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  2. George Prodromou

    What is minified code?

    You probably heard that you should always minify your files. Tools such as PageSpeed Insights will often flag CSS & JS files for not being minified, but what exactly does it mean? Minify is the process of removing all unnecessary bytes within a file, such as spaces. For example, code that has not been minified will look like this. Unminified Example: <html> <head> <style> /* awesome-container is only used on the landing page */ .awesome-container { font-size: 120% } .awesome-container { width: 50% } </style> </head> Minified Example: <html><head><style>.awesome-container{font-size:120%;width: 50%} </style></head> Minifying multiple files with thousands of lines of code, can help reduce the overall page size, resulting in faster page loads.
  3. George Prodromou

    What are on-page requests?

    Requests also known as dependencies are the files that make up the page. All the images, CSS and JavaScript files on a website are called requests. For example, if a website had 10 images, each image is a single request/dependency. If you ever run a page speed test using tools such as Pingdom Tools, GTMetrix or WebPageTest you would have probably seen a waterfall. A waterfall is a breakdown of every request that loads on your website. Here is an example of a waterfall below: The first request that loaded in 85ms is the HTML page, followed by CSS and JavaScript files. It’s worth noting that the first request is always the HTML page, unless the URL you are testing contains a redirect. Website’s that load a high volume of on-page requests can significantly impact the user experience by affecting two key elements: Slower page load speeds Computers can often crash when a website has in excess of 300 requests per page Therefore, it is important that we always try and keep on-page requests to a minimal, ideally no more than 100 requests. Furthermore, we should always avoid loading requests from too many different external domain names. This can add extra network latencies, such as: DNS lookups SSL negotiation Connection Unreliable third party servers The screenshot above was taken from WebPageTest’s waterfall. It breaks down the request in multiple stages. As seen above, it took 15ms to do a DNS lookup, 35ms to initialise a connection and 173ms for the first byte to be received. DNS lookup and initial connection is generally only done once. All other requests are not required to go through this process again. That said, loading requests from multiple external domains names will result in the process being repeated multiple times. Due to the reasons above, we should always try and keep all requests/dependencies hosted within our internal domain name, preferably via a cookie less subdomain such as static.example.com.
  4. You might be surprised to know that most of the page speed recommendations you either implemented, received from your SEO agency or found in online guides are almost pointless. General recommendations such as: Browser caching Optimising images Gzip compression Minify CSS Minify HTML Minify JavaScript etc Will yield almost no noticeable difference in page load speeds. The one page speed recommendation that actually makes a significant difference is external requests. External Requests Most webmasters underestimate the impact external requests have on a website. Large enterprise websites suffer the most, hence why you may always find page speeds on large websites such as Macy’s, John Lewis, Best Buy etc have fairly poor page load speeds when being tested by popular tools such as WebPageTest or GTMetrix. To give you a quick demonstration on how external on-page requests can impact a websites page load speeds. We prepared a side by side comparison. On the left is the John