Author Archives: LetHostNow Web Hosting Services

How to Add a New User in WordPress

How to Add a New User in WordPress

Howdy WordPress users! It’s really quite simple to add a new user in WordPress and this article will give you step-by-step instructions so you can do it yourself! For more FAQ on how to use WordPress, please see our FAQ’s on our support page.

How To Add A New User

  1. Go to your WordPress admin page and log in to your website. If you’re not sure of your password, you can click “Lost Password” to reset it. There’s more detailed instructions for resetting your WordPress password here.
  2. Now that you’re in the WordPress dashboard, click on Users in the left sidebar.
  3. Towards the top of the screen, click Add New.
    How to add a user in WordPress
  4. Now you should be on the Add New User screen. Enter a username and email address for your new user. First name, last name, and website are optional.
  5. Enter a SECURE password for your new user. You can either use the one that WordPress randomly generates, or create your own. However, it’s important to use a secure password because hackers will try to use your login to compromise your website. Please choose a password with uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols.
  6. Keep the Send User Notification checked if you would like the new user to receive an email with their login information.
  7. Choose a Role for your new user. Administrator is the default and it gives the user access to all the features of the website. If you need to limit the permissions of your new user, see the other roles available below.
  8. Click the Add New User button and you’re all set!
    Ste-by-step how to add a new user

What Are User Roles?

User roles allow you to assign different levels of permissions to users on your website. If you don’t want a user to have all the permissions of the administrator role, you can choose from Editor, Author, Contributor, or Subscriber. In the WordPress Codex, these user roles are defined as the following:

  • Administrator: somebody who has access to all the administration features within a single site.
  • Editor: somebody who can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users.
  • Author: somebody who can publish and manage their own posts.
  • Contributor: somebody who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them.
  • Subscriber: somebody who can only manage their profile.

Simply choose the desired user role in the drop down on the Add New User screen. (see Step 7)

How To Add Points System in WordPress to Ignite User Engagement

How To Add Points System in WordPress to Ignite User Engagement

Do you want to boost user engagement on your site? Want to add gamification in WordPress? Gamification is an effective way to increase user participation and engagement. In this article, we will show you how can add points system in WordPress to Ignite user engagement.

How To Add Points System in WordPress to Ignite User Engagement

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WordPoints plugin. Upon activation, visit the WordPoints » Point Hooks page to create your points type.

Add a new points type

Start by entering a name for your points type and click on the save button. After creating your points type, you can drag and drop hooks from left to the points type.

Adding hooks or activities to points type

Hooks are activities that your users can perform to earn points. Currently you can give users points for visiting your site, leaving a comments, writing a post, registering on your site, and receiving comments on their posts.

Add a hook for activity you want to reward and then configure its settings. You can also select the post types and choose how many points to reward.

Don’t forget to click on the save button to store your settings.

Setting up a hook or activity for reward points

Now repeat the process for each activity you want to reward. For registration hook, you will need to allow user registration on your site.

If you want to reward users for submitting posts, then please take a look at our guide on how to allow users to submit posts to your WordPress site.

That’s all, WordPoints will now start tracking user rewards points on your site. You can see the points log by visiting WordPoints » Points log page in the admin area.

Showing User Points on Your WordPress Site

WordPoints makes it quite simple to show user points on your website. Simply go to Appearance » Widgets page, and you will notice three new widgets in the list of available widgets.

1. Points Log

This widget will show latest points activity on your website. It will show the latest activities performed by users that earned them points.

Points log widget settings

Simply enter a title for the widget and then select a points type. You need to enter the number of entries you want to display from the log and then click on the save button to store your settings.

This is how the widget will appear on your website.

Preview of Points log widget

2. WordPoints

This widget displays total points a user has earned. Users need to be logged in to see their points.

User points widget

Enter the widget title and change the form fields if needed. You can adjust the number of latest log entries for the user to display. Once done, click on the save button to store your settings.

This is how the widget will appear on your site.

User points widget displayed on front-end

3. WordPoints Top Users

This widget showcases your top users based on the points they earned.

Top users widget settings

Simply provide a widget title and choose the points type. Enter the number of users you want to list and click on the save button to store settings.

This is how the top users widget will look on your site.

Top users

Showing Points in WordPress Posts or Pages

WordPoints also comes with handy shortcodes to display points on your website.

