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General

New Employee Training: The Anchor way.

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Traditionally, new employee onboarding is very text based: read a bunch of documents and FAQs, practice a few tasks, and ‘Boom’—you’re thrown in the deep end. At Anchor, we focus on hiring smart, energetic and passionate people. However, new employees have to take in a staggering amount of information if they are to have any chance of keeping up with the constantly changing hosting industry. We felt we needed a more robust method of onboarding new employees. I was tasked with forming the core of this new onboarding framework, through the creation of ‘Minh’s Modules’; a set of training sessions I ran initially with a new intake of employees which were recorded to give future Anchorites a set of training materials to start with. But there was only one problem….

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Continuous Delivery for Magento with Fleet

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Continuous Delivery for your Magento store with Fleet You may have heard of continuous delivery (CD) and continuous integration (CI) without giving either term much further thought. It’s not uncommon for e-commerce managers and even some developers to be confused about how CD and CI can improve your online e-commerce store. Maybe you don’t see the commercial benefits. Maybe you don’t see the need to change your existing processes. Maybe the concept of pushing so many code changes into production every day sounds daunting. So I’m going to explain why you should, you must, you need to understand CD and/or CI and how to apply the deployment process to your Magento website using Anchor’s Fleet platform. The speed, method and frequency of your code deployments will each have a massive impact on the…

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Anchor partners with CloudFlare

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Anchor is proud to announce a new partnership with CloudFlare. CloudFlare is a global CDN (Content Delivery Network) and DNS (Domain Name System) provider that helps to increase website performance and security. Further, it helps to keep web pages (especially with ad servers and third party widgets) quick on mobile phones, tablets and computers. CloudFlare routes web traffic through their intelligent global network. This allows them to automatically optimise the delivery of the customer’s web pages to ensure that the pages have the fastest load times and performance figures. Additionally, routing through the CloudFlare network blocks threats and limits bots from wasting the customer’s bandwidth and server resources. On average, a website using the CloudFlare network; Loads twice as fast Uses 60% less bandwidth Has 65% fewer requests to deal with Is far…

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We have a new Anchorite!

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We have a new Anchorite! A big welcome to Sarah Wilson. Sarah is joining the Anchor team as an Account Manager, based in Anchor’s Sydney office. Since finishing school, Sarah’s worked in the hospitality industry, customer service and more recently as a Marketing assistant. On top of all this, Sarah’s completing a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts, Marketing and Media. She has always been interested in sales and is looking forward to learning everything about the hosting industry and what it means to be a great Account Manager. She’s passionate about both playing and following sports, especially the Manly Sea Eagles in NRL and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. In just her second week, Sarah managed to break the Anchor ‘coffee bot’ that delivers Slack notifications…

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Fleet for Magento – new release available

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The Fleet team continue to release new features and improvements to our Magento-as-a-Service platform, Fleet. The highlights for this week’s release include performance improvements, support for custom health checks and improved usage reporting. Support for custom health checks. Added warning when loading a third release into an environment. Fleet cron fragments (under /etc/cron.d/) are now readable by the deploy user. Weekly Fleet usage reports now sent. Autoscaling history now exposed as a log. NewRelic license can now be unset if it was previously set. Performance improvements to env describe. Version number (–version) now has meaningful output. Please see the Fleet changelog for more information about this and previous releases. As always, to take advantage of the new features you simply need to create a new release. Any changes at the environment…

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SydStart 2015 and Amazon Web Services

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‘The biggest startup conference in Australia’, Syd Start 2015 (October 29-30) brought an impressive line up of international speakers and attracted over 2000 people to Sydney’s Town Hall. The Anchor Team hosted a booth at the two-day event, showcasing our involvement in the start-up community and some of our clients that have grown into massively successful global businesses, most notably the Silicon Valley behemoths GitHub and TestFlight. The event featured speakers such as Mark Bouris (Yellow Brick Road etc), Ray Chan (9GAG), Sean Ellis (Growthhackers.com), Jane Lu (Showpo) and Anchor’s own co-founder Andrew Rogers, sharing insights into the success and failures of an entrepreneur. The event also gave us a chance to talk to tech startups looking to adopt Cloud/Agile development methodologies about outsourcing the DevOps management of their AWS infrastructure to Anchor, with…

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Important: Tucows Domains — Phishing Attacks

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Important: Tucows Domains — Phishing Attacks Recently we became aware of a number of bulk email phishing attacks made to owners of domains registered through Tucows. (What’s a phishing attack? See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing) The offending emails come from the email addresses: domainabuse@tucows.com.org; domainabuse@tucows.com.info; legal@tucows.com.em; and domainabuse@tucows.com.net. The emails claim that the recipient’s domain name has been suspended and includes a link. Do not click any of the links within the email Do not reply to the email Do not call the phone numbers listed within the email If you have received one of these emails and wish to clarify the status of your domain name, please contact us. An example of one of the phishing emails is below: ======================== Domain Name: “YOUR DOMAIN” Registrar: TUCOWS, INC. (or other) Registrant Name: “from…

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Online retail growth in Australia and FOMO

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Australians are famous for their love of sunshine, surf, a beer and a good BBQ. But current stats show Aussies to be just as passionate about shopping, the Internet and smartphones. Half of Australians also jump on social media every day, to drown the world in pictures of food, outfits, new cars, weddings, current mood, ‘no make up selfies’ and provide updates as to their every move up until the time they go to bed. Even after lights out, they lie in bed for hours staring at a small screen, increasing their sleep debt as they experience the Gen Y phenomenon of FOMO (‘Fear of missing out’). Now for the statistics overload: Out of nearly 24m people, only 15% of the population is over 65, with 86.9% of the country…

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E-commerce site search – understanding customer behaviour

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As someone who dabbles in online shopping more often than I should, I can say first hand that a pleasant user experience can easily turn a one time buyer into a regular, cart-filling devotee. An important part of this experience is being able to find what you’re looking for quickly and easily. With major online retail events like Click Frenzy around the corner, you don’t want to have shoppers logging on to your site to make a purchase, only to be frustrated when they can’t find what they want. From experience, I can assure you the next tab opened will be one of your competitors. Most of us associate online search with Google, which sets the bar pretty high for online retailers. Thanks Google! Regardless of your ecommerce platform—whether it’s Magento, WooCommerce or any of…

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