How to Verify A Connection is Secure Using OpenSSL

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What is OpenSSL?

OpenSSL is a free and open-source software cryptography library that provides cryptographic functionality to applications to ensure secure internet communication. It is widely used on many server applications, and it is available for most Unix-like operating systems (including Solaris, Linux, Mac OS X, the four open-source BSD operating systems), OpenVMS and Microsoft Windows.

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Choosing An SSL Certificate

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Which one is right for you? 

You have invested your time and money and worked hard to build the perfect website that clearly reflects the amazing features of all of your products. You are finally ready to launch but, you also want to ensure that when your clients go to buy one of your products, their transactions are safe and secure. You may be thinking to yourself…  Continue reading “Choosing An SSL Certificate”

How to Setup Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 18.04

Reading Time: 3 minutesSites with SSL are needed more and more every day. Its ubiquitous enforcement challenges website encryption and is even an effort that Google has taken up. Certbot and Let’s Encrypt are popular solutions for big and small businesses alike because of the ease of implementation.  Certbot is a software client that can be downloaded on a server, like one of our Ubuntu VPS servers, to install and auto-renew SSLs. It obtains these SSLs by working with the well known SSL provider called Let’s Encrypt. In this tutorial, we’ll be showing you a swift way of getting HTTPS enabled on your site.  Let’s get started! Continue reading “How to Setup Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 18.04”

How to Redirect URLs Using Nginx

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What is a Redirect?

A redirect is a web server function that will redirect traffic from one URL to another. Redirects are an important feature when the need arises. There are several different types of redirects, but the more common forms are temporary and permanent. In this article, we will provide some examples of redirecting through the vhost file, forcing a secure HTTPS connection, redirection to www and non-www as well as the difference between temporary and permanent redirects.
Note
As this is an Nginx server, any .htaccess rules will not apply. If your using the other popular web server, Apache, you’ll find this article useful.

Common Methods for Redirects

Temporary redirects (response code: 302 Found) are helpful if a URL is temporarily being served from a different location. For example, these are helpful when performing maintenance and can redirect users to a maintenance page. However, permanent redirects (response code: 301 Moved Permanently) inform the browser there was an old URL that it should forget and not attempt to access anymore. These are helpful when content has moved from one place to another.  

How to Redirect

When it comes to Nginx, that is handled within a .conf file, typically found in the document root directory of your site(s), /etc/nginx/sites-available/directory_name.conf. The document root directory is where your site’s files live and it can sometimes be in the /html if you have one site on the server. Or if your server has multiple sites it can be at /domain.com.  Either way that will be your .conf file name. In the /etc/nginx/sites-available/ directory you’ll find the default file that you can copy or use to append your redirects. Or you can create a new file name html.conf or domain.com.conf.
Note
If you choose to create a new file be sure to update your symbolic links in the /etc/nginx/sites-enabled. With the command: ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/domain.com.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/domain.com.conf
The first example we’ll cover is redirection of a specific page/directory to the new page/directory. Temporary Page to Page Redirect server { # Temporary redirect to an individual page rewrite ^/oldpage$ http://www.domain.com/newpage redirect; } Permanent Page to Page Redirect server { # Permanent redirect to an individual page rewrite ^/oldpage$ http://www.domain.com/newpage permanent; } Permanent www to non-www Redirect server { # Permanent redirect to non-www server_name www.domain.com; rewrite ^/(.*)$ http://domain.com/$1 permanent; } Permanent Redirect to www server { # Permanent redirect to www server_name domain.com; rewrite ^/(.*)$ http://www.newdomain.com/$1 permanent; } Sometimes the need will arise to change the domain name for a website. In this case, a redirect from the old sites URL to the new sites URL will be very helpful in letting users know the domain was moved to a new URL. The next example we’ll cover is redirecting an old URL to a new URL. Permanent Redirect to New URL server { # Permanent redirect to new URL server_name olddomain.com; rewrite ^/(.*)$ http://newdomain.com/$1 permanent; } We’ve added the redirect using the rewrite directive we discussed earlier. The ^/(.*)$ regular expression will use everything after the / in the URL. For example, http://olddomain.com/index.html will redirect to http://newdomain.com/index.html. To achieve the permanent redirect, we add permanent after the rewrite directive as you can see in the example code. When it comes to HTTPS and being fully secure it is ideal for forcing everyone to use https:// instead of http://. Redirect to HTTPS server { # Redirect to HTTPS listen      80; server_name domain.com www.domain.com; return      301 https://example.com$request_uri; } After these rewrite rules are in place, testing the configuration prior to running a restart is recommended. Nginx syntax can be checked with the -t flag to ensure there is not a typo present in the file. Nginx Syntax Check nginx -t If nothing is returned the syntax is correct and Nginx has to be reloaded for the redirects to take effect. Restarting Nginx service nginx reload For CentOS 7 which unlike CentOS 6, uses systemd: systemctl restart nginx

