Another apparent arse-up from 1and1 hit me a couple of weeks ago, taking the blog down. I don’t read my own blog, so I didn’t notice until tonight when I went to upload a new post, and discovered it wasn’t working due to being unable to connect to the database.
Transpires that the problem is due to passwords being stored by 1and1 in the old MySQL 4.0 format (or maybe 4.1 format, I can’t recall). Alas, when I followed their instructions and changed the blog to run PHP 5.4, I then went straight to the web site and tested it, and it worked fine. I think what then happened is that something changed a few minutes later, rather than taking immediate effect, and broke the site completely, but of course I didn’t notice this as I had tested it and it worked fine. The site was therefore down for 2 weeks.
So, if you are going to change your site to PHP 5.4, beware that 1and1 seem to have either some kind of caching going on, or they delay making changes to your site for a few minutes, so you probably need to pay attention to your site over the next 24 hours. If you discover it is broken, then all you need to do is go into your 1and1 Admin section, go to MySQL Administration and update your password. You can keep your password the same; just update it to whatever your password is right now. What I think then happens is that the 1and1 system updates your password using the latest hashing algorithm which PHP 5.4 can cope with, and everything just works. But be aware that this also seems to take some minutes to update, as I did this, the blog was still broken, and then I waited a few minutes and would you believe it… the blog was fine.
Hopefully posts such as this one will help others resolve the problems.