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      How to Choose a Color Scheme for Your Website

      Painting a room is typically all about making a relaxing and beautiful space — but those first few moments after walking into a paint store can be terribly daunting. A wall of swatches to choose from, each card only slightly different from its neighbors.

      The choice is by no means permanent, but the color should be something you’re proud of. You can go for brighter, more vibrant tones to make a splash, while others might prefer or expect a tone that’s a bit more muted. Your wall color can be bold or understated — a risk that pays off or a gamble that falls flat.

      The same goes for the colors you choose for your website. People can distinguish roughly 7 million different colors, so it might seem like long odds for finding just the right tone for your site.

      Fortunately, switching up color schemes on a website can usually be accomplished with some minor button-clicking — no last-minute runs to the hardware store for primer. Whether you’re looking for a pop of color on your walls or to drive online conversions, however, here are a few tried-and-true notions worth considering.

      Remixer, our in-house website builder, makes selecting the perfect color scheme easy. Learn more.

      What Hues Communicate to Our Brains: The Psychology of Color

      For as long as we have been creating art and building civilizations, humankind has assigned symbolic meanings to colors and explored the ways our brains perceive them.

      The ancient Egyptians mixed mineral-based pigments to infuse their art with color-based meanings: green symbolized growth, abundance, and the afterlife; red, the color of blood and fire, represented death and destructive energy, and gold was the color of the gods. The 19th-century German poet and statesman, Goethe, conducted a philosophical exploration of the color wheel, opening the door for enduring scientific color studies in the emerging field of Western psychology.

      Some studies, both anecdotal and scientific, suggest that the sight of Van Gogh’s sunflowers and McDonald’s golden arches are likely to inspire similar effects on the brain — namely, a boost in energy and joyful feelings (that the latter hopes will inspire cheerful, vivacious french fry cravings).

      Recent research indicates that up to 90 percent of today’s consumers purchase products based on color. Still not convinced? Forget about your content and product for a moment and consider this: 42 percent of online shoppers base their opinion of a website on design alone.

      Color choice matters a lot — be it on the walls of your living room, your sarcophagus, or the landing page for your blog or business.

      Gender, Age, and Cultural Upbringing May Color Our Perceptions

      We know color has an impact on our brains, but the section of the globe where you grew up — along with your age and gender — quite likely affects how you perceive color.

      Take, for instance, the way purple is perceived in the U.S., the U.K., India, and Thailand: where most people in the Western countries happily associate purple with luxury and wealth, the color represents mourning and sorrow in India and Thailand.

      Similarly, the yellow in McDonald’s golden arches — found in 120 countries and territories across the globe — is associated with happiness virtually worldwide. However, depending on where its 36,000+ restaurants are located, McDonald’s crafts its color scheme to appeal to the cultural preferences of its patrons.

      Don’t drive yourself bonkers trying to choose whether your blog should be accented with teal or lilac, but do keep in mind how your target audience may perceive those choices. For instance, men tend to gravitate toward strong, bright colors, while women typically prefer softer tones. Blues and greens are widely accepted and rather safe choices, while you may want to steer clear of oranges and browns. Younger folks tend to prefer brighter colors, but people’s preferred palettes tend to become more muted with age.

      A Spectrum of Themes for Different Means: Choosing Website Colors

      Whether for your house or your website, it’s always a good idea to make sure the structure is sound before you start slapping new paint on the walls.

      Having a solid web host is like having a team of licensed contractors and technicians on call 24/7: your host ensures the walls and joints of your site are strong and secure, the lights are on, and nothing leaks. That way, you can focus on the details and furnishings that make your guests (read: potential customers) feel comfortable and at home.

      Stressed out about choosing a color for your website? Close your eyes and picture yourself walking into a massage studio or a relaxing yoga class — or take a quick spin on Google to research local studios where you might treat yourself to a de-stress session. What do you see?

      Ahh, now that we’re in a mindset bathed, perhaps, in tranquil blues or blissful, mossy greenish-grays, we can relax and remind ourselves that our brains know what we’re doing. We’re actually wired for this.

      You can usually trust your intuition about color if you keep in mind one universal truth: every design tells a story. Our web design choices dictate our visitors’ perceptions of us, so the most important thing to consider when choosing the color scheme for yours is how do you want your story to be read?

