Managed WordPress – Frequently Asked Questions

We have collected some of the most common questions that customers ask about our Managed WordPress Hosting platform and housed them in one place.

 

1. How Can I Access the File Manager?

You can access the File manager by following this article. It will show you where to obtain your FTP and SSH credentials to log in to the server.

https://help.liquidweb.com/s/article/Finding-Your-SFTP-SSH-Credentials-in-Managed-WordPress-and-Managed-Woo-Commerce-Hosting

2. How Do I Make a Site Live?

Follow our helpful article on how to launch your site for the world to see!

https://help.liquidweb.com/s/article/Going-Live-with-Your-Site-in-Managed-WordPress-and-Managed-Woo-Commerce-Hosting

If you are using Cloudflare for your DNS, please note that CloudFlare needs to be paused for the issuance of the SSL.

You can temporarily pause Cloudflare by:

 

1. Going to the Overview tab in the Cloudflare dashboard.
2. Expand the Advanced > section.
3. Click Pause.
4. Once the site is live you can Unpause Cloudflare.

 

Pausing Cloudflare will cause your origin IP address to be returned by Cloudflare’s nameservers, sending traffic directly to our servers rather than through Cloudflare’s reverse proxy.
Pausing Cloudflare will allow us to install the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate on your Managed WordPress site. Once the site is live and has been renamed then you can resume Cloudflare.

3. How do I Make a Staging/Development Site?

Creating a staging/development site can help to create a site on a newer PHP technology or produce new content without making any changes to your production site. If you would like to create a staging/development site before you make any changes to your live site, you can follow the steps in this article:

https://help.liquidweb.com/s/article/Creating-a-Staging-Site-in-Managed-WordPress-and-Managed-Woo-Commerce-Hosting

4. How do I Take the Staging/Development Site Live?

To make your staging site the live site you will need to use our Migrate to Liquid Web Managed WordPress plugin. The plugin will take your staging site and replace your current live site with the staging site. This will take a few minutes to complete; while your files are transferring, your site will be temporarily inaccessible. To limit the downtime, you will want to do this outside of peak hours.

https://help.liquidweb.com/s/article/Migrating-to-Liquid-Web-with-Managed-WordPress-and-Managed-Woo-Commerce-Hosting

5. What is a Stencil and How Can I Use It?

A stencil will allow you to create a copy of any site you have and save it for another deployment without having to redo all the hard work you’ve put into customizing the site. Click on the following article to learn how to create a stencil site:

https://help.liquidweb.com/s/article/Creating-Stencil-Sites-in-Managed-WordPress-and-Managed-Woo-Commerce-Hosting

6. How Can I Increase My PHP Limits?

For an increase in PHP values, you will need to create a php.ini file. (Managed WordPress utilizes NGINX which does not read .htaccess files) To do so, you’ll first log in to your server with your SSH credentials. Once you are logged into the terminal you will type

cd /home/s#/html/

and replace s# with the user listed for the website.

In Managed WordPress you'll place the PHP values in the /html directory.

Type:

vim .user.ini

press i for insert and then paste these values into the file:

memory_limit = 128M
post_max_size 64M
upload_max_filesize 64M
max_file_uploads 64M
max_execution_time= 300
max_input_vars = 3000
max_input_time = 3000

Type Esc, and type

:wq to save your edits and exit.

These values are just an example of what you can put — you can increase or decrease the values for what you feel is appropriate for your website.

7. Why Didn’t My Plugins Update?

If your plugins didn’t update, you will want to login to the Managed WordPress dashboard and make sure that plugin updates are enabled. If the updates are enabled and your plugins are still not updated, please contact your Managed WordPress support team.In Managed WordPress you can toggle on and off automatic updates.

8. I Migrated My Site, But I Only See the Default Install. What’s Going On?

This usually happens when the PHP version is set too high for your site. You can adjust PHP versions by going into in the Managed WordPress Dashboard and under SITE DETAILS.In Managed WordPress you'll select the PHP version of your choice.

9. What Cache Plugin Should I Use To Speed Up My Site?

We include caching, so none are really needed, but these three plugins are the most frequently used by our customers and have seen the best results.

Free plugins:
https://wordpress.org/plugins/cache-enabler/
https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-super-cache/

Paid plugins:
https://wp-rocket.me/

An Overview of Managed WordPress

WordPress is open source software for building unique and powerful websites! It is quickly becoming the easiest and most popular way to create blogs, business sites, portfolios, forums, memberships, and e-commerce websites.

Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting is a complete solution for your web publishing needs. With pre-installed plugins, streamlined plugin updates, website staging area, nightly backups, iThemes sync, and customizable website stencils, it’s a must-have for any WordPress developer.

 

MWP Features

Let’s get right into it with a couple of Managed WordPress Hosting best features and ease of use!

 

 

Pre-installed Plugins:

Managed WordPress (MWP) comes with quite a few money saving, pre-installed plugins, curated for maximum performance:

Akismet
Akismet: The number one plugin for spam filtering on blogs and forum pages.  This indispensable plugin helps comment-heavy sites by preventing spam comments from being posted to your site. Akismet protects your website from being marked negatively thus helping your Google SEO standing. A free plan is included with every site as well as having the option to subscribe to their Plus and Enterprise plans.
Async JavaScript
Async JavaScriptWith a 4.5-star rating by its users, Async JavaScript increases site speed and search engine ranking by only loading javascript viewable by the user.
Autoptimize
Autoptimize: If speed is essential to your site then you can’t go wrong with the Auto Optimizer plugin. Autoptimize takes out the legwork of site optimization by aggregating, minifying and caching scripts. For the CSS and JavaScript programmer, it can inject CSS into your page header, async non-aggregated JavaScript, and minimize HTML.
BJ Lazy Load
BJ Lazy Load: This plugin comes in handy for sites with lots of images. The idea is only to load those videos/pictures that are viewable on the browser and not those below the screen view (or “fold” as it’s called) until the client scrolls down the page. Thus increasing site speed and performance by reducing the resources loaded at a given time.
iThemes Sync
Themes Sync: Ever wish you had a portal where you could update all your plugins and themes for multiple websites in one spot? Look no further then iThemes Sync.  iThemes Sync provides you with one central dashboard for all your WordPress admin tasks saving you time to focus on development.
TinyPNG
TinyPNG: Minimizes load times for your site by compressing your images, while still maintaining photo resolution. Compression increases site performance especially if you have a large number of images.

WP Forms Lite
WP Forms Lite: Easily create contact forms with intuitive tools that allow for drag and drop construction.

Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress staging site allows you to experiment with themes, plugins, or any variety of other changes you might want to make, all without affecting your live site! It works by creating a temporary clone of your site to test your changes, giving you a chance to get things exactly the way you want them before applying them to your live site. So feel free to test away!

Nightly backups of your sites are included in each plan. The backups allow you to roll back to an older version by clicking the restore option, or you can download a copy. No need to install an extra plugin or stress when a development error occurs.

Core updates help secure your site from hackers and malware by keeping your website up to date. Once available, the core WordPress plugin updates MWP are tested before being implemented on your site. If the plugin or update is compatible with your site, it will auto push the update to the live site. If the new update is not compatible, it will let you know via email allowing you time to inspect at your leisure.

The stencil feature is useful for developers who use the same themes and plugins across multiple sites. You can create as many stencils as you like with the click of a button! Click here for information about how you can set up your stencil.

Managed WordPress allows you to access your content via SSH and FTP. Once logged into SSH, Liquid Web’s Manage WordPress comes with WP-CLI pre-installed, so you can make simple commands from the command line to fine-tune users, plugins, and current themes settings.

Let your users know their information is safe! Managed WordPress includes free SSL for all sites on your server to help keep your sites secure.  With automatic SSLs you no longer have to purchase certificates for your websites!

Our managed WordPress product has a 24/7 operations team that manages routine server maintenance and monitors for DDoS attacks, so you don’t have to, leaving you free to develop your website’s content.

Experience a streamlined way managing your sites through Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress platform.

 

Migration to Managed WooCommerce

Liquid Web is here to support your migration needs into our Managed WooCommerce Hosting platform. Whether you are migrating from an external or internal source, our in-house team of migration experts transforms the data migration process into a simple task. To ensure the smoothest and best possible data transfer, we have a quick overview and a few points for your consideration.

 

Our first step includes taking a copy of your live site (known as the origin site) and migrating it over to our Managed WooCommerce Hosting platform. Rest assured, when performing the migration, the only changes made to the site will be to assist in the movement. Within this timeframe, it is advised to avoid making changes or updates to the site as it will extend the migration timeline and could result in data loss. Changes and updates are included but not limited to themes, designs, contents, products, blog posts or WordPress versions. The initial sync process should result in no downtime for your live site.

Once the initial sync is complete, our Migration Specialists perform a series of basic tests to the site. During this time, our team will send information on ways to test out your new site to ensure that all aspects have carried over correctly and are in working order. Before going live, it is essential to take the time to thoroughly review your site and if at any point you do find a discrepancy our specialist is there to assist.

