Performance & Security Optimizations

We’re glad to introduce a new set of features that are now available to all of our current hosting customers, which will improve their security and performance of their websites for no extra costs at all!

PHP / Dynamic Pages Performance Optimizations
We have rolled out a new feature as of today on all of our servers that leverages the security of suPHP (a module that runs PHP processes under your own user for full security) and the performance of DSO (in layman terms, a module that includes the PHP within the HTTP server, improving performance significantly). We have taken advantage of also upgrading to PHP 5.3 in order to support all the latest applications on our service.

With this new change, we will have restored the original way of configuring options on your server using “php_flag” and “php_value” in .htaccess which will make changing PHP configuration much easier, instead of dealing with complex php.ini files that would not propagate recursively into folders. You will also see a significant performance change on your website and notice that sites load much faster, this is because of the new DSO implementation that we have engineered and implemented.

However, PHP 5.3 introduced a lot of deprecations and potential issues, our upgrades and continuous integration teams have monitored all the servers while they were being upgraded in order to make sure that if any of our customers scripts would stop working, we would fix them right away. If we have missed any websites, please contact us via support and we’ll handle it right away for you. Please make sure you include “[5.3]” in your ticket so it’s marked with extra priority.

MySQL Performance Optimizations
We have switched all of our servers to use MySQL 5.5, however, we do not use the regular MySQL 5.5 version. We have engineered and worked internally in order to optimize the MySQL engine to work with the type of loads that are usually seen on our hosting servers. The performance results are extremely significant and they are extremely noticeable. We have been to measure and see servers able to serve far more queries per second (which means faster response times) with much lower performance overhead (no extra slowdowns).

The custom modifications that we have in place are exclusive to our hosting customers and you will be able to continue to use MySQL with no problems at all. All of the regular features of MySQL will be working with no problems at all. If you encounter any issues, please contact our support, however, in our testing, we were unable to raise any issues at all and after a few days of being live, we have not seen any reports from our customers at all.

Outbound Spam Filtering
One of the common issues that we would face was issues with outgoing email delivery. Occasionally, we would have a malicious user that uploads a script and uses it to send thousands of emails to different email accounts, which lead to problems in delivering real customers emails because of the saturated mail queue and the throttling that was created by the remote mail servers because of the large volume of emails sent.

We have implemented a new proprietary technology that automatically detects outgoing spam, and in the even that it detects any of it, it automatically takes action by rejecting the email and never allowing it to leave our network, this ensures that no outgoing spam leaves our servers and will improve email delivery significantly, due to the fact that there will be no outbursts of spam emails until our engineers are able to track it down.

With these new features, we will make sure that we keep providing our customers with high quality and high performance affordable web hosting at low rates. We will continue to leverage the latest technologies in order to improve performance for our customers while keeping it affordable for all of our customers. This blog post has also been sent to all of our customers via email as well.