You can display your top users by simply adding this shortcode:

[wordpoints_points_top]

Just like widgets, you can also show points log on the front-end by adding the shortcode:

[wordpoints_points_logs]

You can also show users how they can earn the points by quickly listing actions that earn them points. Simply add this shortcode to display action hooks.

[wordpoints_how_to_get_points]

That’s all, we hope this article helped you add a points system in WordPress to ignite user engagement. You may also want to check out our list of 40 useful tools to manage and grow your WordPress blog.

How to Install Let’s Encrypt SSL Using cPanel

How to Install Let’s Encrypt SSL Using cPanel

You don’t have to break the bank to install SSL certificates. Thanks to Let’s Encrypt, you can secure your website for free. As such, in this article, we’re going to show you how to install Let’s Encrypt SSL by using cPanel.

  • What is Let’s Encrypt SSL?
  • How to Install an SSL Certificate from Let’s Encrypt in cPanel

What is Let’s Encrypt SSL?

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a web protocol that protects data transfers so it can’t be accessed by third parties.

An SSL certificate can be obtained from a certificate authority (CA). There are many options out there, but we recommend getting one from Let’s Encrypt— an open-source CA that provides free SSL certificates.

What’s great, most hosting providers offer Let’s Encrypt installation from cPanel, so you don’t have to upload the certificate manually.

While Let’s Encrypt doesn’t cost you anything, it requires you to revalidate the certificate once every 90 days, which might be a problem for some people.

Therefore, if you are looking for a hassle-free SSL installation, you can take a look at LetHostNow affordable SSL that’s valid for a lifetime.

How to Install an SSL Certificate from Let’s Encrypt in cPanel

  1. Open your cPanel by accessing http://yourdomain.com:2083 or http://yourdomain.com/cpanel
  2. Head over to the Security section and click on the Let’s Encrypt SSL icon.
    Let's Encrypt icon in cPanel's Security sectionIf you cannot find the Let’s Encrypt SSL menu, you should contact your hosting provider for an immediate solution.
  3. Under the Issue a new certificate section, click the +Issue button for the domain you want to secure.
    Let's Encrypt menu in cPanel
  4. Tick the options for your domain name (non-www and www) and mail server (mail.domainname.com). Next, choose http-01 as the validation method.
    Selecting the domain that will have SSL certificate installed
  5. Once everything is done, hit Issue.

If the installation is successful, you’ll get the following message:

The SSL certificate is now installed onto the domain “yourdomain.com” using the IP address. Apache is restarting in the background.

After a few seconds, your website is accessible through https://. Good job!

Conclusion

Using SSL protocol is a must for every website owner. It does not only protect you from online attacks but also makes your site more trusted.

To achieve that, you don’t always have to buy an SSL certificate. Take a look at Let’s Encrypt, which offers the same level of protection for free.

In this tutorial, you have learned how to install Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate using cPanel. The only thing you need to do is to open cPanel, go to Let’s Encrypt menu, and issue an SSL certificate on your preferred domain.

It’s easy, right? Now let’s try to do that and enjoy a more secure website!

How to Increase the WordPress Maximum Upload File Size

How to Increase the WordPress Maximum Upload File Size

If you are reading this post, no doubt you have run into an issue uploading files to your WordPress site and are looking for a quick fix. The all too common “exceeds the maximum upload size for this site” error can be very frustrating. Many hosts keep this limit low by default. So in this post, we will dig into the root of the problem and provide you with some quick ways to resolve this issue and get back to uploading your files.

First of all, why in the world does this happen? Well, it’s important to understand that this is usually not a WordPress issue. In most cases, the WordPress maximum upload file size is a server-level setting which also means that unfortunately, you can’t resolve it from within WordPress.

This limit exists for security and efficiency’s sake. It prevents users from flooding your site with huge video uploads and grinding your servers to a halt. We think that’s fair enough, but nowadays a default upload of 2 or 5 MB (an amount many servers default to) just doesn’t cut it, let’s see how we can go about increasing it.

If you’re curious, the default upload size at Host SEO is 125 MB.

Increasing The WordPress Maximum Upload File Size

There are three basic ways you can go about resolving the WordPress maximum upload file size issue, as well as an alternative option. We’ll start with the two easiest ones, then move on to changing the server settings yourself, as there are a number of options there as well.

