This year was difficult, but Cityhost continued to work and grow. Twelve months flew by quickly, and looking back, we can see how much our team managed to accomplish. We summarize the results of 2022 and tell you what we managed to implement.
Alarming reports about the probable start of a full-scale war were perceived differently by everyone - some did not believe that it was possible, while others were sure that Russia would definitely attack. We hoped that this would not happen, but still decided to be prepared.
At the beginning of the year , we implemented a number of measures in case of a Russian invasion - we prepared to transfer data abroad, gave customers more space for backups and created an action plan in case of the worst scenario.
When the first helicopters flew in the north of Kyiv region, we already knew what to do and started migrating client accounts to European data centers.
In the first days of the full-scale war, we blocked all Russian customers — more than 1,500 accounts. They called on colleagues, other hosting providers, to do the same. All leading companies on the market were unanimous in this matter. In addition, we have blocked access to our site and all services from Russian IP addresses.
On this occasion, the Russians were very angry, and they created a stormy discussion on Peekaboo, which accumulated more than 70 thousand views.
In the first months of the war, the lives of many people turned into chaos. Someone fell under the occupation, someone lived in the subway, someone evacuated abroad. We understood that in this situation, many of our customers will not be able to make payments on time.
Therefore, additional conditions have been created for users so that they do not lose their services. In March, when our customers were going through the most difficult times, we extended the service extension period so that everyone who did not have the connection or the funds to top up their accounts could keep their domains and data on the servers.
In April, we continued our work in this direction, further expanding the period of service extension . A redemption period was set for domains until the end of the war — this is the time when the domain is already blocked, but still attached to the owner. In addition, the domain could be renewed at the normal price (and not at the increased price, as it was before). The storage of hosting accounts has also been increased to 130 days (previously it was 35).
At the same time, we started building technical infrastructure in a new country — the Netherlands. We chose Tier3 Serverius Data Center, which has more than 12 years of successful operation, independent power grid, Uptime 99.999%, staff of highly qualified engineers and a number of other advantages. Now you can order VDS hosted in a Dutch data center and have peace of mind about your data.
We continue to move servers to other European countries, in particular to Germany and Finland. We have already moved all hosting servers abroad and offer our customers to move VDS and DS. Migration of dedicated and virtual servers is possible only at the request of the tenant, so we send offers and all information about the transfer in emails - the decision is made by the customers.
During the war, we could not stay away, like many citizens of Ukraine. From the very beginning, our team had a clear position and tried to bring Victory closer by joint actions.
The "Army Help" button appeared in the control panel
In the service control panel, in the left menu column, you will see the "Army Help" button. The button leads to the state charity account in the National Bank of Ukraine, that is, the collection is completely official and reliable.
Free services for government and charitable organizations
For budget institutions and volunteer organizations, hosting and domains are provided free of charge. This offer is valid for city/village administrations, schools, libraries, universities, charitable foundations, etc. The procedure for obtaining a domain and hosting for free is described in the instructions.
Since the beginning of the year, we have provided free services to more than 60 different organizations in the amount of almost UAH 100,000.
We do not use Russian products
We refused to use Russian products, in particular the ISPManager panel, tools for SEO analytics and other services. We believe that paying money to Russian platforms means financing a war against ourselves. We reviewed all the services with which we had at least the slightest connection, and left only Ukrainian and Western ones.
We conduct pro-Ukrainian information work
The blog published a series of articles designed to reduce the influence of the Russian sector in the Ukrainian IT business, to talk about support for entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens in difficult times:
One of the problems that worries us as domain registrars is the presence of Russian-language city names in the UA national domain zone. Russian transliteration in domains is so common that site owners are not too concerned about how the address is read. What's more, few people know that these domains have Ukrainian counterparts. For example, instead of the merged domain kiev.ua, you can buy kyiv.ua, and instead of rovno.ua, you can buy rivne.ua.
There are ten such "parallel" regional domain zones in Ukraine, and the Russian version has a significantly larger number of registrations than the Ukrainian one. We undertook an information campaign and other measures that would help users to more actively go to addresses with the correct transliteration:
They closed the registration of domains in crowded zones, offering instead to receive Ukrainian-language analogues.
Ukrainian-language domains were sold at a discounted price, which was almost equal to the cost price.
We have written instructions for transferring the site to a new domain for those who are already developing web resources on Russian-language addresses.
Colleagues were invited to join the initiative.
More than 50 articles on de-Russification of domains have been published on various information platforms.
Here are some of the articles we published as part of the campaign:
In early December, Cityhost director Oleg Rivtin spoke at the UADOM-2022 conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the UA national domain. He devoted his speech to the topic of de-Russification of domains, called on his colleagues to join the initiative, close the registration of domains with Russian transliteration and create a working group to solve all organizational issues. The idea caused a stormy discussion and unanimous support of colleagues.
And the good news is that domain name registration was recently opened in the new Ukrainian zone mykolaiv.ua. Before that, users could get domains only in the nikolaev.ua and mk.ua zones.
