July 2020 News: Upgrades & Domain Prices
Posted by Paul Woodland on 22 July 2020 09:53 AM
We hope that all of you are doing well and keeping safe during this strange time for everybody. We have been continuing to operate as normal since the beginning of this outbreak, and expect to continue to do so. If there is any way that we can assist you or your business during this time, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We have a few updates for you this time about upgrades to SQL Server and PHP, as well as changes to some of our domain registration prices. If you have any questions about these, please get in contact so that we can assist you.
SQL Server 2019 Upgrade
On Saturday 15th August, we will be upgrading all of our customer Microsoft SQL Server instances to SQL Server 2019, the latest version of SQL Server that Microsoft has released, so that all of our customers have access to the latest technology.
This will be being done as an in-place upgrade to reduce the disruption. The window for the work will be between 12.30am and 6.00am UK Time (GMT+1) on Saturday 15th August, we will be doing each server one at a time. The downtime for each server during this period should be less than an hour and will be kept as short as possible. It is being done overnight to reduce the disruption that this will cause.
No changes will be required to connection details, and there are not expected to be any script compatibility issues - however you may wish to check with your developer that scripts are compatible with SQL Server 2019. The only impact that the upgrade is expected to have on customers is that older versions of SQL Server Management Studio will no longer be able to connect to the server properly. Microsoft make the latest version of Management Studio available for free to all users, so you can simply download the latest version from the Microsoft website here:
This affects Microsoft SQL Server databases only, and not any MySQL or other databases, which will remain as they currently are.
At the same time (12.30am to 6.00am Saturday 15th August) we will also be applying the latest upgrades to PHP available on the server. As each website will continue to use the same major version as it already does, but be updated to the latest minor update of that version, there should not be any action that customers need to take. There is not any expected downtime during this process.
We do recommend that customers upgrade to the latest major version of PHP (7.4) wherever the scripts on their website are compatible. This can be done from the "Website Settings" page for the domain in the control panel. Where scripts are not compatible with the latest version of PHP, we do recommend that customers talk to their developers or software suppliers about making them compatible, in order to ensure that websites remain stable and secure, as older versions of PHP can have security issues that are no longer patched.
Other Updates and Maintenance
There will also be other miscellaneous updates and maintenance being performed at the same time (12.30am to 6.00am Saturday 15th August). There is not any extended downtime expected for these, but they may require brief server reboots during this window.
Changes to Domain Prices
Since October when we last updated our prices, there have unfortunately been further large increases by some registries on the cost of their domains. Although we have absorbed these costs so far, we are having to increase the cost of some of the domains we sell. These price changes will take effect for domain registrations and renewals that are paid for on or after the 1st August 2020. Renewals paid before this date will be at the old price.
The prices that will be changing are as follows:
All Nominet UK domains will change from £5.99 to £6.99 per year excluding VAT, this includes:
.net domains will change from £14.99 to £15.99 per year excluding VAT
There will be no changes to domains not listed above, including .com domains. These prices have been kept as low as possible, and are still cheaper than a number of the large UK domain registrars, especially our prices for .uk and related domains, which are significantly below the renewal prices of the large registrars.
Hosting plans, servers, SSL certificates and other services are not affected. We have never increased the price of our hosting services for existing customers, and this will not be changing. Only domain prices are affected, due to the registries increasing the costs to us.
As always, should you have any questions regarding anything in this newsletter, or need any assistance with any aspect of your service with us, please do not hesitate to contact us via the helpdesk at https://support.liquidsix.com.