This does not apply to free accounts because… well… the account is free! But, for current and new Ad-Free account holders, you now have the option to pay using Bitcoin via Bitpay, Credit Card via Stripe, and Paypal (which also supports credit card).
This is a short report about the recent server downtime. At about 02:50am (PST /PDT) on September 3rd the server went down due to, what I suspect is a hardware issue. The server was brought back online at about 08:50am leading to 6hrs of downtime.
I’m in the process of contacting the upstream provider to determine the source of the issue.
Sorry for any inconvenience this downtime has caused.
This is just a friendly reminder to all VlexoFree members to make sure you’re making frequent backups of your website.
We do not keep automatic backups of any members’ accounts off the server so, to minimize the chances of your website or files being lost, please remember to frequently generate a full backup of your account then download that backup and store it on your computer (or anywhere else you would like that is not on this server).
To do this just follow these steps:
- Login to cPanel and go to the “Files” Box
- Click on the “Backup Wizard” image then click on “Backup”
- Do a “Full Backup”.
- Wait for the backup to complete
- Once the backup is done, download the backup to your computer.
Today I upgraded our Apache (what’s used to make your web pages be seen on the internet) version to the 2.4 series (was the 2.2 series before). With this upgrade should come performance improvements so you should see your web pages load a bit faster now. For an in depth look at what’s new take a look at: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/current/new_features_2_4.html
An important note for all users who are running an RoR application, apache 2.4 is adding the index file name from the DirectoryIndex directive to the URI, so if rails is in production mode this shows up as a 404 error causing cpanel’s/apache’s redirect/rewrite to not work making your application not show up. To fix this you must add the following to your “.htaccess” file in your “/public_html” folder:
Other minor news is that PHP was also updated to the latest 5.4 minor version, which is not that exciting. The next major update should be updating PHP to version 5.5 but it was made available to cPanel only a few days ago so I’m going to give it some time to mature and fix any bugs that come up.
After getting reports today about WordPress installs getting hacked on the server I did some investigating and found that this may be a server wide hacking, meaning potentially all WordPress installs may have been defaced on the server.
The exploit was mostly likely caused by a vulnerability in Apache having to due with symlinks.
If you were effected by this, I have wrote the following article to help you: http://vlexofree.com/wiki/Exploit:_Hacked_by_badi
I have also recompiled apache/php with a patch to prevent the exploit (although the patch may cause issues of its own) and globally changed everyone’s “wp-conf.php” to “600” permissions.
The exploit did not compromise your overall WordPress install or your passwords. The only changes made by the exploit are to the wordpress database in the following locations: the wordpress title, charset, and widgets. It only takes a few steps to fix, but it is a bit annoying to have to do it.
If anyone noticed (hopefully you didn’t since the downtime was only about 5 minutes), the server was rebooted at around 12:30am PDT today.
First I’ll start off with the bad news…. which is that the server’s uptime has gone from 176 days of being continually online, back down to 0 days. Looking at the graph below it is a sad sight indeed.
But! With all good things comes consequences. Which leads me to the Good News!
The reboot was not pointless, but required so we could boot into an updated kernel that fixed multiple security issues, address several hundred bugs, and added numerous enhancements. Exciting, right?
I thought I would let everyone know that I have just replaced cPanel’s old PHP configuration file with one designed for PHP 5.4. This should lead to some performance improvements for PHP scripts.
If you’re having any issues with you scripts that weren’t there before, be sure to post your issue in the VlexoFree Support Forum.
Note: My next project, once I have time, is to update to Apache 2.4 and resolve any issues that might cause.
The servers version of PHP has just been updated to 5.4.13 from the previous version of 5.3.22 we had before. This new version brings a bunch of changes to PHP.
If you would like more info about the changes, take a look at the Migrating from PHP 5.3.x to PHP 5.4.x page on PHP.net.
This story starts about 5 months ago, in October, with me trying to do a search for “VlexoFree” on Bing. The result was troubling as there were no results for vlexofree.com or any vlexofree subdomains. I’m not sure when this started but I do know VlexoFree was listed on microsoft’s search engine when I first started VlexoFree.
Anyways, it took me 5 months of emailing Microsoft Support back and forth to find out what the issue was and for them to fix it. But I am happy to announce that as of today VlexoFree.com and all of its subdomains are now being re-indexed by Bing and will start appearing in searches today.
VlexoFree Owner, System Administrator
Happy new year everyone! There haven’t been many changes to VlexoFree for a while which might make it seem like VlexoFree is slowing down or dying.. I’ve come here to say that this is far from the truth!
To start off this year I’m getting rid of the Personal 300 plan and changing it to the Personal 500 plan. This means everyone on who is currently on the Personal 300 plan will be getting an upgrade from 300 megabytes of space to 512 megabytes of space.
As I assess our current plans there might be more changes like this in the future!
VlexoFree Owner, System Administrator