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Announcing MWP2.0 with PHP7 & FreeSSL

Announcing MWP2.0 with PHP7 & FreeSSL
May 24, 2017 GB

Awesome! I’ve been waiting to write this one for quite some time. Today we are releasing the biggest update and changes to our standard Managed WordPress Hosting & Support plans, since we first launched as WP NET in 2014! We’re calling it MWP2.0!

Starting today, all new sign ups for Managed WordPress will be deployed to MWP2.0 accounts and include all the MWP2.0 features outlined in this blog post.

Existing customers will be progressively migrated over to MWP2.0-based servers, beginning in around 6 weeks time. If you urgently need some features included in MWP2.0 (like SSL), then please contact us and we’ll do our best to bump you up the line.

All new features and storage space come at no additional cost — Starter 1GB remains $29 per month. To use FreeSSL, you will need a Starter 1GB + SSL plan, which is $39 per month. If you sign up for any hosting service and pay annually you get one month free, every year of the service.

MWP2.0 – New features

  • Site Clone & Sync — create staging sites in a few clicks
  • Improved Backups — we now store 7 days of backups (up from 2)
  • PHP7 – FPM powered versions 5.6, 7 and 7.1
  • FreeSSL via Let’s Encrypt — never worry about certificate installation or renewals again
  • HTTP/2 – all HTTPs pages will automatically use HTTP/2
  • More disk space — databases no longer contribute to usage

You can read more about the changes on the MWP2.0 page, or read on for more …


PHP 7

We’ve had PHP7 available on our Managed Cloud Servers for quite some time, but we now finally have it available to all WP NET customers. PHP 7 is the logical sucessor to PHP5.6, which our Managed WordPress users have been running for almost 2 years.

PHP7 is huge leap forward for PHP, with dramatic speed increases, improved security and much more. We also now run PHP as PHP-FPM exclusively.

MWP2.0 customers can switch their site’s runtime between PHP 5.6, 7.0 and 7.1.


FreeSSL

Encrypt the web — now is the time to plan your migration to HTTPS. Moving your site over to HTTPS can have performance, SEO and security benefits. Increase customer confidence and reduce management costs. MWP2.0* includes automated issuance and renewal of SSL certificates courtesy of Let’s Encrypt.

* All MWP2.0 plans — except Starter 1GB — include support for FreeSSL.


Site Clone & Sync

Customers can now create staging sites very easily, in just a few clicks, using the site Clone & Sync feature.

Site Clone creates a new site and database and then copies all data from source to destination in only a couple of minutes. A find-and-replace search is also performed on the destination database, updating to the new URL. Immediately after cloning you can access the new site and login to the WP Admin directly from Plesk.*

You can also use site Sync to copy (and overwrite) any WordPress site.

* the domain staging.mysite.nz will need to resolve to your account’s IP address, or you can update your local hosts file.


HTTP/2

Our web server stack now includes Nginx 1.11 with support for HTTP/2, the new generation protocol that drives the web. HTTP/2 includes all sorts of cool new things, but most importantly for WordPress users —  it’s faster! How much faster? A lot faster!

HTTP/2 is automatically activated when using HTTPS. Just run your site with https:// and you’ll get the benefits of HTTP/2.


Easier Disk Space Management

We now exclude the disk space usage of your MySQL databases from the total disk space claculations. This makes it easier for customers to evaluate and manage how much disk space they’re using.

This can potentially free up hundreds of MBs of disk space for some users, which can now be used for files storage.


What Didn’t Make it Into MWP2.0?

There were a few things that we considered, and even started building into MWP2.0, that in the end — didn’t make it. Considered features omitted from MWP2.0:

  • SSH access — we weren’t happy with the security profile when opening up SSH to customers, so this has been dropped for the time being. It is still on our radar and may be available in the future.
  • Git Deploy — Relies on SSH, so until we get that working, Git Deploy is on hold
  • WP-CLI — I really wanted to get this happening for MWP2.0, but with SSH not being up to spec, we couldn’t pull it off. It’s still on our roadmap.
  • MySQL 5.7 — we decided to stick with MariaDB, the default MySQL install for CentOS 7

What’s in Store for the Future?

We’ve got so many great ideas for features and service improvements, that one of the mnost difficult tasks is prioritising development. One thing I am interested in loooking at soon is WordPress Self-Heal. This would be a programme that continuously monitors WordPress installations on our servers and verifies the MD5 hashes with the WordPress repository. If any changes are detected in the hosted WordPress core files and directories, the WP core is removed and replaced with a fresh copy. Cool, huh?


Existing customer? Want to upgrade to MWP2.0 Pronto!

You can open a support ticket and request an upgrade. Currently upgrades are only available for customers on server WPN829. If we can prioritise your site, we will bump your migration up the line. Preferential treatment will be given to customers who have SSL certificates nearing expiry and wish to switch to use FreeSSL.

We’re very excited to finally bring this new platform to our Managed WordPress customers — we welcome any feedback or thoughts you might like to share with us.


Visit the MWP2.0 page.