Author - Charlie

403 Error in Word press when saving pages or posts.

apache-logoWe recently ran into an issue being rolled on out on a handful of various web hosting companies using the Apache/Cpanel and whm server configuration. This recent server patch which started with one host and we observed as other host providers implemented it later and observed the same error happen these other hosting companies. The issue exists with Apache Mod Security (mod_sec) firewall flags.

THE PROBLEM

wordpress-logoThe error in word press you will see will be a 403 error on saving a page or post.

Another symptom you can’t edit a page or post as a 403 error also gets generated.

This recent patch, has a mod_security setting that has an issue with flagging functionality in wordpress forcing a mod_security flag causing the error.

 

THE FIX

Please note that not every item below is part of the fix, in most cases one of these 4 options will correct the problem. If the problems persist look into tracking the IP addresses via .conf rules to adjust for true attacks vs false positives.

1. In the .htaccess file for wordpress add in a mod_security parameter to disable (mod_security might be compiled to prevent this switch from working or by limiting the .htaccess authorization via AllowOverride settings.

SIMPLE HTACCESS CODE:

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>
<IfModule mod_security.c>
  SecFilterEngine Off
  SecFilterScanPOST Off
</IfModule>
# END WordPress

2. In Cpanel you can go to the mod security tab – disable mod security (not all web hosts allow mod security changing through cpanel – some providers restrict it).

3. If you are on a shared/co-host environment you may to contact your hosting support –  tell them you are having a mod security issue related to 403 error and they should be able reset the mod security so your install works correctly.

4 . If you are on a VPS or DEDICATED SERVER you should have access to root folders in cpanel you can edit your conf and mod security rules at  /usr/local/apache/conf/ and edit httpd.conf

Find the configuration item and remove the # symbol.

#LoadModule rewrite_module modules/mod_rewrite.so

NOTE: The other cause of this problem can sometimes be file permissions, permalinks or corrupted .htaccess files, all of which are relatively easy to correct.

 

A Great 2016!

Digitalis Creative had a very amazing 2016 and we are looking forward to an even better 2017! We have many projects already underway for the coming new year! We will be posting some information about them as soon as we are allowed to =)!  Some of the projects we are already working on are a large charity event, software launch and more.

We are looking forward to many exciting opportunities in 2017 with many people and businesses contacting us for help and possible integrated partnership.  Please be patient as we process the requests.

Google geolocation data and audio/video tracking

With all of the Google related services many functions are enabled by default.  If you wish to see what types of data, geo-location data, recording audio etc.

You can see exactly what type of information your devices are sending to Google.  This is more of a quick note for some of our clents to be aware where their data actually goes and how it is tracked.

If you visit the Google link  Google Activity

You will be able to see all the information collected, however there is no way to currently delete ALL items (interesting lack of functionality)

You must click each line item for as long as your history goes back.

You can however pause Google’s ability to record events via camera, mic or other data they are collecting.

 

Visual Composer – buttons dont save data, undefined

Recently we had a client who had an issue with visual composer and buttons not saving urls and returning and undefined “Error”

To correct this problem you have change the variable names of the tags

File URL fix location:

Find the file assets/js/params/composer-atts.js or for older versions it can be in assets/js/params/all.js

if (_.isString(value_object.url)) $(‘#url-field’).val(value_object.url);
if (_.isString(value_object.title)) $(‘#link-title-field’).val(value_object.title);
$(‘#link-target-checkbox’).prop(‘checked’, !_.isEmpty(value_object.target));

$vc_link_submit.unbind(‘click.vcLink’).bind(‘click.vcLink’, function (e) {
e.preventDefault();
e.stopImmediatePropagation();
var options = {},
string = ”;
options.url = $(‘#url-field’).val();
options.title = $(‘#link-title-field’).val();
var $checkbox = $(‘#link-target-checkbox’);

And replace with:

if (_.isString(value_object.url)) $(‘#wp-link-url’).val(value_object.url);
if (_.isString(value_object.title)) $(‘#wp-link-text’).val(value_object.title);
$(‘#wp-link-target’).prop(‘checked’, !_.isEmpty(value_object.target));

$vc_link_submit.unbind(‘click.vcLink’).bind(‘click.vcLink’, function (e) {
e.preventDefault();
e.stopImmediatePropagation();
var options = {},
string = ”;
options.url = $(‘#wp-link-url’).val();
options.title = $(‘#wp-link-text’).val();
var $checkbox = $(‘#wp-link-target’);

Dreamweaver freezes on startup

Dreamweaver creates a cache file called WinFileCache-********.dat or MacFileCache-********.dat inside your personal Dreamweaver configuration folder (the asterisks represent a individual identifier of numbers/letters). This cache file occasionally gets corrupted causing instability, unpredictable error messages, and even crashes.

