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Varial Celebrates 14th Anniversary with Free SSL Certificates for All Customers

June 1, 2017

Today we celebrate our 14th year in business with a gift to all of our customers.

One feature we’ve been frequently asked about this year has been HTTPS / SSL support for customer websites. While this has always been possible through the purchase of a traditional SSL certificate, which would typically set you back a hundred dollars and require a manual installation, we’re about to make enabling HTTPS a lot easier.

Today we are launching a fully automated system to install and renew free SSL certificates to all domains hosted on our servers.

If you are not familiar, a SSL certificate is what is required to enable HTTPS on your website, the protocol which makes all communication between your browser and your website encrypted. If you see the https:// in the address bar of your browser and a lock icon next to it, you are browsing a secure, encrypted website.

While SSL certificates had mainly been used by eCommere websites, the Internet is moving towards an encrypted web for better security and Google even ranks websites using HTTPS higher in their search results.

We’ve been quietly beta testing this feature for over a year so SSL certificates have already been issued for all eligible domains hosted with us.

If you’d like to make the switch to HTTPS we recommend reading our SSL Certificate FAQ for more information on how they function, potential issues to watch out for and guidelines on how to make your website code compatible with HTTPS / SSL.

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LiteSpeed Web Server Now Available to All Customers

May 24, 2017

With all of our customers now migrated to new servers we would like to showcase one of the underlying technologies of our next generation hosting platform that gives an incredible performance boost to your websites.

LiteSpeed is a highly efficient, commercial web server and replacement for the popular Apache web server used by most hosting companies.

We selected LiteSpeed for our next generation platform as it is up to 9 times faster than Apache when serving static content, 3 times faster when serving secure SSL connections and up to 50% faster when serving PHP requests. It is also one of the first web servers to support the new HTTP/2 protocol.

What’s really cool about LiteSpeed is that it includes a powerful server side cache that can supercharge your website, making it load hundreds of times faster and reach many more visitors.

In fact, benchmark tests show WordPress loading over 4000 times faster on our new platform when LiteSpeed Cache is enabled!

Varial Hosting customers can easily speed up their WordPress sites by installing this simple plugin or by purchasing one of our optimized WordPress hosting plans.

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Varial Hosting Has Gone Local

May 17, 2017

We are excited to announce that all Varial Hosting customers are now being hosted from servers physically located in our new Saskatoon data center.

When developing our next generation hosting platform it quickly became apparent that having our servers closer to home would help us scale and deploy new features faster. With websites loading thousands of times faster on our new platform we wanted all customers to reap its rewards so we spent the past year and a half carefully migrating clients to new servers and relocating equipment from Montreal to Saskatoon.

With this work completed we are thrilled to now have all of our web hosting services be provided from our hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

With this exciting news, we have also partnered with a global content delivery network allowing all customers to speed up their websites by distributing content across 100 data centers throughout the world. When enabled, international visitors will be served content from the data center closest to their location, reducing loading times for a truly global solution.

Stay tuned as we have many exciting new features to reveal in the coming weeks!

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Zeus Server Shutdown Notice

May 7, 2017

Now that the migration of all customers from our Zeus server to our new Sirius server has been completed we are making plans to shutdown and decommission our old Zeus server.

On Monday, May 22, 2017 we will stop all services that are running on our Zeus server.

If you are using a 3rd party DNS service to point your domains to our servers and have not yet updated your IP address from 108.163.168.170 to 69.27.124.150 to complete the migration, your service will cease to function on this date until this change is made.

Similarly any attempts to directly connect to Zeus’ IP address 108.163.168.170 after May 22nd will no longer function.

All data will be wiped from the server on Monday, May 29th when Zeus is fully taken out of service.

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Zeus Server Migration Progress

May 6, 2017

The transfer of all customers from our Zeus server to our new Sirius server has been completed.

