Hosting Company (Easily) will not allow CRON job

  javaBalls 16:21 23 Sep 05

I have the virtual hosting package with easily. I use PHP and MYSQL for my website.

I need to back up the database on a regular basis - perhaps every night. However I do not want to do this manually.

I found and article on the website that told you how to write a korn shell script that will back up your database to the server. The CRON job will determine how often this job is run.

However Easily say that I am not allowed to run any cron jobs on any of their servers. Why not?

Easily use a LINUX server.

Are there other hosting companies out there that will allow me to do this?

In the meantime is there an application that I can schedule that will make it easy for me to back up my database?

  Forum Editor 18:53 23 Sep 05

that your host won't allow you to run such a script on their server - they have other customers' sites running on the same server, and the security implications of a cron job (which, for the benefit of those who don't know is an automated process that operates at predefined time intervals.) There are various Cron versions, but they all do the same thing.

Your MYSQL database will be backed up regularly by your host, but there are proprietory applications that will do the job for you:-

click here to look at one of them.

  phil 20:09 23 Sep 05

I'm with Easily and, no, they will not allow Cron jobs because of the security issue.

The Virtual Hosting package is shared with around 200 other clients and, as FE said, that is the reason why it's not allowed.

They've had enough downtime lately. I don't want anymore thank you.

Is the reason for backing up a message board? in that case there should be a back up facility within the Admin side for that. I do mine once a week and just hope that's enough.

  javaBalls 22:11 23 Sep 05

Thanks Forum Editor. I wonder why a lot of the php/mysql tutorials that I've read tell you to use a CRON job.

Easily say that they back up their severs once a week but customers do not have access to these back ups.

I will check out the link you sent me. It looks like a good alternative.

phil - I wanted to automatic my backup rather than having to remember to do it. Your website can be hacked at anytime so I would prefer to have a backup made every night.

Yes Easily has had a lot of downtime lately. I'm sure I would'nt affect their sever. A CRON job only sets the time that my shell script will run.

Also Easily are a poor hosting company. Their support is terrible. I think that they are oprating out of a shed somewhere. They only reply to emails when they feel like it. Normally they ask me for my password! I work in IT support and I know that you never need to ask for passwords!

I'm switching to web-mania.

- I think I'll start a new thread for this rant!

  Forum Editor 23:44 23 Sep 05

Please don't.

It would be worth checking with your proposed new host about CRON Jobs before you sign up. You may well think that your job is harmless, but remember that the host doesn't know that, and no responsible host would dream of giving people carte blanche to run scripts on the server.

  javaBalls 00:11 24 Sep 05

Thanks Forum Editor for your expert response.

You are probably right about hosting companies preventing customers from running CRON jobs,

However I think I will start a new thread about the abysmal support that Easily offers. They are a truly armature company when it comes to customer support.

  Taran 00:33 24 Sep 05

In all the dealings I have had with Easily I have never found them to offer "abysmal support".

Over the last three years I have had up to 12 sites hosted with them (all inherited) and apart from a year or so ago when they moved some sites onto a new server (no mean achievement in itself) and email went offline for a few days.

Support emails have always been promptly and politely dealt with and ditto to telephone enquiries.

Many PHP sites assume that you are a web developer with full root access to your web server, hence the suggestion for CRON jobs.

Full root access is a possibility, but you will pay dearly for the privilege - often up to several hundred pounds per month.

  phil 00:55 24 Sep 05

I phone them at least every two weeks asking why my site has gone down yet again. I have never emailed them.

I always get a prompt reply from them, usually by someone with an Aussie accent.

My site was hacked by a Brazilian hacker a year ago and they tracked him down to Sao Paolo but couldn't do anything about it though. Jurisdiction etc.

They immediately changed me to a more secure server.


My message board was hacked in June and the person responsible deleted everything.

I asked Easily to re-instate it from the back up but they said that they don't do back ups on databases, only on the site itself. I think the db must be on a different server.

They did give me the time of the hack attack though and then moved me again to an even more secure Plesk? server.

That one's forever going down though!!

Overall I have been happy with them for the last five years but not for the last five months.

  Taran 01:48 24 Sep 05

In all probability the hacks were a result of holes in the PHP programs being used on the website.

Server hacks do sometimes happen but local site damage is often a result of that site being accessed through a security hole in a script being used on that site.

A close friend had a large php CMS managed website recently scrambled. They were using two dot versions behind the latest version and a hacker had used a known security hole to gain access. As a result they could easily grab the domain access data from the PHP scripts and, well...

  harristweed 09:46 25 Sep 05

My host has a cron manager on the site control panel! I've done a copy and paste below...

Cron Job Manager

With the Cron Job Manager, you can set up commands that will run automatically at set intervals that you specify.

By default, the run-time of each entry will be displayed in an easy-to-read (simple) format; however, you may choose to switch to a more advanced format.

While viewing the entries in 'Advanced' mode, you will see exactly how they are formatted to be read by Cron.

Please click here to download the documentation on Cron Manager in PDF format.

Hosting company is in America

click here

  Taran 21:03 25 Sep 05

I think it's worth mentioning here that the use of CRON jobs and whether a host permits them (or not) is often relative.

It may seem as though the doom and gloom comments from myself and Forum Editor imply that no host in their right mind would even allow we mere mortals to run CRON jobs - obviously this is not the case and in fact many mainstream web hosts allow CRON jobs.

However, many of those who allow them do so by restricting some of the jobs that are allowed, while others are simply far more confident in their setup and will allow them as a result.

It doesn't alter the fact though, that CRON jobs are not without serious risk and when a simpler third party solution is available to solve a particular problem I would rather see someone follow that lead than get caught up in the mire of CRON jobs. Scripting them is not necessarily the simplest of things.

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