How to Debug Critical Error on your WordPress Website

There will be times when you will face serious downtime on your WordPress website due to a plugin causing an issue or the active theme preventing the site to load. You might be getting the below error.

Now how do you debug this? If only there was an exact error, you would have been able to resolve it.

No need to panic, Softaculous has got you covered! You can now enable the Debug Mode through Softaculous WordPress Manager, just follow the steps given below.

Step 1: Login to your Control panel (e.g. cPanel).

Step 2: Look for the Softaculous icon and Click on that icon to go to the Softaculous page.

Step 3: On the top-right icons section, you can find the WordPress Manager icon. Click on this icon and the WordPress Manager wizard will appear.

Step 4: Look for your website in the below list in which you are facing this critical error and click on the down arrow icon at the end of the line, this will expand the installation with more details.

Step 5: You will have multiple options there, look for the Debug Mode option. It is set to disabled by default, select the enabled option and this shall enable the debug mode in your WordPress website.

Once done you will receive a success message on the bottom-right corner of the screen.

Now go back and reload your website, the generic error message will now be replaced with an exact error message pointing you to the file which is causing the error.

You can now resolve this error you are facing and your site will be up and running. Generally the issue is with some plugin or theme not working with the latest version of WordPress. There are two possibilities :

  1. You are using an outdated version of the plugin or theme which is not compatible with the WordPress version which you are using. The solution for this is to check the latest version available of the plugin or theme you find in the error message and upgrade to the latest version. (Make sure you take a backup of your site before doing this, just in case the latest version does not work).
  2. The plugin or theme in question has not been updated by the vendor and no longer works with the WordPress version which you are using. In this case the solution would be to disable the plugin by renaming the plugin folder to .bak from the File Manager and then look for another plugin/theme that can replace the existing one.

NOTE: Do not forget to disable Debug Mode once your site is working. It is not a good idea to leave debugging mode enabled on a production website.

More Information

Change/Reset Your WordPress Admin Password using Softaculous WordPress Manager

Forgot your WordPress site admin pass? Don’t have access to reset the password? No worries Softaculous is here for the rescue.

You can now change your WordPress site admin password through Softaculous WordPress Manager. Yes, you read it right it’s a piece of cake and you do not require any technical knowledge to do so. No editing your database and stuff, simply follow the below steps and it’ll be done in no time.

Step 1: Login to your Control panel (e.g. cPanel).

Step 2: Look for the Softaculous icon and Click on that icon to go to the Softaculous page.

Step 3: On the top-right icons section, you can find the WordPress Manager icon. Click on this icon and the WordPress Manager wizard will appear.

Step 4: Look for the installation in the below list for which you want to change your password.

Step 5: Once you locate your installation, Click on the Change Password button.

Step 6: You’ll get a Change Password popup modal which would look something like below.

Step 7: Fill in the username for which you want to change the password in the Username field. Now fill in the new password that you want to set in the Password field.

Step 8: Once you are done with filling in the details, Click on the Save button. You will receive a success message on the bottom-right corner of the screen.

That’s it! You are all set with the new password. Go ahead and login with your new password to your WordPress admin site.

More Information

Backup Your WordPress Site to Google Drive via Softacluous

Server crashed ? Had a backup but on the same server ? Bad idea!

Why not backup your installation in a trusted provider like Google Drive ? Your backup will always be safe.

By the end of this article, you’ll have complete knowledge on how can you configure your Google drive as a backup location in Softaculous and then create a backup of your WordPress site over it.

Step 1: Configure your Google Drive as a backup location in Softaculous

You will need to add your Google Drive as a backup location in Softaculous before you can create a backup over it. You can follow the below steps in order to do so.

