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2020 Year in Review

December 31, 2020

2020 has been a heck of a year.

Our staff began working from home in early March and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We thank you for bearing with barking dogs and crying babies during phone calls with us.

When the pandemic brought the first wave of lockdowns, support requests increased tenfold, as many customers required assistance getting setup at home.

We quickly shifted our focus away from marketing endeavours and plans for expansion and tried to focus our efforts on providing the best support we can during this most troubling time.

We had heartbreaking conversations with many customers who were forced to close their businesses after decades of operation and were inspired by those who were able to shift their businesses online.

Even while working from home and with a 10X increase in phone calls and emails, we were able to shave a minute off of last year’s support ticket response time average. Day or night, our support ticket response time average for 2020 was 19 minutes!

While we saw a record number of cancellations earlier this year, we our thankful that our business has remained strong and stable, and we are now seeing an increased demand for our services as retail businesses rush to build websites and online stores.

Now that we have adapted to this new normal, we look forward to 2021 and resuming our plans for feature improvements and expansion.

Here are a few things we’re excited to launch in the New Year:

  • Major improvements to our email spam and virus scanner
  • Introduction of PHP 8.0 support
  • Migrating all remaining MySQL database servers to MariaDB (an optimized replacement)
  • Deploying new servers on next-generation Linux operating systems on new hardware with significantly faster SSD storage.

Have a Happy New Year and a safe and healthy 2021!

GeoTrust QuickSSL Certificates to be Upgraded to Premium SSL

November 20, 2020

Customers who have purchased traditional SSL certificates will have their certificates upgraded to a GeoTrust Premium certificate upon their next renewal due to the discontinuance of the QuickSSL certificate type by the vendor.

GeoTrust Premium certificates carry a higher warranty and include a dynamic site seal. While these certificates have a higher cost, there will be no additional fees passed on to our customers for this upgrade.

Scheduled Maintenance: MariaDB (MySQL) Upgrades on Hermione and Snape [Completed]

October 1, 2020

On October 17, 2020, we will be upgrading the MariaDB database server on our Hermione and Snape servers from MariaDB 10.1 (based on MySQL 5.6) to MariaDB 10.2 (based on MySQL 5.7). MariaDB will be run with strict mode disabled for best compatibility.

Prior to the upgrades, database servers will be briefly taken offline in order to make a complete backup of all customer databases. Websites utilizing MariaDB/MySQL databases will become temporarily unavailable until the MariaDB upgrades have completed on each server.

This document will be updated with our progress as the upgrades are performed.

Progress:

Hermione – Completed
Snape – Completed

.ORG Domain Price Increase

June 30, 2020

Effective June 30, 2020 pricing for new .ORG domain registrations and transfers will change to reflect a recent increase in price of the .org TLD by its registry operator.

Domain names expiring within the next 30 days will renew at existing rates. No changes will be made to existing renewal invoices.

Domains expiring after July 30, 2020 will renew at the following rates:

Was $20.99CAD >> Now $23.99CAD/year
Was $15.99USD >> Now $17.99USD/year

If you have any questions or concerns please contact billing@varialhosting.com for clarification.

cPanel Upgraded to v86 Across All Servers

March 19, 2020

The latest major version of cPanel is now available to all Varial Hosting customers. New features for end users include the ability to force the redirection of domains to a website’s secure HTTPS version, an updated Webmail interface allowing users to perform additional actions upon login and File Manager access when accounts are exceeding their storage limit to help users free up disk space.

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

Resellers: NS1 name server IP change

March 19, 2020

Customers with reseller hosting plans who are utilizing our custom DNS name server feature in order to use custom name server addresses like ns1.yourdomain.com instead of ns1.varialhosting.com please note that our NS1 name server IP has changed from 167.114.2.246 to 51.79.70.71.

If you are utilizing our custom DNS name server feature please immediately update your NS1 IP address at both the DNS and domain registrar level to: 51.79.70.71

This change must be made before April 30, 2020.

If you have questions or require assistance with this, please feel free to contact us and we can help you with these changes.

Varial Featured on Website Planet

February 20, 2020

Website Planet recently interviewed our CEO to learn more about our next generation hosting platform and what makes our optimized WordPress hosting plans so popular.

Check out the interview here!

Scheduled Maintenance: MySQL Upgrades on Lockhart, Malfoy & Sirius [Completed]

February 12, 2020

On March 1, 2020, we will be upgrading the MySQL database server on our Lockhart, Malfoy and Sirius servers to MySQL 5.6 as support for all previous versions will be discontinued by cPanel upon their next major release due at the end of Q1 2020.

Significant work has been performed by our staff over the past two years to prepare customer accounts for compatibility with newer MySQL versions, which will allow us to upgrade our database servers at a more frequent pace in the future.

Prior to the upgrades, database servers will be briefly taken offline in order to make a complete backup of all customer databases. Websites utilizing MySQL databases will become temporarily unavailable until the MySQL upgrades have completed on each server.

Additional MySQL upgrades will be scheduled later in 2020 to switch to MariaDB (an optimized replacement for MySQL) to meet feature parity with our more recently deployed servers.

This document will be updated with our progress as the upgrades are performed.

Progress:

Lockhart – Completed
Malfoy – Completed
Sirius – Completed

PHP 7.4 Now Available

December 11, 2019

For the early adopters out there, PHP 7.4 is now available across all of our servers.

PHP 7.4 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/migration74.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 7.4 at this time. For best compatibility we recommend using PHP 7.2 or 7.3 until development of PHP 7.4 matures.

Get $5 Off .CA Domain Transfers

October 14, 2019

Fellow Canadians! Put down your poutine and check out this amazing limited time offer.

Until the end of October if you transfer your existing .CA domain name to Varial Hosting using the coupon code CATRANSFER you can save $5.00 off your order!

Sale Pricing
$21.99CAD – $5.00 = $16.99CAD

Ordering a domain transfer will not only transfer its registration from your current registrar to Varial Hosting, but will also renew the domain for an additional year from its current expiry date.

To transfer a domain name you must first unlock the domain with your current domain registrar and obtain its transfer authorization (EPP) key. If you have any questions about preparing your domain for transfer please contact us at sales@varialhosting.com.

Click here to get $5 off when transferring your .CA domain name to Varial Hosting!

*Offer applies to single year .CA domain transfers only. Registrations and renewals do not apply and are billed at regular rates. Offer expires October 31, 2019.