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Web Hosting Phenomenon

Publishing through Visual Studio or Visual Web Developer

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WebDeploy has made a lot of things easier in development and configuration. But if you are using either Visual Studio or Visual Web Developer, you’ll notice unlike WebMatrix it doesn’t support importing publishSettings directly — which means you have to input the setting manually before you publish any applications. When you are inputting the publish URL, this is where things get tricky. Instead of using default URL from publishSettings file, you have to input a FULL service URL into Visual Studio / Visual Web Developer or else you’ll get an error like “ERROR 1: Invalid Web Deploy Service URL”.

The full service URL should be:  https://server.phi9.com:8179/MsDeploy.axd

Written by Phi 9 World

May 16th, 2012 at 3:30 am

How do I install DNN?

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So the time comes when you have played with the ASP.net, you need a content management system and you are interested in the DotNetNuke — the infamous ‘DNN’.
At Phi9, you can install DNN by one of the three methods. Either through WebMatrix, one-click installer or manually.
To demonstrate the full process, let’s go with the last method and install our DNN.

The steps involved are pretty simple.
– Configure databases
– Get special permissions setup
– Download latest installation package
– Upload the contents of package
– Complete the web based installation process

Details 

  1. Make sure that there are no remains of previous installations in your domain or databases. Delete everything in public_html of the domain and recreate your databases from control panel. If this is your first attempt of installation, then you don’t need to worry about this step.
  2. Now the second step is really important. You need “special” permissions for your DNN before you proceed with the installation. This can only be done from server side. Have a system engineer assign these permissions for your domain(s). Simply email support@phi9.com or ask through live chat.
  3. Login to your Windows control panel, go to your hosting space menu, choose Databases section and create an MSSQL database. You see the ‘Create database’ button in below screenshot, just click on it.
    create-db
  4.  Create create a database user and assign it to the database you just created. Do it as follows.
    create-db-user
  5. Go to DotNetNuke’s official website, click on Download link from top navigation and then download the “Install Package” shown here.
  6. Extract the zip package you just downloaded, login to your FTP account (through FileZilla) and upload the contents of zip package to public_html directory of your desired domain. You can see the login credentials in the account information email sent to you when you signed up.
  7. Now open web browser, go to yourdomain.com/install/, wait for a few moments before the DNN wizard starts up. Choose ‘Typical’ and hit the next button.
  8.  Click on ‘Next’ again.
  9.  Choose “SQL Server 2005 / 2008 Database”, enter SQL Server address (this is also sent you in account information email), enter your database name you created in step 3 above, uncheck “Integrated Security” check box, enter the db user name and password you created earlier and finally hit the button ‘Next’.
  10. The installation process will start. Hold your breath and make sure that you don’t get any errors.
  11. This is the final step of installation. Enter your user details and website information. You can then select the default template for your DNN. It can be either ‘Blank Website’ or ‘Default Website’. If this is a test deployment, you can choose the second option so you can play and learn.
  12. There you go. You brand new DNN blank website is ready.

Congratulations! You can now download DNN’s official beginners’ guide and start cooking the DNN.

Written by Phi 9 World

May 11th, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Don’t Sleep – Drink Coffee

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Coffee - Phi 9 - The Web Hosting PhenomenonWe don’t get much sleep around Phi 9. Some customers have even commented on this when our support answers their inquiries in the wee hours of the morning. Our motto is “don’t sleep, drink coffee”. And according to this article published by Newsweek / The Daily Beast, coffee is not just good for you, but it might save your life.

 

 

Written by Michael

May 2nd, 2012 at 11:59 am

Gambling in the cloud: Cloud-based gaming and the casino industry

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Industry giant IGT continues to champion cloud gaming

“Cloud storage and hosting is the wave of the future.” It’s a claim that’s been bandied about constantly for the past few years. Judging by the general flow of current technology, though, it’s also turned into a claim that is fast becoming a reality.

Tech companies, of course, are among the vanguard of the cloud revolution. It might surprise some to know, however, that an often overlooked area of the tech industry has also started to embrace it wholeheartedly. We’re talking about casino gaming providers.

