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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.

Massive Improvements to HTTP/2 Performance

August 13, 2019

Your website just got faster!

Extensive optimizations have been made to our web servers that have improved HTTP/2 performance by over 500%!

In benchmarks taken from http2benchmark.org, a WordPress site using our LiteSpeed Cache plugin loads up to 78X faster than a WordPress site running on the open source Apache web server with the W3TotalCache plugin enabled (a popular configuration with most other hosting companies).

This is the benefit of our next generation hosting platform!

HTTP/2 is used only when accessing websites over HTTPS.

Have you switched your website from HTTP to HTTPS yet? Put this to the top of your list to resolve “Not Secure” browser warnings and to reap these amazing performance improvements!

Need help switching to HTTPS? We now offer a professional HTTP to HTTPS conversion service for WordPress websites to Varial Hosting customers.

cPanel Updated to v78 Across All Servers

April 9, 2019

The latest major release of cPanel is now available to all Varial Hosting customers. Version 78 features improvements to the Email Accounts interface and a new tool called Email Deliverability to manage DKIM keys and SPF records. As previously announced, v78 also removes SquirrelMail from our Webmail options due to the project being abandoned by its original developers. The next time you log into Webmail, SquirrelMail users will be asked to select between our RoundCube (our personal favourite) and Horde Webmail applications.

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

MultiPHP Manager Replaced with PHP Selector on Hermione

February 1, 2019

We have replaced cPanel’s MultiPHP Manager tool with CloudLinux’s PHP Selector on our Hermione server.

Available PHP versions remain the same, only the tool used to change your PHP version has changed.

Customers can change their PHP version and adjust their PHP options using this tool, which is now used across all of our servers.


cPanel Updated to v74 Across All Servers

September 5, 2018

The latest major release of cPanel is now available to all Varial Hosting customers. Version 74 includes improvements to the new Git Version Control feature, improved domain validation to reduce hiccups when issuing SSL certificates and automated spammer detection to prevent spam from sending from our servers.

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

Stop Malware with Proactive Defense

August 2, 2018

One of the biggest innovations in website security is now available to all Varial Hosting customers!

Unlike traditional approaches that scan and remove malware from infected websites, Proactive Defense analyzes the behaviour of PHP code in realtime and stops dangerous executions, preventing malware from running in the first place.

Thousands of malware samples were analyzed to develop heuristics to distinguish malicious behavior from legitimate activity. By analyzing running PHP code and detecting dangerous executions in realtime, Proactive Defense is able to stop both known and zero-day malware in its tracks!

Top security researcher Patrick William of Rack911 Labs has said this of Proactive Defense:

“After extensively testing Proactive Defense, we’re confident that it will stop almost all malware in realtime. Combined with the other features of Imunify360, there is nothing else on the market that offers such a high level of security.”

After weeks of testing, not a single false positive has been reported and Proactive Defense has now been enabled as part of our Imunify360 security package for all Varial Hosting customers!

Introducing JetBackup

May 30, 2018

For many years, R1Soft has been our primary tool for daily backups of our servers and disaster recovery.

R1Soft has many benefits over cPanel’s native backup system as it supports fast incremental backups of changed files and full bare-metal restores of entire servers. Unfortunately the software is not without its problems as the longer you seem to use it the slower and less reliable your backups become.

Over the last few years we’ve migrated our R1Soft backups to three different storage servers to combat its issues but problems with it continue to persist. Backups have gone from taking 1-2 hours per server to 6+ hours, with frequent failures requiring a full block scan that can take over 24 hours to complete.

Due to these pressing issues we have decided to replace R1Soft with an alternate solution called JetBackup, which we’ve been testing across our servers for over a year.

JetBackup shares many similarities to cPanel’s native backup system but with many advancements. JetBackup supports incremental backups to remote servers, allows for self-service restores of files and databases through a customer’s cPanel control panel, and is lightweight and uses minimal system resources. More importantly, JetBackup has proven to be more reliable than R1Soft in backing up our servers.

