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Tips & Tricks – Customizing wp-config-sample.php for your Blueprint

Making changes to your wp-config every time you create a new site can be a chore.

But wait! Did you know that you can save changes in a Blueprint? That way, you only have to make the changes once, and they’ll be the default settings every time you create a new site using that Blueprint!

(First, if you don’t already know how easy it is to create DesktopServer Blueprints, check out our super-simple tutorial!)

Here are some really cool things you can do to increase productivity with wp-config! Unless otherwise specified, add these changes to wp-config-sample.php, which DesktopServer will use as a template to create the wp-config file when you create a new site with your Blueprint.

Disable the plugin and theme editors

define(‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true);

Limit the number of post revisions saved in the database for each post

// Limit to 3

define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 3);

Disable post revisions altogether

define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false);

Change how often WordPress autosaves posts

// Autosave in seconds

define(‘AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL’, 160);

Enable Debugging mode

define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true); // enable debugging mode

*Be sure to change this to false or remove the line before deploying to a live site.

Define License Keys

Some plugins allow you to define license keys in wp-config.php.

define(“GF_LICENSE_KEY”, “YOUR-LICENSE-KEY-HERE”); // Gravity Forms

define(“ACF_LICENSE_KEY”, “YOUR-LICENSE-KEY-HERE”);

And much more!

Basically, anything you can add to wp-config.php, can be added this way. (Remember, all of the above code changes should go in the wp-config-sample.php in your Blueprint directory.) Once you’ve created your Blueprint, you’ll never have to make the changes again!

Plugin Recommendation: Clef

By: Brennen Byrn, Founder, Clef

How many passwords do you remember? More importantly, how often do you forget a password? On average, we need to remember more than 25 passwords each, and almost half of us would rather clean a toilet than think up a new one. If you’re managing WordPress sites for clients, it’s probably even worse. We built Clef to kill passwords and solve that problem with a free plugin.

But making your life easier is just the beginning. The WordPress Security team says that “The weakest link in the security of anything you do online is your password. It’s the key to your site, your email, your social networking accounts or any other online service you use. If your password is easy to guess, your online identity is vulnerable.” (http://vip.wordpress.com/security)

Protecting your WordPress sites is important and remembering different passwords can be a huge pain. Clef wraps secure public key cryptography (the same stuff used to deploy code on GitHub) and recognizes you by your smartphone instead of anything you need to remember or type. It makes logging in safer and easier.

On any computer in the world, hold your phone up to the screen and you’re instantly logged in.

It’s two-factor authentication that makes your life simpler.

The New York Times describes logging in with Clef as “magical” and the free plugin has been downloaded more than 70,000 times in the year since it was first released. You can find more information about Clef at getclef.com or download the plugin at wordpress.org/plugins/wpclef.

WordCamp Summer Roundup!

By: Marc Benzakein

July and August have been very busy months for WordCamps. In the last few weeks, ServerPress had showings at WordCamps in Kansas City, Milwaukee, New York City, and Omaha.

WordCamp Kansas City: July 11 – 13

For me, the whirlwind started in July at WordCamp Kansas City. Kansas City WordCamp is one that has always held a soft spot in my heart for a number of reasons. In 2012 it was my second WordCamp ever and my first in which I did not know a single breathing soul prior to going. This changed very quickly and it was this WordCamp that made a believer out of me when it came to the WordPress Community. I was so excited to be returning this year in multiple capacities. ServerPress, LLC was not only a sponsor but I managed to talk the organizers into letting me give two presentations; one on Foundation Friday and one on Saturday. It was a full schedule to be sure but I had a great time and was so glad I made the commitment.

Saturday night, about 20 of us went to dinner prior to the after-party, where acquaintances were re-acquainted and we all got to know some new, really cool people as well (a typical theme of every WordCamp ever).

Sunday was spent as a Contributor day. Think you don’t know enough about WordPress to contribute? Guess again! Within an hour, there was not a single person who was not contributing to the WordPress project, whether it was working on core, plugins or answering forum questions. WordPress makes it so easy to give back that you almost have to be deliberate to avoid it. It’s really cool!

For me, the highlight of the day, though, was that one of the organizers invited me to their house where I got to spend a couple of hours talking and getting to know them, but almost as importantly, got to play with their Google Fiber. Believe me when I tell you that it’s so fast that it’s almost enough to make you consider moving to Kansas City.

WordCamp Milwaukee: July 25 – 27

My kids came down for the day and we hit the photo booth.

This was my favorite WordCamp of the year for a number of reasons (I am admittedly biased on this). For one thing it’s in my own back yard but that was not all of it.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the organizers for this WordCamp and I learned a lot in the process. Organizing a WordCamp is a lot of work and there is no way it could be successfully pulled off without the help of volunteers and the community in which you are a part. We were very fortunate in that we had fantastic volunteers and help from people in the community.
The folks that ran the venue practically bent over backward to be sure that every need was handled.

Since WordCamps are informal Community events, we got to be a little bit “loosy-goosy” with ours and we took the Dairy Theme to the extremes. From opening remarks, where the organizers dressed up in various dairy-appropriate costumes, to the “Life on the Farm” photo booth, we worked hard to make this WordCamp one that was a lot of fun, while being educational and providing as many ways as possible for people to meet people.

