Smart Bob's Blog

We are recruiting
08 September 2016

As a growing provider in the UK and international web hosting market, we are always focused on providing the best levels of customer support in the industry.

To compliment our team of technically talented and customer-focused support staff, we are now recruiting for two exceptional new team members to join our support team in the UK.

If you are a motivated, highly technical and committed individual who wants to provide the best level of customer support possible, please send your CV to for consideration.

As we offer a free domain with our web hosting package, it should come as no surprise that we want to give you the best help we can.

Here are some of the ways to help you choose a fantastic domain name.


Before you pick a domain, there are a few factors that should be taken into consideration, which are based around your niche, target audience and brand.

The good news is that you can pick almost anything related to your idea. The bad news is that so can anyone else and as such picking a short unique domain can be quite difficult.

So let's ask some questions

1. What type of website are you planning to host and what content will it contain?
2. What is the niche market and audience? How are you going to find them and why?
3. Have you done market research and found SEO friendly keywords? Can they be used in the URL?
4. Plan for the long run, is this a niche that's developing and can you grab a domain related to its development?
5. View other variations of the domain and see if there's any similar competition using those words.

Although this sounds like a lot for researching a domain, it's worth it.

You're going to be investing your time and effort into a possible brand and project which needs to be short, punchy and informative; but at the same time not generic.

Generic domain names can cause your brand to struggle under the weight of SEO. Look at some of the major brands out there - Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, BuzzFeed etc.

They're all using very unique brand names.

The unofficial, official guidelines

- Stick with a simplistic domain TLD such as .com,, .net or .org (we include a free .UK or .COM domain with our basic hosting account)
- Make sure the domain is easy to spell and not ambiguous. For example, not everyone can distinguish between principal and principle correctly!
- Try to avoid using other brand names in your domain If you're unsure of if your domain name is easy to access, ask a friend over the phone to tell you how they would spell or find it. If you need to thoroughly explain it, it's probably better to go back to the drawing board!

So you've found a great domain, but how do you create a great site?

As you've pre-planned your niche, target audience, branding and SEO friendly information, creating your site content should be very easy. We offer a wide range of supportive tools that can help you with this, including Softaculous - which allows you to easily install one of many platforms including Wordpress, Magento, Joomla and OSCommerce.

You don't need to invest thousands into a website to make it successful. With a bit of research and support, you can get one that's just right.

Some useful tools

There are plenty of useful tools out there but some of these will help:

Google Keyword Tool†- This tool allows you to search a keyword for your niche and find high ranking SEO related terms

Bustaname†- This tool allows you to specify keywords which will then prompt you with available domain names related to those words.

Impossibility! - Is a nifty tool that adds nouns, verbs, adjectives etc to your keyword!

Remember, picking the right domain name can be a real help with your brand/niche. But the real success will come from great content, great backlinks and most importantly, a great service.

We are recruiting
04 February 2016

As a growing provider in the UK and international web hosting market, we are always focused on providing the best levels of customer support in the industry.

To compliment our team of technically talented and customer-focused support staff, we are now recruiting for two exceptional new team members to join our support team in the UK.

If you are a motivated, highly technical and committed individual who wants to provide the best level of customer support possible, please send your CV to for consideration.

We always try to push the physical boundaries of what our web hosting service can do for you.

From web hosting features to fast and efficient support, all the way through to speed; we work day and night to ensure that we can provide the best service possible.

As part of our commitment to both new and existing customers, we will be performing a full cluster upgrade to our shared hosting and reseller platforms this weekend commencing the 12th December starting at 1:00AM.

Our upgrades will take place throughout the weekend. Web hosting, reseller and master reseller customers will be notified separately about this as we work across all hosting services.

We use a highly powerful and flexible cloud platform powered by OnAPP cloud. Our cloud platform allows us to scale our service to ensure, unlike many other providers, that we can offer an unlimited service which has full fault tolerance and performance in mind.

To provide an even faster service we will be replacing our existing Dell Enterprise hardware which powers the cloud with new Dell R8 Enterprise series servers.

