Thursday, November 7, 2013

Support Ticket Changes

Sometimes a small change makes all the difference. Our support tickets have always read top to bottom, with the newest reply at the bottom. While that works great for Hosting support, because those tickets are normally very quick and short, it leaves a little to be desired for our Design Services clients, when tickets can span weeks or months, and become very long.

Today we're reversing the order that new replies are displayed on tickets, to show the newest one first at the top. This should save a lot of wear-and-tear on our Design clients' mouses and thumbs!

And in December there will be even bigger news: a new support ticket system is coming!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Horde Webmail Not Saving Sent Email

A couple of cPanel updates made some changes to how Horde webmail saves sent email: (9-23-2013) Fixed case 77077: Make Horde save sent mail by default with Dovecot. (10-16-2013) Fixed case 79889: Fix Horde sent mail folder prefix.

And as a result, these changes have had "unintended consequences." If you use Horde webmail and have noticed the following error when sending email

The folder "Sent" was not created. This is what the server said: 
Client tried to access nonexistent namespace. (Mailbox name should probably 
be prefixed with: INBOX.)

Message sent successfully, but not saved to Sent.

Try the following steps to recreate the "Sent" folder so that Horde can access it.

1. Login to the mailbox though IMAP
2. Click on "Mails" and then select "options" tab.
3. Select "Personal Information" link under the general option.
4. Then select the check box "Save sent mail" and select "create a new sent mail folder" option.
5. Provide the name to the sent items folder and Save the changes.

This will make the sent item folder into the mailbox.

Alternatively, one user has reported that simply selecting the existing "Sent" folder from the dropdown  (within Horde's "Options") fixes this issue.

If neither of these fixes work, or you have any other issues, please let us know. We're here to help!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Client Portal Upgrade In Progress

We are currently performing an upgrade on the Client Portal, which includes our support system. It should only take roughly 10-15 minutes. We're available by Live Chat if you need anything during that time!

Live Chat Support

4:27pm PDT: And as if by magic... we're back.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Security Maintenance

Between Tuesday, July 16 and Wednesday, July 17 security maintenance will be performed on all hosting servers that includes updating the operating system to the latest, patched kernel. In order to finalize and install the kernel a server reboot is required.

We anticipate less than 10 minutes of downtime, and we will make every effort to minimize the impact this will have on your service. Due to the critical nature of this vulnerability and the requirement of expediency, we can not provide a more precise reboot time.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Live Chat outage [RESOLVED]

The Live Chat system that we use is having a system-wide outage. They are aware of the problem and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible. Details and updates as we have them will be posted here.

12:54pm PT The issues appear to have been resolved, and the Live Chat system is once again humming along.

And if the Live Chat system looks a little different than the one we've used for years, that's because it is! The goal was to find an off-server service that would integrate nicely with our website, yet not be a resource hog like the previous system was.

We wanted an off-site/off-server solution (hosted elsewhere) so that in the extremely unlikely event of an issue on our server customers could still contact us. Unfortunately the downside of that is that we are unreachable if their server goes down.

An additional benefit of having an off-site Live Chat is that we can be contacted if a user accidentally gets themselves blocked by the firewall.

1:24pm PT I spoke too soon, but the issue is expected to be resolved (for reals this time!) shortly.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Security Maintenance Scheduled 5/28/13 - 5/30/13

Between Tuesday, May 28 and Thursday, May 30 the Data Center will be performing a server reboot. This is an issue that involves all servers, not just ours. The nature of this reboot is to finalize the application of the latest, patched kernel to address a critical security issue.

We anticipate less than 10 minutes of downtime, and we will make every effort to minimize the impact this will have on your websites. Due to the critical nature of this vulnerability and the requirement of expediency, the Data Center (NOC) is unable to provide a more precise reboot time.

All servers in the Data Center are scheduled for a reboot, it just depends on when they get to ours. Typically server reboots are scheduled for the middle of the night to minimize disruption, but that simply isn't possible this time.

The Data Center Tech and Engineering teams will be actively monitoring for the duration of the maintenance, and we will keep you informed of updates as we have them.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Apollo Server Reboot Required

8:57am PDT: Our engineers have isolated an issue that has required a reboot to resolve. We are currently in the process of rebooting the server. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience, this should take just a few minutes to resolve. 

9:32am PDT: And Apollo is back up with all websites resolving. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

cPanel 11.36 Upgrade

A cPanel upgrade is in process to version 11.36. Normally we don't announce cPanel upgrades, but this one introduces a lot of new features and makes some significant changes in the way cPanel interacts with the rest of the servers' software behind the scenes. These changes are all for the better, but any time you change the way 20,000 files are handled, there's  always the possibility of a glitch. 