      Legal and financial firms, for example, often want to command clients’ trust and underscore their professionalism in cool, stately grays and confident navy blues. Food bloggers and grocery stores, however, typically eschew appetite-suppressing cool blues and grays for warm and vibrant reds, oranges, and greens that stimulate the appetite.

      In other words, are you looking to give off a friendly, local farmer’s market vibe with a cornucopia of warm hues — or something sleeker and more polished, like a skyscraper on Wall Street? Will bold, disruptive colors strategically placed on crisp white backgrounds highlight your prowess as a thought leader in tech or as an innovative entrepreneur?

      Yes, choosing color may seem like a tricky business — but one of the most important choices you can make is not to overthink it.

      Color Scheming: You’ve Settled on a Dominant Color — What Next?

      Once you’ve chosen a dominant color that captures the character of your website, it’s time to zero in on the secondary color to round out your scheme. Here are the options laid out on the color wheel.

      • Monochromatic: Monochromatic schemes use a single color and explore different variants of light and saturation. While monochromatic schemes are considered easiest on the eyes, they run the risk of being bland. A well-placed splash of complementary yellow or an analogous purple can accomplish a lot, for instance, on a page awash in shades of blue.
      • Analogous: Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel and generally create combinations that are pleasing to the eye. Unlike monochromatic schemes, analogous colors rub shoulders with the colors adjacent to them on the wheel (picture red, orange, and yellow hues of autumn leaves intermingled on a tree). Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and typically have a harmonious effect.
      • Complementary: Complementary colors appear opposite each other on the color wheel, creating a high contrast, vibrant, attention-grabbing scheme when used together. Use them sparingly to emphasize details you want to stand out (cough *call-to-action buttons* cough).
      • Triad: Triad color schemes use colors that are spaced evenly apart on a color wheel, like the points of a triangle. Purple, green, and orange is a classic example of a triad scheme — which is best applied when one color dominates and the other two are used as accents.

      Choosing color schemes can feel overwhelming, especially when delving into more complex combinations like split-complementary and tetradic schemes — so perhaps the easiest thing to keep in mind when starting out is that some of the most visually-pleasing and effective color schemes keep it simple.

      Consider Shades and Tints when Choosing Colors that Complement

      Now that your primary color is chosen and you have a basic color scheme concept, it’s important to understand and consider other factors. Fine-tune your colorful combinations by playing with tints, tones, and shades.

      • Tint: Tints are created when you add white to any hue on the color wheel to lighten, desaturate, and dial down the color’s intensity.
      • Tone: Tones are the gray area, so to speak, between tints and shades. Tones are created by adding both black and white to the original hue to either darken or lighten it and to decrease the saturation of the original hue.
      • Shade: Shades are created by adding black to a hue, resulting in a richer, darker, and more intense color.

      Keep in mind that jarring color combinations can have an exhausting effect on the eyes. Consider a scheme with bright orange text on a bright blue background, for instance: although the colors create a high contrast, they are a literal eyesore. Tweaking shade and tone, however, evens out the color values, resulting in a visually pleasing and easily-read gold-on-navy scheme.

      Make Colors Pop Where it Matters Most for Conversions

      With 90 percent of split-second purchase decisions coming down to color, it cannot be underscored enough the vital role the hues you choose play in website conversion.

      DreamHost knows a thing or two about designing landing pages that convert. Social media outreach, reliable web hosting, and SEO optimization each play a role in funneling customers to your store or blog — but something as simple as a vibrant, attention-grabbing call-to-action button or well-placed whitespace can work wonders.

      The best landing pages aren’t busy. They’re simple, direct, and cemented in good design principles. Apply your newfound knowledge of color theory as you consider these landing page design factors and tips:

      • Does your headline stand out? Be aware of your background colors and never let your color scheme swallow your message.
      • Is your body copy readable? Don’t be afraid of basic black on white! Not only is it the most easy-to-read color combo, but it also creates a clean, minimalist feel in almost every context.
      • Is your call to action bold and alluring? If you have a clickable call to action, she’s the diva who demands attention. This is where you’ll want to make your contrasting colors pop.

      Unleash Your Inner Code-Free Design Guru with DIY Design Tools

      Perhaps by this point, you’re thinking this lesson in art history and color theory has been delightful, but who has the time or patience to spend hours tweaking a website’s color scheme?

      Thankfully, tools abound that help match and craft a color palette to your whims and wishes. Adobe Color is one of my favorites, while Colour Code provides a cursor-driven experience that lets users fly through color options. What’s more, the hex codes are readily available.