The R8 series Dell servers provide 512GB RAM, 4x 8-Core Intel Xeon CPUs, 10TB SSD storage and 10Gb network connectivity per server. This is a major up-lift from our existing R6 series hardware which currently powers our cloud.

To compliment our hardware upgrade, we will also be introducing hourly R1Soft CDP backups on all shared and reseller hosting services.

Master Reseller customers will have direct access to these backups within the R1 cPanel plugin.

Reseller accounts and shared web hosting customers can request restores via our support ticket as normal.

To finalise our update, we will be updating cPanel globally to ensure the latest features and bug fixes are included.

All upgrades are without any cost to you!  :-)

28 September 2015

We always like to improve our hosting service by introducing new benefits to both new and existing customers.

We have now joined the CloudFlare partner network and introduced CloudFlare support on our platform by default, which can bring even more speed and security to your hosting service with us.

CloudFlare is a third-party vendor, who provide global content-delivery networks (CDN), which in turn provide faster website load times, better security from threats along with enhanced DDOS protection - accelerating your website speed. 

If you already have a CloudFlare account you can now add this into your cPanel account and manage your sites from one place. 

If you do not have a CloudFlare account you can now setup a new account from our cPanel service.

It has been discovered that the newly released Google Chrome 44 contains a bug which is serving some website content over HTTPS, even on sites where no SSL certificate is available.  This is breaking stylesheets and generally causing issues with some customers' sites when viewed in this browser.

Please note that this is not an issue with your hosting, only with Google Chrome.

Google are due to release a patch to correct this soon.  In the meantime, we recommend that you use another browser to ensure the correct display of your website.

For more information, here are some external links (we are not responsible for external content).

Following feedback from reseller customers and as part of our programme of upgrades, we have begun the removal of the host name for secure access to cPanel, WHM and webmail.  The new host name will be:

This change provides better white-labelling functionality for reseller customers, and hides the Smart Hosting name from the majority of areas.

The change has already been implemented on some servers, with the remaining servers following over the next week.

If you receive a certificate warning when trying to access a secure host name (e.g., please use the new host name, which is

The host name is still available as normal for non-SSL access.

WHMCS have today released version 6.0 of their billing software. To download the new version, please use the link below.

Important - please note that this information is provided for information only. We have received reports from customers that there are teething issues with the new version so we urge you to upgrade with extreme caution, as you will need to rely on WHMCS for assistance in the event something goes wrong.

We would strongly recommend backing up your site via FTP before upgrading your installation.

For more information, please see their website at

Please remember that WHMCS is a third-party application. As such, for support on the software you need to contact them using the link below.

You will be asked to provide your WHMCS licence key, which you can find within your client area under the "Addons" tab of your hosting service.

Today we have been patching our entire platform against the discovered "VENOM" vulnerability, which has the potential to affect virtualisation platforms such as ours.

Due to the vulnerability, we have performed a huge platform-wide security update to ensure the best levels of protection for all customers and prevent any security compromises.

While we have received no attempted exploits, we always work to stay on top of any vulnerabilities found to ensure that our platform remains as secure as ever.

For more information on the vulnerability, please visit

...and relax - we've got you covered!

Here at Smart, we are always looking to push the boundaries of your hosting service. We like "fast", so over the past few weeks we have been working hard to upgrade our service to not only make it faster, but to include new features without any changes to your price. For many reasons - not only stability but also the SEO benefits it brings - fast is good ;-)

Over the past few weeks, we have completed a series of major hardware upgrades to our cloud platform. The upgrades have removed our older Intel Xeon 2.2GHz CPUs from our cloud and replaced them with new hex-core 2.9 GHz Intel Xeon Processors.

All VPS customers will notice that their CPU speeds have changed automatically, while shared hosting & reseller hosting customers should see an improvement on overall performance times.

The CPU changes to our cluster were only part of the upgrades, however. We have also increased our 10Gbe storage network by expanding this across further 10Gbe switches - this change is scheduled to be completed later this week.

As part of the storage network upgrade, we have also introduced a further SSD SAN to our platform. The SAN which powers your hosting services is a key part of our platform. By integrating a further SAN unit, your hosting will now receive faster disk access, in turn also increasing your hosting speed.

