Check back frequently for guides on how to get the best out of your hosting and website services, also its always worth checking out our blog as we also add stories on new websites plugins, themes, optimisation and more.

Hosting / Server

  • Changing PHP Version and Modules / Extensions

    We provide the facility to enable/disable PHP modules / libraries per account.

    To enable a specific PHP module or alter your domains PHP version, please follow the steps below:

    1.  Login to your cPanel and click ‘Select PHP version’ from the Software panel.

    2.  From the drop-down list select the desired PHP version, for example 5.6 (please note that you can still select the same version as the native version).

    3.  Click ‘Set as current’

    4.  A list of available modules / libraries will appear.  Use the tickboxes to enable or disable specific libraries required.

    5.  Click ‘Save’ to confirm the changes.

    Once updated, the selected modules will then be active on your domain.  This may take a few moments to take effect.

    Changing PHP Settings / Options

    1.  Login to your cPanel and click ‘Select PHP version’ from the Software panel.

    2.  Click ‘Switch to PHP Options’.

    3.  Clicking on an Option value here will allow you to change it – you may be presented with a field to enter a new value, or a drop-down to select from.  Note, if you wish to enable an option that is currently disabled, remove it from the disable_functions value.  It is important to ensure that you only leave one comma between the remaining options and no spaces.

    4.  Click ‘Save’ to confirm the changes.

  • FileZilla is a powerful and free FTP client used for transferring files over the Internet to your Smart Hosting webspace.  FileZilla is a very popular FTP client and is used by webmasters from all over the world.

    You can download FileZilla software using this link. 

    Your new ADD Hosting service provides you with unlimited FTP access and unlimited FTP accounts.  FileZilla is fully compatible with your ADD Hosting services.

    How to use FileZilla FTP client

    Once you have the FileZilla client downloaded and activated on your computer, enter the domain name in the address field (you can also use the server’s IP address).

    Your hosting account’s IP is noted in your Welcome E-Mail. If you are unsure of this please contact us.

    The username and the password you need to enter are the same as the ones you use to log in to your cPanel account. These would also have been provided in your Welcome E-Mail.

    The FTP port is 21 and is filled in automatically.

    Click Quickconnect and the file listing will appear. Find the public_html folder and double click on it.

    Then, select the files to be uploaded and drag-and-drop them into the public_html folder. Wait for the transfer to be completed.

  • You can access your cPanel and your webmail by domain as bellow: or

    For WebMail access, your clients can use: or

    Replacing with your url

  • Windows

    1.  Locate the HOSTS file on your computer. Typically it is in one of the following locations:

    Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/7 – C:windowssystem32driversetchosts
    Windows 95/98/Me – C:windowshosts

    2.  Open this file with a text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad (in later versions of Windows, you may need to run Notepad as an administrator to gain access to the file.

    3.  Once the file is opened, consider performing a “Save As” so you have an original copy of the file that you can restore later.  You will see two columns of information, the first containing IP addresses and the second containing host names. By default, a windows hosts file should be similar to the following: localhost

    You can add additional lines to this file that will point requests for a particular domain to your new server’s IP address. You will find your IP address in your new account e-mail. This needs to be replaced below where X.X.X.X is shown.

    4.  Save your changes and then restart any currently open browsers
    5.  Once restarted you can then simply navigate to this will then load from your new account with Smart Hosting ignoring your current DNS setup.


    1.  Either by start typing Terminal on the Spotlight, or by going into Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.

    2.  Open the hosts by typing on the Terminal that you have just opened:

    $ sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

    Type your user password when prompted.

    3. The hosts file contains some comments (lines starting with the # symbol), as well as some default hostname mappings (e.g. – localhost).

    Simply append your new mappings underneath the default ones. Or edit one of the default values if you know what you are doing!
    You can navigate the file using the arrow keys.

    4.  When done editing the hosts file, press control-o to save the file.

    Press enter on the filename prompt, and control-x to exit the editor.

