Adding Google’s ReCaptcha tool to a Joomla Contact Form or RSForm

Adding ReCaptcha to a web form is now a must. Too many forms are being filled out by bots and spammers.

Here’s a great simple tutorial I found that steps you through how to do this from Joomla Tricks.

To add a Captcha to a Joomla RSFormsPro! form, follow these instructions from RSJoomla. You will need to download their plugin.

 

 

Mozilla Firefox Errors: Unable to Connect, Server not found and other issues

I’ve had several of my clients run into this Mozilla Firefox security issue recently and it has not been an easy one to resolve. However, with some research and trying a combination of things, I have resolved this for them now. Here’s how I did it.

Here are some of the ways that these issues presented .

  • Many secure websites will not load
    • When Firefox connects to a secure website (the URL begins with “https://”), it must verify that the certificate presented by the website is valid and that the encryption is strong enough to adequately protect your privacy. If the certificate cannot be validated or if the encryption is not strong enough, Firefox will stop the connection to the website and instead show an error page stating “Your connection is not secure”.
  • The certificate is not trusted because the issuer certificate is unknown.
    • The certificate is not trusted because the issuer certificate is unknown.
      The server might not be sending the appropriate intermediate certificates.
      An additional root certificate may need to be imported.
      Error code: SEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUER
  • Youtube Videos won’t play: “An error occurred. Please try again later.
  • Any HTTPS sites don’t load completely – missing images and style.
  • Uninstalling Firefox and re-installing it does not resolve the errors.
  • Uninstalling Java, mad it impossible to re-install Java on the machine.

What worked to resolve the above browser related issues.

Both clients were running Eset Nod32 anti-virus, not sure if it was a key issue that this particular anti-virus was involved, but any anti-virus could be the issue. Further, each PC had Adobe Air, Adobe Flash and Java installed.

I backed up their files just to be sure that nothing would happen to their data when I began to make changes to their computer.

I deleted their “Temp” files. Open up Windows Explorer and in the address bar type ”  %temp% ” . This will take you to the Temp folder for this machine. Click on folder, then click CTL + A to select all files and click delete. Some files may not be able to be deleted and you may be presented with a prompt to “Skip” deleting these files. That is fine – you can skip deleting those that are actively being use by the system.

Next, go to the “Control Panel” and “add/remove software”. Located Adobe Air, Adobe Flash, Mozilla Firefox and Java and uninstall them all.

This may require a restart of the machine.

Go back into “add/remove software” and uninstall your anti-virus program. Make sure before you do so that you have the license number and software to re-install it.

This may require a restart of the machine.

Once the computer has restarted, open up Internet Explorer or Google Chrome to download the latest version of Mozilla Firefox. Here’s a link to download Firefox for you.

Test to see if you can load Google’s home page https://www.google.com or visit Youtube https://www.youtube.com and play a video without issue. If you can, then you have resolved your issue.

Don’t visit many websites until you re-install your anti-virus. If you can visit Google’s home page (which is HTTPS) and play videos on Youtube, then you have most likely resolved your issue.

Next, re-install the other applications that you uninstalled from your system like Adobe Flash, Adobe Air, and the latest version of Java if you need to.

Test your browser again.

If everything is still working, you now re-install your anti-virus software.

Hope this works for you as well as it did for me.

 

 

How to switch to a different PHP version?

For some reason this still eludes me when I need it. So I decided to save this information on my own site.

Go to cPanel, File Manager and choose “Web Root (public_html/www)”. There create a new file (or edit the existing one) called .htaccess and add the following line:

To switch to PHP 7.0

1    AddHandler application/x-httpd-php70 .php .php5 .php4 .php3

To switch to PHP 5.6

1    AddHandler application/x-httpd-php56 .php .php5 .php4 .php3

To switch to PHP 5.5

1    AddHandler application/x-httpd-php55 .php .php5 .php4 .php3

To switch to PHP 5.4

1    AddHandler application/x-httpd-php54 .php .php5 .php4 .php3

To switch to PHP 5.3

1    AddHandler application/x-httpd-php53 .php .php5 .php4 .php3

Complete New WordPress Theme

It’s been years since I’ve spent much time or energy on my own websites. Sigh. As  a Professional Web Developer, you spend most of your time updating and maintaining other people’s websites, not your own.

