Temporary Extra Confirmations on BitCoin Payments

Starting today, Sun Jul 23 2017 Bitcoin confirmation times and counts will be longer than usual for appx 4 weeks.

Astutium Ltd, the first UK based web host to accept bitcoins and the first ICANN accredited domain registrar to take payments in crypto-currencies continue to support both traditional and alternative/peer-to-peer payment methods.

However due to the impending fork/split/changes we are extending our wait-for-confirm from the usual 6 confirmations to the network recommended level of 30 confirmations to prevent bitcoin loss / double-spends / etc

More details about the bitcoin network split can be at https://bitcoin.org/en/alert/2017-07-12-potential-split

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.astutium.com/2017/07/temporary-extra-confirmations-on-bitcoin-payments/

Centralnic ‘de-commissioning’ psuedo TLDs – Batch 1

CentralNic, (a domain registry for a large number of domain extensions and psuedo extensions) advises that effective midnight April 30, 2017 the following SLDs [ domains used as domain extensions ] will be no longer available for registration or renewal. These domains are effectively now dead πŸ™

β€’ .ar.com
β€’ .gb.com
β€’ .hu.com
β€’ .kr.com
β€’ .qc.com
β€’ .no.com
β€’ .se.com
β€’ .uy.com

If you have any websites or email services on these domains you MUST immediately look for an alternative.
At Astutium we are helping ensure that clients move any services away from these artificial domains to alternative extensions of their choice.

This issue affects all domain providers as it is a direct decision made by the suppliers to the Registry, however we have been assured that all remaining SLDs/domain extensions provided by CentralNic are currently safe for another 12 months and have no disputes or ownership issues surrounding them at present.

As over the last year more than 800 new domain extensions have become available, now is a good time to buy a domain name that represents your business effectively online, is easy to remember and looks professional.

Extensions such as .london help show you are either based in or do business in London, alongside professional domains such as .plumbing, .photography, and many, many more. Check out all the extensions on our Domain Extension Wiki

If your affected domain is registered with Astutium, we will be in touch for every domain affected, to provide you with a free replacement registration on more stable ccTLD, SLD or gTLD of your choice.

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.astutium.com/2017/03/centralnic-de-commissioning-psuedo-tlds-batch-1/

Christmas and New Year 2016-2017 Opening Hours

The Support and Network Operations Teams will be continuing to work 24 / 7 / 365 as usual, taking care of the datacentre, network, servers, managed systems and automated systems, the administrative staff will be taking breaks over the Christmas and New Year period.

Astutium Ltd will be operating a reduced Sales and Accounts Team (for telephone enquiries) from Friday 23rd December 2016 until Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.astutium.com/2016/12/christmas-and-new-year-2016-opening-hours/

2016 Black Friday / Cyber Monday Special Offers

2016 Black Friday / Cyber Monday Special Offers

Save 50% on Servers, Hosting, VPS and More

Black Friday is the Friday after USA Thanksgiving.

Traditionally it signalled the last date by which American stores expected to be ‘in the black’ (ie. financially profit making for that year) so a critical point in preparing for End Of Year accounting/reporting.

Retailers that hadn’t met their sales/income targets, began discounting old stock to realise some cashflow and to clear warehouses in advance of the New Year Sales items arriving – and over time it became a significant “sales event” on the shopping calendar !

Cyber Monday began as the ‘online’ box-shifters attempt to catch onto the growing Black Friday euphoria, without directly competing for the same footfall/eyeballs.

Whilst digital products don’t generally have ‘shelf life’ in the same way, so never need to be cleared out, everyone loves a bargain, and so for BF/CM Weekend 2016 Astutium Ltd are going bigger than ever before


From 25th to 28th November (while stocks last) you can make massive savings on a range of internet services and products…

50% off all Business Web Hosting

– use voucher/coupon code BFCM2016-HOST at checkout to get your new web hosting for half-price

50% off all Virtual Dedicated Cloud Servers

– use voucher/coupon code BFCM2016-VDS at checkout to get a new VDS with 50% off your chosen payment period

50% off new Server Colocation

– use voucher/coupon code BFCM2016-COLO at checkout for 6 months free on all 12month colocation orders

50% off all OpenVZ Virtual Private Servers

– use voucher/coupon code BFCM2016-VPS at checkout to get a new VPS for half-price

10% Cashback on all Managed Domain Portfolio Transfers

contact us to arrange a managed domain portfolio transfer 10% of the domain-transfer costs will be credited back to your account within 7 days

Online Domain and Hosting Shop

Online Domain and Hosting Shop


  1. Coupons Codes must be entered at time of purchase on new orders placed on our website at https://www.astutium.com
  2. Coupon Codes valid while stocks last, there are only 100 of each code available
  3. Existing clients can also take advantage of these offers (for new services) and by opening a ticket for assitance, can utilise them to extend existing services – contact us for assistance

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.astutium.com/2016/11/2016-black-friday-cyber-monday-special-offers/

Hosted Minecraft 1.11 Explorer Update Servers

The latest version of Hosted Minecraft Server – Minecraft 1.11 – Explorer Update is now available from Astutium at https://www.astutium.com/game-servers/minecraft-gaming-server.php

Minecraft Explorer Update - with added LLamaness

Minecraft Explorer Update – with added LLamaness

All existing clients can update to the 1.11 Explorer Update version of MineCraft through the Astutium MultiCraft Control Panel online now.

