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How to fix broken images and links in a WordPress site

howtoBroken image links are a common problem when you move your WordPress installation to another domain name or even to another subfolder. WordPress uses absolute paths to link images and objects to the page. The absolute path is usually defined during the initial WordPress setup process when you first configure WordPress. No problem right? You understand and know what absolute paths mean, and WordPress is working with no problems.

But what happens when you change the domain name for your WordPress site, or you move your WordPress site to a subfolder? Now you call on your WordPress site and some links are broken, images don’t show up, or some of the pages may come up with a 404 not found error. You right click on an image or object on the page and you can see the URL address does not match with the URL address on the address bar.

What a mess. Now what?

Fear not, this is actually a fairly easy fix!

There are a few easy way to fix this. The first thing to try is logging in to the WordPress admin section and changing the values in Settings > General.  But sometimes the location change can make logging in to the admin section impossible, in which case you’ll want to try setting the new URL by either defining the SiteURL and Home variables in your configuration file, or going in to the database and changing them there.

Updating the wp-config.php file

Log into your site via FTP and look for the WordPress wp-config.php file. Open the file with a text manager such as NotePad and add these lines. Typically you should be able to add the lines under the connection string section of the configuration file.

/**Manually Define SiteURL and Home */

If you have just moved the WordPress files to a subfolder then the URL would look somewhat like this.


In my opinion, this is actually the easiest way to fix this. But some site owners don’t like to hard code values into the page, so the second way to solve the problem is to update the database. WordPress uses MySQL as it’s back end, and the SiteURL and HOME URL values are stored in there in plain text, so they’re easy to change.

Updating your WordPress database:

Log into your WordPress database. The table you will be looking for is wp_options. wp_ is the default prefix that WordPress will use in the initial setup. You may have used a different DB prefix during set up, but in general what you are looking for is the “Options” table.

Run this SELECT command against the Options table.

USE [Database Name];
SELECT option_name, option_value FROM wp_options
WHERE option_name="home" OR option_name="siteurl";

You should see results similar to this.

option_name option_value

To update the option_value column, just run this command against your database.

USE [Database Name];
UPDATE wp_options
SET option_value=""
WHERE option_name="siteurl" OR option_name="home";

If you are moving the WordPress site to a subfolder, the option_value would include the path to the subfolder:

SET option_value=""

That should be it. Either method will work. But don’t forget, at Winhost we can migrate your WordPress website for you. We’ll create and restore the MySQL database, update your connection string and make sure the absolute path it setup correctly. Simply contact our Support Department for more details on what we will need to migrate your site for you.

Locked out of your NopCommerce admin account?

howtoI’ve seen this before, a small or medium sized business pays a developer to build a NopCommerce website to run their online store. They pay several hundred – or even thousands – of dollars to get it up and running. Customized design and themes are added to give NopCommerce a custom look unique to the company. Everything goes well, the site is launched and the customer is happy. The developer has done their job and now they’ve moved on to their next project.

Then some months later the unthinkable happens, and the previously happy customer forgets the username or password to the NopCommerce admin account. They try to run through the NopCommerce password recovery process but it’s not working. They either don’t remember, or no longer have access to, the email address to the account. Regardless, the bottom line is that they do not know the credentials to your NopCommerce Admin account and the password recovery process is simply not working.

Luckily, if this ever happens to you there’s a work-around. You’ll need access to the SQL database that NopCommerce is using for the back end data source. You’re going to go directly to the database and change the password in the table that stores the admin account password.

But first you’ll need to create a new registered user in NopCommerce so that you will have a password that you can use to replace the admin account password. Log in to your NopCommerce site and click the “Register” link to set up a new user. You’re going to use the email address and password for this new user in the next steps.

Once the new user is created, log in to the NopCommerce database and search for the new user you just registered by running this SQL command against your database:

use [Database Name]


Select ID, Username, Password, PasswordSalt from dbo.Customer WHERE Username=''

Replace with the actual email address of the new user just registered. From the results of that command, copy the “Password” and “PasswordSalt” values.

Then run this update command:

use [Database Name]


Update dbo.Customer

Set Password='<password copied from previous query>', PasswordSalt='<password salt copied from previous query>' WHERE ID='1';

The WHERE clause specifies the admin account, which will have ID value of ‘1’ since it is the first account created when setting up NopCommerce. Now you should be able to log in to the NopCommerce Admin account with the new password.

vNext: The Next Generation of ASP.NET

howtoPrompted by a few customers who are boldly going where no programmer has gone before, I’m proud to say that you can deploy an ASP.NET 5 (vNext) application to Winhost. Even though it’s in Beta right now, and this article will show you how.

