Seenly's Move

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A Seenly PortraitWith 31000 snapshots uploaded, Seenly reached the limits of the 1.5GB of webspace provided by the previous webhost. A move to a new host was inevitable. After some looking around, I decided I’d try 1-eurohost. For readers from PlanetUgent, that’s fellow blogger Stein van Stichel’s company (Dutch link).

Since Seenly inherently has some quirky requirements, I first had to make sure they were running the correct version of PHP. Every PHP before 5.2 contains a bug that truncates uploaded binary data at the first null byte (apparantly PHP was parsing it using a C string function). Seenly sends JPEG data as binary data, so this would mean images would never be complete. Stein informed me with a quick mail that they were running 5.2.1, and I was happy.

Great, go ahead, order the damn thing. Turns out they’re running a lot more security “upgrades” than my previous host, such as base_opendir and mod_security. Base_opendir made my subdomains useless: I couldn’t create a file in from a php-script running at I had to redirect all my subdomains, and modify a lot of files but it was doable. Still, maybe this is needlessly strict?

Mod_security dismissed the multipart/form-data upload I generate in Flash. This was a problem, since doing a multipart/form-data in Actionscript is still a bit of black magic, and fixing it might not even be possible. Luckily a friend gave me the idea that I might be able to disable mod_security in a .htaccess. A quick SetSecFilter Off did the job, and everything is now purring happily along.

Moving to 1-eurohost I first had some doubts, since my previous host has been very good to me. Imagine my surprise when I noticed Seenly’s speed has doubled now, even though I’m paying less. The only disadvantage is that they don’t have shell access, which would have been handy when I wanted to upload 124000 files. Uploading just a tar file, and then untarring it on the server, would have been so much easier. More on how I managed that feat in a next entry.

David Verhasselt

Senior full-stack engineer with 5 years of experience building web applications for clients all over the world.

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