Hands-On Web Hosting Acquired by Total Server Solutions

As 2014 gets underway, a new chapter begins at Hands-On Web Hosting. You’ve come to know and trust Hands-On for all of your hosted services needs. First of all, thank you for your continued trust. In many things, a new year signals new growth and positive change.

As of January 2014, Hands-On Web Hosting has been acquired by Total Server Solutions. Everyone that you know and trust from Hands-On has joined the Total Server Solutions team so you can be assured that you’ll get the same personal touch and expert service that you’ve come to expect.

This acquisition does not simply result in a larger company with more accounts and more staff–at its core is a sharing of knowledge & expertise. Think of it as an upgrade. As a customer of Total Server Solutions, you get full access to our team of expert admins and technicians. The Hands-On team has brought their years of experience to Total Server Solutions. That, coupled with the extensive network infrastructure of Total Server Solutions means that as a customer, you benefit.

Questions & Answers

Q: Will the Hands-On staff still handle my account?
A: Yes. All of the names you know and trust from Hands-On have joined the Total Server Solutions team.

Q: Will there be any changes to my customer portal login?
A: No. Everything will function exactly as it does right now. You won’t have to learn any new systems.

Q: Will my account migrate to new hardware or a new location?
A: Yes. We will be providing information well in advance of any migrations. We want to make sure you have adequate notice of any impending changes. Our goal is to keep communications open and transparent.

Q: Will there be any changes to existing product lines?
A: For now, all products and services will remain in their current form. In the future we will launch new products that are aligned with our existing products at Total Server Solutions. When that time comes you will be presented with incentives and opportunities to upgrade. We won’t just switch you over to a new plan but will carefully build products and services that combine the best of both Hands-On and Total Server Solutions.

But, to keep things brief, here are a few of our core beliefs that govern all of our customer relationships:

  • Respect – Our team treats you, our customer with respect in all things. You trust us with your data and your business. We take that very seriously. You will always be treated respectfully.
  • Integrity – The relationship between customer and service provider is sacred. All internal decisions revolve around providing benefit to you, the customer. We put your best interests first and make decisions in such a way to provide maximum benefit to you.
  • Meticulous – Everyone from executive management to the technical team is committed to your success. We don’t simply fill orders, we want to make sure that your needs are met 100% of the time. We know you’re paying for perfection and our goal is to provide you with the best experience possible.
  • Fast – If you need anything, it’s our goal to get your need taken care of as quickly as possible. We hate waiting and we don’t want you to wait either.

Over the coming weeks we will provide you with further info about the acquisition and what it means for your data & account. In the meantime, sit back, recover from the holiday season and festivities, and relax in the knowledge that your already great level of service and customer experience will only continue to improve.

Thank you,

The Total Server Solutions Team

Security Advisory: cPanel Update Released

cPanel has released an update today for all public tiers of it’s popular server control panel software. This update contains a number of important changes to address security concerns with the software. If you’re running a server that isn’t managed by us, we highly recommend that you update your cPanel software immediately.

The good news is, if you are a customer of Hands-On, this update has most likely already been applied or will be shortly. Our shared hosting servers have already been updated, so Hands-On shared hosting customers need not be concerned with this advisory. Cloud, VPS and Dedicated Hosting customers with Essential or Signature Management will automatically have this update applied within the next 12 hours.

If you have an unmanaged dedicated server with us, we recommend you apply this important update as soon as possible. This can be done in cPanel’s Web Host Manager (WHM). Take a look at the welcome mail you received when you ordered your dedicated server for information on how to access WHM.

Before updating, take a look at the upper right corner of WHM to see what version of cPanel you are currently running. It should look something like this:

WHM 11.40.0 (build 29)

You will want to be running at least one of the following versions depending on which release tier you are using:

11.40.1 (build 3) – EDGE and CURRENT tiers
11.40.0 (build 29) – RELEASE and STABLE tiers

If you are running one of these versions, or one with a higher build or version number, you are up-to-date. Otherwise, you should choose “Update to Latest Version” to upgrade your cPanel software.

If you have any questions or concerns with this security advisory, please contact us via our 24/7 Helpdesk or Live Chat.

Hands-On Holiday Sale – TWO MONTHS FREE + FREE DOMAIN!

‘Tis the season for our best sale of the year! If you’ve been biding your time with your current host while looking for a great deal, your search is over with our 2013 Holiday Sale.

Choose any of our US or UK-based standard Web Hosting Plans with an Annual prepayment and you’ll not only get our everyday discount, but you’ll also get an additional TWO MONTHS FREE! For example, our popular Startup Web Hosting Plan, regularly $6.95 per month, would cost you $83.40 for a year. While our standard annual prepayment discount would reduce that cost to $54, with our Holiday promotion you’ll only pay $45 for an entire year of hosting! Just be sure to use the coupon code “TISTHESEASON” during checkout to get your discounted rate.

Not good enough for you? It gets better! Not only do you get two months of free hosting, you’ll also get a FREE DOMAIN NAME! As long as you register or transfer a .com, .net, .org, .co.uk, .info, .biz, .us, or .eu domain name for one year as part of your annual Web Hosting order, that registration or transfer will be absolutely free! That’s a total savings of $48.40 per year off the regular 12-month cost of our Startup plan, and you’ll save even more when you choose a larger plan!