Today I decided it was time. Four and half hours later, a new look, template and updated everything.

Years ago I purchased the “Thesis” them from DIYThemes. It hadn’t been updated or upgraded in years and I decided to finally take the time to do it. I like easy, and this template makes managing my own site easy.

It’s always good to keep your sites up-to-date and to remove any Plug-ins that you’re not using. If you haven’t looked at DIYThemes for your next WordPress site, check it out.

After migrating to Joomla 3.6.x from 2.5.28 Article Links were all broken

I upgraded a Joomla site from 2.5.28 to 3.6.x. Everything seemed to go well until I went back to check on things. When I went to the site and began to click on various links, nothing worked. None of the menus were working after migrating either. After searching I found this post in the Joomla Support Forums about this issue and also this post.

As was stated in the support forum, if I turned off SEF and URL Rewrite in the Global Configurations and then the links worked. If I turned on Search Engine Friendly URLs (SEF) but turned off URL Rewrite, they worked. There is something wrong with URL Rewrite. Then I also saved the .htaccess to htaccess.old and created a new .htaccess file. Then I was able to turn on URL Rewrite again.

What I Learned with my new DroidX phone

First of all, the instructions that you receive are terrible. This was not my first smart phone, but boy, there were moments I thought it sure felt like it was!

Some things I learned during this process I thought I would pass along in case you’ve been struggling or are attempting to help someone else.

1. Don’t activate your new phone if you need to get information off of your old phone.

My old phone was a Blackberry Storm. I liked the phone – and had it for 2 years without much problem, and it was fairly easy to download the Blackberry destop program and be able to ‘see’ my data on the SD Card. So I would regularly connect it to my computer and copy off my photos and videos and back up my database just in case.

When it came time to migrate my information from the BB world to the Droid, I found it was not that straight forward. Surprise.

Since I purchased my phone online through Verizon’s website, I did not necessarily want to go to a local store for help, I heard rumors that they charge you to migrate your data over if you didn’t purchase it directly with them. (Not sure this is accurate, but you should call before having them help you)

Researching my options on line proved to be troublesome, time consuming and frustrating to say the least. There really was not one place that answered all of my issues and I had alot of them.

I backed up my BB Storm and started the process.

Since I recently got a new main PC running Win7, my issues of connecting my new DroidX to my computer sent up. It was not natively recognizing my device. Bummer

2. Make sure that you use the Verizon Backup Assistant

On your current ‘old’ phone, make sure that you download and install the Verizon Backup Assistant. Use it to back up your address book and whatever else that it will allow you to back up.

https://wbillpay.verizonwireless.com/vzw/nos/ba_nab/overview_def.jsp

3. Consider using Google Sync to back up your address book

I was using Google’s Sync on my Blackberry Storm to sync my Outlook address and Calendar with my Blackberry phone. You can consider using this on your new DroidX, but I found it to be not as easy to set up. I had to use the Verizon Backup Assistant to get my contacts to my new DroidX.

Since then, I’ve had problems with the DroidX trying to sync my contacts with my Twitter and Facebook accounts and really, it has made quite a mess that I”m still trying to sort out. Be VERY careful when you click yes to synch’g on your new DroidX. It can get ugly really quickly.

4. Download the appropriate USB drivers from the Motorola site so you can connect your DroidX to Win7

Visit the USB And PC Charging Drivers page from Motorola

I finally found a thread that pointed me to the right page to get the proper 64bit drivers so that I can connect my DroidX to my new Win7 machine. Once I did that, I was then able to see the phone as another mapped drive and I could drag and drop the images that I wanted to copy back on to my new phone.

