20 Oct

2010

Drupal 7 Beta is out. Are you ready to test?

Few days ago the Drupal developers released the first Beta of the new Drupal 7 branch. As they stated, the official stable release will be available as soon as there are no more critical bugs. Their plans are to make the transition from the old release to the new one as smooth and trouble free as possible.

Since we at SiteGround have many passionate Drupal users, we decided to test the new Beta build ourselves and update you about our findings and the features you can expect.

What’s new in Drupal 7

Below I list some of the important features of Drupal 7. For the full list of changes you can check the Drupal 7 changelog. With Drupal 7 you will get:

  • Database improvements
  • Website Performance Improvements
  • Enhanced Security
  • Great new usability features such as:
    • Improved support for integration of WYSIWYG editors.
    • Improved installer requirements check.
    • Provided descriptions and human-readable names for user permissions.
    • Removed display order settings for comment module. Comment display order can now be customized using the Views module.
    • And much more
  • Improved time zone support
  • Revamped Themes System
  • File and Image Handling via Drupal

Drupal 6 upgrade to Drupal 7

We tried the upgrade ourselves and managed to perform the installation via the web update.php script. The upgrade is exactly the same as on the previous Drupal version and we have experienced no trouble during the process. According to the Drupal team they even made an upgrade of a copy of their website in an experimental environment and it worked great. Still, as with every Beta release, it is important to mentions that it should not be used for live websites yet.

Drupal Themes and Extensions

All themes and extensions for Drupal 6 should be ported to Drupal 7. Most of the extension developers have already started working on their products and making sure the next releases will be compatible with the new Drupal 7. We strongly hope that all major and popular modules will be available for Drupal 7 too. We have tested several new module releases for both the Alpha and Beta versions and were very satisfied with the results.

Short Drupal 7 Administration overview

When I first saw the Drupal 7 Administration panel I was fascinated by its user-friendly interface. Its developers have achieved a great lot and included various new features, enhancements and better functionality that will greatly improve the management of your web site.

Here are few examples:

1. With the new Drupal 7 you will be able to rapidly customize your admin dashboard and add blocks by drag-and-drop.

In the old Drupal there is no Dashboard section for the administrator. The new interface allows you to create a unified view of the features you want to check every time when you log in as administrator (much like in WordPress). Additional modules can be added or removed from the dashboard which allows you to view the exact details you are interested in.

2. With Drupal 7 you can also enable the themes you would like to use with a single click, as well as automatically install themes from a specific URL or simply upload a theme package via the Appearance section of the admin area.

The new Drupal version 7 allows you to install the desired Module or Theme straight from the administrator backend without the need to manually upload the files under your account. You could use installation from an URL or simply upload the module or theme package browsing your local computer for it. All you need to do is copy the URL from which the theme or module can be downloaded, then paste it in the “Install from a URL” box and hit the Install button. The module is automatically downloaded, installed for your Drupal 7 website and on the next screen you can decide whether to enable it right away or not.

This was just a small overview of what you are to expect from the new Drupal release. As a conclusion I would like to say that the new Drupal 7 release is greatly anticipated. It will certainly help webmasters in managing their Drupal-based websites. Most of the changes are towards easier and better management of your website. Currently the only noticeable flaw seem to be the fact that it might take time for some modules and themes to be ported for the new release.

If you need a solid ground for your Drupal website or Drupal 7 testings, you can check our Drupal hosting package!

Martin V.
Senior Technical Support Member

 

18 Oct

2010

jAutoUpdate – the newest free Joomla extension by SiteGround!

The newest component added to our free Joomla extensions addresses a problem we have identified while analyzing the Joomla-related technical requests we receive. It turned out that a lot of people ask SiteGround support team member for help after their application has been hacked as it was outdated. Most of the people experiencing such problems are actually well aware that it is important to keep their application up-to-date. However, the manual update isn’t easy enough for them and they do not perform it on a regular basis. So to provide an easy way for updating Joomla and thus prevent many security issues we have created jAutoUpdate. The component can be used to automatically update a Joomla application to the latest 1.5 version available with a single mouse click.

jAutoUpdate has three main functions that can be used through the Joomla administration area after the component is installed:

Once the version check icon is clicked jAutoUpdate checks for the latest available Joomla 1.5 version and compares it to the version currently used by the customer. If the application is outdated the Joomla Update option will appear.

This button will automatically apply an update patch from the currently used version to the latest Joomla 1.5 version available and will update fast and easily only the files that are different in the new version.

The forced update will replace all Joomla 1.5 system files with the ones from the latest stable package. This option is very useful for fixing more serious issues like Joomla system files missing or wrong modifications made to core Joomla files.

