We have been banging on for years about the benefits of SSL certificates and encryption for web traffic and email. Now, for the first time, we can offer this at a reasonable cost to our older websites, which we host with Jolt Hosting.
If you use the email we provide, either through webmail or Outlook or your phone, then this post contains important information you’ll need to act on.
It applies to all our clients whose website and email are hosted through SiteGround, which means almost everybody who has email mailboxes with us.
What you need to do
Webmail users: If you access webmail via a bookmark, you’ll need to delete it and recreate it – more on that below.
Outlook and phone users – especially iPhone: You’ll need to check the incoming and outgoing mail server settings for email to continue to work.
Your incoming/outgoing mail server settings should be set to match your domain name (not http or www, just the name), so for us that would be moghill.co.uk .
If your settings already say that then leave them alone. If they say one of ukm4.siteground.biz (most likely), ukm3.siteground.biz, or ukm7.siteground.biz you’ll need to change them.
At present we haven’t had any complaints about email stopping working, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You can also find all the setup information you need, including auto setup files, within your webmail control panel. If you’re curious to know why we’re asking you to make this change, then read on.
The quick reason why this is happening
At the beginning of March, the server packages we have with SiteGround were migrated to a new background system. This means that:
- The web address where your webmail used to be doesn’t exist any more, so old bookmarks won’t work, and..
- We don’t have to use some workarounds we were using to make sure your email gets delivered
Webmail users – what you need to do
Credit goes to Steve at Shrewsbury Steam Rally for picking up on this, when SiteGround didn’t.
If you have any bookmarks pointing to your webmail address, delete them. Then type in your webmail access address, which is https://yourdomain.co.uk/webmail – essentially the address of your website with webmail on the end.
You’ll be taken to a login page like this:
Enter your email address and password and you’ll log in to a new interface.
NOW is the time to bookmark the page again for future use. Or bookmark the login page. It’s up to you.
Once you’ve logged in you’ll see the snazzy new interface that makes it a lot easier to do various email-related tasks, including:
- Changing your password
- Forwarding your email to another address
- Setting up automatic replies
- Filtering your email
- Set it up with an email programme like Outlook
Here’s the new interface, showing Roundcube mail.
The long reason why this has happened
There have been some pretty major changes under the skin of our hosting.
SiteGround have moved away from the system used to manage website and email hosting, which was a proprietory system called cPanel – lots of hosting companies use it. The trouble is, using it the way we do involves a lot of workarounds.
Instead they have built their own system – called Site Tools – and to be fair it’s pretty good and better than cPanel, and it’s certainly much more user-friendly and we can get rid of some of those workarounds, such as the incoming/outgoing mail settings.
As for webmail, Now, while the url https://yourdomain.co.uk/webmail has always worked to get to webmail, it is a redirect, which originally pointed to a place in cPanel, now it goes somewhere within Site Tools.
The catch is if you bookmarked the cPanel page and tried to get their now it would, indeed, not work, while going to https://yourdomain.co.uk/webmail continues to work as it always has.
If you use our webmail and your site is hosted with SiteGround then this is for you.
On June 30, Horde and SquirrelMail, two of the three mail apps available to you if you access your email via webmail will be retired.
This means that the only app available will be Roundcube.
If you use Horde or SquirrelMail, here;s what you need to know:
You don’t need to do anything as your email and all data will be automatically migrated into Roundcube at the end of June. You can also start using Roundcube immediately. Just choose it as your default webmail, the next time you access the webmail service.
Everything from your Horde or SquirrelMail account will be there in Roundcube.
We’ve put together a guide to help you adapt to the new system. You can find it here: Roundcube user guide.
in short, security reasons. Both Horde and SquirrelMail have been around a while but haven’t been updated in many years. If a security flaw emerged in either, it’s not clear how or if it would be patched. So SiteGround has decided to remove them from their servers.
No change at all. You can log in at yourdomain.co.uk/webmail (substitute yourdomain.co.uk for your web address).
How to use Roundcube
In case you missed it, here’s our guide to Roundcube:
Things are moving fast in website and data security, and if your website isn’t protected by an SSL Certificate, it’s definitely time you took action.
For the past few months we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to move websites/email accounts away from hosting with Heart Internet, and we’re happy to announce the task is nearly complete.
You may remember our websites hosted on Heart – mainly those built before 2014 – were becoming increasingly slow and unreliable, and we were waiting days for support tickets to be dealt with.
With more than 50 sites on Heart at the time, this was not a change we could make lightly, or one we could do quickly.
By the way, sites built on SiteGround, our preferred supplier since 2014, were unaffected.
Since the beginning of the year we have been testing a new provider with much-improved performance and support and (as it happens) a better price – Jolt Hosting.
We’ve gradually moved across more than 30 sites to Jolt – others have upgraded to SiteGround – and monitored performance of the migrated sites.
In all cases we’ve managed to migrate websites without causing any disturbance to the site owner.
If this affects you, we’ll be in touch soon
There are now around a dozen websites left on Heart, and we will shortly begin migrating those.
If you use email, we’ll be in touch with you to arrange a convenient time to switch things over.
But we won’t do anything without telling you first.
Domain names and Heart Internet
While we are moving web and email hosting away from Heart Internet, we are currently still using them to hold domain names. We’ll be reviewing this once the web mifration is complete.
