3rd/4th of July 2020 holiday hours

Our business offices will be closed on Friday, July 3 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 Monday, and telephone support (via callbacks) will be available only for urgent problems.

PHP versions 7.3.19 and 7.4.7

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.3.19 and 7.4.7 that fix several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 7.3 and 7.4 series on our servers as a result.

These changes should not be noticeable, but as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any trouble.

MariaDB (MySQL) database server update from 10.1 to 10.3

Update 9:16 PM June 27: the maintenance described below has be completed on all servers, so all servers are now running the MariaDB 10.3 series.

Over the next three weeks, we’ll be updating the MariaDB (MySQL) database server software on all our servers from the MariaDB 10.1 series to the MariaDB 10.3 series (equivalent to the Oracle MySQL 5.7 series).

The MariaDB/MySQL database software is what stores pages for WordPress and other sites that are run by scripts. Customers should not notice any difference after this change; we’re upgrading it to a more recent version simply to make sure it’s as fast, reliable and secure as possible. We’ve been using the new version on internal and test servers for some time.

At the moment the software is updated on a server, WordPress and other database-backed sites on that server will have 30-60 seconds of unavoidable “downtime”. To minimize the impact of that, we do these upgrades only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights between 9 PM and midnight Pacific time (midnight-3 AM Eastern time). This process will be complete on all servers by June 28.

Beyond that one-time brief interruption in service, customers should not notice any difference to how their site works, as we said. But as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any trouble or questions.

 

Memorial Day 2020 holiday hours

Our business offices will be closed on Monday, May 25 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 versions 7.2.31, 7.3.18, and 7.4.6

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.2.31, 7.3.18 and 7.4.6 that fix several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 series on our servers as a result.

These changes should not be noticeable, but as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any trouble.

Mailman mailing list software upgraded to version 2.1.30

The authors of the Mailman mailing list software we provide for customers have recently released version 2.1.30 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.

WordPress 5.4

WordPress 5.4 was recently released, and as always, we’ve updated our WordPress one-click installer to automatically install the latest version for new WordPress sites. WordPress 5.4 works fine on our servers (make sure you’re using a recent version of PHP for your site).

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

PHP versions 7.2.30, 7.3.17, and 7.4.5

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.2.30, 7.3.17 and 7.4.5 that fix several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 series on our servers as a result.

The PHP 7.4 series has also been out long enough that all modern script software should be compatible with it, and the authors of popular scripts like WordPress recommend using it. Because of that, we’re making PHP 7.4 the default for new customers (although they can choose an older version if necessary).

We haven’t changed the version for any existing accounts, but we recommend that all customers use PHP 7.4 if possible. PHP 7.4 is slightly faster than PHP 7.3 and more than twice as fast as PHP 5. If you care about your site’s speed (and you should), always use the newest version of PHP that’s compatible with your scripts. Our Why Update PHP? page explains more about PHP version updates.

PHP versions 7.2.29, 7.3.16, and 7.4.4

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.2.29, 7.3.16 and 7.4.4 that fix several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 series on our servers as a result.

In addition, the authors of ionCube Loader and SourceGuardian Loader have made them available for the PHP 7.4 series, so our copy of PHP 7.4.4 now supports both of those.

These changes should not be noticeable, but as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any trouble.

Change to SSH “RSA key fingerprint”

We’ve made a change to one of the SSH keys our servers use, and this post explains why a small number of customers may see a warning message as a result. If you don’t use SSH to connect to the command-line shell (most people don’t), you can ignore this post completely.

The change is that the RSA key has been increased in size (to 2,048 bits) to ensure that sites we host pass PCI compliance scans. Most modern SSH software now uses ECDSA keys instead of RSA keys, so this won’t affect most people. But if your SSH software still uses RSA keys, you may see a message like this:

Warning: the RSA host key for 'example.com' differs from the
key for the IP address '192.0.2.3'
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

Or even more alarmingly, like this:

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@    WARNING: REMOTE HOST IDENTIFICATION HAS CHANGED!     @
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING NASTY!
Someone could be eavesdropping on you right now
(man-in-the-middle attack)!
It is also possible that a host key has just been changed.
The fingerprint for the RSA key sent by the remote host is
21:24:65:80:55:5e:8c:e2:d9:6d:21:43:ef:07:3f:21.

If you see either of these, it’s expected and okay. It’s telling you that it thinks the RSA host key has changed since the last time you connected — which it has.

If your SSH client software completely prevents you from connecting because of an existing entry in your computer’s “known_hosts” file, removing the line it mentions from that file will fix it.

The next time you connect after doing that, you’ll be prompted to add the new key. You can verify the key fingerprint it shows you on our SSH page.