12/6 – Intermittant Problems with DNS Handler [Resolved]

This morning, starting at 8:54 am (CST) – we experienced an interruption in our datastream with our DNS handlers (domain name servers).  Some clients may have experienced intermittent site downtime as a result.  We worked directly with our datastream providers to resolve the issue immediately and the problem was resolved within the hour – – however, depending on your location, some clients may have experienced difficulty connecting through 10:15 am (CST).

We have confirmed that all DNS faculties are currently online and functioning properly and no one should be experiencing any problems at this point.  Should you be experiencing difficulty connecting, log in and  please file a ticket with our support staff, we will be happy to assist you.

We are happy to report this issue as resolved within one hour of alert and apologize for any inconvienence.

[UPDATED] Current Issue With Kiwi

The datacenter is working on the issue with kiwi. As soon as its back up we will notify everyone.thanks for your patience.

update : kiwi is backup – we are monitoring it to determine the issue

Update : We have identified an issue with a portion of the file system and are working to resolve it. You may be unable to post to your website and have some email delivery issues for the moment.

Update : Kiwi is going up and down while we attempt to fix the issue. Please bear with us.

Update : All of the accounts on kiwi have been transferred over to a temporary server while the new server is being provisioned. We apologize for the delay but it turns out that kiwi was not salvageable from an operating perspective however ALL data was recovered thanks to the nightly backups we take for “just in case” moments such as these.

9/25 We have transferred all of the accounts from Kiwi over to our Pinki server, which may cause somewhat of a slow down while that happens, overnight.  Starting Friday morning, we’re transferring those accounts back to the newly provisioned server and at that point, things should calm down.  Clients on both Kiwi and Pinki may experience intermittent periods of slow load times today while our techs get this issue sorted out – – it shouldn’t be for long and we super appreciate your patience!

[UPDATED] Early versions of WordPress under attack – upgrade to 2.8.4 today!

To all our clients (and anyone else who happens upon this post) who are running the WordPress software on their website: Upgrade now to the latest version 2.8.4. There appears to be a current and ongoing attack against older versions of WordPress. It could be a looooooooooooong weekend for us!

As we read on Mashable:

The warning comes from Lorelle on WordPress after it was discovered that a nasty attack is exploiting security holes in previous versions of the blogging software, creating a new “hidden” Administrator account and getting right down to the database level. These attacks are said to be “growing by the hour”. Lorelle writes:

There are two clues that your WordPress site has been attacked.

There are strange additions to the pretty permalinks, such as example.com/category/post-title/%&(%7B$%7Beval(base64_decode($_SERVER%5BHTTP_REFERER%5D))%7D%7D|.+)&%/. The keywords are “eval” and “base64_decode.”

The second clue is that a “back door” was created by a “hidden” Administrator. Check your site users for “Administrator (2)” or a name you do not recognize. You will probably be unable to access that account.

We are strongly encouraging our clients to upgrade their version of WordPress to make sure you are using the latest version of 2.8.4.  If you don’t know what version you are currently using, login to your WordPress dashboard and if you are running an older version of WordPress, you’ll see a notice at the top that looks like this:

Upgrade to WordPress 2.8.4

Click the “Please update now” link to begin the upgrade process.

For any of you that are using really old versions of WordPress (versions 2.5 and lower) a manual upgrade will need to be done.  Instructions on manually upgrading your WordPress site using FTP can be found in the WordPress Codex here: WordPress Upgrade Extended.  If you need assistance with your manual upgrade – you can contact us for help/support by submitting a ticket in our Help Center.

For anyone who may have already experienced the attack – it’s going to be long Labor Day weekend for you, too!  You will need to export your all your content with the built-in WordPress export, uninstall and reinstall WordPress and re-import the content. It’s a nasty attack that goes all the way into the database, so exporting the database will result in exporting the hacked code too.

