WordPress sites with us are now protected against botnet brute-force attacks

During the last week, there is a massive botnet attack against random WordPress sites on the Internet, attempting to brute-force their administrative sections.

To protect the WordPress sites of our customers, we have set up an automatic brute-force protection for all of them. In case of too many unsuccessful login attempts against a WordPress site, its administrative section login screen will start to display a static page, thus not allowing the botnet to make further password-guessing attempts. When the unsuccessful login attempts cease, the WordPress login screen will return to a normal state.

Internet abuse becomes a more serious problem each day. Thousands of botnets are operating online to spread viruses, steal passwords and identities, send spam, etc. With this protection, our aim is to add more security to WordPress-based sites on our servers. Also, we strongly advise our customers to keep their site software, including themes and plugins, always up-to-date. Very often login credentials are stolen from local computers, therefore everyone must keep their local system protected against viruses and malware.

ICDSoft affiliate program is to be discontinued

Our affiliate program has been in operation since 2005. For these seven years, our affiliates brought thousands of new customers to our services.

ICDSoft was established as a hosting company more than 12 years ago with one simple goal - to offer a hosting service of the highest quality and to become an example in the industry. It was never a priority to expand rapidly, to have great number of customers, or to maximize profits. For this reason, marketing was hardly ever used. Our priority has always been to invest in hardware, technologies, and staff - matters that determine the service quality, as we believe in the concept that a good service would sell itself alone.

The great number of our happy customers proves that we managed to reach our primary goal - high-quality service - and despite the complete lack of direct advertising, we managed to maintain healthy expansion rates throughout the years. Of course, the affiliate program had contributed to our growth since 2005, and this program had been the only exception of our "no money for marketing" policy.

We believe that each business has a "critical mass" - a certain size of the company, beyond which it becomes difficult to maintain the same level of service. More customers and employees leads to the requirement for more complicated company structures and procedures, and it is usually the customer who suffers because of the scale of the provider. That's why, a part of ICDSoft's vision for the future has always been to reach a balance between the quality of the offered service and the number of active customers, and to control very carefully any further growth, ensuring that the balance is never shifted towards the latter.

The greatest asset of ICDSoft are its employees. Most people at ICDSoft work for the company for more than 7-8 years. In the hosting business and especially when it comes to hosting support, experience matters a lot. That's why if the number of our customers increases now rapidly, the number of employees will have to increase too, and most new employees would usually have less experience than our current staff. This is a simple example of how going over a certain number of customers too fast might lead to a degradation of the service level.

As of now, we are hosting over 105,000 sites. Also, through our Reseller program, our resellers continue to bring new customers to our servers. To allow our resellers to grow further, and to prevent further growth that may not allow us to keep the quality of our service, we have decided to discontinue our affiliate program as of Oct 1, 2012.

After Oct 1, 2012, we will no longer be paying affiliate commissions for bringing new customers through a site banner, text links, or through promo codes created through the affiliate panel. All accumulated commissions, even those below the payment threshold, will be paid to our affiliates. This will happen within several weeks after the program suspension date. The affiliate promo codes will continue to work, but they will display a message that the program is no longer available.

We are extremely grateful to all our affiliates who trusted us and worked with our affiliate program. However, at this point we prefer to contain our growth and to assure the highest level of our hosting services.

ICDSoft on hosting review and rating sites

A vastly-used method to popularize and sell a hosting service is to have your company listed on hosting review and rating sites.

ICDSoft is in the hosting business for more than 12 years. Back in 2002, we were hosting about 10,000 sites, growing up to over 100,000 in 2011. Despite of the fact that we have quite many customers, you can notice that ICDSoft is not listed on many hosting rating sites.

In general, there are two types of hosting rating sites:

  • sites that list all companies they can find, and then collect and display each review of hosting customers. Such sites make a living usually by selling space for advertising, or by affiliate programs.
  • sites that offer paid listings - hosting companies pay for their place in the countdown just as advertising space is paid. The higher is the ranking place - the higher is the fee for it.

If you see ICDSoft listed in a hosting reviews and rating site, then the site is from the first type. You can be absolutely sure about this, because we do not invest any money in such type of marketing. So if you see our name on a list, then this definitely is not a paid listing.

Our marketing budget has always been close to zero. The reason for this is quite simple - instead of spending money on marketing, we prefer to spend money for improving our hosting services. This includes purchasing expensive hardware, using reliable colo services, and hiring knowledgeable staff. The lack of marketing budget allows us to offer a high quality hosting service at relatively low prices. These prices would have been much higher at a company that is on all paid hosting listings. Actually, we have more "marketing agents" than any other company - when a customer satisfied with the high level of our services recommends us, this pays better than any advertisement or paid listing.

We plan to continue doing our business in the same manner.

Upgrade of Business plan accounts

Today we doubled the space and traffic resources of all Business plan accounts on our servers. The Business plan now features:

  • Disk space: 100GB (50GB until now)
  • Monthly traffic: 1000GB (500GB until now)

The plan price and volume discounts remain the same. With this upgrade, we want to give our customers more room to develop and expand their websites and online presence.

This plan upgrade became possible after the improvements we recently made to our servers and network infrastructure. All our several hundred hosting machines were replaced with the latest hardware available on the market. We also upgraded and fine-tuned all network equipment within the datacenters, thus allowing faster access speed to our servers. We were able to make serious investments in our infrastructure as a result of the loyalty of our customers who have used our services for years. We feel obliged to continue providing the best possible service to all our customers.

SSL certificates

As of today, we are extending the range of services we offer, and we now provide domain validation SSL certificates as well. Our customers can choose between GeoTrust and Comodo as a certificate issuer. We hope that providing SSL certificates will make site/account administration easier for our customers, being able to use more services for their sites at a single provider.