful when you’re just starting out and your site is small, it can become a problem when traffic picks up or if another site hosted on the server begins to grow. There’s only so much server power to go around, and too much usage from any single user will result in slower response times or even downtime for others.

Perhaps even more importantly there is a matter of security. With so many users sharing the same hardware, if just one website has a problem with site security, all the others could be at risk. To limit this, shared hosting providers often put restrictive limits on inodes, cpu usage and much more. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always help overcome the consequences of having tens of thousands of websites on a single server.

Managed Hosting

With a managed hosting account, you get what is often known as application-level management from the web host. Everything from the physical server to the programming is designed specifically to support a single application such as WordPress. That means the staff handling the infrastructure knows exactly how to take care of it to provide the best possible user experience. Additionally, the site will load quicker and more reliably since it’s on a platform specifically optimized for that CMS.

Managed hosting accounts typically have much less clients on each server to offer a more premium experience. Where most budget shared hosting plans will cram thousands or tens of thousands of clients on a server, managed hosting accounts usually have only 5-50 clients on a single server. This hosting environment can also handle a lot more traffic without sacrificing speed, making it a good choice if you’re using your site for business (where a slow or down website can cost you money).

Ultimately, you pay more for managed hosting than shared, but you get more in terms of speed, reliability, uptime and security. At T35 Hosting, we only offer managed hosting. This ensures that your website is fast, secure, reliable and always up.