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Sep 17, 2020

Introducing Productivity Tools in the ICDSoft Account Panel

We are excited to introduce a brand new section in the ICDSoft Account Panel - Productivity.

The ICDSoft Account Panel is your one-stop place to manage all services and features offered by ICDSoft. These include web hosting accounts, domain names, SSL certificates, Advanced Security, Extended Backups, and all features of our partner programs - Reseller and Affiliate.

Today we are bringing the first major feature of the Productivity section - SSH Access. The new SSH functionality allows you to quickly create new SSH keys or add existing ones for accessing your hosting accounts. You can easily add a key to all your existing accounts at once, and also enable an "auto" option which will automatically add this key to new accounts you purchase/create.

The Video Conference section has been moved to the Productivity section. The Video Conference feature was added several months ago, and allows ICDSoft Account Panel users to create and host online video meetings, completely free.

What is SSH?

SSH is an encrypted network protocol that enables features such as command-line access to your hosting accounts and secure file uploads over SFTP. With SSH, you can easily manage the files and folders in your account, work on scripts, connect to your Git repositories, manage your web applications, etc.

Keep in mind that the command-line interface (CLI) is a very powerful tool, and an erroneous command can quickly cause damage. While this may be disruptive to a live site, at ICDSoft we've got you covered. We keep full backups of all hosting accounts for seven days on shared plans, for 15 days on VPS plans, and for up to 12 months on accounts with an activated Extended Backup service, so you can easily restore the account data.

Connecting over SSH

You can configure only key-based access via the ICDSoft Account Panel. While you can configure password-based access on individual accounts via their hosting Control Panels, we do recommend the use of the more secure key-based authentication mechanism.

To connect, you need to import your private key into your SSH client. The process is different for each SSH client, so we recommend that you check the manual of your SSH client for the exact process. Our support team at https://www.suresupport.com can also help you.

Here are a few common use cases for SSH

Managing WordPress - WP-CLI

All ICDSoft accounts include a handy tool for managing WordPress installations - WP-CLI (https://wp-cli.org/).
With WP-CLI, you can easily update your WordPress version over the command line, edit WordPress users, or change WordPress settings. WP-CLI is an extremely useful tool when debugging WordPress problems, as you can make changes to a site, or extract useful information from it, even when the website and its admin panel are not working properly. We have a guide on using WP-CLI at:

https://www.icdsoft.com/en/kb/view/wp_cli_tutorial

Managing Drupal - Drush and Composer

Drush is a powerful command-line utility that is available on all ICDSoft servers. It is used to manage and control the popular Drupal CMS. For an overview and instructions on how to use Drush, you can check their website at:

https://www.drush.org/

Composer, which is another popular tool for command-line management of Drupal sites, is also available on our servers.

Composer - package manager for your PHP projects

Composer is a popular package manager for PHP. Up until now, you had to install Composer manually. With the release of the SSH Productivity tool, we have also installed Composer on all ICDSoft servers, so you can use it right away. You can check the Composer Getting Started guide for more information on this useful tool:

https://getcomposer.org/

Using Git for version control

Whether you develop custom applications or build websites with WordPress or another application, Git is an indispensable tool for the developer. On all ICDSoft plans, you can create repositories for your projects via the hosting Control Panel. For information on how to use Git on your hosting account, please check our online documentation at:

https://www.icdsoft.com/en/kb/view/git

We also have an article that describes how you can deploy changes to your website from your Git repository:

https://www.icdsoft.com/en/kb/view/using_git_to_push_changes_to_your_live_website

WebApps - SureApp

Another common use case for SSH access is managing your WebApps services. WebApps is a functionality of our VPS and WebApps hosting plans. It allows you to run applications built with technologies such as Node.Js, Django, Redis, MongoDB, etc. Our hosting Control Panel already includes a visual interface for managing the WebApps functionality, but you can also use the command-line tool - sureapp.

More information and installation instructions for various apps using our WebApps service can be found at:

https://www.icdsoft.com/en/kb/webapps_node_js

Investigating and cleaning up after a hacking incident

SSH is an indispensable tool when investigating hacking incidents and cleaning up hacked websites. This topic is covered in detail in the following two articles from our blog:

https://www.icdsoft.com/blog/how-to-investigate-a-wordpress-hacking-incident/
https://www.icdsoft.com/blog/how-to-clean-up-a-hacked-wordpress-site/

Best regards,
The ICDSoft Team

Aug 25, 2020

Meet SocialSync - Our Social Media Backup Service and Site Generator

Social media networks have become an integral part of our lives. Over time, however, the content we create there gets lost and forgotten. Furthermore, keeping track of our posts and content is quite cumbersome when we have several profiles with different social media platforms. And have you ever considered what would happen if some social network decides to simply lock you out of your account or even suspend/delete it for whatever reason? You would no longer have control over your data, and all your content would be gone.

