Data center move complete

As a followup to our previous posts about the move to a new primary data center, we want to confirm to our customers that the change was successfully completed.

Due to unrelated network outages at the old data center, we accelerated the original schedule mentioned in that post. Almost all customer sites were moved by October 7, and the remainder (a small handful of customer sites that needed manual intervention due to old software that was incompatible with the Debian Linux software update) were moved as of October 18. Everything is, and has been, working normally.

I want to again take the time to apologize to our customers for the service interruptions that occurred because of the original power problem and the later network problem. They weren’t acceptable. We know you count on us for your success, and we’re constantly working to improve reliability.

2011 server upgrades

Over the next four weeks, we’ll be migrating customer Web sites to upgraded servers. The servers have updated software (and upgraded hardware in some cases), and are also located in a data center with increased power reliability.

For most customers, these changes will be completely unnoticeable. However, a very small number of customers might notice software differences or experience up to five minutes total of “downtime” at some point. We recommend reading through this entire post for details.

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Now We Are Six: IPv6 support

We’re pleased to announce optional IPv6 support for Web sites hosted with our company (just in time for World IPv6 day next week!).

Most customers shouldn’t use IPv6 yet, and if you don’t know what it is, you can safely ignore this post. But if you’re familiar with IPv6 and interested in adding it to your site, this post explains what you need to know.

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WordPress “one-click” installer

We’re pleased to announce our WordPress “one-click” installer. Using this new feature in our “My Account” control panel, you can easily install WordPress on your Web site.

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Wildcard SSL certificates now available

Back in May, we posted that we now offer basic SSL certificates for just $19.00 a year, allowing you to protect your Web site without going broke.

Today, we’ve added another option: you can optionally choose a “wildcard” AlphaSSL certificate instead for just $49.00 a year.

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SSL certificate price drop from $99 to $19

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve dramatically lowered our price on SSL certificates — they’re now just $19.00.

What’s an SSL certificate? It activates the “padlock” icon for your site in a Web browser, showing that the connection is encrypted for security. You should use an SSL certificate if your visitors type sensitive data such as usernames, passwords or credit card numbers, because it ensures that “hackers” can’t intercept that data.

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Special deal: a year of Web hosting for $20.10

To celebrate the new year, we’re offering a special deal: a full year of Web hosting service for $20.10. That’s more than a 75% savings over the standard price of $83.40 — you’ll save over $63!

Our Web hosting plan includes e-mail accounts, free domain name registration, and free WHOIS privacy (an option that often costs $8.99 or more elsewhere). Get the full details here.

This offer is available through January 15 at 5 PM Pacific time, and it’s for new accounts or transfers only — so sign up now if you’re in the market for Web hosting service.

This plan is still eligible for our Referral Rewards program (you’ll get 33% of the $20.10). So if you have friends who need hosting service, be sure to let them know about this special offer.

PHP 4 being phased out

For the last several years, we’ve offered PHP versions 4 and 5 on our servers. This made sense when PHP 5 was new: Even though PHP 5 is faster and more secure than PHP 4, a small handful of scripts were originally incompatible with version 5, and we wanted to give customers a choice.

However, PHP 5 is now more than five years old, and the PHP developers declared version 4 obsolete in 2007. All our new customers have been using PHP 5 by default for more than a year, and we’ve received no complaints about incompatibilities.

No PHP script should require the obsolete PHP version 4 any more. Because of that, we’re beginning the process of removing it from our servers.

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FTP virus spreading in new ways

An earlier blog post described how several of our customers got their personal computers infected by a new virus that has been spreading across the Internet. Initial versions of the virus spread themselves by reading a Web site’s FTP username and password stored on the PC, then downloading Web pages, inserting an “iframe” tag, and re-uploading the Web pages back to the server. As a proactive measure, we started scanning all uploaded files and stripping out any malicious “iframe” tags.

We are now seeing newer versions (commonly called “Gumblar”) which spread by inserting “script” tags with encoded JavaScript code. Because there are several variations of this approach, and because some legitimate commercial scripts use the same technique to hide their source code, we cannot perfectly identify and strip out these infections. Therefore, we will not automatically strip out the “script” tags from any upload file that looks suspicious.

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New feature: Live error logs

We’ve added a new feature to hosting accounts: Live, realtime access to the Apache Web server “error log”, both in the “My Account” control panel and as raw files you can access through FTP/ssh/etc.

To view the most recent 200 lines of the error log, login to the control panel (having trouble?), click “Statistics and Logs”, and look at the new “Web site error logs” section.

To download the full raw error log files, see this page.

We hope you find this useful!