electricalWe’ve made a few changes to the Control Panel that should make life easier for some of you power users out there.

First, if you have a large number of sites in an account, we have significantly sped up the Order New Site and Order New Domain Name functions. Now there is no need to go make a sandwich while those pages load. Though, if you think about it, it’s almost always a good time for a sandwich.

Next, if you’ve ever entered a DNS TXT record in Control Panel, you may have run into a 128 character limitation. We have increased the TXT record limit to 512 characters (the maximum the DNS system will accept).

Finally, if you like to mess around with DNS records in general (and really, who doesn’t?), there may have been a time when you thought, “Well, that was fun, but I wish I could just dump all these cool experiments that have made my site redirect to altavista.com and somehow caused my email forward to the White House and just start over with a clean slate…” Well, now there is a Reset DNS button that does just what it claims to do – resets the DNS record for the site to our default settings. It’s cool, it’s powerful, and it will completely remove any customizations you’ve ever made, so use it carefully.

That’s it for now, but we’re always hard at work over here making the world a better place, so let us know if there is something we can do just for you.

 
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIBgBHMsqug&rel=0]
 

Give thanks for updated applications! Here are the App Installer updates for November:

  • Acquia Drupal 7.23.25
  • DotNetNuke 7.1.2 Community Edition
  • Gallery Server Pro 3.0.3
  • mediaWiki 1.21.2
  • mojoPortal 2.3.9.9
  • Moodle 2.6
  • phpBB 3.0.12
  • SilverStripe CMS 3.1.1
  • Umbraco CMS 6.1.6
  • WordPress 3.7.1
 

Prompted by a forum post, here are instructions on how to install Elmah, an application-wide Error Logging Module and Handler for ASP.NET on your hosting account here at WinHost.  First, you’ll need to download Elmah at this link.  For this tutorial, I downloaded ELMAH-1.2-sp2-bin-x64.zip.

ElmahHomePage

After you have downloaded the .zip file, extract its contents.  Open the /bin directory and find the .NET Framework libraries you want to use.  Most likely you will be using the assemblies in the net-2.0 -> Release folder.  Upload only the Elmah assemblies (i.e. Elmah.dll, Elmah.pdb, and Elmah.xml) to the /bin folder of your web application.

ElmahAssemblies

You can configure Elmah to store the exception information in different types of databases, but for this tutorial, I will only be showing you how to set it up with Microsoft SQL Server.  If you don’t have a database setup already, follow these instructions to create one:

1) Log into the WinHost Control Panel at https://cp.winhost.com
2) Click on the Sites tab.
3) Click on the Manage link next to the site you want to manage.
4) Click on the MS SQL Manager button.
5) Click on the Add button.
6) Select the database version in the drop down list, name the database, set the quota, and then click on the Create button.

Then log into your database using SQL Server Management Studio.  Select File -> Open -> File… (or hit CTRL-O) and navigate to the /db directory of your Elmah extracted files.  Select the SQLServer.sql file and click on Open.

SQLScript

Hit F5 to execute the script.  This will create the error logging database objects in your database.  The final step is to configure your web.config file.  The configuration will depend on what type Application Pool Pipeline mode you use.  For Classic mode, add the following XML markup to your web.config file to enable Elmah, only substituting WinHost_Database_Connection_String with your actual database connection string.

<configuration>
  <configSections>
    <sectionGroup name="elmah">
      <section name="security" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.SecuritySectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorLog" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorLogSectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorMail" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorMailSectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorFilter" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorFilterSectionHandler, Elmah" />
    </sectionGroup>
  </configSections>
  <elmah>
    <security allowRemoteAccess="yes" />
    <errorLog type="Elmah.SqlErrorLog, Elmah" connectionStringName="Elmah" />
  </elmah>
  <connectionStrings>
    <clear />
    <add name="Elmah" connectionString="WinHost_Database_Connection_String" />
  </connectionStrings>
  <system.web>
    <httpHandlers>
      <add verb="POST,GET,HEAD" path="elmah.axd" type="Elmah.ErrorLogPageFactory, Elmah" />
    </httpHandlers>
    <httpModules>
      <add name="ErrorLog" type="Elmah.ErrorLogModule, Elmah" />
    </httpModules>
  </system.web>
</configuration>

For Integrated mode, use the following XML markup:

<configuration>
  <configSections>
    <sectionGroup name="elmah">
      <section name="security" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.SecuritySectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorLog" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorLogSectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorMail" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorMailSectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorFilter" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorFilterSectionHandler, Elmah" />
    </sectionGroup>
  </configSections>
  <elmah>
    <security allowRemoteAccess="yes" />
    <errorLog type="Elmah.SqlErrorLog, Elmah" connectionStringName="Elmah" />
  </elmah>
  <connectionStrings>
    <clear />
    <add name="Elmah" connectionString="WinHost_Database_Connection_String" />
  </connectionStrings>
  <system.webServer>
    <handlers>
      <add name="Elmah" verb="POST,GET,HEAD" path="elmah.axd" type="Elmah.ErrorLogPageFactory, Elmah"/>
    </handlers>
    <modules>
      <add name="ErrorLog" type="Elmah.ErrorLogModule, Elmah" />
      <add name="ErrorMail" type="Elmah.ErrorMailModule, Elmah" />
    </modules>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

You can find your WinHost database connection string by:

1) Log into the WinHost Control Panel at https://cp.winhost.com
2) Click on the Sites tab.
3) Click on the Manage link next to the site you want to manage.
4) Click on the MS SQL Manager button.
5) Click on the Manage link next to the database you want to manage.

The connection string information will appear at the bottom.  Remember to replace the ****** in the password section with your actual database password.  If you have forgotten it, use the Edit link next to Database Password to change it.  If you need more details on other Elmah settings, refer to the sample web.config file in the /samples directory.

That’s it!  Elmah is now configured to trap exceptions from your web application.  It also comes with some sample reporting pages in the /samples/Demo directory which you can upload to review the errors trapped.

ElmahSamples

 

whats-newOn November 11th, 2013 we are introducing some plan changes. Check your email for details. To summarize what’s happening:

Quota increases!

- Basic plan: disk space quota will increase from 2GB to 3GB
- Max and Ultimate plans: we have removed disk space and bandwidth limits. Both plans will offer unlimited space and bandwidth.

These increases will take place automatically on November 11th.

Changes to payment plans and prices

In order to make the plan changes, we are updating the pricing and payment options. You can find details in the plan change email.

While the quarterly and yearly payments will increase slightly, we have introduced a new two-year payment option that allows you to pay as little as $3.95 per month for the Basic plan. Even less than the old price.

The two-year payment option applies to every WinHost plan, so no matter which plan you use, you can decrease your monthly price by up to 20% by choosing the new two-year payment option.

And you can make the switch right now in Control Panel, before the new quotas and pricing go into effect on November 11th.

As we mentioned in the email, the price increase was a difficult decision for us. We never want to increase prices, but we want to continue to make improvements to the hosting services, and this will allow us to do that.

We hope the two-year payment option – which actually lowers current prices – and the quota increase will help ease the transition for some of you.