Brief MySQL scheduled maintenance April 20, 2018

Between 9:00 PM and 11:59 PM Pacific time on Friday, April 20, 2018, the MySQL database software on each of our servers will be upgraded from version 5.6.39 to 5.6.40. This will cause an approximately 60 second interruption of service on each MySQL-using customer website at some point during this period.

This upgrade is necessary for security reasons and to fix bugs in MySQL. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes.

PHP 7.2 series now available

We’re now providing support for PHP 7.2 (in addition to the 5.6, 7.0 and 7.1 series), so PHP 7.2.4 is available in our control panel.

We believe it’s stable (it’s used for the blog you’re reading now), but we don’t yet recommend it for most customers. It’s fairly new and some third-party scripts are not yet compatible with it. If you want to try it anyway:

  1. First, update your site’s PHP scripts, including WordPress, Joomla, any plugins or themes you use, and so on
  2. Login to our My Account control panel
  3. Click PHP Settings
  4. Click PHP 7.2 series
  5. Click Save Settings

After updating, test your site carefully to make sure there aren’t any problems.

By the way, if all this seems confusing, we have a page explaining more about PHP versions and updates.

PHP 7.1 is now the default for new accounts

The somewhat older PHP 7.1 series has been out long enough that all modern script software should be compatible with it. Because of that, we’re making PHP 7.1 the default for new customers.

We haven’t changed the version for any existing accounts, but we recommend that all customers use at least PHP 7.1 if possible (the instructions above explain how to choose the version your site uses). PHP 7.1 is slightly faster than PHP 7.0 and almost 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.

PHP 5.6.35, 7.0.29 and 7.1.16

The PHP developers recently released versions 5.6.35, 7.0.29 and 7.1.16 that fix several bugs. We’ve upgraded the PHP 5.6, 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.

Brief MySQL scheduled maintenance March 30, 2018 (completed)

Between 9:00 PM and 11:59 PM Pacific time on Friday, March 30, 2018, the MySQL database software on each of our servers will be upgraded from version 5.6.38 to 5.6.39. This will cause an approximately 60 second interruption of service on each MySQL-using customer website at some point during this period.

This upgrade is necessary for security reasons and to fix bugs in MySQL. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes.

Update 9:36 PM Pacific time: The maintenance was completed as planned and all services are running normally.

PHP 5.6.34, 7.0.28 and 7.1.15; Perl 5.20 (completed)

Update 4:30 PM Pacific time March 25: The changes described below have been deployed on all servers.

The PHP developers recently released versions 5.6.34, 7.0.28 and 7.1.15 that fix several bugs. Over the next couple of days, we’ll be upgrading the PHP 5.6, 7.0 and 7.1 series on our servers as a result.

In addition, we’ll be upgrading the less-commonly used Perl scripting language from version 5.14 to 5.20 at the same time. (These need to be updated simultaneously because of shared “dependencies” on certain software libraries.)

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

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.

Brief scheduled maintenance January 8, 2018 (completed)

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

PHP 7.0.26 and 7.1.12

The PHP developers recently released versions 7.0.26 and 7.1.12 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.

Update Nov 29: It turns out these new versions of PHP both contain a bug that can cause rare crashes of a handful of scripts, including the NexGEN Gallery plugin for WordPress. We’ve temporarily reverted back to PHP 7.0.25 and 7.1.11 until this is fixed by the PHP developers.

Update Dec 4: We’ve applied patches from the PHP developers to fix the bug and re-deployed the fixed versions.