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 ?

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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.

How to choose a web host suitable for your website

Web presence has become very important in today’s world. Everyone needs a website to represent their business online. When we think of a hosting a website we have several questions in our mind :

  • Which web hosting company suits your needs ?
  • How to get the best deal ?
  • How long will be the support response time ?
  • What will be the uptime ?

There are many options available as there are thousands of hosts worldwide. But we have to choose the one suitable for our website/ business/ blog.

Here is the checklist to find a suitable web host :

Basic But Important Qualities In A Good Web Hosting Company :

  • Prices: First and foremost thing is prices. Almost everyone looks towards the prices of any web hosting company. Because we have to save our valuable money and get the best service in less prices. So check and compare the prices of a web hosting company with others.
  • Support: Second thing is support! Check whether the company is proving us 24/7 support or not. Also check whether the company has a number of help resources, Blog, Live Support like online support, Telephone support etc.
  • Security: Security is also the main point of a good web hosting provider. So check whether the transactions made by your web hosting company are secure or not. Check whether the transactions are on secure server means on https://.
  • Variety of Plans: Also check that the web hosting company you are reviewing has number of different plans or not. Number of plans are also important because if we have number of options then we can choose according to our requirements. Some times we need hosting only for our personal website, in that case we need less domains, space, databases, etc. If we are buying hosting for small business then we need more features. But if we have to buy web hosting for large business then we need large number of quality features. Few hosts also allow you to create a custom package and get a custom quote.
  • Guarantee: Guarantee is also important quality of a good web hosting provider. Check that your web hosting company is offering money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.

Technical Features Of A Good Web Hosting Company :

  • Site Builder System: Site Builder System is also very important feature of a good web hosting provider. If you don’t know any programming language then a good and easy site builder helps you create a good website. So must check site builder system.
  • Auto installer: Check if the web host provides an auto installer with the hosting plan to install applications easily. Auto installers allows you to install applications without having to manually execute tasks like uploading files, creating databases, etc
  • Hosting Space: Hosting space is very important if you have to keep large files on server. If your website is download service type then must check whether your web hosting company is offering you large amount of data i.e unlimited space or not.
  • Type of Hosting: Check which type of web hosting you want. Windows Hosting or Linux Hosting. Mostly people choose the Linux Hosting because it is cheaper, reliable and secure than the windows hosting or we can say that Linux Server is more secure than Windows server. So don’t forgot to check which type of hosting you want and which type of hosting your company offers.
  • Email Hosting: Email hosting is also a main feature. If you want to use a professional email like email_user_name@yourwebsitename.com etc. Then check whether your company is providing email hosting or not.
  • Number of Domains: If you want to use many domains for your website then check that your web hosting company offers you multi-domain feature.

Source : http://www.hififun.com

3 ways to make dynamic pages load faster

Dynamic websites are easier to manage and often more content driven than the old static websites from the early days of the web. With that dynamic nature, however, comes a greater amount of security risk and a greater need for hands-on management beyond the initial development, especially with content-heavy sites like blogs. Speed becomes a big factor because the server must load the scripts and often fetch data from a database in a timely manner. The following are 3 tips that should help you speed up your dynamic website.

1. Caching
The concept of caching is simple, but it can have a profound effect on page loading speed. The most used items, whether pages themselves or images, are stored in a cache for easier access. When a client calls up a page that has not been changed recently, the server does not have to access the database again and run any scripts. It simply loads the page from the cache. You can find caching plugins for content management systems like WordPress, often for free.

2. Optimize Design
In most cases, talking about website design falls out of the realm of web hosting management, but in this case, the way your site is designed directly affects how fast it is. If your CSS pages, Javascript, and scripting code are all well optimized, your site will be faster.

3. Content Delivery Network
A content delivery network (CDN) is a service that allows you to host images, media, and even your CSS files on remote servers that quickly and dynamically serve up the content to your users. A good CDN will have a large number of diverse geographic locations so that it can get content to users faster. It will also reduce loads on your own server, which in turn speeds it up.