MC1.11 introduces …

  • Illagers – the odd cousins of Villagers
  • The new Woodland Mansions – inhabited by Illagers
  • A special new type of Villager – the Cartographer
  • Llam caravans – for loot transport
  • Shulker Box – a special chest that retains its contents even when knocked down
  • much more waiting for you to discover

A Cartographer will exchange your spare emeralds for a map, marking the spot of certain treasure caches, but be warned – these locations don’t give up their bounty easily.
Maps may point you to mysterious Ocean Monuments, patrolled by spiny Guardians, or to the new Woodland Mansions, home to the Illagers!

The Illagers are mean and miserly folk do not welcome interlopers: watch out for spells which summon toothsome traps from the floor, or conjure nasty impish foes called Vexes.
Survive that, and you’ll find that the Woodland Mansion contains a rather powerful prize: the Totem of Undying.
With this trinket to hand, you can face any peril without fear. Fall, and the Totem of Undying will bring you back from the abyss of death itself!

Llamas πŸ™‚ These noble ruminants will form a caravan train that you lead across the land, and can be decked out with bling in the form of drapes.
They’ll also chase off menaces with a hail of spitballs !

To celebrate the official launch of MC1.11 Astutium Hosted Minecraft Servers are offering the first 111 new minecraft server clients 30% off with voucher “CRAFTER111” at checkout

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.astutium.com/2016/11/hosted-minecraft-1-11-explorer-update-servers/

cPanel and WHMCS Partner Meetings August 2016

Astutium staff will be attending the August WHMCS and cPanel Partner Meetings in Houston, TX, USA between 27th and 31st August

plane overhead

On the agenda for the week are …

  • fixes and enhancements for WHMCS (our preferred ‘cloud’ provider billing system)
  • roadmap and dev plans for cpanel
  • working on solving a few outstanding bugs
  • planning future partnerships
  • and much more !

This is a great opportunity to work on-site hand-in-hand with some of our most trusted partners, to resolve outstanding issues, and set plans for future developments together

If you’re in the Domain, Hosting, VPS or Cloud Business and want to setup a meeting with our very own M&As Expert, Rob Golding, to discuss:

  • Buying a Hosting Business
  • Selling a Hosting Business
  • Becoming a Domain Registrar

or anything web / domain related, get in touch before 26th August Contact Astutium

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.astutium.com/2016/08/cpanel-and-whmcs-partner-meetings-august-2016/

Last Minute Discounts for HostingCon Global 2016 (New Orleans) July 24-27

hostingcon-2016-brochure-coverFinal Last Minute Deal on HostingCon Global 2016 (New Orleans) All Access Passes

HostingCon Global is the main annual industry conference (and trade show) for web hosting and vps / cloud hosting providers.

This year HostingCon it will be held at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana with plenty of training, education sessions, networking events and social gatherings taking place all week.

The organisers (Penton) are offering some last-minute discounts of $100 off the price of the $699 price of an All Access Pass πŸ™‚

Simply Register For All Access Pass to HostingCon 2016 and when asked, enter our unique referral code H3957 to save $100 at checkout

As usual Astutium staff will be in attendance, if you’d like to have meeting during this years HostingCon to discuss:
* Domains
* ICANN Accreditation
* Extending your business into Europe
* WHMCS extensions, integrations, mergers
* Selling your SaaS business
* Buying a Host
then find Rob Golding of Astutium using the HostingConConnect tool and we can schedule a discussion over drinks/nibbles.

This is an affiliate offer – use of our unique referral code H3957 will earn us an $50 Amazon.com gift card *AND* save you $100 off an All Access Pass. Astutium are attending HostingCon and would be promoting it irrespective of any gift/offer/credit they may provide to us for you registering.

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.astutium.com/2016/07/last-minute-discounts-for-hostingcon-global-2016-new-orleans-july-24-27/

ICANN and Regional Internet Registries Sign SLA for the IANA Numbering Services

Helsinki, Finland – 29 June 2016.

The Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and ICANN signed the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the IANA Numbering Services at ICANN 56 in Helsinki, Finland 29/June/2016.

This agreement documents the arrangements for provision by ICANN of IANA numbering services, after the IANA stewardship transition which is expected to begin around 30 September 2016. (The SLA will only come into effect with the transition, and will have no effect whatsoever before that time.)

This event is a significant milestone in the long process of transition planning which started in March 2014 with a US Government announcement that there may be a transition of the NTIA Contract to a community-led metholodgy

The process involved huge efforts by the Internet number community collectively, and by teams formed specifically to carry out the work.