We have set up a brand new storage server for JetBackup and initial replications of our servers are underway. The initial backup will take up to 7 days per server to complete, with subsequent incremental backups then being taken daily. Once initial backups have completed a new JetBackup section will be available in cPanel, allowing customers to directly download and restore their backups.

Once all servers have been backing up with JetBackup for several weeks, we will then disable R1Soft, making JetBackup our primary backup solution going forward.

JetBackup Migration Progress:

Hermione – Completed
Lockhart – Completed
Malfoy – Completed
Potter – Completed
Sirius – Completed
Snape – Completed

 

How to Avoid a “Not Secure” Warning on Your Website

May 1, 2018

Web browser developers are strongly pushing for an encrypted web and are taking actions to encourage website owners to begin using HTTPS.

The latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari now display a “Not Secure” warning when visiting a login or payment page over HTTP. This is to alert the user that the information they are submitting is being sent over an unencrypted connection.

To remove the “Not Secure” warning, these pages should be accessed over HTTPS instead so the information is transmitted over a secure, encrypted connection from the user’s browser to the server. To use HTTPS, your website must have a valid SSL certificate installed for your domain name.

We got you!

The good news is that Varial Hosting provides free SSL certificates for all domains hosted on our servers! Free SSL certificates have been provided for over a year and are ready for our customers to begin using.

For example, Varial customers can log into their cPanel and Webmail interfaces securely over HTTPS from the following locations:

https://cpanel.yourdomain.com/
https://webmail.yourdomain.com/

* Replace yourdomain.com with your actual domain name.

You can also log into your WordPress administrative area securely over HTTPS from an address like:

https://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/

Make the switch

The next step is to use HTTPS across your entire website. This not only offers a security advantage, but can improve search engine rankings and speed up your website by enabling the next-generation HTTP/2 and QUIC protocols which are available only to HTTPS websites.

Switching your website to HTTPS may be as easy as typing in https://www.yourdomain.com/ instead of http://www.yourdomain.com/ in your browser.

However, it unfortunately is not always that simple. Changes to your website code may be required to make your website compatible with HTTPS.

We recommend reading over the following articles for more information on preparing your website for HTTPS compatibility:

Why is the lock icon not displaying or my website loading incorrectly when accessed over HTTPS?
– How do I redirect all visitors to HTTPS?

If you require assistance updating your existing website for HTTPS / SSL compatibility, please consult a web design firm. Varial Hosting does not provide support for updating a customer’s website code.

The ugly

In a bold move, Google has announced that in version 68 of their Chrome browser (due later this year), they will begin to label all pages accessed over HTTP as “Not Secure”. This will force the hand of website owners to switch to HTTPS to avoid scaring away visitors with this glaring warning.

If your website is not currently taking advantage of HTTPS, we recommend making the switch at your earliest convenience!

Update: A professional HTTP to HTTPS conversion service for WordPress websites is now available for Varial Hosting customers.

Introducing Server Side Caching For Joomla and Drupal

April 12, 2018

Joomla and Drupal users, get ready for a major performance boost!

LiteSpeed Cache, the caching plugin allowing Varial Hosting customers to achieve lightning fast WordPress performance is now available for Joomla and Drupal!

Our server side cache can make your website load hundreds of times faster and reach many more visitors.

Improve your website performance today by installing our LiteSpeed Cache plugins:

How to install LiteSpeed Cache for Joomla
How to install LiteSpeed Cache for Drupal
How to install LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress

Need help installing these plugins? Simply contact our Support department and we’ll install them for you free of charge!

Content Delivery Network Expands to 150 Locations Including Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg

April 2, 2018

CloudFlare, our content delivery network partner recently expanded their network to 150 cities across the world, including points of presence in three new Canadian cities, Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

With our company and data center located in Saskatoon, this is particularly exciting news for us as CloudFlare is now a participant in the Saskatoon Internet Exchange and can interconnect locally with our data center partner to exchange traffic faster and with lower latency.

Varial Hosting customers can easily activate the CloudFlare content delivery network from their cPanel control panels by following this guide:
https://varialhosting.com/support/faq/hosting/#cloudflare