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Are you experiencing unknown errors or bugs with your WordPress site? If the answer is yes then now may be the time to set up WordPress error logs in the wp-config file. The wp-config file controls not only your settings but is also a powerful debugging tool. This tool can help you find any errors plaguing your site by identifying the offending script or plugin that might be causing the issue and is invaluable useful to any WordPress developer as a result. In this article, we will explore how to create an error log and then how to review it afterwards.

 

Setting Up A WordPress Error Log

First of all, you will need to edit your wp-config.php file by accessing the File Manager in your cPanel dashboard. The wp-config.php file can be found in the root directory of your website. Once located, open the file in any text editor. Find the line that reads "That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging". 

It is just before this line that you will need to add the following code:

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );

By adding this code, you are turning on the WordPress debug mode. In this mode, you will be presented with errors and bugs within your WordPress admin area. If you would like your errors to be logged then you will need to add the following line of code just below the line you have added:

define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

Once you have added your code, save your changes and upload the text back into your wp-config.php file and back to your website.

 

How To Review Your WordPress Error Logs

Reviewing your error logs once they have been created is really simple. All you need to do is access the file manager in cPanel once again and head to the /wp-content/ folder. Once inside you will find a file called debug.log.

This file contains all WordPress errors, bugs, warnings and notices that have occurred on your site and can be viewed or downloaded.

 

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IP Address blocking is a security measure that prevents a connection between a specific or group of IP addresses and a mail, web or Internet server. This is usually done to ban or block any undesirable sites and hosts from entering the server or node and causing harm to a network of individual computers. IP blocking is usually used by companies and websites to prevent intrusion, block spam and protect against hacking attacks

In this article, we will demonstrate how to block IP addresses within WordPress and also how to identify the necessary IP addresses to block.

 

Identifying The IP Addresses You Want To Block

There might be several instances when you will want to discover a certain IP address in order to block it. If someone is leaving spam comments on your page then you can head over to the "Comments" tab on the left-hand sidebar of WordPress Admin page. You will be able to see full details of including the IP address of any commenters.

If you find that your website is under an attack, for example, a DDOS attack, then the best way to locate the offending IP address is to head to your servers access log. You will need to login to the cPanel dashboard of your WordPress Hosting account and locate the 'Logs' section. Once there, click 'Raw Access Logs'.

You will be redirected to the access logs page where your next step is to click on your Domain Name to download the access log file.

Once you have extracted the file by clicking on it, you will be shown your access log file. The best way to view this is with a plain text editor such as Notepad.

All the raw date of requests being made to your website are logged here, with each line beginning with the IP Address making that request.

We recommend copying any suspicious IP address and using this online IP lookup tool before you block any IP addresses, as you wouldn't want to inadvertently block legitimate users. You want to check for IP addresses with an unusually high number of requests.

Once you have located any offending IP addresses, copy and paste them into a separate Notepad file.

 

Block IP Addresses In WordPress

If all you want to do is stop a specific IP address from leaving comments on your WordPress site, just head to the 'Settings > Discussion' page and scroll to the "Comment Blacklist" box. Paste any IP addresses you want to be blocked in this box and they will no longer be able to leave comments on your website.

 

Blocking An IP Address With cPanel

This method completely blocks an IP address from accessing or viewing your website. You should use this method when you want to protect your WordPress site from hacking attempts and DDOS attacks.

First, you need to login to cPanel dashboard of your hosting account. Now scroll down to the security section and click on the ‘IP Address Deny Manager’ icon.  This will take you to the IP Address Deny Manager tool. Here you can add the IP addresses you want to block. You can add a single IP address or an IP range and then click on the add button.

Come back here to unblock any IP addresses.

 

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Are you having trouble receiving or sending emails from your WordPress site? One solution for that is to use a third-party email service, however, these services will cost you extra money. In this article, we will show you how to use an SMTP server to send WordPress emails instead.

 

Using Email Accounts With Your Host

Most WordPress hosting providers offer email services for each domain you host with them. This means you can create email accounts with your own domain name like "yourname@yoursite.com" for example.

First, you will need to create an email account. For the sake of this example, we will show you how to create an email account in cPanel. Your hosting service provider may use some other account management system, but the basic process is the same on most hosting services.

Log into your hosting account, and click on email accounts under the mail section.

