Install and Manage goMobi with FatCow

By Jessica Ann
July 15, 2015

render of laptop, tablet pc and smartphone with a news page on the screen

These days desktop computers have big, beautiful high resolution displays. This allows for equally big, beautiful websites with high quality images and even things like full-screen slideshows and background videos. It’s a web designer’s dream.

Now picture using a high resolution website on a smartphone-sized display. The text is unbearably tiny, buttons are impossible to press and don’t even think about trying to use menus. It’s a web user’s nightmare.

Once upon a time if you wanted people to visit your website on a small screen you had to design a second website from scratch. This meant different CSS styling, size images and even different copywriting. There was new code to write along with photo editing and even then you couldn’t be certain your mobile site would look nice or even be usable on every single mobile device out there.

Wise web hosting companies enjoy keeping their customers happy. That’s why we decided you shouldn’t have to worry about manually managing a second website, HTML files or anything else that stands in your way of happiness. Instead, we offer access to a powerful little tool called goMobi.

It provides you with a wizard interface for creating a mobile website that looks great wherever it is viewed. We also integrate the ability to assign the “m” subdomain to your mobile-optimized site. Users know right away when they’re on a mobile-first website when they see “m.your-website.com”.

You will find the option to use goMobi in the Website area of your FatCow Control Panel. We have a dedicated page where you can learn more about the tool and build a classy mobile version of your website.

If you have never used goMobile before you have to purchase the addon using the link from the Getting Started page. When this is done or if you have already purchased the addon you will next see the Mobile Website Builder.

Start there by clicking Add Mobile Site and select the domain you need a mobile website for from the drop down menu. Click Create New Site. Make sure the domain listed under the Current Website is the one you’re intending to use.

Select Settings next to the domain you want to edit. The resulting pop up allows you to reapply the mobile styling to a different domain (which removes it from the current domain). You can also toggle the redirect from you main desktop version to the mobile version of your site. If necessary, you can even delete your mobile site altogether from this screen.

That means the mobile site you deleted will be gone but the credit will remain on your account for use with another domain or to rebuild that domain’s mobile site.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Moo crew. We’re around to make your experience smooth.

All About FatCow Domain Security

By Jessica Ann
June 13, 2015

Internet Security

FatCow has fully integrated domain management into our account system so that you can stay secure while building your website. An important part of domain management is ensuring robust security is in place. This is why we take several measures to keep you informed about additions and changes to your account’s domains.

Here at FatCow, we use email as our primary means of verifying additions and changes to your domains. We notify you via a verification email whenever you first purchase a domain, whenever the name or email address associated with the domain are updated, and whenever your domain is moved to a different domain registrar.

Each verification email will contain a unique link you must click on to alert us to the fact that you were the person who made the change. You have 15 days to click the link in each verification email. We will suspend your domain on day 16 and display either a suspension page or simply a blank page. The purpose of this isn’t to annoy you but to make sure that if someone else is making unauthorized changes to your domain, those changes are not immediately implemented.

We know you are busy, so we provide an easy process to suspend your domain. Head to Domain Central, choose “suspended domain” and make sure the Contact email on file is correct. Then click Resend in the red notification box or Resend Email under the Verification heading.

You will receive a new verification email. Open the email account and click the verification link to restore your domain to normal visibility. It usually takes between 24 hours and 48 hours for the suspension to be lifted, so click the link as soon as you can. Don’t panic if your site isn’t restored right away.

Some businesses face more difficult security concerns than others. For those issues, we provide an addon service called NameSafe Protection. This service prevents anyone from making changes with the information and settings for each domain on which it is enabled. NameSafe is only active when you are logged out of your account.

NameSafe settings are managed in the Domain Central section of your FatCow Control Panel. You can deactivate it any time on a per-domain basis when you want to make changes. This extra level of security is NameSafe’s primary function because you need to do more than simply log in.