  • Increase Upload Size Limit in a Multisite Install
  • Ask Your Host For Help
  • Modify Server Settings
  • Utilize the WordPress upload_size_limit Filter
  • Alternative Option – Upload Files Via FTP

Increase Upload Size Limit In a Multisite Install

If you are running a multisite installation you may be able to control the upload limit for your sites. Note: This can not circumvent the server-level settings. If the server is set to a limit of 5 MB and you set 10,000 KB (10 MB) in the network settings it will not work. If, however, the server is set to 20 MB and your network settings are set to 1,500 KB you will be able to resolve the issue by increasing the setting up to the 20,000 KB limit. Follow the steps below to increase the max upload size on your Multisite install. If you need to modify the server, skip down to modify server settings.

Step 1

In your WordPress dashboard click into Network Admin and into Settings.

Step 2

Scroll down and double check the “Max upload file size” settings. You can increase this to something higher than the default of 1500 KB (1.5 MB). Then click “Save Changes.”

Ask Your Host For Help

If you are having trouble with uploading files and size limits, one of the fastest solutions is to reach out to your host and ask for help. Many hosting companies have chat support which can help you out quickly in these situations. Increasing an upload limit is a trivial task for a tech support person, and they should be able to do it within a minute.

Modify Server Settings

There are a lot of server settings that affect how uploads are handled in WordPress. Regretfully, many tutorials get this wrong because they change more settings than necessary. According to the PHP Documentation, the three directives that matter are:

  • post_max_size
  • upload_max_filesize
  • memory_limit

The documentation also gives us pretty clear guidelines on how they should be set up:

[post_max_size] sets max size of post data allowed. This setting also affects file upload. To upload large files, this value must be larger than upload_max_filesize. If memory limit is enabled by your configure script, memory_limit also affects file uploading. Generally speaking, memory_limit should be larger than post_max_size.

We’ll need to set these three up to accommodate for our file sizes. If the largest file will be about 10 MB, we would recommend setting the upload_max_filesize to 12M (12 MB), the post_max_size to 13M and the memory_limit to 15M. Notice, they use M instead of MB. Uploads can contain a fair bit of text information in addition to the file itself so giving everything some breathing space is a good idea.

Now that we know what to modify, we just need to know how. There are five things you can try. Some of these may not work for you, depending on your server setup.

Option 1 – Change PHP Options in cPanel

If you are running on a host that uses cPanel, you can easily change this from the UI. Under Software click on “Select PHP Version.”

Click on “Switch to PHP Options.”

You can then click on each property and change its value. Then click on “Save.”

Option 2 – Create Or Modify php.ini Files

By default, php.ini files are the ones that govern how your server is set up. Due to restrictions in servers, you may not be able to use php.ini files, which is why the .htaccess method works more consistently, we’ll take a look at that next. To edit your php.ini file, login to your site via FTP or SSH, go to your site’s root directory and open or create a php.ini file.

If the file was already there, search for the three settings and modify them if necessary. If you just created the file, or the settings are nowhere to be found you can paste the code below. You can modify of course the values to meet your needs.

upload_max_filesize = 12M
post_max_size = 13M
memory_limit = 15M

Some shared hosts might also require that you add the suPHP directive in your .htaccess file for the above php.ini file settings to work. To do this, edit your .htaccess file, also located at the root of your site, and add the following code towards the top of the file:

<IfModule mod_suphp.c> 
suPHP_ConfigPath /home/yourusername/public_html
</IfModule>

Option 3 – Modify php.ini File in cPanel

If you’re using cPanel, modifying the php.ini file can also sometimes be done via the MultiPHP INI Editor tool. Under Software click on “MultiPHP INI Editor.”

Select your home directory (domain root) from the drop-down.

Change the value of upload_max_filesize to something larger.

Option 4 – Create Or Modify .user.ini Files

If the above didn’t work for you, it could be that your host has the global settings locked down and instead have it configured to utilize .user.ini files. To edit your .user.ini file, login to your site via FTP or SSH, go to your site’s root directory and open or create a .user.ini file. You can then paste in the following code:

upload_max_filesize = 12M
post_max_size = 13M
memory_limit = 15M

Option 5 – Create Or Modify .htaccess Files

The .htaccess file is a special hidden file that contains various settings you can use to modify the server behavior, right down to a directory specific level. If the php.ini method above didn’t work, we suggest you try this next. First of all, login to your site via FTP or SSH, take a look at your root directory and see if there is a .htaccess file there.

