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Let's Encrypt certificates

Today, our in-house developed hosting Control Panel got another feature - an installation utility for the SSL certificates of Let's Encrypt. Our customers can now install Let's Encrypt certificates for any of the domains they host with us.

Let's Encrypt is a certificate authority that provides free domain-validated SSL certificates. Its activity is aimed towards providing secure connection between users and servers, and making encrypted communication a standard on the Internet.

The new utility in the hosting Control Panel provides very easy installation and management of Let's Encrypt certificates - a certificate is requested with a single click, and the whole validation process and following renewals are done automatically on the server side.

The use of Let's Encrypt certificates on our servers is completely free for our customers.


First Class VPS plan updates

Our First Class plan has been introduced several years ago with the main purpose to meet the requirements of sites that have outgrown our shared hosting environment but their owners prefer not to switch hosting services.

We are constantly working on improving the specifications of the plan and the VPS servers. In this regard, as of today all new and existing First Class accounts have 6 GB of RAM available (4 GB until now). Respectively, double First Class plans now come with 12 GB of RAM. The prices of the plans remain unchanged.

Also, our team of system administrators recently introduced FastCGI and OPCache for First Class plans. FastCGI and OPCache significantly improve the performance of PHP scripts and are compatible with most popular software packages.

With these updates, we hope that our customers with heavily-visited and resource-demanding websites will have more room to develop their businesses further.


Critical vulnerability in ImageMagick discovered and immediately resolved on our servers

Recently, sources on the Internet reported a critical security vulnerability in the ImageMagick library. ImageMagick is a popular image processing utility for web sites, and it is utilized by many image processing plugins and tools. The vulnerability allows execution of remote code and file manipulation on the server.

Server security is a concern of an utmost importance, and our system administrators are constantly monitoring servers software and security lists, to make sure that our service is as safe as possible.

To mitigate the specific security problem, our system administrators immediately applied ImageMagick policy restrictions on all servers. The additional policy blocks certain ImageMagick features, such as the inclusion of remote data and operations with mvg files. The policy effectively resolves the problem with the specific vulnerability. Although unlikely, it is also possible that the policy would break some features of image processing tools and plugins. Nevertheless, we decided that the benefits of the additional restrictions outweigh the risks, as keeping our customers' data safe is of the highest priority for us.

A secure version of ImageMagick without additional restrictions will be mass-deployed on all servers as soon as it is released by its developers.


PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.0 available on all servers

Completing a schedule of gradual upgrades, as of today all our servers run PHP 5.6 as default PHP interpreter.

Also, following our policy to provide the latest stable technologies, PHP 7.0 is installed and available on all machines. Customers can switch their domains, or just some folders, to use PHP 7.0 as default interpreter.

PHP 5.3 is still running on our servers to allow customers with older software time to ensure compatibility with newer PHP versions. PHP 5.3 will be available for a limited period of time, as it is in end-of-life status.


Reseller Overdraft feature

Given our close-to-zero marketing budget, the Reseller program could be considered our main marketing tool. That's why we are constantly looking into improving the experience of our resellers and optimizing their operations. Following this goal, today we extended the Overdraft feature specifications, so that it is now enabled for a greater number of our resellers.

The Overdraft in the Reseller Panel allows resellers to purchase and renew services without submitting a payment through a payment processor immediately. Instead, they are able to pay using the allowed overdraft until the overdraft limit is reached. Once a month, the reseller can cover all purchased services with a single transaction. The Overdraft is not a financial feature - there are absolutely no interest rates, taxes, or fees involved. The mere purpose of the Overdraft feature is to allow resellers to purchase services faster, without requiring an immediate payment transaction for each order.

So far, the Overdraft feature was used by a small number of our larger resellers. As of today, the allowed overdraft is calculated for each reseller individually, according to a dynamic formula based on the number and type of their active hosting accounts. Generally, the more accounts a reseller has in their panel, the greater the allowed overdraft would be. All resellers who are entitled to an overdraft of more than $100 USD, now have the Overdraft feature visible in their Account Balance section, and they can use the overdraft as a payment method.

The extension of the overdraft availability amongst more resellers also allows us to lower our transaction costs, due to the smaller number of transactions involved. Every business is usually interested in lowering costs and optimizing performance, and we are no exception to that. Of course, there are certain areas in which we would not look into cutting costs, such as our server hardware, network connectivity, or personnel costs - these are the areas that have direct influence on the level of our service. However, when it comes to transaction costs, any available resources spared would simply be directed to other more vital areas, as the ones mentioned.

The Overdraft could be very useful along with the Online Stores feature in the Reseller Panel. As a reseller, you can set up an online store on your website linked to your reseller account with us. Then, when a customer submits an order and a payment to you on your website, the order would be received in your Reseller Panel, and automatically processed by us using your overdraft as a payment method. Thus, your customer would receive their service immediately, at any time of the day or the week. You just need to check your reseller balance regularly, and cover the outstanding amounts when needed. You can check the Reseller Panel documentation, as well as contact us, for more information on how to set up your reseller website. This setup could work for any reseller, even without an enabled overdraft, by simply topping up the account balance when necessary.

We hope that the overdraft availability will help our resellers with the expansion of their business.