Select the domain you need to deactivate NameSafe on, choose Security and then click the Unlock link in the yellow banner below the domain menu. You will need to answer your security question and then you can click Unlock Domain.

The security question requirement is essentially a form of two-factor authentication, which requires a standard login with username and password and then a second form of authentication. There is a growing number of websites and services which offer two-factor authentication because it is such an effective means of securing sensitive information. It is so reliable that even the government uses it to secure many of its own systems.

How to Manage Domains with FatCow

By Jessica Ann
June 12, 2015

Your FatCow Control Panel contains a section titled Domain Central. That’s where you go to add, manage and update all of the domains associated with your FatCow account. We did our best to make it easy to modify multiple domains simultaneously so you can spend less time managing and more time on your business.

Domain Central will present a list of your FatCow domains and the most important information about each of them. You will see columns for registrar, expiration date (with the number of days until expiration in parentheses), privacy status and renewal setting (whether it auto-renews or must be renewed manually).

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Modifying and Updating Domain Information

You can select one or more domains to modify and then click Modify Selected Domains. Remember that any changes you make on the next screen will be applied to all of the selected domains. You can update contact information, refresh the WHOIS data, enable or disable domain privacy, lock or unlock the domains, enable or disable auto-renewal, update nameservers and more.

You can also immediately renew the selected domains. People who like to plan ahead for a single annual domain payment may find this option useful. If you renew all of the selected domains, they will share an expiration date going forward.

Registration information is mandated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It must include a listing for the registrant, the Admin Contact (your “webmaster,” which may be you as well, and the Billing Contact. Enter the new information for one or more of the contacts and click Save Contact Info. If you receive an error response, you may have left one of the required fields marked by an asterisk empty.

Those of you who love to collect domains may have more than you can easily sort through in a list. Just use the Search My Domains button to filter out the ones you don’t need. We know you’re busy so we do the filtering in real-time as you type your search terms into the box.

 

The Lifecycle of Domains

ICANN limits the duration for which you can register a domain to a ten-year maximum and registrars such as FatCow must abide by that limit. If you prefer to renew for shorter periods of time, we will always remind you to renew 60 days before your domain’s expiration date. Make sure your payment information is up to date because if it is incorrect we will not be able to auto-renew for you.

Domains are deactivated the day after they expire and replaced with a notice of expiration. You need to log in and renew your domain for at least one year to lift the expiration and reinstate your website as it was prior to the domain expiration. Be sure to take care of this before 30 days have passed.

Beyond the 30-day period, the domain may enter into the redemption grace period. This lists the domain for auction and someone else may purchase it. Even if no one else purchases the domain there may be a redemption fee of $160 to reactivate the domain under your account.
If no one has purchased or renewed the domain when the redemption grace period ends, the domain will be held for five days before being released to the general public for registration. Get in touch via our Support Console if you think your domain has expired.

Staying Secure with FatCow

By Jessica Ann
May 21, 2015

It’s no secret that hackers hunt for vulnerable systems and valuable information like passwords and credit card numbers. And often they get away with it. But how? It comes down to one word: Ignorance. This is why it’s important to be knowledgeable enough to make your websites and other accounts more secure.

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For example, it’s important to understand the difference between malware and hacking. Malware, or malicious software, is any program that can degrade or disable the security on your computer or your website (or, in some cases, both). The act of hacking is more direct, often involving a targeted attack against one system. Many hackers use malware to break open the door to your system and then use their hacking skills to make off with your credentials, data or identity.

Email accounts, website logins and hosting accounts contain sensitive information about you and perhaps even about your customers. A failure to maintain security can cost you privacy or even destroy your credit or your business. This is why FatCow takes security very seriously.

Here are some simple ways that you can do the same:

1. Be Wary

We get links from friends, family and coworkers for use in communicating, staying informed and getting our work done. But some links are not what they seem, and can result in a malware infection on your computer or website. Be wary of links from email addresses or social media posts whose sender you don’t recognize. Even if you do recognize the sender, if a link includes a URL you don’t recognize, or comes from someone who hardly ever contacts you, think twice before clicking it.