Redirects on Managed WordPress/WooCommerce

If you are on our Managed WordPress/WooCommerce products, redirects can happen through the /home/s#/nginx/redirects.conf file. Each site will have their own s# which is the FTP/SSH user per site. The plugin called ‘Redirection’ can be downloaded to help with a simple page to page redirect, otherwise the redirects.conf file can be utilized in adding more specific redirects as well using the examples explained above. Due to the nature of a managed platform after you have the rules in place within the redirects.conf file, please reach out to support and ask for Nginx to be reloaded. If you are uncomfortable with performing the outlined steps above, contact our support team via chat, ticket or a phone call.  With Managed WordPress/WooCommerce you get 24/7 support available and ready to help you!

How To Change Website Name in WordPress

Reading Time: 2 minutesYou may have noticed, when transferring a website, that the URL is still stuck on the old site even though you have changed the virtual host file to reflect the new domain name. Or you may see the URL entirely greyed out in your WordPress portal. This mismatch can happen if you can’t change the URL within WordPress to reflect the new site name. In this tutorial, we will show you how to change the URL through the database. Continue reading “How To Change Website Name in WordPress”

Enabling Let’s Encrypt for AutoSSL on WHM based Servers

Reading Time: 2 minutesWith the recent release of cPanel & WHM version 58 there has been the addition of an AutoSSL feature, this tool can be used to automatically provide Domain Validated SSL’s for domains on your WHM & cPanel servers. Initially this feature was released with support provided for only cPanel (powered by Comodo) based SSL certificates, with the plans to support more providers as things progressed. As of now, cPanel & WHM servers running version 58.0.17, and above, can now also use Let’s Encrypt as an SSL provider. Continue reading “Enabling Let’s Encrypt for AutoSSL on WHM based Servers”

Useful Command Line for Linux Admins

Reading Time: 11 minutesThe command line terminal, or shell on your Linux server, is a potent tool for deciphering activity on the server, performing operations, or making system changes. But with several thousand executable binaries installed by default, what tools are useful, and how should you use them safely? Continue reading “Useful Command Line for Linux Admins”

Will my site be marked unsafe in Chrome 56+?

Reading Time: 3 minutesLately there’s been a lot of speculation about Googles up-coming changes to how sites without an SSL are going to be treated. As January draws towards a close we have seen an increase in customers with concerns of how this will affect their site. Both in terms of people being able to see it and how it might affect their search ranking. This article aims to clear up some of the confusion and to demystify the changes. If you are unfamiliar with how SSL/TLS or HTTPS works please take a look at our article on the subject. If you aren’t interested in how these changes came about feel free to skip down to: How These Changes Affect Your Site Continue reading “Will my site be marked unsafe in Chrome 56+?”

How does an SSL work?

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httpVShttpsWhat is an SSL?

An SSL (or Secure Socket Layer) is the standard method for creating an encrypted link between a web browser and a web server. This secure link ensures that data passed between the browser and the web server are private. Every single day 100s of terabytes of data are being transferred across the internet. In fact, based on Intel’s 2012 report, nearly 640K GB of data is transferred every single minute. That’s more than 204 million Emails, 47,000 app downloads, 1.3 million YouTube videos watched and 6 million Facebook views. We’re talking about a seriously massive amount of data here. So, how do we know if that data is being transferred securely? Enter the SSL/TLS protocols. Continue reading “How does an SSL work?”

How To Set up Domain Redirects in cPanel

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