Django 1.5 is here!

Posted in Python by

Today, the latest version of Django has been released. And we’re happy to make it available to you with the new Django 1.5 one-click installer:

Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 3.14.47 PM

Django 1.5 brings with it several major improvements, including:

  • A customizable user model. Now you can use you own model to store information about your users. Use it to ditch that 30-character username restriction, or to store first name and last name together in a single field.
  • The verbatim template tag. It turns off Django’s templating between the tags. Handy for using some JavaScript libraries, for example.
  • Experimental Python 3 support. Now you can start testing your Django application with Python 3, to prepare for the future of Python. Production-ready status will be here before you know it, when Django 1.6 is released.

Django 1.5 has a slew of other changes, too. Check out the Django project’s release announcement and release notes (mind those backwards incompatible changes), then give the new one-click installer a test drive. Let us know what you think in the comments and, if you have any questions, join us in the Q&A Community.


A look at databases on our servers

Posted in Control panel by

It’s a rare web hosting user that can get by without a database, so today we’re taking a closer look at how you can setup and use popular databases with WebFaction.

To start, the WebFaction control panel makes it easy to create databases, so there’s no need for any complex commands. You just pick out some details and click Add database (Check out the introduction to our new database management interface for an in-depth look):

A screenshot of the databases user interface

A database created with the control panel runs on your server’s shared database process. The shared server is more convenient than configuring your own and doesn’t count toward your account’s memory usage.

Different applications have different needs, so every WebFaction server supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL. MySQL is extremely popular and is used in several of our one-click installers, including WordPress and Drupal. PostgreSQL is growing in popularity and sports some exciting features, like procedural languages PL/Perl and PL/Tcl.

Once you’ve created your database of choice, it’s easy to connect to it and start storing data. Check out these documentation sections:

Although the shared database and the associated documentation is convenient, it’s not necessarily for everyone. That’s why we recently introduced a one-click installer for private MySQL and PostgreSQL instances. A private database is a good option if you’re facing problems with contention on the shared database or if you want to customize the database configuration.

And, of course, you can always set up and run a specialty database from your home directory on your own. For example, check out our instructions on installing MongoDB.

For more details, see the WebFaction User Guide page Databases. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments or join us in the Q&A communtity.


Ten amazing years, $100,000 giveaway!

Posted in General by

[Update Feb 7th 9.30am UTC] Our birthday giveaway has now ended. We sold out in about 40 hours.

Today marks WebFaction’s tenth birthday: ten years of hosting, ten years of support, and ten years of working to provide a service that we can be proud of. Ten years ago WebFaction opened its metaphorical doors to the world, and though a lot has changed since then, including our name, we hope to be doing for another ten years what we’ve always done: our best for our customers.

To celebrate this milestone, we’re giving away $100,000 in hosting services to new and existing customers. Starting tomorrow at 2pm UTC, new and existing customers may receive a one-time credit added to their accounts.

New customers: just sign up from tomorrow Feb 5th at 2pm UTC and pay $9.50 for the first month (or pay for longer). $100 will automatically be credited to your account.

Existing customers: add one new service to your account from tomorrow Feb 5th at 2pm UTC (a 256 MB plan, 256 MB extra memory, or a 1GB plan) and pay for one month of that service, and you will receive the next three months of that service for free.

Each customer is limited to one credit only, and it is non-transferable and non-refundable. Once we’ve given away $100,000 in services, the promotion will end and we’ll update this blog post to reflect that. Be quick or you might miss out on the free services. If you don’t need them yourself you can refer a friend and earn yourself some affiliate rewards.

Here is the Twitter announcement and the Facebook announcement so you can help spread the word if you’re on Twitter or Facebook.

Thank you for our first ten years; we can’t wait to see what’s in the years to come.

[Update Feb 5th 2pm UTC]: The giveaway has started!
[Update Feb 7th 9.30am UTC] Our birthday giveaway has now ended. We sold out in about 40 hours.