We plan to complete our upgrade works over the next 7 days and will issue a platform notification of any likely service disruptions.

Along with our hardware upgrades, we have also worked hard on new software improvements to both cPanel / e-mail filtering and third-party services.

We are currently working on Cloud Flare integrations into cPanel for customers who want to use the Cloud Flare CDN Network.

Finally, we are working to release cPanel upgrades across our platform over the next 2 weeks. This will take the cPanel version to the latest stable release and allow us to introduce automatic e-mail client setup, better spam protection and improved cPanel features.

At Smart Hosting, we work hard to make sure that as a customer, you not only receive a solid hosting service, but that your service is future-proofed.

Over the last week, we have released some core changes to our hosting platform, which by default will help your sites' Google rankings.

We keep our ears firmly to the ground with all things internet and the wonderful world of hosting!

While some have coined the expression "Mobilegeddon" for the Google changes on the 21st April, there is most certainly a lot of hype across SEO, hosting and web design industries.

Google has defined several changes, which will take place on the 21st April, mainly in relation to mobile.

While this is nothing new (as Google have been warning about the need to ensure websites are mobile optimised for some time), setting a date always tends to force people into action.

Use Google's checker to test your site

At Smart, we know the importance of site speed; not only from an end-user perspective, but from a Google / SEO point of view.

7 to 8 years ago, hosting a website was a simple affair dominated by PCs and laptops. Now, with mobile technology demanding a large market share, it's more important to make sure that your hosting is optimised for all devices and all types of connection speed.

Visitors and customers will leave a website if the pages are slow to load, so the importance of website speed should never be underestimated.

We have enabled GZIP compression & content caching by default across all hosting accounts to ensure that your hosting is as efficient as possible for the Google changes.

Our changes will apply to any subsequent domains you or your clients add to your hosting service with us.

Not only will this improve the load times and responsiveness of your website, it will make Google happy (and we like to keep Google happy) ;-)

You can test your site is optimized using the below URL

Check if your site has compression enabled

Happy Hosting!

At Smart Hosting, we are always looking for ways to provide a better level of service while saving our customers money.

As of the 27th March 2015 we have now abolished all .uk transfer fees.  This covers the domain extensions / / / / .uk into our new IPS tag CLOUDHOSTING

We have also reduced the cost of all UK domains from £6.99 + VAT to just £3.99 + VAT for all new registrations.

Our changes to both transfer and registration fees apply to all customers, including resellers, allowing you to make more profit from your reseller account or simply expand your online audience with a new .uk domain name for less.

Why not find a new domain today using our Domain Checker?

If you would like any further information please Contact Us.

Master Reseller Account
By Dan on 23 March 2015
Due to popular demand, we today announce the launch of our Master Reseller Account!

Offering a host of benefits, the Master Reseller account is our premium offering, providing:

1.  All the existing benefits of the reseller account
2.  The ability to sell reseller hosting
3.  Provisioned on a separate premium cloud. It will be reserved exclusively for master reseller accounts so there will be much less contention than our other shared clouds. As such you can expect your service to be even more responsive than it is already
4.  Free SSL certificate - we will be providing a free SSL certificate with the account which can be claimed from your client area
5.  WHMCS licence included
6.  Self-managed R1Soft CDP restores of databases, files and e-mails
7.  25% off VPS orders (currently only 20% with the standard reseller account)
8.  Totally unlimited disk space and bandwidth
9.  Fully DDoS-protected IP address
The price for the account is £19.99 per month, which while more expensive than the standard reseller account provides much more flexibility and greater benefits over a VPS.

Existing customers can upgrade at

If you would like any further information please see or Contact Us.

As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that all customers receive the best features with their hosting accounts, we have completed a platform-wide upgrade to MagicSpam Professional on all hosting platforms.  Both Web Hosting & Reseller hosting now provide MagicSpam Professional as standard. 

MagicSpam Professional not only removes 99.95% of all inbound spam, it also comes complete with full statistics, logs, log search, custom whitelist/blacklists, and much more.

MagicSpam is simple to use and allows for total protection and control over unwanted spam mails to both your web hosting service and your hosting clients.