  1. Login to your Control panel (e.g. cPanel).
  2. Look for the Softaculous icon and click on that icon to go to the Softaculous page.
  3. On the top-right icons section, you can find the Backups and Restore icon and after the page is loaded click on the Manage Backup Locations button.
  4. Now click on the Add Backup location button and you’ll be redirected to the page where you can add your Google Drive as a backup location.
  5.  Add a descriptive name to the Location Name field for your Google drive backup location. Your Google Drive location will be visible to you in the backup locations list on the Edit Settings page by this name.
  6. Select the Google Drive protocol from the Protocol list box.
  7. In the Backup Location (Optional) field you can add the folder where you wish to make your backups on google drive. e.g. /backups . By default, if the field is empty, and your backups will be created at ‘Softaculous Auto Installer‘ folder on your Google Drive.
  8. After filling the above fields, click on the Add Backup Location button and you will be redirected to the Google authorization page.
  9. Sign-in to your google account with your username and password.
  10. You will be prompted with ‘softaculous.com wants to access your Google Account‘ tab, click Allow
  11. Once the authorization process is completed, you will be redirected back to Softaculous.
  12. If everything worked well, you will see a ‘Backup Location added successfully‘ message.
  13. That’s it, your Google drive backup location is added successfully.

    In the next step, we’ll explain how you can backup your WordPress Site at this newly added location.

Step 2: Create your WordPress backup to the Google drive location

Once you are done with Step 1, this step is a piece of cake. You can configure automated backups that occur at specific intervals as well as manual backups i.e. on time backups over Google Drive location.

Configure automated backups to Google Drive for your installation

  1. Login to your Control panel (e.g. cPanel).
  2. Look for the Softaculous icon and click on that icon to go to the Softaculous page.
  3. On the top-right icons section, you can find the All Installations icon. Click on the icon and all your installations will appear on this page.
  4. Look for the installation that you want to backup and click on the Edit icon, the edit installation details page will appear.
  5. On the Edit Installation Details Page, in the Backup Location dropdown select the Google Drive location that you created in Step 1.
  6. Next in the Automated Backups dropdown select the frequency at which you want the backups to be created. e.g. daily, weekly, monthly backups. You can also set custom frequency so that your backups will be created accordingly.
  7. The last field to set up an automated backup is Backup Rotation. Select the number of backups you wish to be available at any given time. e.g. if you set this as 2 then after 2 successful backups your oldest backup will be deleted.
  8. Click on the Save Installation Details button. This shall setup automated backup of your WordPress site over Google Drive.

That’s it!

Create a manual backup of your Site to Google Drive

If your default backup location is not set as Google Drive you can still manually create a backup on your Google Drive location.

  1. Login to your Control panel (e.g. cPanel).
  2. Look for the Softaculous icon and click on that icon to go to the Softaculous page.
  3. On the top-right icons section, you can find the WordPress Manager icon. Click on this icon and the WordPress Manager wizard will appear.
  4. Look for the installation that you want to backup and click on the down arrow icon at the end of the line, this will expand the installation with more details.
  5. Now click on the Backup button and the backup page will appear.
  6. In the Backup Location dropdown select the Google drive backup location that you added in Step 1.
  7. Now click on the Backup Installation button. That’s it, this will start the backup process of your WordPress site to your Google Drive in the background. You will be notified via email once the backup is completed.

More Information

Install WordPress 5.1.x for PHP less than 5.6.20

With the release of WordPress 5.2, PHP 5.6.20 is required to use WordPress 5.2 and higher branches. PHP 5.6.20 has been around for more than 3 years, however if your server still does not have this PHP version you should ask your web host for an update version of PHP.

Until you get PHP 5.6.20 or higher on your server you can install WordPress 5.1.x branch and then update to the latest version once you have PHP 5.6.20+

Softaculous will support WordPress 5.1.x branch and will also provide security and maintenance updates that will be released in this branch by WordPress.

Steps to install WordPress 5.1.x via Softaculous

1) Login to your control panel and navigate to Softaculous enduser panel

2) Choose WordPress as highlighted in the screenshot below

3) Click on the Install tab

4) Choose the WordPress version on the install form and hit the Install button

5) That’s it ! Softaculous will install the latest version of WordPress in 5.1.x branch which will be compatible with PHP version lower than 5.6.20

Feel free to contact us if you need any assistance with WordPress installation :
https://softaculous.deskuss.com/

How to Install Softaculous on GoDaddy VPS

GoDaddy does not offer Softaculous with their VPS hence some users face difficulty in installing Softaculous and need to open a support ticket with us to install Softaculous. Hence we decided to write up an article which explains the process.