IGT, a world leader in slot machine development, launched its own cloud storage solution for casino games in late 2011. The IGT Cloud, as it is known, was also used by the UK-based Aspers Group casino chain last year. It currently links 103 machines across two Aspers Group casinos located in Milton Keynes, Stratford as well as two others in Newcastle and Northampton.

Serious developments in cloud- and server-based casino gaming delivery systems actually started years before, in 2006. In 2007, Nevada gaming regulators approved IGT’s server-based gaming system after a successful test run on 20 machines. The system basically treats gaming terminals as blank boxes that can be loaded with whatever games the casino sees fit.

The system provides land-based casinos with capabilities similar to those leveraged by online casinos. Updates and fixes can easily be rolled out to any problematic cabinets, minimizing the time required to do repairs. Interestingly enough, IGT also has its hands in the online market. Its servers are being used by UK-based online gaming giant Gaming Realms, whose online and mobile casino Castle Jackpot also features numerous IGT-developed titles.

Sabby Gill, IGT’s Senior VP of International Sales, emphasizes that cloud-based casino gaming doesn’t just make it easy to spot and fix technical problems. It also helps operators cut costs. “It’s not only the cost of deploying games, it’s the cost of technical infrastructure, he told Innovate Gaming earlier this month. “So, we’re not only looking at the player, we’re also concerned with how operators reduce their costs of running a casino.”

It’s no wonder, then, that more and more gaming companies are willing to gamble on the cloud.

Written by Michael

May 1st, 2012 at 12:58 am

Posted in Sales Promotion

WebMatrix, permissions and DotNetNuke!

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WebMatrix has revolutionized the way the web applications are configured and deployed. But there still is a missing piece to the puzzle — ASP.net application pool identity permissions. Because the way ASP.net user trust level works in IIS, some ASP.net applications need special permission sets. Coupled with WebMatrix this can increase the confusion for users to have their applications deployed.

Before we begin troubleshooting, we need to understand how WebMatrix actually works (for those who don’t know it yet). The process includes

  • Uploading files to the virtual host
  • Setting application settings as defined in web.config
  • Restoring databases
  • Setting permissions for App_Data and virtual host root

The odd thing happens at the last step in this case. You get an “Error – Publish Failed!”. Unless you click on the Log, you won’t likely find out what caused it. The typical error looks like this

The error occurs right before setting up the permissions. Now, the way WebMatrix sets up permissions is very odd. The “setAcl” command you see above first resets the current permissions and then it applies the permissions defined in WebMatrix profile and application settings that you are trying to deploy (located in C:\Users\User\Documents\IISExpress\WebDeploy\Config\ProjectName). And for this reason the WebDeploy has come under heavy criticism in official community forums. Though one can see this issue is likely addressed in the recent release of WebDeploy 3.0 but it has a few more problems of its own.

Based on the server side rules, the domain’s application pool settings, you’ll need to have an admin set permissions on root of the domain. But that’s still not all. There’s one last thing you should worry about. If you see an error like below, the DotNetNuke’s installation simply will halt. And you’ll have to start over by recreating the database and reuploading the files, because of incomplete data in the database. It’s just the DotNetNuke’s installation process which is still very old fashioned.

For me, this is just paradigm of user interest and software conflict.
To sum up, one should:
a) Either have a system engineer look up WebDeploy, assign and fix necessary permissions and make sure they are inherited properly so WebMatrix won’t overwrite (a lengthy process itself)
b) Or tell WebMatrix to leave the permissins alone and then have a system engineer fix the issue
 msbuild.exe myproject.csproj /p:IncludeSetAclProviderOnDestination=False

Either way, it’s the user interest that wins!

Written by Phi 9 World

April 30th, 2012 at 8:05 am

I Have A Snazzy New Website: Now What?

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Web Design & Return On Investment

Being in the Web Hosting business, we hear comments like this on a daily basis:

“I just paid $3000 for a new website and it is really pretty! But it’s not producing any sales.”

In other words, it is a $3000 interactive business card. The goal of a business website is to communicate with consumers, inform them about your business and (hopefully) directly increase revenue. If your website is not increasing business then you are wasting your money.

