Inception Hosting – Shared hosting starting around $1/year and more!

Anthony from over at Inception Hosting is back after quite a few years of silence. They have submitted three various shared hosting plans that all seem like awesome deals hosted out of their London, UK location! One of the key features to point out here is that these plans include Cloudflare Railgun ($200 value) at a VERY low price!

You can find their ToS/Legal Docs here. They accept PayPal, Debit/Credit cards via Stripe and Crypto via Coingate as payment methods.

Here’s what they had to say: 

“Inception Hosting Limited was established in January 2011, the company was setup in response to what seemed to be a generally mediocre level of service in the budget side of the industry.

Now in 3 locations around the world the primary base of the company is in budget KVM and OpenVZ VPS services, Inception Hosting is also now official CloudFlare partner so is able to offer excellent value cPanel based shared hosting in London with plans to expand in to the Netherlands and the USA in the near term future.”

Here are the offers: 


  • 1 Domain
  • 1GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
  • 100GB Data Transfer
  • 1 MySQL/Maria Database
  • 5 Email Accounts
  • Litespeed/CloudLinux
  • JetBackup/Cloudflare Railgun
  • Softaculous/Attracta SEO Tools
  • SpamScan/DDoS Protection
  • PHP 7/MariaDB
  • Daily Offsite Backups
  • Free SSL
  • €1.00 p/year
  • [ORDER]


  • 10 Addon Domains
  • 2GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
  • Unmetered Data Transfer
  • Unlimited MySQL/Maria Databases
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Litespeed/CloudLinux
  • JetBackup/Cloudflare Railgun
  • Softaculous/Attracta SEO Tools
  • SpamScan/DDoS Protection
  • PHP 7/MariaDB
  • Daily Offsite Backups
  • Free SSL
  • €5.00 p/year
  • [ORDER]


  • 20 Addon Domains
  • 5GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
  • Unmetered Data Transfer
  • Unlimited MySQL/Maria Databases
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Litespeed/CloudLinux
  • JetBackup/Cloudflare Railgun
  • Softaculous/Attracta SEO Tools
  • SpamScan/DDoS Protection
  • PHP 7/MariaDB
  • Daily Offsite Backups
  • Free SSL
  • €7.00 p/year
  • [ORDER]


Datacenter: Clouvider – London
Looking glass:

Please let us know if you have any questions/comments and enjoy!

The post Inception Hosting – Shared hosting starting around $1/year and more! appeared first on Low End Box.

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How to Pick a WordPress Theme

Choosing which theme to use for your WordPress website is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make. In most cases, you’ll stick with the same template for a long time, so it’s not a choice you should take lightly.

When it comes to WordPress themes, you have thousands of options. Whatever type of website you want to build, there’s likely a perfect theme for it out there. The right theme won’t only look amazing, but will also provide you with useful functionality.

In this article, we’ll go over what types of questions you should ask when you’re checking out a new theme and explain what to look for when making your selection. Let’s get right to it!

DreamHost Makes Finding a Theme Easy

In addition to automatic backups, DreamPress Plus and Pro users get access to 200+ premium themes at no added cost!

Why Your Choice of WordPress Theme Matters

If you have any friends who use WordPress (and the numbers say you probably do), ask them how long they’ve been using their current theme. In most cases, the answer will number in years. Changing your WordPress theme can be tricky, as it will radically alter the appearance and even the functionality of your site.

The WordPress theme directory.

Therefore, it’s best to avoid doing it if you can. That means you’ll probably be using the theme you select for many years to come. Your mission: to choose a WordPress theme that has a classic design, suits your site’s goals, and makes upkeep easy. 

Sound like a big undertaking? Let’s break down the process of selecting a theme into easy-to-handle steps.

7 Questions to Ask When Looking for a WordPress Theme

As you might expect, picking out a WordPress theme can take a while. You’ll need to ask yourself several key questions before you get started, so you’ll know exactly what to look for.

1. What Is My Site’s Purpose?

No two WordPress themes are the same. Additionally, most themes are built with very specific types of websites in mind. Therefore, you’ll need to have an idea of what goals you’re trying to accomplish with your site.

What is the site for? To be honest with yourself, you’ll need to be clear on what you’re trying to do with the website. Is it a blog or a community site or a collection of news? You can’t pick the right theme if you don’t know what you want things to look like. Do you need a static front page? Do you need to show a featured post and then a slider? Do you really need that slider? 

— Mika Epstein, DreamHost WordPress Expert

2. Who Is My Audience?

Knowing what type of site you want to build also helps you determine who its audience will be. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to design a website that gets their attention.

Identifying your audience includes researching to find out what their interests are, what types of designs might appeal to them, what features they’ll expect from your website, and more. At this stage, it’s smart to put together a comprehensive target market profile.

3. What Functions Does My Site Need?

Every website requires different functionality. For a blog, you’ll need a way for visitors to find posts, comment on your publications, locate related content, and access your social media channels. With an online store, you’ll have to be able to showcase product descriptions and pictures, let customers leave reviews, and so on.

An example of an e-commerce theme.

With WordPress, you’ll rely on plugins to implement some of that functionality. However, choosing a theme that includes the features you need out of the box can be a significant timesaver.

4. What Do I Want My Site To Look Like?

Usually, the first thing you’ll notice about a theme is what it looks like, and if it fits with your idea of what you want for your website. In most cases, you’ll need to make some changes to any theme you choose, to get it looking just right.

The WordPress Customizer.


However, choosing a theme that’s as close to your vision as possible will make your job a lot easier. You’ll also want a style that’s thematically appropriate for your site and is likely to appeal to your target audience.

5. How Fast Should My Site Load?

If there’s one thing users hate, it’s a slow website. There are a lot of factors that can affect your site’s speed, but the theme you pick plays a significant role. Some themes are better optimized than others, so they tend to be faster across the board.

It can be hard to gauge a theme’s level of optimization without taking it for a test drive. Usually, your best bet is to check user reviews and see if you can find any comments about loading times. This will give you some idea of what to expect.

6. What Is My Budget?

When it comes to WordPress themes, one of the most critical decisions you need to make is whether to go with a free or a premium option. Premium themes tend to pack in a lot more functionality to justify their price tags.

Keep in mind, however, that premium themes aren’t always better. For most types of websites, you’ll find there are fantastic free options that provide everything you need to get started.

7. What Do My Competitors’ Sites Look Like?

Finally, it’s essential to have an idea of what your competitors are doing. That includes everything from the quality of their content to how they interact with visitors and what their websites look like.

In many industries, you’ll find that websites tend to share very similar styles. If your audience expects a specific aesthetic, you’ll need to consider whether you want to provide what they’re looking for or try something unexpected.

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9 Things to Look for When Picking a WordPress Theme

Although every WordPress theme is unique, it’s not difficult to spot the best options if you know what to look for. Now, let’s go over some of the criteria you need to keep in mind when selecting your theme.

1. Simple Layout

Often, you’ll see WordPress themes that showcase an incredibly intricate layout to draw potential users in. Then, once you install the theme, you find out it looks nothing like the demo site. Personally, we’re fans of themes that feature clean lines and simple design. After all, you’ll know they can look great without the need to spend hours tweaking every setting.

2. Responsive Design

These days, mobile users outnumber all other types of browsers. This means that it is essential for your website to look and function well on all mobile devices and screens.

A theme on multiple devices.

Therefore, it’s worth looking for quality, responsive WordPress themes right out of the gate. If your theme includes a fully responsive layout, you don’t have to go to lengths to ensure that mobile users can enjoy the experience.

3. Browser Compatibility

Although most people use the same popular browsers — such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari — they’re far from the only options. There are dozens of browsers you can choose from, and not all of them render content and images in the same way. Good developers will keep this in mind, and ensure that their themes play nicely with most browsers.

4. Supported WordPress Plugins

Plugin compatibility issues can manifest in many ways. If you are picky about the theme and plugins you use, these problems should be few and far between. However, if you have specific plugins in mind for powering key functionality on your website, it’s worth checking to make sure your top theme options are compatible with them.

E-commerce is also a popular niche for WordPress users, and WooCommerce is the number one plugin for implementing that functionality. As such, WooCommerce integration via an e-commerce theme is a key consideration if you want to start an online store. You’re essentially looking for dedicated inner pages and templates to showcase your products seamlessly. Many developers promote that their e-commerce themes are ‘WooCommerce ready,’ so if you see this, you should be prepared to place the theme under further scrutiny. 

5. Translation Ready

There are a lot of tools you can use to translate your WordPress pages and create a multilingual website. However, for this to work, you’ll want to use a theme that’s translation-friendly.

A translation-ready theme.

That means looking for a theme you can use in conjunction with translation plugins, so you don’t have to go through the process manually.

6. Page Builders & New Block Editor Compatibility

These days, a large part of the WordPress community is embracing page builders. WordPress itself is moving in that direction with the new Block Editor. So it’s important that whichever theme you choose works well with drag-and-drop page builders. This can significantly simplify the process of customizing your website.