5. How to Activate my new DroidX on Verizon

I realized my new phone did not have a card in it like my Blackberry Storm did so I was stumped for a bit. How do I get the new phone to be recognized on Verizon’s network. Well, again after much searching, I found a thread that told me the only way to do that was to log into my Verizonwireless.com site and right there under the “account overview” page on the right hand side of the screen under “I WANT TO” was the link to “activate a device”.  Phew…

Now with that done, I was all set. Finally hooked up, and now I could download the Verizon Backup Assistant and bring my addresses down to the device.

WHAT DID NOT WORK FOR ME:

There were several suggestions I tried and several different pieces of software too, so I thought I’d save you even more time with this little exercise so you can get some sleep.

1. Don’t use http://miqlive.com/ – this did not do what it promised and was taking too long. I wasted a significant amount of time on this application. Once you have your phone set up, then go back in and see if you want to use this system. The faster method was the Verizon Backup Assistant and the USB connection to my Win7 machine.

2. Don’t use the Verizon V Cast Media Manager – it does not work with Win7. <great…>

WHAT DID WORK FOR ME:

Applications to download that I found useful:

1.Backup Assistant

2. Barcode Scanner

3. Bic Concert Lighter (don’t we all need one of these so we don’t burn our fingers anymore!)

4. Drinks Recipes

5. FM Radio (can’t remember if that was preloaded)

6. Foursquare (for those who use it)

7. Google’s Gmail Application

8. Google Search (can’t remember if that was preloaded)

9. Google’s Sky Map (definitely an app to get)

10. Gowalla (for those who use it)

11. Justin.TV (fabulous) especially now that we can watch Flash on our DROIDS!!!

12. Kayak (finding the best airfares)

13. Kindle from Amazon

14. Opera Mini (Very Very fast, ’cause it’s a proxy based browser…not running on your phone… Thank you @mollydotcom for your wise wisdom sharing recently) I’m telling everyone about this.

15. Pandora (absolutely the best music finder/player)

16. Pogoplug (if you don’t know what this is, you should check it out-great device to make your data accessible remotely by creating your own cloud environment)

17. Seesmic (a really nice Twitter app)

18. Google’s Shopper – ties into the Barcode Scanner above

19. Skype Mobile

20. StopWatch & Timer ( great app if you need to be reminded about something in a few minutes… or time an event)

<break> I really have 20+ apps installed and ROOM for more….why yes I do, it’s a DROIDX </break>

21. Google’s Talk

22.TV.Com

23. Twitter

24. Google’s Voice

25. Youtube (can’t remember if that came preloaded)

26. Dropbox (a great way to share files between computers or friends by creating a shared folder, get 2gb free)

There you have it. Hope you found it useful.

Website lost to web host’s corrupted server – bye bye host.

I’m not really leaving this host provider just because of this, but it did help me to quicken the departure. I have been on this web host since I began the website Infolongmont.com and so it’s been a long, long relationship. They’ve had other ups and downs along the way, but this sort of ‘took the cake’ so to speak. I had been wanting to redesign my site for several years now and put it into a CMS. I have been developing in Joomla and thought this would be the perfect CMS for me. Because I work full time and freelance many hours designing sites for my clients and maintaining them, my personal sites sometimes get shoved to the bottom of my priority list.

A couple of years ago, I started it. I setup a test environment under one of my test sites and during the time that I was playing with Joomla! for use with this site, version 1.5 came out. Finally last year I got serious and actually paid some friends to help me migrate my content over. Only thing was, I began to lose interest. That was really hard for me to find the energy (or motivation) to do what I needed to do to finish up the job.

Enter – my web host.

The funny thing to me about this whole story was that I was actually away at a web conference when I get the email from my provider that my site was down and could I please re-upload the site files because they did not have a backup for me to restore to.

I lost the community calendar data that people had been entering and relying on for months. That was devastating.

The other issue was that I can’t upload Joomla to their servers because they’re only a Microsoft shop.

So, I’ve decided rather than re-publishing a site I really do not ever want to see that old version of again, it has motivated me through this contrast to get interested in completing the migration of the site, files and begin using Joomla.

Isn’t life just so amazing how it knows exactly how to move you forward when you aren’t moving.