Bootstrap baby!
02 March 2015

At Smart, we always like to stay up to date with the latest web technologies and design, so we've taken full advantage of the fantastic Bootstrap 3.0 for our website, which is now live! Obviously we like to stay ahead of the crowd, so we've moulded and sculpted Bootstrap to make it look as Smart as possible!

We hope you like the design and layout as much as we've enjoyed creating it!

Like what you see - why not try it yourself? Check out the Bootstrap website at to download the building blocks to create your own custom site. It's free!

If you have any comments on the new design, we'd love to hear what you think! Click the Contact Us link at the top to let us know. :-)

You may have heard about a highly critical vulnerability called Ghost or Ghostbug (CVE-2015-0235) affecting most Linux distributions.

This vulnerability is present in the glibc (or eglibc) software on nearly every Linux server currently deployed, and affects versions originally released from 2000-2013. This means that the bug is present in nearly every deployed Linux server, estimates are currently said to be at ~90%.

If properly executed, this attack can lead to remote command execution and privilege escalation with relative trivial ease.

We are pleased to advise that all Smart Hosting Cloud Servers and Services are patched and secured. 

You can read more about it at the following URLS:

Early on in the days of the Internet, e-business was not a major factor. Corporate and business websites were mainly online portfolios where potential customers could go to gather information. Even then these were very expensive, and they would go offline often. This downtime was a constant and major source of frustration that impacted company brands, but had only a minor impact on their bottom line. Downtime was expected, it was the norm.

Fast-forward to today and the story is very different. Ecommerce is the only trillion dollar industry that is growing at double digit rates. Server downtime costs a great deal of money, as hundreds of thousands of business are running an ecommerce platform on their site. 99.99% uptime has become the promise from quality web hosts. The standards that we expect have changed. We will not accept outrages. We will not accept inaccessible websites and email. Today’s Internet consumers cast scornful, mistrusting glances at 'offline' websites, before quickly navigating to pastures new to find a 'more reliable' company, never to return again. 

A common question we get from clients is, therefore, what causes downtime? The reality is that there are a number of factors, from the malicious, to poor service on the part of your current web host. One common myth is that most downtime is caused by attacks. While a lot of downtime is caused by these attacks, the true culprit is often insufficient hosting infrastructure and support.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)

Generally DDoS, or distributed denial of service attacks, are targeted at large companies. Such attacks are carried out by utilising thousands of compromised computer systems located around the world to flood a server with traffic. This will lead to the server becoming unavailable for legitimate users. Basically it uses up all of the available bandwidth capacity heading into and out of the server.

Most companies in the past didn’t have to worry about DDoS attacks. They were generally initiated to make a point, usually political, by hackers, and carried out against large targets. Over the past 12 months, these attacks have become more indiscriminate, and hosts have been hit hard too. This heightens the importance of choosing a host with an infrastructure to repel and recover from these attacks as best as possible.


Whilst most of the public assumes hacking is the number one source of downtime on the Internet, they are in fact very wrong. This does not mean, however, that hacking is a non-issue. In fact there are 12 major vulnerabilities in most websites, and your current website likely features them. It makes it all the more important to work with a hosting provider that offers 24/7 support to allow you to quickly recover when these events do happen. Host managed security does not hurt either.

Shared Hosting

Probably the most significant cause of downtime is insufficient infrastructure on a shared server. This does not mean shared servers are a bad hosting solution. In fact shared hosting is a very efficient hosting option that saves companies a lot of money. Shared hosting packages also allow the company to purchase only the capacity it needs, as most businesses will never require a full dedicated server, or large server partition, to house their website and handle the traffic.

The key to avoiding downtime is to partner with a hosting provider with serious customer service commitment. Shared hosting only becomes a problem when the host allows the servers to become overloaded. This overload generally occurs when the host has not invested in new infrastructure, or does not move sites off of a server when they start to generate a large amount of traffic, compromising server performance for others. A VPS, or virtual private server, or cloud solution, can mitigate your risk. But that is a discussion for another day…

Website Refresh
18 January 2015
We're just a little bit excited for the end of the month, as our lovely new website goes live! Nothing drastic, as we know you love our current one - but offering a fresh new layout and an improved customer experience.