Lewis homepage, but optimised by us, removing all unnecessary external requests. Whereas on the right hand side it’s the original untouched version of John Lewis. We were able to drop page speed down by 9.5 seconds by removing 170 external requests that are not compulsory for the page to function correctly. Note: Nothing else on the website has changed, everything has remained identical. How do you remove external requests? Most decent page speed tools will have an advanced featured called ‘blacklist’. What this does is allows you to enter a list of domains that you would like to blacklist, in order words, prevent them from loading. Within GTMetrix, when you run a page speed report, you will find under the Yslow tab ‘Reduce DNS lookups’, as seen below. GTMetrix Reduce DNS Lookups Once you open this tab, you will find a long list of domains, the list looks similar to this. The next step requires a bit of technical knowledge. We need to exclude all the domains that are not required to render the page. The first domain, for obvious reasons should not be included in the blacklist. For John Lewis specifically, we did not blacklist some external domains such as johnlewis.scene7.com. This is the domain John Lewis uses to load static assets such as images. Once you have gone through the list, you will need to add a protocol at the beginning and an ending slash with a star /*. The final list should look similar to the one below. https://assets.adobedtm.com/* https://nexus.ensighten.com/* https://media.richrelevance.com/* https://se.monetate.net/* https://sec.levexis.com/* https://ssite.johnlewis.com/* https://f.monetate.net/* https://d2oh4tlt9mrke9.cloudfront.net/* https://tapestry.tapad.com/* https://ws.sessioncam.com/* https://ad.adlegend.com/* https://pfa.levexis.com/* https://recs.richrelevance.com/* https://public.edigitalresearch.com/* https://d3c3cq33003psk.cloudfront.net/* https://dd6zx4ibq538k.cloudfront.net/* https://orca.qubitproducts.com/* https://dtxtngytz5im1.cloudfront.net/* https://johnlewis.ugc.bazaarvoice.com/* https://static.criteo.net/* https://cp.impdesk.com/* https://connect.facebook.net/* https://secure-ib.adnxs.com/* https://pix.impdesk.com/* https://sslwidget.criteo.com/* https://opentag-stats.qubit.com/* https://www.facebook.com/* https://ib.adnxs.com/* https://x.bidswitch.net/* https://cm.g.doubleclick.net/* https://simage2.pubmatic.com/* https://pixel.rubiconproject.com/* https://ads.yahoo.com/* https://tags.bluekai.com/* https://mmtro.com/* https://stags.bluekai.com/* https://ih.adscale.de/* https://secure.adnxs.com/* https://aimfar.solution.weborama.fr/* https://i.w55c.net/* https://nzaza.com/* https://pixel.mathtag.com/* https://gum.criteo.com/* https://tracker.adotmob.com/* https://loadeu.exelator.com/* https://idsync.rlcdn.com/* https://d22rutvoghj3db.cloudfront.net/* https://load.s3.amazonaws.com/* https://stash.qubitproducts.com/* https://d1m54pdnjzjnhe.cloudfront.net/* https://gong-eb.qubit.com/* https://www.googleadservices.com/* https://dis.eu.criteo.com/* https://edigitalsurvey.com/* https://bam.nr-data.net/* https://tags.bkrtx.com/* https://us-u.openx.net/* https://dis.criteo.com/* Using GTMetrix, you can paste the list above directly into the URL Blacklist field. It’s important to note that some domains are indeed compulsory, for example Google tracking and other important tracking requests. It’s the clients job to review all external requests and remove any that are not compulsory. Furthermore, if possible host external requests internally. Conclusion Never underestimate the impact external requests can have on a website. Watch this space as we publish part 2 of our Enterprise level Page Speed Optimisation series. We will be covering server response time in comprehensive detail and demonstrating the impact it can have on SEO and the user experience.