One of the biggest highlights for me was that I got to bring my kids to hang out with me for the day. My oldest, Eli (9) decided that he wanted to show people how easy it is to use DesktopServer. He had such a good time interacting with people and I loved how interactive the attendees were with both he and my daughter Brenna (4). Lots of new friends were made at WordCamp Milwaukee.

WordCamp NYC: August 2 – 3

This was my favorite WordCamp of the year for a number of reasons (I am admittedly biased on this). For one thing it’s in my own back yard but that was not all of it.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the organizers for this WordCamp and I learned a lot in the process. Organizing a WordCamp is a lot of work and there is no way it could be successfully pulled off without the help of volunteers and the community in which you are a part. We were very fortunate in that we had fantastic volunteers and help from people in the community. The folks that ran the venue practically bent over backward to be sure that every need was handled.

Since WordCamps are informal Community events, we got to be a little bit “loosy-goosy” with ours and we took the Dairy Theme to the extremes. From opening remarks, where the organizers dressed up in various dairy-appropriate costumes, to the “Life on the Farm” photo booth, we worked hard to make this WordCamp one that was a lot of fun, while being educational and providing as many ways as possible for people to meet people.

One of the biggest highlights for me was that I got to bring my kids to hang out with me for the day. My oldest, Eli (9) decided that he wanted to show people how easy it is to use DesktopServer. He had such a good time interacting with people and I loved how interactive the attendees were with both he and my daughter Brenna (4). Lots of new friends were made at WordCamp Milwaukee.

WordCamp Omaha: August 9 – 10

All of these items were fabricated onsite and at the venue!

They said it couldn’t be done. They said it wouldn’t be done. Three failed attempts led to a fantastic WordCamp. Not only did they pull it off, but they did an amazing job from venue to hosting of the speakers. It is the first WordCamp I’ve attended where transportation and lodging were actually supplied by the organizers.

In this case, I have to say that my favorite part of WordCamp Omaha was that the venue provided the speakers with housing. All of us in one big house. It provided us with some great bonding and new friendships were made and old friendships were made even stronger.

Additionally, I’ve never seen a venue provide more for any WordCamp event. Not only did they provide us with housing, but they fabricated all of the speaker/sponsor gifts and printed all the t-shirts. It was an amazing show of how involved the Omaha Community is. From top to bottom, they were absolutely fantastic.

 I’d also like to thank Dan Griffiths and company for bending over backwards in so many ways to make sure that everyone was having a good time. It was better than good. It was GREAT!

New DesktopServer Version 3.6.3 Released

A new version of DesktopServer (version 3.6.3) is now available in our downloads section. While we are working diligently on our next major release of DesktopServer 4.0, version 3.6.X has been updated to provide existing customers with continued support and up-to-date capabilities.

Read more »

July 2014 Latest DesktopServer Videos

Our two most recent videos are both about deploying your locally-developed site to a live environment:

First up, is How to Deploy a DesktopServer Site to Flywheel. Flywheel is a managed hosting server, that specializes in high speed, highly reliable WordPress sites, but their proprietary server configuration require a few additional steps to the Direct Deploy process.

In this video, we show you how to take your locally created WordPress site and use DesktopServer Premium to deploy to FlyWheel’s managed server.

Our second video is How To Deploy Your DesktopServer Site to a Live Host In a Subdirectory. Most WordPress installations are either in a top-level domain (such as example.com), or in a subdomain (subdomain.example.com). WordPress can be installed in a subdirectory (such as example.com/site/), but if you want to deploy a locally developed site to a subdirectory, there are a few additional steps that must be taken. This video shows you how.

Be sure to check out all of our other videos, and subscribe to our Youtube channel for more!

July 2014 Tips & Tricks

Whether you’re deploying a site from your local environment to the live server, or pulling a live site down to local, there are some plugins that just seem to get in the way of a smooth migration.

Caching – Common examples of caching plugins are W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. These plugins save server load by creating a static file version of your site to deliver to web users, rather than having them dynamically generated on each page view.

If you use any of these plugins, here are some steps to take before moving a site from live to local, or the other way around):

  • Deactivate the plugin in question.

  • Delete the “cache” folder (this is usually somewhere in wp-content, but might also be in the root directory of WordPress)

  • Check your wp-config.php for any lines added by the plugin and remove them.

Any plugin that creates a cached version of files on the site should be deactivated before moving the site. Not doing so can cause the site to be broken in its new location until the plugin is deactivated and the cache is cleared.

Jetpack – Jetpack brings a ton of great features of WordPress.com to your self-hosted WordPress site. Many of its features, though, rely on a connection to WordPress.com in order to function. Before downloading a live site to your local environment, you’ll want to deactivate Jetpack so it doesn’t try to connect the local version to WordPress.com.

To develop locally with Jetpack, you can add define( ‘JETPACK_DEV_DEBUG’, true); to the wp-config.php file. This disables the connection to WordPress.com, while allowing you to use all of the features that don’t rely on the external connection.