2. Be Certain

Be certain that the site you think you’re on is really the one it appears to be. Some hackers will build replicas of popular sites like Facebook or banking pages to trick people into entering private information. Always ensure that the domain name in your browser’s URL bar matches the website you intend to be using.

3. Secure Your Passwords

Passwords are another potential vulnerability. We have some tips to maximize the security your passwords provide, but you can find more information here. First, don’t use the same password everywhere. This is an easy way to give hackers the keys to every single account you possess. Second, don’t use a predictable password, like your dog’s name or the street you grew up on. Hackers can use social engineering tactics such as calls to customer service numbers to retrieve such information about you before they even have your password.

4. Use a Password Manager

A password manager can generate strong passwords for you and store them in a secure place. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business has a great page that describes some common pieces of software built for those very purposes. Custom keyboards on modern smartphones enable the use of these password managers even on mobile devices.

5. Other Extras to Consider

Consider using SiteLock site scanning to check your site for viruses. Keep WordPress updated and be sure to keep your data backed up.

Staying secure isn’t always the more fun work to do. But it’s the most important. So use this information as a guide to stop ignorance in its tracks. You and your business will be better off.

How to Manage Your Site Expresso with FatCow

By Jessica Ann
May 15, 2015

How to Manage Your Site Expresso with FatCow

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You can build and maintain your website on FatCow in many ways. If you’re new to making websites and want to get up and running, Site Expresso is one option. It guides you through the setup process. And the good news is that you can create up to seven pages, an image gallery and a contact form.

The basic Site Expresso menu displays a drop-down list of your pages, a Styles drop-down, a Colors menu and a Preview & Publish button. You can use this menu to add pages, edit text, create links to other pages, add images and to change the visual design of your site. You can enable as many of the seven pages as you need. Each one is designed for a different purpose.

Create a new page by clicking the drop-down arrow next to the Pages menu item and selecting Add a Page. Your page type choices are Products, Services, About, Image Gallery, Testimonials and Contact. Choose the one you want and select Add Page.

Once you have added the content to a page you can preview it by clicking the Preview & Publish button. Make sure everything is in its right place and then click Publish. Your changes will be instantly visible to your visitors.

Use the Styles button to choose an overall look and feel for your site. There are styles for many different types of websites, so don’t hesitate to try them all out. You can further customize your site by adding your logo to the site header.

Hover your mouse over the logo area on your homepage and click the Edit Logo button that appears. Then use the Find button to open the upload screen and select your logo from its location on your computer.

Ensure your visitors will see your logo by enabling it in the “Display My Menu” in the upper right area of your Home page. You can also enable your business name, which may be a good idea if your logo doesn’t include it. Click Continue to save your changes.

If you maintain a blog outside your Site Expresso site,add a link to it in your Pages menu. Choose Blog from the Add New Page menu we mentioned earlier and paste your blog’s web address in the box. Click Save and visitors to your business website will have easy access to your blog. Add a link from your blog to your business site as well for even better cross-marketing.

Your Contact page is vital so test your settings before you publish your site. When visitors fill out the contact form you’ll receive an email containing their message. Try sending yourself one from your Contact page so you can be sure it’s working.

Associate your social media profiles with your site by double-clicking the bottom-right corner of yourhomepage to add “Follow” links. You can add links to your Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn profiles. This helps your visitors find you on their social network of choice.

How to Manage FatCow Invoices and Receipts

By Jessica Ann
May 7, 2015

We know managing money can be a complicated thing, especially when you are running a small business. Many small business owners find themselves playing the roles of CEO, CFO, CTO and whatever else is required of them to grow their business. That’s why we try to make it as easy as possible to manage and access your FatCow transaction records.