  5. George Prodromou

    What exactly is Gzip compression

    You may have noticed in Google’s PageSpeed Insights that some websites are flagged up for not enabling compression, as seen below. WHAT EXACTLY IS GZIP COMPRESSION? The simple’s way to explain Gzip compression is by imagining you ordered a new dinner table. Once it arrives it will be packaged and dismantled, you’ll be required to set the table up yourself. Gzip compression works in a similar way but with computer bytes, the server will compress steams of bytes such as spacing within HTML, CSS or JS files and send them across the web. Once the files are downloaded by your browser, the browser will uncompress these files. This simple feature can yield significant page speed improvements and reduction to page size. Gzip compression works in a similar way but with computer bytes, the server will compress streams of bytes such as spacing within HTML, CSS or JS files and send them across the web. Once the files are downloaded by your browser, the browser will uncompress these files. This simple feature can yield significant page speed improvements and reduction to page size which can help improve SEO performance. ENABLING GZIP COMPRESSION for Apache The code below should be inserted into your .htaccess file that usually lives in the root of your website. AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype # For Olders Browsers Which Can't Handle Compression BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html ENABLING GZIP COMPRESSION for Nginx The following can be placed in your nginx.conf file, usually located at /etc/nginx/nginx.conf or in your virtual host configuration file. Usually located at /etc/nginx/sites-available/domain-name gzip on; gzip_vary on; gzip_proxied any; gzip_comp_level 6; gzip_buffers 16 8k; gzip_min_length 256; gzip_http_version 1.1; gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;
  6. Before we begin, I must stress that this strategy will only work for established websites. Forget what most SEOs tell you, you do not need a million backlinks to rank for competitive terms. We have seen time and time again websites creeping up the search results with only 300 referring domains, going up against titans with tens of thousands of referring domains!. So how do they do it? SEO isn’t complicated although most people make it appear far more complicated then it actually is. You don’t need large excel sheets, fancy python scripts or even a crawler to prepare a successful strategy. What you need is common sense and understanding of user-intents. Let me show you a real life example. When you see the screenshot above, what do you see? this page ranks number 1 for the generic and competitive keyword ‘Dresses’ in the UK. For some reason SEOs have all been trained to do some if not all of the following steps in order to identify why this page ranks so high: Backlink review Crawl the site Check for technical issues Check if the page is linked to via the main navigation Find articles in the blog that link to this page And the list goes on Although some of the above is an acceptable approach. It is all a distraction from what are the core strengths of this page. Let’s take a closer look. This page has 3, very important elements which are often missed by SEO’s. 1. H1 Heading and Page Title All SEOs know that if you want to target a keyword, you must have it in your page title and H1 heading. This goes without saying. However, their’s more to it then just that. Let’s take a closer look: The current page title is: Dresses | Women’s Dresses Online | PrettyLittleThing The keyword we want to target is featured in the page title once. Yes once at the beginning of the page title. The second part is technically targeting a different keyword, in this case ‘Women’s Dresses Online‘. Although yes it is relevant, it isn’t 100% relevant to the keyword we want, therefore if we didn’t have ‘Dresses’ on it’s own at the beginning. This page would of lost about 5-10% of it’s ability to rank for ‘Dresses’. Let’s see another example: Title: Red Dresses | Women’s Dresses Online Naturally, to a human the above page title target’s Red Dresses, right? well search engines are not humans. ‘Red Dresses’. ‘Online Dresses’ is not as relevant as ‘Dresses’. Therefore, it is vital that you have your exact keyword that you want to target in your page title, separated by a symbol such as a pipe, hyphen etc. This is also true for your H1 heading. Make sure your H1 heading says exactly what you want to target. No brand, ‘online’ or any other keywords mixed within it. 2. Site/Internal Links & User-Intent Most if not all high ranking e-commerce websites use this technique without even realising. When you are targeting a competitive, generic keyword, user-intent and internal links is the most important part of the SEO strategy. Let me elaborate. A user searches for ‘Dresses’, what are they looking for? technically speaking that user hasn’t specified what their user-intent is, all we know it’s related to dresses. And Google knows this better then anyone. This means landing pages which meet a variety of different user-intents related to dresses will be favoured. If we look closely at the screenshot from Pretty Little Thing we will notice a bunch of site links: Party Dresses Summer Dresses Mini Dresses Midi Dresses Maxi Dresses Wrap Dresses Bodycon Dresses And the list goes on, by doing this Pretty Little Thing are targeting a variety of different user-intents, strengthening their page for ‘Dresses’. Remember, it isn’t only about the links coming into your page, the links going out are just as important!. Tip: when reviewing if a website links out to different user-intents, don’t forget to check the faceted navigation. Some websites leverage the faceted navigation instead of site-links under the main banner copy. 3. Product names SEOs usually don’t focus on the product names when ranking for product names is not a priority. However, this is again is one of the most often overlooked elements of SEO. Similar to point 3 around internal linking and user-intent, the product names need to be highly relevant to your page. For example, if you wanted to rank number 1 for ‘Maxi Dresses’ your products should contain ‘Maxi Dress’ within the product name. It all comes down to relevancy and algorithms can’t detect from images what is and what isn’t a maxi dress. Therefore, always ensure your products contain the name of your category page. Going above and beyond 1. Conflicting Pages Many E-commerce have conflicting pages and most, under estimate how damaging this can be to organic performance. So what is a conflicting page? a conflicting page is a page that appears to target the same keyword as your primary page. Naturally most SEOs would do a site-crawl to find these pages. However, their is a much quicker and more effective tool. Google, is the best tool for this. Using the same ‘Dresses’ example on Pretty Little Thing, you would Google the following. What you are looking for here is pages that target the keyword ‘Dresses’, ignore pages such as ‘New Dresses’, ‘Sale Dresses’ etc as technically these target different keywords!. You will usually find all your conflicting pages on the first page and you are using Google’s own algorithm to identify them! 2. Structuring your category The above will indeed help you rank for dresses, however in order to outperform all competitors and ensure you stay above everyone else we must optimise deeper. Your site structure should look something similar to this. Each page, links to highly relevant pages which contain your keyword within it. For example, on the Maxi Dresses page we are linking out to ‘black maxi dresses’, ‘Petite Maxi Dresses’ etc as seen above. This will allow search engines to understand how relevant your website is on ‘Dresses’ by optimising multiple levels deep. Furthermore, the structure above doesn’t only benefit Google, it benefits users. A user on the Maxi Dresses page is clearly looking for a Maxi Dress, therefore we are providing them with many different options related to what the user wants thus improving the overall user-experience, conversion rate and organic performance.
  7. Ever since Google announced dynamic serving many JavaScript heavy websites have all been considering it. But what exactly is it? Before we can explain what it is, we first need to fully understand JavaScript websites. Below is an example of a very JavaScript heavy website, where all the content becomes invisible as soon as you disable JavaScript. The simplest way to understand JavaScript is by thinking of food, yes food! JavaScript off is like purchasing a ready made meal which only requires 10 minutes in the oven to cook, but your oven is broken, meaning you are unable to cook your meal. Whereas JavaScript on, your oven is fully working and you are able to cook your food. JavaScript websites are rendered on your computer, they are not sent by the server rendered. Your computer does all the hard work of building the page. Therefore, if you disable the primary tool ‘JavaScript’ it cannot build your page, therefore you are left with a blank website. Search engines such as Google can and do render JavaScript websites, but they usually choose not to do this. Why? rendering a website requires 1,000 if not more resources than crawling a plain HTML website. To put that into perspective, if the internet only had 100,000,000,000 pages (it has way more) and Google had to render every single one of them, it would be equivalent of crawling 10,000,000,000,000 pages. This isn’t very practical for search engines, so they don’t do it!, therefore it is always advised to avoid using JavaScript. Although Google can render JavaScript websites, they won’t do it often or frequent enough. This means new content can take a while to be indexed and large websites will often find not all of their pages are ever indexed. This is because Google will only render JavaScript websites whenever they have spare resources. So how can you have a JavaScript heavy websites that’s 100% Google friendly? dynamic serving. So how does dynamic serving work? Dynamic serving is serving users and Google different pages in order to satisfy both requirements. For example, a user needs the JavaScript website in order to interact with the website. Whereas Google doesn’t interact with websites therefore does not need a JavaScript page, a static HTML page with all the content visible without executing JavaScript is all that Google requires. The static website is exactly the same website as the dynamic website. The only difference, you do not need JavaScript in order to see all the content. Going back to our previous example, this is like ordering food to be delivered to your house. It doesn’t matter if your oven/cooker is broken, you are still able to eat, which is the main objective. Technical implementation of dynamic serving In order to implement dynamic serving on your website, their are some key elements you must take into consideration. Dynamically pre-rendering a JavaScript website and serving it to Google as a static page takes a long time. This can take anything from 5-10 seconds (time to first byte) which will make your website almost uncrawlable for bots. To solve this, we must introduce a caching layer within out dynamic serving infrastructure. See the diagram below to help illustrate. Pre-rendered (dynamic serving) pages should be cached. This means that the page has already been built in the background, therefore does not need to be pre-rendered on the fly when Google requests it, which is very slow. Cached pages can be served to Google in under 200ms, whereas doing it on the fly will take anything from 5 seconds at best to 10+ seconds. Note: we have seen large websites lose over 50% of their organic traffic due to pre-rendering on the fly, resulting in Google not being able to access/crawl the website properly. We can’t stress enough how important it is to not do this! Remember, a high time to first byte signals to Google that your servers are unable to handle the traffic, which causes Google to slow down. Imagine a time to first byte that’s 1,000%+ over Google’s recommended 200ms limit! I will not go into the details of caching and how it all works in the background, however if it is something you are interested in. Please do contact us and if we gain enough interest we can go into comprehensive detail.
