Archive for October, 2011

Grrrrrrrrr…

Monday, October 31st, 2011

The vast international conspiracy to make lots of really stupid projects for me that I can’t bill to anyone goes into warpdrive…

My usually reliable web host, Verve Hosting, had the bright idea to upgrade their servers. They sent me a note about it, with some of the things I should look out for.

If you are using custom nameservers (nameservers based on one of your domain names) you will need to update the IP addresses for those nameservers.

PHP will be configured with suphp on the new server. This will eliminate the need for permissions of 777 on files/folders that need write access by the webserver. Once all of the sites are moved I wil run a command that will change the permissions of all php files to 644 and all folders to 755. With suphp, any files or folders with permissions of 777 will generate an error message on your website.

Certain php options, for example php_flag or php_value directives, will need to be moved from .htaccess files to the website’s php.ini file.

Outdated applications may not work with the newer version of PHP so please make sure your apps like Joomla, Drupal, Mambo, etc. are updated with the latest version of the software.

The new server uses a different IMAP/POP3 mailserver. For POP3 accounts that leave a copy of read messages on the server, the new server will see these as unread, which will cause your mail app to download the messages again. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this. It will only happen for people who leave a copy of their messages on the server, and it will only happen the first time you check your email on the new server.

The migration of websites to the new server will begin at 12:00 a.m on Saturday, October 15th. The migration is expected to be completed by midnight on Sunday, October 16th. The old host1 server will remain online and be accessible until November 14th.

Oh, boy. I’ve got almost thirty sites on that server, and they’re promising various sundry incomprehesible discombobulations. The changeover happened. One of my sites immediately went down entirely. It was one that another developer had started, and I’d taken over. While it uses PHP throughout, the pages all have the .html extension. The changeover messed up the .htaccess file which told the server to treat .html files as .php. The only solution I could conjure up to get that site back online quickly was to rename every single page on the site and change the links within the site. Pooptastic.

I still haven’t figured out how to get the upload scripts in my various WordPress installs to work in this configuration. Actually, that’s one reason for writing this post. Does the upload script work for this, newly updated WP install? I’ll try to upload a new photo:

looking WSW from Mt. Lassic

looking WSW from Mt. Lassic

Well that’s interesting. It doesn’t work on the blogs people actually read. What’s different about this one?

 

And then, just when I thought I was more or less through the trauma of server upgrades, the same client with the .html – .php problem contacted me. His blog was kaput. All it produced was a database connection error. I tried to login to his control panel. The login didn’t work. I tried to login to my main control panel, to get into his (I have a reseller account). Didn’t work. A quick, panicked scan of the various sites on that server revealed a strange mix of OK sites and database problems. And no way to connect to any of the control panels.

I contacted Verve’s support. They got back to me quickly. Someone had hacked into my account, gotten into some of the sub-accounts, and sent a bunch of spam. I needed to change my master password. I did that. Still couldn’t login. Back and forth with support. Many times. Eventually, after banging my head against the wall all day, I managed to get the relevant passwords changed and logins working and get back to where I thought I was already.

One advantage of payroll jobs over self employment: when crap like that happens when you’re on a payroll, you get paid for your time. When crap like that happens and you’re self-employed, who ya gonna bill?


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