7. Support Options

If you run into any issues with your theme, it’s always nice to know that you can turn to its developers for advice on how to solve it. Ideally, your theme’s developers should provide you with multiple support channels, and should be active when it comes to helping their users.

8. SEO Friendly

If you want search engines to rank your site highly, then you’ll have to play by their rules. That means following Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices and using a theme that does so as well. An SEO-friendly theme should offer a mix of features including reliable performance, mobile responsiveness, support for Schema data, and more.

9. Ratings and Reviews

A theme’s reviews and ratings are a useful indicator of what to expect. When it comes to popular themes, you’d be surprised at how many user ratings you can find.

Reviews of a WordPress theme.

To get the full picture, we’d recommend looking beyond each theme’s website and doing some quick searches for third-party reviews, which tend to be more thorough and honest.

Where to Find Quality Themes

There are a lot of places to look for top-notch WordPress themes. However, these two sites are an excellent way to get started:

  • The official WordPress website also doubles as the largest repository of free themes, with thousands of options to pick from. Moreover, maintains very high standards for the themes it publishes.
  • ThemeForest: There are a lot of premium theme marketplaces, but sites like ThemeForest have a clear lead when it comes to inventory. There are thousands of choices and most of the popular premium WordPress themes can be found there.

Most premium theme developers also make sales through their own websites. There are a lot of smaller marketplaces that focus on specific types of themes as well. Other interesting options you might want to check out include CSSIgniter and StudioPress.

Every single theme on is checked when it’s submitted. They’re exceptionally good about it. Most themes there are safe as houses to use. And they’re free! 

— Mika Epstein

How to Install a Theme in WordPress

Once you finally settle on the perfect theme, it’s time to go ahead and set it up. Fortunately, WordPress makes that a very simple process.

To install a theme, access your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the Theme > Appearance tab. Once there, select the Add New button at the top of the page.

Installing a WordPress theme.

WordPress will enable you to upload the .zip file you received after purchasing and/or downloading whichever theme you chose. When the file is uploaded, all you have to do is go to the Themes tab and hit the Activate button, and your new theme is ready to go.

Ready to Pick a WordPress Theme?

Themes are one of the key features that make WordPress an amazing platform. You have literally thousands of themes to choose from. Even better, many themes offer more than just aesthetics — they’ll also include features to improve your site.

When it comes to themes, there’s no single option that’s perfect for every user or website. So we recommend that you keep an open mind, remember all the criteria we’ve discussed in this article, and test each theme you consider thoroughly before you decide which one to settle down with.

Are you ready to start using your new theme? You’ll first need to pick a web host and then install WordPress. Fortunately, we have plenty of plans for WordPress users to choose from!

The post How to Pick a WordPress Theme appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

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How to Create a  Freelance Writer Website That Actually Gets You Writing Gigs

The future is freelance. Did you know? By 2020, 50% of the U.S. workforce will do some type of freelance work — and it’s predicted that by 2027, freelancers will make up the majority. Whether you work exclusively freelance or take on additional side projects in conjunction with your full-time work, you’re joining an ever-growing population of successful, flexible, untethered, and creative craftspeople.

What’s more, the innovation and growth of technology have made the work environment more fruitful for freelancers: 64% of freelancers found work online — a 22-point increase in the last five years.

And you freelance writers, bloggers, and web content writers — we see you. We know you’re out there, coloring the world with your beautiful language and lightbulb ideas.

But because freelancers must do their own marketing legwork, you need to take advantage of every tool available to you in building a prolific writing business. One of the biggest weapons in your arsenal? A relevant web presence. Forget scouring the wanted ads to find work — establishing an online presence and showing off a strong virtual CV is vital for getting seen and earning $$$.

How to put your best foot — and word — forward online? A top-of-the-class website. For writers, a killer freelance writer website is a make-it-or-break-it tool for getting you leads on quality writing gigs. And we’re going to show you how to do it. Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide (in case you want to jump ahead):

With a website, you can flaunt your talent and personality, create sustainable sales, build your writing portfolio, and connect with potential and return customers, building your business and financial success — all in one place.

Build Your Online Portfolio with DreamHost

We make sure your freelance writing website is fast, secure and always up so you never miss a gig. Plans start at $2.59/mo.

Why is Having a Good Freelance Writer Website Important?

You’re a writer — you know, good ‘ol pen and paper. Why do you even need a website in the first place? With a well-built freelance writer website, you can:

  • Showcase Your Online Portfolio. One of the most significant advantages of creating a freelance writer website is having a living, breathing portfolio that is easily accessible online. Prospective clients can access your work, and through a broad range of content, get a feel for your style, voice, and writing ability. They can view your previous work and a wealth of relevant content that will help them trust their business to you.
  • Increase Brand Visibility. Your website is a visible showcase of your writing ability and a crucial tool for establishing awareness of your brand. With a powerful online presence, visitors don’t have to go digging around to discover info on your offerings. Not only do you make it possible for people to find you online, but your website also helps you build likability. With great content and engaging content, visitors start to care about you and your work and will entertain the prospect of working with you. It illustrates your legitimacy as a writing professional and helps you position yourself as an authority in your field. By making your work accessible, you broaden your visibility and provide social proof which, in turn, increases your chances of getting rewarding freelance writing work.
  • Strengthen Brand Legitimacy. Let’s be real. Companies without a website or an internet presence tend to raise some red flags in the e-commerce ecosystem, right? Everything’s on the web. These days, a dot com is an essential requirement in the biz world. If internet users can’t find your virtual corner of the web, customers seeking out a particular product or service will instantly think: can we trust that business if they’re not online in an everything-digital age?

It’s a no-brainer that if you want to do business and market a product or service in the world we live in, potential clients need to be able to find you with just a couple of clicks from their browser. So on a very basic level, having a website helps establish your brand as a legitimate business, rather than just operating amateur or letting customers rely on what they gather from your social media presence. What’s more, the better you are at outfitting your site with great content and strong visuals, the more that legitimacy will increase and work in your favor. To bless your bottom line and earn trust from internet visitors, it’s crucial to demonstrate not only your tech-savvy web skills but also your ability to establish a professional and valuable web presence.

We know you’re wondering: Do I have to have a freelance writer website if I’m just getting started? The short answer: No. BUT — having an established site for your freelance writing (your services and a showcasing portfolio) is the best way to build a marketing funnel and establish a legitimate, cohesive, and authoritative brand. It’s a clear way to put your best foot forward and secure quality writing jobs.

OK, but hold up. It’s 2019, you say. Can’t I just use social media, like a LinkedIn company page, instead of a website to promote my writing business? Sure. But a website, even a simple one, is a good idea. With a well-established freelance writer website, you build authority as a brand, and increase your chances of getting seen by potential clients. Plus, you’ll own all the content on your site — something that isn’t always true on social media sites.

Perhaps building a high-performing and snazzy-looking freelance writer website seems like an overwhelming task. But putting in the effort to set up a website is an investment with guaranteed returns.  A site to be admired — and get you hired.

How to Build a Great Freelance Writer Website (7 Steps)

Like we said, creating a great-looking freelance writer website doesn’t have to be rocket science or overly time-intensive. We’ll show you how to set up a website in seven easily-manageable steps.

1. Brand Your Business

Time to pick a name, business owner! If you’re branding yourself and marketing your skills, you can use your own name, but ask yourself a few of the following big-picture questions before nailing down a moniker:

Would you ever sell your business? Even if you’re not entirely sure of your long-term business plan, you probably have an idea if you ever intend to pass the torch on your writing business or include others’ services or products in conjunction with your business.

If you’ve entertained the idea of selling your brand one day or partnering up, don’t brand yourself with your own name. Obviously, that is unique to you and won’t transfer. Also, if your name is difficult to spell, pronounce, or remember, consider the possible confusion using your name might cost your business.

But then again, your personal name might help brand you uniquely as potential clients can differentiate you from other common-name writing businesses. So consider your options before jumping into a brand or business name haphazardly. You never know how you’ll grow, adapt, and change in your freelance writing business. You’ll want to choose carefully in order to set yourself up for long-term success.

Freelance writer at laptop.

2. Choose a Content Management System

Now that you’ve got your brand’s fancy new name tag, you need a content management system (CMS) to facilitate the creation and publication of your content on the web. The best part? You don’t have to know how to program a single line of code to use one! Take WordPress, one of the web’s most popular content management systems out there (it powers 30% of the internet!)

With the WordPress platform, you can create and manage your web content without the pressure of a deep learning curve — you can get a website set up with little-to-no technical know-how.

3. Register a Domain and Set up Hosting 

OK, you’ve decided you want to use WordPress, and you’re full of great content ideas. Good to go, right? Well, first, you need to find your site a home on the web so that visitors can actually view and engage with your content. All those great ideas won’t amount to anything if your website isn’t available online. That means you need two very critical components: a domain and a hosting provider.