It's been built in-house using the fantastic Twitter Bootstrap, using the latest web standards and technologies.  We're very proud of it and hope you enjoy using it!  Keep your eyes peeled!

We're donating 15% of all sales between 12th November and 14th November 2014 to BBC Children in Need.

We are very proud to be supporting this great charity who change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK.

Why not make money from referrals to Smart?  Join our Affiliate Programme and receive a unique Referral Link which you can send to customers or display on your website.  When clicked, the link automatically tracks any Smart Hosting products purchased and applies any commission to your Affiliate Account.

We provide an incredible 20% per commission per month for the life of any referred accounts.  The more customers you refer, the more you make!

You can also refer with confidence, knowing that your referred customers will be completely satisfied with our platform and our excellent customer service.  We pride ourselves on keeping our customers happy and always go the extra mile to ensure they are.

So what are you waiting for?

At Smart Hosting, we always listen to customer requests and based on the feedback from our web hosting and reseller hosting customers we have completed our platform wide cPanel upgrade to version 11.44 which introduces cPanel Paper Lantern - the latest cPanel customisable theme.

Paper Lantern, the newest cPanel theme, embraces the customisation of cPanel's appearance with modern web design techniques and technologies.

Paper Lantern makes branding easier and more powerful - allowing for simple, elegant, and beautiful new control panel themes.

Further details can be found here

We have teamed up with WHMCS to provide their leading automation platform FREE with all Reseller accounts.

WHMCS can now be installed via the Softaculous One-Click Installer in your Reseller control panel.

At NO extra cost we will provide a licence and even assist you with your setup.

If you would like to know more about WHMCS and its features, please click here  

(Limited time only)

POODLE Vulnerability
16 October 2014
Further to the recent discovery from Google, who uncovered a security bug in widely used web encryption technology (SSL Version 3.0), at Smart Hosting we have performed a platform wise security update to ensure the best levels of security for all customers.

While the issue reported is not as serious as other recent security concerns (such as Heartbleed and Shellshock) we always take customer security seriously.  As such, overnight last night all hosting clusters were updated to remove SSL Version 3.0 until such time a patch has been created.

If you would like to read further information about this security threat, please see below:

While most web hosting providers take daily backups; after years of experience in the web hosting industry we now provide R1 Soft CDP hourly backups as standard across all hosting services, web, reseller and VPS hosting.


At Smart Hosting, we understand that your site is dynamic and changes in real time.  In the unfortunate event that you need a restore, we can now fully restore your website, e-mails or database back to a point in time within an hour preventing you losing any work or website updates.


Further information about R1 CDP can be found here:

As you might be aware over the past few months, SSL support has become a major concern for a lot of website owners mainly due to changes implemented by Google who now will preferentially rank your website if it has a valid SSL certificate.

At Smart Hosting we have now fully integrated SSL support as standard with all hosting services, as such, if you have an existing SSL certificate or need a new one we can fully support and guide you through setting this up in your easy to use hosting control panel.  

Further information about these changes can be found below.

New Website
08 September 2014
We've just launched our brand new website!  

We've worked really hard on the design and hope you find it easy to navigate and manage your account. 

Bash ShellShock
24 September 2014
We like to ensure that our clients' service is secure. As such, today, further to a recent security advisory from our security partner Qualys which can be found below, we have patched all of our LINUX platforms and clusters to ensure the utmost protection for your service.

You can read more about the threat in this article from BBC News.

CloudLinux as Standard
By Rob on 10 August 2014

At Smart we always try to push the boundaries of our service offering. As standard all Smart web hosting services are now protected by CloudLinux.

CloudLinux provides massive increases in stability and server security.

Traditional shared web hosting platforms have no control over individual domains in the event of a resource spike.

If one domain suddenly experiences a big resource spike from a large amount of traffic, poorly written script, or a denial of service attack, all the other web sites on the same shared hosting server are slowed or brought down.  

CloudLinux isolates each web site so that no matter what, the site can never exceed the resources allocated to them. During a sudden resource spike all other web sites are left unaffected!

Further information can be found here


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