PHP 5.4.38 and 5.5.22

The PHP developers recently released versions 5.4.38 and 5.5.22 that fix several bugs. We’re upgrading PHP 5.4 and 5.5 on our servers as a result. This will be complete on all servers within 24 hours.

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

Internet problems for some Comcast users Feb 19 2015 (resolved)

2:16 PM Pacific time: We’re receiving scattered reports that some Comcast users, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, are unable to reach some sites on our servers (but others are fine).

This appears to be a general Comcast problem; there are many similar reports on Twitter unrelated to us.

Update: The problems were resolved by Comcast at 4:23 PM Pacific time, according to several Internet reports and our own testing.

President’s Day 2015 holiday hours

Our business offices will be closed on Monday, February 16 to observe the US legal holiday. As always, we’ll provide 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 the next day, and telephone support (via callbacks) will be available only for urgent problems.

Brief MySQL scheduled maintenance January 30, 2015 (completed)

Between 9:00 PM and 11:59 PM Pacific time on Friday January 30 2015, the MySQL database software on each of our servers will be upgraded from version 5.5.40 to 5.5.41. 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 9:57 PM Pacific time: The maintenance was completed and all services are running normally.

PHP 5.4.37 and 5.5.21

The PHP developers recently released versions 5.4.37 and 5.5.21 that fix several bugs. We’re upgrading PHP 5.4 and 5.5 on our servers as a result. This will be complete on all servers within 24 hours.

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

Brief scheduled maintenance January 24, 2015 (completed)

Between 10:00 PM and 11:59 PM Pacific time on Saturday, January 24, each of our hosting servers will be restarted. This will cause a brief interruption of service (less than 10 minutes) for each site at some point during this 2 hour period.

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Protection against WordPress “Pagelines” and “Platform” theme security bugs

The researchers at Sucuri yesterday announced that they’ve discovered a critical security bug in the widely used Pagelines/Platform WordPress themes. If you use one of these themes or their many derivatives, “hackers” can easily take over your site unless you update the theme.

Since many of our customers use these themes, so we’ve added security rules to block attacks even if you haven’t updated. And we’re glad we did: our logs show that a large Chinese botnet started attacking every WordPress site we host last night, in alphabetical order (they’re currently up to domain names starting with “e”), testing whether each site is vulnerable to the bugs.

We’re again surprised to see how many customers are using versions of these themes that haven’t been updated in years. I know we sound like a broken record, but when WordPress offers to update something you’ve installed, you must update it if you want your site to stay secure.

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PHP 5.2 rebuilt (but please don’t use it any more)

Although we haven’t offered the long-obsolete PHP 5.2 series to new customers for some time, some who signed up long ago are still using it.

(New customers have defaulted to using PHP 5.5 for the last few months, and PHP 5.3 was the default for several years before that. We’ve also previously nagged everyone still using PHP 5.2 by e-mail, asking them to upgrade to at least PHP 5.3.)

For those customers still using PHP 5.2 despite the nagging, this is just a quick note that we’ve “rebuilt” PHP 5.2.17 for technical reasons to allow it to keep running on our systems. It now uses slightly newer versions of various libraries, including libxml, FreeType, ImageMagick, MySQL, and OpenSSL. The rebuilt version will be deployed on all our servers within the next few hours.

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

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PHP 5.4.36 and 5.5.20

The PHP developers recently released versions 5.4.36 and 5.5.20 that fix several bugs. We’re upgrading PHP 5.4 and 5.5 on our servers as a result. This will be complete on all servers by 5 PM Pacific time on Monday (January 6).

In addition, PHP 5.3.29 has been upgraded to use ionCube Loader 4.7.3.

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

Compression of stored e-mail

We’ve recently upgraded the Dovecot mail server software we use, and a new feature allows us to do something we’ve wanted to do for a long time: compress stored mail on our servers. We’ll be starting to do that over the next few weeks.

Compressing mail happens invisibly on our end. It makes no difference to what you see in your mail program, and you don’t need to do anything or worry about it.

The benefit to our customers is that it saves 20-30% of the disk space the messages use. While most of our customers don’t store very large amounts of mail on our servers, those who do will see their disk space usage drop by 20-30%.

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