ASP.NET 5 (vNext) represents a fundamental shift in how applications are going to be developed in the future as you will be able to deploy the application in any environment (Linux, Mac, or Windows). It no longer requires a Global Assembly Cache (GAC) as all the assemblies and runtime libraries are obtained using NuGet and then packaged with your application making it self-contained. They are placed in a special approot folder which also contains your source code. The approot folder replaces the functionality of the App_Code or Bin folders. Another folder named wwwroot is also created which contains static files (e.g. html, css, images, etc) and is where your application is launched from.

Because it’s in Beta, I highly recommend that you pay attention to Microsoft’s Roadmap for the release schedule as I’m sure things will have changed by the time it’s officially released. And for the same reason, I can only say these instructions are applicable up to Beta6 in case things change in the future. I’m afraid this guide only covers the publishing portion. If you need help with developing an ASP.NET 5 (vNext) application and don’t know where to start, please make sure you visit the Official Website. I’m also sorry to say that Web Deploy publishing is not supported at this time, only FTP publishing.

Publishing to a sub-directory at Winhost:

A vNext application can only be created using Visual Studio 2015 Professional or higher, so you’ll need to obtain a copy, install it, and then launch the program.

A) Create a new project by selecting File -> New -> Project…


B) Under Visual C# (or the language of your choice), select Web and to the right, select ASP.NET Web Application. Give your project a name if you’d like.


C) In the New ASP.NET Project window, select Web Application for the ASP.NET 5 Preview Template and uncheck Host in the cloud under Microsoft Azure. Click OK continue.


D) If you take a look at the Solution Explorer window, you’ll notice that the file structure is very different from that of a web forms or MVC application. One key change is that the configuration details are no longer stored in .config files. They are stored in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format. Again, this tutorial won’t cover any of the programming aspects, but if you’d like to learn more, you can read the official ASP.NET 5 documentation.


E) Since this is sample application, we can just publish it without making any changes. Select Build -> Publish on the menu bar.


F) In the Profile section, select File System.


G) Name the profile.


H) In the Connection section, set the Target location to a directory that is easily accessible and click on the Next> button.


I) In the Settings section, set the Configuration to Release.   For the Target DNX Version, it should match the framework your application is written in. DNX stands for .NET Execution Environment which allows your application to be deployed across different platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux). For more information, you can consult the DNX documentation.

If you plan to use the 64 bit versions of the CLRs, you’ll need to open up a support ticket to request that we disable 32-bit support for your application pool, otherwise, it won’t work properly. Uncheck Publish using Powershell script and click on the Next> button.


J) Click the Publish button to start.


K) Once the publishing has finished, you will see the two folders I mentioned earlier, approot and wwwroot. In the wwwroot folder, there is a web.config file that is used to direct the application on how to start. To protect the approot folder from being viewed, we’ll use Request Filtering, create a web.config file with the following markup, and place it in the root level of the site.  Some applications require “Full” trust in order to run, so we’ll go ahead and add that to the web.config file as well.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <trust level="Full" />
          <add segment="approot" />

L) Upload these two folders to your site and ignore the other files. Create an Application Starting Point for the wwwroot folder using the tool in the Winhost Control Panel.


Voila! Your application works but only from a sub-directory (i.e.


Publishing to the root at Winhost:

If you want your application to run from the root of your site, you just need to make a few modifications post publishing. Locate the project.json file in /approot/src/projectname directory and open it. Change the second line from “webroot”: “../../../wwwroot” to “webroot”: “../../..” Move the contents of the wwwroot directory up one file level. You’ll also need to merge the two web.config files and change the following lines:

<add key=”runtime-path” value=”..\approot\runtimes” />


<add key=”runtime-path” value=”.\approot\runtimes” />


<add key=”dnx-app-base” value=”..\approot\src\aspnet5demo” />


<add key=”dnx-app-base” value=”.\approot\src\aspnet5demo” />

Your application now works from the root.


Ftp’ing through Visual Studio

You can also use FTP to publish your files within Visual Studio by creating a publishing profile. Take any text editor, create a file and name it with a .publishsettings extension (e.g. my.publishsettings), and paste the following XML markup into the page:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

Replace ftpaddress, username, password, and httpaddress with the appropriate values. Save the file. At Step F, instead of choosing File System, select the Import option instead and load the my.publishsettings file. Follow the rest of the steps to finish configuring the application. I wouldn’t recommend this method since you’ll need to download some files to make edits and then re-upload them, however, I wanted to make you aware that it is possible.