  8. Server response time also known as time to first byte (TTFB) is generally always high on WordPress websites that haven’t been optimised for performance. In this tutorial we will show you how to improve your server response time that’s often flagged by Google’s Pageinsight tool with a few simple steps. Results Average WordPress Time to First Byte: 700ms After Implementing changes from this tutorial: 10ms Step 1: Download & Install W3 Total Cache Plugin To do this you will need to head over to your plugins section within your WordPress admin panel, as seen below. Now search for ‘W3 Total Cache’ the first resulted, highlighted in red below is the plugin we need to install and activate. Once activated, you should see ‘Performance’ appear within your admin panel on the left hand side. Hover of this and select ‘General Settings’ as shown below. Within the W3 Total Cache General Settings page, you will find multiple modules, we require ‘Page Cache’ which should be the second module displayed. Tick the enable box and leave method set to ‘Disk: Enhanced’, as seen below. Select ‘Save Settings & Purge Caches’. Congratulations, your server response time has now been fixed. Generally you should expect to see server response time drop from 400ms + to under 50ms. Although your server response time has been fixed, it will only be fast as long as it’s cached. The default expiry times for cache is too low within W3 Total cache. In order to maximise our websites performance. We need to improve this. Step 2: Increasing page cache expiry times Within the Performance / W3 Total Cache navigation click on ‘Page Cache’. Scroll down until you find ‘Garbage collection interval’ which sits within Advanced, highlighted below. The default value is 3600 seconds which equates to 1 hour. This means every hour your cache will be purged. This will mean the next user/bot that visits your website will receive an uncached version of your website, resulting in a high server response time. Note: leaving the value set to default (3600) for low traffic websites could hinder SEO performance. In order to prevent any users or bots such as Googlebot from seeing an uncached version of the website, we need to increase this to 24 hours which is 86400 seconds. Step 3: Warming The Page Cache In order for WordPress to automatically warm up the cache, we need to enable ‘Cache Preload’. What this does is crawl the website every X amount of time to ensure all pages have a cached version. If they don’t, it will generate one on the fly. This will result in stable server response times with minimal fluctuation. In order to enable this, we must navigate to the ‘Page Cache’ page once again and this time we need to scroll down and find ‘Cache Preload’. Tick both automatic and preload boxes as seen below. Within the Sitemap URL, enter your sitemap index file. If you do not have one, please see our Yoast SEO plugin article that covers how to create an XML sitemap. Once you have entered your full Sitemap index URL. We need to tweak the ‘Update Interval’ and ‘Page per Interval’ settings. It is important to stress that the numbers will vary depending on the size of the website and if you are on shared hosting or dedicated hosting. We have prepared some settings below that may help guide you in the right direction. Shared Hosting Under 100 articles Pages per interval: 50 Update Interval: 3600 seconds Under 200 articles Pages per interval 100 Update Interval: 3600 seconds Under 500 articles Pages per interval: 250 Update Interval: 3600 seconds Dedicated Hosting Under 500 articles Pages per interval: 500 Update Interval:3600 seconds Under 5,000 articles Pages per interval: 2,500 Update Interval: 3600 seconds Over 5,000 articles Pages per interval: 5,000 Update Interval: 3600 seconds All the settings shown above will crawl X amount of pages ever hour (3600 seconds). This will ensure the entire website is fully cached, resulting in super fast and stable server response times (Time To First Byte).