If there is you can edit that file to add the necessary code for increasing the upload limit.

php_value upload_max_filesize 12M
php_value post_max_size 13M
php_value memory_limit 15M

If you get an “internal server error” message with the method above it is most likely your server is running PHP in “CGI mode,” which means you can’t use the above commands in your .htaccess file.

Option 6 – Use The ini_set() PHP Function

The last option is not one we are fans of, but if all else fails you can give it a go. First, login to your site via FTP or SSH, and locate your wp-config.php file, which is typically in the root of your site.

Add the following code to the wp-config.php file:

@ini_set( 'upload_max_size' , '12M' );
@ini_set( 'post_max_size', '13M');
@ini_set( 'memory_limit', '15M' );

In theory, you could try adding it to your theme’s functions file or your plugins main file, but this code really has no place in either. As a last resort or an interim solution, it could work though.

NGINX Setup

NGINX is an alternative web server software to good old Apache. It can be a lot faster than Apache which is why we use is on all of our servers here at Host SEO. If you are running your website on NGINX you’ll need to change your php.ini file as well as your NGINX config file.

We’ve already discussed how to modify a php.ini file so all we need is the code for the NGINX config:

http {
        client_max_body_size 13m;
}

Note that you’ll have a number of settings within the HTTP group. Only change the client_max_body_size parameter to make sure you don’t modify anything unintentionally. Last but not least, you’ll need to reload some services to make sure the changes are applied. Issue the following commands and you should be all done:

service php5-fpm restart
service nginx reload 

If you are a Host SEO client, you don’t have access to your NGINX config. So feel free to reach out to our support team and they can quickly make the changes for you.

Utilize the WordPress upload_size_limit Filter

Another alternative way to increase the upload file size is to utilize the upload_size_limit filter which was introduced in WordPress 2.5. Below is an example of the code from Drew Jaynes.


/**
 * Filter the upload size limit for non-administrators.
 *
 * @param string $size Upload size limit (in bytes).
 * @return int (maybe) Filtered size limit.
 */
function filter_site_upload_size_limit( $size ) {
    // Set the upload size limit to 60 MB for users lacking the 'manage_options' capability.
    if ( ! current_user_can( 'manage_options' ) ) {
        // 60 MB.
        $size = 60 * 1024 * 1024;
    }
    return $size;
}
add_filter( 'upload_size_limit', 'filter_site_upload_size_limit', 20 );

Double Checking the Maximum Upload File Size

Checking if the above solutions worked is pretty easy. We like to go to the Media section and click on Add New. You should see a little message that says: “Maximum upload file size: 25 MB” for example. The numeric value should change as you modify the settings. As the beginning, we started with a 5 MB upload file size limit and as you can see below, we have now increased it to a 25 MB limit.

If you made changes to multiple places, we recommend going step-by-step and undo any changes that didn’t work. Both the .htaccess file and php.ini file are similar to the cascading properties of CSS. The post_max_size set in a child directory overwrites the same directive from a parent directory. This can lead to a lot of confusion if you’ve defined these directives everywhere in an attempt to “make sure it works”.

Alternative Option – Upload Files Via FTP

If you are struggling with your current host on getting your limits raised, you always have the option to upload your large files via FTP (SFTP) and then utilize the free Add From Server plugin. If you have a lot of large files, this is actually a faster method. Check out our in-depth tutorial on how to bulk upload files to WordPress media library via FTP.

Summary

As you can see, increasing the WordPress maximum upload file size isn’t too complex, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look and which commands to use. Hopefully, now you understand a little better on how to change and adjust the settings for your WordPress site. If you’ve had a particularly stubborn case of file size limits being stuck let us know how you managed to fix it, as each host and server can be set up differently.

Here are basic steps to try and improve a website’s Google ranking

Here are basic steps to try and improve a website’s Google ranking

Simple search engine optimization hints to increase your traffic

SEO is often said to be closer to an art than to a scientific subject, especially as it changes so quickly. Because of the relative opaqueness of Google’s search process, the frequency of its algorithm updates and the large number of variables involved, there’s also an element of serendipity.

Historically, some techniques have given SEO a bad name, but there are several simple ways to ensure your site benefits from natural search results – and this guide can act as a basic checklist.

What are organic results?