A domain is the unique web address where your website can be found. This is what visitors will type into their browser to navigate to your site (for example, Your domain is unique to your website and should match your brand or business name. You should also consider your choice of top-level domain —  meaning .com or .blog or dot-whatever —  in order to position yourself as an authority in search engine rankings. Whatever domain name you choose, you purchase it through a registrar.

Next, you need a hosting provider. Hosting companies sell unique-to-you plans that include space on a server so that your website has a place to live online. Without a server, your website won’t be available to visit. For the best chance at scoring quality gigs, you need a quality hosting provider.

There are a lot of providers out there, but only DreamHost can offer you the best of the best: one-of-a-kind features, high-performance tech, and responsive support. Plus, we make things easy: domain registration and hosting services under one roof and one-click WordPress installs. With Shared Hosting, just check the “Pre-Install WordPress” box during sign-up and boom! We install it for you.

Shared Hosting provides ambitious WordPress beginners everything they need to create a killer freelance writing website that gets them hired. Even better? Our Shared Hosting plans start at just $2.59 per month.

DreamHost’s Shared Hosting

4. Choose a WordPress Theme

Time to outfit your website with a WordPress theme. The theme you select doesn’t just dictate the overall appearance of your site (though it does do that), but it also determines what sort of functionality your site will have. The right theme will allow you to control and customize your website to your exact specifications and niche. Browse the WordPress Theme Directory or search WordPress theme developers to find and install your perfect theme.

WordPress Theme Directory

5. Decide What Content Your Site Needs

So what does your freelance writer website need? What are the must-have content and features relevant to your niche? Time to make a plan. While you have the freedom to customize your website according to your brand and personality, there are a few essential pages that your site should have to set you up for the best possible business success:

  • Homepage: An easy-to-navigate and attractive landing page that can direct visitors and potential clients to important parts of your website.
  • Online Portfolio: Your website should be a solid, structured way to demonstrate your skills as a professional writer. A vital feature — nay, asset —  of your website is an easy-to-find, specially-dedicated portfolio section where you can showcase relevant published work and prove your capabilities as a writer.
  • Services: Nearly 50% of website visitors check out a company’s product or services page before any other sections of the site. That’s big. What do you offer? Give potential clients a clear and detailed description of the specific writing services you offer.
  • About: Don’t be a robot behind the computer screen. Demonstrate your writing chops, let potential clients and visitors get to know you, and help them get acquainted with your unique voice with an engaging and humanizing Get-to-Know-Me section. Showcase your accomplishments and passion for what you do but also share what makes you unique.
  • Contact: How can potential clients get in touch with you? Make your contact information easy to find and use.

Now that you’ve got your essential pages set up, you can go above and beyond to bring your freelance writer website to the next level. While you should avoid non-essentials, you can consider adding the following optional (but helpful) pages:

  • Clients: Name-dropping your current clients on your website is a great way to demonstrate social proof and establish your authority in the field. Think of it as a virtual word-of-mouth recommendation.
Speaker, writer, and consultant Hillary Weiss proudly displays the well-known brands that believe in her work.
  • Testimonials: The power of a good review cannot be overstated, especially in an online environment. Confidently showcasing positive feedback you’ve received from clients in your field about your writing services can be great fodder for snagging new clients and more writing jobs. It’s OK to toot your own horn.
Writer and speaker Colleen M. Story inspires confidence with a visible display of reader testimonials.
  • Blog: In addition to your portfolio, you can showcase your writing chops and your unique voice with a content-rich blog. The extra effort and value you’re providing your visitors with relevant blog content can be an investment with rich returns.
  • Resume: Allow visitors and potential clients to check out a bulleted list of your skills and achievements with an easy-to-view CV.
  • FAQs: If you want to answer potentially common questions about your work or services or provide more specific details to potential clients about what you offer, consider adding a FAQ section.
  • Downloads/Freebies: Making free, downloadable goodies available to your visitors on your site shows that you’re going above and beyond to offer value, demonstrating the high-quality nature of your freelance business.

Lastly, consider pricing: if you want to be explicit on your site about the cost of your services, be transparent, upfront, and confident in the value of your work. Or if you have adjust-to-fit service options, you can keep costs mum and invite interested visitors to contact you for a quote.

6. Create the Content

Time to get creating! You know the adage: content is king. Live by it. You need to fill your website with rich content to attract traffic and prove your worthiness as a business. Fill the content on your must-have pages first, then continue to provide valuable content regularly.

Of just as much importance as creating content is creating it smartly — meaning, using it to get found by potential clients. How to do that? Using keywords. Consider: what are relevant topics and search terms related to your field? Being smart about how you use phrasing and common search terms in your content will allow you to position yourself for good rankings and stronger search engine optimization. So do your research and incorporate common search terms into your content. Use tools like Google’s comprehensive (and free!) Keyword Planner to create high-traffic website content with smart keyword research and build a strong content marketing strategy.

Also, consider the tone of your content. Does it appropriately and uniquely represent your brand? Does it showcase your expertise and/or personality? One of the most marketable tools in your writer repertoire is your voice — use it smartly.

7. Launch

Celebrate! Toast to yourself, do a little dance, pat yourself on the back. You did it! Your website is up and running! You should be proud. We know that having something living, breathing out there on the web can be nerve-wracking. Don’t worry about your website not being perfect. The important thing is that it’s out there.

Remember, you can always perfect and tweak over time. Most importantly, people can start finding you — and you have something you can improve on.

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up Your Writer Website

When you’re starting out with your website, it’s inevitable to face a learning curve. Some things just take time to learn. You will improve over time. But guess what? We want you to succeed —  as soon as possible. So we’re giving you some inside knowledge: a list of thou-shalt-nots when setting up your freelance writer website. Avoid these major whoopsies, and you’ll be one step ahead in attracting quality writing jobs.

1. Bad Visuals

Let’s talk a little science. Did you know 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual? What’s more, 80% of people remember what they see (compared to 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read.) Lastly, know that visuals help grow traffic — content creators who feature visual content grow traffic 12 times faster than those who don’t.

Not having visuals as a part of your freelance writer website is a BIG no-no. But even more, having bad visuals can torpedo your chance at building a successful freelance writing business. Judgments on a company’s credibility are 75% based on the company’s website design, so take seriously the first impression you’re making with your visuals. Your visuals should be reflective of the quality work you offer, proving you trustworthy to potential clients and their money.

To benefit from the traffic-building and engaging powers of excellent visuals, select quality images, a robust visual structure, and remember: white space is good space.

2. CTA Issues

When visitors come to your website, you want them to do something. But if you don’t ask them to do anything, they will click away and you won’t get any business. Not ideal. Even if you have kick-butt writing skills and excellent website design, having confusing, conflicting, or nonexistent CTAs (70% of small biz websites lack a CTA) will damage your chances of growing your business.

So think: what do you need visitors to do to get writing gigs for your business? Whether it’s subscribing to an email list, filling out a contact form, or viewing your portfolio of work, make sure that your CTA is visible, clear, and focused.

Elna of Innovative Ink has a clear CTA front and center — visitors know just what to do.

3. Sloppy Formatting

You’re not just a freelancer — you are a brand. As such, your potential clients expect a level of professionalism from you, so they need to see that the minute they click onto your site. Along with clear navigation, focused visual structure, and a frictionless contact funnel, your website needs to be fine-tuned, sleek, and polished.

Even as a freelancer, an entrepreneurial free spirit, you need to channel those suit-and-tie vibes on your website to gain the trust of potential clients. No sloppy formatting, no error-filled copy, or overly-casual design. Concern yourself with the details. If you want people to trust you with their dollars, you need to be professional. Not only does meticulous formatting help your site design make a killer first impression (remember the eye-opening stats about visuals?), but it helps people view you as a trustworthy business.

4. TMI (Too Much Information)

Don’t get us wrong; it’s great to be personable and relatable. A critical part of your brand’s success is your likability. You want to be a person to visitors and potential clients, not just a robot writer behind a screen.

But your website is not your online diary.

Refrain from sharing too much personal info or content irrelevant to your field. Focus your content and be strategic about what you choose to share, making it all in the aim of building your business and earning clients.

5. No Target Audience

You have a brand-spankin’-new freelance writer website and are ready to bring in traffic, and ideally, new business. But who are you trying to reach through your website? What kinds of people are you looking to attract? In simple terms: who is your target audience?

Your success is hugely determined by how you focus your efforts on building a business. If you cast too wide a net, you won’t be able to effectively target the high-quality clients that you want. So before you start seeking to build traffic, identify your target.

6. Weak Copy

You’re a writer. Skilled wordsmithing is your talent, your money-making tool, and your passion. That being said, every aspect of your website should reflect your abilities as a writer. Weak, lackluster copy will not earn you clients, build trust, or engage visitors. In fact, it will send potential clients to your competitors.

