Canceling? Tell us why.

On October 18, 2016, in Hosting Industry, Inside DiscountASP.NET, by Takeshi Eto

Takeshi EtoOur Windows hosting service is a subscription business. And as much as I hate to admit it, we do have customers cancel service. I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true. All kidding aside, part of running any subscription service is dealing with churn.

At the end of the day, we want your online presence to be successful. We hope that our hosting solution can contribute to your success, but if it doesn’t work for you, we understand.  We certainly don’t want to hold anyone hostage in an undesirable or unworkable situation.

That’s why we make it easy to submit a cancellation request – right from your account Control Panel.

I’m sure you have experienced other subscription services that make it extremely difficult to cancel services. They force you to call during specific hours (never in your time zone), then go through a series of automated phone menus, punching in all sorts of information. When you finally get to speak to someone, you have to confirm or repeat information, provide answers to security questions and sometimes even justify your reasons for leaving! The whole process is painful, and the representative’s job is to convince you to keep your account active, not to help you cancel it.


We don’t employ those Kind of tactics. Mainly because it’s just not cool, but also because the last thing we want to be – even if you’re on your way out – is annoying. We don’t want anyone to have a bad experience associated with DiscountASP.NET.

However, if you do ever cancel service with us, we have one “ask” – and that is to let us know why you canceled. We ask the question not to pry or invade your privacy, but for feedback in order to help improve our service.

If you sold your business or got a new web developer who prefers another host, let us know. If you just hated the service or Control Panel or the way some feature worked, tell us. We can take it! Maybe you just outgrew what we offer, or decided to change your technology stack. Let us know. That’s valuable information to us.


We continuously review the reasons given when people cancel and the information is passed along to our product and operations teams, who use the feedback to help inform our product pipeline and customer support training. Getting feedback from you is really valuable and it helps us to prioritize what we work on or develop.

We realize that if you are leaving you may be thinking, “Hey, I’m leaving, why should I care about helping you?” Well, look at it this way: we are an independent hosting company. We aren’t just another brand name in a huge conglomerate, or a line item for an investment firm. It’s important that independent companies like DiscountASP.NET continue to thrive. It keeps the big conglomerates and the fly-by-night “hosts” honest. And it provides you with a more personal alternative to the giant corporate hosts when you want it.

That’s good for you as a consumer, having that choice, and it’s good for us, for obvious reasons. 😉

And while we’re on the subject, feel free to give us your feedback even if you have no intention of leaving! We love to hear it, and it helps for all the reasons we’ve talked about here.


Takeshi Etoprivacy shield frameworkAs you may or may not know, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) struck down the EU Safe Harbor framework back in October 2015. The Safe Harbor agreement was originally reached in 2000, and provided a framework to allow US-based companies to transfer EU citizens’ data to the USA if the company met EU standards for privacy protection.

Since 2010, DiscountASP.NET has maintained US-EU Safe Harbor certification, working with our privacy management solutions partner, TRUSTe. We chose to invest in attaining Safe Harbor status because we host customers from all over the world and we wanted to make sure that our EU customers are confident that we are following EU privacy standards. We believe it’s a differentiator and shows our commitment to protecting your privacy.

Naturally, we were very concerned when the Safe Harbor framework was ruled invalid. After the ruling came out we reached out to TRUSTe to get guidance, and they informed us that US and EU teams were negotiating a new privacy framework. It took a while, but in July 2016, the new framework was approved with a new name, Privacy Shield. On August 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce started accepting certifications under the new Privacy Shield framework.

We are currently working on (hopefully) the final stages of the Privacy Shield certification process. To this end, we will be updating our Privacy Policy soon to meet the new standards.

We hope that our efforts here demonstrate our commitment to privacy protection.


Joseph JunWe have successfully updated all of our Team Foundation Server 2015 servers to Update 3. Update 3 was mostly a series of a bug fixes but it was a cumulative update that let us introduce some features that were released through Update 2 — an update that we had not applied.



The ability to delete work items through the web portal wasn’t available through the previous iterations of Team Foundation Server but the feature is now available in the on-premises version of Team Foundation Server 2015.



You can now create a new team project directly from the collection profile page and you won’t need to rely on Visual Studio/Team Explorer.



While the capability of deleting a Team Project isn’t anything new, the ability to remove a project has been integrated directly into the web portal.

For a full summary of changes, please review the release notes for the following:


September Updates

On September 21, 2016, in Announcements, by Ray

Ray HuangHere’s a list of our Web Application Gallery updates for September:

  • Acquia Drupal
  • BlogEngine.NET 3.3
  • DotNetNuke (DNN) Platform
  • Gallery Server Pro 4.0.1
  • Joomla 3.6.2
  • mediaWiki 1.27.1
  • Moodle 3.1.2
  • nopCommerce 3.80
  • Orchard 1.10.1
  • osCommerce 2.3.4 NEW
  • phpMyAdmin 4.6.4
  • SilverStripe CMS 3.4.1
  • WordPress 4.6.1

Michael Phillips“Delete my WordPress blog? You can’t be serious!”

Well, yes I am. If you aren’t using it.