Note : In order to install Softaculous you should have a control panel installed on your VPS. E.g. cPanel, Directadmin, Plesk

1. Enable Ioncube in 3rd Party PHP binary

  • Login to your WHM as root user and go to Tweak Settings page
  • Go to PHP tab
  • Select the Ioncube checkbox
  • Click on Save button
Enable Ioncube from WHM

2. SSH to your VPS

  • SSH to the VPS as the user you had chosen while setting up the VPS (GoDaddy does not allow to setup SSH access with root user).
  • Execute the following command to escalate as root user
  • sudo su
SSH as user and escalate as root

3. Softaculous Install Commands

Now that you have successfully logged in your server we will start with Softaculous installation. Execute the below commands as root to install Softaculous.

wget -N http://files.softaculous.com/install.sh
chmod 755 install.sh
./install.sh

That’s it !

Once you see the success message you can then login to your WHM and find Softaculous under the Plugins page.

Search for Softaculous in WHM
Softaculous admin panel

If you need any assistance with the installation feel free to contact our support team at :
https://softaculous.deskuss.com/open.php

Prevent Breaking your live website with our Staging Feature

What is Staging?

The staging environment is a copy of your production website where you can preview any changes or upgrades before you apply them on your production website. This prevents any downtime or unexpected errors on your live website.

Why Risk your production website when you can play safe with our Staging tool!

How our Staging Tool makes the process Easier & Efficient? 

Our new Staging feature will help you create and manage staging copies with one just click.

You can create staging copy of your live website to test the upgrades, install plugins, themes, add new pages or any other changes to make sure you are satisfied with the changes before pushing it to the live installation.

Softaculous lets you maintain Staging as well as Production website simultaneously for any changes you would want to make in future.

Let’s take an Example of a WordPress installation

In this process, we will create a Staging copy of a live WordPress installation in a sub-directory “staging”.

1) Login to your control panel

  • Go to your panel (e.g. cPanel’s URL will be https://domain.com:2083) and log in with your credentials
  • Click on the Softaculous Icon or Link
  • This will take you to Softaculous Enduser Panel
  • Go to the Installations page as shown in the screenshot below

2) Choose the installation for which you want to create a Staging copy

  • Click on the Create Staging icon as shown in the screenshot below

The create Staging page will appear with the live installation details and a form asking for details about the staging copy you want to create.

3) Fill in the Staging Installation details as shown in the screenshot below

Click on the Create Staging button and it will do the trick.

That’s it! Your staging copy is ready. You can login to the WordPress admin panel with the same credentials as in the live installation.

Make any changes you need e.g. :

  • Install/Update Plugins
  • Install Themes
  • Update WordPress Core
  • Add/Edit Pages
  • Any other changes you would like to make.

Once you are satisfied with the changes in Staging copy, you can now Push these changes to your live website (again with just one click).

4) Choose the Staging installation you want to push to live

Click on the Push To Live icon next to the corresponding Staging installation you wish to push to live as shown in the screenshot below

The Push to Live page will appear asking for details about how you want to merge the changes i.e. you want to just update the files or update the database as well.

You will see two tabs :

  • Default Options

If you want to push the current staging website as is to your production website i.e. files as well as the exact same database. This option will

  1. Create a backup of your live website
  2. Overwrite all the files from your staging copy to your live installation
  3. Erase the database of your live installation and replace it with the one in your staging copy

  • Customize

This option will allow you to choose exactly what changes you want to push from your staging copy to live installation. You can choose if you want to

  • Push the Files
  • Full Database (includes structure changes as well as rows in the tables)
  • Only Database structure
  • Only Data from the database tables

This option will :

  1. Create a backup of your live website
  2. If you choose the “Overwrite Files/Folders” the files from your staging copy will be copied to your live website
  3. As per the option you choose it will make the changes to your database

Once you have decided what changes you want to Push to your live website, hit the Push to Live button.

