All copies of WordPress 4.9.3 updated to 4.9.4

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.

You can now set the default script sender address

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:” 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:” 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.

Mailman mailing list software upgraded to version 2.1.26

The authors of the Mailman mailing list software we provide for customers have recently released version 2.1.26 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.

PHP SNMP extension no longer supported in PHP versions before 5.6

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.)

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Ruby 1.8 and Python 2.5 / 2.6 no longer supported

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.)

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MySQL “innodb_large_prefix” and “Barracuda” innodb_file_format now supported

Our MySQL database servers now support the innodb_large_prefix option and the “Barracudainnodb_file_format option.

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).

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AWStats updated to version 7.7

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.

PHP 5.6.33

The PHP developers recently released version 5.6.33 that fixes several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 5.6 series on our servers as a result.

This change should not be noticeable, but in the unlikely event you experience any trouble, don’t hesitate to contact us.

PHP 7.0.27 and 7.1.13

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.0.27 and 7.1.13 that fix several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 7.0 and 7.1 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.

SSLv3 disabled on our webmail servers

We’ve updated the SSL/TLS security settings on our webmail servers to match current “best practices” for security, disabling “SSLv3”.

Our customers shouldn’t notice any changes. (We made this change on our main website some time ago with no reports of problems, and many of the largest sites on the Internet have done the same.) We’re just mentioning this so that people know to contact us in the unlikely event they do have any trouble.

That said, if you do have any trouble, it’s probably because you’re using an outdated, insecure web browser that you should update. You can check your browser by visiting If you can’t update it, using a different browser on your computer will probably help.