The third and most exciting step is the push to go live. We will coordinate the best date and time for the final sync of your site. This last sync will ensure the latest data on orders, products, and customers transfers to your new server. Upon completion of the final sync, you will be asked to update the staging domain’s name and DNS record. With a little DNS propagation time, you will begin to see the new site populate!

With the updating of DNS and the site name, you are now entirely done with the migration process. In subsequent steps, we will create a ticket with our Product Team to connect your store to our partnered applications, Glew and Jilt. Credentials to these valued applications will be sent out in an email, after which, our product team can suggest performance optimization methods to get the most out of your eCommerce store.

 

Knowing the details behind the migration process aligns us with our next step in creating a migration request from your Liquid Web control panel! Once completed, our Migration Specialists will be in touch to schedule the migration and answer any questions you may have.

 

The Best Ways to Secure WordPress

On our Managed WordPress hosting platform, we strive to ensure security with regularly scheduled patches and updates. By utilizing our intrusion prevention software, we mitigate malicious activity and block repeated failed logins for your WordPress admin portal. Furthermore, our web-application firewall, restricts unneeded ports along with custom rules to help protect you on the application level. We take care of the administration work so you can spend more time securing your site. Below our Managed WordPress admins share tested (and trusted) implementations to keep your site locked up tight.

WordPress Security Plugins

iThemes Security

The iThemes Security plugin is a fantastic addition to enhance your security, and it is easy to install.  By adding an extra layer of protection, below is a list of security features that iThemes Security Pro provides.

Click To See iThemes Security Features
    • Banned Users – Allows you to completely ban hosts and user agents from your site
    • Network Brute Force Protection – Banning users who have tried to break into other sites from breaking into yours. The network protection will automatically report the IP addresses of failed login attempts to iThemes
    • SSL – This feature redirects all http traffic to https
    • Strong Password Enforcement – Force users to use strong passwords as rated by the WordPress password meter
    • System Tweaks:
      • Disable Directory Browsing
      • Filter Suspicious Query Strings in the URL
      • Remove File Writing Permissions – Prevents scripts and users from being able to write to the wp-config.php file and .htaccess file
      • Disable PHP in Uploads – Disable PHP execution in the uploads directory. This blocks requests to maliciously uploaded PHP files in the uploads directory.
      • Disable PHP in Plugins – Disable PHP execution in the plugins directory. This blocks requests to PHP files inside plugin directories that can be exploited directly.
    • Change WordPress Salts – Use WordPress Salts to encrypt any passwords saved within WordPress, this adds an extra layer in password protection. Check this box and then save settings to change your WordPress Salts.

Salt Encryption Settings

  • WordPress Tweaks:
    • Comment Spam– Reduce Comment Spam
    • XML– RPC feature allows external services to access and modify content on the site. Common example of services that make use of XML-RPC are the Jetpack plugin, the WordPress mobile app, and pingbacks. If the site does not use a service that requires XML-RPC, select the “Disable XML-RPC” setting as “disabling XML-RPC” which prevents attackers from using the feature to attack the site. Disable Pingbacks – This feature only disables pingbacks. Other XML-RPC features will work as normal. Select this setting if you require features such as Jetpack or the WordPress Mobile app.
    • Block XML– RPC requests that contain multiple login attempts.
    • Restricted Access– Restrict access to most REST API data. This means that most requests will require a logged in user or a user with specific privileges, blocking public requests for potentially private data.
    • Force Unique Nickname– This forces users to choose a unique nickname when updating their profile or creating a new account which prevents bots and attackers from easily harvesting user’s login usernames from the code on author pages. Note this does not automatically update existing users; it will affect author feed urls if used.
    • Protect Against Tabnapping– Alter target=”_blank” links to protect against tabnapping. Enabling this feature helps protect visitors to this site (including logged in users) from phishing attacks launched by a linked site.
    • Login with Email Address or Username– By default, WordPress allows users to log in using either an email address or username. This setting allows you to restrict logins to only accept email addresses or usernames.

To install, login to your WordPress dashboard, click on “Plugins” on the left. Click on “Add New” and use the search box to find “iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)”. Click on “Install Now”, and then activate the plugin.  On the left bar, click on “Security” and iThemes will start a security check on your site.  Additionally, you can click on Security > Settings on the left to enable any security features that fit your website.

WordFence

Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan plugin – Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner.  One of the key features is their threat defense feed arms that are supplied with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses to keep your website safe.  Click on the Wordfence subtitle to jump to installation and setup instructions.

