Archive for WordPress

Yes, so my client’s website is still on GoDaddy basic Linux hosting and the dreaded message showed up after upgrading several plugins. It most likely had nothing to do with upgrading the plugins and everything to do with GoDaddy hosting.

Here’s the message, slightly cleansed to protect the hosting…

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: open(/home/content/ / /tmp/sess_, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in /home/content/ / /html/wp-content/plugins/cforms2/cforms2.php on line 89

First, I tried killing and restarting the system processes on my hosting control panel. No help. Finally today I had some time to chat with GoDaddy support after trying some various fixes which didn’t work. One writeup suggested asking support to clear the hosting cache. So that’s how I started the chat with GoDaddy support.

The chat rep looked at my hosting and the error message and tried blaming the cforms plugin. I asked him to clear the cache area (tmp area) on the hosting space. He replied that everything looked great and proceeded to upsell me on a higher tier of hosting (cPanel hosting). I told him not to waste his time with the upsell, that I felt that decent hosting should maintain the servers at a reasonable level.

After ending the chat I did some more research and found this post at WallyDavid which really helped. I was already bumping around the session.save_path setting in my php.ini file but with no luck. The secret really is to create a new temp folder within your hosting space, create the new php5.ini file and update it accordingly. You can find the full path to your hosting space on the main account panel screen (left nav below the fold) “Absolute Hosting Path”. After you create the new temp folder, create the php5.ini file and update it, go back to the hosting control panel, select System Processes and click ‘stop all’. Access your site in another window and check to see that the ugly error message has gone away.

(Thanks, Wally David for the great writeup, hope you’ll enjoy a few visits to your blog on me!)

BackupBuddy on GoDaddy hosting

GoDaddy web hosting causes BackupBuddy to balk at later stages of a complete backup, and I’ve been struggling with getting BB to run on different hosting spaces at GoDaddy. At last I found a good writeup which described how to configure BackupBuddy to work acceptably on GoDaddy hosting.

It only takes a few seconds to apply these tweaks to the BackupBuddy configuration in your WordPress admin panel. Backups take a little longer than on other hosting, but they do finish. If your backups always timeout incomplete then give these settings a try.

BackupBuddy WordPress restore to GoDaddy hosting

I just finished migrating a client’s WordPress site from Network Solutions to GoDaddy using BackupBuddy. I had a few issues, but overall, the process wasn’t so bad.

The major key to success was uploading a php.ini file with the following settings:
memory_limit = 256M
output_buffering = Off
display_errors = Off
log_errors = On
error_log = /pff_phperror_log
max_execution_time = 180

Contrary to reports I’d read by others getting started at GoDaddy, I had no troubles with cPanel, or with setting up MySQL databases or users. I simply plugged in the new database info into the ImportBuddy screen, and within seconds everything was up and running. Granted, all this may have gone so smoothly because I was using an iThemes WP theme, and generally they play by the rules. But keep in mind, the theme the site uses is from 2008! And, it still gets the job done.

Back to the restore process… I think the key factors to success, based upon two false starts was to get the Memory Limit and Max Execution Time settings correct as shown above.

Hope this helps someone – esp. those who get started without preparing beforehand!

To finish the job, I created a new Google Analytics tag using the Universal Analytics standard, so this site will have fresh metrics under its new domain name.

Star Blogger

About a year and a half ago I built a website for my longtime personal dentist, Dr. David Circeo, and I set up a blog section for him to begin to fill over time. Today I looked in at his blog section and found many great posts about a new associate, community outreach and dental care history. Turns out Dr. Circeo is a star blogger in my mind, because he didn’t try to make up stilted posts, he simply writes about the normal comings and goings of running a dental practice. Thanks for making the most of your blog, Dr. Circeo!

Lightbox for Cforms II plugin on WordPress

So when exactly did the lightbox craze hit? I’m not sure exactly, but everyone seems to love lightboxes! They are indeed a visually attractive way to create a modal window within a browser which has a nice ‘set off’ from the background page without opening a new browser window or popup window.

Recently I needed to use the powerful Cforms II plugin to create some interactive forms on a WordPress site and I needed to make some of the forms appear in a lightbox. Much to my surprise, it seems no one has combined Cforms II and a lightbox for some reason. Or if they have, they didn’t write about it.

So I tried to write my own shortcodes to get Cforms to work with a certain lightbox plugin. Only had marginal success, in that the lightbox popped, but the form would not render on the screen. Plus the shortcode processing caused WordPress to try to render the lightbox in Admin. Not cool. I quickly abandoned this effort when I found the Form Lightbox plugin. Form Lightbox was flexible enough to work with the special Cforms II tags as follows:

Perhaps others will find this info useful. WordPress is a fantastic CMS platform and it has spawned many excellent plugins. I’m very grateful for WordPress and the vibrant WordPress developer community.

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