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  • Boost Your WordPress Performance With WP Rocket Hosting

    One of our main goals at A2 Hosting is to make sure you get the fastest page load speeds possible. WordPress is one of the software solutions in particular we help you speed up. Free SSDs, up to 20X faster Turbo Servers and our A2 Optimized setup featuring WordPress pre-configured with the best performance settings are a few ways we help you get peak performance.


    Our brand new partnership with WP Rocket is another way we're helping to give your WordPress sites an extra boost. In fact A2 Hosting customers get 20% off WP Rocket licenses. Save now!


    What Is WP Rocket?


    WP Rocket is a caching and performance optimization WordPress plugin. Many caching solutions are either difficult to use or are missing essential features. WP Rocket on the other hand is extremely easy to setup even for the newest site owners. It's also loaded with features you look for in other caching solutions and includes many others you can't find anywhere else.


    What Is WP Rocket Caching?


    WP Rocket gives you the ability to turn on page caching for your WordPress site. To understand how caching works, it's important to understand that your WordPress site's content that your visitors see is stored in a database. A PHP script is run when your site is visited to request this content from the database.


    Caching creates a static version of your website, consisting of commonly and previously accessed data, that doesn't require the retrieval of this information from the database. This improves the performance of your site because the PHP script doesn't have to re-load each time your site is accessed.


    WP Rocket Features & Benefits


    WP Rocket is loaded with a ton of other features aside from their high powered caching. Just a few of these features include:

    • LazyLoad – Increases page speeds by loading images as your visitors scroll down the page. This is instead of loading images that your visitors may never see.
    • Defer JS Loading – Reduces page load times by loading your JavaScript files after your page has rendered.
    • eCommerce Compatible – Many eCommerce sites are unable to use caching solutions. WP Rocket on the other hand is perfect for WooCommerce and other shopping cart solutions because the cart and checkout pages are automatically excluded from caching.
    • DNS Prefetching – Reduces the latency of external files by anticipating DNS resolution of external domains from your site.
    • Multisite, multilingual and CloudFlare compatible
    • Gzip - Reduces transfer times by compressing your style sheets and pages before sending them to the requested browser.


    Ready to give your WordPress site that extra boost with all of these performance features? Get started now with our blazing fast WP Rocket Hosting!

  • Drupal 8 – What You Need To Know

    With the upcoming release of Drupal 8 on November 19th, Drupal users have something extra to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. After all, it's been almost 5 years since the release of Drupal 7.0. While Drupal 7 included many improvements and new futures compared to its previous versions, the same can be said about Drupal 8. What are some of these improvements?


    Improved Authoring

    The main improvement that Drupal is touting in version 8 is the authoring system. You may have heard of or even used the Drupal 7 distribution called Spark. The goal of Spark was ultimately to allow field testing of its authoring system features in live environments. Many of Drupal 8's authoring improvements stem from Spark because its features were rolled into core. These improvements include:

    • A responsive toolbar that works well on your mobile device
    • Image uploads directly from the editor
    • An improved WYSIWYG solution
    • Improved dual column content editor screen
    • Easier editing of blocks and nodes


    Mobile Friendly

    All of the built-in Drupal 8 themes are responsive, providing an excellent viewing experience for all of your site visitors. With HTML5 being very important for making your site fully functional on mobile devices, HTML5 is now included in Drupal v8.


    Improved Views

    The popular View addon module was used by many users to generate lists, posts, tables etc. Due to its popularity and functionality, the View addon has been included into the Drupal core.


    Enhanced Templates

    Drupal 8 features the Twig template engine for PHP. Using Twig means templates are written with an intuitive syntax as well as offering improved security.


    If you're looking for a place to host Drupal 8, choose the provider that even Drupal recommends to their users. That's A2 Hosting! Your hosting account features Drupal pre-installed on blazing fast, reliable servers and includes around the clock Guru Crew support.

  • What Is RankBrain & Why Should I Care?

    Fix all thin content. Check. Use disavow tool to remove bad links. Check. What's next on the SEO checklist? Learn about RankBrain and why it has become the third-most important Google ranking signal.


