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What was the year 2023 like for Cityhost.ua — Year in Review

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28.12.2023
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The second most challenging year in our country's life is coming to an end. Despite all the difficulties and numerous new challenges, Cityhost continued to work and grow. We improved our system and technical base, made services more convenient for clients, and did not forget our civic duties. Traditionally, at the end of the year, we tell you about everything that happened in our company over these 12 months, and today we share all our achievements and developments again.

System Updates

For many years, we have been using our own hosting control panel developed by Cityhost programmers. This allows us to make updates and optimize functions to be as user-friendly and understandable as possible. We never stand still, constantly updating, fixing, and optimizing. Everything done this year could fill a whole book. Here, we will talk about the most significant updates.

Introduced "Subscription Services"

Every webmaster or site owner knows that forgetting to renew a domain or hosting is a real disaster for a website. Disappointed clients, sales losses, a drop in traffic, and positions in search engines – that's what happens when a site is offline even for a few hours. To ensure you don't worry about timely payment for services, we introduced the "Subscription Services" feature. Set it up once, and payment will be automatically deducted from the attached card or cards – you can add several.

Cityhost Subscription Services

Read more about subscription services in the news.

Integrated FAQ into the Hosting Control Panel

Users often have questions – how to connect to FTP, how to configure specific DNS records, how to link a domain to hosting, how to set up email. We've gathered answers to all frequently asked questions, writing over 300 instructional articles for this purpose. But that's not all! So you don't search for long, we integrated a FAQ search bar directly into the hosting control panel.

FAQ in Cityhost hosting control panel

Simply enter a keyword, such as "domain," "FTP," "CloudFlare," and the system will provide a list of articles available on that topic.

Read about the advantages of the integrated FAQ search bar here.

Launched a New File Manager

We developed a new file manager with many convenient features, such as an extended number of supported file formats, improved performance, multilingual support, a split screen, and the option to choose a light or dark theme, and more.

New Cityhost file manager

Learn more about the new file manager here.

Streamlined the Process of Registering Mirror Domains

We pay great attention to choosing mirror domains (as we will discuss later in the article). These are domains in the UA zone with two versions of the city name, one in Russian and one in Ukrainian. For example, cityhost.kiev.ua (Russian version) or cityhost.kyiv.ua (Ukrainian version). Only one person can register both versions to avoid cybersquatting in the domain market.

To make it easy for the owner of the Russian-language domain to register the correct Ukrainian version, we placed an icon with a popup message in the panel, suggesting automatic registration.

Read more about this in the instructions.

New Useful Features in the "Security" Section on Hosting

Don't forget to check the "Security" section – there are many useful features, and we constantly update them. In addition to secure directories, CAPTCHA, restrictions by IP address, URL, and user-agent, two more options were added this year.

Security section on Cityhost

Maintenance Mode

You can easily place a banner informing visitors that maintenance is underway on the site. Now, you don't need to create placeholder pages or set up redirects – simply activate the "Maintenance Mode" feature in a couple of clicks.

Read more about how to enable maintenance mode.

Built-in GeoIP Module

The need to block requests from a specific region arises quite often and for various reasons. For example, your site is under a DDoS attack from IP addresses located in a specific country, and you need to block them all quickly. The built-in GeoIP module is specifically designed to block by location without interfering with the code.

Read more via the link.

hosting for sites

Social Activity and Company Development

Certainly, systemic innovations are far from being our only activity. In this section, we will elaborate on all the directions of Cityhost's work.

Continuing the Derussification of Domains

Cityhost.ua, from the very beginning of the full-scale conflict, declared its civic position, expressing it not only in words but also in actions. Last year, we blocked all Russian users and became the sole registrar in Ukraine to cease registering new Russian-language domains in the UA zone. We provided free hosting to state and volunteer organizations, integrated the "Help the Army" button into the hosting control panel. However, all of this was in 2022.

This year, we did not rest on our laurels but continued to act and invest our efforts in Victory and the Ukrainization of our internet.

Participation in Campaigns to Popularize Proper Domains for Kyiv and Kharkiv, Support for the She.Fest Festival

Initiating the derussification of domains, we launched a process that was later joined by many registrars and administrators, including the administrator of the entire national UA domain zone. Without their support, it would not have been possible to make so many shifts.

After the CEO of the company, Oleg Rivtin, spoke at the UADOM conference at the end of 2022, a working group was formed to develop a further strategy for promoting proper Ukrainian-language domains among users.

In August and September, a campaign took place to support the correct capital domain kyiv.ua, in which 28 registrars participated. The campaign showed incredible results – in two months, the domain grew by more than 60%.

As part of this campaign, we created a simple and convenient guide on transferring a website to the correct domain without losing traffic, developed in collaboration with our programmers and technical support specialists.

Additionally, we placed a banner in the Kyiv metro at the Kontraktova Square station urging people to choose proper domains and organized a flash mob where people took photos with the banner and shared the pictures on their social networks. It's worth noting that most of the flash mob winners refused part of their prizes and asked to donate them to the military or Veterans of the War.

We also supported the Ukrainian patriotic and volunteer festival She.Fest, held in Morintsy, the homeland of Taras Shevchenko, by providing free hosting for their website. In appreciation, the organizers allowed us to place our banner at one of the locations.

Derussification of domains, Cityhost banner at the festival SHE.Fest

The next step was a campaign to popularize the Kharkiv domain – in early November, we placed the same banner in the metro at the University station and initiated a series of publications and posts on social networks.

Before the New Year, we realized how successful the location was – a New Year tree "joined" the banner, and the station itself became the most beautiful of all metro stations, perhaps not only in Kharkiv but also worldwide. If you look closely at this photo, you will also see our banner.