Quite a few significant changes, including the way upgrading cPanel is handled. A new staging step during an upgrade allows a variety of checks to occur prior to changing the cPanel installation. This makes upgrades quicker more reliable, and Future cPanel upgrades should be much less problematic than they have been in the past.

This version has been out for a couple of months (we always wait a reasonable amount of time to allow others to shake out the bugs), but each server configuration is different and it's not always possible to predict a significant upgrade.

This version also brings with it the long awaited modern version of Perl 5.14. Because cPanel relies so heavily on Perl, cPanel servers were previously tied to an older version of Perl (5.8.8), for the simple fact that any upgrade to Perl could break cPanel functionality. Now cPanel comes with it's own version of Perl located separately from the main Perl installation. This will clear the way for server SysAdmins to upgrade Perl whenever they darn well want to!

Also upgraded will be: Exim (the mail server); Dovecot (IMAP and POP3 email server); MySQL; phpMyAdmin; All Webmail applications (Horde, Roundcube, SquirrelMail), and Pure-FTPd (FTP server).

We expect this upgrade to take approximately 30 minutes, and will edit this post when it's all clear. The server will be available during 98% of this time, only at the end of the process when cPanel is restarted a user logged into cPanel might notice a blip. The web server (and websites) won't be affected by this upgrade.

EDIT 11:58pm  The upgrade has completed successfully, and it all looks good!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy World Backup Day!

Or would that be MERRY World Backup Day? OK, so in any case...

What would you do if one morning your computer just wouldn't boot up? Or you accidentally deleted or overwrote an important, critical file? Do you have backups? And do they work?

Here's some hard facts, courtesy of SpiderOak :
  • A hard drive is a mechanical device, and as such is the most failure-prone component in your computer.
  • If you need to recover your data when the drive fails, you will probably have to pay hundreds of dollars to a recovery service, and there is no guarantee that your data will be fully recovered.
  • The real-world observed failure rate on hard drives is around 3%, and much worse under non-ideal conditions.
  • Accidents happen, whether it’s a coffee dumped on your laptop or a stuck delete key that sends an important folder to the trash without you noticing. Human error is one of the main culprits.
  • Laptops and cellphones are attractive targets for a thief

Because we at Hello World Web Design, Hosting and Domains believe so strongly in backups and want to encourage everyone, whether you're one of our customers or not, to get into the habit of making regular backups of your work, we're passing along information on this promotion for you to get 5GB of FREE backup space from SpiderOak! This promotion is good for the next 48 hours, so I suggest you don't wait and miss it.

Are we an affiliate of theirs? No. Are we getting anything from this for promoting their service? No. At least not yet, but we are considering checking out their affiliate program in the future.

I've used SpiderOaks' services for my personal backups since 2006, when the whole "cloud" thing was still fairly new. I've seen their service slowly grow and evolve over the years.The true value of SpiderOaks' core philosophy didn't shine until I saw the security breaches to other cloud backups services.

With SpiderOak, you'll find privacy and security are their foremost priority...not an afterthought like some other backup/sync services.
  • SpiderOak maintains their own network, avoiding security issues from 'the cloud";
  • They're HIPAA compliant;
  • They operate under a "zero-knowledge" policy, for the ultimate in privacy;
  • Their support is top-notch.

There are aspects of SpiderOak I look forward to seeing improved their gawdawful website, seeing the Android app fleshed out a little bit more (and requiring a login to see "favorites"), and better documentation for issues like when I couldn't get the SpiderOak client to install on a Windows XP (SP3) machine (turns out it needed very specific Visual C++ 2008 and 2010 libraries, contact me if you need help with this). And OK, better documentation (like a full-on knowledgebase) in general.

I don't know about you, but I'll take stable and secure over flashy and hacker-prone ANY day of the week (and twice on WorldBackupDay Sunday!).

If you're a new user, you'll get 5GB of space when you sign up (OR 50% any paid plan!). But where's the love for existing users? SpiderOaks' blog post didn't exactly spell that out, so I'm including those instructions here.

Happy Backing Up!

If you're an existing user, you can use ths promo code to upgrade from the standard 2GB for free to 5GB for free.
  1. Open your SpiderOak client.
  2. Click "Buy more space" at the bottom of the first screen.
  3. A browser window will open, to this page:
  4. Enter "WorldBackupDay" into the promo code box and click "update."
  5. You'll be given the option, through this promotion, for your choice of:
    5GB free;
    100GB for $10 a month;
    100GB for $50 a year (equals 50% off, it's normally $100 per year).
  6. 6. Click "Next" and confirm your plan.

Don't be an April Fool. Backup Today!

Mara Alexander
Founder and CEO, Hello World Web