    RankBrain is Google's artificial intelligence system that is interpreting a large percentage of search queries through machine learning. Machine learning is very much what it sounds like. It is a computer program that that can teach itself and change based on the data it is presented. RankBrain embeds huge quantities of written language into math algorithms so they can be understood by a computer. If RankBrain comes across a search term or phrase it's unfamiliar with, it can use its data to take a guess at what term or phrase has a similar meaning and arrange its results accordingly. Essentially it attempts to predict search intent.


    RankBrain's goal is to manage questions that Google has never seen before. Brand new search queries account for 15% of all searches. Current statistics show Google processes 3 billion searches daily. That means 450 million are brand new search queries Google has never seen before. It was obvious there had to be an automated process for handling these brand new queries. Enter RankBrain. The fact it can track what results are being clicked on based on the search term without a Google employee having to manually code this into their system is especially helpful.


    RankBrain is quite accurate according to preliminary tests. Google engineers were shown web pages. They were asked to predict which page should appear at the top of Google results based on a given keyword. The engineers were correct 70% of the time. RankBrain was correct 80% of the time.


    So what does this mean for your site's search rankings, especially if signals sent from RankBrain is Google's third highest ranking signal? In short it shouldn't impact you and your site too much quite yet because at this stage it's more of an improvement for Google searchers. It's intended to help Google stay current on new queries, slang and topics that are trending.


    If we absolutely have to predict how RankBrain will impact your site, my best guess at this point is that as RankBrain becomes smarter, it will actually reward you for doing SEO the correct way by needing less human intervention for penalizing sites that are doing SEO the black hat way. As long as you're staying away from those black hat tactics, RankBrain should actually provide you with an advantage over your competitors.


    Stay tuned! Things could get interesting! 

  • Tell Your Friends About Us – Earn A $50 Credit!

    As an A2 Hosting customer, did you know you can earn a $50 hosting credit for referring new customers to us? It's all a part of the A2 Hosting Refer-A-Friend program. Best of all, you don't even have to sign up for the program! Each A2 Hosting customer already has a Refer-A-Friend link found right in the Client Area of their My A2 Hosting account. That means whenever you have a friend, customer, family member, neighbor or colleague who needs hosting, you can just send them your Refer-A-Friend link and earn your $50 hosting credit!


    A similar program I manage at A2 Hosting is our Affiliate Program. One of the most common questions our affiliate members ask is whether it's possible to convert their Affiliate Program commissions into hosting credits. Unfortunately it's not really possible. That's why I normally recommend that all future referrals from the customer asking that question be made through our Refer-A-Friend program.


    Don't get me wrong; our Affiliate Program is an excellent way to earn a nice chunk of change each month. Many of our affiliates receive a nice payment from us each month! Our Refer-A-Friend program just provides you with a quick and easy alternative opportunity to earn on your referrals. Here's how:


    1. Log into your My A2 Hosting account to copy your custom Refer-A-Friend link. You'll find your link below your Account Overview.
    2. Post your Refer-A-Friend link on your social media sites or email your link to your acquaintances who need hosting.
    3. For each person who clicks your custom link and purchases a new hosting account, a $50 credit is automatically added to your account. You'll even receive an email when your account is credited with the $50 once the account you referred has been active for 30-days.
  • Keeping Your Site Secure Is More Important Than Ever

    Google has begun to roll out algorithm updates intended to remove hacked site spam from their search results. The goal of these updates is to help keep their searchers and users safe by removing these potentially harmful sites from their search results.


    What are hackers looking to gain by compromising a site? Their goals include adding malware downloads to the site, sending traffic to low quality sites, promoting adult content and selling illegal products.


    Google says that the update will eventually impact roughly 5% of queries. That's huge a number! Compare this to Penguin, one of the largest and most talked about Google updates in recent memory . Penguin impacted just 3% of searches. You definitely don't want your site to get hacked in the first place. You certainly don't want to be removed from Google's listings.


    It's more important than ever to keep your site secure. There is a whole laundry list of things you can do to help keep your site secure. Below are five major tasks that will significantly improve your site's security. It's likely you could complete all of them within the next hour.


    • Use secure login passwords
    • Keep your software up to date
    • Keep plugins and themes up to date and uninstall any you're not using
    • Use captcha on login pages (and comment pages when applicable)
    • Use Google Webmaster tools to be informed when Google suspects potential compromises on your site
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