Take special, even meticulous care in making sure that your copy is strong, engaging, and polished. Whether you’re writing blog posts, articles, or landing page copy, don’t just wing it — write and rewrite, seek a second pair of eyes for outside observation, and edit, edit, edit. The strength of your copy will make or break your business.

7. Infrequent Updates

Reality check: creating a money-making freelance writer website isn’t a one-and-done affair. Just like software needs regular updates, so does your website. Not only do periodic refreshes help you out SEO-wise, but they keep things relevant and professional. Update blog content, test plugins, solicit feedback, and use site analytics frequently to adjust how it operates for maximum UX. Know that you won’t always get things right the first time — continually be looking to improve all aspects of your website.

Handy Resources for Starting a Writer Website

Don’t worry — we’re not going to just throw you out to the web’s wolves without a few more top-tier tools for your burgeoning freelance writer website. Here, we offer you a well-curated roundup, a well-stocked toolbox of handy virtual resources destined to help you reach your goals.

Web Hosting

We know we’ve mentioned this before, but a good web hosting provider can make all the difference for the success of your freelance writing business. It’s true. Not only can a reliable hosting provider help make creating content easy, but it can make the management of your website a snap, leaving you to focus on the most crucial aspects of running your writing business.

With DreamHost Shared Hosting plans, we offer you those benefits and more — including 24/7 support, high-performance tech, and budget-friendly options. Choosing a hosting provider is one of the first choices you’ll make on your journey — make it a smart choice with DreamHost.

DreamHost’s Shared Hosting


Like we’ve said, your freelance writing business is just that: a business. And most companies out there are easily identified by a unique marker — their logo. Think about any famous company: Nike, Apple, McDonald’s — you can quickly think of their logo just by seeing the name, right? Or you’d be able to pick it out easily if you just saw the logo’s telltale visual?

Having your own logo is an integral part of establishing and building your brand. It’s essential for consistency, visibility, and growth. But don’t worry; making one that your visitors will love isn’t hard to do.

Brand Colors

In addition to your logo, you should establish a color palette that is unique to your brand. This will help your website and materials feel cohesive and professional and can even help you grow your business by highlighting relevant sections or CTAs with specific colors. Picking your brand colors is as easy as 1-2-3, but remember to be intentional about your personal branding choices.

Stock Images

We’ve already emphasized how significant visuals are for helping bring in traffic and engage visitors. So where do you get professional-looking images and other visuals? Try Pexels or Unsplash for high-res, royalty-free photos, or find a photographer to take some for you. If you’re ambitious, follow a DIY at-home photography guide to snap your own for cheap. And remember, copyright rules rule, so keep things legal. Give credit where necessary and don’t steal.

Photo Editing

You don’t have to be a Photoshop master to give your images that extra oomph. Crop, adjust, and enhance your photos to improve composition and make your website visuals a powerful tool in earning your business. Try a few simple photo editing tricks on the software of choice.


As another type of visual, icons or symbols on your website can make it easy for visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for — whether it be your social media pages, your portfolio, or contact form — without even having to navigate menus or copy. They’re a universal language! Get great-looking icons on sites like The Noun Project, Creative Market, or for free on Flat Icon.


Your freelance writer website should have its own unique feel. After all, you are your unique brand. Your design incorporates not only your layout, but the style of your copy, visuals, and navigation. A well-designed website is carefully thought-out for ultimate functionality and aesthetic, and we’ve got the guide to help you make it look snazzy.

If you don’t have an eye for design, DreamHost can help. We’ve partnered with the experts at RipeConcepts, a leading web design firm, to offer professional web design services to our users.

Professional Website Design Made Easy

Make your site stand out with a professional design from our partners at RipeConcepts. Packages start at $299.

The Final Word

Now, we’ll reveal the results of our crystal ball reading: we see a bright (and prolific) freelance writing career in your future! Getting quality writing gigs may take some website-building legwork, but with a well-built site, you’re well on your way to new clients and a growing portfolio.

Because your success is our success, DreamHost offers you the perfect beginning-of-the-journey hosting packages to get you on your feet. Check out our comprehensive Shared Hosting plans to start taking your career to the next level with a freelance writing website.

The post How to Create a  Freelance Writer Website That Actually Gets You Writing Gigs appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

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LQHosting – OpenVZ plans, as low as $19/year out of Dallas and KVM plans, as low as $22/year out of Los Angeles!

LQHosting, is back with some awesome new OpenVZ and KVM offers for the community! For those who desire minimal overhead, the OpenVZ VPS plan looks perfect. Those looking to run Docker or desire more control can consider the KVM VPS offer.
The OpenVZ plans are out of the Dallas, TX location and the KVM plans are out of Los Angeles, CA.
Everything here is SSD powered! As always we hope you enjoy their promotions and if you have any comments/feedback, please be sure to share them in the comments section down below.

The following offers do not require any promotion code, as we’ve been told that they are custom order links created exclusively for LowEndBox. They accept PayPal, Credit Cards, Alipay, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. You can find their ToS/Legal Docs here.

Here’s what they had to say: 

“We aim to service every segment of the market ranging from individuals plus small to large businesses. To achieve this, we have set out on this mission and aim to achieve it with a mixture of quality service, 24×7 support, and flexible plans! Our servers are all connected to dual uplinks, with a redundant network blend. Additionally, all of the services that we offer are powered by SSD’s only as we are a performance-centric company. With a commitment to uptime and performance, LQHosting is the one and only source that can provide you with ultimate peace of mind!”

Here’s the offers: 

* LEB BONUS * LQHosting is giving away a 1-Month extension to any LEB user! Get 1 month free with any order! Open a ticket after your order and reference this LEB post.


  • 30GB SSD Storage
  • 2048MB RAM
  • 4TB Bandwidth
  • 2 CPU Cores
  • 1 IPv4 Address
  • 1Gbps Port
  • OpenVZ/SolusVM
  • Dallas Datacenter
  • $19/yr
  • [ORDER]


  • 50GB SSD Storage
  • 4096MB RAM
  • 6TB Bandwidth
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 1 IPv4 Address
  • 1Gbps Port
  • OpenVZ/SolusVM
  • Dallas Datacenter
  • $29/yr
  • [ORDER]


  • 20GB SSD Storage
  • 2048MB RAM
  • 4TB Bandwidth
  • 2 CPU Cores
  • 1 IPv4 Address
  • 1Gbps Port
  • Virtualization: KVM (Docker Supported!)
  • Los Angeles Datacenter
  • $22/yr
  • [ORDER]


  • 40GB SSD Storage
  • 4096MB RAM
  • 10TB Bandwidth
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 1 IPv4 Address
  • 1Gbps Port
  • Virtualization: KVM (Docker Supported!)
  • Los Angeles Datacenter
  • $55/yr
  • [ORDER]


Dallas, TX, USA

Test IPv4:

Test file:

Los Angeles, CA, USA

Test IPv4:

Test file:

OpenVZ VPS Nodes:

– Intel Xeon E3-1230v2

– 32GB RAM

– 4x 1TB Intel Enterprise SSD’s

– Hardware RAID-10

– Dual 1Gbps Network Uplinks

KVM VPS Nodes:

– Dual Intel Xeon E5-2650v2

– 192GB RAM

– 8x 1TB Intel Enterprise SSD’s

– Hardware RAID-10

– Dual 1Gbps Network Uplinks

Please let us know if you have any questions/comments and enjoy!

The post LQHosting – OpenVZ plans, as low as $19/year out of Dallas and KVM plans, as low as $22/year out of Los Angeles! appeared first on Low End Box.

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Human Made’s approach to Gutenberg? Don’t repeat yourself.

Libby Barker, a Senior Project Manager, and K. Adam White, a Senior Developer, both from Human Made, spoke about their approach to working with clients on Gutenberg projects, even before its recent official launch in WordPress 5.0. This talk was delivered on November 13 at BigWP NYC, a gathering of developers and product people who work on WordPress applications at scale.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, Human Made started with the blocks already available in Gutenberg, and customized from there. Rather than spending time and effort building blocks from scratch, they were able to give clients more control of design elements and a better editing experience.

Any Gutenberg block might turn out to be reusable on another page, or in another layout. In one example they shared, the Human Made team found that an element built for a site’s homepage could double as a recirculation module at the bottom of single posts or pages, too.

Watch the talk:

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress meetup series, that brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day. To be the first to find out about the next enterprise WordPress event in New York, join the meetup group. You’ll find groups for other cities there as well.

Find all of the talks in the November’s BigWP playlist.

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How to Create a Company Page on LinkedIn to Promote Your Small Business

With the rise of social media marketing and the prevalence of social networks in our day-to-day lives, having a presence on a variety of platforms is a must for your company. That means creating and managing multiple accounts, which can be time-consuming.