This will show you a simple form where you need to fill out the information required to create your email account. Since we will be using this account to send WordPress emails, we recommend that you create an email account like wordpress@example.com. Make sure to replace example.com with your own domain name.

After creating your email account, you are now ready to use it in WordPress. But before you do that, you will need the following information from your hosting service provider.

  1. SMTP Host for your email address.
  2. SMTP Port for secure login.

You can check the support section on your host’s website for this information. Most likely there will be an article providing this information. If you don’t find it, then you should contact the hosting support to request this information.

 

Using Your Branded Email Address In WordPress

You will now need to install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit "Settings » Email" to configure the plugin settings.

First, you need to enter the email address you just created. After that you can add a from name, this will be used as the sender name. If you do not add a from name, then the plugin will use the default WordPress.

Next, you need to choose the mailer. Go ahead and click on the ‘Other SMTP’ option to select it.

After that, you need to check the box next to ‘Return-Path’ option. This option sets the return path to match the sender email address. If you leave it unchecked, bounced messages and non-delivery receipts will be lost.

Next, you need to set up SMTP options.

First, you need to enter your SMTP host and port. You can obtain this information from your hosting provider. Typically, SMTP host is mail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomain.com with your own domain name). 

Next, you need to choose encryption. Most WordPress hosting companies support SSL and TLS. We recommend using TLS option when available.

After that turn on the authentication toggle and provide your SMTP username and password. Normally, your email address is also your SMTP username.

Your password is stored as plain text, which is not safe. Don’t worry, we will show you how to make more secure later in this article.

Don’t forget to click on the save settings button to store your changes.

 

Testing Your SMTP Settings

Now that you have set up WP Mail SMTP to send emails, let’s test if everything is working fine. On the plugin’s settings page, click on the ‘Email Test’ tab.

You need to provide an email address where you would like to receive a test email. This could be any valid email address that you can access. After that click on the Send Email button to continue.

WP Mail SMTP will now send an email message using the SMTP settings you entered earlier. You will see a success message when email is sent successfully.

 

Securing Your Email Password

You may need to enter your email account password in WP MAIL SMTP settings. This password is normally stored as plain text which is unsafe.

However, the plugin also provides you with an option to make it more secure. To do that, you will need to add some code to your wp-config.php file. 

First, you will need to connect to your website using an FTP client or File Manager app in cPanel. Once connected, you will find your wp-config.php file in the root folder of your website.

You can edit this file using any plain text editor like Notepad or TextEdit.

Locate the line that says ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging’ and add the following code just before it.

1
2
define( 'WPMS_ON', true );
define( 'WPMS_SMTP_PASS', 'your_password' );

Don’t forget to replace ‘your_password’ with your actual SMTP password. After that, save and upload your wp-config.php file back to the server.

You can now visit your WordPress admin area and go to the "Settings » WP Mail SMTP" page. Scroll down to the SMTP options section and you will see that the password field is now disabled.

 

*Please note that we block external SMTP as 90% of sites don't use it so please contact us to allow external SMTP on your account.

 

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Mailing Lists allow you to send mail to multiple addresses all at once. cPanel comes equipped with the Mailman software which will help you set up and configure your mailing lists. For a full walk-through on how to set up a mailing list with cPanel, watch the video tutorial below.

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Recently there has been a spate of distributed brute force attempts against WordPress websites.

The way this works is, a network of "drones" attempt to log into your WordPress website using common usernames and passwords.

If you have an obscure username/password combination, you're most likely safe from this type of attack, but why take the risk? Follow our simple steps below to secure your directory using cPanel.

Log into your cPanel account:

cpanellogin

Under the "Security" heading, select "Password Protect Directories":

passdir

A screen will popup, select the www/public html directory and click "Go".

On the next page, click on your 'wp-admin' directory.

Now fill in the details:

htaccess

Click on Add/Modify authorised user, the page will re-load and the user will be listed. Tick the "Password protect this directory" box and give the login area a name - ie, WordPress Admins Only. Click on save.

Now when you visit your WordPress admin area you will be prompted for a username and password BEFORE you can access the WordPress login page:

htaccesslogin

Now, if someone wants to access your WordPress admin, and has somehow got hold of your password, they will need a seperate login to be able to access your login page, without having both username/password combinations they can do nothing.

Do you have any other WordPress security tips? Share them with us in a comment below.

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