11/12/14

Troubleshooting Checklist (Downed Websites)

Troubleshooting a downed website? Here’s a simple checklist to get you started.

Try another site. Check sites such as google.com, yahoo.com or any other site? If you can’t view/access any  of those sites, then it is likely a problem internet connection. If other sites work and yours doesn’t, go to ISUP.me and see if it’s “just you” or if the site is “really down.” By knowing if the site is not showing just for you, you can isolate the cause of the issue (internet connection, browser issue)

Clear the Cache and Temporary internet files – Clearing cookies and history files can really help your browser work at optimum level.

Restart your browser – Depending on your settings) this will auto-clear your cache, history, and cookies.

    • Try a different device – Use another computer, a laptop and tablet, and even your phone.

Do a Reboot – If you’re at your home computer,  Rebooting your computer as well as your modem and router can work wonders. Sometimes stubborn OS’es tend to keep a faulty driver/software running. A quick reboot can force those malfunctioning software/drivers to close.

 

Helpful Online Tools.

    • Pingdom, a website downtime monitoring service, that can point out possible issues that may cause errors in the long run.

 

    • GTmetrix, a website speed and performance optimization service, more details on how to speed up and check for possible issues that may lead to a slow loading website and even to a downed website.

 

 

If the site displays an error message, take a screenshot, or copy the error message so you can search for the cause and fix, maybe you’re not the only one experiencing this.

Check the DNS and Zone records – you can do a quick DIG for A records, Name servers etc via this online tool Web-based Dig from ringofsaturn.com. If you are maybe pointing it to the correct host, if all seem to check out correct that it may possibly be a problem with your host.

Do a quick WHOIS - As it maybe a possible account related issue go to Who.is . Upon doing a WHOIS, if the result is anything but active then it may possibly be a reason why the site is down. (expired domain name registration, domain locked, etc)

It may possibly be a CMS issue. – Popular CMS like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal have their strengths and weaknesses and also their vulnerabilities. To detect what CMS your domain has go to WhatCMS.org. Once you know what CMS you have you can better troubleshoot your issue as there are CMS specific hacks and exploits.

  • Database Issue –  either it’s a wrong database username or password, or your database host is down.
  • Coding Issue – faulty plugins, irresponsible coding can lead to many problems make sure to update to the newset version of plugins and CMS.
    • Malware, SQL injection, defacing – are but examples of why a website can be down, this all boils down to unsecure web files, make sure that permissions are set CHMOD 644 for files and CHMOD 755 for directories. Also securing your .htaccess is a must . Check out my post regarding Cracking down on SPAM it’s regarding WordPress but it points out nifty details about securing your .htaccess file.

 

What’s your troubleshooting checklist? Care to share? comment below.

 

11/1/14

Back In Action

Wow, I haven’t updated this blog for months now. I have been busy at work and with my baby girl. But now it’s time to revive this blog and continue with my passion: Writing.

I have lined up a couple of topics mostly based on what I do everyday at work, I might throw a couple of random topics like gaming and such.

  • Domain/Website troubleshooting
  • Database connection issues
  • htaccess tips
  • WordPress Troubleshooting
  • Common WordPress Errors
  • Troubleshooting Checklist
  • Common Email Errors
  • Blogging stuff, Tips and Tricks
  • Nifty time-wasting stuff
  • Cool games, Apps
  • Neat Gadgets and stuff
  • Awesome toys

I will try to post everyday but I will start with 3 times a week. Check out my new posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

05/30/14

Increasing Max File Uploads for WordPress (Media Uploads)

You are blogging, your mind set on crunching all of those ideas wandering in your head, after finishing your final draft, you attempt to add pictures, videos but you get stopped by this.

wp-go-jaren-upload-new-media

Your maximum upload file size set to 1MB which for me works fine, but in case I need to upload a MP3, or a video file that would be a problem. As we know by default, most shared servers allow up to 8 or 16 MB. There’s no reason to upload an image greater than 1 – 2 MB in size. But some of still want to be bad and bend/break the rules to our advantage.

There are a couple of ways to achieve this:

 

  • Functions.php – On WP-admin dashboard, go to Themes > Editor then look for Theme Functions (functions.php)
    • @ini_set( ‘upload_max_size’ , ’32M’ );
    • @ini_set( ‘post_max_size’, ’32M’);
    • @ini_set( ‘max_execution_time’, ‘300’ );
  • .htaccess (you can check out my recent post on .htaccess modification)
    • php_value upload_max_filesize 32M
    • php_value post_max_size 32M
    • php_value max_execution_time 300
    • php_value max_input_time 300
  • PHP.INI – either you create or edit a PHP.INI file

If you are on a shared host, a php.ini file may not be in your directory. If that’s the case then we need to create a file called php.ini and upload it in the root folder. In that file add the following code:

    • upload_max_filesize = 32M (you can try 200M, even more like 1024m which is overkill)
    • post_max_size = 32M
    • max_execution_time = 300 (maximum time in seconds a script is allowed)

Keep in mind that file upload is not set by WordPress that’s why some would have a default size of 2MB, 8MB even 64MB it’s set by your webhost

You may also want to create/upload a PHPINFO.PHP file to check, to do that create a file named PHPINFO.PHP and add the following lines of code

<?php

echo phpinfo();

Save the file. upload to the directory you have your WordPress installed.  Call the script from your browser.

yourwebsite.com/phpinfo.php

 

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05/27/14

WordPress Default .htaccess file

Knowing your .htaccess file is vital as with the .htaccess file you can do tons of stuff to your WordPress blog.  If you have a habit of trying out new plugins, installing them, removing them, etc. you also have to be aware that a corrupted .htaccess file can bring your site down due to plugins and other things. Knowing what to do and how to fix the .htaccess file can save a lot of face rolling and hair pulling.

 

Let’s start with your default WordPress .htaccess file

Root

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /blog/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /blog/index.php [L]
</IfModule>
# END WordPress

Subfolder

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

For .htaccess modifications always make a backup copy so if ever you mess up you can always load a fresh copy and start again.

To start modifying your .htaccess you need to locate your .htaccess file with these tools:

  1. cPanel‘s File Manager (inline code editor)
  2. FTP Client with a text editor – at default setting the files are hidden, set your FTP client to show hidden files. I use Filezilla and have it set, so that everytime I right click on the .htaccess file it would download the file and open it up in Notepad++ after doing my modifications and saving it, Filezilla will prompt you to either discard local file and/or finish editing
  3. WordPress PluginWP Htaccess Editor – I haven’t tried this but this is probably what I’m going to install next, if I’m planning more .htaccess mods.

Finding the location of the .htaccess file

The .htaccess file for WordPress should be in the folder where you installed WordPress. In the root folder, if you installed WordPress in the root directory or it could in a subfolder if you installed WordPress in a sub folder (/wp, /blog, /other, etc.).

yourwebsite.com/.htaccess
yourwebsite.com/wordpress installation/.htaccess

 

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