      For those who want an extraordinarily easy time of implementing a new color scheme, using a website builder is a great way to take the stress out of designing and building a page. It’s that friend you can rely on to help paint your living room without dripping paint on the baseboards or leaving accidental blotches at the edges of the ceiling.

      It’s also the best way to keep things simple. Imagine you have a managed hosting plan (remember, that’s your team of rugged contractors working around the clock to ensure the walls, plumbing, and electric wiring are solid) paired with a website builder — your own personal interior designer who’s equipped with a useful tool belt, carpentry skills, and all the paintbrushes required.

      With a website builder like DreamHost’s Remixer, no one has to be a graphic design expert or a coding whiz to build beautiful websites. Even the most indecisive among us can get started with a professionally-crafted theme, and then customize elements like colors and fonts to align with the story we want to tell.

      The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing Colors for Your Web Page

      In web design, as in interior design or fashion, there are classic guidelines that never go out of style. Pay attention to the Do’s and Don’ts of Website Design and always consider what the colors you choose communicate.

      What do your color choices suggest about the story you want your website to tell? Do you intend to stimulate or soothe your audience? Do your color choices convey sophistication and cool professionalism, or warmth and approachability?

      How does your color scheme affect the navigability and usability of your site? Does it help direct your audience’s attention to the places that matter most — like your call to action badge? Is the text easy to read?

      Are your color choices creating an unintended Lisa Frank effect — otherwise known as a rainbow-hued sensory overload? Is the effect intended? Take a step back and think about your fluorescent chartreuse choices.

      When in doubt, keep it simple, and remember: There is always room to learn from past mistakes.

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      What is the GDPR and How Do I Ensure My Business is Compliant?

      The General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR) is a new European privacy law that goes into effect on May 25, 2018. It replaces the existing EU Data Protection Directive, also known as Directive 95/46/EC, and integrates data protection laws from across the European Union by applying a single, binding data protection law for all member states.

      The new regulation represents a significant expansion of the existing directive. The changes were designed to strengthen individual rights around the consent of submitting personal data, as well as individuals’ ability to control their data after submission. This includes a section on data erasure called the “Right to be Forgotten.”

      GDPR also spells out new policies and procedures for Controllers and Processors of EU data subjects. In that vein, here are some important questions that will help you determine the law’s applicability to your business, some tips for gaining compliance, and a look at how SingleHop is approaching the sweeping new regulation. If you want to delve further, take a look at GDPR at the official website.

      How do I know if GDPR will apply to me?

      If you’re wondering why there seems to be so much coverage of GDPR in U.S. media, here’s the reason: The regulation applies not just to EU entities or those with operations in the EU, but to all organizations that hold or process an EU citizen’s personal data.

      In light of that critical point, ask yourself these questions:

      • Does my organization process, transmit, store EU client data?
      • What type of personal data does my organization collect/store?
      • Does my organization ensure it does not hold such data longer than is necessary?
      • Does my organization keep such data safe and secure, using a level of security appropriate to the risk?
      • Is encryption necessary to protect the data stored by my organization?
      • Does my organization limit access to ensure such data is only being used for its intended purpose?
      • Does my organization transfer such data outside the EU, and if so, does my organization have the necessary technologies and processes in place to protect such data?

      If GDPR applies to me, what can I do to become compliant under the new law?

      The following tips can be used as a guide to comply with GDPR. These recommendations should in no way be considered legal advice. If GDPR applies to your organization, you should consult with an attorney to guide you through the many complexities of the regulation and its applicability to your use case.

      1. Understand the law – Know your obligations as it relates to collecting, processing, and storing data, including the law’s many special categories.

      2. Create a roadmap – Perform data discovery and document everything – research, findings, decisions, actions and the risks to data.

      3. Know which data is regulated – First, determine if data falls under a GDPR special category. Then, classify who has access to different types of data, who shares the data, and what applications process that data.

      4. Begin with critical data and procedures – Assess the risks to all private data, and review policies and procedures. Apply security measures to production data, and then extend those measures to backups and other repositories.

      5. Assess and document other risks – Investigate any other risks to data not included in previous assessments.

      SingleHop’s Commitment to GDPR Compliance

      The security of our global infrastructure is SingleHop’s number one priority. Since the law’s passage in 2016, our security and compliance team has been diligently preparing for implementation.

