Archive for the ‘Wordpress’ Category

WordPress Plugin: WP Clone by WP Academy

Wp CloneToday we will be discussing a very useful WordPress plugin called WP Clone by WP Academy. This plugin can be a great tool for copying and moving WordPress websites from one domain or one hosting to another, all done within the WordPress Dashboard.

This is a great advantage as most traditional methods of moving WordPress sites involves moving the actual content files, and then the database which can be a time consuming process and can be considered compilcated for the average user.

With WP Clone this is a worry of the past as moving and copying WordPress websites is now as easy as installing the plugin, following the instructions and being presented with a back up link to be used in the new hosting or domain destination.

This can be particularily useful for instances where a WordPress user has set up a website and would like to use that set up as a base for future projects, then all you would need to do is create a WP Clone URL of that set up and then you would be able to install the clone using WP Clone. Other uses would include creating copies of websites used for development or testing purposes and moving domain names while still keeping your existing WordPress site.

  • WP Clone doesn’t require database, SQL or any other FTP access, to install the cloned version all you would need to do is install a new WordPress on the destination site, upload and activate WP Clone plugin, and follow the instructions which would be to apply the previous clone URL to activate the clone.
  • WP Clone doesn’t backup or restore the core WordPress system files which reduces the size of the clone and reduces the upload time to restore a site. Only the actual user content, themes, databse and plugins are cloned, which are the actual files needed.
  • The plugin fetches your websites backup via your host’s direct http connection, which results in the user not needing to upload large files yourself through your own internet connection.

Go ahead and watch the helpful video below for more information, the video includes an actual walkthrough of the WP Clone plugin being used:

The official WP Clone WordPress plugin page includes the following no support disclaimer which is worth noting:

“WP Clone fails in 10-20% of installations. As such it is NOT intended as a regular backup method, its strength consists in migrating WordPress installations. The failures appear to be related to the multiplicity of WordPress hosting platforms and the size of the installation rather than the WordPress version”.

In addition to the above disclaimer, ensure you read the “Recommendations for using (or not) WP Clone” on the WordPress plugin page to assist in using the plugin correctly.

The above disclaimer and recommendations need to be kept in mind when using WP Clone, but this is definitely a useful WordPress tool and can save you a lot of time and effort when used correctly for WordPress website migrations.

If you require or prefer the manual method of moving WordPress sites, take a look at our previous post on this here: Moving WordPress Sites Manually

Stallion Hosting - You Can Bet On Us!

Stallion Hosting – Web Hosting South AfricaYou Can Bet On Us!

WordPress Updates are Important

Keeping WordPress up to date is becoming more important by the day. Many people ask “why is it important to update WordPress?” and there are many reasons, the main reason being security.

Why do I need to update WordPress?

As with most online ventures there is always the risk of attacks, which can be extremely dangerous – especially if whole websites are deleted. Your WordPress website or blog needs to be updated with the latest versions to decrease the risk of these attacks. The developers of WordPress monitor vulnerabilites and work to always try and prevent attacks, and they do this using updates of the WordPress platform.

Despite these obstacles, occasionally a hacker finds a weakness in your defenses and breaks into the castle. They might find a lose stone in the wall or find a way to dig under the castle into the courtyard. You can defend you blog from 99 different types of attacks, but it only takes that one hundredth unprotected way to allow someone to break through.

When a new type of attack is found the WordPress teams will investigate and create a patch for the vulnerability, and this patch is then issued to WordPress users in the form of updates. That’s when you get the message on your dashboard asking you to update.

Different types of WordPress Updates

Each WordPress update has a release number, such as 3.0 or 3.0.1. These numbers give you information about how major the update is, as well as give the developers a way to track what changes were made in which releases. The farther the number is to the left, the more serious the update is.

If the first number has changed, like from 1.0 to 2.0, this indicates a major change in the software. The developers might have rewritten major parts of the code or restructured how it works internally. This type of update can sometimes be tricky to handle since it usually involves updating your database or the way your files are structured. You should back up your blog before any update, but especially before this type of update.

The second number, or rather the first number after the dot, refers to a less major, yet still significant update to the software. It indicates that there have probably been some minor bugs fixed or a few small features added. You’re less likely to have problems when doing this type of update.

The third number, or the number after the second dot, refers to a small change in the software. This type of update is usually only released when a bug or security vulnerability needs to be fixed right away. Otherwise, they would wait to include the changes in one of the other types of updates.

Always ensure you back up your files before updating your sites, and if you are interested in researching a new update before doing the actual update on WordPress then simply Google the update or head over to the WordPress website.

Daniel Hall

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Stallion HostingYou Can Bet On Us!

WordPress Categories – This Slug Is Already In Use

With a few new changes on this blog I recently decided to change the old News category to the new category called Stallion Hosting. This would normally be a quick change in WordPress by simply clicking the drop down menu under posts, click Categories and then find the category I want to change and click rename.

