Category Archives: Podcast

Catch The WP Guru Podcast where Complex Stuff gets made extremely simple. These are audio versions of my screencasts on a variety of tech topics, such as WordPress, Dreamweaver, web based services and a lot of other super complicated stuff.

I have several other podcasts too, check them out here.

WordPress 102: Using Themes

In this video I’ll show what themes are and how to use them in WordPress (downloading, installing, activating and deleting). I’ll also show you how to preview themes before putting them live.

Themes are what WordPress uses to style the look and feel of the front page. Depending on what theme you use, options in the back end may vary because some themes provide additional functionality (much like plugins). In this course I’m using TwentyThirteen.

The full course is aimed at beginners and medium casuals alike. Whether you’ve been away from WordPress for a while, or if you’re a complete newbie, this is a very un-intimidating “getting started” guide.

Watch the full course on one convenient YouTube Playlist.

Enjoy!

Watch the full course in one convenient playlist:
Catch this episode on my WordPress Podcast:

WordPress 101: Introduction and Workflow

In this course I’ll talk you through how to use WordPress.

This first episode focusses on general workflow, how to log in, how WordPress works and how to use the integrated help system. I will also briefly cover software updates for WordPress, Themes and Plugins.

The full course is aimed at beginners and medium casuals alike. Whether you’ve been away from WordPress for a while, or if you’re a complete newbie, this is a very un-intimidating “getting started” guide.

You can watch the whole series as one convenient playlist in YouTube.

Enjoy!

Watch the full course in one convenient playlist:
Catch this episode on my WordPress Podcast:

How to setup Plesk Mail in Mozilla Thunderbird for Windows

In this episode I’ll show you how to setup Plesk Mail in Thunderbird for Windows. Unlike most email clients, Thunderbird can figure out the correct settings by itself – something neither Outlook nor Mac Mail can do. Therefore, the real magic with Thunderbird is figuring out how to get to the account settings.

To do so, click the three little lines next to the search box. It will bring up a fly-out menu. Under Options – Account Settings, setup a new account or change the settings for an existing one.

TB-Demo

Thunderbird is clever usually enough to detect the settings it needs to connect to the Plesk server. In case it fails, use the following:

  • STARTTLS as encryption
  • Authentication: use encrypted password
  • your full email address as user name (such as you@domain.com)
  • Port 143
  • Outgoing Mail Server: Port 587
  • Incoming Mail Server: Port 143 OR 993

Good luck!

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

How to setup Plesk Mail in Microsoft Outlook for Windows

In this episode I’ll show you how to setup Plesk Mail in Microsoft Outlook on Windows. It’s often a big stumbling block for users. The instructions will also work for Microsoft Essentials, the predecessor of Outlook Express. I’m using Outlook 2010 here, but the instructions are also applicable to later versions.

The two important windows are under Account Settings, there’s a window with six tabs. One of which is labelled Outgoing Server and the other one is called Advanced:

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 18.16.03

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 18.16.13

Make sure Outlook is set to use TLS for both incoming and outgoing connections. The Root Folder Path needs to be set to INBOX (in all capitals).

Good luck 😉

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

How to create Scheduled Tasks in Plesk

In this episode I’ll show you how to create Scheulded Tasks in Plesk. I’ll explain where to find them (for admins and customers), how to execute them and what all those cryptic fields mean. I’ll also show you how to mute the output of the commands you execute so you won’t be bothered with emails you didn’t ask for.

Scheduled Task is another name for Cron Job, and it’s something you want to run on a regular basis, like a script file. Plesk itself does not execute your task. Instead it will give you a nice interface to add the parameters you need for the Linux crontab command (or the equivalent on Windows, I believe it’s called at or schtasks).

 

Cryptic Numbers

The cryptic numbers in each field are crontab parameters. Numbers for those fields correspond to their description (i.e. 0-59 for minutes, 0-23 for hours, etc).

One thing of note (and confusion) is how to define endless repetitions. We can do this with the asterisk and slash combinations.

  • * means “every”, as in “every minute”, “every hour”, “every day”
  • */4 means “every 4”, as in “every 4 hours”
  • 5-11 means “every number in between”, such as 5,6,7,8,9,10,11

To find out more about the crontab command, head over to a great nixCraft article here:

  • http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/how-do-i-add-jobs-to-cron-under-linux-or-unix-oses/

 

Muting Output

By default Plesk will send you an email with any output a script or command may generate. You can avoid this by diverting all output to /dev/null. This is a virtual partition that magically makes things disappear.

In the video I’m using a fictitious script /var/script.php. To divert its potential output I would use

 

A note about Script Files

If you’re executing BASH, PHP, Python or any other script, make sure your files contain the she-bang at the very beginning to that your server can find the correct path. Here’s an example for how a PHP script should start:

Note that web files that are designed to run in a browser cannot be called that way. You need to call those using cURL or wget.

