Written: March 26, 2020

Keeping Your Website Updated

In the early days of the web we hand-coded every site and there were lots of static HTML files, then we started to add styling in a separate CSS file, and finally we added interactivity with Javascript files. As Content Management Systems (CMS) appeared like WordPress, the idea was to re-use common sections of your website like the Header, Footer, Sidebar and Content areas, so using a programming language like PHP was used. The PHP language is constantly being improved, so that means that there are versions, and sometimes your website may be using an older version of the PHP language, so in WordPress you will see a warning dialog like this one:

 

The way to update the PHP version is to login at your web hosting vendor, and browse around the Control Panel to find out where they allow PHP versions to be changed. My favorite web hosting company is ionos.com and when I login the first click is on: Hosting

Next, I select which hosting package, because I’m a web developer I do hosting for several clients:

In the control panel I select: PHP

Finally, I select which domain should have a PHP version updated.

It’s a best practice to keep your PHP version updated to the latest supported version in order to get the best performance and security benefits. Older versions of PHP are being phased out, and a CMS like WordPress will simply alert you when your PHP version is too old.

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Reliable Web Hosting

I’ve used over a dozen different web hosting companies over the years, and the company that I recommend now is called 1and1. My reasons for this recommendation are:

1and1-hosting

Having said that, I felt some panic today when I tried to login at www.1and1.com and was greeted with this screen of death:

1and1 as 404

 

This is the kind of screen that you would see if their web host was having issues, or worse, they were hacked.

A quick phone call to tech support provided me with the login address: my.1and1.com

1and1 login

Yes, I can login, however why is the main web site at www.1and1.com down this afternoon?

All of the web sites that I have hosted at 1and1 are all up and running without issue.

When I filled out a Support request on their web site it was about 10 minutes later that I got a reply e-mail asking me, “Which browser are you using?” I replied that it was Google Chrome on a Mac. Next, I tried out four other browsers and they all worked OK (Firefox on Mac, Safari on Mac,  IE on Windows, Firefox on Windows).

Hmm, sounds like a browser issue and not a web hosting issue. I then went into the settings on Google Chrome on my Mac and cleared the cache, sure enough I can now browse 1and1 OK, it was a browser bug and not a 1and1 issue. You see, even an expert like me can mis-diagnose a tech issue.

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One response to “Reliable Web Hosting”

  1. Dan J says:

    Very interesting. I’ve been with 1and1 for some time, but my service seems to be not reliable at all. Customer service is also so-so.

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