Category Archives: Nucleus.NEWS

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End of life for PHP 5.5 Reminder

Category : Nucleus.NEWS

End of life for PHP 5.5 – What does this mean for you?

Most popular versions of PHP used by your customers are unsupported by PHP.net and as of June 21st, add PHP 5.5 to the mix of PHP versions that are no longer supported by the community. This means that as security vulnerabilities are discovered, they will not be fixed by PHP.net in versions PHP 5.5 or older. That affects 84% of all PHP sites!
Here is a quick rundown on numbers:

PHP.net is the most popular server-side programming language with 82% market share and by far the fastest growing amongst it’s “competitors” with ASP.net taking only 15% of the market, according to W3Techs.com.

PHP version 5 is used by 97.8% of all websites who use PHP, and version 5.5 is used by 20% of all the websites who use PHP version 5. Because of this wide application usage, PHP is constantly exploited by hackers, making sites vulnerable.

Here is how PHP.net support normally works – for two years, bugs and security issues that have been reported are fixed and are released in regular point releases. After that two year period, each version of PHP is supported for an additional year for critical security issues only. After the version reaches the end of life, it is no longer supported by the community and any vulnerabilities, when discovered, are no longer being fixed.

Currently, versions 5.0 – 5.5 are not supported by the community. This makes up 86% of all PHP 5 sites and 84% of all PHP sites. So, basically, most of the PHP sites are currently not supported by the PHP community.
How to keep customers’ PHP 5.5 websites secure:

Typically, unsupported versions present a security problem, and it means it is time to move the sites from unsupported versions, in this latest case PHP 5.6, to later versions. But more often than not, when a version becomes obsolete, website owners are not able to update and change programs to accommodate newer versions quickly to ensure the security of their site.

If you are currently using PHP version 5.5 or older on your Nucleus hosted website, PHP versions 5.6, 7.0, and 7.1 are available for you to switch to via your hosting control panel.  If you require assistance with making this change please contact us at websupport@nucleus.com.     Please note that some older coded PHP websites and older versions of WordPress may not work correctly in newer versions of PHP.  Nucleus is not responsible for updating your PHP code or WordPress versions to work on supported versions of PHP

for more information please visit: /php-net-will-end-support-for-php-5-5-in-july-2016/

Thanks

Nucleus Network Operations.

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Changes To Shared Hosting

Category : Nucleus.NEWS

Once again, Nucleus has made some MAJOR improvements to our shared hosting environment, with many more improvements on the horizon. The large majority of these improvements are already active and deployed to you at no additional cost.  Deployment completion of the features below should be finished by the end of Q1 2017.


Git Support

To make deploying your website even easier, Nucleus introduces integration with Git – the most popular source code management system. This feature enables you to do the following:

  • Easily deploy your website content by either pushing it to a local Git repository or by pulling from a remote one.
  • Use GitHub, BitBucket, Travis, or any other software engineering service of your choice.
  • Create multiple branches in a single repository – useful for separating staging and production code.
  • Deploy manually for complete control or enable automatic deployment to save time.

 PHP 7.1 Support


 Ruby Support

Ruby is a popular programming language among web developers.  Nucleus introduces proper Ruby language support in its Hosting Advanced and Premier plans.

Nucleus now allows users to quickly and easily deploy Ruby apps on their domains. Both Ruby on Rails and Sinatra frameworks are supported.  This feature enables you to do the following:

  • Enable Ruby support on any given virtual host
  • Choose which Ruby version should be used on a domain. Both UI and CLI calls use rbenv utility to achieve maximum conformity
  • Install gem file dependencies via UI using Bundler tool
  • Specify custom environment variables
  • Edit configuration files

DNSSEC Support

The DNSSEC acronym stands for Domain Name System Security Extensions. It is a set of DNS protocol extensions that were introduced by IETF with the goal of signing DNS data to secure the domain name resolving process.