Search can be classified as either organic (natural) or paid. Organic (natural) results are those that occur naturally in search engine results pages (SERPs) and high results depend on both the technical construction of your site and the content within it.

Paid results, often referred to as Pay Per Click or PPC, can quickly deliver the results site owners pay for, and usually appear above organic listings. Research shows web users prefer organic listings to paid listings, considering them more relevant and trustworthy.

The goal of SEO, then, is to improve your organic listings performance, which in turn should boost traffic to your site.

Search engines index the web using large clusters of computers that use computer programmes, known as bots, to spider the web by following links found on web pages. These URLs are populated into the search engine indexes and it’s this index that’s queried every time a user performs a search.

Search engines employ complex mathematical equations, known as ranking algorithms, to order search results. Google’s algorithm (Pagerank) alone relies on more than 200 individual factors to decide which result, in which order, to return to its web searchers.

Organic SEO can be further split into two categories. On-page: The code and content you use to manage and deliver your web pages. Off-page: External factors effecting SEO.

This is primarily focused around link building – getting other websites to link to your content. Here we’ll focus on basic on-page optimization methods, which are all under your control.

9 steps to success

To make sure your website is accessible to search engine spiders, follow these simple steps:

1. The most important thing is to maximize accessibility to ensure search engines can find all your content.  You can help Google out by providing a sitemap file (called sitemap.xml) that lists all of your content and how often it’s updated. Visit the Webmasters webpage to provide Google with this information.

The other is to wait for search engines to find it through links to you from other sites; this normally happens during their crawling process and usually takes longer.

2. Ensure you’re not preventing the search engines indexing your site with use of a robots.txt file from The Robots Exclusion Protocol, which is used to give instructions to search engine bots. More information on this can be found here.

3. Duplicate pages are a bad thing, and making pages that specifically detect the Googlebot (Google’s web-crawling tool) and serve up something designed for it is an absolute no-no.  Eliminate duplicate content. This could be caused by the way your server is set up or how your CMS serves up content, but either way, this needs to be addressed.

4. If you’re using a CMS such as WordPress, it’s worth having it create static versions of pages where possible. It’s not crucial – Google can handle dynamic pages these days – but it doesn’t hurt. This text version makes it clear what’s being used to figure out your site’s content.

5. Where possible, it’s also preferable to have permalinks like ‘/products/fridges/dynatech-coolfreezepro/’ for pages, rather than addresses that end with things like ‘?page=42132’. Every scrap of data you give the crawler will boost your chances in search results.

6. Ensure you have a clear internal linking architecture. Promote important content to the homepage and link to key site sections via dedicated navigation. Group content into clear site sections reflected in your site navigation to aid both users and search engines. For example:

www.mysite.com/ /news /products /category-1 /category-2 /blog /about /contact

7. As far as raw content goes, the most important thing is that your site uses the keywords that people search for. Ensure your content is machine-readable, and avoid using video or imagery to exclusively house your content. Remember, search spiders cannot see images or video: they can only read written text on a web page. Content in frames, videos, pictures, pulled from Twitter or generated on the fly can be left out.

8. Ensure you’re targeting the appropriate keywords for your business objectives. Just as successful advertising campaigns contain content that appeals to a target demographic, successful websites need to focus on keywords that have the highest relevance to their target audience.

9. After that, the challenge is to get good links to boost your authority and there’s entire industries (Outreach, PR etc) that are dedicated to doing just that. Getting links from high authority domains (websites with high Pagerank) is the ultimate goal.

Time to call an SEO expert?

These are straightforward tips and while SEO may seem pretty simple, it is now far more complex that it has ever been even if you focus on only one search engine. As a business owner, it does make sense to focus on your core competencies and enlist an expert, either a practitioner or an agency, to help you out planning your site’s SEO.

Just be careful who you take onboard though. Genuine SEO experts will have use cases and examples to showcase their achievements. They will offer a comprehensive, logical and results-based plan that takes into consideration all the aspects of a website (including social networking and email marketing).

Just beware of so called Black Hat SEO (as opposed to White Hat SEO); they may claim to make you reach Google’s first page for a fee. Never be tempted to pay for dodgy tricks and just ask them instead why they don’t do it for themselves.

In almost all cases, they don’t work, will only send worthless traffic rather than actual readers, and could well come back to bite you later on when Google catches up (as it always does) Much as exercise and a good diet are the only way to lose weight, good content is the only true way to achieve a good Google rank.

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