CloudFlare

You can create an account with CloudFlare to help protect your websites from various attacks including DDoS mitigation, customer Cloudflare helps mitigate DDoS attacks, prevent customer data breaches, and block malicious bot abuse. Cloudflare DNS is DDoS protection for domain resolution. It sits behind the same 15 Tbps network that protects over 7 million Internet properties from denial-of-service attacks.  Cloudflare DNS also comes with built-in load-balancing, automatic failover, rate-limiting, and filtering. Cloudflare also offers DNSSEC to add a layer of trust on top of DNS by providing authentication.

Web Application Firewall (WAF)

Web application firewall (WAF) rulesets – Available on all of Cloudflare’s paid plans, the WAF has built-in rulesets, including rules that mitigate WordPress specific threats and vulnerabilities. Additional features: automatic cache purge, and header rewrite to prevent a redirect loop when Cloudflare’s Universal SSL is enabled.  You can change Cloudflare’s settings from within the plugin itself without needing to navigate to the cloudflare.com dashboard. The available settings to change are: cache purge, security level, Always Online, and image optimization.

Sucuri

As an auditing, malware scanner, and security hardening plugin, it’s a security suite that works well with your existing website’s  security. This plugin offers a great set of security features such as Security Activity Auditing, File Integrity Monitoring, Remote Malware Scanning, Blacklist Monitoring, Effective Security Hardening, Post-Hack Security Actions, Security Notifications, and Website Firewall (premium).

General Security Recommendations

We are living in an age where security needs to be updated at all times. Passwords is one of those crucial security mechanisms that needs to be updated at least every 30 to 60 days. The recommendation for each password complexity is to be at least 15 characters containing a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The passwords should not contain dictionary words, usernames, personal information, or letter sequences. The passwords should not be reused in a given year.

Along with having secured passwords, your computer should also be protected.  Attackers can exploit computers that have outdated operating systems using worms, malware, Trojans, and viruses. You will need to make sure your computer has the latest security patches and fixes.  All browsers should be the latest versions. Do not install any software or browser plugins from any untrusted parties.  Install reputable anti-virus software and conduct regularly malware scans on your computer.

The most common source for malicious injections are vulnerabilities in CMS software, plugins, themes and other commonly used third party code. We recommend taking measures to update all CMS software, plugins and themes used to the latest versions available from their respective vendors. This would help limit the chance of future infections occurring.

Registering your website with Google Webmaster Tools will tell you the health of your website. Change the Default “admin” username.  Since usernames make up half of login credentials, having the username “admin” made it easier for hackers to do brute-force attacks.

Final Thoughts

Being at the top of your game on security is worthwhile to avoid paying expensive fees to clean up a hacked site, especially since there are many free security options at your disposal. Take a stroll through our Managed WordPress product page and discover how we can take the guesswork out of security. Along with a 24/7 support team at your fingertips, our Managed WordPress platform automatically updates plugins to reduce your site’s vulnerability to malware.

What is HIPAA compliant hosting?

You may have seen HIPAA compliance appear  in your search for a secure web hosting provider, but what exactly is a HIPAA server? What is HIPAA, for that matter? You may also be wondering if you  need to be using a HIPAA compliant server? These are all great questions!We first need to start with the term HIPAA, as it’s quite a vital piece to understanding when a HIPAA compliant server is necessary.

hipaa compliance hosting

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (more commonly called HIPAA) mandated necessary protocols be defined and followed when handling Personal Health Information (PHI). PHI records are any form of medical record that contains information which can identify an individual person. The purpose of HIPAA is to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the sensitive data within these kinds of records. The 2010 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) modified HIPAA to include electronic Personal Health Information (ePHI). Also, sometimes called Electronic Medical Records (EMR).

What is a HIPAA server?

A HIPAA compliant server is one that follows the guidelines defined by HIPAA to prevent medical record information data breaches. ePHI data breaches can be detrimental to individual or entity reputations and result in severe legal consequences.  In part 164 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) within HIPAA, it specifies: 

Paragraph 164.308(a)(1)(i) Standard: Security Management Practices—Implement policies and procedures to prevent, detect, contain, and correct security violations.

