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Windows Server 2003 – End of Life

What’s happening?

Microsoft has announced that Windows Server 2003 will be entering End of Life in July 2015.  This means that after July this year, Microsoft will stop providing support to Windows Server 2003; no more updates, patches, troubleshooting assistance or security fixes.  This change is worldwide.

What’s the big deal?

It’s the lack of security fixes that is of biggest concern.  Microsoft would intermittently release security fixes as it became aware of various vulnerabilities in the software.  As Server 2003 enters End of Life, this will leave the software (and those still using it) extremely susceptible to hack attempts.  Even though the software has been around for some time, there will still be security vulnerabilities that Microsoft are not aware of.  There will be hackers out there, sitting on these vulnerabilities in the software just waiting for July to roll round.

We believe this is an unacceptable risk and this is why StudioCoast have decided that it will no longer run Windows Server 2003 after July and will be migrating to a newer software.

What does it mean for me?

For some customers with simple websites (just basic HTML) there will be no difference at all.  More complex websites designed to run solely on IIS6 (Internet Information Services) could have some content that will not work after the migration.  If you’re using Windows Server 2008 (IIS7) or Windows Server 2012 (IIS8) and above you will not be impacted.  If you are unsure of what version of Windows your website runs on please contact us.

Rather than it just being a big surprise that your website doesn’t work post July, StudioCoast can create a duplicate test website to enable you to check for any problems ahead of time.  You can then liaise with your web developer to amend the website to work in the new environment.

Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom.  There are definitely some benefits to the change, including: enhanced security, greater stability, increased speed, friendly URLs as well as being able to take advantage of new technology and future-proof your site.  Microsoft have some fantastic resources going into greater detail about the whys and wherefores of this change. Check out the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 End of Life website if you’d like to know even more.

So how much is this going to cost?

StudioCoast will not be charging customers for creating a duplicate test website or for migrating to the newer version of Windows Server.  Your website developer may charge for any changes that need to be made to your website.

How long do I have?

The process of duplication, testing and editing will obviously take some time.  July does seem pretty far away but it will be here before you know it.  We will be migrating all current Windows Server 2003 customers in July (even if you haven’t had a chance to test your website); it’s much better to be prepared and have enough time sort out any issues well before this deadline.

What do I do now?

If you’re unsure what the migration will mean for you or if you are wanting to take advantage of the duplicate test website, please raise a support request by logging into your hostControl account or send an email to support@studiocoast.com.au.

New hostControl layout has been unveiled.

hostControl Logo

We have been working on the new layout for hostControl over the past few weeks in an attempt to make more user-friendly and web 4.0 (is that what we are up to now?). It still offers all of the same awesome features, but now it’s easier to navigate and just looks a little more stylish!

We have introduced a home screen for hostControl which gives users instant access to their usage information and support requests. It’s also a good launching point for new users who are trying to find the basics such as account information, payment options and email accounts. All of the main items have been grouped together to make navigation quicker and more distinguishable.

If you are a current user of hostControl and have any questions or comments, please let us know! Feel free to leave a comment, send us an email or make a support request. We are always open to new suggestions of ways that we can improve our Windows hosting services.

hostControl changes

Our custom hosting control panel, hostControl, is nearing it’s 5 year anniversary. There have been a couple of minor aesthetic changes over the years (who remembers the orange hue?!) but the overall theme has remained the same. We have added quite a few features since its inception, many of which have been based on customer suggestions.

Recently we have had some requests for a hostControl that is easier to navigate and less confusing to use.We have heard the suggestions and are currently in the process of a re-design of hostControl. All of the features will remain the same, but the layout will change which will hopefully be more intuitive for both new and experienced users.

My personal recommendations have included-

  • Bald eagle animated gifs
  • Way MORE fuschia
  • Richard Marx music on auto-play

These ideas have been ‘taken into consideration’ by the powers that be, but something tells me they may not see the light of day.

If you are a current user of hostControl and have some ideas or suggestions, please let us know or leave a comment on this post!

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