      In addition to a thorough review and update to our customer privacy and security policies, SingleHop maintains EU-US Privacy Shield Compliance, enters into data processing agreements with its customers if GDPR applies to the processing of their data, and enters into sub-processing agreements with vendors when necessary. We’re also committed to offering first-rate, best-practice security services across all of our products.

      For a full breakdown of our processing roles and responsibilities, as well as our commitment to customers as a data controller, please visit our GDPR page.

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      Use journalctl to View Your System's Logs

      Updated by Linode

      Written by Linode

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      What is journalctl?

      journalctl is a command for viewing logs collected by systemd. The systemd-journald service is responsible for systemd’s log collection, and it retrieves messages from the kernel, systemd services, and other sources.

      These logs are gathered in a central location, which makes them easy to review. The log records in the journal are structured and indexed, and as a result journalctl is able to present your log information in a variety of useful formats.

      Using journalctl for the First Time

      Run the journalctl command without any arguments to view all the logs in your journal:


      If you do not see output, try running it with sudo:

      sudo journalctl

      If your Linux user does not have sudo privileges, add your user to the sudo group.

      Default Log Format and Ordering

      journalctl will display your logs in a format similar to the traditional syslog format. Each line starts with the date (in the server’s local time), followed by the server’s hostname, the process name, and the message for the log.

      Aug 31 12:00:25 debian sshd[15844]: pam_unix(sshd:session): session opened for user example_user by (uid=0)

      Your logs will be displayed from oldest to newest. To reverse this order and display the newest messages at the top, use the -r flag:

      journalctl -r

      Paging through Your Logs

      journalctl pipes its output to the less command, which shows your logs one page at a time in your terminal. If a log line exceeds the horizontal width of your terminal window, you can use the left and right arrow keys to scroll horizontally and see the rest of the line:

      Furthermore, your logs can be navigated and searched by using all the same key commands available in less:

      Key command Action
      down arrow key, enter, e, or j Move down one line.
      up arrow key, y, or k Move up one line.
      space bar Move down one page.
      b Move up one page.
      right arrow key Scroll horizontally to the right.
      left arrow key Scroll horizontally to the left.
      g Go to the first line.
      G Go to the last line.
      10g Go to the 10th line. Enter a different number to go to other lines.
      50p or 50% Go to the line half-way through the output. Enter a different number to go to other percentage positions.
      /search term Search forward from the current position for the search term string.
      ?search term Search backward from the current position for the search term string.
      n When searching, go to the next occurrence.
      N When searching, go to the previous occurrence.
      m<c> Set a mark, which saves your current position. Enter a single character in place of <c> to label the mark with that character.
      '<c> Return to a mark, where <c> is the single character label for the mark. Note that ' is the single-quote.
      q Quit less

      View journalctl without Paging

      To send your logs to standard output and avoid paging them, use the --no-pager option:

      journalctl --no-pager

      It’s not recommended that you do this without first filtering down the number of logs shown.

      Monitor New Log Messages

      Run journalctl with the -f option to view a live log of new messages as they are collected:

      journalctl -f

      The key commands from less are not available while in this mode. Enter Control-C on your keyboard to return to your command prompt from this mode.

      Filter journalctl Output

      In addition to searching your logs with the less key commands, you can invoke journalctl with options that filter your log messages before they are displayed.

      These filters can be used with the normal paged display, and with the --no-pager and -f options. Filters of different types can also be combined together to further narrow the output.

      Show Logs within a Time Range

      Use the --since option to show logs after a specified date and time:

      journalctl --since "2018-08-30 14:10:10"

      Use the --until option to show logs up to a specified date and time:

      journalctl --until "2018-09-02 12:05:50"

      Combine these to show logs between the two times:

      journalctl --since "2018-08-30 14:10:10" --until "2018-09-02 12:05:50"

      Dates and times should be specified in the YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS format. If the time is omitted (i.e. only the YYYY-MM-DD date is specified), then the time is assumed to be 00:00:00.

      journalctl can also accept some alternative terms when specifying dates:

      • The terms yesterday, today, and tomorrow are recognized. When using one of these terms, the time is assumed to be 00:00:00.

      • Terms like 1 day ago or 3 hours ago are recognized.

      • The - and + symbols can be used to specify relative dates. For example, -1h15min specifies 1 hour 15 minutes in the past, and +3h30min specifies 3 hours 30 minutes in the future.