WordPress is the world’s most popular blog, CMS, framework, magic trick – however you classify it, it’s behind almost 20% of the world’s self-hosted websites, and that’s a lot of sites. More than 75 million, they say. So odds are you’ve installed WordPress at least once, if not half a dozen times, over the years.

But where, oh where are those WordPress installations?

We find a lot of them in /test directories, or in abandoned /blog directories. We find them there because they get compromised, and we’re called in to clean up the resulting mess. And that mess can go very deep, and spread out well beyond the WordPress directory.

volkswagenSince WordPress is so popular, it’s also the target of more compromises than any other third-party application that you can install. So what often happens is someone installs WordPress to try it or test it, and then they forget about it. But they don’t delete it. So there that old installation sits.

And the longer it sits without being updated, the more vulnerable it is to compromise by the bad guys. If you think they’ll never find it because you cleverly installed it in a random directory that you don’t link to from anywhere, think again. The bad guys have bots – lots and lots of bots – and spiders, and all they do, all day every day, is look for wp-admin pages to exploit.

squirrelIf you are actively using WordPress, that’s great, all you have to do is keep it up to date and your chances of being compromised are vastly reduced (they don’t go away, but they’re reduced). If you use WordPress but you’re not someone who logs in to the WordPress admin back end every day, you might consider setting up automatic updates.

Another thing you can do is delete the “admin” user that’s created when you first install WordPress. Give your everyday user admin permissions and delete that admin user. I know, it’s scary, but do it! That will make it harder for the bad guys to exploit you using a brute force attack on your admin password.

Active WordPress installations aside, the best thing you can do is look around for old, unused WordPress installations and get rid of them. And while you’re in there digging around, you might want to delete any other applications that you aren’t using. Look at it like a kind of year-round spring cleaning. It will make your domain more secure and potentially save you from a real headache down the road.


End of the line for WebMatrix

On August 24, 2016, in Announcements, by Takeshi Eto

Takeshi Etologo-webmatrix3aMicrosoft introduced WebMatrix as a free and lightweight IDE for web developers back in 2011. During the 2011 //BUILD conference, Microsoft introduced WebMatrix v2 beta. I remember that, because I was there too – on stage to announce our free WebMatrix v2 beta hosting sandbox.

I personally thought WebMatrix was a useful tool (when you didn’t have Visual Studio or didn’t want to install Visual Studio). Whenever I was on a computer or laptop that didn’t have Visual Studio and I needed to do some website work or show someone something on their laptop, I usually ended up installing WebMatrix.

But all good things must come to an end.

In early August, in the Microsoft IIS.NET WebMatrix forum, it was announced that there will be no more future development work on WebMatrix. So the last version is 3.0 and there will be no more updates and no more bug fixes. Since Microsoft introduced Visual Studio Code – a new free cross-platform IDE, they are pushing developers to transition to that tool now.

At DiscountASP.NET and Everleap, we support WebDeploy and will continue to host sites developed with WebMatrix, but for developers who rely on WebMatrix, you will need to make the transition to a new tool in the near future.


Michael PhillipsThe third .NET Conf UY is taking place September 29th through October 1st in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Get the very latest on Microsoft technologies, including HoloLens, .NET Core, DevOps, Docker, Universal Apps, Windows 10, Internet of Things, Xamarin, Sharepoint, Office 365, SQL Server and Visual Studio. Hob-nob with top experts, and enjoy a unique opportunity to learn, share and network. Workshops, conferences and fun are all guaranteed, in an informal, friendly environment.


Check out the list of speakers and the conference schedule. If you’re lucky you may even get your hands on a DiscountASP.NET hosting promo while you’re there.


Sound good? You’ve always wanted to see Uruguay, haven’t you? What better time. Montevideo is a beautiful, modern city, and if you buy your ticket before August 31st, you’ll enjoy access to the entire conference for only $10!


Twitter: @NETConfUY


Ray HuangFor those who have or want to have a mixed language site (e.g. ASP.NET Core 1.0 and PHP), you might notice that your PHP applications have stopped working, and you’ll get an error message like this:

HTTP Error 502.5 – Process Failure


Don’t worry.  Nothing on our server or your site is broken.  You just need to modify the web.config file a bit or create one in the appropriate directory because the AspNetCoreModule is the default handler for processing files.

I’ll show you how in this guide where I have an ASP.NET Core 1.0 application in the root and WordPress in a sub-directory.  Since I don’t want to memorize web.config markup language, I’ll let IIS Manager do most of the work for me.

Log into your site using IIS Manager and highlight the folder WordPress was installed to, so that the web.config file in that directory will get modified or created if there isn’t one.

Double click on the Handler Mappings module.


On your right, select View ordered List…


Using the Move Up/Move Down Actions, move PHP##_via_FastCGI to the top where ## represents the PHP version number that you are using.  This will create the necessary markup in the web.config file in the WordPress directory without affecting your other web.config files.


Now click on View Unordered List…

Highlight aspNetCore and click on Remove.  Don’t worry, this doesn’t delete the AspNetCoreModule.  It just removes the handler mapping (i.e. entry in the web.config file), and voila, your PHP application should be working again.

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