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Invoices and Receipts

Begin at your Control Panel and go to Billing Central. You will see a table of transactions listed in order from the most recent to the oldest. Each entry includes a reference number, the item name, the bill date, the amount due, the credit applied, the total amount, the current status, the payment method and the paid date. You can use the links in the right-most column to view a printable HTML version of your invoice or receipt, download a PDF copy or send it as an email to the administrative and billing addresses you have on file with us.

If you need to access multiple records at once, use Billing Central’s Printable Statement feature. Choose the date range into which the invoices or receipts you need fall. Then decide whether you want a PDF or a CSV file. PDFs are good for distribution and printing, while CSVs are appropriate if you plan to analyze the data in a program like Microsoft Excel. Click Pull Statement to generate the document and you are done.

Credit Cards with FatCow

You can keep one credit card and one PayPal account on file with us at any given time. Update your credit card information by clicking Update Billing Info in your Control Panel. The Update Credit Card option may be selected by default. If not, select it and click Edit. Correct or change your credit card information, double-check it and click Submit Credit Card Update.

You will need to include your credit card’s CVV number. This is the four-digit number which appears unembossed on the front of American Express cards and the three-digit unembossed number found on the back of Discover, MasterCard and Visa cards.

We require the CVV so we can be extra confident that your information is secure. Speaking of security, make sure your ZIP Code is correct as well because we won’t process your card if it doesn’t match the billing address on file with your cardholder. There are some very smart folks working to root out fraud, but these simple measures are very effective.

FatCow can automatically update credit card information for American Express, MasterCard and Visa cardholders as long as they continue to participate in the Automatic Credit Card Updating Service. If your card expires or is lost or stolen, your card provider will automatically notify us of the information found on the replacement card issued to you. This is a great service because refunds can only be issued to the card from which the original charge was made, and it also ensures you never miss a payment from your own customers.

PayPal with FatCow

PayPal is so well-known that even the government accepts it. PayPal users can pay all renewing FatCow costs from their PayPal or choose to make one-time payments from PayPal. Do this by selecting PayPal during your purchase and then click PayPal’s One-Time Payments. The next time you are charged for that service it will be billed to your default payment method, not to your PayPal account (unless your PayPal account is your default payment method).

PayPal occasionally produces an error, so we have developed some basic solutions for the most common issues. If you try to pay with PayPal and receive an error stating “Billing Agreement Id or transaction Id is not valid” or “Billing Agreement was cancelled,” try using the One-Time payment method described above. If that doesn’t work, get in touch with us. Other errors most likely result from PayPal declining the transaction for some reason, so contact their support folks.

How to Stay in the Know with FatCow

By Jessica Ann
May 1, 2015

FatCow customers can rest easy knowing we work hard to keep their websites running on well-maintained servers. They are powerful machines, and we’re good at what we do. But problems happen. That’s why we have a robust Support Center. But there are some more proactive ways for you to keep informed about what’s going on behind the scenes at FatCow.

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Server maintenance is a complicated job. For example, the IRS alone spends roughly $5 million annually on mainframe and server support. That’s one project in one department of one agency. We don’t have the same resources as the IRS. But we also don’t have the same customer base either. Yet we still take maintenance seriously and keep you informed.

The Customer Alert Mailing List

Remember that newsletter you signed up for years ago that sends you a new poem every morning? Or the one that sends you “breaking” news all the time? If you’re smirking or rolling your eyes, you agree that these emails are, to put it nicely, useless. Much of the advice in this 2012 PDF by the University of Washington on email newsletter best practices is still sound. The most important thing is to be useful.

Log into your FatCow account and head to the Customer Alert page. Select the Email Alert ON option on the Customer Alert Mailing List page and then click Change Settings. You can also enable a subscription to the alerts from the Support Center. Look for the Receive System Alerts via Email message.