That’s it! Let Softaculous do the hard work.

The Success message will appear and you can login to your production website and check if everything works fine.

We hope this feature helps you save time and hassle in managing your staging and live installations.

We will be coming up with more features soon.

Contact our support team for any assistance.

Reset the password of your WordPress installation

Forgot the password of your WordPress installation ? You can now reset the password for your WordPress installation from the Softaculous Enduser panel.

WordPress Logo

Resetting the password from Softaculous is very simple and does not require any technical knowledge.

Step 1) Login to your control panel and go to Softaculous -> All Installations and click on the Edit Installation button next to the installation for which you want to reset the password.

WordPress-Reset-Password1

Step 2) On the Edit Installation page fill in the following fields :
Admin Username : This will be the username for which you want to reset the password.
Admin Password : This will be the NEW password.

After filling the above details click on the Save Installation Details button to reset the password.

WordPress-Reset-Password2

Once the password is reset you will see the success message as follows.

WordPress-Reset-Password3

Step 3) That’s it! You password has been reset. You can now login to your WordPress installation using the new password.

Forgot the password for your WordPress blog ?

Forgot the password for your WordPress blog ? This post will help you to reset your password.

WordPress Logo

1) Get the reset password link to your email address :

You need to know either the email address or the username and need to have access to your email address (you will receive the reset password link there).

  • Go to your WordPress login screen
  • Click on the Lost your Password link
  • Enter the email address or your username and click on the Get New Password button.
  • You will now receive an email with the link to reset your password.
  • Enter the new password and click on the Reset Password button.
  • That’s it you have reset the password for your blog’s account.

2) Don’t have access to the email associated to your account at the blog ?

You can reset the password from your WordPress database. You will require access to your database.

  • Login to your control panel and go to the database manager. Generally you will have phpMyAdmin
  • Now choose the database where you have WordPress installed. (If you are not sure check the database details from wp-config.php file of your installation)
  • Go to the users table and look for the username for which you need to reset the password
  • Now click on the Edit button corresponding to your username
  • Enter the new password you want under the Value column next to user_pass field
  • Choose MD5 from the dropdown under the Function column next to user_pass field
  • Hit the Go button
  • The password encryption will not look as the previous one because we chose MD5 and WordPress uses a different hashing method
  • Don’t worry. Go to the login WordPress login screen and login with the new password. On successful login WordPress will convert the new password as per WordPress encryption hash.
  • That’s it you have successfully reset the password for your account for your WordPress blog.

Optimize your server for high traffic WordPress installation

If you run a high traffic WordPress installation you will want to optimize WordPress and your server to run as efficiently as possible. This article gives a general overview of the avenues to pursue. It’s not a detailed technical explanation of each aspect.

WordPress Logo

The optimization techniques available to you will depend on your hosting setup. This article is divided into categories according to hosting type.

1) Shared Hosting :

This is the most common type of hosting. Your site will be hosted on a server along with many others. The hosting company manages the web server for you, so you have very little control over server settings and so on. The areas most relevant to this type of hosting are :

  • Caching : WordPress caching is the fastest way to improve performance. Plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache can be easily installed and will cache your WordPress posts and pages as static files. These static files are then served to users, reducing the processing load on the server. This can improve performance several hundred times over for fairly static pages.
  • WordPress Performance : The first and easiest way to improve WordPress performance is plugins. Deactivate and delete any unnecessary plugins. Try selectively disabling plugins to measure server performance. Is one of your plugins significantly affecting your site’s performance?
    Then you can look at optimizing plugins. Are plugins coded inefficiently? Do they repeat unnecessary database queries? WordPress has its own caching system, so generally speaking, using functions like get_option(), update_option() and so on will be faster than writing SQL.

