POP before SMTP no longer supported

Many of you recently awoke to the sudden issue of not being able to send mail. The issue you were experiencing with your email was due to the “POP before SMTP” feature being automatically disabled by a cPanel update. This feature allows you to continue to send mail for a time period after successfully receiving/checking your email.

POP before SMTP is antiquated alternative method of authentication that was never officially supported nor very secure. If you are still using this method, we recommend you enable SMTP Authentication in your mail client.

We have now reverted this change and enabled the POP before SMTP feature to allow users time to make changes to thier mail client. We do not currently have a time frame for how long we will continue to keep this feature active, but we will announce before it is removed.


The unlimited game


Web Site running slow?  Maybe your unlimited hosting is not really unlimited!

Choosing the right hosting company to host your business or personal web site can be a daunting task.  So many Hosting companies in the market place are misrepresenting their services by offering unlimited hosting.

Truth of the matter is Unlimited Hosting does not exist.  It is a sales gimmick to lure customers in by offering them everything for little or nothing. In reality,  everything has a limit.  These unscrupulous hosts bet on the fact that the vast majority of the clients that they trick into signing up with them will in fact never use very many resources.  The clients that use a lot of resources are kicked to the curb and terminated without notice. This is done by citing the Terms of Service (TOS) which spells out in very fine terms what can be used.  This is a highlight from a TOS from such a company:

10.2. Enforced resource limits for shared and reseller packages:
10% CPU Usage
5% Memory Usage (or 512 MB)
50 Running Processes
15 Minute Max Execution Time
100,000 Total Inodes
500 outgoing email messages per 60 minute period (all excess messages will be discarded and not delivered)

This is horrible considering the fact that when these poor clients signed up for service they were told everything was unlimited.  At TotalChoice we do not place limits on our clients, because we do NOT oversell our servers.  Unlimited hosts can stay in business because they depend on people not using the resources that they purchase.  At TCH we want our clients to use the resources they bought and we leave it on the table for them to use at any time they need.  This is why our hosting packages are very defined and the client knows what they are buying, it is their money after all.

Choose wisely my friends.

Happy Hosting

Bill Kish


Dedicated Servers – Thoughts from a TCH Linux Admin

When it comes to choosing hosting for your business, it is important to choose wisely. Dedicated web hosting is simply the best type of hosting you can get for your website, if you are serious about your site. It will give you the entire server as your own resources, the ability to customize nearly everything, and you will be able to handle more traffic than any type of shared and VPS hosting.


* Dedicated web hosting can handle a higher volume of page requests than shared hosting or VPS hosting. This is because all the resources are yours and your hosting will be much faster. You will have faster site load times and visitors will be able to see your website or blog without any issues.

* Another big advantage of using a dedicated server is the ability to customize the security. Security is a very important part of your hosting. You will have to make the decision if you can risk being hacked by sharing a server with hundreds of other hosting accounts. Even with VPS hosting you are still sharing a server. VPS hosting will give you some custom security features, but it is not like dedicated hosting.

* When a server is shared between several clients, the host cannot allow any of them to access to certain features. However, when the server is used solely by your website you will be granted much greater access allowing you more control over the server. This affords businesses much more flexibility.

A dedicated server means you will have less to worry about and you will be able to make more money from your website. Dedicated server hosting may seem like a more expensive choice, but if you are looking for reliable hosting that offers all of the benefits, it is something that is well worth the investment.


Dedicated Server – The right choice?


Is a Dedicated Server the right choice for you?

Considering a dedicated server? A dedicated server is just that, it’s fully dedicated to you and you alone. All resources including CPU’s, memory and hard drives are dedicated to the specific client and the client has complete control over the server.  Many clients have outgrown shared hosting accounts and need to move onto dedicated server plans.  A dedicated client can customize the software or choose an operating system, after all it is a dedicated server. For the client that is not tech savvy, there is also TotalChoice’s world famous Fully Managed Servers.  TCH handles every aspect of your server.  We start with the move of your domains and data and then into monitoring and maintaining your TCH server. We have both managed and unmanaged dedicated servers available.

Another reason to consider a dedicated server is scalability. As your business grows you can add servers without the headache of worrying about space at your facility or the hiring of additional support.  All these perks make a dedicated server the ideal choice!

Contact us today and we will be more than happy to discuss your hosting needs and custom build a dedicated server to fit your needs.


PHP Updates

TotalChoice Hosting currently supports three separate PHP versions across all of its shared/reseller servers. The majority of these servers are running PHP 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4 with 5.3 being the default, with a small percentage running on PHP 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5. Now that PHP 5.4 is just as widely supported as PHP 5.3 and with PHP 5.5 not far behind it, we are going to start rolling out some changes. These changes are required to improve the security and maintain the high performance our of servers and customer websites.

What does this mean for you as a web hosting customer at TotalChoice Hosting?

  • We will be removing support for PHP 5.2 as of September 15, 2014, for security reasons. The end of life for PHP 5.2 occurred nearly 4 years ago and we encourage customers using it to update their scripts to meet at least PHP 5.3 standards.
  • We intend to fully support and offer PHP 5.3 to customers through January 2015 at a minimum, at which point we will review it again, as it will only receive security updates through July 2014. That means customers will have at least 3 PHP versions at their disposal for the next 6 months, PHP 5.3.x, PHP 5.4.x and PHP 5.5.x.
  • We will be rolling out PHP 5.4 as the default PHP handler from July 15 – Sept 15, as it is quickly becoming the new standard expected by web applications and customers alike.
  • When the default PHP handler is changed from 5.3 to 5.4, all customers that don’t currently have a special htaccess entry, will be on PHP 5.4. We understand that this can cause issues for some customers, so we will be rolling out a new feature to your cPanel account to assist you. If you decide you don’t want PHP 5.4, you can easily change to the other PHP versions with our new PHP Select option.
  • As support for FrontPage was dropped by Microsoft in 2006 and is no longer supported by cPanel, we will finally be discontinuing FrontPage Support on our shared servers. We have maintained this limited service as a custom module for a while now, but it is not compatible with the newer versions of Apache (http server). We recommend customers still using FrontPage to publish content with a different method, such as FTP or WebDAV.

We understand that any change can bring unintended consequences and may present an inconvenience to our family of clients, however keeping servers and software up to date with current software versions is something that must be done.  As always, we thank you for choosing TotalChoice and we will be posting updates as we proceed with the roll out.


UPDATE: Roll out schedule

A-F :: July 20
G-O :: July 21
P-Z :: July 22
A-C :: July 23
D-G :: July 24
H-K :: July 25
L-P :: July 26
Q-T :: July 27
U-Z :: July 28

We will be starting with our reseller servers then moving on to shared. Should any issues arise during a server update, we will update the appropriate server issues forum. If you are unsure what server you are hosted on, you can locate the name using the following method:

  • Login to your cPanel.
  • Under the Stats section on the left, click on expand stats
  • Scroll down till your see the Server Name field (for Paper Lantern theme, click on Server Information)