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

How to add Custom Buttons in Plesk 12

In this episode I’ll show you how to create Custom Buttons in the Customer Control Panel in Plesk 12. These are direct links to URLs you can provide with the same look and feel as the rest of Plesk.

Custom Buttons allow you to create links within Plesk or to external sources, like your website or a contact form. If you’re a developer you can even read out parameters that are passed with the URL (such as customer’s domain name).

You can link to external sources as well as other areas of the Plesk Panel – including destinations you’ve created with extensions.

Enjoy 🙂

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

Setting up Plesk Mail on iOS 8 (iPad)

In this episode I’m explaining how to setup your iOS Device for use with Email Accounts created in Plesk 12. I’m also explaining how to map IMAP folders from your email account to the relevant folders on your iOS Device.

For this demo I’m using an iPad 3 running iOS 8, but the process is the same on your iPhone and iPod Touch and older versions of iOS.

It’s a rather complex setup (as dealing with email accounts usually is) and has caused me and my customers major headaches in the past. I hope this video can alleviate such pains. If setup properly, Plesk Mail is a pleasure to deal with and works very reliably.

Sadly iOS Mail does not discover the settings it needs to work with your Plesk Mail automatically, but with a bit of help and guidance it’s easy to get it working. Let me show you how.

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

Setting up Plesk Mail on Mac OSX Mavericks (10.9)

In this episode I’m explaining how to setup Mac Mail for use with Email Accounts created in Plesk 12.  I’m also explaining how to map IMAP folders from your email account to the relevant folders on your Mac.

It’s a rather complex setup (as dealing with email accounts usually is) and has caused me and my customers major headaches in the past, I hope this video can alleviate such pains. If setup properly, Plesk Mail is a pleasure to deal with and works very reliably.

Sadly however Mac Mail cannot discover the settings it needs to work with your Plesk Mail automatically, but with a bit of help and guidance it’s easy to get it working. Let me show you how.

I’ve created a similar screencast to show you how this works in iOS:

  • https://wpguru.co.uk/2014/10/plesk-mail-ios/
Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

How to update Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 – despite Microsoft Database Daemon and SyncServicesAgent errors

Every time I try to update Microsoft Office 2011 on my Mac I get this ridiculous window popping up. No matter how hard you try, those two services – Microsoft Database Daemon and SyncServicesAgent – keep relaunching themselves, forever preventing you to apply the update.

Clearly Microsoft (or Apple) don’t want us to update Office for Mac:

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 14.49.45Usually I give up and live without such updates. I only use M$ Office once in a blue moon and really don’t care. Today I got curious and researched this phenomenon – and thought I’d tell you about it.

Several suggestions are available to combat this superb example of a terrible user experience:

  • rename those processes
  • log out, then log back in with the shift key held down
  • go offline just before this message comes up
  • kill the processes with the Activity Monitor Utility

None of those suggestions worked for me, and besides: what a hack any of these solutions are to apply a simple security patch.

What did work was a very clever suggestion by someone named vrleboss: Use a while loop on the command line and continually kill those processes until you’re done.

Here’s how to do it: Open the Terminal utility on your Mac and paste the following code:

You can do this without quitting anything else, even while the pesky “close applications” window is displayed. Make sure the whole command is on the same line. The is a BASH loop that will find both processes and kill them as soon as they start up again. Don’t worry about the continuous text output in the window.

Back in the Microsoft Updater window, hit “Close Applications and Install”. Now it works!

Once the update is applied, head back to the Terminal window and press CTRL+C – this will stop the killing loop. Close Terminal and Office for Mac is finally updated.

Then repeat this process next week, when another 140MB of updates will have to be applied.

Watch the Screencast

  • https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3928408?start=30&tstart=0

Update May 2015

Looks like Microsoft have finally found a way to make updates happen without the necessity for such backdoor hackery. Since version 14.5.0 I was able to update both my systems without the above code.

I thought I’d take a screencast on this happy occasion (because I still can’t believe it myself):

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast:

How to use the TwentyThirteen Theme by Automattic

In this screencast I’ll show you how to use TwentyThirteen, a simple yet powerful WordPress theme that looks gorgeous and is mobile friendly. I’ll explain Post Formats and their impact, how to show images in galleries and how to embed videos to your WordPress site too.

I’ll finish it off by demonstrating how the site looks like on a desktop browser as well as the iOS Simulator on iPad and iPhone. I’m using WordPress 3.9 for this demo.

I’m referencing some related articles in this video – here they are:

Catch this episode on my WP Guru Podcast: