We have recently updated our servers to support PHP 5.3 (currently 5.3.8, but we will keep this up to date with the latest version of 5.3).
We are currently running a dual system with PHP, supporting both PHP 5.2 and PHP 5.3. Everything still defaults to the normal PHP 5.2 version. But if you have a special need for PHP 5.3, we can enable PHP 5.3 for your website.
Just shoot us a support ticket and we’ll be happy to switch your account over to PHP 5.3.
Eventually all systems will have to be switched over to PHP 5.3 by default, but we don’t have any time estimate for when that will be. When PHP 5.3 was first released there were a lot of compatibility issues with scripts due to changes in PHP 5.3 from PHP 5.2, so that is why we did not immediately upgrade and it’s why we are not switching to PHP 5.3 by default.
If you have any questions at all about this, please feel free to open a support ticket and our support team will be glad to answer any questions you may have.
We have successfully updated all of our servers to run PHP5 by default. All of our accounts are now running PHP5 unless you have specifically written in requesting that your account be turned back over to PHP4.
One thing to note, if you run into issues with PHP5 and your scripts check to make sure that you are running the latest version of that script. It cannot be stressed enough as to how important it is that you keep your scripts up-to-date. Keeping your script up-to-date avoids problems with your script being exploited by malicious users and hackers. It is in everyone’s best interest to keep your script up-to-date. It keeps the servers from being exploited and it keeps your website up and running without being defaced or used for some other malicious activity.
A lot of developers may have made recent changes to their scripts that are required in order to make the script work with PHP5. PHP5 is the future of PHP, everything is moving to PHP5 and sooner or later PHP4 will be completely in the past and no longer supported. This is why it is important that you have your scripts updated to work with PHP5 the sooner the better. If you are running the latest version of a script and it is still not working with PHP5, then you need to contact the developer of that script and find out why it is not working with PHP5 and what they are going to do about this. If a script developer wants their script to continue to work in the webhosting industry, it is going to have to support PHP5.
I don’t have a problem with setting your account to use PHP4, but please don’t confuse this with a permanent solution. If your account is set back to use PHP4, then this should only be viewed as a temporary measure put in place to get your website working while the issues with the script and PHP5 are worked out.
At any rate, I wanted to inform all of our users that PHP5 is live and active on all of our servers now. If you encounter any problems, please submit a support request so that our support technicians can handle your issue.
We have completed two rounds of testing the PHP5 roll out and the number of problems that have been encountered is just too negligible to count. To put things in perspective, the test servers resulted in about 3000 accounts being upgraded and there were about 3 problems of differing severity levels. Because of this, I feel confident that the rest of our servers can be upgraded without any problems.
I am planning to initiate the upgrade of the rest of our servers next week over to a PHP 5 by default set up. I don’t have specific dates for each server, and I’m also not sure if all of the servers will get done next week. I do hope to get the majority of them upgraded next week. The timeframe I am looking at is from December 17th through December 20th. I am not going to upgrade any servers to PHP5 through the Holiday weekend of December 21st through December 26th.
Hopefully all of the servers will be upgraded between December 17th and December 20th of next week. But a lot of the action required depends on other factors that may surface during that time period.
At any rate, I wanted you to be aware that this upgrade is being scheduled, and the same principle still applies as was on our test servers. PHP4 will still be available, so we can switch your account back to PHP4 if needed. The argument still applies that if your script or account will not work with PHP5, then you need to investigate why this is the case. I don’t have a problem with running your account as PHP4, but you have to understand that we cannot support PHP4 indefinitely. If your script will not work with PHP5, then you need to raise this issue with the developers of that script.
The second set of test servers have been successfully switched over to PHP 5 by default. Users that were affected by this were sent an e-mail last week concerning this upgrade.
If you experience any problems at all with the new PHP set up, please let us know.
We performed the PHP5 switch over on a couple of test servers earliest this week. Judging from the lack of response that we received concerning this move, we believe that the switch over went through real well. To be on the safe side we are going to do another round of testing. This time we are increasing the test servers to four test servers.
Users on those four test servers will receive an e-mail message shortly telling them that they are part of this upgrade. This second batch of upgrades will be done next week, December 10th through December 14th. As with the last batch, we hope to do the upgrade on Monday, December 10th, but that date is not set in stone and the date may be pushed back a couple of days.
Also, as with the last upgrade, if for whatever reason we receive concerns regarding the last upgrade or feel that this upgrade will cause too many problems we will postpone it. If we upgrade a server and receive a lot of issues on that server, we can always revert it back to PHP version 4.
A lot of information concerning the upgrade and switch over is in an earlier post. Please read that post for more information concerning this.
The test servers have been upgraded to PHP5. Those accounts that were affected by this test (you should have received an e-mail if you were part of the test) are now running PHP version 5 by default.
If you encounter any problems at all because of this switch, please open a support ticket at:
This will insure that our support staff receives your message.
Also, if you find out that you were a part of this test and you did not receive a notification, then your contact information is probably not up-to-date. You need to keep your contact information up-to-date and you can do that at:
This test will last for at least the rest of this week. I am not yet sure when the next round of testing or the next set of servers will be upgraded. I am still waiting to evaluate this set.
We have identified a couple of test servers that we will be changing the PHP set up on. This will involve swapping the precedence of PHP versioning on the server. Where as right now, everything is handled as PHP version 4 by default. Unless you have specifically written in regarding the PHP set up on your account, all of your PHP scripts are being handled as PHP version 4.
We are scheduling this upgrade to happen sometime early next week (December 3rd – December 7th). We are planning on the upgrade happening on December 3rd, but it may be pushed back to December 4th or December 5th. We will be posting updates on this blog for more specific times regarding the upgrade. There will be no downtime involved in this upgrade.
What this switching of precedence will do is change the default setting to PHP 5. Meaning that all PHP scripts will be parsed as PHP version 5 by default. PHP version 4 will remain on the server and we will be able to switch accounts back to PHP version 4 if needed.
Please Note: We ask that you please give PHP version 5 a try. We cannot continue to support PHP version 4 indefinitely. The developers of PHP are ending the life of PHP version 4 on December 31, 2007. Security updates to PHP version 4 will only be available until August 8, 2008. After this time there will be no further updates to the PHP version 4 tree. After December 31, 2007 the only updates to PHP version 4 will be major security flaws that pop up in PHP4. Because of all of this, we do ask that you at least give PHP version 5 a try. If for some reason your scripts do not work with PHP version 5, we can switch you back to PHP version 4, but please understand that you are going to have to fix your script or update it so that it will work with PHP version 5. Support for PHP version 4 will eventually have to completely cease.
This test rollout of PHP version 5 will serve as an indicator to see just how well our client-base responds to the PHP 5 upgrade. We feel it is better to perform this upgrade on a few servers first, rather than switch all of our servers to PHP 5 at the same time. We will evaluate the responses we see from this test rollout and from that will make a decision on how to roll this out to the rest of our servers.
If major problems are encountered with this rollout on these test servers, then we will switch everything back and likely postpone the rest of the servers as well until we can adequately deal with the issues that were presented in the test environment. Depending on how the test rollout goes, we may perform another, secondary round of testing with a few servers or we may decide to roll this change out to all of our servers at once.
It is because of these reasons that we really want clients on these test servers to try PHP version 5 so that we can know what, if any, problems there may be. We have been in contact with other web hosting companies that have done this switch and problems have been minimal, so we are not anticipating a wide-range of problem, but we are taking a cautious approach to this. This is an upgrade that will have to be done sooner or later.
Accounts that will be a part of this test roll out will receive an e-mail notification shortly. It is important that you keep your contact information with us up-to-date so that you can be informed of actions such as this. If you have any questions or comments concerning this upgrade, please feel free to contact our support department or leaving us comments on the blog.