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How to configure WordPress to use SMTP on Winhost

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**This article assumes that you have a WordPress site installed at Winhost. If you don’t and want to install WordPress, go to your Winhost control panel and find WordPress under the App Installer.**

To begin you will need to log in to the Admin section of your WordPress site which can be accessed by adding /wp-admin after your domain name such as: HostingAccountDomain.com/wp-admin

Enter your Username and Password and Log In to be taken to the Administrator Dashboard.

From the Dashboard, head down to Plugins – hover over it for a second and in the sub-menu click on “Add New”.

From the Plugins store go to the search bar in the top right and enter “WP Mail SMTP”. The one you’re looking for should be the first option with the bird as the icon. Go ahead and click on “Install Now”. Wait for the plugin to install and click Activate once it has installed.

Now you’re going to want to go to settings and you’ll notice there is now the option for “WP Mail SMTP” Settings.

Click on this to be taken to the screen below:

On this page you can adjust some mail settings. The one we want to focus on is in the Mailer section. We want to change this to “Other SMTP” where the red arrow is pointing to above.

Once you change that, new settings will appear that you must fill out.

SMTP Host: This can be found in the Winhost Control Panel under Email. You will see your Email server information next to SMTP and should look like m##.internalmailserver.net

Encryption: Leave at None for now

SMTP Port: 25

Auto TLS: Leave this on

Authentication: You’ll want to click this “ON”

SMTP Username: Your full email address

SMTP Password: The password for your email account.

After entering your Email information in all the fields click on Save Settings. This will take you back to the top of the page and everything should be all set (if there was no information entered incorrectly).

You should see a tab for Email Test, go ahead and click the tab and enter an email account you have access to and click Send Email to send a test message. You should be receiving an email that looks like below.

If you received this test email, then congratulations! You are all set to send and receive email through your WordPress site.

If you did not and received an error somewhere along the way, submit a support ticket and we will help walk you through the process.

Visit Winhost to learn more about our WordPress hosting solution



MySQL database backup using MySQL Workbench and how to resolve a version mismatch error

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We have had a couple tickets come in from customers about backing up their MySQL database and how they followed the steps in a previous blog article and ran in to some trouble. I am going to run through the process I used to get this working and hopefully this should clear up any questions and make the process less confusing.

Before we start you will need the to have MySQL Workbench installed. If you don’t have it, you can get it from here:

https://www.mysql.com/products/workbench/

So once you have Workbench installed go ahead and open up MySQL Workbench and you should see the screen below (minus the red arrow). In this post, I used MySQL Workbench v8.x.

You’ll want to click on that plus sign that the red arrow is pointing to (above) and you will be prompted to enter the following info:

Connection Name: Any name to identify the database.

Hostname: This will be the Database Server found in Control Panel under MySQL | Manage  for the database you want to backup. Should look something like: my##.winhost.com

Username: This will be the Database User found in the same place as the last step.

Password: Click on Store in Vault and you’ll be prompted to enter a password. This will be the password set for the database if you never set it, it will be the same as your control panel password.

You can click on Test Connection or OK and it will verify the information you entered and say connection successful. If you get any errors, please double check the information you entered.

After that you should see something like this

Go ahead and double click on your newest connection to connect to the database.

Now to begin the backup process click on Server > Data Export to be taken to a new page.

Begin by clicking the checkbox next to the database you want to backup. If you wanted to you can choose specific tables you want to include or exclude by clicking on the database. Make sure you click the option for Export to Self-Contained File and then click Start Export.

If you’re lucky everything works right away and you can find your database dump in the specified file path. If you’re like me however, you might get a warning like this.

Now you can go ahead and try clicking Continue Anyway, but you will probably end up getting an error code that ultimately ends with “Operation failed with exitcode 2”. So, you’ll want to take a closer look at that warning you received particularly the version number that I have outlined in red. This could be a different number so make sure to check your warning message and not just use mine in this example.

Go to this link: https://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/

Look at the version that was outlined in red in the previous picture and look for the Community Server with the numbers matching the first two of your version number. In my case I’m looking for Community Server 5.7.

Download the Zip file for your local machines operating system in my case Windows 64-bit.

You can create an account or login if you like, I just go to “No thanks, just start my download”. Once it completes open the zip and move the folder onto your desktop.

Now back to Workbench, go to Edit in the top left then click on Preferences and in there you want to go to the Administration tab on the left highlighted in blue.