In short:  for those who have not yet been affected: upgrade to 2.8.4.  For those who have been, follow the instructions above to fix your site (you can contact us if you are a hosting client of ours)

For those who are already running 2.8.4 – Horray! Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

[UPDATE] – Check out a great post by the WordPress.Org team on how to keep your WordPress secure – – a stick in time, saves nine (A/K/A/ – always upgrade your WordPress installation with the latest version)

PINKI Server – Critical Hardware Update **Resolved**

This notice is for clients on the PINKI ( Server only *

Yesterday, 8/23/09, we experienced a sudden (without warning) hard drive failure on the Pinki server. Usually, we get notifications that the hardware is having some sort of issue that we need to look into, which gives us time to diagnose and troubleshoot. This time, however, there were no warnings – it just happened without notice…one minute the drive was functioning, the next minute not. Machines are not infallible – – and web servers are machines, after all. It’s frustrating and scary all at the same time!

We discovered this problem late yesterday afternoon and immediately went to work with our DataCenter (and hardware providers) at ServerBeach and commissioned a new server. The great news is that we do full adn complete backups of all client accounts on a nightly basis and store them on a separate drive for safekeeping. Once the new server was up and running with a new copy of the Operating System – we began the account restore and things are about 99.9% back to normal right now.

We do continue to work on the new server configurations, however your sites are in working order at this time. Some people have reported a few items that are off – – a couple missing posts, template tweaks that are not there anymore, etc. We are currently working on those issues on an individual basis.

Because our own web site was down during this time, as well – – we’ve been providing updates on our Twitter account as much as we possibly could during this outage. If you do not follow us on Twitter – it’s probably a good idea to do so at times like these: http://twitter.com/BlogsAbout

We want to thank everyone for their patience, and for those of you who write and Twittered words of support and encouragement – we are grateful. We realize that times like these are frustrating for everyone – including ourselves. So, thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. PLease know that we continue to work on smaller issues on a case by case basis and are getting through them as quickly as we can.

One thing that we have noticed, for WordPress users – when you go to update a plugin, or update your WordPress installation – WordPress is asking you for your FTP login information. It has never done this before and this is a function of our server configuration that we are working to resolve. In the meantime, you can just input the information as requested – or, there is a work around for individual sites that you can read about in the WordPress Support forums here: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/242686#post-1180641 (RESOLVED)

* – If you do not know what server your account is currently on – you can locate the IP number of your server in the left menu of your CPanel. Compare your IP number with the three I’ve listed above to find out which server your account is currently hosted on. Or, leave a comment on this post and I’ll do my best to help you determine your server assignment. Thanks!

New Billing and Support System

We are very excited to roll out our new billing and support system for our existing clients, and new ones, as well. The really nice thing about it, for us and for you, is that account creation is completely automated with instant activation for all new accounts.

For our existing clients who are used to our old Client Desk ticket system, we now have a new Client Area where you can:

  • Manage your billing and invoices
  • Submit support tickets
  • Directly login to your web hosting Control Panel
  • Join our NEW affiliate program and earn 5% on all payments your referred clients make for the lifetime of their account!
  • Access our knowledge base **Coming Soon**
  • Access our helpful downloadable files to include free blog themes for your WordPress blog **coming soon**
  • Access tutorials and helpful resource links **Coming Soon**

All of our existing clients have been migrated into the new system and you should have recieved an email with your login information for the new client area.  The emails were sent to the email address that you have set up as your contact email in your Control Panel.  If you did not recieve the email or do not know what your login/password is, you can visit the Client Area login page and request a password reminder – – be sure to use the same email address that you provided to us when you initially created your account.

Eventually, we will be cancelling all existing PayPal hosting subscriptions for existing clients, as all billing will be handled via the new system.  We expect this to happen by June 1.

For now, we will continue to use our existing/old Client Desk support ticket system through June 1 to answer your questions about the new system, but as of June 1, 2009 – the old Client Desk support ticket system will redirect to the new system.  If you have questions or need clarification – visit that Client Desk and submit a ticket and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

This new system puts everything you need to manage your hosting account, data/files, billing and support all in one convienent place!  We think you will find it very easy to work with!