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Archive for the ‘How-to’ category


How to switch the primary domain for your account

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There may come a time when you want to change the domain name for your Winhost site. If you ever find yourself in that position, you’re in luck, because we made sure that change is easy, quick and painless.

In the Site Tools section of Control Panel, click on the “Change Domain” icon or link.

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Enter the domain into the “New Domain Name” field on the next page. Do not enter “www” into that field! If you do, your DNS will be set up incorrectly and the new domain won’t work.

Hit the green “Change” button to finish.

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That was easy, right?

But as all the text on that page suggests, there are some things to watch out for when you change the domain.

The number one thing to be aware of is if you are switching the primary domain to a domain that is currently being used as a domain pointer, you have to delete the domain pointer before making the domain name change. If you don’t delete the pointer, the name change will fail.

Also something that’s essential but easy to forget – the name servers for the new domain have to be set to use the Winhost name servers:

ns1.winhost.com
ns2.winhost.com
ns3.winhost.com

How you make that change varies depending on where your domain is registered, so check with your domain registrar for details (if your new primary domain was previously a domain pointer, or was registered through Winhost, your name servers should already point to Winhost).



Deploying a .NET Core 1.0 Application

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Now that we support it, here’s a quick tutorial on how to deploy an ASP.NET Core 1.0 Application to Winhost using Web Deploy.

SiteInfo

Please note that you cannot publish to a sub-directory using Web Deploy at this time due to a bug which Microsoft will correct at a later date.  If you want to publish your application to a sub-directory, you will need to use FTP.



Making a MySQL database backup using MySQL Workbench

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Note: The manual methods in this tutorial are great, but if you’re looking for a “set-it-and-forget-it” automated backup solution, we offer a site backup service that can also back up your MS SQL and MySQL databases. Read about it on our site, or activate it in Control Panel. It’s easy, it’s inexpensive and it’s cool. What more could you ask for?

Making a backup in MySQL workbench is a pretty easy task once you know what to do, but it can be a little confusing the first time around. Allow us to save you some time with these simple instructions.

Version 6.3.7 is shown here, and of course future versions may differ. Download MySQL Workbench here (you’ll need a free Oracle account if you don’t already have one – just click the “Register” link in the upper right corner of that download page).

First thing you’ll need to do in Workbench is connect to your database.

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If everything is correct you’ll see the successful connection box.

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Go ahead and close that, and click the connection that you just set up.

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Click “Data Export.”

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There are a lot of options on the next screen. For the purposes of this how-to we’re just making a simple backup of the entire existing database, so we’re not going to use most of those options. But as you can see, you can do a lot more than just a simple database dump here.

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If everything goes according to plan you’ll see the “Export competed” dialog, and you’ll be all set. Your database is backed up for development use or simply for safe keeping.

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That’s all there is to making a backup.

But check out the “Data Import/Restore” link right under the “Data Export” link. As you might have guessed, you use that link to restore a locally stored backup up to the MySQL server here at Winhost. We’ll talk about that in a future article.



How to Secure Your Primary Domain for Free When Ordering an SSL Certificate

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When you order an SSL certificate from us, your primary domain name will be secured for free. So, if you order an SSL certificate for www.HostingAccountDomain.com, then HostingAccountDomain.com.com will be added as a Subject Alternative Name automatically.

So you can secure both www.HostingAccountDomain.com and HostingAccountDomain.com with just one certificate.

This works for any subdomain, not just for the www. prefix. You can order a certificate for login.HostingAccountDomain.com and HostingAccountDomain.com will be added to the certificate.

Here’s a sample certificate where you see both the subdomain and the primary domain secured:

Certificate Example

Note that this is only applicable to single-level domains. For example, www.test.HostingAccountDomain.com will not secure test.HostingAccountDomain.com.

This works for all of the certificates available through Winhost!



Upgrading DotNetNuke

howtoIt’s important to keep your web applications up-to-date. This prevents known vulnerabilities from being exploited and wreaking havoc on your site. That goes for any third-party software you might use on your site, but today we’re going to talk about updating DotNetNuke.

The most important thing before upgrading is to back up your current DotNetNuke site. Also, if you are using any third-party themes or modules, please contact the author(s) before upgrading to make sure they are still supported in the latest version of DNN.

Backing up the MS SQL database

This will place the backup of your MS SQL database within the App_Data directory with the file extension “.bak.”

Backing up your web site files via FTP

Downloading the upgrade files and Extracting

Important: you must know your SuperUser account login in order to upgrade.

You can download the Upgrade files through DNN’s download page.

Uploading the updated files

Upgrading



Getting Started with RavenDB

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Over the years there have been a number of customers who have asked if Winhost supports NoSQL databases. There is actually one NoSQL solution you can install in our environment, and it’s RavenDB. In this guide, I will show you how to get started with it (i.e. installed and running) if you want to try it out. The instructions have been taken from the official site and modified for our hosting environment.

First, download the .zip file from the RavenDB website and then extract it. Open up the “Web” folder and make the following changes to the web.config file in that folder:

Change line 3 from:

<add key="Raven/WorkingDir" value="APPDRIVE:\Raven\" />

To:

<add key="Raven/WorkingDir" value="APPDRIVE:\web\ftpusername" />

Replacing ftpusername with the correct value.

Add/Insert the following in between the <system.web></system.web> XML tags to enable Full trust:

<trust level="Full" />

Once you have finished making the changes to the web.config file, save it. Then upload the entire “Web” directory into your hosting space.

Using the Winhost Control Panel, create an Application Starting Point for the “Web” folder. Open the “Web” folder using a browser (e.g.: http://www.HostingAccountDomain.com/web).

You’ll get an error regarding WebSockets. You can open up a support ticket to have it enabled and have “Overlapped Recycle” disabled in your App Pool settings, and that should complete the installation so that you can try it out.



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 */
define(‘WP_HOME’,’http://www.newdomain.com’);
define(‘WP_SITEURL’,’http://www.newdomain.com’);

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

define(‘WP_HOME’,’http://www.newdomain.com/newsubfolder’);
define(‘WP_SITEURL’,’http://www.newdomain.com/newsubfolder’);

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
home http://www.olddomain.com
siteurl http://www.olddomain.com

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

USE [Database Name];
UPDATE wp_options
SET option_value="http://www.newdomain.com"
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="http://www.newdomain.com/subdomain"

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]

go

Select ID, Username, Password, PasswordSalt from dbo.Customer WHERE Username='user@domain.com'

Replace user@domain.com 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]

go

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.