Hide My WP – This plugin claims to help prevent hackers getting into your site by hiding or changing the WordPress file structure. The wp-admin, plugins, and upload urls  (and many others) are all changed or removed. DesktopServer relies on the standard file structure being present, so make sure to deactivate this (or any similar) plugin before pulling a live site to local.

Coming Soon/Maintenence – There are a ton of plugins out there that will display a “Coming Soon” or other maintenance message, or otherwise hides the site from view of users that aren’t logged into the site. Before deploying, you’ll want to make sure these plugins are deactivated, as they will cause the deploy to fail if they are turned on. Also, if you’re using a “.maintenance” file to hide the site, you’ll want to delete/rename it. If you need the site to be hidden once deployed, simply reactivate your plugin or add back the “.maintenance” file.

Latest DesktopServer Videos

Our two most recent videos are both about deploying your locally-developed site to a live environment:

First up, is How to Deploy a DesktopServer Site to Flywheel. Flywheel is a managed hosting server, that specializes in high speed, highly reliable WordPress sites, but their proprietary server configuration require a few additional steps to the Direct Deploy process.

In this video, we show you how to take your locally created WordPress site and use DesktopServer Premium to deploy to FlyWheel’s managed server.

Our second video is How To Deploy Your DesktopServer Site to a Live Host In a Subdirectory. Most WordPress installations are either in a top-level domain (such as example.com), or in a subdomain (subdomain.example.com). WordPress can be installed in a subdirectory (such as example.com/site/), but if you want to deploy a locally developed site to a subdirectory, there are a few additional steps that must be taken. This video shows you how.

Be sure to check out all of our other videos, and subscribe to our Youtube channel for more!

Have you run into any other plugins that cause issues? Let us know in the comments!

Upcoming WordCamps

 

Here at ServerPress LLC,  we love going to WordCamps. They’re a unique way to learn more about the software more than 20% of websites run on, and join in on one of the best open source communities out there.

This summer has been an action-packed WordCamp season. We’ve been to places like Minneapolis and Miami, from Seattle to Chicago. But that doesn’t mean we’re stopping yet!

If you want to catch us at a WordCamp near you, here are the upcoming WordCamps that we’re planning on attending:

WordCamp Ann Arbor - October 4th: Ann Arbor is still planning their schedule, but we’ll be there one way or another with Marc doing a presentation on WordCamps for n00bs. Follow their site to find out when the schedule is posted!

WordCamp Dallas/Ft. Worth – October 4th: Gregg will be going down to Texas where everything is bigger and better. Come on down and let him teach you the dangers of “Cowboy Coding”

WordCamp San Francisco – October 25-26: It’s early yet, so our plans for WordCamp SF are still up in the air, but we definitely plan on being there. Be sure to follow their site to see when speakers and sponsors are announced!

Let us know on twitter @DesktopServer if you’re planning on attending any of these events, and don’t forget to stop by and say hello!

How to Deploy a DesktopServer Site to Flywheel

Flywheel is a managed hosting server, that specializes in high speed, highly reliable WordPress sites, but their proprietary server configuration require a few additional steps to the Direct Deploy process.

In this video, we show you how to take your locally created WordPress site and use DesktopServer Premium to deploy to FlyWheel’s managed server.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBNs_RhSVEE

Be sure to check out all of our other videos, and subscribe to our Youtube channel for more!

How To Deploy Your DesktopServer Site to a Live Host In a Subdirectory.

Most WordPress installations are either in a top-level domain (such as example.com), or in a subdomain (subdomain.example.com). WordPress can be installed in a subdirectory (such as example.com/site/), but if you want to deploy a locally developed site to a subdirectory, there are a few additional steps that must be taken. This video shows you how.

Be sure to check out all of our other videos, and subscribe to our Youtube channel for more!

WordCamp Chicago

Last month, ServerPress’ Marc Benzakein was down in The Windy City for WordCamp Chicago 2014. He presented “There’s no place like 127.0.0.1,” a workshop about how to avoid breaking your live site by developing locally.

If you weren’t able to make it to Chicago this time around, the video of Marc’s presentation is available on WordPress.tv.

Marc’s presentation was part of Foundation Friday, an amazing addition to the traditional 1-2 day WordCamp. Foundation Friday was broken up by user level, 101, 201, 301, and 401. The 101 track introduced new users to the wonders of WordPress. 201 was for users already familiar with WordPress looking to get more out of their sites. The 301 sessions introduced advanced users to theme and plugin development, and the 401 session was an all-day unconference for advanced developers to share their mojo with each other.

Saturday and Sunday featured more traditional WordCamp sessions, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t awesome. The videos are still in the process of being posted, so be sure to keep an eye on http://wordpress.tv/event/wordcamp-chicago-2014/ as they keep coming!

If you haven’t been to a WordCamp, what are you waiting for? They’re a great opportunity to become involved in one of the best open source communities around. And you might learn something, too! If you live anywhere near a major city, there should be a WordCamp near you at some point. Check out the schedule on WordCamp Central to find a WordCamp near you. Even if you have to travel a bit, the experience will be like nothing else you’ve ever seen!

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