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Happy Holidays from Varial Hosting

December 21, 2018

As we gear up for some much needed family time we’d like to wish all of our lovely customers a Happy Holidays and thank you for supporting our business. Whether you have been with us for one month or 15 years, we appreciate you!

Please note that our office will be closed and telephone assistance unavailable from December 22 to January 1st, but as always email support will be available 24/7 over the holidays if you need us.

Before we grab some eggnog and get our Santa hats on, we’d like to quickly recap the past year, and bring attention to all of the new features implemented and hard work we’ve done in 2018.

First, we crunched the numbers and would like to boast that day or night, our support ticket response time average for 2018 was 20 minutes! We believe that providing quick, quality support is one of the most important aspects of running a web hosting business and is something that we strive to do our best at.

And now, on to the features!

With WordPress representing over 75% of all web applications installed on our servers, you may be excited to hear that WordPress 5.0 has just been released and brings with it a new block based editor and default theme.

Additionally, WordPress 5.0 has been made compatible with PHP 7.3 which is now available across all of our servers.

We’ve also recently updated cPanel to version 76, which is notably the last version of cPanel that will include SquirrelMail for Webmail users and support cPanel’s legacy web stack.

Earlier this month we changed the default version of PHP across all servers to a hardened version of PHP 5.6 that will continue to be maintained and receive security fixes from our operating system vendor. This change will make it significantly easier for us to switch to cPanel’s new, modular web stack, which we plan to complete over the next few weeks.

This will leave us with one last task in our goal to reach feature parity between all servers, upgrading MySQL! We will be working hard in 2019 to ensure that all customer accounts are ready for the switch to MariaDB, the new database server currently in use on our newest web hosting servers.

We also launched a new backup system, introduced server side caching for Joomla and Drupal and debuted a cutting-edge malware prevention tool.

But two things really consumed a lot of our time in 2018.

When our domain registration partner of 15 years announced a change to their business model and drastic price increases, we sought out a new domain registration partner in order to continue to offer competitive rates and keep pricing the same for our customers. Every day our staff have been manually transferring customer domains to our new partner as they come due for renewal.

In July, Google made a controversial change to the Chrome browser and began labelling all websites accessed over HTTP as “Not Secure”. This sparked a rush for customers to switch their websites to HTTPS to avoid scaring away visitors with this warning. We received so many questions about this that we launched a HTTP to HTTPS conversion service for WordPress to help our customers with this change.

Are you still using HTTP? Make switching to HTTPS one of your New Year’s Resolutions!

Lastly, we’d like to note that in addition to credit card, PayPal, Interac e-Transfer and cheque or money order payments, we now accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a means to pay your invoices. While we don’t expect many customers to pay in this manner, we’ve been mining cryptocurrencies for some time and thought that allowing our customers to pay with them only made sense.

Stay warm, stay safe, and have a wonderful holiday season.

See you in 2019!

Now Accepting Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

December 19, 2018

Got crypto? Varial Hosting customers can now pay their invoices with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin.

Just select the “Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency” option when paying your invoice to pay with crypto!

While Bitcoin transactions are anonymous, please note that we require valid contact information for all orders and your identity must be confirmed to meet our fraud prevention practices.

With respect to our Money Back Guarantee, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments will not be refunded due to their volatility. An account credit in Canadian or US dollars will be applied for qualifying cancellations in place of a refund.

cPanel Updated to v76 Across All Servers

December 19, 2018

The latest major release of cPanel is now available to all Varial Hosting customers. Version 76 introduces many backend changes that improves the speed and security of the cPanel and WHM user interfaces. Version 76 is notably the last version of cPanel that will include the SquirrelMail Webmail application.

More details on all the new changes can be found at:
https://releases.cpanel.com/

SquirrelMail Removal Notice

December 19, 2018

Version 76 of cPanel has just been installed across all of our servers and will be the final version of cPanel to include SquirrelMail, the oldest of the three Webmail applications we currently offer to our customers.

SquirrelMail will be fully removed in version 78 of cPanel, which is expected to be released within the next few months.

SquirrelMail has unfortunately been abandoned by its original developers and has not seen an update since 2013. cPanel has been patching SquirrelMail’s code with security fixes ever since, however this task has become too large for cPanel to continue to maintain.

As better alternatives exist, SquirrelMail will be removed in the coming months and only our RoundCube and Horde Webmail applications will be offered to our customers going forward.

If you currently use SquirrelMail, we recommend switching to RoundCube (our personal favourite) or Horde the next time you log into Webmail.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Support department for assistance.

UPDATE (Apr 8, 2019): With the release of version 78 of cPanel, SquirrelMail has now been removed from all of our servers.

PHP 7.3 Now Available

December 17, 2018

For the early adopters out there, PHP 7.3 is now available across all of our servers.

PHP 7.3 builds upon the great improvements brought forward in PHP 7 and introduces several new features for developers which you can read about at: http://php.net/manual/en/migration73.php

To change your PHP version, simply log into your cPanel and follow this guide: https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/hosting/#changephp

Please be aware that not all web applications and PHP extensions are compatible with PHP 7.3 at this time. For best compatibility we recommend using PHP 5.6 or 7.2 until development of PHP 7.3 matures.

WordPress 5.0 is Now Available

December 10, 2018

WordPress 5.0 has landed and introduces a new block-based visual editor and the new Twenty Nineteen default theme. Check out the WordPress 5.0 release notes for all of the new features available in this major version update!

Varial Hosting customers who have automatic upgrades enabled through Installatron have been automatically upgraded to this new version. All other users may manually upgrade using Installatron or from their WordPress administrative areas.