How to enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) for your site

Some of you that use SEMrush might have noticed this;

3 subdomains don’t support HSTS”

So HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS as we call it), this is a quick and easy fix and will help remove those notifications.

Firstly, you must have a SSL certificate enabled, without one (and enabling HSTS) will break your site.

What is HSTS

HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) instructs web browsers to only use secure connections for all future requests when communicating with a web site. Doing so helps prevent SSL protocol attacks, SSL stripping, cookie hijacking, and other attempts to circumvent SSL protection.

How do I enable HSTS

When HSTS is enabled for a site, web browsers automatically change any insecure requests (http://) to secure requests (https://). All you need to do to enable HSTS is add a header to your site’s .htaccess file. Web browsers read the .htaccess file and recognize this header, then it’ll take care of the rest without any further intervention on your part.

To enable HSTS for your site, follow these steps:

  1. Using SSH or the File Manager, navigate to the ~/httpdocs directory.
  2. Open the text editor to open the .htaccess file.
    If the .htaccess file does not already exist, create it.
  3. Copy the following line, and then paste it into the .htaccess file:
    Header set Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=31536000" env=HTTPS
  4. Save your changes to the .htaccess file. HSTS is now enabled for your site.
    When the web server sends this header, any browser that accesses the site over HTTPS will be unable to access the unsecured HTTP site for the specified length of time (in this case, 31,536,000 seconds, or one year). Therefore, as soon as you enable HSTS, you should not stop using SSL on your site. If you do, returning visitors will be unable to access your site.


One more SEO problem fixed!

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Move to PHP7 and leave 5 behind…

php7 logo

PHP7 has already been around the block once or twice, did you know it was released Dec 2015, that means it just turned 3! There are still a lot of people out there that still use PHP5.6 or less, to put this in perspective PHP5.3 was released in June 2009 which makes it 9 years old!!! Consider how many updates and bugs have been located since then… the frightening thing is that most of the websites we see still use 5.4, which was released in March 2012 and stopped receiving support September 2015!!!

This is direct from;

Supported Versions

Each release branch of PHP is fully supported for two years from its initial stable release. During this period, bugs and security issues that have been reported are fixed and are released in regular point releases.

After this two year period of active support, each branch is then supported for an additional year for critical security issues only. Releases during this period are made on an as-needed basis: there may be multiple point releases, or none, depending on the number of reports.

Once the three years of support are completed, the branch reaches its end of life and is no longer supported.

Currently Supported Versions

Branch Initial Release Active Support Until Security Support Until
28 Aug 2014 3 years, 4 months ago 19 Jan 2017 11 months ago 31 Dec 2018 in 11 months
7.0 3 Dec 2015 2 years ago 3 Dec 2017 30 days ago 3 Dec 2018 in 11 months
7.1 1 Dec 2016 1 year, 1 month ago 1 Dec 2018 in 10 months 1 Dec 2019 in 1 year, 10 months
7.2 30 Nov 2017 1 month ago 30 Nov 2019 in 1 year, 10 months 30 Nov 2020 in 2 years, 10 months

Or, visualised as a calendar:

Today: 2 Jan 2018

PHP Version Support Chart
Current support of PHP Versions


Active support A release that is being actively supported. Reported bugs and security
issues are fixed and regular point releases are made.
Security fixes only A release that is supported for critical security issues only. Releases
are only made on an as-needed basis.
End of life A release that is no longer supported. Users of this release should
upgrade as soon as possible, as they may be exposed to unpatched security

So if you’re using anything other than 7.x you’re in trouble, without regular security updates and patches software becomes troublesome! We always recommend 7 to everyone for the security, but it also comes with other advantages, lets talk about those for a second.

Higher Load Capacity

The upward shift in performance you get from PHP7 is due to the changes in phpng, these changes allowed us to adopt PHP7 smoothly, in fact most of our customers don’t realise they are on PHP7 as its default for new WordPress installs. Along with the performance boost PHP7 is better with memory, it just knows when to let go of the RAM more, meaning your site can run on less resources!

Lets make this more visual!

PHP 5.5

Transactions:              4354 hits
Availability:              100.00 %
Elapsed time:              299.64 secs
Data transferred:          17.23 MB
Response time:             1.21 secs
Transaction rate:          14.53 trans/sec
Throughput:                0.06 MB/sec
Concurrency:               17.59
Successful transactions:   4354
Failed transactions:       0
Longest transaction:       2.04
Shortest transaction:      0.12


Transactions:              5256 hits
Availability:              100.00 %
Elapsed time:              299.53 secs
Data transferred:          20.06 MB
Response time:             0.92 secs
Transaction rate:          17.55 trans/sec
Throughput:                0.07 MB/sec
Concurrency:               16.12
Successful transactions:   5256
Failed transactions:       0
Longest transaction:       11.54
Shortest transaction:      0.43


Transactions:              11333 hits
Availability:              100.00 %
Elapsed time:              299.38 secs
Data transferred:          44.84 MB
Response time:             0.16 secs
Transaction rate:          37.85 trans/sec
Throughput:                0.15 MB/sec
Concurrency:               6.16
Successful transactions:   11333
Failed transactions:       0
Longest transaction:       0.77
Shortest transaction:      0.02

As you can see, compared to 5.5, Facebook HHVM is 1.2x faster but PHP7 is 2.6x faster! The speed increase is so easy to see!

PHP7 also comes with a host of new operators and tools suited for developers, which are kindly listed here

Overall, PHP 7 is faster, more secure, and significantly more resource efficient than older versions. To give you an example, a site running PHP 7 can handle twice as many visitors as PHP 5 can, using the same amount of memory. This means your shared hosting plan can take your website further for the same money!

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5 Reasons to get a Domain Name!

I come across a lot of people using Gmail, Hotmail, or other public email addresses for their business, and although its not wrong, a lot of companies don’t think it looks right, even if you use… why not use or

Its simple and easy to do this, and you don’t have to leave your old address behind! Let us run you through the top 10 reason to get a domain name for your business.

1. Easy to remember and cheap!

If they shop with you, buy food with you, there’s a good chance they know your business name, why confuse your customers with when you can have, its just simpler! For well-known top-level domains, for example, .com, you spend maximum £15 per year for registering your domain with a good domain registrar.

2. Reliability and effectiveness

Whoever you pay to host your site and domain have a responsibility to look after your site and keep it running! A website offline is a missed opportunity for business.


3. Ability to retain ranking and traffic

When you have your own domain, you can move out to better web hosting (web host is where you keep your site or blog content to show on internet) without worrying about ranking and traffic to your site. On the contrary, with free domain name, if you move from one to another, you lose visitors to your new site.

4. Your own domain is an effective tool to brand yourself

In the event that you need to show your own work on internet, owning your domain name is the most sensible way. For instance, in the event that you are an artist, designer (fashion, architecture), writer, photographer or any individual who needs to show potential employers your awesome work, your own domain name will act like a business card to them. With it, you give them the idea of professionalism and credibility.


5. Purchase before somebody else buys the domain name

It will be very much regretting that at some point you decide to buy your favourite domain name and find out that it is already taken.

What’s more, once anybody purchases your favourable domain name, it will be no more available to you to purchase as new domain (unless the domain is for sale). The worse part, he/she makes the domain name either well-known or potentially more regrettable. But, you cannot do anything.

Therefore, act before someone else has the domain name and use it for his/her advantage.

If you make the decision to own your domain name, congratulations come and purchase it at!

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