Well, this was not the case  because the slug stallion-hosting was said to already be in use, but wait – I did not have a Category called stallion-hosting. In the end it was because there was a Post Tag called stallion-hosting, so after renaming this I was easily able to create the Stallion Hosting (stallion-hosting) category.

Wordpress Categories - This Slug Is Already In Use

This was a simple fix, but if you didn’t know that Post Tags and Categories are related then you will be stuck and battle.

Just something simple I would like to share, have a great day everyone 🙂

Daniel Hall

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Best Website Hosting South AfricaYou Can Bet On Us!

Reduce Blog Comment SPAM – SI Captcha Plugin

One of the latest WordPress plugins that I have been testing is the SI Captcha Plugin created by Mike Challis.  It has some excellent features and can be a very useful plugin to help combat blog comment SPAM. Although most bloggers using WordPress will install Akismet it is not able to do the best job and this is why I have now installed this captcha plugin as well.

With over 624,400 times downloaded, 178 ratings and a star rating of 4 and a half out of 5 on the WordPress download page I highly recommend giving SI Captcha Anti-Spam plugin a chance. The details of the current version features are displayed below as well as more details on how you can get a copy for your self.

Features of SI Captcha:

  • Configure from Admin panel
  • Valid HTML
  • Section 508 and WAI Accessibility Validation.
  • Allows Trackbacks and Pingbacks
  • Setting to hide the CAPTCHA from logged in users and or admins
  • Setting to show the CAPTCHA on the comment form, registration form, login, or all.
  • I18n language translation support

Captcha Image Support:

  • Open-source free PHP CAPTCHA library by http://www.phpcaptcha.org is included
  • Abstract background with multi colored, angled, and transparent text
  • Arched lines through text
  • Generates audible CAPTCHA files in WAV format
  • Refresh button to reload captcha if you cannot read it

Requirements/Restrictions:

  • Works with WordPress 2.8+, WPMU, and BuddyPress 1.1 -> 1.2.3 (WordPress 3.0+ is highly recommended)
  • PHP 4.3 or above with GD2 library support. (PHP5 is highly recommended)
  • (WP 2 series) Your theme must have a <?php do_action(‘comment_form’, $post->ID); ?> tag inside your comments.php form. Most themes do. The best place to locate the tag is before the comment textarea, you may want to move it if it is below the comment textarea.

Here is the WordPress download page of SI Captcha: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/si-captcha-for-wordpress/

Daniel Hall

Stallion Hosting - You Can Bet On Us!

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How to Network Your Blog with NetworkedBlogs

Today I am going to post a short tutorial on how to get your blog linked with NetworkedBlogs. I recently linked this blog with NetworkedBlogs so that the Stallion Hosting Facebook fan page will be automatically updated every time a new post is made.  By using the application called NetworkedBlogs, you can automatically post your latest WordPress blog posts to your Facebook fan page.

There are many advantages to this, especially in terms of getting your blog noticed which is vital, it will also help to get your links out there on the web and in front of more people, so go ahead and use the step by step tutorial below to also get your blog networked.

1. First you will have to add the NetworkedBlogs application to your Facebook account (you can do this by searching for “Networked Blogs” and then add the application through there) or here is the direct page link: http://www.facebook.com/networkedblogs

2.  Follow the steps to add the application successfully to your account.

3.  After you have added the application to your profile then go to the Application (through your Facebook profile’s sidebar) and find the “Register a Blog” button on the top of the NetworkedBlogs application.

4.  Fill your Blog Name, URL, and any other details such as a description and related tags.

5.  Follow the steps to validate the blog and to confirm that you are the author of the blog. Note: I had a huge problem here, I added the widget like they asked and no matter where I added the widget it would not accept the validation. It could be some kind or error or something, but be warned – it was irritating. Instead I had to opt for the Ask friends to verify option, which is going to take a little longer.

6.  If everything is successful (except the confirmation of being the author, that can wait), you should be able to see your blog’s feed on the NetworkedBlogs application page, like the screenshot below:

WebHostingPro.co.za on NetworkedBlogs

7.  Now, go to your Facebook fan page (mine is at http://www.facebook.com/stallionhosting -please like our fan page if you haven’t already 🙂 ) and then click on the “Edit Page” which is on the left sidebar menu.

8. You should see the NetworkedBlogs application in the list of other applications, otherwise go to the application and you will be presented with the option to Syndicate. You want to syndicate your NetworkedBlogs page with your Facebook Fan page.

9. Select the Facebook fan page that you would like to be connected with your blog, and then follow the instructions to allow and install the application on that specific fan page.

10. Tick the box and allow the application to auto post on your fan page, and there you done!

Done, now every time you publish a new post on your WordPress blog it will also be published to your fan page wall automatically, meaning less work for you and more exposure for your blog. It’s a win win situation.

Take a look at the WebHostingPro NetworkedBlogs page here, and go ahead and follow us for updates:  http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/blog/stallion_hosting_web_hosting_south_africa/

Daniel Hall

Stallion Hosting - You Can Bet On Us!

Stallion HostingYou Can Bet On Us!