DNSSEC was made to help make the Internet a safer and more secure place. Since we are committed to providing the best in security to our clients, Plesk Onyx offers the support for DNSSEC, allowing users to protect the DNS data of hosted domains with DNSSEC extension. The extension gives users the ability to do the following:

  • Configure the settings used for key generation and rollover
  • Sign and unsign domain zones according to the DNSSEC specifications
  • Receive notifications related to DNSSEC records and keys
  • View and copy DS resource records and DNSKEY resource record sets

Updated Log Browser

The Log Browser tool has been updated on most of our hosting servers with completion of roll out to be finished by the end of Q12017.   With this new Log Browser, it is now possible for all hosting users to open any arbitrary log file located on their virtual host in Log Browser for easier monitoring. Users can save any opened log file in the list of logs for accessing it in the future. If the log is not required anymore, it can be removed from the list.

Note that only plain text log files can be opened by Log Browser, binary log files are not supported. This functionality is especially useful for those who install and use various frameworks like Yii, Symfony, and so on.

Another improvement of the Log Browser tool is the highlighting of various files mentioned in logs. This can happen, for example, if there’s an error in a particular file. The highlighted files can be opened in the embedded editor by clicking them, which makes debugging websites even faster.


SSL Improvements

As the Internet grows and evolves, so does the threat from hackers, spammers, and other malicious actors. To stay one step ahead of the cyber-crooks, security must be the order of the day. Nucleus Hosting comes with a suite of security improvements that will help you to harden your website:

  • Customers can now force HTTPS connections to websites hosted.
  • Connections to mail server can now be secured with SSL/TLS.
  • Connections to webmail can now be secured with SSL/TLS.

Protecting your websites with SSL/TLS certificates not only gives visitors peace of mind – it helps your Google rating as well! Here at Nucleus we run a tight ship, and enable you to do so, too.


Node.js Support

An open-source, cross-platform runtime environment for developing server-side Web applications, Node.js has been around for just a few years, but has already garnered no small amount of popularity and support. Using the widely used JavaScript language, it helps web developers write lightning-fast applications. Node.js support in Plesk enables you to:

  • Add Node.js applications to your websites with just a few clicks.
  • Easily manage the application from Plesk (start/stop/restart the application, install NPM packages, run scripts, edit the configuration files – Plesk does it all).
  • Have multiple Node.js versions installed on the server (Plesk for Linux only)

Nginx-only website hosting

If you’re looking for Nginx-only hosting for your websites, Nucleus  delivers. Nginx proxies requests to Apache by default, but it’s possible to turn off Apache and have content served by nginx only.  For more information on NGINX please visit the companies website: https://www.nginx.com/


Cloudflare CDN

Within your hosting control panel, you now can easily deploy Cloudflare’s next generation CDN, bringing content closer and faster to visitors globally, at the same time as you block hackers, spammers, botnets, and DDoS attacks.

  • View aggregate Cloudflare analytics for all websites on the server including threats blocked, requests processed, and bandwidth saved
  • Manage key Cloudflare settings such as cache purging, security levels, and Railgun
  • Instantly protect all websites on the server with Cloudflare
  • ServerShield Plus is now available, offering a cloud based web application firewall (WAF) with a single click. The WAF stops threats before they reach the server.

Let’s Encrypt

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. It is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).

We give people the digital certificates they need in order to enable HTTPS (SSL/TLS) for websites, for free, in the most user-friendly way we can. We do this because we want to create a more secure and privacy-respecting Web.

The key principles behind Let’s Encrypt are:

  • Free: Anyone who owns a domain name can use Let’s Encrypt to obtain a trusted certificate at zero cost.
  • Automatic: Software running on a web server can interact with Let’s Encrypt to painlessly obtain a certificate, securely configure it for use, and automatically take care of renewal.
  • Secure: Let’s Encrypt will serve as a platform for advancing TLS security best practices, both on the CA side and by helping site operators properly secure their servers.
  • Transparent: All certificates issued or revoked will be publicly recorded and available for anyone to inspect.
  • Open: The automatic issuance and renewal protocol will be published as an open standard that others can adopt.
  • Cooperative: Much like the underlying Internet protocols themselves, Let’s Encrypt is a joint effort to benefit the community, beyond the control of any one organization.