And what if you wanted to do something more with all the posts and content you have accumulated in your social media profiles? Something like creating a digital album that you can share with friends who don't have Facebook accounts for example, or perhaps starting an independent blog that is completely under your control?

Here at ICDSoft we appreciate the service social media networks provide to our society, but we wanted to address some of its inherent disadvantages and at the same time improve its value to our clients and partners. So, without further ado, meet our new service called SocialSync.

What is SocialSync and what does it do?

SocialSync is a social media backup service and site generator. It allows you to back up the social media posts you create along with the media files they contain on the hosting account you have with ICDSoft. You can also use SocialSync to automatically create a site that contains your public posts. Generating a site is optional, and you can think of it as putting your posts into a digital album or a personal blog. Again, all data is stored on your hosting account with us, and you are in complete control of it.

All of this is provided through a convenient interface accessible via your hosting Control Panel. We are starting with support for two of the most popular social networks - Facebook and Instagram. More will follow in the future, so stay tuned!

How can I use SocialSync and do I need to pay extra for it?

SocialSync is a free service that comes with every ICDSoft hosting account. Thus, you only need an active hosting account in order to use SocialSync. The service itself is free, and as long as there is available disk space on your hosting account, SocialSync will automatically synchronize your Facebook media files and posts from the connected social profile.

Where do I start?

First and foremost, make sure you have a hosting account with ICDSoft :) You can then manage all aspects of the SocialSync service via your hosting Control Panel > SocialSync section. From there you can easily connect and back up your social media profiles, generate a live site from your social content, as well as get an overview of your social media activity.

The service is now live, so you can visit the SocialSync section and connect your Facebook and/or Instagram profile to test it. This is the best way to see what SocialSync is all about. If you don't like it, you can simply disconnect your social profile and delete the synchronized data from your hosting account.

Anything else?

We have pretty much covered the essentials here, but you may also want to check our SocialSync page for more information:

SocialSync - The Social Media Backup Service and Site Generator

Aug 5, 2020

SSL Certificates Can Be Purchased for a Maximum of One Year

Most browsers have adopted new policies regarding the validity of newly issued SSL certificates. SSL certificates issued after September 1, 2020 would be considered valid only if they have 398 days or less until expiration.

As a result, all SSL certificates offered by ICDSoft can now be purchased/renewed for a maximum of one year. This change affects all ICDSoft interfaces and customer stores.

Jul 17, 2020

PHP-FPM with OPcache Now Availablе in the US Data Center

Today we completed the third and final stage of the phased rollout of our new PHP execution model. PHP-FPM, combined with the OPcache caching system, is now available at no extra cost to all accounts in the US data center.

Every new hosting account created in the US data center from now on will have PHP-FPM with OPcache enabled by default. ICDSoft customers can easily configure their current accounts to use the new PHP execution model via the hosting Control Panel > PHP Settings section.

This completes the phased rollout of our new method for executing PHP scripts on our servers. Now the PHP-FPM with OPcache technology is available in all three data centers, for all hosting plans, at no additional cost for our clients.

Jul 17, 2020

Server-side Caching Now Available

Following up on our recent introduction of PHP-FPM with OPcache, we are happy to announce the addition of a brand new feature designed to further improve website speed and performance - Server-side Caching.

As of today, both PHP-FPM and Server-side Caching are available at no extra cost to all hosting accounts and all VPS solutions in all data centers.

You can find the PHP-FPM release announcement at:

А New, Faster PHP Execution Model Now Availablе

What is Server-Side Caching?

Our server-side caching mechanism uses an internal NGINX server which handles incoming requests for cached pages. When pages are cached and served by the NGINX server, their delivery speed is increased because each page is served as a static file from the cache instead of being generated on the fly.

The server-side caching mechanism has been tested and is compatible with the most popular software used on our servers - WordPress, and its e-commerce platform - WooCommerce.

The Server-Side Caching feature can be enabled with a single click via the hosting Control Panel > "Server-Side Caching" section.