Other FatCow Email Subscriptions

We have other newsletters and email lists in addition to the Customer Alert list. Our Mailing Subscriptions page allows you to subscribe or unsubscribe from any newsletters or other emails that aren’t account related. We reserve the rights to send you email about your account for administration purposes. But if that’s all you want, we’re cool with that.

However, we take your time and privacy very seriously, so we only send you stuff we think you’ll find interesting or useful. If you want to receive newsletters or emails beyond standard account management communications, head to that subscribe page we linked to in the previous paragraph. Enter the email address where you want to receive newsletters and we’ll display your subscription status.

You’ll see a list of the newsletters you can subscribe to, and whether or not you’re subscribed. Click Subscribe or Unsubscribe to change your status for each mailing. Click Update my subscription settings to confirm your updates.

Other Communication Options

You may have questions that we don’t email you about. If this is the case, you can always send us a support ticket or give us a call at (888) 278-9780. We’re awesome and friendly, and we’ll do everything we can to help you out.

Will Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’ hurt my small business? What should I do NOW?

By moosnews
April 29, 2015

Are you ready, friends? Mobilegeddon is upon us.

mobilegeddon

Don’t worry, your new smartphone hasn’t finally become sentient (that we know of), but there are big changes ahead. Before you reach for your tinfoil hat, there are a few things you should know.

Google tweaked its search algorithm on Tuesday. From now on, sites that aren’t mobile-friendly — meaning ones that have text that’s too small, take a long time to load, or are generally hard to navigate — will see their search rankings plummet. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re about to experience a huge drop in search traffic.

Not great, obviously, but here’s why it’s a very big deal: Approximately 86% of all U.S. smartphone users search via Google. There are 177 million websites covered by Google search. If you’re not optimized for those mobile users, you’re going to get lost in a very large crowd.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Step 1
Find out if your site is mobile-friendly. Check this free, instant mobile-friendly test ASAP.

Step 2
If your site isn’t ready to go, don’t panic. We can help. Consider us your guide through this post-apocalyptic mobile wasteland. We’ll make your site mobile-friendly within a few days, helping you avoid any major losses in traffic or revenue (Google will notice the change and you’ll quickly regain your search ranking).

But you’ve got to move quickly. Call us at 1-855-736-5619 or click the button below and we will reach out to you within one hour.

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Crisis averted. But still keep an eye on your smartphone.

Managing All Kinds of Users with FatCow

By Jessica Ann
April 22, 2015

The term “user” comes up a lot on the web, referring to customers, visitors, software purchasers and other people on the “client-side” of server-client interactions. This article looks at a few different types of users you may encounter in operating your FatCow account, and how to keep them happy.

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How to Set Up a New WHM User

Web Hosting Management, or WHM for short, is the interface available to our Virtual Private Server (VPS) and Dedicated Server users for managing their own customers in Reseller Hosting accounts. It makes managing multiple accounts easier and faster. Keep in mind that our Shared Hosting customers, while they’re awesome, don’t have access to WHM as part of their FatCow package.

You will always need to make a new cPanel user in WHM before your customer can access their portion of the server. Begin, as we often do, by logging into your FatCow Control Panel. Click the Server Control Center icon and then hit the “Regenerate” button next to root password. In your web browser, type http://SERVER_IP:2087, replacing “SERVER_IP” with the IP address of your FatCow server. Use the username “root” and the password you regenerated a moment ago.

Now you’re going to head to the Account Functions section in WHM and click Create a New Account. Now fill in the the Domain Information portion, using the settings for the new cPanel user. You’ll have to assign a package to the account. But there will only be one to choose from (we try to make things easy).

How to Create FTP Users

You may need to create FTP users for customers or their clients, and luckily it’s not a difficult process. It’s important to note that this tool is available to our VPS, Dedicated and Shared hosting customers.

Go to the FTP section in your Control Panel and fill in the form title Create New FTP Account. Assign a username to the account and create a password with at least six characters, one letter, one digit and one punctuation character. Click “Create FTP User.”