We have a page with more detailed information about how the Let’s Encrypt CA works.


Whats new under the hood

The following changes have been made to our hosting enviroment to improve overall system performance and stability

  • PHP OPCache changed from 64MB to 128MB
    • we are looking to moving this up again to 256MB
  • Light Virtual Environments Stats Version 2
    • Better data collection and graphs for your resource usage page
    • Disk cash usage no longer included in your memory usage
    • Nucleus Network Operations is now alerted if a website on the sever starts to fault do to resource limits.
  • Minimum Password Requirements, here we go again…
    • To help protect your information, the minimum password requirements in our shared hosting environment have been changed for hosting panel access, ftp, and email. This does not mean your current password has been changed on you but next time you update your password it will need to meet the following requirements:
    • Contain characters at least 8 characters long and have at least one occurrence of upper and lower-case characters, digits, and special symbols. Example: P@ssw0rd12. Such passwords provide strong protection from brute-force attacks.
  • Passive FTP has been fixed!
  • Main Database cluster has been migrated from windows environments to a faster and more stable Linux Cluster

Coming Soon in Q2 and Q3 of 2017:

  • we are looking into increasing backup retention from 6 days to two weeks (no promises but looking into it).
  • Support for the latest versions of ASP.NET
  • MySQL 5.5 Server availability
  • MySQL 5.6 Server availability
  • Redundant DNS in Ontario
  • Better incoming spam scanning
  • Better outgoing spam scanning
  • Backup MX server in Ontario
  • Memcached for PHP7.x
  • Docker Container Support
  • Purchase TMPFS for WordPress SuperCache!!!
    • Speed up your SuperCache by running it of a RAMDISK
  • Dedicated Mailing List Server

Functionality being removed by end of Q1 in 2017

  • NET 1.1
  • Miva
  • MOD_PHP

 

 

View previus improvmets from Q2 of 2016 >>


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PHP.net will end support for PHP 5.5 in July 2016

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Category : Nucleus.NEWS

PHP 5.6 provides improvements in performance and security over previous versions. We strongly recommend customers move to PHP 5.6 as soon as possible after appropriate testing. Backwards incompatibility between PHP 5.6 and PHP 5.5 is minimal and consists of bug fixes and security improvements.

How to check and change the version of PHP your website uses

  1. Login to your Website Control Panel and ensure you are on the ‘Websites & Domains’ tab
  2. Click the icon for ‘PHP Settings’ as shown below. (The current version of PHP that is enabled for your sites will be shown here as well)
  3. Look for the following text, ‘PHP support (PHP version’ and open the drop down box next to the text.
  4. Change the PHP version to 5.5.38, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click OK.
  5. That’s it, your PHP version is now updated.

Interested in making use of some or all of the new features our hosting platform has to offer? Want to make sure you are getting the best performance out of your hosting plan? We can help!

Website optimization – one time – $50

  • Test and Check your Websites PHP comparability and change your php version to the highest version your site will work with, without having to make code changes
  • Enable NGINX for static Content speeding up your website
  • Disable any unneeded logging
  • Make sure OPcache or XCache is enabled for your php website
  • Optimize your DNS zone file (if hosted with us)
  • If your website will work with it without any code changes we will adjust your PHP complier to PHP-FPM speeding up your website (we will convert .htacces to Nginx commands if needed)
  • Enable gzip to compress your websites data transfer delivering it to viewers faster
  • Enable static content caching for browsers

WordPress optimization – one time – $100

Includes website optimization plus the following:

  • Install and enable the plugin to use Memcached with your WordPress
  • Install and enable and configure WordPress Super cache plugin
  • Install and enable WordFence Free addition
  • Install and enable the MySQL PDO plugin for WordPress

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Great speeds and customer service. Keep up the great work!Wendy Brownlee ~ November 29, 2012
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