Please also take note that an ASP.NET 5 (vNext) application must be deployed to an IIS 7.5 or higher server.

Google Chrome, SSL certificates, SHA-1, SHA-2 and the “obsolete cryptography” message


Note: beginning with Chrome version 46 the yellow caution triangle has been removed from the https URL when Chrome encounters minor errors such as those described in this article.

If you use an SSL certificate (https) on your site, you may have seen a couple of new things happening in Google Chrome.

When you upgrade the Google Chrome browser to version 41 or later, you may see various warning messages such as, “The identity of this website has not been verified,” “Your connection to <domain> is not encrypted,” or other visual indications that the https connection is not secure.

Those indications can appear when your SSL certificate uses a SHA-1 signature (most SSL certificates issued before 2015 use SHA-1).


To fix the problem of browser security warnings you must get your SSL certificate re-keyed for SHA-2. If you don’t see those warnings in Chrome and you purchased your certificate recently, it may already be SHA-2. You can verify using this test site.


If you purchased your SHA-1 SSL certificate from us, here’s how to re-key:

1) Contact us and we will re-generate and re-submit the CSR.

2) You’ll then get an email from GeoTrust with a link to complete the process. When completing the re-key on the GeoTrust site, be sure that SHA-2 is selected as the “Hashtag Algorithm.” You can find step-by-step instructions (and a video) here.

3) After you’ve completed the reissuing process, you’ll receive an email with the new certificate. Go to Control Panel and paste the new certificate into the SSL manager and you’re finished.


If you purchased your SHA-1 SSL certificate from another company:

1) Contact us and we will re-generate the CSR and email it to you. Then you’ll have to contact the issuer of your certificate to get your certificate re-keyed for SHA-2.

2) When you receive the re-keyed certificate, go to Control Panel and paste the new certificate into the SSL manager and you’re finished.


“Obsolete cryptography” message after re-keying with SHA-2

There is another potential problem after you’ve re-keyed your SSL certificate. While the address bar will show the green lock icon, if visitors dig deeper in Chrome, they may see an “Obsolete Cryptography” message.


Basically what’s happening now is they are ignoring the cipher preference we use on the server (which includes their preferred ciphers) and pointing out any “weak ciphers” they find. You might notice that many large corporate sites (such as Apple) are also insecure according to Chrome, for similar reasons.


That “obsolete cryptography” message may be with us for a while because Google is not providing any information (yet) on exactly what they want from the server to stop calling it insecure. It would seem that what Google would like to see is every server everywhere removing support for all older cryptographic methods.

The problem with that is removing some of those methods will shut out visitors using some older browsers and operating systems that don’t support newer methods (i.e. Windows XP). Since our servers are shared by many customers, it isn’t really an option for us to make global changes that prevent some visitors – even a small number – from accessing our customer’s sites.

We do run some special servers that do not support any of the older cryptography methods, they are primarily used by customers who need a “hardened” server to pass a PCI compliance scan. But the added security comes at a cost, as older browsers can’t connect to sites on those servers via https. Additionally, a few other things that you may take for granted now may not work, or may require adjustment or a work-around on your part. But if you’d like to move your site to such a server, just let us know.

And of course we continue to monitor information from Google on recommended server configuration, as well as continuing to test various configurations ourselves to prevent the “obsolete cryptography” message.

If you have any trouble re-keying a certificate, or if you have any questions about these ongoing changes, drop us a line and we’ll do our best to help.

Creating ASP.NET Membership Tables in a MySQL Database


Did you know you could use a MySQL database to store your ASP.NET Membership Table information rather than Microsoft SQL Server? I’ve written this simple guide to help you get started.

First, create a MySQL database through the Winhost Control Panel. Click on the Sites tab.

WHCPSitesTabClick on the Manage link and then click on the MySQL button.

WHCPMySQLButtonClick the Add button and enter the values for Database Name, Database User, and Quota. Click the Create button to finish creating the database. Now click on the Manage link and record the connection information (Database Name, Database Server, Database User, and Database Password) on a piece of paper or a text editor such as Notepad.

Start Visual Studio and create a New Project by going to File -> New –> Project… (Ctrl+Shift+N).