Fortunately, building and maintaining a company page on LinkedIn only takes a little extra time and effort. By adding an air of professionalism to your online presence and showing off your products or services, a well-rounded LinkedIn page can help polish and promote your company’s identity.

This article will explain the many benefits of creating a company page on LinkedIn. Then we’ll show you how to launch one, pointing out the important requirements you’ll need to meet along the way. Let’s dive on in!

Build a Website to Go with Your LinkedIn Company Page

We offer budget-friendly Shared Hosting services with robust features and resources to help you create the perfect business website. Plans start at $2.59/mo.

The Benefits of Having an Outstanding LinkedIn Company Page

As a social media platform designed to help people build their professional networks, LinkedIn is a crucial resource for any business that’s hoping to grow and expand. It can help you get plugged into industry-related news and even share valuable content that promotes your company.

When compared with individual employee profiles, a LinkedIn company page can be much more effective at showcasing your business as a whole. Of course, your employees’ profiles are still useful as well. They can act as indirect company ambassadors and help build your connections organically.

On the other hand, a company page is a useful outlet for showing off your business’ latest news, along with your specialized products or services. LinkedIn will help deliver this content to other professionals in your industry to generate buzz and business.

Another handy feature of the platform is that you can easily monitor the impact of your page. Notifications and visual analytics reports will keep you apprised of how often your company is mentioned on LinkedIn so that you can see the effects of your presence there.

Plus, this will help you create effective promotional content for your page. You can keep track of trending content to see what’s working, and use custom Call to Action (CTA) buttons to send traffic towards your website. In other words, a LinkedIn company page offers a lot of potential advantages.

How to Create an Award-Winning Company Page on LinkedIn (In 6 Steps)

There are quite a few things to consider if you want to create a company page and successfully promote your business on LinkedIn. However, with a little careful planning, it can be worth the investment of time and energy. The steps below will help you effectively plan and build your page.

Step 1: Ensure That You Meet LinkedIn’s Requirements for Creating a Company Page

One potential roadblock when it comes to creating your LinkedIn company page is that there are a handful of requirements you must meet to access this feature. For instance, you’ll need to have a personal LinkedIn profile of your own. That account also has to:

  • Be at least seven days old
  • Have a profile strength of Intermediate or All Star
  • Show that you’re currently an employee at the company you wish to create a page for
  • List your company position on your profile
  • Have several first-degree connections (there’s no specific number you must reach, but the more you can include, the better)
  • Be associated with a company email address that has a unique company domain

In short, if you’re not an active LinkedIn user already, it can be challenging to get a company page started. Fortunately, anyone who’s an employee at your business can create and manage your company page. As long as you have at least one active LinkedIn user, meeting these requirements shouldn’t be too hard.

The one criteria that might get a little tricky is providing a company email address with a unique domain. Gmail, Yahoo, and other accounts won’t work for this purpose. You’ll need an address like

Fortunately, we offer an affordable solution.

At DreamHost, we provide professional email plans for creating addresses with unique domains. They start at just $1.67 per month per mailbox. You don’t even have to register your domain or host your website with us — this service is available to anyone!

Get Professional Email @yourdomain

Promote your website with every message you send when you set up professional email that matches your domain with DreamHost. Plans start at $1.67/mo.

Step 2: Add Your Company’s Details to Launch Your New Page

Once your profile (or an employee’s profile) meets all of LinkedIn’s requirements for creating a company page, you can do so by clicking on the Work icon in the toolbar. Then scroll down and select Create a Company Page.

Creating a new Company Page on LinkedIn.

On the next screen, choose the tile that best describes your business. After that, you’ll be able to fill in some basic details about your company. Start with your company’s name and then create your custom LinkedIn company page URL. Don’t forget to add your website’s address as well.

Adding company details to a new LinkedIn company page.

Next, you can select your company’s industry, size, and type. You have to choose from several drop-down menu options, so you may need to pick the available choice that’s most relevant, especially when it comes to your industry.

After that, scroll down to upload your company’s logo and add your tagline. These elements are essential for promoting brand recognition through your profile.

Adding a logo and tagline to a new LinkedIn company page.

Keep an eye on the Page Preview section to get a peek at how your company page will look. When all your information is correct, check the box to agree to LinkedIn’s terms and then hit the Create page button.

Step 3: Spruce Up Your Company’s Profile to Attract and Inform Visitors

After you’ve officially created your company page, you can start adding additional information and brand elements. First and foremost, you’ll probably want to include a banner image. This is a large image that will be displayed at the top of your page, similar to a cover photo on Facebook.

DreamHost’s LinkedIn company page banner image.

You can use the small blue pencil icons to edit various features on your company page, including your banner image. You might use a team photo, a picture of your brick-and-mortar location, a popular product image, or a relevant decorative visual.

Additionally, you’ll want to write a compelling summary of your company for the Overview in your About section. LinkedIn provides limited space here — just 2,000 characters, including spaces — so you’ll want to make every word count. Be sure to highlight what makes your company unique and better than the competition.

Then head over to the Jobs section of your page. Here you can provide career-related information and job postings.

Job postings on DreamHost’s LinkedIn company page.

Since many LinkedIn users take advantage of the platform’s job hunting features, this can help to boost your page’s visibility. Just make sure to keep it updated so you don’t have people applying for positions that are no longer available.

Step 4: Post Regular Updates to Generate Industry-Related Content

Now that your page is up and includes all your company’s information and some key branding elements, it’s time to start filling it with content. There are a few ways to go about this. One of the easiest is to use LinkedIn to promote blog content you’ve already created for your business website.

A blog post on the DreamHost LinkedIn company page.

This doesn’t require you to generate any new long-form content, and it can drive visitors to your website via your blog. Simply include LinkedIn as a part of your blog promotion strategy, and you’ll have a regular source of content for your company page.

However, you can also include recent business news, upcoming events, and other company-specific posts to keep your followers in the loop.

An update on DreamHost’s LinkedIn company page.

This can be a smart and simple way to demonstrate your authority in your industry, promote events, and even attract more followers. Just remember that, as with a blog, your LinkedIn company page will thrive when filled with relevant content that your followers want to see and read.

Step 5: Promote Your LinkedIn Company Page to Gain Followers

Your company page isn’t very useful if no one knows it exists. Especially when you’re first getting it off the ground, promotion will be vital to gathering followers. One of the easiest ways to get started is by adding your company’s location to your page’s About section.

The Locations section of the DreamHost LinkedIn company page.

This makes your company and job postings more discoverable on LinkedIn. Your page will be more likely to show up in searches as a result. Using relevant keywords in your page’s content can also help to increase your reach.

Another key promotional tactic is engaging your employees on LinkedIn. Invite them to list your company page on their own profiles and claim it as their place of employment. This will help you tap into their already existing networks to make connections with others in your industry.

Finally, it never hurts to promote your LinkedIn page on other social channels. This may mean including links to your company page in your Twitter bio or your Facebook About section. You could also include LinkedIn among your social sharing icons on your website and blog posts.

Step 6: Showcase Individual Products or Services on Their Own Pages

So far, we’ve covered all the basics for creating and maintaining a LinkedIn company page. However, you can take your profile to the next level and use it as a way to promote specific products or services, by creating showcase pages as well.

These are pages dedicated to your company’s products or services. They appear on your company page in the right-hand sidebar, under Affiliated pages.

The showcase pages on Automattic’s LinkedIn company page.

You can write a description, share a link, and even post content on each of your showcase pages. If you offer a wide range of products or services, this is a way to provide targeted content for each of your audiences. In some cases, this technique may be more effective than offering generalized content on your company page itself.

If you’d like to create more traditional, campaign-based content for LinkedIn, you might also consider using the platform’s advertising options. LinkedIn ads are highly targeted and can help you reach other professionals in your industry, generate leads, attract job applicants, and more.

Linking Up

You have a lot of options when it comes to promoting your business on social media. With its professional audience and unique opportunities for showing off your products and services, LinkedIn can prove well worth your time.

This guide has demonstrated how to create a high-quality LinkedIn company page in just six steps:

  1. Ensure that you meet LinkedIn’s requirements for creating a company page.
  2. Add your company’s details to launch your new page.
  3. Spruce up your company’s profile to attract and inform visitors.
  4. Post regular updates to generate industry-related content.
  5. Promote your LinkedIn company page to gain followers.
  6. Showcase individual products or services on their own pages.

Do you need a business website to go with your LinkedIn company page? At DreamHost, we offer affordable hosting services with robust features and resources to help you create the perfect website for your company. Check out our Shared Hosting plans today!