    5. On Leopard, you can issue a simple Terminal command to flush the DNS cache, and have your host file changes to take immediate effect:

    $ dscacheutil -flushcache


  • This article will help you to assign additional websites/domain names to your cPanel account either as a Alias / Parked or Addon domains.  It also explains what sub-domains are and how they can be used.

    Firstly, it is important to understand the difference between these options and how they relate to your primary domain. This article assumes you are already logged into a cPanel account.

    Primary Domain

    This is the main domain for your cPanel account.

    Your primary domain is served from the public_html/ folder within your home directory. Your home directory is the directory you see when you first connect using FTP.

    e.g. a file located in your home directory at /public_html/mypage.html would be served to the world as http://your.primary.domain/mypage.html

    PLEASE DO NOT upload your website into the top level directory of your home directory unless you know exactly what you are doing. It usually won’t work, and creates a mess!

    Alias (or Parked) Domain

    Alias domain

    To add an Alias domain, simply click the Aliases icon within the Domains section in cPanel (older versions of cPanel will show this icon as Parked Domains)

    Enter the new domain and click ‘Add Domain’

    Create Alias Domain

    Once you add an Alias domain to your cPanel account, then both your primary domain, and the Alias domain will open the same website, serviced from your public_html/ directory.

    e.g. a file located in your home directory at public_html/mypage.html would be served to the world as both



    Email and Alias Domains

    – Alias domains are treated separately in terms of email handling – i.e. fred@myprimarydomain is a completely different mailbox account to fred@myaliasdomain

    Addon Domain

    When you create an Addon domain, you are in effect setting up a new additional virtual host, which means your new domain will have it’s own website address e.g. http://my.addon.domain

    To add an Addon domain, click the Addon Domains icon withn the Domain section in cPanel.

    Create Addon Domain

    New Domain Name : Enter the new Addon domain here (don’t include the www – the system will automatically work with www as well once you’re finished).

    Subdomain/FTP Username : cPanel creates a subdomain and an FTP account for the Addon domain. The example shown would create a subdomain called myaddondomain.myprimarydomain – this is primarily to allow the statistics software to function correctly. An FTP account will also be created (if you tick the Create an FTP account… tick box) with a login username of e.g. ftp-username@my.addon.domain and a password matching the one you set in the Password fields.

    Document Root : This is where you want to keep the files for your addon website. This is normally a subdirectory of your public_html/ directory, and by default it uses the domain name you are adding as the name of that directory, e.g. public_html/ – however, you can chose any directory name you like.  If you are going to host several websites, then it is a good idea to place the document root at the top level, so instead of the Document Root (below) saying public_html/ it would simply say – This avoids a number of problems that can arise from the use of mod_rewrite in your primary domain.

    In the above examples then either /public_html/ (document root as sub-domain under public_html) or / (document root at top level) would be served to the world as


    – if you are adding a handful of domains with the same basic name (e.g.,, etc) then you might get a message saying that the Subdomain or FTP User already exists. This is because cPanel will, by default, try to use the first part of the domain name for the Subdomain/FTP username, so you will have to change the default to something else for each of your domains.

    Email and Addon Domains

    Addon domains are treated separately in terms of email handling – i.e. you can maintain mailboxes for all of your domains entirely independently.


    A subdomain is a subsection of your website that can exist as a new website without a new domain name. You can use subdomains to create memorable URLs for different content areas of your site. For example, you can create a subdomain for your blog that is accessible through and

    To create a subdomain, click the Subdomains icon withn the Domain section in cPanel.

    create subdomain

    Subdomains can also be used to create entirely separate websites, for example if you have www.myprimary.domain you could add a sub-domain to allow whmcs.myprimary.domain.

    Although if you are a reseller you might want to consider adding an entirely separate cPanel account through WHM – which you can also do using a subdomain of another domain in your account.

    Email and subdomains

    Subdomains domains are treated separately in terms of email handling – i.e. you can maintain mailboxes for all of your domains/subdomains entirely independently. 