 

To solve the problem, close Dreamweaver and delete WinFileCache-********.dat or MacFileCache-********.dat.

Locating your personal configuration folder

The location of the personal configuration folder depends on your operating system and version of Dreamweaver. For Dreamweaver CC, and CS4-6, it’s as follows:

  • Windows 8/Windows 7/Vista: C:Users<username>AppDataRoamingAdobeDreamweaver C*<language>Configuration
  • Windows XP: C:Documents and Settings<username>Application DataAdobeDreamweaver C*<language>Configuration
  • Mac OS X: Macintosh HD:<username>:Library:Application Support:Adobe:Dreamweaver C*:<language>:Configuration

In all cases, <username> is the name of your user account on the computer, C* is CC, CS4, CS5, CS5.5, or CS6, and <language> indicates the language of your operating system. The language is usually represented by two pairs of characters separated by an underscore, as in en_US (English), es_ES (Spanish), or fr_FR (French).

 

Earlier versions of Dreamweaver locate the personal configuration folder in a slightly different location. This is where it can be found in Dreamweaver CS3:

  • Windows 7/Vista: C:Users<username>AppDataRoamingAdobeDreamweaver 9Configuration
  • Windows XP: C:Documents and Settings<username>Application DataAdobeDreamweaver 9Configuration
  • Mac OS X: Macintosh HD:Users:<username>:Library:Application Support:Adobe:Dreamweaver 9:Configuration

 

The personal configuration folder for Dreamweaver 8 and older is in a similar location, except you should replace “Adobe” with “Macromedia” and substitute the appropriate version of Dreamweaver in the path name.

Viewing hidden folders on Windows

The Dreamweaver configuration folders are hidden on Windows, so you need to enable the option to view hidden files and folders in order to locate them, as follows:

  • In Windows 8, select the View tab in the Windows Explorer, and select the Hidden items check box.
  • In Windows 7/Vista, select Start > Computer > Organize > Folder and Search Options > View. In Advanced settings, choose Show hidden files and folders.
  • In Windows XP, select Start > My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View. In Advanced settings, choose Show hidden files and folders.

Once you turn on this option, hidden folders are displayed as dimmed icons to remind you to treat them with care.

Accessing your personal Library folder on Mac OS X 10.7+

Your personal Library folder is hidden in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and later. To access it:

  • Open a Finder window, and select Go > Go to Folder, or press Cmd+Shift+G.
  • In the dialog box that opens, type ~/Library in the text field.
  • Click Go.

What if deleting the cache file doesn’t solve the problem?

Sometimes, deleting the cache file is not sufficient, and you need to delete your personal configuration folder in its entirety. Alternatively, you can rename it so that Dreamweaver can create a new version.

 

WARNING: Do not confuse your personal configuration folder with the main configuration folder in Program Files in Windows or Applications on a Mac. You should never touch the main configuration folder unless you really know what you’re doing.

Importing and image sequence to time in Adobe Premiere

If you want to import an animation contained in a single file, such as an animated GIF or import a sequence of still-image files, such as a TIFF sequence, and automatically combine them into a single video clip; each still image becomes one frame of video. Importing a sequence is useful for animations exported as an image sequence by applications like After Effects, Studio Max or Flash. The images in the series cannot include any layers. For information on layers and flattening, see the origination application’s documentation.

