1. Launched a new responsive website…. finally
2017 marks the year that the DiscountASP.NET website finally moved into the 20th century with a responsive website that is free from the previous clutter. 🙂 Yes, it took a long time to get the site done, due in part to the older site’s sprawling number of pages and Microsoft’s continuous release of new stuff that we had to keep up with. Another time consuming and tricky aspect was working to make sure we didn’t lose any of the SEO juice we’ve maintained for over the past decade. In my previous life working at other hosting providers, I’ve witnessed several launches of redesigned sites which resulted in significant decreases in natural search engine rankings. I didn’t want that to happen with our redesign. If you have any feedback for us, please let us know.
2. Adopted HTTPS for all DiscountASP.NET web properties
With Google’s push to increase web security using their reach with their Chrome browser and search engine, all website owners are on notice to adopt an “HTTPS everywhere” approach. We took the opportunity during the DiscountASP.NET site redesign to adopt HTTPS security for all DiscountASP.NET web properties. It would seem like installing an SSL certificate and updating the HTML links would do the trick, but converting to HTTPS everywhere is not trivial. We have our own war stories and learnings on our path to HTTPS everywhere, so if any of our customers are in the middle of their HTTPS conversion – or just starting to think about it – we are available to compare notes.
3. Improved support for .NET Core
In 2016, we launched support for .NET Core 1 (formerly ASP.NET 5). But then, keeping up with minor updates became very difficult. After spending time testing a minor .NET Core version update, we would finally deploy the update across all of our servers only to find that Microsoft released a new minor update. In addition, the installation process could change drastically between minor updates. This made it extremely challenging to stay on top of all the updates and continue to provide a stable hosting environment for our customers. The last thing we wanted to do to was break customers working apps. So taking advantage of a new feature within .NET Core, we launched support for Self-Contained deployment (SCD). In this deployment method, the framework is deployed along with the application, so you no longer need to rely on what framework is installed on the server – the ultimate in portability. We have articles in our knowledge base on how to change a .NET Core app from Framework-dependent to Self-contained for Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2015. However, we did not just call it a day – we continued to work on how to more efficiently keep up-to-date with the .NET Core updates because we understand that many customers are used to the framework dependent deployment (FDD) workflow. Currently, we do have one server that will support .NET Core framework-dependent deployment and we plan on updating the rest of the servers where possible. If you are interested in FDD, reach out to our technical support staff.
4. Launched Private MySQL hosting at Everleap
Previously, we introduced Private SQL hosting on our Everleap cloud hosting platform . In 2017, we added Private MySQL hosting to our portfolio. Just like Private SQL, the Private MySQL solution is for customers that outgrow our shared database service or have special configuration needs on the MySQL server. The Private MySQL service gives customers their own instance of MySQL on their own private server that is not shared with any other customer.
5. Launched Private MongoDB hosting at Everleap
Due to the increasing popularity of NoSQL databases, we also launched Private MongoDB hosting at Everleap. MongoDB is one of the more popular NoSQL solution options. With this service, you’ll get your own private server with your own instance of MongoDB.
6. Renewed Microsoft Partnership
Every year we’ve been working hard to renew our partnership with Microsoft, and 2017 was no different. We successfully renewed our partnership, this time at the Silver Partner level with the Datacenter competency. This change was due to changes within the Microsoft Partner Network program. You can read about it here.
7. Attained Swiss-US Privacy Shield Certification
In 2016, we attained EU-US Privacy Shield certification, a new framework that was worked out after a EU court struck down the previous EU-US Safe Harbor framework. The EU-US Privacy Shield contained legacy language of the Swiss-US Safe Harbor framework, since the Department of Commerce (DOC) had not finalized their negotiations with Switzerland. In 2017, the Swiss-US Privacy Shield framework was finally approved, so we got ourselves certified for it. The situation is fluid and very confusing to keep up with so we turn for help with a privacy management solutions partner, Truste.
8. Continued supporting the developer community
Just like we have for the the past 15 years, we continued to help the developer community. In 2017, we sponsored many developer events including the AZGroup’s Scott Guthrie event, various code camps (Iowa, Orlando, New York City, Southern California, South Florida) , usergroups, and GiveCamps (Dallas, Southwest Ohio). We also give free cloud hosting resources to members of the new Microsoft Reconnect Program. If you run a developer event or usergroup, please feel free to reach out to us.
9. Moved office
In 2017, we moved our physical office space to Monrovia, California, a little further east than our previous location. As you can imagine, moving is disruptive on many fronts and we are still working on building out parts of our office space. We are looking forward to getting settled in over the next several months.
10. Offering Custom Private Cloud solutions
Over the years we have talked to customers who outgrew our hosting services or who had needs outside of “web hosting.” If it made sense, we did take on one-off “Private cloud” services in the past, but we are making it more official now. We do offer IT-as-a-service solutions bringing clients our several decades of experience in designing and operating hosting infrastructure. We can build out, configure and manage a customized Private Cloud environment for your business. If you looking for an IaaS/PaaS/Hybrid cloud, solution disaster recovery/business continuity solutions, application hosting, devops environments, Windows/Linux environments, database servers (including Microsoft SQL server, MySQL and Oracle), application streaming, cloud/virtual desktops…etc. please reach out to us, we may be able to help.
Wishing everyone success in the new year!