Our business offices will be closed on Monday, February 19 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.
One of the nice things about WordPress is that it automatically updates itself for important security and bug fixes. For example, if you installed WordPress 4.9.1, it would have automatically updated itself to version 4.9.2 on January 16, and to version 4.9.3 on February 5.
Unfortunately, WordPress 4.9.3 has a bug that prevents it from automatically updating itself to later versions. It needs to be manually updated to version 4.9.4 or later.
The WordPress 4.9.3 to 4.9.4 update is trivial (it fixes only this bug, after which automatic updates will work again), so we’ve updated every customer copy of WordPress 4.9.3 on our servers to version 4.9.4, just as if it had happened automatically.
Customers should not notice any change as a result of this — but as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any trouble.
Between 04:23 AM Pacific time (February 7 2018) and 04:33 AM Pacific time (February 7 2018), websites on our “web07” server were inaccessible while we restarted the server due to an unexpected kernel software issue.
All services are now running normally, and we are investigating the initial cause of the problem. We apologize for the inconvenience this caused.
If you install a script that sends mail, that script should let you choose the address it sends from. Unfortunately, some scripts don’t offer that feature, instead using a default sender address that on our systems looked like “From: email@example.com” until now.
The inability of these scripts to specify a sender address has become more of a problem as email reputation and security systems like DKIM are deployed.
To help with this, we’ve enhanced our email system to allow you to specify the sender address these scripts use. The “How can I change the default address?” section of our page about script addresses has more details.
By the way, if you use a script like this and you don’t choose an address, it will default to the slightly different “From: firstname.lastname@example.org” from now on. But we recommend that anyone who uses these kinds of scripts choose a real address instead, which will ensure other people see only your own domain name.
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.
The PHP scripting language offers an SNMP extension “for managing remote devices via the Simple Network Management Protocol”.
It’s unlikely that any of our customers use this extension, but if you do, it may no longer work correctly on very old PHP versions before PHP 5.6. (The reason is technical, and involves forthcoming updates to the SNMP library on our servers.)
As of today, we’re officially no longer supporting the very old Ruby 1.8, Python 2.5 and Python 2.6 programs on our servers. They’ll soon be removed from our servers entirely. (Ruby and Python are scripting languages; if you don’t know what they are, your site is unlikely to affected by this and you can ignore it.)
Users should not notice any difference, but this should improve compatibility with a small number of scripts that require these options (notably recent versions of Moodle).
We’ve updated the AWStats software we use to generate website statistics. The statistics beginning today use the latest version 7.7, which fixes several bugs. Customers should not notice any other changes.
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.
Between 9:00 PM and 11:59 PM Pacific time on Monday, January 8, 2018, each of our hosting servers will be restarted. This will cause a brief interruption of service (less than 5 minutes) for each site at some point during this period.
- President’s Day 2018 holiday hours
- All copies of WordPress 4.9.3 updated to 4.9.4
- Brief outage on web07 server Feb 7 2018 (resolved)
- You can now set the default script sender address
- Mailman mailing list software upgraded to version 2.1.26
- PHP SNMP extension no longer supported in PHP versions before 5.6
- Ruby 1.8 and Python 2.5 / 2.6 no longer supported
- MySQL “innodb_large_prefix” and “Barracuda” innodb_file_format now supported
- AWStats updated to version 7.7
- Brief scheduled maintenance January 8, 2018 (completed)