Brief MySQL scheduled maintenance February 5, 2016 (completed)

Between 9:00 PM and 11:59 PM Pacific time on Friday February 5, 2016, the MySQL database software on each of our servers will be upgraded from version 5.5.46 to 5.5.47. This will cause an approximately 60 second interruption of service on each MySQL-using customer Web site at some point during this period.

This upgrade is necessary for security reasons. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes.

Update 11:04 PM Pacific time: The maintenance was completed as planned and all services are running normally.

Networking issues January 27 2016 (resolved)

Between 2:32 and 2:37 PM Pacific time today (January 27, 2016), one of our network providers that handles a substantial portion of our network traffic had a failure.

For some (but not all) visitors, sites and e-mail we host were unreachable during that period. The problem was resolved by routing data around that network provider.

We’ve been told that the network provider experienced a hardware failure in a core router. They are investigating the issue and intend to resolve it.

We apologize to our customers affected by this problem.

AWStats updated to version 7.4

We’ve updated the AWStats software we use to generate website statistics. The statistics beginning January 1, 2016 use the latest version 7.4.

This version has support for newer browsers, operating systems, and search engines, and is somewhat better at identifying and filtering out traffic from non-human visitors. This may mean your statistics show a slight reduction in human visitors (and a slight increase in non-human visitors, shown as “Not viewed traffic”) starting January 1, 2016, particularly on sites that aren’t very busy.

We should probably mention that if you’re relying on AWStats for information about the behavior of human visitors, you can usually get more accurate statistics using Google Analytics, which works in a different way than simply analyzing log data after the fact. We have a page explaining more about the difference between AWStats and Google Analytics.

We now offer free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt

Our hosting customers can now get free SSL certificates to secure their site.

What’s an SSL certificate? It activates the “padlock” icon for your site in a Web browser, showing that the connection is encrypted for security. You should use an SSL certificate if your visitors type sensitive data such as usernames, passwords or credit card numbers, because it ensures that “hackers” can’t intercept that data.

SSL certificates used to cost a lot of money, but an organization called Let’s Encrypt is now providing them for free, trying to encourage the widespread use of encryption on the modern Internet.

We believe that encryption should be widely available, so we’ve changed our SSL certificate system to provide free Let’s Encrypt certificates to our hosting customers. You can get one now in our “My Account” control panel.

Read the rest of this entry »

PHP 7.0.2, 5.6.17, and 5.5.31

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.0.2, 5.6.17 and 5.5.31 that fix several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 7.0, 5.6 and 5.5 series on our servers as a result.

These changes should not be noticeable, but in the unlikely event you experience any trouble, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Read the rest of this entry »

Networking issues January 10 2016 (resolved)

10:16 AM Pacific time January 10: The problem described below has been fixed by Cogent Communications, and we are no longer detecting any packet loss. There should be no further problems. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you still have any trouble.


9:54 AM Pacific time January 10: We’re receiving scattered reports of intermittent problems when connecting to our servers, although all services on our end are working normally.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Year’s (2015/2016) Holiday Hours

Our business offices will be closed on Friday, January 1 to observe the US legal holiday. As always, our support staff will be providing same-day support for time-sensitive issues via our ticket and e-mail systems. However, questions that aren’t time-sensitive (including most billing matters) may not be answered until Monday, and telephone support (via callbacks) will be available only for urgent problems.

PHP 5.3 rebuilt (but please don’t use it any more)

Some of our customers are still using the PHP 5.3 series, even though it’s obsolete and not recommended.

We’ve “rebuilt” the old PHP 5.3.29 software to patch a serious security bug it contains. This bug is the partial cause of a recent Joomla security problem.

The rebuilt version will be deployed on all our servers within the next few hours. No changes should be noticeable, but in the unlikely event you experience any trouble, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas 2015 Holiday Hours

Our business offices will be closed on Friday, December 25 to observe the US legal holiday. As always, our support staff will be providing same-day support for time-sensitive issues via our ticket and e-mail systems. However, questions that aren’t time-sensitive (including most billing matters) may not be answered until Monday, and telephone support (via callbacks) will be available only for urgent problems.

PHP 7.0.1

The PHP developers recently released version 7.0.1 that fixes several bugs. We’ve upgraded PHP 7.0 on our servers as a result.

Read the rest of this entry »