In particular the NRO Executive Council expresses its sincere thanks for the contribution by CRISP members during the last year and a half in the IANA Stewardship Transition Process. The CRISP Team worked tirelessly to
integrate and consolidate the views from the five different regional communities into a single proposal. As the work of the CRISP team is now finally complete, we hereby announce that the team is formally dissolved.

Finally the NRO EC also wishes acknowledge the support of the ICANN Board and staff who worked hard with us to finalise the SLA and ensure it was completed on time.

The final version of the SLA is available at: http://www.nro.net/sla

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.astutium.com/2016/06/icann-and-regional-internet-registries-sign-sla-for-the-iana-numbering-services/

Hosted Minecraft 1.10 Frostburn Update Servers

The latest version of Hosted Minecraft Server – Minecraft 1.10 is now available from Astutium at https://www.astutium.com/game-servers/minecraft-gaming-server.php

minecraft 1.10 frostburn update

All existing clients can update to the 1.10 version of minecraft through their multicraft control panel online.

Minecraft Polar Bear

Minecraft Polar Bear

MC1.10 contains some interesting changes, including the addition of Polar Bears and Strays (a new cold biome skeleton).

To celebrate the official launch of MC1.10 Astutium are offering the first 110 new minecraft server clients 30% off with voucher “CRAFTER110” at checkout

Here is a list of all the changes:

  • Many bug fixes
  • Added Polar Bear
  • Added Husk and Stray
  • An auto-jump option
  • Improvements to some commands
  • Structure blocks for custom maps
  • Underground fossils made from bone blocks
  • Added Magma Block
  • Added Nether Wart Block and Red Nether Bricks
  • Some huge mushrooms can be even larger
  • A rare chance to find lonely trees in plains
  • Find abandoned mineshafts filled with gold in mesa biomes
  • Villages generate better paths between the buildings
  • More variations of villages, based on the biomes they are built in
  • Endermen have been spotted in the Nether
  • Removed Herobrine

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.astutium.com/2016/06/hosted-minecraft-1-10-frostburn-update-servers/

Business Metrics 1 (of 4) – Essential Figures Every Online Business Should Know

As Head of the Mergers and Acquisitions Team at Astutium much of my day is spent looking at accounts and internal management systems.

One thing that I see a lot, is how the majority of small-business owners in the tech space don’t know (and sometimes don’t know how to calculate) their “numbers” – the key metrics and figures that are essential to getting a “big picture” overview of an organisation.

Business Key Metrics -

This shouldn’t be surprising – many start their business with a great idea or new technology or a desire to change things, rather than with a detailed business plan and an MBA.

I’ll ignore Turnover, Profit, Income etc as they’re well understood (and generally available from your accounts apps) and focus on the figures that are important when preparing to value/sell/grow a company.

Knowing where you are is the 1st step in getting where you want to go πŸ™‚

Alice – Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
Cheshire Cat – That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice – I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat – Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.

― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
see this quote on youtube

Having the Key Metrics to hand removes the guess-work and (often wildly incorrect) assumptions about the state, growth and position of the business. Just asking a business owner what their ARPU, Gross margin, LTV or Churn rates are regularly gets me blank looks (I tried this on a small group at HostingCon last year and 7/10 didn’t know they could use their billing-system database to calculate an LTV !)

This short series of articles will help you get to the real numbers you need. Afterall there is no point spending £10,000 on adverts (investment) to get £100 clients (1% acquisition rate) if those users only spend a total of £50 (life time value) – unless you’re specifically looking to prop-up an advertising agency πŸ˜‰

Ask any business owner what they want, the answer is usually one of

  • more customers
  • more sales
  • more profit

or similar.

As high-level goals they’re all great, but a little too vague, and often inter-related – it always pays to be as specific as possible when setting goals/targets πŸ™‚

For example:
You can get more customers by having more Leads, higher Conversions and better Targeting
You can have more sales by increasing Repeat Business (and having more customers)
You can make more profit by increasing your Gross Margin and your ARPU (and having more sales)
You can take more time off by Automating/Systemising, Training good Staff, Delegating

They can all build on each other to help grow your business and thus achieve your goals – a small change in Leads / Conversions / Retentions can have big impacts on your results.

If you’ve not yet read Brad Sugars excellent book Instant Cashflow I highly recommend picking up a copy.

Let’s start with some key definitions and next week we’ll get into what they are, how you measure them and why they’re so important to your success…

ARPU= Average Revenue Per User (per month)
This is how much (on average) each user of your product/service pays you per month

LTV= LifeTime Value (per client)
This is how much (on average) each user of your product/service pays during their lifetime of doing business with you

ARPM= Average Revenue Per Month
This is how much (on average) you have coming in (financially) per month

COA= Cost Of Acquisition
This is the amount (on average) it costs you to acquire a new customer

CHURN= Ratio of Clients Leaving
This is the %age of clients who leave / cancel / abandon your service each month. Either through your action (termination for non-payment), client action (requesting cancellation/refund) or non-action (simply not renewing)

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.astutium.com/2016/05/business-metrics-essential-figures-every-online-business-should-know/

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