New Cpanel for migrated websites

The following is available to all of my clients. Each hosting account has a control panel where you can access various things in the hosting. For example set up forwarders, set up email accounts, change the password on email accounts, set up an out of office message. Backup the entire hosting including email. Block countries from accessing the hosting.  Continue reading New Cpanel for migrated websites

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New Tutorial Videos Added

I often find that I spend a lot of time going over the same things with different people. That was why I set up this website in the first place. If I get enough requests, then I can create a video. I have not added any since the site started, but I have just created some more, and bought some things up to date.

For full details go this page:  Video Tutorials (You will need your password to access it).

Of note, particularly for new clients are:

An introduction to Divi, this is the premium template I am using on new premium sites now. It is very flexible and powerful. I give an overview of a website, and show you from the inside how it is constructed. It is different from conventional editing that most of you are used to, but do take a look, it is the future! You can see it in Video Tutorial 11. Continue reading New Tutorial Videos Added

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Recovering a broken wordpress website

I look after around 100 wordpress websites. I visit each at least once per quarter and check that the sites are up to date, that the backup process is working and I also take an independent backup at that time, which is stored locally on my systems.

If I find anything not working, partially working or not updated, I investigate why and resolve it.

While most sites are behaving themselves, these are the problems I have found which affect under 5% of the sites I am managing:

  • Plugins have ended up deactivated
  • The site is out of date with more than one update pending
  • The backup process has failed
  • The white screen of death
  • Server error codes

Continue reading Recovering a broken wordpress website

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Group Email Addresses

Q: What is a group mail address?

A: A single mail address that when added to an email will automatically send the message to a group of recipients. It means you do not have to type in all of the email addresses each time. 

I was recently asked how to set up a group email address in Outlook. The person requesting this wanted an easy way to send a message to all of the trustees rather than have to collect all of the email addresses together on the to: line of the mail form in Outlook.

While it is certainly possible to both set up and use a group email address, if your mail is not running on an exchange server, or Outlook 365  (which uses a shared area in the cloud) then nobody else can benefit from having a group mail address.

Why is that important?

Continue reading Group Email Addresses

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Troubleshooting email

Occasionally we do get issues with email, and you need to find out where the problem is occurring. It is not necessarily at your end, it may be at the senders end.

Also if you suspect that there may be something not quite right with email please come back here and check. If I am aware of anything, or am working on it, then my status will be reported on this page.

I have created a troubleshooting guide in PPT that you can find on the News page to step you through what you need to do.

The page Troubleshooting Email and associated downloads can be found here.

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Managing mail continued….

I mentioned a month ago that I had turned on Spam Assassin in the hosting for my personal email account. This continues to work very well, reducing the burden of filtering out spam messages. It is not 100% foolproof, but it does catch a lot of them.

I use four mechanisms now.

1). Turn on Spam Assassin in the control panel.

2). Create an account filter (affects all mail coming into your domain), to automatically delete mail that achieves 7 plus symbols in the spam bar (it is written like this +++++++). Anything scoring 7 or more is definitely spam.

3). Create a second account filter that will send any messages scoring 5 plus symbols in the spam bar (it is written like this +++++) to a specially created account called suspectspam@[mydomain.org.uk]. So all of this suspected spam is sent to a specific mail account that you can periodically check.  5 + symbols generally means highly likely to be spam.

4). In my Outlook account I use ESET Smart Security. For things that escape the spam filter but are clearly spam (I get a lot of pretend newsletters), these are detected and moved automatically.

These four steps have made processing email a lot easier. If this is of interest I can write a short tutorial on it, it is easy to set up. Let me know by making a comment below.

Additionally

If you use the filtering facilities in your hosting control panel, you can also trap and redirect certain forms of email. This can be quite a powerful tool as well.

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Managing SPAM

spam-managementMany of you running charitable organisations will have a dedicated primary email address that you use for incoming, and sometimes outgoing email. Over time this email address becomes “known” to spammers and you start to receive unsolicited email on it.

While looking at the hosting for many organisations I can see huge email boxes that are full of this type of content. (I only see the size of the mailbox, not the mail).  Following the issues I faced with my main email account in October, I decided to look into methods for reducing it, redirecting it, and eliminating it. Some of these are available to you through the hosting you use. I will explain the pro’s and con’s below, and how you can “non destructively” experiment to see how spam management may work for you.  Continue reading Managing SPAM

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Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo email user?

If you have most of your email transactions going through a hotmail, gmail (google mail) or Yahoo email account then you need to read this!

Many of the organisations I work with use their domain name as the primary email account. Some use their Broadband Service Provider’s domain name, and some others use Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo.

Whatever you use, have a backup email account. Here is what has happened to one organisation I have been helping this month. As a result of this they have lost their primary email address for at least a month.

Help I am stuck in Ukraine!

I received a message like the one below, I have seen these before, I have removed the email address in this case. Continue reading Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo email user?

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Reset your email password

When you are initially set up with email I set a password for you, or one is provided by your organisation. If I set up an email password for you, it will generally be a complex sequence of characters which is not easy for you to remember. If you only use Outlook then it does not matter. If however you want to use WebMail, then it is important that you have a memorable password, because you will need it when you login.

There are two ways you can reset your password. One is by asking the person in your office who manages your site to reset it. They will access something called the control panel, and from there they can reset it. Alternatively you can do it yourself. Continue reading Reset your email password

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How to set up an Out of Office Email responder

I have added a tutorial under Email in the main menu which covers the steps you need to take to configure an out of office email responder. It is not very difficult to do, and will ease the administrative burden when people are out of the office.

I have indicated to some groups that this feature is not possible in the hosting we are using, it turns out it is. The only issue is that it is not seemlessly integrated with Outlook and MS Exchange Server which is possibly where you may have come across it before.

Go to this page to learn about how it works, and how to set it up. This article is password protected.

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