Hopefully, you’re all done. But sometimes there may be an error you need to troubleshoot. We have some quick troubleshooting tips in our Knowledgebase.

Manage MySQL Users

MySQL is a powerful database management platform. You can accomplish a great deal with even the basic commands. And once again, like FTP management, this feature is available to users of any FatCow hosting package.

But you can’t always do everything alone. Start from your Control Panel and navigate to the MySQL Manager. Choose the database you need help with from the left panel and click the Add New User button in the right panel. Select a username and password. The username has to be unique and the password has to match our security requirements.

Click Add User and that’s it. Now you can send an email to the new user (while you get some takeout and watch the latest episode of Silicon Valley). Keep in mind that you can also use the MySQL Manager to change passwords, alter privileges or delete users.

How to Deal with Users You Don’t Want

We like to keep it positive around here, but some users are knowingly or unknowingly engaged in some shady behavior. Many may have been secretly hijacked for use in botnet attacks, others are just meanies. Here’s how to keep them out:

Use the .htaccess Editor to open the Block IP Addresses tool. Choose the folder you want to block and add the IP or range of IPs you want to block to the Current Settings section. Click save to initiate the new blocking rules. If you don’t need certain blocking rules anymore, click the Delete icon in the Blocked IP Addresses / Ranges table. Remember that all of the folders within the folder that you apply the block will also be blocked for the included IPs.

Tips for Building Your FatCow Site

By Jessica Ann
April 17, 2015

It’s rewarding to build a business and the web has made that goal available to more people than ever. The Small Business Administration calls it “a significant business leveler”. But there is a great deal of administrative overhead involved with running a successful business website, whether you’re generating leads or selling merchandise. It’s easy to get caught up in the related details and lose sight of why you built a website in the first place.

Do yourself a favor and get as much of that administrative stuff out of the way at the outset. We make it as easy as possible to take care of the details and get down to business. We’ll start, as usual, at your trusty Control Panel.

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Choose a Site Editor

The first thing you should do is to choose a Site Editor, which is the tool you will use to actually build your website. The Set Site Editor page gives you four available site editors. They are:
Weebly
WordPress
File Manager
FTP Settings
Choose whichever one works with your website, and then some cash will magically appear through your computer.

Cache, Not Cash

Just kidding (although anything can happen).

The proper pronunciation is cache, not cash. And you’ll need to clear it.

The cache is a clever feature of modern web browsers that can actually work against you when you’re trying to build your website. The cache is a collection of folders in which your browser stores temporary copies of the websites you’ve recently visited. The logic is that if you choose to return to those sites for any reason, they’ll load almost instantly from the cache. And when you’re just surfing around the web, it is a huge time-saver.

But when you’re building a website, it can be a pain. For example, you see an error in your draft website while you’re working. You head into your Site Editor of choice and make the correction. Then, you revisit your website to make sure the correction has been made. After all, a correction isn’t a correction if it doesn’t…correct.

Anyway, the browser loads your website from the cache, probably using a version of the site it saved before you made the change. This means that you’ll still see an uncorrected version of the site. This can be confusing and lead to an exasperated loop of revise-check-revise-check. The answer is to clear that cache.

How to Clear Your Cache

Our Knowledge Base has browser-specific instructions for clearing the cache, but the steps are similar for each browser. Internet Explorer and Firefox both have a Tools menu in which you’ll find the options for dealing with the cache. Chrome has a handy search feature on its Settings page where you can just type “clear browsing data.” You can also just click this link from within Chrome.

You’ll see a list of items you can delete no matter what browser you use. It’s safest for our purposes to uncheck everything that doesn’t include “cache” or something like “offline website data.” If there’s a time range option, choose the longest duration. Click the “Clear…” button to apply the changes and then close your browser completely.

Your next visit to your website should download the most recent version of the site and show you any changes you made. This process may seem daunting the first few times but it gets easier. Scour your site for all the changes you need to make to clear your cache as infrequently as possible.