If your domain names are connected to our name server addresses ns1.varialhosting.com, ns2.varialhosting.com, ns3.varialhosting.com and ns4.varialhosting.com (or our older diy-dns.com or diywebhosting.ca name servers), your migration was fully automated and no action is required of you. Your domains will begin to resolve to the new server within 24 hours.

If you are using a 3rd party DNS service to point your domains to our servers you must manually update your IP address from 108.163.168.170 to 69.27.124.150 to complete the migration. This change should be made immediately to avoid an interruption of your service.

Over the coming weeks we will begin to add many exciting new features to bring our Sirius server inline with the feature set of our next generation hosting platform.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at support@varialhosting.com for assistance.

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Zeus Server Migration Scheduled for May 6, 2017

April 5, 2017

Beginning Saturday, May 6, 2017 all customers hosted on our Zeus server will be migrated to a new web hosting server as part of our commitment to provide all existing customers with a free upgrade to our next generation hosting platform that we recently launched last year.

The migration to our next generation hosting platform will be completed in two stages:

1. Server Migration / Operating System Upgrade

Our Zeus server currently uses aging server hardware and a last generation operating system. We will take this opportunity to migrate all customers currently hosted on our Zeus server to a new, significantly more powerful server that features the latest Linux operating system.

Our new Sirius server is physically located in our new Saskatoon data center. We have deployed our Sirius server with a similar configuration as Zeus to eliminate compatibility issues at this stage.

2. Feature Additions / Server Software Upgrades

Once all customers are migrated to our new Sirius server we will gradually begin to add new features and upgrade server software to bring it inline with the feature set of our next generation hosting platform so all customers may enjoy the vast performance and security improvements our new platform offers. Customers will be notified when major features are introduced or when changes are scheduled that require customer attention.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT ME???

If your domain names are connected to our name server addresses ns1.varialhosting.com, ns2.varialhosting.com, ns3.varialhosting.com and ns4.varialhosting.com (or our older diy-dns.com or diywebhosting.ca name servers), your migration will be fully automated and no action is required of you. Your domains will begin to resolve to the new server within 24 hours of being migrated.

If you are using a 3rd party DNS service to point your domains to our servers you must manually update your IP address from 108.163.168.170 to 69.27.124.150 with your DNS provider to complete the migration. This change should be made on Sunday, May 7th after your account has been copied over to the new server to avoid an interruption of your service.

No website downtime is anticipated however we ask that you do not update your websites on Saturday, May 6th and Sunday, May 7th while the migration occurs. We will begin at 6:00am MST on Saturday and expect it to take up to 24 hours to copy all data to the new server and complete the migration for all customers.

Once your account has been migrated you may experience a delay receiving new mail until your domain is resolving to the new server. If you require urgent access to your email you can directly login to Webmail on the new server at https://sirius.varialhosting.com/webmail/ to view new mail you have received until you are able to connect to your email normally. If your email accounts are connecting over SSL please accept any certificate warnings if prompted.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at support@varialhosting.com so we can help to ensure that your server migration will be as smooth as possible.

We will be posting updates during the migration at https://varialhosting.com/support/zeus-migration/ if you wish to follow along with our progress.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and we hope you enjoy the many performance and security improvements coming your way!

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Ares Server Shutdown Notice

March 26, 2017

Now that the migration of all customers from our Ares server to our new Sirius server has been completed we are making plans to shutdown and decommission our old Ares server.

On Monday, April 10, 2017 we will stop all services that are running on our Ares server.

If you are using a 3rd party DNS service to point your domains to our servers and have not yet updated your IP address from 108.163.173.34 to 69.27.124.150 to complete the migration, your service will cease to function on this date until this change is made. Customers with dedicated IP addresses have been provided with alternate instructions.

Similarly any attempts to directly connect to Ares’ IP address 108.163.173.34 after April 10th will no longer function.

All data will be wiped from the server on Monday, April 17th when Ares is fully taken out of service.

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Ares Server Migration Progress

March 25, 2017

The transfer of all customers from our Ares server to our new Sirius server has been completed.

