21 Jul 2017

Adding a new user in WordPress

Adding a new user in WordPress is very simple. You will need to be able to login to your WordPress dashboard and you will need to have create_user permissions. These are usually reserved for users with the Administrator role.

Step 1 – Login

Login to Your WordPress Dashboard.

Step 2 – Select the User Menu

Select ‘Users’ from the left hand menu, followed by Add New. There are a number of places where you can select Add New, two of them are shown in the screen shot below

Step 3 – Fill in user details

As a minimum you need to provide a username and an email address.

You may optionally add first name, last name and website. WordPress will choose a strong password automatically, but you can change this by clicking on the Show Password button.

Tick the box to send a notification to the user.

Finally, select the user’s role. If you are adding someone to assist with your website management (eg a member of Watch the Dot support) you should select Administrator. If you are adding someone to assist with content posting, then Editor would probably be sufficient.

Step 4 – Click Add User

Once you have filled in all the information, you can select Add New User button.

You will be returned to the All Users page and you should see a notification that the user has been added. The new user should shortly receive an email advising of their new password.

17 Jul 2017

Who is Holding Your Domain Name to Ransom?

We have recently been working with a business – a national company – that has just lost it’s 18 year old domain name.

How did this happen? A freelance web developer registered the domain name for the company back in 2007 for 10 years using his own contact details and Hotmail email address.

Soon after the freelance web developer moved to Hong Kong. And soon after that he changed his email address and stopped checking his Hotmail account.

When the domain came up for renewal, contact with the legal owner of the domain – the freelance web developer – had already been lost for a number of years and
a) The company couldn’t login to the domain control panel to regain ownership.
b) The domain registrar wouldn’t help because the company wasn’t the legal owner.

On expiry, rather than releasing the domain, the domain registrars sold the domain on to another organisation. Our client had completely failed to protect it’s digital assets and lost forever a very valuable piece of internet real estate.

How do you avoid making the same mistake?

Domain name ownership is recorded in publically searchable directories and can be searched using the whois tool. Sometimes the owner may opt-out of displaying but generally speaking you can get a good idea of the owner of the domain by checking the whois listing.

We strongly advise that you check your domain name whois listing at the earliest possibility and make sure YOU own the domain. If you don’t, it may be as simple as a friendly email to your developer to ask them to update the records on the domain.

Check your whois listing now using our online tool

Does the whois listing not look quite right to you – Get in touch now before it’s too late!

16 Jul 2017

Manually Backup your WordPress Website

There’s lots of WordPress backup plugins available that will help you back up your WordPress installation, either on a one-off basis or to a set schedule, but sometimes I feel most secure knowing I’ve made a manual backup which I can archive off somewhere.

In this post, I’ll show you the process I use to backup my WordPress installations on our standard web hosting using the eXtend Control. The steps may vary from host to host but the concepts and steps are essentially the same.

With WordPress, any changes you make to the website files outside of a blank WordPress install will be made within the wp-content directory. As it’s always possible to download a fresh install of WordPress from wordpress.org, I generally only backup the wp-content directory. All of your content such as pages, posts, comments and products are stored in the WordPress database.

The general principle then is

  1. Backup wp-content directory
  2. Backup WordPress database

Step 1 – Login to your webhost control panel and navigate to your files

If using Watch the Dot hosting, details on how to login to your hosting account can be found here

Step 2 – Navigate into the public_html directory and compress wp-content

You can compress a directory by right clicking and selecting pack. Select the .zip file type.

Step 3 – Download your wp-content.zip file and archive

After a few moments you should have a file called wp-content.zip within your file structure. You can click on this to download and save offline<

Step 4 – Navigate to your database

Within your Watch the Dot control panel, navigate to “Web Tools” > “MySQL Databases” > “Manage”

Step 5 – Select your WordPress database

You should now be within the phpMyAdmin tool for managing your MySQL WordPress database. You will need to select your WordPress database. If you only have one WordPress install, this is likely to be the one that isn’t called INFORMATION SCHEMA. (note: If you have more than one install or a number of databases, you will need to look inside your wp-config.php file within the public_html directory to determine which database your WordPress install uses).

Step 6 – Export your database

Once you have selected your database, select the tab marked ‘Export’ along the top row. This will open the Export screen. You can select the defaults and hit Go. This will automatically download a file to your local PC.

You should now have two files – your wp-content.zip back up file and you database backup. You can now archive these away somewhere safe. Note that any changes made to your website after this backup has been made will not be saved in this backup!

If you need assistance backing up your WordPress install, you can submit a WordPress support request here

10 Jul 2017

Login to your Web Hosting account

When creating a webhosting account with Watch the Dot, you will receive an email with your individual hosting account’s login credentials. If you have a number of accounts, these can be difficult to manage and remember. To help with this, we also provide a quick login feature.

Step 1 – Navigate to www.watchthedot.com and select Web Hosting and Domains

Step 2 – Select the Login Link

4

Step 3 – Login with your Watch the Dot username and password.

(Forgot password? Click here)

Step 4 – Select Your Services

Step 5 – Select the service you wish to work with

Select the service name. Note selecting the website url will take you to the website, not the webhost.

Step 6 – Select the Login to Control Panel link

Problems? Please open a support ticket.

07 Jul 2017

Automatically Reenable WordPress Paragraph Breaks

We had a phone call from a client late this Friday afternoon looking for some WordPress Support.

Having upgraded a very old website themselves to version 4.8 they noticed that all paragraphs on the website were running into each other without linebreaks.  WordPress has a function called wpautop which finds line breaks and manually converts them into html paragraphs. This ensures that each paragraph sits on it’s own line, usually separated from other paragraphs with top or bottom margin. They needed a quick fix. Having taken a very cursory look it appears that wpautop was being disabled by one of the many plugins on the site. For a quick win we were able to reinstate wpautop by adding the following into functions.php:


function renable_wpautop(){
add_filter('the_content', 'wpautop');
}
add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'renable_wpautop' );

It was a very quick fix for a late Friday afternoon but it’s got the client out of trouble until we can take a look early next week.

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