NZST - 12:00 AM
10 June 2012
Once again we've modified the Conspire Web Services home page in an effort to make all the information we need to display easier to read.
The most obvious change is the overall simplification of the site content, instead of complex boxes we've opted to scale back the design to simple plain colors, which makes the accented areas of the page more noticeable and lessens eye strain when looking through pages with lots of information.
Along with the change to the boxes, we've introduced a new font to the site: Open Sans and increased the default size to make the site content more legible for a wider audience.
We've also introduced a special treat for users that are running modern browsers with large format monitors (any monitor that has a minimum resolution of 1800px width). When viewing the site on a compatible monitor - essentially any Full HD monitor or higher - you'll notice that the central content column splits in two, with the main content to the left and any meta information to the right.
Try it now - make sure your monitor is set to 1800 pixels across and then maximize your browser window on this page. Try re-sizing the window down to a smaller width and the content will dynamically change back to a single column window.
The reasoning for changing the website stems from a number of several background changes to our content management system. We've changed the way building our site works to create a more robust system that scales to a wider range of sites.
We've also made a way for us to access a central database of hosting information and the site now links directly into our back-end pricing system - meaning any changes to a hosting plan is immediately updated across all pages that reference that information. This also means we can bring any changes in pricing to market quicker, passing any price decreases to our customers quicker than ever before.
All of the functionality has been rewritten in a way that better realizes our goals of a quicker and more efficient website. It was clear that we had to make the site load faster, so we cut back a fair deal of the processing each page load needs to do.
The result is a faster server-side processing time, which is more efficient and avoids performing similar actions twice.
New Products & Changes to Existing Products
While we've been focusing on building our new site, we've decided to hold off on any product announcements, since any of the pages will have need to be ported across to the new platform. It gave us motivation to finish the changes quicker, so we can roll out our new products at the same time.
Here is a quick list of new our new products and changes:
- OpenVZ based Virtual Private Servers have now been introduced alongside our existing Virtuozzo plans. There are 10 new systems available and are cheaper than our Virtuozzo plans as they are based on free open source technologies.
- AWStats is now available on all shared hosting servers, which allows for a different set of statistics gathered than the existing Webalizer tool.
- .PL domains from Poland are now available and is available for up to 3 years at a time. These domains are not eligible for ID protection.
- Chinese domains are now available again, following a temporary unavailability due a change in the way they need to be acquired from the registrar.
- The web hosting control panel (version 3) has been translated to German and Turkish so you can now work in these alternative languages when modifying hosting settings.
- We have discontinued our SupremeWebMail product as the cost of maintaining it became unfeasible as the majority of our customers had already switched to RoundCube.
- The CPU limits for our shared hosting plans have been increased. Plans currently at 4.5% (except the starter plan) will increase to 5%. The corporate plan goes from 5.5% to 7% and the Enterprise plan is now at 10% (up from 7)
- In addition to the CPU limits for shared hosting the semi-dedicated plans have a usage limit increase too. Semi-Dedicated 1 now has a 30% limit and Semi-Dedicated 2 has up to 50% (increased from 20% and 40% respectively)
- A policy change from our SSL certificate provider means SSL certificates can only be registered for a maximum of 4 years (down from 10). This is to combat a new trend of rogue certificate signing. Any certificates that currently have more than 4 years until expiry will not be affected until renewal time.
- NodeJS, Memcached & Varnish upgrades are available as a paid upgrade to new shared hosting customers. The current pricing is special introductory pricing for the moment and may change at a later time. Dedicated Servers will include the functionality for free and we're working towards introducing the system to virtual servers.
- Memcached is a high performance cache that re-allocates server memory resources to parts of the system that may need it more.
- Varnish can increase application speed by up to 1000x by caching important elements of the application execution and server requests.