If your domain names are connected to our name server addresses ns1.varialhosting.com, ns2.varialhosting.com, ns3.varialhosting.com and ns4.varialhosting.com (or our older diy-dns.com or diywebhosting.ca name servers), your migration was fully automated and no action is required of you. Your domains will begin to resolve to the new server within 24 hours.

If you are using a 3rd party DNS service to point your domains to our servers you must manually update your IP address from 108.163.173.34 to 69.27.124.150 to complete the migration. This change should be made immediately to avoid an interruption of your service. Customers with dedicated IP addresses have been contacted with alternate instructions.

Over the coming weeks we will begin to add many exciting new features to bring our Sirius server inline with the feature set of our next generation hosting platform.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at support@varialhosting.com for assistance.

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Ares Server Migration Scheduled for March 25 & 26, 2017

February 22, 2017

Beginning Saturday, March 25, 2017 all customers hosted on our Ares server will be migrated to a new web hosting server as part of our commitment to provide all existing customers with a free upgrade to our next generation hosting platform that we recently launched last year.

The migration to our next generation hosting platform will be completed in two stages:

1. Server Migration / Operating System Upgrade

Our Ares server currently uses a Linux operating system which will soon reach its end of life and must be upgraded. We will take this opportunity to migrate all customers currently hosted on our Ares server to a new, significantly more powerful server that features the latest Linux operating system.

Our new Sirius server is physically located in our new Saskatoon data center and its upgraded operating system introduces many highly requested features like TLS 1.2 encryption and the ability to install SSL certificates without the need for a dedicated IP address.

We will deploy our Sirius server with a similar configuration as Ares to eliminate compatibility issues at this stage.

2. Feature Additions / Server Software Upgrades

Once all customers are migrated to our new Sirius server we will gradually begin to add new features and upgrade server software to bring it inline with the feature set of our next generation hosting platform so all customers may enjoy the vast performance and security improvements our new platform offers. Customers will be notified when major features are introduced or when changes are scheduled that require customer attention.

HOW DOES THIS IMPACT ME???

If your domain names are connected to our name server addresses ns1.varialhosting.com, ns2.varialhosting.com, ns3.varialhosting.com and ns4.varialhosting.com (or our older diy-dns.com or diywebhosting.ca name servers), your migration will be fully automated and no action is required of you. Your domains will begin to resolve to the new server within 24 hours of being migrated.

If you are using a 3rd party DNS service to point your domains to our servers you must manually update your IP address from 108.163.173.34 to 69.27.124.150 with your DNS provider to complete the migration. This change should be made on Sunday, March 26th after your account has been copied over to the new server to avoid an interruption of your service. Customers with dedicated IP addresses will be contacted with alternate instructions.

No website downtime is anticipated however we ask that you do not update your websites on Saturday, March 25th and Sunday, March 26th while the migration occurs. We will begin at 12:00am MST on Saturday and expect it to take up to 48 hours to copy all data to the new server and complete the migration for all customers.

Once your account has been migrated you may experience a delay receiving new mail until your domain is resolving to the new server. If you require urgent access to your email you can directly login to Webmail on the new server at https://sirius.varialhosting.com/webmail/ to view new mail you have received until you are able to connect to your email normally. If your email accounts are connecting over SSL please accept any certificate warnings if prompted.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at support@varialhosting.com so we can help to ensure that your server migration will be as smooth as possible.

We will be posting updates during the migration at https://varialhosting.com/support/ares-migration/ if you wish to follow along with our progress.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and we hope you enjoy the many performance and security improvements coming your way!

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.NET Domain Price Change

January 31, 2017

Effective January 31, 2017 pricing for new .NET domain registrations and transfers will change to reflect a recent increase in price of the .net 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 March 2, 2017 will renew at the following rates:

.NET:

Was $19.99CAD >> Now $21.99CAD
Was $14.99USD >> Now $16.99USD

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

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