Our client help site has been around in one form or another almost as long as we have!
Right from the start we learned that we’re often asked the same questions when it come to things like setting up email or problems with a website.
Since we are web designers, the natural solution was to build a website to help our clients to help themselves.[caption id="attachment_2723" align="alignright" width="201"] Current help site homepage – it’s a work in progress and we’re now improving the design[/caption]
However, over the years it’s grown to more than 100 pages and posts, and it’s been hard to find your way around.
Easier to find what you need
We’ve spent months improving and updating the content of this website behind the scenes, but that’s no use unless you can find what you need.
So we’ve re-designed our Client Help Site homepage to feature the answers to the questions we’re asked most often in support tickets.
This means you get a detailed answer to your question quickly, you know what to do next, and hopefully we fix your problem quicker.
Improved content on the help site
We’ve updated much of the content and we’re adding new pages every month.
If you think anything is missing or could be improved, the please open a support ticket via the tab.
If you have access to update your website, you can now access your website statistics when logged in to your admin area. Here’s how.
If you have newsletters built into your website with us, you’ll be familiar with Mailpoet – it’s what you use for newsletters. Now there’s a new version on the way, and you can try it out now!
Some of our client websites hosted on Heart Internet suffered several hours of downtime last week and we apologise for the inconvenience caused. We’re also working hard on a solution.
We’re pleased to announce that we can once again take payments by card, and Direct Debit payments are available to us for the first time.
We’ve always subscribed to the old saying that nothing is worth doing unless you can measure it – especially when it comes to websites.
This is why every website we have built has included a statistics collecting service – Google Analytics, and you can access them at any time.
SSL encryption is fast becoming a web standard – and now our clients hosted with SiteGround ( that’s about 60 per cent of you) can take advantage of it without breaking the bank.
And to help you keep up with the latest standards we’re now offering free SSL Certificates subject to a small set-up cost. Heart Internet clients can also have free SSL and setup when you upgrade to SiteGround.
WordPress 4.5 arrived last week, and we are rolling out the update across all of our websites.
We have decided to seek a new hosting provider after the issues we’ve experienced recently with Heart Internet.
We’ve had to make a few changes in how the websites we manage deal with forms filled in by visitors – you may have noticed it already (as several of our eagle-eyed clients already have!)
The purpose of this post is to explain the change.
On April 7/8 all our client websites hosted with our premium service from SiteGround were moved to a new data centre on the outskirts of London.
If you have an online shop with us, then you’re already benefiting from the latest improvements to the e-commerce software we use, WooCommerce.
On February 10, without warning, Heart Internet suffered a power cut which brought down websites and emails for several hours.
As many of you know, about half of the websites we look after on behalf of our clients are held on Heart Internet’s web servers, and these were affected.
We understand websites went offline at about 2.30pm on that day, and all of our clients appeared to be back online by 10pm.
The following day, Thursday, February 11, we received reports from several clients unable to log into their Heart Internet webmail via www.outitgoes.com, and these problems were resolved later that day.
We have checked over the restored sites and no data was lost, although we had to restore one of our one page sites from a backup. Note: This is why we keep off site backups of all websites.
If you are still experiencing problems or spot a problem with your website, please put in a support ticket.
First things first
First of all we want to apologise to anyone affected by the outage and any inconvenience caused.
Secondly we want to assure you that we are doing our best to make sure this does not happen again.
We are embarrassed that more than 50 of our websites disappeared from the internet for around seven hours and we were not aware of it – because Heart Internet did not tell us.
This is the worst downtime in Heart Internet’s 11 year history, and they say they will make sure it won’t happen again.
However we are concerned at many aspects around this so we are reviewing all our services with Heart Internet and looking at alternatives.
We must stress that we don’t think there is any immediate risk of a collapse by Heart Internet, but we are concerned by a deterioration in service over time.
Does this affect me?
All our sites launched or re-developed after October 2014 are not affected by this, as they are hosted on our premium hosting service, SiteGround.
There’s an easy way to tell – follow this link: WhoIsHostingThis.com , enter your domain name and press enter. The page will tell you if you are hosted on Heart or SiteGround.
What should I do?
You don’t need to do anything yet but if you want to move services away from Heart, we already have an alternative available in the form of our SiteGround hosting package.
In the 18 months we’ve been using it, SiteGround’s hosting has been utterly reliable, and has improved performance in every respect. Our SiteGround websites have become faster, while our Heart sites have slowed down.
We are recommending all e-commerce sites should start considering upgrading to our SiteGround hosting package. Sadly, a hosting package that was suitable three or four years ago may no longer perform well enough.
To ask about moving your site, please open a support ticket.
However, there is no need to panic and we will contact you individually before any change takes place.
What happens next?
Switching services of this kind – if that’s what we choose to do – is not simple and we will make sure any migration will cause the least disruption possible.
Whatever we decide to do, we will communicate individually with each of you before we do it.
We will follow up with another post through our client newsletter before we take any further action.
Clients with Heart Internet email only
A small number of you have your website hosted on our SiteGround service, but email hosted on Heart Internet and we will move these email accounts in the next few weeks.
We will be in touch with each of you individually to arrange a convenient time.
What do Heart Internet say?
Heart’s Operations Director published a blog post five days after the event in an attempt to explain things: Information about Heart’s downtime