2) Virtual / Dedicated Server :

In this hosting scenario you have control over your own server. The server might be a dedicated piece of hardware or one of many virtual servers sharing the same physical hardware. The key thing is, you have control over the server settings. In addition to the areas above Caching and WordPress performance, you can follow the below techniques to optimize your server :

  • Server Optimization :

    DNS: If you host your DNS on external servers this will reduce the load on your primary web server. It’s a simple change, but it will offload some traffic and cpu load.

    Web Server: Your web server can be configured to increase performance. There are a range of techniques from web server caching to setting cache headers to reduce load per visitor. Search for your specific web server optimizations (for example, search for “apache optimization” for more info).

    PHP: There are various PHP accelerators available which can dramatically improve performance of your PHP files. This will apply to all PHP files, not just your WordPress installation. Search for PHP optimization for more information, f.e. APC.

    MySQL: MySQL optimization is a black art in itself. A few simple changes to the query cache settings can have a dramatic effect on WordPress performance because WordPress repeats a lot of queries on every request. Search for mysql optimization for more.

  • Offloading :

    Static Content : Any static files can be offloaded to another server. For example, any static images, JavaScript or CSS files can be moved to a different server. This is a common technique in very high performance systems (Google, Flickr, YouTube, etc) but can also be helpful for smaller sites where a single server is struggling. Also, moving this content onto different hostnames can lay the groundwork for multiple servers in the future.Some web servers are optimized to serve static files and can do so far more efficiently than more complex web servers like Apache, for example publicfile or lighttpd.

    Multiple Hostnames : There can also be user improvements by splitting static files between multiple hostnames. Most browser will only make 2 simultaneous requests to a server, so if you page requires 16 files they will be requested 2 at a time. If you spread that between 4 host names they will be requested 8 at a time. This can reduce page loading times for the user, but it can increase server load by creating more simultaneous requests. Also, known is “pipelining” can often saturate the visitor’s internet connection if overused.

    Offloading images is the easiest and simplest place to start. All images files could be evenly split between three hostnames (assets1.yoursite.com, assets2.yoursite.com, assets3.yoursite.com for example). As traffic grows, these hostnames could be moved to your own server. Note: Avoid picking a hostname at random as this will affect browser caching and result in more traffic and may also create excessive DNS lookups which do carry a performance penalty.

    Likewise any static JavaScript and CSS files can be offloaded to separate hostnames or servers.

Source : http://codex.wordpress.org

How to learn PHP ?

php-logo

What is PHP ?

PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. PHP is now installed on more than 244 million websites and 2.1 million web servers. With the growing use of PHP it is a plus point to learn this easy programming language.

What do I need ?

To execute PHP files you need to setup a Apache web server. There are various tools available which can help you setup apache web server up and running within minutes. One such tool is AMPPS. Download ampps and install it on your Windows or Mac desktop and you have apache server running to start off with learning PHP.

Where can I find tutorials ?

There are thousands of tutorials available over the internet but it is best to use the PHP manuals or learn over w3schools. You can access the PHP manuals at http://www.php.net/manual/en/. For new learners it is good to start with w3schools as it provides chapter-wise tutorials, you can start with the basics and then go on with the advanced functions.

How long does it take ?

PHP is a easy programming language to learn as compared to other languages. It does not require prior programming knowledge, however if you have a programming background it is a piece of a cake to master PHP. It usually does not take long if you are determined to learn it, you can learn PHP even in a weeks time. Practicing contributes much towards the speedy learning, only referring to the theories does not benefit you. You will need to practice PHP thoroughly to get the hang of it.

What else do I need to know ?

Learning PHP can help you code but you need to know MySQL, html and little bit of CSS to create a website. MySQL helps you to create a database connectivity required in case you want to make a dynamic website. Html and CSS are required to make you webpage look attractive.

Once you are done with these technologies you are ready to make your own website. There are also hundreds of PHP scripts available which you can simply install it on your web server to create your website AMPPS comes with Softaculous auto installer which is an addon to install such scripts with a click of a button.