While it has been possible to view the error logs of your web site from within the Control Centre for a while, recently we have introduced a new feature – to download the full “access” logs for your web sites.
The time when you had to send a request to our support in order to diagnose problems on your websites is a thing of the past. Now all the error logs are accessible on each account from within the Control Center. A lot of web site errors are shown in the error logs. Error logs include information on the date, error type, IP address, and a description of the error.
The full “access” logs record all the requests made to a website and include information on the IP addresses, date and time, requested page, and other information. Access logs allow you to analyze all the traffic on your site. Moreover, they can be very useful for identifying sources of load and preventing attacks on your websites.
To download the access and error logs, log into your hosting account in the Control Center, choose a web site, and then click “View Access Logs” or “View Error Logs”.
As the first shared hosting provider in Europe to do so, we are happy to announce our immediate support of PHP 5.5.0
PHP 5.5 was released by the PHP development team earlier today, and is now available on every Gigahost account. The new version of PHP brings a number of nice features, such as:
Write small functions that retain their local state, even between runs. Use the new yield keyword to “return” the next value that the function generates. Makes a lot of code more compact and neat!
New API for password hashing and salting
In order to store passwords securely, they need not only be one-way-encrypted (hashed), but also use a strong salt, so that the hashed version of the password cannot be looked up in big databases (rainbow tables). Some hashing functions are furthermore slow on purpose, as to limit the number of attempts that a computer can try to look up the passwords. However, hashing algorithms sometimes change and become more advanced as computing power increases.
In PHP 5.5, you get a new set of functions that simplifies this process, and allows you to easily change the hashing algorithm used in your application.
Send emails with cURL
cURL is now able to send emails directly through an SMTP server. Useful if you e.g. need to send email through an external mail server, such as your corporate server or Gmail.
(And, yes, cURL is built-in to the PHP versions we run on Gigahost!)
Finally … “finally”!
A language construct that many other object-oriented languages have had for a while is finally, allowing you to run clean-up procedures that always trigger, no matter if an exception was caught or not. finally has now made its way to PHP as well, so, go ahead and use it.
Should I upgrade?
At the moment, developers of various systems are still tweaking their program code to make sure it works with PHP 5.5. If you have no issues running PHP 5.3 or 5.4, it doesn't hurt to keep using those versions. If you are developing your own systems, you may want to choose PHP 5.5 so you are sure your sites work with the newest PHP version. However, if you are still running PHP 5.2 we do recommend you to upgrade to any newer version, since 5.2 is outdated and no longer being kept up-to-date with the newest security updates.
You can choose PHP 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and PHP 5.5 in the Control Center for each web site you have. This way, you can keep one site running an old and well-proven version, while you develop or test on e.g. a sub-domain running PHP 5.5.
P.S: Some of you may already have seen PHP 5.5 in the Control Center for several months. That's because we offered the previous beta versions and “release candidates” as soon as they came out!
The PHP extensions IonCube and Zend Guard Loader are now supported at Gigahost.
Some PHP systems require either IonCube or Zend Guard Loader to work, because they are protected by a certain kind of Digital Rights Management (DRM). Until now we haven't been able to offer support for these extensions, because we did not wish to run proprietary software on customer web sites. Now we've developed a way to enable PHP extensions for each web site, making it possible for each customer to make the choice.
IonCube and Zend Guard Loader can be enabled for each web site individually using the Control Center.
In other PHP-related news, we are now offering PHP 5.5 (beta 3). However, since PHP 5.5 itself is not finished, we recommend that this is only used for testing and development for the new PHP version. A final release of PHP 5.5 is expected later in the summer.
Many of our users and our potential users have requested the option to pay using WebMoney. Millions of people prefer this method of payment on the Internet due to its versatility and reliability. We are pleased to announce that from now on, you can pay Gigahost services using WebMoney.
To pay using this method, select “Other payment methods” -> “Payment WebMoney” during payment. Then, just follow the instructions of the system. It's that simple!
Following numerous requests from our customers, we've now made it possible to create separate FTP accounts for each domain and subdomain on your hosting account. With this feature you can easily decide who will access your domains – and to which extent.
To create a new FTP account simply choose the domain, you need to create an account for in the Control Center, and click “Add FTP Account”.
As always, the feature is included in the base fee, which means you do not have to pay any additional fees in order to create more FTP accounts.
During the last couple of weeks, we've noticed an increase in the number of attacks against web sites using the Joomla CMS. These seem to be part of a cyber attack towards primarily the USA. The attack – dubbed “Operation Ababil” – is organized by Iranian hackers, but is carried out by sympathizers all around the world.
The attack focuses on a vulnerability in Joomla's Content Editor (JCE), and provides the attackers with the possibility of uploading any file they like to the web site. Most often these are backdoors, which can later be used to carry out cyber attacks, send spam, post phishing pages, and much more.
It is hard to protect against this attack using firewalls or packet inspection equipment, because it can be made to look like legitimate traffic. However, we are happy to announce that we've managed to find a way to stop the attacks on thousands of Joomla sites hosted at Gigahost.
Furthermore, we have notified all of the customers, who have been found to use a vulnerable JCE component.
As always, the best way to avoid attacks is to always keep Joomla updated, along with any components, themes, and other add-ons.