I’m sure you are thinking “that’s easier said than done”. And we agree, it is easier said than done. But it isn’t all that difficult overall. In fact, if your website is built in WordPress or some other CMS it is actually pretty easy to optimize your existing content, add new content and reach consumers.

Here are some tips on how to increase traffic to your website:

  • Inform existing customers that you have a website. Publicize your website everywhere: on your business card, on your letterhead, on the side of your vehicle and on all paid marketing materials.
  • List your URL on all of your personal social media accounts and on your e-mail signature.
  • Keep your domain short and sweet. For example, eagleplumbsd.com is a better choice than eagleplumbingseweranddrain.com
  • Use branded business e-mail for all marketing communications with customers: john.doe@eagleplumbsd.com versus johneagleplumb@hotmail.com. If you do not already have this service, consider Business E-mail Service from Phi 9.
  • Engage your customers with social media. Having a Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus account are essential in today’s world. Of course you must actually USE social media for it to be effective, just having a blank Facebook page isn’t going to do anything for you. In fact, it will probably hurt you.
  • Use a unified solution such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to manage all of your social networks on a centralized platform. (At Phi 9 we use and recommend Hootsuite  – click here for a free 30 day trial)
  • Use a mailing list such as aWeber to communicate with your customers. Offer then some incentive to opt in to your newsletter.
  • Blog, blog, blog! Write articles and share other people’s articles relevant to your business. Make sure to share your blogs on various social media platforms. Blogs should contain information that is actually useful to customers, not just sales pitches. In fact, we recommend keeping sales pitches and marketing communications to less than 10% of your communications.
  • Consider investing in Search Engine Optimization, both on-site and off-site. This will help the search engines find your website and thus increase business.
  • Purchase pay-per-click advertisements with Google, Bing and Facebook. In our opinion, Google is the best advertising vehicle for companies looking to advertise to the mass market and Facebook is the best vehicle for those looking to target specific groups of consumers.

There is no “one time” solution to get you traffic, you must continuously update your website, post new relevant content and communicate with customers. It sounds like a lot of work, but it is much less expensive than traditional advertising and has much higher return on investment.

Written by Michael

April 9th, 2012 at 12:03 am

.org Domain Sale

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Phi 9 Org Domain Sale

We have reduced the price of all .Org domains to $7.25 until May 31, 2012.

.Org domains are usually $11.99 a year, so now is a great time to take advantage of this amazing price to register a new .org domain or extend your existing .org domain.

You can register or renew a .Org domain for up to 10 years by clicking here.

Written by Phi 9 World

April 5th, 2012 at 10:05 pm

The Eagle has finally landed! Phi 9 is officially live.

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Its been a while since we started working on the Phi 9 project and today I think we are mostly done with, from what started as a draft on small piece of paper. The reason why Phi 9 came into existence is pretty eccentric. There are a lot of hosts out there so why one more? The answer is ‘exclusivity’ and ‘sustainability’. If you look out for a genuine host that specializes in small scale web hosting, you would likely be disappointed because they basically all do the same thing — overselling! Only a handful of them provide what customers exactly need and when. Corporatism is adept but only to some extent. Rest is all the same hype unfortunately!  Most of the hosts benefit from open source and free tools such as the stuff that runs on GNU/Linux but how many of them actually contribute back to the community and how much? It just, is a small example of blatant corporatism that continues to outbid the industry.

That’s one of the main reasons why we started out. Specialization is the key for customer satisfaction and that’s what we strive for! From start to end, we have worked hard on bringing the ‘premium’ products to our perspective customers. Our responsibility doesn’t simply end there but we feel that we have a better job to do in the community. We call it our ‘phenomenon’ and that’s where our logo and name comes :-P! It’s just a matter of choice to go with a provider that hypes the world with overly excessive marketing or the one that specializes in customer satisfaction and is promising in contributing back to an environment that makes the world a better place!

The look and feel of our site basically tells the same thing. Simplistic and puristic at it’s best.

Phi 9 Home PagePhi 9 Home PagePhi 9 Home PageWhy Us?


 

Written by Phi 9 World

March 10th, 2012 at 12:31 pm