Already have a domain name you want to use? No problem! Just choose to transfer that domain to us and we’ll waive the transfer fee. This will not only allow you to manage your domain in the same easy-to-use system as your web hosting, but will also extend your domain registration an entire year absolutely free!

How to get started? Choose any Standard Web Hosting Plan on our website with an annual prepayment. You can even choose hosting in the UK if you wish. Be sure to either register a new qualifying domain (see the above list of extensions) for one year, or choose to transfer an existing domain to take advantage of the free registration or transfer. During checkout, enter the coupon code “TISTHESEASON” to get the discounted rate. Double-check your order to make sure you have both the discount and the free domain listed. If you run into any problems during the order process, our support team will be happy to assist!

Please note that this special offer is only available for NEW Web Hosting accounts, and cannot be applied to existing accounts, or to upgrades. Existing customers may take advantage of this offer with a new purchase as long as it doesn’t replace an existing account. Please see our Terms and Conditions for other details specific to promotional plans. If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact our Support Team. This offer expires December 31, 2013.

Black Friday Dollar Sale

Get One Month of Hosting for One Dollar!

That’s right! Today through Cyber Monday, you can get ANY shared hosting account (US or UK Startup, Small Business, Professional or Enterprise) for ONE DOLLAR for the first month. Start small or go big, the first month is still only a buck! Just use the coupon code “BLACKFRIDAY” when ordering:


Note that this promotion is for NEW shared hosting accounts only (no upgrades), and is non-recurring (only applies to the first monthly billing period). See our Terms and Conditions for additional details. Offer expires December 2, 2013

Trying to Drive Traffic to Your New Website? Try Photos and Video.

In the big scheme of things, creating a website isn’t the most difficult thing to do.

Here at Hands-On, we can help you with all of your hosting needs. And whether you’re deciding things like how much bandwidth you need and how to make your website secure, there are lots of resources out there to help.

But when it comes to actually driving traffic to your website, it’s very easy to run into trouble. There are so many different things to consider when it comes to figuring out how to get people to go to your site, and many new website owners find themselves overwhelmed.

Aside from methods like traditional SEO and AdWords, one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site is through social media. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool, and can inform lots of followers about your site if you do it correctly. Continue Reading

WordPress vs. Drupal: Which is Better?

Here at Hands-On Web Hosting, we make it easy for you to get your site hosted and on its way. But when it comes to actually building your site, you have a lot of choices.

One of the biggest choices you’ll have to make is choosing between WordPress and Drupal. Although you certainly don’t have to build your site off of either platform, both offer their own distinct advantages (and disadvantages) for customers running a new site.

Our hosting packages support either option, so today, we’re going to take a look at the advantages (and disadvantages) of each to help you make a choice when deciding on WordPress vs. Drupal: Continue Reading

4 Things to Keep In Mind When Choosing a Web Host

If you’re currently at that stage where you’re trying to figure out what web host to use, we want to take a minute to remind you why choosing the right host is essential.

Your website is a critical part of your business, and with so many choices out there for web hosting, it can be easy to think that any host will do. The truth is, that’s just not the case–and to show you why, we’ve gathered up 4 things to keep in mind when choosing a web host: Continue Reading

Report Finds 73% of WordPress Sites Are Vulnerable to Attack

Just recently, we wrote and published a blog about a few easy ways to beef up WordPress security. We mentioned in passing that it’s important to keep your WordPress regularly updated—and a new report just came out showing why.

As reported in InformationWeek, a recent analysis of the 40,000 most popular WordPress sites “found that 73% of installations run on a version with known vulnerabilities discoverable by automated toolkits.” Yes, you read that right: 73%Continue Reading

Traditional SEO vs. AdWords: Which Is More Effective?

Last month, we wrote a post about 3 tips for improving your SEO. Whether we like it or not, SEO is an integral part of running your website: to succeed as a business, you need to get found, and in order to get found, people need to be able to find you on search engines like Google.

In that blog post, we detailed what some people call ‘traditional SEO’—that is, SEO via time-tested methods like writing good content and using the right keywords.

In the effort to get your new website found, there are other options out there, perhaps the most tempting of which is Google’s AdWords, which takes a pay-per-click approach to getting found.

But which is more effective—AdWords, or traditional SEO?  Continue Reading

3 Easy Ways to Beef Up WordPress Security

In the world of web hosting, you can never be too careful. Security should always be a priority—if it isn’t, you leave your website vulnerable to attack and exploitation.

But security isn’t always a black and white issue. As an example, things get a little bit more complicated as you install more scripts on your website.

One such script is WordPress, an extremely popular blogging script that’s highly customizable and very user-friendly.

When installing something like WordPress onto your website, it’s important that you also take the necessary steps to further protect your website. When used properly, WordPress is very safe, but it never hurts to beef up security just in case.

With that in mind, here are 3 easy ways to beef up your WordPress security: Continue Reading