The post How to Create a Company Page on LinkedIn to Promote Your Small Business appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

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How To Set Up a Node.js Application for Production on a CentOS 7 VPS

In this tutorial, we will create a simple Node.js application and put it into a production ready environment. We are going to install and use the following pieces of software:

  • Nginx as a reverse proxy. It will make the app accessible from your browser, and in case you ran several sites from the same server, it could serve as a load balancer as well.
  • Certbot will let us install Let’s Encrypt certificates. Access to the site will be secure as only the HTTPS requests will be honored.
  • NPM package called PM2 will turn a node.js app into a service. The app will run in the background, even after system crashes or reboots.

What We Are Going To Cover

  • Install Nginx
  • Install firewall-cmd and enable rules for Nginx
  • Install the latest version of Node.js
  • Add NPM packages for the app that we are making
  • Create the example app to show all characters in upper case
  • Configure Nginx as a reverse proxy
  • Install Let’s Encrypt certificates to serve HTTPS requests
  • Access the app from the browser
  • Install PM2, a production process manager for Node.js applications with a built-in traffic Load Balancer
  • Use PM2 to restart the Node.js app on every restart or reboot of the system


We use Centos 7:

  • Starting with a clean VPS with
  • At least 512Mb of RAM and
  • 15Gb of free disk space.
  • You will need root user access via SSH
  • A domain name pointed to your server’s IP address (it can also be a subdomain) using A records at your DNS service provider
  • We use nano as our editor of choice, and you can install it with this command:
yum install nano

Step 1: Install Nginx

After you have logged in as a root user, you will install Nginx. Add the CentOS 7 EPEL repository with this command:

yum install epel-release

Next, install Nginx:

yum install nginx

Press ‘y’ twice and the installation will be finished. Enable Nginx service to start at server boot:

systemctl enable nginx

Step 2: Change Firewall Rules to Enable Nginx

Let’s now install firewall-cmd, the command line front-end for firewalld (firewalld daemon), for CentOS. It supports both IPv4 and IPv6, firewall zones, bridges and ipsets, allows for timed firewall rules in zones, logs denied packets, automatically loads kernel modules, and so on.

Install it in the usual manner, by using yum:

yum install firewalld

Let us now start it, enable it to auto-start at system boot, and see its status:

systemctl start firewalld
systemctl enable firewalld
systemctl status firewalld

Node.js apps require a port that is not used by the system, but is dedicated to that one app only. In our examples, we might use ports such as 3000, 8080 and so on, so we need to declare them explicitly, otherwise the app won’t run.

Here is a list of ports and feel free to add any other that your host requires for the normal functioning of the system:

firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=ssh
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=3000/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=8080/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=http
firewall-cmd --permanent --zone=public --add-service=https
firewall-cmd --reload

Let us now start Nginx:

systemctl start nginx

With HTTP functioning, we can visit this address in the browser:


and verify that Nginx is running:

Step 3: Install Latest Node.js

We’ll now install the latest release of Node.js. First, install development tools to build native add-ons (make, gcc-c++) and then enable Node.js yum repository from the Node.js official website:

yum install -y gcc-c++ make
curl -sL | sudo -E bash -

Now, the repository is added to your VPS and we can install the Node.js package. NPM, the package manager for Node.js, will also be installed, as well as many other dependent packages in the system.

yum install nodejs

Press ‘y’ twice to finish the installation. Show the version of Node.js that is installed:

node -v

It shows v12.3.1, which was the actual version at the time of this writing. If it shows an error, double check the commands you entered against the ones shown above.

Step 4: Adding NPM Packages

We of course know what packages our Node.js app will need, so we install the required npm packages in advance. Since our app will turn any input into uppercase letters, we first install a package for that:

npm install upper-case

Most Node.js apps will now use Express.js, so let’s install that as well:

npm install --save express

Execute this command as well:

npm install -g nginx-generator

It will globally install an NPM package to generate the reverse proxy config for Nginx. We will apply it after the app is running on port 8080.

Step 5: Creating The App

Open a file named uppercase-http.js for editing:

nano uppercase-http.js

Add the following lines:

var http = require('http');
var uc = require('upper-case');
http.createServer(function (req, res) 
  console.log('received request for url: ' + req.url);
  res.writeHead(200, 'Content-Type': 'text/html');
  res.write(uc(req.url + 'n'));

Save and close the file.

The HTTP server will listen to port 8080. You can specify any other port that you like, provided that it will be free when the app is running (and that you have previously opened access to it in firewalld).

Run the app:

node uppercase-http.js

You will see the following message:


Node.js app starting

To test it, fire up another terminal, connect to your VPS as root via SSH and curl localhost:8080:

curl localhost:8080/test

The program correctly converted path to uppercase. The server app shows a status message for the request:

received request for url: /test

Now we have two terminal windows, one with the app running and the other which we used to test the app. The first window is blocked as long as the app is running and we can press Ctrl-C from keyboard to stop it. If we do so, the app won’t be running later when we access it from the browser. The solution is to either activate the app again or — much cleaner — enter further commands only into the second terminal window for the rest of this tutorial.

Step 6: Configure Nginx as Reverse Proxy

Nginx for CentOS comes without folders for available and enabled sites, as is the custom on Ubuntu Linux. You’ll need to create them:

mkdir /etc/nginx/sites-available
mkdir /etc/nginx/sites-enabled

Then, edit Nginx global configuration to load config files from these folders:

nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Find line

include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;

and insert these lines:

include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;
server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;

Save and close the file. Now Nginx will read the contents of the “enabled” sites.

For the sake of completness, our nginx.conf file looks like this:

user  nginx;
worker_processes  1;

error_log  /var/log/nginx/error.log warn;
pid        /var/run/;

    worker_connections  1024;

http {
    include       /etc/nginx/mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;

    log_format  main  '$remote_addr - $remote_user [$time_local] "$request" '
                      '$status $body_bytes_sent "$http_referer" '
                      '"$http_user_agent" "$http_x_forwarded_for"';

    access_log  /var/log/nginx/access.log  main;

    sendfile        on;
    #tcp_nopush     on;

    keepalive_timeout  65;

    #gzip  on;

    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
    include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;
    server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;

You may want to copy it and paste it.

With NPM package nginx-generator we generate files that will tell Nginx to act as a reverse proxy. In the command line, execute the following:

      --name site_nginx 
      --domain YOUR_DOMAIN 
      --type proxy 
      --var host=localhost 
      --var port=8080 

Replace YOUR_DOMAIN with your actual domain before running this command.

That command creates a file called site_nginx and puts it into the directory /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/. (We could have used any other name instead of site_nginx for the file.)

We can see it with this command:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/site_nginx

Test the configuration:

sudo nginx -t

and if everything is OK, restart Nginx:

systemctl restart nginx

Run the app again:

node uppercase-http.js

You will see the following message:


In your browser, go to address


and the result should be


Bad Gateway Case No. 1 – The App is Not Active

Instead of proper result, which in this particular case would be text printed in uppercase letters, it is all too easy to get the message Bad Gateway in this place.

The main reason is that we were using one teminal window to both run the app and insert other commands. When you start the app with node uppercase-http.js, it will block the entire window and when you want to try out the next command in the installation process, the app will stop running. One way to prevent this is to repeat starting the app all over again, as we have done in this tutorial.

Another way would be to open two terminal windows, start the app in one of them and then proceed with further commands in the second terminal window, exclusively.

Bad Gateway Case No. 2 – SELinux Is Active

If SELinux is enabled, it can block Nginx from making outbound connections.

You can check this with:


If you get Enforcing as the result, SELinux is active. Run this command to let Nginx serve as a reverse proxy:

setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect true

Step 7: Securing Your Site To Serve Only HTTPS

We want to serve our app via a HTTPS request. If you have a domain name and DNS records properly set up to point to your VPS, you can use certbot to generate Let’s Encrypt certificates. This means that you will always access the app as well as the rest of your domain, via HTTPS.

We will folow the original documentation to install Let’s Encrypt. Choose Nginx for Software and Centos/RHEL 7 for System – it should look like this:

Certbot Certbot Site

Certbot is packaged in EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux). To use Certbot, you must first enable the EPEL repository. On CentOS, you must also enable the optional channel, by issuing the following commands:

yum -y install yum-utils
yum-config-manager --enable rhui-REGION-rhel-server-extras rhui-REGION-rhel-server-optional

Now install the Certbot by executing this:

yum install certbot python2-certbot-nginx

It will compute the dependencies needed and ask you to let it proceed with the installation.

Press ‘y’ when asked.

Finally, run Certbot:

certbot --nginx

If you are installing certificates for the fist time, Certbot will ask for an emergency email address, then several less important questions and finally – do you want to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS? Select 2 to confirm this redirection, and you’re all set!

Activate Nginx as you normally would after each change in parameters:

systemctl restart nginx

To verify that redirection is working, go to the same address in your browser:


Note that this address started with HTTP, but that it ended up as HTTPS.

Step 8: Install PM2

PM2 is a production process manager for Node.js applications. With PM2, we can monitor applications, their memory and CPU usage. It also provides easy commands to stop/start/restart all apps or individual apps.