  • If you’re using any form of shared hosting with us at ADD, these are the Nameservers you need.

    These are:

  • Prior to completing these steps you need to ensure that a valid SSL certificate is in place for the domain you want to force SSL on.  This can be a purchased/EV SSL certificate or a free Let’sEncrypt certificate.

    To force SSL connections to a site, you need use the cPanel File Manager to add or edit the .htaccess file for the folder containing the site.

    You need to ensure that you show hidden files (dotfiles) when opening the File Manager.

    Add the following at the top of the file:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
    RewriteRule & https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

    Clear your browser cache and re-test.

    When viewing the site, your browser should now automatically load over HTTPS.

  • To add a new domain to your existing hosting account:

    1. Log into your cPanel control panel
    2. Click Addon Domains
    3. Complete the form to add the domain into your hosting account

    We would recommend that you ensure that the “Document Root” is set to the domain name only, not “public_html/domain”
    This ensures that the site runs independently and cannot be influenced by settings within the public_html folder.

    You can also define your desired FTP username and password if applicable.

    Once added and DNS propagated (this can take up to 24 hours), the domain will function without issue.

    Once you’ve added the domain, you can select the “Redirects” option in cPanel if you want to simply point the new domain at another.

Email Accounts

  • Alongside WebMail you can setup your e-mail accounts using our web hosting and vps service with any e-mail client that supports POP3 or IMAP.


    – Microsoft Outlook
    – Microsoft LIVE Mail
    – Outlook Express
    – Mac Mail
    – Any POP3 / IMAP capable phone

    We provide a quick and easy auto-setup process to add your e-mail account to your mail client.  To do this:

    1.  Log into the cPanel account for the domain you want to set up
    2.  Click Accounts  (called Email Accounts on the old x3 cPanel theme)
    3.  Locate the e-mail account you want to use (or add it if has not been set up)
    4.  Click the More drop-down button next to the account
    5.  Select Configure Mail Client.

    Clicking this option will show you your POP3 / IMAP details, including your hostname, username, port and password.

    You also have the option to download an auto-configure script which should set up your new e-mail account in your mail client for you without the need to manually enter any details.

    If your mail client is not listed, you can still manually setup the e-mail account using the detail provided.

  • SpamExperts is our dedicated spam filtering cluster that inspects all incoming email.

    Depending on where your domain is registered and your website hosted you may need to alter different parts of the SpamExperts system to ensure your mail is filtered correctly and reaches your mailbox.

    SpamExperts is only available when you use ADD Hosting for your email.

    To ensure your domain’s email is being filtered, your MX records should point to the following servers.  This is the case whether your domain is with ADD Hosting or not, so you will need to do this at your domain registrar or wherever you manage your DNS. By default, new domains purchased from ADD Hosting are configured with the correct settings.


    The above servers act as a cluster, and together they check all incoming email, and then pass it to your cPanel server where the messages are routed into your individual mailboxes.

    Every cPanel account enjoys customised settings for SpamExperts to help adapt it to your specific requirements.

    In the scenario where all your Services (Domain, Hosting, Email) are with ADD Hosting then SpamExperts should work for you with no additional configuration.

    If you have just moved to ADD Hosting, then your DNS records may not yet be set correctly.

    Then you must log into SpamExperts from your cPanel account and ensure the correct delivery route is configured.

    SpamExperts is a very intelligent spam filtering service using many factors to determine if an incoming message is safe, including

    • Greylisting – This is a technique that presents the sending mail server with a special test that most spam servers will fail.
    • Real time black lists (RBLs) – SpamExperts inspects publically available black lists of known spammy servers.
    • Content analysis – SpamExperts inspects the contents of the email messages including attachments to determine if the message is spam.
    • SPF and DKIM testing – SPF and DKIM are advanced opt-in techniques used by many mail servers to authenticate outgoing email. SPF relies on the DNS system to identify which mail servers are authorised to send email. DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) uses crypographic techniques to “sign” outgoing mail.

