There is a PHP script on my domain which is executed every time a new user registers, and it emails admin (me) new registration info. One week ago, I modified this script to include some more info in these email reports (new user's IP) and tested it by registering as dummy user myself.

BUT, few moments ago, I just received report email message with old contents, composed by old (overwritten) script! How is that possible? Is there a possibility that ISP keeps some old copy of my site online, which is accessible by some other URL?

  • 1
    Or maybe the email was just seriously delayed?! – MrWhite Jan 9 '17 at 9:12
  • No, I've checked this database entry and it was really made today. – Milos Jan 9 '17 at 9:18
  • 1
    What kind of hosting is this? I can only think that maybe there's a distributed/load balancer type config? (Same URL) Are you able to include the server IP in the email? – MrWhite Jan 9 '17 at 9:42
  • 1
    "said spammer user" - you have to wonder whether the "spammer" is somehow submitting the user registration in a different way?? Spammers won't necessarily use the HTML form. (?) – MrWhite Jan 9 '17 at 10:53
  • 1
    The most plausible explanation would be that the old file still exists - or at least existed when the spammer visited (load balancer type config). Or maybe the host had to recover from backup and overwrote your new file with an old backup (I've certainly had that happen before). If you connect to your server, can you confirm that the new file is there? – MrWhite Jan 10 '17 at 10:13

This might be a hallucination but the very nature of a "web server" allows it to keep serving up pages even while/when you are updating them, changing them, no?

It must be keeping a set of pages in memory or somewhere that are used until the moment occurs to replace the old with the new I'm thinking.

I have seen similar behavior before and I figure that someone is still using the old page and so the server doesn't want to change to the new page. Maybe the old page is still open in someone's browser. It goes away sooner or later.

That is what I'm thinking. This happens with images too. Images just might be cached on clients browser, though. I'm always having to tell a client to "hit F5".

  • Users may be keeping cached pages in their browsers, but when these pages send data to my PHP script on server, that is not supposed to be any other script than that which is currently on server. But somehow email gets generated by an old script which has been deleted long ago (1 week earlier). – Milos Jan 11 '17 at 10:04
  • I've also had one of my ISP's screw something up on the server and restore my website from a backup that wasn't as current as it should have been. Just trying to help here. Something had to have happened. – JustJohn Jan 11 '17 at 15:21
  • Thank you very much John but my little mystery just keeps on being, well, mysterious - I have no idea what was/is going on. – Milos Jan 13 '17 at 9:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.