At the beginning of the war, one of the urgent problems was complicated logistics, which made sending documents to clients and partners often a quest. This became an important argument for the transition to electronic document management, but not the only one. By having all the paperwork agreed and signed online, the overall time spent on business is reduced, the need for large amounts of paper kept in the office is eliminated, and it is generally much more convenient for all parties. If you are our client or plan to become one, receive and sign documents in one of three systems - " Timely ", " Paperless " or " Medoc ".
Based on our own experience, we wrote a blog article on how to switch to electronic document management in Ukraine . In it you will also find an overview of the five most popular services.
Cityhost has extended the Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA), which allows us to sell Microsoft products. First of all, these are licensed OSes for dedicated servers, which users do not need to purchase and install manually. You can get DS right away with the license system. Users also have the opportunity to independently install any number of RDP licenses (required for remote server administration). Previously, it was necessary to contact the technical service for this, but now it is enough to use the function in the control panel.
All the time, our programmers worked on improving the system, adding new functions and updating existing tools to make it even more convenient for customers to use the services. There are hundreds of such updates, large and small. Here we will talk about the most interesting and biggest updates.
Added the Web SSH tool to the control panel. What does it mean? Web SSH is a secure protocol for connecting to a server remotely. With the help of this protocol, you can perform any actions with the server - create and delete directories, install and configure programs. But for beginners, manually connecting to SSH is a complicated process. Now it is as simplified as possible, and you can connect to the server via SSH with just one button.
In addition, we published a blog article on what SSH is and the basic ways to work with it .
Google Analytics on hosting
It is now possible to add the Google Analytics tracking code to the PageSpeed module built into the hosting. If earlier it was necessary to register the code on the site itself or install additional plugins on the CMS, now it is enough to insert the code that will be provided by the Google service into the appropriate field. You can find out more details from the instructions .
Image conversion filter in webp
Another new option appeared in the PageSpeed module — the ability to automatically convert images of standard formats (jpg, jpeg, png, etc.) to webp. It allows you to compress images as much as possible to speed up the site without losing their quality. Your hosting will store files in standard formats, but the client's browser will already receive webp, which makes loading pages faster.
This option can be turned on or off using the slider in PageSpeed.
Convenient payment from Monobank has been connected
Before that, we already had different ways of paying for services — issuing a receipt, paying through Privat24 and LiqPay. Now the possibilities have expanded even more, and users of Mono accounts can also quickly and easily make payments through Monobank with the help of a new widget. Another advantage of using it is the lowest commission percentage.
IPv6 — the modern version of the IP protocol — was introduced
Traditionally, the Internet uses the IPv4 network protocol, which has existed since 1981 and has already exhausted its capabilities. It is replaced by IPv6, which not only has enough IP addresses for new devices, but also a number of fundamental improvements and solutions to problems that the previous system faced during operation.
Currently, both protocols are duplicated, the sites of our existing customers are available simultaneously on IPv4 and IPv6. All new clients are already "parked" on IPv6.
Additional NS server
Another, third NS-server was launched to support the operation of the domain name system that we serve. All customers now have three registered NSs in their addresses. This makes domains work more stable and fault-tolerant.
Node.js on hosting
Previously, you could work with the Node.js platform only on servers. Now this possibility has been added to Cityhost hosting — you just need to include it in the service control panel. You can read more about this and other updates in the news .
Ability to configure SSH environment for hosting
We've added a whole arsenal of new features to hosting to help you set up your SSH environment . Among them are the automatic selection of the PHP version, SSH operation using access keys, the completion of all processes in one click, the automatic restart of Redis and Memcached in case of their critical termination, etc.
Optimized the work of the file manager
We have made a number of updates to the file manager for faster and more convenient work with some functions. Now customers can:
quickly unpack the archive;
quickly delete folders with a large number of files;
view the size of existing folders and the number of folders.
This is a small part of our improvements and updates. When planning them, we always take into account the wishes of customers, which they voice in the comments in our Telegram channel . If you have suggestions or comments regarding the convenience of working with the services, we are always happy to hear from you, and look forward to your comments and letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, let's sum up the year that is leaving us. The main achievements of Cityhost are that we were able to save the business and the team, and despite all the difficulties, move forward.
We continue to run a blog that focuses on domains, hosting and servers, IT technologies and website promotion. We describe answers to questions that interest us, share our own experience and provide interesting facts.
During this year, we published 56 articles on the blog. The most popular among them were:
Free education for Ukrainians during the war (67,455 views);
How to create a business page on Facebook (61096 views);
Top 6 best site builders in 2022 (7,981 views);
During the year, we have new users of services. As of December 31, 2022, we have the following statistics:
New users: 3792 clients
New domains: 3279 names
New hostings: 2379 accounts
New virtual servers: 837 units
New physical servers: 105 pieces
We believe that next year will already be the year of Victory, every individual Ukrainian and every business will be able to work and develop, and not just "stay afloat". And that in 2023 there will be even more prospects for our IT industry. After all, the world has recognized that Ukraine has some of the best specialists in this sector.
Happy New Year 2023!