Website Platform Guides

  • Owning a website comes with certain responsibilities. You can’t just build it and forget it. Well you can, but regular website maintenance is a must if you want your site to be successful. Regular maintenance can:

    1. Keep your site secure. Websites get hacked, and hacked sites lose visitors and traffic.
    2. Prevent you from losing everything by keeping a regular backup schedule.
    3. Prevent disgruntled users because something doesn’t work or you provided a broken link.
    4. Keep regular visitors happy by giving them fresh, updated information and exciting news.

    There are all kinds of things that need to be done when maintaining a website. Whether you decide to do these yourself or hire out the work, it still needs to be done.

    Here’s a quick list to get you going on keeping your website humming:

    Keep secure: monitor for malware, viruses, hackers, and errors

    Hackers don’t usually announce themselves on the front page of your website. You could be infected and not even know that your site is being used to send spam emails or links to nefarious parts of the web. Setting up a regular monitoring service will ensure that if you do get infected or have site errors, you can fix them fast.

    Keep a regular backup schedule

    Backing up your site is something that should be done regularly, especially for those who update their site often. Things happen. Do not expect your web host to be keeping a scheduled backup for you. While they may be, it could be old, and not on track with your latest site updates. If the server crashes for some reason, or your site gets hacked, or you make some major mistake, your edits could be gone.

    Keep updated: Software

    Most websites are built on a content management system, which means it’s software that can potentially be exploited. We use WordPress for many reasons, but one is that it’s constantly being updated, improved, and made more secure. When WordPress releases a new version, it’s a must to update your site. Failing to do this leaves you vulnerable. Plugin updates should be treated in the same way – all software updates are a form of protection.

    Keep updated: Content

    This isn’t strictly a maintenance issue, but we feel it’s so important to keep your site fresh and updated on the content front that we’re including it. A regular blogging or publishing schedule that pushes out relevant content will keep your returning visitors happy and engaged. The search engines will like you a whole lot more too. If there was one piece of SEO advice we had to give it’s this: Publish relevant content, and publish it often.

    There’s a few other tasks that we should mention too:

    • Check for broken links – nobody likes broken links. Nobody.
    • Check site speed. A fast site is a good site.
    • Track your site statistics. We set up Google Analytics on every site we build, but if you don’t check you don’t know.
  • Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual pages and blog posts, as well as your category and tag archives. A permalink is the web address used to link to your content. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change — hence the name permalink. The Settings Permalinks Screen allows you to choose your default permalink structure. You can choose from common settings or create custom URL structures. You must click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen for new settings to take effect.

    By default, WordPress uses web URLs which have day and name in them; however, WordPress offers you the ability to create a custom URL structure for your permalinks and archives. This can improve the aesthetics, usability, and forward-compatibility of your links.

    Customize Permalink Structure

    number of tags are available, and here are some examples to get you started.

    Common settings
    Check one of the radio buttons corresponding to the correct Permalink Structure for your blog.
    • Default – An example of the default structure is
    • Day and name – An example of the day and name based structure is
    • Month and name – An example of the month and name based structure is
    • Numeric – An example of the numeric structure is
    • Post name – An example of the post name structure is
    • Custom structure – In the box specify the custom structure you desire to use. One example is /archives/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/. Look at the Using Permalinks article for further discussion of Permalink Structure Tags.
    You may enter custom bases for your category and tag URLs here. For example, using /topics/ as your category base would make your category links like If you leave these blank the defaults will be used. Again, see the Using Permalinks article for further discussion of Permalink Structure Tags.

    • Category base – Enter a custom prefix for your category URLs here.
    • Tag base – Enter a custom prefix for your tag URLs here.

    Save Changes

    Click the Save Changes button to ensure any changes you have made to your Settings are saved to your database. Once you click the button, a confirmation text box will appear at the top of the page telling you your settings have been saved. After you’ve clicked this button, you should receive one of two messages depending on whether your .htaccess file is writeable. For information on how to make .htaccess writeable, see Changing File Permissions.

