PHP 7.2.20 and 7.3.7

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.2.20 and 7.3.7 that fix several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 7.2 and 7.3 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.

4th of July 2019 holiday hours

Our business offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4 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.

WP Super Cache 1.6.8 and Cloudflare

If you have a WordPress site, and you use both the WP Super Cache plugin and the Cloudflare content delivery network, the latest version 1.6.8 of WP Super Cache may not properly cache your pages by default.

This is because of a quirk of the update: A new setting makes it think all Cloudflare visitors are “known users” because they have a “cookie” set. If you had the old “disable caching for known users” option turned on before the update, it won’t cache pages for Cloudflare visitors after the update.

This problem is easily fixed by changing the new WP Super Cache “Cache Restrictions” setting from “Disable caching for visitors who have a cookie set in their browser” to “Disable caching for logged in visitors. (Recommended)”. We’ve updated our WP Super Cache page to reflect this change, and if we notice that a site hosted on our servers suddenly has higher CPU resource usage because of this, we’ll update the setting for you to make it work as it did before.

Special offer: $50 savings on new hosting through July 20

50 years ago this month, humans walked on the Moon. To celebrate that anniversary, we have a special offer for new customers: sign up now and save $50. This still includes free domain name registration, and still has no setup fees.

This offer expires July 20, and is for new customers only — so sign up now if you’re in the market for hosting service.

By the way, this plan is still eligible for our Referral Rewards program (you’ll get 33% of what the new customer pays during the first year). So if you have friends who need hosting service, let ’em know about this offer.

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PHP 7.1.30, 7.2.19 and 7.3.6

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.1.30, 7.2.19 and 7.3.6 that fix several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3 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.

Having trouble with special characters in your PHP scripts?

After recent server updates, two customers contacted us with a problem: their pages that used correctly to display “unicode” non-ASCII characters (like “©” or “curly quotes”) started showing invalid characters like “�” instead.

If this happens to you, it’s likely to be caused by a bug in your script that’s only now visible because of a security change in recent MySQL database versions. For example, the problem happened to the two customers we mentioned because they were using old versions of the Joomla and TextPattern software. Updating each of those fixed it, so if you you have trouble, be sure you’re using the latest versions of any software like that.

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Memorial Day 2019 holiday hours

Our business offices will be closed on Monday, May 27 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.

Scheduled maintenance May 24, 2019 for some servers (complete)

Update May 24 11:00 PM Pacific time: The maintenance described below has been completed and all services are running normally.

Over the last year, we’ve been slowly upgrading our servers from Debian Linux version 8 (codename “jessie”) to version 9 (codename “stretch”). We’ll be finishing that process soon, with brief scheduled maintenance on each server.

The upgrade requires that each hosting server be taken offline for a few minutes over a three hour maintenance window and then restarted, causing brief scheduled “downtime” for websites and email on that server. The total downtime for any site should not exceed ten minutes during this three hour period.

Mail arriving while a server is being restarted will be queued and delivered after a short delay. No mail will be lost.

This coming weekend, we’ll be updating some (not all) web servers:

  • Friday, May 24, 9:00-11:59 PM Pacific: servers ending in digits “4”, “5” and “6”

So, for example, the “web05” and “web14” servers will be updated. This page explains how to find which server a site is on. (Servers ending in digits “0” – “3” and “7” – “9” have already been updated.)

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Scheduled maintenance May 17 & 18, 2019 for some servers (completed)

Update May 18 10:46 PM Pacific time: The maintenance described below has been completed and all services are running normally.

Over the last year, we’ve been slowly upgrading our servers from Debian Linux version 8 (codename “jessie”) to version 9 (codename “stretch”). We’ll be finishing that process over the next few weeks, with brief scheduled maintenance on each server.

The upgrade requires that each hosting server be taken offline for a few minutes over a three hour maintenance window and then restarted, causing brief scheduled “downtime” for websites and email on that server. The total downtime for any site should not exceed ten minutes during this three hour period.

Mail arriving while a server is being restarted will be queued and delivered after a short delay. No mail will be lost.

This coming weekend, we’ll be updating some (not all) web servers:

  • Friday, May 17, 9:00-11:59 PM Pacific: servers ending in digits “2” and “3” (completed)
  • Saturday, May 18, 9:00-11:59 PM Pacific: servers ending in digit “1” (completed)

So, for example, the “web03” server will be updated on May 17, and the “web11” server will be updated on May 18. This page explains how to find which server a site is on.

(Servers ending in digits “0”, “9”, “8” and “7” were updated last weekend, and servers ending in digits “4”, “5” and “6” will be updated the following weekend; we’ll post a separate announcement about that.)

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Scheduled maintenance May 10 & 11, 2019 for some servers (completed)

Update May 11 10:20 PM Pacific time: The maintenance described below has been completed and all services are running normally.

Over the last year, we’ve been slowly upgrading our servers from Debian Linux version 8 (codename “jessie”) to version 9 (codename “stretch”). We’ll be finishing that process over the next few weeks, with brief scheduled maintenance on each server.

The upgrade requires that each hosting server be taken offline for a few minutes over a three hour maintenance window and then restarted, causing brief scheduled “downtime” for websites and email on that server. The total downtime for any site should not exceed ten minutes during this three hour period.

Mail arriving while a server is being restarted will be queued and delivered after a short delay. No mail will be lost.

This coming weekend, we’ll be updating some (not all) web servers:

  • Friday, May 10, 9:00-11:59 PM Pacific: servers ending in digits “0” and “9” (completed)
  • Saturday, May 11, 9:00-11:59 PM Pacific: servers ending in digits “8” and “7” (completed)

So, for example, the “web10” server will be updated on May 10, and the “web07” server will be updated on May 11. This page explains how to find which server a site is on.

(Additional servers will be updated the following weekends; we’ll post separate announcements about that.)

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