There are many other ways to speed up your blog or other dynamic websites, but the aforementioned three should get you on the right track. Always remember that any system you implement could have consequences on the speed and performance of your site, so plan accordingly.

Source: http://www.thehostingnews.com

How to choose a secure password that is easy to remember

What makes a strong password ?

  • It should be more than 8 characters
  • It should contain alphabets, numbers and special characters like @#$%^&
  • Use capital as well as small letters
  • Do not use dictionary words or common words like 123, password, pass, your birth date, your name, etc
  • Do not use same password for all your logins. Use a base word to help you remember your password but the password should not be exactly same.

How to create a password that is strong and easy to remember :

  1. Choose a base word lets say I choose I hate pass
  2. Now add some capital letters I Hate Pass
    Make the 1st letter of every word capital.
  3. Add special characters I@Hate$Pass
    Replace the spaces with special characters.
  4. Add some numbers I9@Hate8$Pass16
    Add the the number of character in alphabets of 1st letter of each word at the end of word. Like here I is the 9th letter in alphabets so I added 9 after I similarly 8 for H and 16 for P.
  5. That’s it ! You have a strong password ready. Not you can modify the pattern slightly to use the same base word multiple times. For eg : while adding the number in the 4th step take the value of the last character in the word like 5 for E from Hate and 19 for S from Pass.

How to protect your AjaXplorer installation

AjaXplorer helps you turn your web server into a powerful file management system : install once and access your files from anywhere. Organize, preview and share them, easily and securely. AjaXplorer comes fully equiped with a complete users management system, securing the whole installation at once. It can also be interfaced with existing authentication mechanisms, to implement a “Single-Sign On” system and make users life easier. Install AjaXplorer via Softaculous with just one click.

ajaxplorer logo

Here are some basic recommendations for securing your AjaXplorer installation :

1. Protect your folders from direct web access :

Under the main AjaXplorer installation folder, the following folders contents must be hidden from the web server. It is by default the case if you are using Apache, as .htaccess files are part of the distribution.

  • ajaxplorer_install/conf
  • ajaxplorer_install/data/[all subfolders except “public”], that is the default container for the « shared links » public files.

Note:  concerning the .htaccess files under Apache, be sure to allow override of the Limit directives on your web server (contact your Webmaster).

If you can, do not use the default « files » folder placed inside the distribution, but create a repository pointing to a folder outside your web « document root ».

2. Basic security rules :

HTTPS usage is recommended by AjaXplorer, but you have to configure your server for that, it cannot be done automatically by AjaXplorer.

Always use strong passwords. There is a password minimum length option that is set to 8 characters by default.

3. Check for upgrade :

Security issues are always released with high priority by the AjaXplorer team, use the integrated upgrade tool to check if updates are available and apply them! You can also upgrade your AjaXplorer installation using Softaculous.

Soruce : http://ajaxplorer.info

Steps to create a photo gallery using ZenPhoto

Zenphoto is a standalone CMS for multimedia focused websites. Zenphoto is easy to use and having all the features there when you need them (but out of the way if you do not.) Zenphoto features support for images, video and audio formats. This makes Zenphoto the ideal CMS for personal websites of illustrators, artists, designers, photographers, film makers and musicians. You can get started by installing ZenPhoto with just one click via Softaculous.

zenphoto logo

Steps to create a photo gallery using ZenPhoto :

  1. Login to your ZenPhoto installation and click on the upload tab which is located at the top.
  2. Here you will see a “upload to” section with a drop down list, where you can select the album you want to upload the images to or create a new album. To create a new album you can select “/” and give the title name and album name.
  3. Once the album is created click on the browse button and select your file(s) which you want to upload. To upload multiple files you can again click on browse button again and select your image.
  4. Once you have selected the file(s) which you want to upload you just need to click on the upload button at the end. After the upload is complete you will automatically be redirected to the albums page where you can further edit the album details.
  5. That’s it your image gallery is now ready.