Next to “Path to mysqldump Tool” you want to click on the three dots and locate that folder we just downloaded. If it’s on your Desktop, then the path will be This PC > Desktop > mysql-5.7.25-winx64 > bin. Your version number might vary a bit. Once in “bin” look for the application called “mysqldump” and double click it and then click OK.

Now for the moment of truth, click on export and if everything goes to according to plan you should be seeing something like this.

Congratulations! You have successfully backed up your MySQL database.

If you have encounter with this, open a Winhost support ticket.

NOTE: If you wish to avoid this whole manual excercise to backup your database, you may consider our automatic site and database backup service, SiteBackup. SiteBackup is more of a “set-and-forget” system that will make daily backups of your files and data. And you can backup multiple sites/databases hosted at Winhost or elsewhere.

Visit Winhost to learn more about our mySQL hosting solution



How to enable CAPTCHA on your nopCommerce store

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One of our nopCommerce hosting customers was getting major spam on their site so we suggested to add CAPTCHA and this helped get rid of the spam and their headaches. In this post, I’ll describe the steps to enable CAPTCHA on your nopCommerce store so you can stop or reduce spamming activities on your site.

CAPTCHA is a great way to prevent bots from running wild. The seemingly simple test can prove to be an difficult task for a computer program attempting to spam your site.

In this post, we are using nopCommerce 4.10.

 

 

 

 

 

**For testing I recommend NOT enabling “on login page” just yet.

 

 

 

 

 

***Note: Be sure to test it before checking the “Show on login page” – if done improperly you can end up getting locked out of your account.

 

I hope that this helps you prevent getting bombarded by spam.

 

Visit Winhost to learn more about our nopCommerce hosting solution



SQL 2017 is now available

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Today we’re announcing the availability of SQL 2017. It’s now a new SQL Server option in the MS SQL Manager of Control Panel.

And of course, there are no extra fees for SQL 2017 hosting and is included in all our hosting plans.

 

Visit Winhost to learn more about our Windows hosting solutions



Recap of New Hosting Services and Enhancements in 2018

We are starting a new year, but in this post we do a quick look back on the previous year. Here is a list some of the some of the features, services and enhancements that we introduced in 2018.

Office 365

We launched Office 365 solutions at Winhost. Customers can sign up for the Office 365 Business Plans and get technical support from our crew.

Windows 2016

We launched hosting on Windows 2016 with IIS 10.x as another server option for customer websites. If any customer wants to migrate to Windows 2016, just let our technical support team know and we can assist in the move.

ASP.NET Core Updates

We launched support for ASP.NET Core 2.0 and 2.1 on our hosting platform. Winhost supports both Framework Dependent Deployment (FDD) and also Self-contained deployment (SCD). We keep a list of the .NET Core versions that is supported on the servers here. The list of updated as we test and deploy new updates across our servers. If you do not see the .NET Core version you are using, then deploy your application using SCD.

Application Updates

Nothing stands still. We continue to check the Microsoft application feeds and update the applications in our application installer. As of the time of writing this post, here is the list of recently updated apps.

Thank You!

We are truly honored that you trust Winhost with your websites and applications.

We wish everyone a very happy new year!

 

Visit Winhost to learn more about our ASP.NET hosting solutions



Fall App Installer Updates

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The latest version of these apps are now available in the control panel app installer:

 

Visit Winhost to learn more about our application hosting solutions



Configuring Elmah for use with ASP.NET Core

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Years ago, I wrote an article on how to configure Elmah to be used on Winhost.  You may have noticed that there is no official support for ASP.NET Core, however, you can use ElmahCore by barestan to perform the same logging to a database, and this blog provides an example on how to set that up.

First, we’ll start by creating a New Project in Visual Studio:

 

 

 

 

services.AddElmah<SqlErrorLog>(options =>
{
    options.ConnectionString = @"connection_string";
});
app.UseElmah();

That’s it.  If you want to know if it’s working, you can generate a sample exception like this:

app.Run(async (context) =>
{                
    await context.Response.WriteAsync("Hello World!");
    int[] numbers = new int[5];
    await context.Response.WriteAsync(numbers[6].ToString());
});

That will generate an “Index was outside the bounds of the array.” exception which will be logged into the database.  You can query the dbo.ELMAH_Error table to see the results.

 

Visit Winhost to learn more about our .NET Core hosting solutions