NewProjectAdd the necessary .NET assemblies to your project using NuGet. Go to TOOLS -> Library Package Manager -> Manage NuGet Packages for a Solution… Type mysql in the Search field and hit Enter. Install both the MySql.Data and MySql.Web assemblies. A check mark will appear to the right when the assemblies have been installed.

NuGetAnother way to verify that the assemblies have been installed correctly is that they will appear as References in the Solution Explorer window.

ReferencesWhen you compile your project, a copy of these assemblies will be added to your local /bin folder which you will need to upload to your site account.

MySQLdllsThe next step is to modify the Web.config file with this markup:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

For more information on how to configure your ASP.NET application, please visit

    <add name="MySqlMembershipConnection"
         connectionString="Data;user id=membership;password=password;database=mysql_48503_membership;"
    <compilation debug="true" targetFramework="4.5" />
    <httpRuntime targetFramework="4.5" />
    <authentication mode="Forms">
      <forms loginUrl="~/Account/Logon"
             enableCrossAppRedirects="false" />
    <membership defaultProvider="MySqlMembershipProvider">
        <add name="MySqlMembershipProvider"
             type="MySql.Web.Security.MySQLMembershipProvider, mysql.web"
    <roleManager enabled="true" defaultProvider="MySqlRoleProvider">
        <clear />
        <add connectionStringName="MySqlMembershipConnection"
             type="MySql.Web.Security.MySQLRoleProvider, mysql.web"
        <add type="MySql.Web.Security.MySqlProfileProvider, mysql.web"

Replacing the connection string section with the Winhost Connection String to your MySQL database. Save the file. The key to creating the tables is this attribute in the XML markup: autogenerateschema=”true” Now, select BUILD -> Build Solution (Ctrl+Shift+B) to compile your application, and then select PROJECT -> ASP.NET Configuration. This will launch the ASP.NET Web Site Administration Tool.

ASPNETConfigOnce the tool has been launched, the tables will be created, and you can check by logging into your MySQL database using an administration tool like MySQL WorkBench.

MembershipTablesNow, let’s build a very simple ASP.NET application that will allow you to create users. Go back to your project in Visual Studio, right click on your project name in Solution Explorer and select Add -> New Item… (Ctrl+Shift+A). Select Web Form and name the file. Switch to Design Mode. In the Toolbox Window, expand Login of the tree view, and drag and drop the CreateUserWizard control on to the page. Build your application.

CreateUserDeploy your files to the Winhost server using FTP or Web Deploy and then access your site using a browser either with your domain name or Secondary URL. Fill out the create user form and click on the Create User button.

LoginFormIf you go back and access your database using MySQL WorkBench and query the my_aspnet_users table, you can see that the user was created.

UserCreatedYou can also just use the ASP.NET Web Site Administration Tool to create the users. Of course, none of this information is necessarily new, so I want to thank Nathan Bridgewater’s blog and Oracle for helping me put together this tutorial for our customers at Winhost.

Managing MySQL with phpMyAdmin


phpMyAdmin is a free software tool designed to help administrate a MySQL database over the Web, and in this quick tutorial, I will show you how to install it here at Winhost.  First, you need to create a MySQL database through the Control Panel.

Click on the Sites tab.

WHCPSitesTabClick on the Manage link and then click on the MySQL button.


Click the Add button and enter the values for Database Name, Database User, and Quota.  Click the Create button to finish creating the database.  Now click on the Manage link and record the connection information (Database Name, Database Server, Database User, and Database Password) on a piece of paper or a text editor such as Notepad.

Now download the source code from the phpMyAdmin website.

Extract the contents using a decompression program such as 7-Zip.  Now make a copy of the file and save the new file as  In the file, alter line 31:

$cfg['Servers'][$i]['host'] = 'localhost';

By changing ‘localhost’ to the database server name.  For example:

$cfg['Servers'][$i]['host'] = '';

Now, upload the contents to your Winhost account and access it, adding a Default Document if necessary.

phpMyAdminLoginVoila!  You are now ready to manage your MySQL database with phpMyAdmin.

Configuring Elmah on Winhost


Prompted by a forum post, here are instructions on how to install Elmah, an application-wide Error Logging Module and Handler for ASP.NET on your hosting account here at Winhost.  First, you’ll need to download Elmah at this link.  For this tutorial, I downloaded


After you have downloaded the .zip file, extract its contents.  Open the /bin directory and find the .NET Framework libraries you want to use.  Most likely you will be using the assemblies in the net-2.0 -> Release folder.  Upload only the Elmah assemblies (i.e. Elmah.dll, Elmah.pdb, and Elmah.xml) to the /bin folder of your web application.