  • Set the framerate for the still-image sequence. Select Edit > Preferences > Media (Windows), or Premiere Pro > Preferences > Media. Then, select a framerate from the Indeterminate Media Timebase menu. Click OK.
  • Make sure that each still-image filename contains an equal number of digits at the end and has the correct file extension—for example, file000.jpg, file001.jpg, and so forth.
  • Choose File > Import.
  • Locate and select the first numbered file in the sequence, select Image Sequence, and click Open (Windows) or Import (Mac OS). When Image Sequence is selected, Premiere Pro interprets each of the numbered files as a single frame in a video clip.

WordPress 3.1.1 admin area is blank

We recently had someone come to us asking for help with an older wordpress install (3.1.1) that had some problems.  They could login to the admin area, but the main content area screen was blank.

The admin area displayed this error in the source:

Fatal error: Access to undeclared static property: WP_Screen::$this in blog/wp-admin/includes/screen.php on line 706

TO FIX:

  1. Open file wp-admin/includes/screen.php in whatever editor you use.
  2. Scroll to line 706 find the following PHP statement: <?php echo self::$this->_help_sidebar; ?>
  3. Replace the old statement, with this new statement: <?php echo $this->_help_sidebar; ?>
  4. Save your changes.

Google April 21 update – mobile friendly websites

googlesearchPer Google’s latest update into their search algorithm, Google have now released a pending update that could be troublesome for those with older sites that do not work well on mobile.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

Read Google April 21, search update article.

SUMMARY: IF YOUR WEBSITE DOES NOT WORK TO GOOGLE’S MOBILE STANDARDS BY APRIL 21, 2015 YOUR WEBSITE WILL FACE SEARCH RANKING PENALTY
(Google has yet to let us know what that penalty will be).

View Google’s mobile test utility to test your website.
View Google’s Mobile Usability guide
Google Bot Common Mistakes

MORE PROBLEMS:
It turns out one of the pieces of Google’s new mobile friendly criteria, actually will display a false positive if you have your robots.txt excluding folders that Google wants to check for formatting. This opens a whole can of worms with regards to directory structure, cms based sites.

NOTE: Google’s Developer Teams lead also makes note of problems with the webmaster tools, and page speed index.

MaileResponse-380x93

 

UPDATE APRIL 29,2015 – For those who haven’t seen any change in analytics please keep in mind the propagation time to reindex pages under new google mobile search criteria…see Google’s webmaster blog – http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ca/

5. Since the mobile ranking change rolls out on April 21st, if I see no drop in traffic on April 22nd, does that mean that my site’s rankings aren’t impacted?
You won’t be able to definitively determine whether your site’s rankings are impacted by the mobile-friendly update by April 22nd. While we begin rolling out the mobile-friendly update on April 21st, it’ll be a week or so before it makes its way to all pages in the index.

Has Google been saving your location data?

google-bot-revAlot of people using apps on their phones and logging in from various locations with their location tracking enabled. It’s interesting to see what location data has been tracked and how much.  If you would like to see what location data Google has on you.

Sign in to your Gmail account:

Visit the Google url below:

https://maps.google.com/locationhistory/b/0?redirect=ulfe

WordPress website slow?

We receive alot of contacts from businesses who use WordPress and experience a less speedy experience.  Over the past 7 years or so in our experience with WordPress there are a few things can speed up many processes and response time with your site.

1. Page Caching

This would be the first thing you will want to setup (if you haven’t already).  A database driven content management system require alot of queries to load in data and build pages, by default every page is a query.  Page caching basically takes these queries and creates static html versions, which are then servered to the browser.  This increases site speed and also reduces over all baggage on your server.

2. Excessive Plugin usage

Try to only install plugins that you need, using plugins that are no longer developed can also lead to excessive memory issues and many other kinds of errors.

3. Widget Caching

This is similar to page caching only it’s religated to the widget objects of Word Press.

4. Minify JS and CSS

With wordpress each plugin adds a new set of css and js files to load in your header and on request, this means more load time. Minification of your JS and CSS will compress all the files into one file.  This can sometimes cause issues with WordPress themes and plugins to do alot of testing.

5.Content – Make sure your images and videos are a decent size for quick viewing, also try hosting certain files externally using a cdn (Content Delivery Network).

NOTE:

If you are still having problems, check your web hosting….Some hosts are better than others, any cms using a database can experience slowdown due to traffic, number of queries to database, render large db records etc.  If you have completed most of the items in this list, then your issue may be a slow host.