HIPAA mandates that entities handling PHI data adopt and invoke their own set of policies to protect the integrity and confidentiality of these records. It’s up to the individual entities to determine how to approach these aspects of protecting the data. The following is a list of sample policies that address these requirements and would constitute a valid HIPAA server:

  • Physical Data Storage Security: Any media or servers which contain ePHI data, must be secured from unauthorized physical access. This often includes using locked cages or cabinets.
  • Physical Data Destruction Security: Destruction of ePHI data, is usually peer-reviewed and logged by a chain of custody certificates that explicitly state how the data was destroyed.
  • Data Access Security: Maintaining remote and physical access control lists and chain of custody logging to ensure every time the data is accessed, it’s by an authorized and documented individual.
  • Data Integrity Security: This generally takes on the form of action logging, in addition to chain of custody logging. Any form of action done to the data must be documented and logged.
  • Data Transfer Security: When transmitting data over network interfaces, the connection must be encrypted end-to-end to insure security.
  • Data Breach Reporting: Anytime there is a breach of HIPAA policies, the breach and potential impact of the breach must be documented, logged and reported immediately.

When do I need a HIPAA server?

A HIPAA compliant server is necessary only when storing, transferring, reading, displaying or otherwise accessing any form of data that contains individually identifiable Health Information. Anonymous medical data is not subject to HIPAA or HITECH and is not required to be secured in the same way. In general, if you’re not in the Health Industry, there is no need for a HIPAA compliant server. The CFR part 160.103 specifically defines Health Information as:

Health information means any information, including genetic information, whether oral or recorded in any form or medium, that:

(1) Is created or received by a health care provider, health plan, public health authority, employer, life insurer, school or university, or health care clearinghouse; and

(2) Relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual; the provision of health care to an individual; or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.hipaa compliance hosting

How can Liquid Web help?

Liquid Web has you covered! We have designed a robust suite of HIPAA-compliant, fully managed hosting solutions. We take care of all the necessary policy enforcement and documentation with the day to day systems administration of your HIPAA servers. Our support staff is fully armed with the required knowledge to enforce our HIPAA procedures. You can rest assured that we will handle any necessary HIPAA related actions when working on one of your HIPAA servers. You can see a full list of these policies, how we enact them, and our HIPAA compliant offerings here: HIPAA Compliant Data Centers & Solutions. You can even chat with a HIPAA Specialist right away to answer any looming questions you may still have.

 

Is there a way to stop bots from being able to crawl add-to-cart links on my site?

Having search engines crawl add-to-cart links and other unwanted pages can damage your SEO rankings. Add-to-links can cause more specific issues because those pages are not cached, and this can also increase your CPU and memory usage as they are hit repeatedly.

Fortunately, it is very simple to adapt your site’s robot.txt file to make sure Google and other search engines are only the crawling pages you want. You can these lines of code into the site robots.txt file, specifically to address the add-to-cart links:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /*add-to-cart=*

When you add these lines to the robot.txt file the file is not saying that any search engine that hits the site cannot index your add-to-cart links.

We also recommend that you adapt your robots.txt file to disallow indexing of the cart, checkout and my-account pages, which can be done by adding the lines below, to the same file.

Disallow: /cart/
Disallow: /checkout/
Disallow: /my-account/

How can I add external/affiliate products to my store?

If you sell products as an Amazon, or other company affiliate, then you probably want to mark those products as external or affiliate products. This is something you can do within a default WooCommerce install, and it requires no special plugins or code.

First, add your new product, then choose External/Affiliate product from the Product Data dropdown menu.

In this section you can set the external URL, any special button text, and the price.

Example:

How do I enable multiple products to be added to cart on my store?

Online shopping is one of the great conveniences of this age, and anything you can do to make purchasing easier is appreciated by your customers and likely to bring in more revenue through your store. An easy way to enable more sales is allowing customers to add multiple products to the cart, without having to leave their current page.

Offering this functionality is as simple as installing the WooCom Add Multiple Products plugin and using the newly added widget.

In addition, you can use this shortcode to add the input form to other pages:

[wamp_product_input]

From there, you can then choose which individual products this ability applies to via your settings page.

How can I use ACF Pro to add custom tabs to WooCommerce products?

Advanced Custom Fields Pro is a plugin that allows you to do a number of things. However, in this tutorial, we’re going to walk you through how to add custom tabs to WooCommerce products.

Please note that this tutorial is a bit of a developer tutorial. You will be adding some code to your theme’s functions.php file and adding another php file to your theme. You also need to make sure that you have the Advanced Custom Fields Pro plugin installed and activated on your site.

The first thing you need to do is create a new file in your theme’s folder. We’ll call it acf-fields.php. We’ll add the following code to the file.

This code is what creates the ACF repeater fields and thus creates the tabs on your WooCommerce product.

Next, you’ll need to add this code to your theme’s functions.php file. This will set up the tabs in your theme.

With both files being uploaded to your site, you will now have ACF custom tabs on your WooCommerce products.