    • If .htaccess is writeable, you will get a message that says “Permalink structure updated.” You’re all set; WordPress has been able to do everything for you automatically.
    • If .htaccess is not writeable, you will see a message at the top of the screen that says “You should update your .htaccess now.“. Near the bottom of the screen you will see “If your .htaccess file were writable, we could do this automatically, but it isn’t so these are the mod_rewrite rules you should have in your .htaccess file. Click in the field and press CTRL + a to select all.” This means you’ll have to do one extra step yourself. In the text box at the bottom of the Screen, WordPress displays several lines of rewrite rules associated with the Permalink Structure you designated above. You need to manually copy everything in this text box into your .htaccess file to make your new Permalinks work.
    Note: Visiting the Permalinks screen triggers a flush of rewrite rules. There is no need to save just to flush the rewrite rules.
    Note: If you’re writing your .htaccess file on your own local computer, remember, some operating systems do not allow the creation of a file named “.htaccess” because of the initial dot (“.“). You can always name the file without the initial dot or with a standard extension (e.g. “htaccess.txt“). Once the file is uploaded to your weblog’s directory, rename it with your FTP software. Most FTP Clients should provide you a way to rename files this.
    Also Note: Files that begin with a dot (“.“) like “.htaccess” are hidden on most servers by default. Consult the userguide or FAQ of the FTP software you use to find out how to have the software display these hidden files, and also how to use the software to change file permissions, rename files, etc. For more information on all of this see Changing File Permissions.
  • What is Caching?

    In a computing context, a cache is a place to temporarily store data.

    Active data is often cached in order to reduce load times. When you return to a frequently accessed website, chances are that your browser will have a good portion of the site’s files stored within its cache. This means that the browser needs to receive less ‘fresh’ information from the site, resulting in a faster load time.

    The way caching plugins work is by saving the dynamically generated HTML files and serving them from the cache (i.e. reusing previously generated data) whenever a request is made, rather than loading all of the PHP scripts from WordPress every time you hit refresh.

    The result is that your site loads far quicker for all its visitors.

    How to Select the Best Caching Plugin for You

    The first step is to identify what you expect from your caching plugin and create criteria accordingly. Criteria could include:

    • Cost. Like a lot of plugins, the price of caching solutions can range from free to a few hundred dollars, but the price does tend to reflect how feature-rich and reliable the end product will be.
    • Complexity and intuitiveness. This will depend on your own experience with plugins – are you happy to dive in and get it sorted without much help, or do you need a simple, step-by-step procedure to get you up and running?
    • Power and functionality. Some plugins come with extra features such as integration with content delivery networks, GZIP compression (file compression essentially), and minification (removing all unnecessary characters from source code). These all enable your site to run even faster but are really only necessary for large sites.
    • Support. Some plugins have support lines, forums, documentation – the full shebang. Others may have very little support or even none at all. How much support do you feel comfortable having?

    WP Super Cache

    WP Super CacheAt the top of the list is WP Super Cache: the most downloaded caching plugin on the market. According to the official WP Super Cache page, it has been installed over a million times. Also, it’s free, easy to use and requires little to no configuration.

    WP Super Cache can deliver static pages with mod_rewrite (which is faster than the usual PHP generated HTML caching) or PHP, depending on your preference, meaning that each visitor doesn’t need to load all of the WordPress PHP files – they simply receive a static HTML page. However, there is the ‘legacy caching mode’, meaning that if you’re logged in, you won’t experience the supercached HTML files. WP Super Cache also enables you to change the order in which plugins load, so if you need certain plugins to load with lighting speed, you’re in luck.

    For convenience in maintenance, WP Super Cache comes with a scheduler that clears cached pages at a time that you can designate in advance. It also supports Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and can export your customized settings so that you can import them into your future sites.

