After the Upgrades!

Using PHP 5

PHP 4 will remain the default for all users for the time being – we anticipate it being phased out over the next 6-8 months, so expect regular reminders on the subject.

To use the new PHP 5 (or at least test your site with it), simply edit the .htaccess file in your public_html directory and add the details from our FAQ Page:

To revert back to PHP4 simply remove the line again.

You may find that particular modules are not available in the PHP 5 configuration, if this is the case – revert back to PHP 4 and contact support with the modules names that need installing.

PHP Register Globals in PHP 4

The most controversial move made by the PHP developers in recent years was the move to changing the default value of register globals from ON to OFF in versions of PHP since 4.2.0. The directive itself isn’t insecure, but misuse of it can be!

Many users weren’t even aware of this change, and were even less aware as web hosts began to override this by setting it to ON for their servers (ourselves included). You can read more about register_globals and how it can be misused on the PHP website.

Going forward PHP Register Global will be set to off on all of our servers.

For users who need time to migrate their code, or update their software to a version that does not require PHP Register Globals to be switched on, we have a workaround:

Using your File Manager or FTP software, add the following line to tbe end of your /public_html/.htaccess file:

php_flag register_globals on

This will turn on PHP Register Globals for your entire site, and you should work towards not needing this setting any longer due to the security risk it may present to your own site.

We are aware that OSCommerce in particular requests register globals be switched on, please use the workaround and work towards using one of the fixes available that allows register globals to be switched off.

Versions of PHP 4

Now that we have PHP 5 available alongside PHP 4, We’d like to bring all of our PHP 4 installations up to the latest version (4.4.9).

Maintenance Window for this work: One hour during a six hour window between 0000-0600 GMT Sunday 14th September 2008.

Where hosting just got better…

Upgrades (2nd Reminder)

Dear Customers,

This is the second reminder for our customers of the upcoming upgrades we spoke about back in May.

Please remember that you must be using the latest and most secure versions of any scripts and ensuring that they are both PHP5 and MySQL5 compatible. Please contact your software vendor if you are not sure.


The first of these upgrades will begin this week, PHP 5 will be made available on all servers, the default will be to still use PHP 4 and a simple change by customers should allow them to test using PHP 5 with their existing software installation.

Note: You should begin to test PHP 5 as soon as it is available, eventually PHP 4 will be phased out from our servers.


MySQL 5 is still a little way off. This is a more complicated upgrade and we are unable to provide both versions of MySQL simultaneously, as such you should be taking steps to ensure your scripts are all MySQL 5 compatible. This should be done with the vendor of the script (even those installed via Fantstico), or by modifying your own scripts.

NOTE: Resellers you should pass this information on to all your customers to ensure they are well prepared for these upgrades.

Downtime for PHP 5 Installation

Installation of the new version of PHP requires downtime of 15-20 mins, we schedule a maintenance window of 6 hours in case of any problems during the upgrade. Below you will find the schedule for all of the servers we manage:

Server IP Downtime Window
Dumbledore 0000 – 0600 GMT on Monday, September 8th 2008
Hermione 0000 – 0600 GMT on Tuesday, September 9th 2008
Hagrid 0000 – 0600 GMT on Wednesday, September 10th 2008
Harry 0000 – 0600 GMT on Thursday, September 11th 2008
Hufflepuff 0000 – 0600 GMT on Friday, September 12th 2008

Where hosting just got better…

Upgrades Coming Soon

Dear Customers,

Some major upgrades will be coming soon to our servers, some to enhance performance – others at our customers request.

As normal practice you should already be making sure that you are using the latest (and therefore most secure) versions of any installed scripts that you have. Many of these scripts will already be compatible with the upgraded software versions we plan to use (and some may even offer several enhancements!), others you may need to contact the vendor to find out if they are compatible and upgrade as necessary (or even migrate to another script that will support the intended upgrades).

The planned upgrades over coming months include (but aren’t limited to):

  • PHP 5

    PHP 5 offers many performance enhancements as well as an increased feature set.

  • MySQL 5

    MySQL 5 offers several enhancments (including multi-threading and stored procedures).

    You should start checking now with the vendors/writers of your scripts, (not ourselves) that your installed / Fantastico installed / custom scripts are all MySQL 5+ / PHP 5+ compatible..

NOTE: Resellers you should pass this information on to all your customers to ensure they are well prepared for these upgrades.

Further details will be announced as a timeframe is drawn up for these upgrades.

Where hosting just got better…