Once the app is started through PM2, it will always be restarted after system crashes or restarts. In effect, it will “always be there”.

Use NPM to install PM2:

npm install pm2@latest -g

Option -g tells it to install pm2 globally, so it can run from all paths in the system.

Let’s now run our application under PM2:

pm2 start uppercase-http.js

The output of PM2 can be spectacular when run for the first time, but we really need to concentrate on the rows about the app:

PM2 will use app name, and then show the id number of the app, mode, status, CPU usage and memory. If two or more apps are running in the background, they will all be presented in this table.

We can list the processes like this:

pm2 list

The following command

pm2 show 0

will show details of the app with ID of 0:

It is also possible to monitor CPU usage in real time:

pm2 monit

Other useful PM2 commands are stop, restart, delete.

What Can You Do Next

Now you have a node.js app in a production environment, using HTTPS protocol for safety, Nginx for speed and as a reverse proxy, running as a service in the background. We have just installed one such app and one such site, while you may run serveral node.js apps and sites from the same server. We used root user throughout for ease of installation, while for multiples sites you would need multiple non-root users for safety.

Dusko Savic is a technical writer and programmer.

The post How To Set Up a Node.js Application for Production on a CentOS 7 VPS appeared first on Low End Box.

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How to Setup & Configure VestaCP on Ubuntu 16.04

VestaCP is a versatile open-source control panel for Linux machines. It provides a point & click, clutter-free interface, simplifying server administration tasks at the same time.   In this tutorial we will walk you through the process of installation, configuration, and first time usage of this free and open-source web hosting control panel.

As a part of the installation, VestaCP will install and configure the following for you:

  • Apache web server with Nginx as the frontend. Nginx will serve static files (such as images and CSS), while Apache will render PHP and HTML files.
  • vsftpd, a FTP server
  • Exim and Dovecot, so you can create and use email accounts
  • MySQL database
  • Softaculous, an application auto-installer

It requires 512MB RAM, 1Ghz CPU, and 20Gb disk space.

In this article, you will install VestaCP on your VPS. Then, you’ll setup a new site in VestaCP, along with an email address (at your domain).


  • A clean VPS running Ubuntu 16.04 with at least 512MB RAM, 1GHz CPU and 20Gb disk space.
  • A domain name for hosting VestaCP and your sites, pointed to your machine’s IP address at your DNS provider. We will use for Vesta, and for the website throughout the tutorial.
  • If you wish to set up email accounts, you’ll need to have PTR records correctly set for your server. This can be done only by your hosting provider.

Step 1 – Installing VestaCP

First, login to your VPS as root via SSH. After logging in, navigate to the /tmp directory by running the following command:

cd /tmp

Then, download VestaCP installation script by running:

curl -O

Run it with:

bash --force

The –force parameter overrides Vesta’s warnings such as Apache already installed, the admin group already being present in the system and so on. The warning may look like this:

With the the –force option you go directly to the installation prompt:

Answer with y. You will be be asked to provide your email address and a FQDN hostname. Enter an email where you woud like to receive messages from Vesta, and for the hostname, enter your domain name, which you have set up in the prerequisites.

Vesta will then start the installation, and it will take about 15 minutes to complete. You won’t need to enter anything else. When it finishes, you will see a message that looks like this:

Note the username (admin) and the generated password – you’ll need them to log in to Vesta.

Step 2 – Logging in to Vesta

Navigate to the domain shown in the message in your web browser. Note the :8083 at the end of the address – that is the default port for accessing Vesta.

During the installation, Vesta created a self-signed certificate to enable HTTPS access. That is why your browser may show a warning  about TLS certificates being self-signed — here is what it would look like in case of Mozilla Firefox:

In case of Chrome, the message will be:

In spite of the warnings, proceed to the advanced section and create an exception for your browser.

You will be asked to log in:

Enter the credentials you noted previously and press the Login button. You will see Vesta control panel:

Notice the columns in the center upper part of the screen. They allow access to the core of Vesta’s functionality – managing users, their websites, DNS records, email addresses, databases and backups.

Step 3 – Creating a New User

After the installation of Vesta, there will be exactly one user, called admin, as shown in the image above. Adding a new user is a frequent task when setting up Vesta, as you’ll need one new user for each new site that you are creating.

When you want to create a new resource in Vesta (be it a user, a domain, or whatever else), you’ll need to click the green plus button, which will expand with additional text when you hover mouse cursor over it.

So, to add a new user, press the green plus button on the Users page. You’ll see the following form:

VestaCP Add User

Fill in the username and password with your desired credentials, the first and last name with your name, and type in your email. When you’re done, scroll down and press Add.

Vesta will then show the same page you were on before, with the message informing you that the user has been successfully created. For a user named example-user, here’s how the message will look like:

For each available user, you have the options such as Logout, Edit, Suspend, and Delete. They will unintuitively appear only when you hover your mouse cursor over the row, and they look like this:

Step 4 – Create a New Web Site

Click the link shown to log in as the newly created user, and when you become logged in, click the Web column. Press the green plus button to create a new web site.

Enter the domain name  — ours is As noted in the prerequisites, you’ll need to point the domain name to the IP address of your server beforehand – for instructions on how to achieve this, consult your DNS provider.

FTP access

To be able to access files in your site, you will need to create a FTP user for it. To do so, press on Advanced Options and check the additional FTP option. Then, enter username for the new FTP user (maximum safe length is 8 characters), and a password. You can press on Generate to let Vesta create one for you. Note it down for future reference, because that is how you will be accessing your website’s files from now on. If you want to create an additional FTP user, press Add One More FTP Account and repeat the process.

Enabling HTTPS

If you want to have HTTPS enabled for your site (and you most certainly do), check the SSL Support option.

Then, you’ll have to fill in the required fields with the data you got from your certificate issuer, or automate the whole process for free by checking Lets Encrypt Support. Let’s Encrypt is a fully trusted certificate authority which issues completely free certificates, which last 90 days. You can check this option provided you have certbot installed on your system (the program which actually requests the certificates) installed, and Vesta will create and renew them for you. Keep in mind that if you do select this option, Vesta will take a longer time to add the new website, so don’t press the Add button twice.

Tracking Site Statistics

VestaCP also allows you to set up either webalizer or awstats web statistics software. Without delving in deeply into which one of them is better, note that Webalizer does not differentiate between human visitors and bots in its reports, while awstats tries to.

When you are done, click on Add to create the website in Vesta. When the page loads, you’ll see the new website in the list. If you navigate to your domain in your browser, you’ll see a placeholder page created by Vesta that shows the domain name.

Step 5 – Create an Email Account

Click on the Mail column in the center. To create an email address, you’ll first have to add an email domain in Vesta, after which you will be able to create unlimited amounts of email addresses. As in the previous steps, start adding an email domain by clicking the green plus button.

You’ll only need to enter a domain name. Leave the AntiSpam and AntiVirus options checked, which will increase security at no additional expense. When you are finished, press the Add button.

As in the case of Users, additional options will show up when you hover your mouse cursor over it. To list the existing email accounts for that domain, click the List Account button. Otherwise, to add a new email address (account), click Add Account.

Type in your desired email address (without the @domain part) in the Account field. Next, enter your desired password, or let Vesta create one for you by pressing on Generate. You can see how the final configuration will look like in the box shown on the right.

If you wish to set a storage quota or set up email forwarding, press on Advanced Options and type in the relevant information. When you are done, press Add.

You’ll be returned to the listing. Vesta will show you a success message that looks like this:

You can press the Open Webmail link, which will open Roundcube. Roundcube is a mature open source web mail software used by many. It will ask you to log in – enter the full email address you just created as the username as well as your password, then click on Login. Once in Roundcube, you’ll be able to read and write email as you normally would.

Dusko Savic is a technical writer and Flutter programmer.

The post How to Setup & Configure VestaCP on Ubuntu 16.04 appeared first on Low End Box.

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12 Reasons Why Your Website Is Slow (And How to Fix Them)

Site speed plays a crucial role in the success of your website. It affects a variety of key metrics, for example, including your site’s visibility and conversion rate. Optimizing your website’s speed is clearly a necessity, but figuring out how to do it can be tricky.

Fortunately, there are several easily-accessible speed tests you can use to determine how your site’s performance measures up. Although there are several reasons your site may be slow, you can resolve many of them with free WordPress plugins and quality web hosting.

In this post, we’ll explain why site speed is so vital to your website. Then we’ll share solutions to 12 common issues that can lead to poor website performance. Let’s dive right in!

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Why Your Website’s Loading Speed Matters

These days, users expect websites to be fast. When pages take longer than expected to load, it negatively impacts your site’s User Experience (UX). This matters because any time your UX takes a hit, so does your conversion rate.

You’ll likely see higher page abandonment and bounce rates as well. To be more specific, studies show that an additional two seconds of loading time can increase your site’s bounce rate by 103 percent. Plus, just 100 milliseconds of extra loading time can cause a 7 percent drop in conversion rates.

