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Archive for the ‘Announcements’ category


Email change related to the postmaster@ address for your domain

We’re rolling out a change to the email system that you should be aware of.

The “postmaster” account is set up by default when we establish email service for a domain, but you have the ability to delete that account. The problem with deleting postmaster@ is that some important messages can be addressed to that address, and that’s because the SMTP RFP says the postmaster account for a domain is required to accept mail.

The change we’ve made is implementing behind-the-scenes forwarding that makes your primary domain admin the “postmaster” account (assuming you have deleted the postmaster@ account – if you have not deleted that account, you won’t see any changes). What that effectively does is ensure that email addressed to the postmaster@ address for your domain is delivered.

The side effect of this change is that you may see an increase in spam on your primary domain admin account, since spammers sometimes send to postmaster@, assuming that it exists on every domain (because they know that it’s supposed to exist).

A possible increase in spam is an unfortunate side effect of this change, but the alternative is the possibility of missing legitimate email addressed to your postmaster@ address. Those legitimate messages can be important, so we had to weigh the value of those important messages against the possibility of an increase in spam.

It’s worth noting though that we made this change on a small group of servers a couple of weeks ago, and we didn’t receive any feedback regarding an increase in spam, so the likelihood is you won’t notice much of a change with this new configuration.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, open up a support ticket and let us know.



ASP.NET Core 1.1 Is Available

ASP.NET Core 1.1 is now available at Winhost, as is .NET Core 1.0.3.

We will be supporting two different versions of .NET Core because Microsoft is developing two different versions: “Long Term Support” (LTS) and “Fast Track Support” (FTS).

LTS (the 1.0.3 version) is focused on stability and use on production sites, so its development will take place more slowly. FTS (the 1.1 version) is the latest and greatest version, with more new features, but potentially more new issues as well. We don’t recommend it for use on production sites, but it’s there for you to tinker with and check out the latest Core features.

We’ll always support the latest LTS and FTS versions, with the priority given to the more stable LTS versions that are intended for production. The versions run side by side, so you can use whichever you choose (or use both for different purposes).

We’ve run in to some issues already where the latest Visual Studio version supports later (newer) versions than our servers support. That is going to continue to happen from time to time, because it isn’t feasible for us to keep up with the FTS versions across all of our production servers. The development cadence is too quick. What we will probably do with Core from this point on is update quarterly. We’ll try to post in the forum when we make those updates.

Note that .NET Core is only available on the Windows 2012 servers. If your site is running on a Windows 2008 server you’ll have to migrate to a 2012 server to use .NET Core. We can do the migration for you, just contact support and we’ll take it from there.

For more information on how Microsoft is developing the versions and how the version numbering works, check out this post on the MSDN site.



Winter Updates

The latest versions of the following applications are now available through our App Installer tool in Control Panel:



New Rules for Domain Owner Information Updates Start Today

Starting today, December 1st, new ICANN rules are in effect that change the way some domain contact information changes are done. The change affects all generic top level domains, such as .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, etc., (including all of the new domain extensions, like .blog, .photo, etc.). Country code domains (.uk, .TV, .co, etc.) are not affected.

When you change the first name, last name, email address or organization for the registrant (i.e., the domain name owner) you have to acknowledge the change in two separate emails. This applies to changes made to the registrant’s contact information. Changes to the admin, billing and technical contacts are not affected.

Changes to the registrant’s name, organization or email information are now treated the same way a “registrant change” was treated in the past. But in the past the registrant change was assumed to be a change of ownership from one person to another, so emailing both parties was necessary.

Now those emails are triggered any time you update your name or email address, and two emails will go to the same person. You need to approve the change by clicking the link in both emails, or the change will fail.

To avoid problems or delays

If you want to learn more about the new policy, check out this Knowledge Base article.



php 7 is here

php7We’ve added php 7 to the mix, it’s available to use now.

We’ve also updated the 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 and 5.6 php versions to the latest (and in some cases final) builds.

You might notice that we’ve labeled php 7 as “beta,” and that’s because it’s still pretty new and there are a lot of known compatibility issues with older code or applications. But if you’re bold and adventurous type, it’s there for you.

To change the php version for your site, log in to the Site Tools section of Control Panel, and click on the PHP Version icon.

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Use the handy dropdown to select the version, click the “Update” button, and you’re done.

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Upcoming domain registration changes

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As if everything related to domain name registration and maintenance wasn’t already screwy enough, there is a new change on the horizon that promises to make updating your domain names even screwier.

After December 1, 2016, when you change the first name, last name, contact email or organization field for your domain, it will trigger something called the “trade process.” Without going into too much technical detail, what that means is those previously minor ownership information changes will now be treated the same way a domain transfer is treated.

The problem with that is now the domain owner will have to approve those changes via two separate – but similar – emails. That’s because the “current” and “previous” owner – which are the same person in this case – need to explicitly approve the change, or it will not be made.

So if you update your name or the name of your organization, you’ll have to approve that change in two emails. If you update the email address associated with a domain name, you’ll have to approve that change at the old and the new email address. You can probably already see some potential problems, can’t you.

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So why are these changes happening? Well, ICANN started reviewing the transfer process almost 10 years ago, when potential issues with the existing transfer policies were identified. So they began looking at “special provisions” for change of registrant during a transfer in order to prevent domain hijacking.

Which sounds like a good thing, but now, a decade later, what we ended up with is a process that may make it slightly more difficult to hijack a domain, but definitely makes a lot of day-to-day maintenance tasks more difficult and confusing.

Every registrar has some leeway in how they implement the changes, so we’re not sure yet exactly how it’s going to work for domains registered through Winhost. We’ll do everything we can to keep the confusion to a minimum, and we’ll post an update here when we have more information on how things shake out.



Autumn Updates

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The latest versions of the following applications are now available through our App Installer tool in Control Panel:



Control Panel layout changes

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We interrupt this blog to bring you an announcement regarding a few layout changes in Control Panel.

1. The Account ID moved to the very uppermost navigation – next to Account & Billing:

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2. The Related KB links on the right side column moved to the bottom – right above the footer:

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3. For most of the control panel sections, we expanded the main section to span the entire control panel width.

That is all.

Please proceed to have a great weekend.