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11 Nov 2019

Breach at Web.com: Why you might care and not even know it.

yellow warning tape that reads "crime scene do not cross"Just under two weeks ago, the folks at Web.com group announced they had an incident and that their systems had been compromised.  Reading through their release, they make the following assertions:

  • No credit card data was compromised as a result of this incident.
  • Contact details such as “name, address, phone numbers, email addresses and information about the services offered to a given account holder”

Now, while it appears they believe that customer passwords were not disclosed, they are having everyone reset their passwords as a precaution, just in case.

We’ve had a few clients reach out asking about this breach in particular, as they’ve received an email but are confused as they don’t remember having done business with ‘web.com’ in the past.

Web.com also owns the following other companies you may have had a relationship with in the past:

  • Register.com
  • Network Solutions

So, given the popularity of Network Solutions and Register.com as domain registration providers in the past, odds are you’ve received the email regarding an account under one of those two names instead of ‘web.com’.   Unfortunately, in a couple of conversations, we’ve discovered clients who had an old, no longer maintained email address connected to a domain registration with Network Solutions, and so they never received an email regarding the situation at all.

Our suggestion is that if you have an account with any Web.com group entity, including Network Solutions and Register.com, and have not already done so, to change any passwords you have there at once. 

And if you are still practicing poor password hygiene by using the same password for multiple services/accounts, we’d recommend changing your password at any site that used the same one as well.  If the actor who snagged the data from web.com does manage to decode passwords, someone will certainly begin trying to utilize those email/password combinations at other popular sites.

01 Nov 2019

A Farewell to Sitebuilder

RVSiteBuilder Screenshot

RVSiteBuilder Screenshot

Just under eleven years ago we rolled out RVSitebuilder as a new feature to our shared linux web hosting accounts.  At the time we had, of course, high hopes that clients would find it of value.

Over the years, folks have tinkered with it, we’ve seen at best estimate around 2% of all clients ‘poke at it’ to see what it could do for them, or perhaps just to get design inspiration?  But we’ve never actually seen much traction in the way of clients actually utilizing the functionally long term, but as it was a fairly cheap ‘addon’ that we had bundled in with our cPanel licenses via the cPanel licensing provider we use, we never really gave much thought to it beyond over the years from a ‘cost/value’ perspective.

But as regular readers may be aware, there was something of an upheaval with regards to cPanel licensing announced over the summer.

Not quite as widely known was that in the fallout of that pricing model change, one of the larger cPanel licensing vendors, well, they sold their entire operation.  Then, a little while later, the new owners basically announced that that were terminating some partnerships and a bunch of products you could previously license through them would no longer be available.

After a little bit of a scramble, we realized that, on top of the recent tripling of our per server licensing costs due to the cPanel increase, we could be facing a second round of increases for all of the ‘non-cPanel’ items we use alongside of cPanel on each server if the product was one being discontinued from our provider.

Short version?  The per-server cost of RvSiteBuilder would be tripling if we choose to keep it around.  After once again evaluating just how much usage it was getting, this week we’ve disabled it across all our servers, and are retiring the functionality.

We are currently evaluating some other, more modern site builder options for our client’s use, and hope to once again have a easy to use site builder option available in the future.

15 Oct 2019
04 Oct 2019

Upcoming Maintenance Windows

We’ve recently been notified by one of our data center providers that they need to schedule some emergency maintenance windows in order to apply some critical updates to the underlying physical hardware, and that these updates will require taking some of our servers offline while they perform the work.

While we know that these scheduled events are never ideal, we have <knock on wood> been very lucky in terms of infrastructure outages since moving from our own managed hardware into provider-managed cloud servers.

We’ve been collating the scheduled windows and are currently:

  • notifying all impacted clients via email of their scheduled outage window.
  • adding the impacting events into the Network Status / Scheduled Events section of our client portal.
    • This is particularly cool to us, as it allows us to input all future scheduled events, and clients will only see/be bothered by the events that actually impact them personally.  Yes, we’ve had the ability to do the same via email for some time, but this is just another cool feature of the ‘new’ client portal that we’re really getting to utilize for the first time.

We will continue to monitor the situation and should any further windows be scheduled by the provider, we will of course notify additional impacted users and add those events to the client portal as well.

 

 

12 Sep 2019

Node.js support is now live!

man holding a small sign that reads 'node js'This evening we’re taking the covers off our latest feature addition to our Shared Linux Web Hosting plans, everyone please welcome Node.js to our feature list!

The Node.js setups is very similar to the Python support we unveiled earlier his year, in that you can deploy a new Node application into your account by looking for the “Setup Node.js App” icon under the “Software” section in cPanel. You’ll be prompted to select the Node version you wish to use, where the application should live folder wise, and the URL you want to associate with the application, cpanel takes care of all the rest.

At this time the Node.js selector will default to v10, but you can also choose to run your applications under v12 if so desired.

17 Aug 2019

More details on the cPanel price increase

So, the great cPanel Price Increase of 2019people counting coins on a table is scheduled to go into effect in just over two weeks, and, not so shockingly, details are still a bit slow in coming.  Officially the word we’ve seen from our license distributor is “The pricing you saw previously is valid, that’s what we’ll be charging as of September 1.  As for any sort of volume discount or any details beyond what was in the original announcement, we’re still waiting for that information ourselves.

Short version for us is, that as of right now, cPanel licensing goes from approximately 6% of our cost per server, to about 18% of each server.   This does not include CloudLinux, Fantastico, or any other software we license for our server fleet, just cPanel itself.   cPanel by itself will, after September 1, cost us more per server each month by itself than what we pay for all the software we license for a given server today.

The good news for our clients is, we’ll be absorbing that cost directly.  We have no web hosting plan pricing changes scheduled or planned as a result of the cPanel cost increase.

Long term, we’re honestly still a bit worried about what this pricing model change is going to mean for cPanel in relation to the industry as a whole.  cPanel has long maintained a market dominate position simply by virtue of being the “best of the cost effective control panels”…  Starting September 1, they’re kind of moving themselves out of the “cost effective” category for a number of business models, and based on the rumblings we’re hearing inside the industry, we suspect you may see a spike in popularity and/or new Control Panel options entering the market.

For our part, we’re going to keep an eye on the situation as it evolves and see how it all shakes out.  But in the meantime we’re maintaining course for our clients.

18 Jul 2019

PHP 7.3 now available

Screenshot of PHP code in a text editor

PHP 7.3 has been rolled out across all of our Linux servers, and now available for general use.

To select PHP 7.3, you will need to change your selection using the “MultiPHP Manager” which can be found inside your cPanel interface under the “Software” section.

The PHP 7.3 Migration Guide may prove useful and provide a quick reference of what has changed within the language.

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