Even fractions of a second count, so optimizing your site’s performance as fully as you can is crucial. What’s more, website speed not only influences whether users stay on your site and convert; it also affects whether or not they can find it in the first place.

Site speed is now a Google ranking factor for both desktop and mobile sites. If you don’t maintain decent website performance, your site’s visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) may decrease, leading to lower traffic levels.

With your website’s success on the line, speed can’t be ignored. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a smart place to start is by testing to determine where your site stands now. You can run load time tests to see how long your users are waiting and then get to work on decreasing those numbers.

12 Reasons Your Website Is Slow (And How to Fix Them)

Once you know the current state of your site’s performance, you can start optimizing key factors that influence site speed. Let’s look at 12 of the most common problems that contribute to slow websites and discuss how to resolve them.

1. Render-Blocking JavaScript Is Delaying Page Loads

JavaScript is the code that makes your website functional and interactive for users. Without it, your site would be pretty dull. However, if left unoptimized, JavaScript can delay your pages when they try to load in users’ browsers.

When a browser tries to display a webpage, it has to stop and fully load any JavaScript files it encounters first. This results in what’s called ‘render-blocking JavaScript’ or JavaScript that prevents the page from loading quickly.

There are three solutions for dealing with render-blocking JavaScript:

  • Remove external JavaScript files, and use inline JavaScript instead.
  • Use asynchronous loading so JavaScript can load separately from the rest of the page.
  • Defer JavaScript loading until the rest of the page is visible to the user.

Each method has its pros and cons. Generally speaking, inline JavaScript will only improve page speed when used sparingly. Asynchronous loading can cause issues as files are not loaded in any particular order. Therefore, deferring JavaScript is usually the recommended method.

2. You’re Not Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) consists of several servers that are placed in strategic geographic locations. You can store copies of your website on them so its pages can be quickly loaded by users who are located far away from your main server.

There are several CDN options for your WordPress site. Cloudflare is one of the most popular solutions, as is the Jetpack CDN for images and videos. For customers on our DreamPress Plus and Pro plans, you’ll get unlimited CDN usage powered by Jetpack.

Additionally, if your website uses jQuery, you can load it from a CDN instead of your web server. Since jQuery uses far fewer lines of code than JavaScript to accomplish the same outcomes, it can be especially useful for boosting your site’s speed. Google and Microsoft are the two most popular jQuery CDN options.

3. There’s Excessive Overhead in Your Database

‘Overhead’ refers to extraneous items in your site’s database — things like logs, transients, and other entries from plugins or themes can build up over time. Too much of this ‘overhead’ can cause database queries to take longer than necessary. In some cases, it can even cause your web server to time out while waiting for a response from your database.

Optimizing your database by removing overhead will help prevent this. Most web hosts allow you to access the database management platform phpMyAdmin via your hosting account. If you aren’t able to optimize your tables in phpMyAdmin, you can use the WordPress Command Line interface (WP-CLI).

4. Your Site’s CSS Isn’t Optimized

Like JavaScript, your site’s CSS — the code responsible for styling its pages — can delay loading if left unoptimized. There are a few solutions you can implement to get your CSS into shape:

  • If you have several external CSS files, combine them into one or a few files.
  • Remove external CSS and use inline CSS instead.
  • Use ‘media types’ to specify when certain CSS files should be loaded.

Like inline JavaScript, inline CSS is only useful for small portions of code. If you have several large CSS files, you shouldn’t try to add all of them to your HTML file. Specifying media types and combining your external CSS files (if you have more than one) should make a more significant impact.

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5. OPcache Isn’t Enabled

OPcache is a built-in caching engine for the coding language PHP. If you use PHP on your site, having OPcache enabled can speed up its loading and the loading of your pages as a result.

If you host your website with one of our Shared WordPress or DreamPress plans, OPcache is enabled by default. If your site is hosted using one of our other plans or with another web host, you’ll likely need to enable it manually.

6. Caching Issues Are Preventing Optimized Page Loading

Caching is when browsers store static copies of your website’s files. Then when users access your site, their browsers can display the cached data instead of having to reload it.

There are several caching solutions available for WordPress users, including using a caching plugin such as WP Super Cache.

The WP Super Cache plugin.

Our DreamPress customers have the advantage of built-in caching, which is included with your hosting account.

DreamPress managed WordPress hosting plans

This makes third-party caching plugins unnecessary. However, we do recommend using the Proxy Cache Purge plugin to manage your DreamPress cache.

The Proxy Cache Purge plugin.

The plugin automatically sends requests to delete cached data for a page or post after you’ve modified it. This can help prevent some caching issues that may result in slower site speeds.

7. Large Media Files Are Increasing Loading Times

Media files, such as images and videos, tend to be quite large. Optimizing them through compression can help to decrease their size and, therefore, improve your loading times.

TinyJPG is a free online tool that compresses images. There are also several plugins you can use to compress media files within WordPress, including Smush Image Compression and Optimization.

The Smush Image Optimization plugin.

Compressing videos is a little trickier, so it’s usually better to host them externally on YouTube or another platform instead. You can then easily embed your videos on pages or posts.

8. Poorly-Written Scripts Are Conflicting With Other Site Elements

Poorly-written JavaScript can sometimes cause compatibility issues with other parts of your website, resulting in longer loading times. Running a speed test using tools such as Pingdom, Web Page Test, and GTmetrix can often point out scripts that are taking a long time to load.

You can then investigate these files more closely to determine how you can improve them. It may also be useful to turn potentially problematic scripts off temporarily, to see how your performance scores change without them enabled.

9. Your Site’s Code Is Too Bulky

The more code your user’s web browser has to load, the longer it will take for your website to become visible. If your code is too ‘bulky’ or contains unnecessary characters and line breaks, your site may be slower. In response, you can ‘minify’ that code by removing the elements that aren’t needed.

There are two popular plugins for carrying out this task. Autoptimize minifies code, in addition to inlining CSS and optimizing JavaScript files. It also integrates well with WP Super Cache.

The Autoptimize plugin for WordPress.

Fast Velocity Minify merges CSS and JavaScript files to reduce the number of requests needed for browsers to load your pages. It also minifies your code.

The Fast Velocity Minify plugin for WordPress.

Both plugins are solid choices. You might consider trying out each one and seeing which increases your performance test scores more.

10. Missing Files Are Causing Errors

In some instances, your WordPress installation may be missing files. If this happens, users will experience longer loading times as additional requests are made in an attempt to find the files. This process will eventually result in a 404 error if the files can’t be found.

The causes behind this issue are numerous and varied. Instead of trying to track down the source of the problem, the fastest solution is to restore your site from your most recent backup. This should replace the missing files with the versions saved in your backup.

11. Plugins Are Weighing Your Site Down

Having too many plugins — or even a few very bulky ones — can weigh your website down and cause poor performance. It’s wise to always completely remove any plugins you’re not using to minimize the chance that this will happen.

Additionally, some plugins can interfere with the caching of your site’s pages. If you’re using the Proxy Cache Purge plugin we mentioned earlier in this article, you can pinpoint which plugins are causing the problem by navigating to Proxy Cache > Check Caching.

12. Internet Issues Are Hurting Specific Users’ Performance

Finally, poor website performance can be due to an issue with a user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP), rather than with your site itself. Slow site speeds can result from network congestion, bandwidth throttling and restrictions, data discrimination and filtering, or content filtering.

If you notice slow speeds when visiting your site, you can run a traceroute between your computer and your website to test the connection. This should give you an idea of whether or not the problem is related to your ISP or is a more significant site-wide concern.

Lighten Your Website Load

Your website’s performance and response time are closely tied to its success, so taking every available opportunity to improve it is worth the effort. Figuring out why your website has lagging load times can help boost both its Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and UX, resulting in better visibility and a higher conversion rate.

We’ve covered twelve common causes of slow site speeds throughout this post. While ideally, you’ll want to optimize your site in all the ways we’ve mentioned, pinpointing specific areas for improvement — such as enabling caching or compressing your media files — can help you tackle the biggest issues first.

Looking for a hosting service that can keep up with your site’s performance needs? Our Shared Hosting plans are a convenient, low-cost solution that’s optimized for WordPress and ideal for new users. Check them out today!

The post 12 Reasons Why Your Website Is Slow (And How to Fix Them) appeared first on Website Guides, Tips and Knowledge.

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KudoHosting – 3GB RAM VPS for $19/year in Los Angeles + Alpha Reseller Hosting Offers Inside!

KudoHosting is back with a special deal to share with the LowEndBox community! They are offering specials on VPS and Alpha Reseller Hosting accounts.

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Please let us know if you have any questions/comments and enjoy!

The post KudoHosting – 3GB RAM VPS for $19/year in Los Angeles + Alpha Reseller Hosting Offers Inside! appeared first on Low End Box.

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