Derussification of domains, Cityhost banner in the Kharkov metro at the University station

Discount on Domains in All Proper UA Domain Zones

Separately, we want to mention that we became the sole registrar to offer not only the largest discounts on promotional domains – 99 UAH for the first year of use. We went further and extended these discounts until the end of the year for all mirror domains (currently 13 zones).

Presentations at Conferences and Forums

We've already mentioned one of such presentations, but it's worth discussing this entire direction, as it significantly influenced the development of our initiative for the derussification of domains. Thanks to the presentations by Cityhost.ua CEO Oleg Rivtin, colleagues heard about this initiative and began to actively join and support the movement.

Derussification of domains, Speech by Oleg Rivtin at IForum

Reports on derussification were heard by participants at the following specialized events:

- UADOM-2022 Forum dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the RU domain zone ➡ watch the video;

- IForum, a panel discussion on "Domains and IP Addresses" ➡ watch the video;

- 14th Ukrainian Internet Governance Forum IGF-UA 2023 ➡ watch the video;

- UADOM-2023 Forum ➡ watch the video.

Publications in Media and News Social Networks

We initiated a series of publications in the media, Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram to enhance user awareness regarding the selection of proper Ukrainian-language domains.

Taking the first step, we observed how information spread like an avalanche – as often happens, some platforms reprinted the news from others. While we cannot precisely know how many people saw our metro banner, it became a reason for many spontaneous blogger publications. These messages were along the lines of "Oh, look at this banner!" One such video even went viral on TikTok.

Thus, information about derussification, thanks to the banner, initially spread through Kyiv media and then reached Kharkiv.

During our communication campaign, we understood the importance of information delivery. We identified two main obstacles slowing down the transition of target audiences to Ukrainian-language domains:

  1. Many people simply do not know about them. Russified domains appeared much earlier, and many webmasters and site owners choose the same kiev.ua without considering the correct Ukrainian-language kyiv.ua. After our campaign, users at least know that there is a choice.

  2. Many are deterred by the thought of a traffic drop after transitioning to a new domain. Indeed, if you have an old kiev.ua that you've developed for 5-10 years, you wouldn't want to lose search engine positions when moving the site to a young domain without a reputation. That's why one part of the campaign was creating instructions that help make the transition gradually and smoothly, without losing customers.

Everything we achieved over the past year shows that the process is moving, and there are rsults. However, there is still much work ahead.

to bye a domain

Expanding Presence in Europe

Even before the full-scale invasion, we turned our gaze westward and planned to expand into Europe. We've had servers in Germany and Finland for a long time. Russia's attack on Ukraine showed that we definitively do not align with our eastern neighbor, and we focused all attention on collaboration opportunities with users in the European Union.

Created an English Version of the Website

This year, an English version of our website was added – all pages, including blog articles, now exist in three languages. In the near future, we plan to add Polish.

Multilingual Support in the File Manager

In our new file manager, English, Polish, and Ukrainian languages are available. Over time, we plan to add even more languages so that users from different countries can comfortably work with their website files. Note that we don't mention the Russian language – that's because it's not in the File Manager and won't be.

Expansion of the Server Park in Europe

In early 2023, we launched three servers in the Netherlands, located in the Serverius Dronten data center. It not only ensures a high level of server service and protection but also utilizes solar energy from Dutch wind power stations. If you value eco-friendliness, choose a VDS server located in the Netherlands.

Enriching the Blog with Interesting Articles

Our blog has been around since March 2019 and gets better and more interesting every year. We fill it with high-quality articles, thoroughly fact-checked, consulting with our support staff. All to ensure readers get the most reliable materials with useful instructions. Some articles are written by our IT partners, professionally sharing insights into their niche.

We offer you a selection of articles that we find most interesting and useful:

By the way, you can also suggest article topics in the comments on our Telegram channel posts. We always listen to user feedback.

Launched the "File Storage" Service

Our service lineup expanded this year – now users have access to file storage. You can use it as FEX or Google Drive but with much broader conditions. The storage can be integrated into applications or programs, connected to in various ways, create sub-accounts for other users, and grant them limited access rights (so they can only see files or folders intended for them).

See the rates and read a detailed description of the service through the link.

Created an Instagram Page

We already have a Telegram channel and a Facebook page. We thought it would be cool to have an Instagram page too, as it's the most popular social network among digitally savvy youth. On our Instagram, we talk about hosting services using interesting carousels and also cover events and promotions by Cityhost.ua.

Cityhost in Instagram

Subscribe to our Instagram page and get more information about us.

Opened a New Office and Returning to Office Work

With the start of the full-scale invasion, we completely switched to remote work. Some of our employees were evacuated, and some worked from other cities right from the beginning. The office was nearly empty.

In recent months, we dedicated ourselves to organizing the new office space, to which our employees are gradually returning. It's not 100% complete yet, but work is already bustling in the office.

Cityhost Year in Figures

And in conclusion, a bit of statistics. Over these 12 months, we gained new users, and new service registrations were made.

As of December 29, 2023, we have the following figures:

- New users: 3964

- New domains: 4498

- New hostings: 3034

- New virtual servers: 406

- New dedicated servers: 70

***

Congratulations to you on the holidays and sincerely wish harmony in families, quiet days and nights, health, and abundance. May 2024 be marked by the main event dreamed of by all Ukrainians — Victory, followed by calm and peace.

Happy New Year!

Always yours, Cityhost.ua


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Author: Bohdana Haivoronska

Journalist (since 2003), IT copywriter (since 2013), content marketer at Cityhost.ua. Specializes in articles about technology, creation and promotion of sites.