      Show Logs for a Specific Boot

      Use the -b option to show logs for the last boot of your server:

      journalctl -b

      Specify an integer offset for the -b option to refer to a previous boot. For example, journalctl -b -1 show logs from the previous boot, journalctl -b -2 shows logs from the boot before the previous boot, and so on.

      List the available boots:

      journalctl --list-boots

      Each boot listed in the output from journalctl --list-boots command includes a 32-bit boot ID. You can supply a boot ID with the -b option; for example:

      journalctl -b a09dce7b2c1c458d861d7d0f0a7c8c65

      If no previous boots are listed, your journald configuration may not be set up to persist log storage. Review the Persist Your Logs section for instructions on how to change this configuration.

      Show Logs for a systemd Service

      Pass the name of a systemd unit with the -u option to show logs for that service:

      journalctl -u ssh

      View Kernel Messages

      Supply the -k option to show only kernel messages:

      journalctl -k

      Change the Log Output Format

      Because the log records for systemd’s journals are structured, journalctl can show your logs in different formats. Here are a few of the formats available:

      Format Name Description
      short The default option, displays logs in the traditional syslog format.
      verbose Displays all information in the log record structure.
      json Displays logs in JSON format, with one log per line.
      json-pretty Displays logs in JSON format across multiple lines for better readability.
      cat Displays only the message from each log without any other metadata.

      Pass the format name with the -o option to display your logs in that format. For example:

      journalctl -o json-pretty

      Anatomy of a Log Record

      The following is an example of the structured data of a log record, as displayed by journalctl -o verbose. For more information on this data structure, review the man page for journalctl:

      Fri 2018-08-31 12:00:25.543177 EDT [s=0b341b44cf194c9ca45c99101497befa;i=70d5;b=a09dce7b2c1c458d861d7d0f0a7c8c65;m=9fb524664c4;t=57517dfc5f57d;x=97097ca5ede0dfd6]
          _CMDLINE=sshd: example_user [priv
          MESSAGE=pam_unix(sshd:session): session opened for user example_user by (uid=0)


      In addition to the types of filters listed in the previous section, you can also filter logs by specifying values for the variables in the log record structure. For example, journalctl _UID=0 will show logs for user ID 0 (i.e. the root user).

      Persist Your Logs

      systemd-journald can be configured to persist your systemd logs on disk, and it also provides controls to manage the total size of your archived logs. These settings are defined in /etc/systemd/journald.conf.

      To start persisting your logs, uncomment the Storage line in /etc/systemd/journald.conf and set its value to persistent. Your archived logs will be held in /var/log/journal. If this directory does not already exist in your file system, systemd-journald will create it.

      After updating your journald.conf, load the change:

      sudo systemctl restart systemd-journald

      Control the Size of Your Logs’ Disk Usage

      The following settings in journald.conf control how large your logs’ size can grow to when persisted on disk:

      Setting Description
      SystemMaxUse The total maximum disk space that can be used for your logs.
      SystemKeepFree The minimum amount of disk space that should be kept free for uses outside of systemd-journald’s logging functions.
      SystemMaxFileSize The maximum size of an individual journal file.
      SystemMaxFiles The maximum number of journal files that can be kept on disk.

      systemd-journald will respect both SystemMaxUse and SystemKeepFree, and it will set your journals’ disk usage to meet whichever setting results in a smaller size.

      To view your default limits, run:

      sudo journalctl -u systemd-journald

      You should see a line similar to the following which describes the current limits in place:

      Permanent journal is using 32.0M (max allowed 2.3G, trying to leave 3.5G free of 21.2G available → current limit 2.3G).


      A parallel group of settings is used when journald.conf is set to only persist the journals in memory (instead of on disk): RuntimeMaxUse, RuntimeKeepFree, RuntimeMaxFileSize, and RuntimeMaxFiles.

      Manually Clean Up Archived Logs

      journalctl offers functions for immediately removing archived journals on disk. Run journalctl with the --vacuum-size option to remove archived journal files until the total size of your journals is less than the specified amount. For example, the following command will reduce the size of your journals to 2GiB:

      journalctl --vacuum-size=2G

      Run journalctl with the --vacuum-time option to remove archived journal files with dates older than the specified relative time. For example, the following command will remove journals older than one year:

      journalctl --vacuum-time=1years

      Run journalctl with the --vacuum-files option to remove archived journal files until the specified number of files remains. For example, the following command removes all but the 10 most recent journal files:

      journalctl --vacuum-files=10

      More Information

      You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

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      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.

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