With the new component the Joomla update becomes extremely easy and we hope that fewer Joomla websites will be vulnerable to exploits due to outdated versions thanks to this component.

Check our Free Joomla Extensions page which is part of our Joomla Hosting Package!

Hristo
Product Development – Technical

 

12 Oct

2010

New FREE SEO Tools Section in cPanel

Update: Our partnership agreement with Attracta has come to an end. For other SEO resources please check out our Moz 60 Days Free offer (in your User Area Resources section) and SiteApps’ keyword rankings & other useful apps (in your cPanel Site Improvements Tools).

To help our clients improve website visibility in search engines and increase website traffic, we have recently teamed up with the leading SEO service provider Attracta. Most of you may have already noticed the SEO Tools section in your hosting account cPanel. There you will find all of the tools and services you need to get more of your site listed in Google and the other major search engines, with improved search ranking. And what is more – all tools are available for free!

How does it work:

The key to a successful website is being easily found on Google, Yahoo and all other major search engines. These search engines need to index your web pages and like the overall quality of your site, so that they can give it higher rankings and more visibility.

Attracta automatically generates a Sitemap of your website and pings the major search engines when any new pages are added, to ensure that everything on your website is indexed by the search engines – including pages that can’t be found during their normal crawling process. If your website is new, with our tools it will appear in Google search results in less than 24 hours! If your site is already in Google, you will get even more pages listed, and improve your page rank in days.

There are also tools to give you stats on common errors that can affect your search engine optimization efforts – such as broken links analysis, as well as the site’s current standing in line with the Google Guidelines for improved search traffic.

Using our new SEO tools is critical if your website:

1. Is new, has low page rank or few links to it;

2. Has frequent updates, or pages that aren’t easily discovered by search engines;

3. Has dynamic content, JavaScript, Flash, content in images or videos;

The regular price of the whole pack is $59.40 per year, but thanks to our recent partnership all SiteGround shared customers get to use the tools for free- the new section in cPanel is already available to everyone!

Getting started is easy:

Good luck!

Dima
Product Development – Marketing

 

15 Jul

2010

Good Bye Old SiteBuilder, Hello New Website Wizard!

During the last few months SiteGround has gone through a serious reformation related to the SiteBuilder solution we provide to our customers. The changes were triggered by some copyright issues, which our primary SiteBuilder provider SiteMagix was unable to handle professionally. This situation forced us to take decisive actions and find an alternative solution, despite the high costs of changing such a vital part of our service. The end result of our efforts is a better site building tool for our customers and an entirely new Make Website package.

Read More…

 

12 Jul

2010

Free Joomla Extensions Developed by SiteGround

We are happy to announce to our Joomla customers that we have another exciting addition to our Joomla hosting package – a collection of in-house developed Joomla Extensions. Studying the requests from thousands of Joomla users hosted on our servers we came to the conclusion that there is a great demand for quality extensions able to improve the basic Joomla functionality.

Our team has researched the most desired additions to Joomla and then developed the following Joomla extensions based on the needs of our Joomla customers. Below we will present shortly our Joomla extensions. For download and full info you can refer to our Joomla Extensions page.

jHackGuard
Like all open source applications Joomla applications are subjected of constant hacking attacks. Our security specialists have created a security plugin that will prevent the majority of those attacks. It will guard your script from SQL Injections, Remote URL/File Inclusions, Remote Code Executions and XSS Based attacks.

jPageTranslator
With the progress of the Google Translate project, making an international website has become easier than ever! Add this extension to your Joomla website and your visitors will be able to browse it on all the languages supported by the Google Translate script.

jAddAnalyticsjAddAnalytics
Nowadays evaluating your website performance with Google Analytics has become a necessity for each web master that wants to be successful. Just paste the ID from your Analytics account into the appropriate field and the script will be automatically added to all of your pages.

jShareEasy
jShareEasy is a Joomla 1.5 module that allows your visitors to share your articles on Social Networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious and Google bookmarks. With this module your visitors will be able to share your content with a single click and thus increase the popularity of your site.

jGeoIPFilter
We have created a module that allows you to perform different actions on your website depending on the geographic location of your visitors. For example, this module allows you to redirect all visitors from the UK to the English version of your website and all visitors from Germany – to the German version of your pages.

jNoRightClick
SiteGround has created the jNoRightClick extension to prevent your visitors from using the right mouse button on your Joomla website, which is an effective way to protect your texts and photos from being copied without authorization.

 

Hristo
Product Development – Technical

 
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