    If you hit any snags, WP Super Cache has a support forum – though you may find yourself waiting for an answer for a fair amount of time – along with a reasonably detailed FAQ section.

    W3 Total Cache

    W3 Total CacheWith more than 900,000 downloads, W3 Total Cache is the second most downloaded caching plugin on the market. If you’re looking for a free caching plugin that offers a boatload of customization options, you’ve found it.With 16 pages of configuration options, you’ll be able to tailor a caching solution to your precise specifications. If complete customization sounds like a headache, don’t worry – W3 Total Cache also comes with a simple one-click setup (see instructions below).To cut a tremendous amount of loading time, W3 Total Cache utilizes file minification and GZIP compression. Like WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache also supports Content Delivery Networks and allows you to export your settings for future use.Four premium extensions are also available to further extend the plugin’s functionality, along with a whole host of support options. Not only is there an FAQ section and forum on the plugin page, but w3-edge also have their own support forums, articles and contacts if you ever need any help.

    WP Rocket

    WP RocketUnlike the previous two plugins mentioned, WP Rocket requires you to purchase a license. The cost is $39-$199, depending upon how many sites you’d like to install it on. While you might be thinking of free alternatives, you should know that WP Rocket might be a wise investment.First off, this benchmarking test done by Swedish Marketing expert Philip Blomsterberg suggests that WP Rocket was the fastest option on the market at the time the test was completed. And while WP Rocket has few advanced options, its incredibly user-friendly interface and efficient design offer awesome caching results with minimal effort. In addition, WP Rocket tech support is quick to respond and eager to show you the depth and quality of their product.WP Rocket features lazy image loading (which prevents unloaded pictures from being stored), cache preloading and GZIP Compression. In the plugin’s settings, there’s a separate tab for minification and excluding pages from caching. Content Delivery Networks are supported and customized settings can be exported and used down the road.Due to this being a premium plugin, there isn’t the usual question/answer forums on the WP Rocket site, but you do get technical support through a ticket system once you buy a license. There is also an FAQ on their website.
  • What is gzip compression?

    When a user hits your website a call is made to your server to deliver the requested files.

    The bigger these files are the longer it’s going to take for them to get to your browser and appear on the screen.

    Gzip compresses your webpages and style sheets before sending them over to the browser. This drastically reduces transfer time since the files are much smaller.

    In terms of cost versus benefit, gzip compression should be near the top of your page speed optimizations if you don’t have it setup already.

    How does it work?

    Gzip is actually a fairly simple idea that is extremely powerful when put to good use. Gzip locates similar strings within a text file and replaces those strings temporarily to make the overall file size smaller.

    The reason gzip works so well in a web environment is because CSS files and HTML files use a lot of repeated text and have loads of whitespace. Since gzip compresses common strings, this can reduce the size of pages and style sheets by up to 70%!

    Gzip has to be enabled on your webserver which is relatively straight forward.

    When a browser visits a webserver it checks to see if the server has gzip enabled and requests the webpage. If it’s enabled it receives the gzip file which is significantly smaller and if it isn’t, it still receives the page, only the uncompressed version which is much larger.

    Why is it important?

    The main reason it is important is because it reduces the time it takes for a website to transfer the page files and style sheets which ultimately reduces the load time of your website.

    How to enable

    There are different methods of setting up gzip compression depending on whether or not you’ve got an IIS or Apache server (or something else entirely).

    For IIS

    If your server is IIS, follow these instructions in the Microsoft TechNet document to enable compression.

    For Apache

    You will need to add the following lines to your .htaccess file:

    <IfModule mod_deflate.c>
      # Compress HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Text, XML and fonts
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
      # Remove browser bugs (only needed for really old browsers)
      BrowserMatch &Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
      BrowserMatch &Mozilla/4.0[678] no-gzip
      BrowserMatch bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
      Header append Vary User-Agent

    After you’ve saved your .htaccess file, test your site again in to make sure it has been properly compressed.

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