You can configure Elmah to store the exception information in different types of databases, but for this tutorial, I will only be showing you how to set it up with Microsoft SQL Server.  If you don’t have a database setup already, follow these instructions to create one:

1) Log into the Winhost Control Panel at
2) Click on the Sites tab.
3) Click on the Manage link next to the site you want to manage.
4) Click on the MS SQL Manager button.
5) Click on the Add button.
6) Select the database version in the drop down list, name the database, set the quota, and then click on the Create button.

Then log into your database using SQL Server Management Studio.  Select File -> Open -> File… (or hit CTRL-O) and navigate to the /db directory of your Elmah extracted files.  Select the SQLServer.sql file and click on Open.


Hit F5 to execute the script.  This will create the error logging database objects in your database.  The final step is to configure your web.config file.  The configuration will depend on what type Application Pool Pipeline mode you use.  For Classic mode, add the following XML markup to your web.config file to enable Elmah, only substituting Winhost_Database_Connection_String with your actual database connection string.

    <sectionGroup name="elmah">
      <section name="security" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.SecuritySectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorLog" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorLogSectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorMail" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorMailSectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorFilter" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorFilterSectionHandler, Elmah" />
    <security allowRemoteAccess="yes" />
    <errorLog type="Elmah.SqlErrorLog, Elmah" connectionStringName="Elmah" />
    <clear />
    <add name="Elmah" connectionString="Winhost_Database_Connection_String" />
      <add verb="POST,GET,HEAD" path="elmah.axd" type="Elmah.ErrorLogPageFactory, Elmah" />
      <add name="ErrorLog" type="Elmah.ErrorLogModule, Elmah" />

For Integrated mode, use the following XML markup:

    <sectionGroup name="elmah">
      <section name="security" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.SecuritySectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorLog" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorLogSectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorMail" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorMailSectionHandler, Elmah" />
      <section name="errorFilter" requirePermission="false" type="Elmah.ErrorFilterSectionHandler, Elmah" />
    <security allowRemoteAccess="yes" />
    <errorLog type="Elmah.SqlErrorLog, Elmah" connectionStringName="Elmah" />
    <clear />
    <add name="Elmah" connectionString="Winhost_Database_Connection_String" />
      <add name="Elmah" verb="POST,GET,HEAD" path="elmah.axd" type="Elmah.ErrorLogPageFactory, Elmah"/>
      <add name="ErrorLog" type="Elmah.ErrorLogModule, Elmah" />
      <add name="ErrorMail" type="Elmah.ErrorMailModule, Elmah" />

You can find your Winhost database connection string by:

1) Log into the Winhost Control Panel at
2) Click on the Sites tab.
3) Click on the Manage link next to the site you want to manage.
4) Click on the MS SQL Manager button.
5) Click on the Manage link next to the database you want to manage.

The connection string information will appear at the bottom.  Remember to replace the ****** in the password section with your actual database password.  If you have forgotten it, use the Edit link next to Database Password to change it.  If you need more details on other Elmah settings, refer to the sample web.config file in the /samples directory.

That’s it!  Elmah is now configured to trap exceptions from your web application.  It also comes with some sample reporting pages in the /samples/Demo directory which you can upload to review the errors trapped.


How to use SmarterMail to migrate your email messages to your new Winhost account


In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to migrate your email messages to Winhost using the SmarterMail’s Mailbox Migration tool.


Let’s Start

Log in to your SmarterMail interface via Control Panel.

You will need to use our mail server’s URL to access the email system since your domain name isn’t pointing to us yet.

How do I get my email system’s URL?

First log in to the Control Panel on Winhost.

Next you will see a link on the Email Manager page called SmarterMail Manager. Click on it and it will automatically log you into the SmarterMail interface. This step helps you complete two things:

After you’re done creating the email users using the postmaster email account, log out at the upper right hand corner and log back in with one of the email users you just created, one of the addresses whose mail you want to migrate.

Once logged in on SmarterMail with the new email user


This will pop up a new window for the Mailbox Migration.

As you can see you have different options to choose from but in this tutorial we’re going to use the option Other.


Remember that you will need to log out of SmarterMail and log back in with each user you wish to migrate. It would be very unfortunate to migrate all the email messages from all the email users on a single email account on SmarterMail. So please be careful when migrating and make sure you migrate the correct email messages to the correct user.