PHP 7.0.7, 5.6.22, and 5.5.36

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.0.7, 5.6.22 and 5.5.36 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.

Price change in September 2016

Effective September 1, 2016, the price of our “Silver Hosting” and “Basic Hosting / Gold Hosting” plans for existing customers will increase by $1.00 per month.

(The “Plus Hosting”, “Business Hosting” and “Add-On Hosting” plan prices will not change. New customers are already paying the new rates, as shown on our plans page.)

This will not affect all customers immediately. If you prepay annually for hosting, the price change won’t take effect until your current prepayment is used up, which will be sometime between September 2016 and August 2017. In addition, if you’ve opened an account with us in the last two years, the price increase won’t take effect until you’ve been with us a full two years, even if you’re paying month-to-month.

We’ll directly notify each affected customer by e-mail before any price increase takes effect, of course.

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Memorial Day 2016 holiday hours

Our business offices will be closed on Monday, May 30 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.

PHP 5.3 and 5.4 being phased out

The authors of the PHP scripting language stopped supporting the PHP 5.3 and PHP 5.4 series some time ago.

Newer versions of PHP are generally more secure, have fewer bugs, and in some cases run far faster. Of course, that’s really just another way of saying that older versions of PHP are insecure, buggy, and slow.

Because of that, we are phasing out PHP versions earlier than 5.5 (we also offer the 5.6 and 7.0 series):

  • New customers can no longer choose the old versions.
  • We’ll start sending reminders to customers who use the old versions, asking them to upgrade.

We have a page dedicated to explaining how, and why, to update PHP.

PHP 7.0.6, 5.6.21, and 5.5.35

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.0.6, 5.6.21 and 5.5.35 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.

Brief MySQL scheduled maintenance May 4, 2016

Between 9:00 PM and 11:59 PM Pacific time on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, the MySQL database software on each of our servers will be upgraded from version 5.5.47 to 5.5.49. 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 9:06 PM Pacific time: The maintenance was completed as planned and all services are running normally.

WordPress 4.5; built in editors

WordPress 4.5 was recently released, and as always, we’ve updated our WordPress one-click installer to automatically install the latest version (actually now version 4.5.1) for new WordPress sites.

If you’ve previously installed an older version of WordPress, you should update it from within your WordPress Dashboard.

We’ve also modified our automatic installer to disable the built in theme and plugin file editor by default for new installations (existing installations are not affected).

This both improves security (many automated hacks and XSS attacks blindly try to use the editor) and avoids a problem we see happen often:

  • People think that the “Edit” link next to a plugin or theme will edit the settings of it, not the code of it, so they click it;
  • Then they see a weird screen of code and don’t know what to do, and they perhaps type something as an experiment;
  • That doesn’t help, so they click “save” to get out of the weird screen;
  • And WordPress completely stops working due to a PHP syntax error in what they typed.

We think the editor shouldn’t be enabled for most people. It should be enabled only by developers (and very brave developers who make good backups, at that). Developers can easily enable it by editing the wp-config.php file to remove the “DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT” line.

Update 2016-05-26: We have removed our customization which disabled the built-in theme and plugin editors (as discussed below). All new installations as of 2016-05-26 will have the standard theme and plugin editors functionality.

Mailman mailing list software upgraded to version 2.1.22

The authors of the Mailman mailing list software we provide for customers have recently released version 2.1.22 to fix several bugs.

We’ve upgraded the Mailman software on our servers as a result.

Users of Mailman lists shouldn’t notice any changes, but as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or see any problems.

Networking issues April 22 2016 (resolved)

Between 10:09 and 10:25 AM Pacific time today (April 22, 2016), some customers reported trouble reaching their servers on our sites.

This was caused by a very large-scale network routing problem at a major Internet backbone company. It affected traffic to a significant percentage of the Internet, including Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and others.

Although it was not related to our servers, it affected anyone whose Internet traffic travels over that “backbone” to reach us. (Because traffic to various destinations travels over different Internet “backbones”, different people would have seen different outages.)

The problem was resolved by the other company at 10:25 AM. We apologize to our customers affected by this problem.

Mailman mailing list software upgraded to version 2.1.21

The authors of the Mailman mailing list software we provide for customers have recently released version 2.1.21 to fix several bugs.

We’ve upgraded the Mailman software on our servers as a result.

Users of Mailman lists shouldn’t notice any changes, but as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or see any problems.