  9. Version 1.0.8


  10. Version 4.3.6


    Download speeds are not limited. Released September 20 Key Changes This is a maintenance release to fix reported issues. Additional Information Core - Members & Accounts Added ability to use bulk mail subscription status as a filter for group promotions. Fixed profanity filters applying to account usernames during registration. Fixed following a member not updating the follow button correctly. Fixed filters when creating a bulk mail or downloading a member list not working in certain combinations. Fixed inability to manually set a member's reputation count less than 0. Core - Search & Activity Streams: Improved performance of indexing content when using Elasticsearch. Improved the phrasing of the description on search results page when a custom date range has been chosen to sound more natural. Fixed some Elasticsearch queries not working on very high traffic sites. Fixed an issue where content that had been restored after being deleted would not be reindexed correctly. Fixed an issue with Elasticsearch where content that had been hidden or moved would not be reindexed correctly. Fixed filtering by specific members when using Elasticsearch. Fixed various issues with activity streams not behaving correctly. Core - Posting & Post Content: Improved message when embedded content is not available to indicate if the content has been deleted or the user doesn't have permission to see it. Fixed some Emojis rendering incorrectly. Fixed broken TED Talks embeds. Core - Clubs: Fixed pagination of the list of members in a club not working. Fixed some moderator permissions not applying correctly within clubs. Fixed paid clubs being able to be created with $0 fee. Fixed granting permission to create specific types of clubs via secondary groups not working properly. Fixed content rebuild task not running on custom fields for clubs. Core - Sitemap Fixed some items not included in the sitemap. Fixed error generating the sitemap when entering zero for the number of items to include. Fixed sitemap not generating on some PHP versions. Core - Redis: Added ability to use Redis as a data storage method if is also being used as the caching method. Fixed online users older than 30 minutes showing when using Redis. Fixed uncaught exception that may occur when using Redis and clearing caches. Core - Misc Added a warning to the AdminCP dashboard, and when editing the login handler, if Facebook login is enabled but site is not using https. Also changed the Facebook login setup process to not allow new setups if site is not using https. Added an option to use a different Facebook application for social promotion (opposed to the Facebook application used for login) so that Facebook login is not affected while your Facebook app is under review. Added logging any time the support tool has been run. Improved session handling performance. Improved performance of viewupdates task. Improved performance of queue task. Fixed announcements being shown before the start date. Fixed error when deleting the node being viewed in AdminCP node trees. Fixed copying some node settings in the AdminCP not working. Fixed replacement tags not working in bulk mails within URLs. Fixed lost image style attributes in bulk emails. Fixed Acronym Expansion page in AdminCP not line breaking correctly for very long values, breaking the page layout. Fixed profile field management checking wrong AdminCP restriction. Fixed CSS and JavaScript files not being deleted when recompiled on upgrade or when running the support tool. Fixed false warnings from the database checker when using MySQL 8 and in certain other edge cases. Fixed error after changing cache or datastore settings in certain PHP configurations. Fixed link to the setting for allowed characters in usernames (which shows when setting up certain login handlers) not highlighting the setting. Fixed possible error when creating the default English language when running the support tool. Fixed AdminCP dashboard warning about failed tasks showing for disabled tasks. Fixed browsers potentially keeping a cache of outdated JavaScript files. Fixed JSON-LD data for ratings in several apps. Fixed some widgets not limiting results correctly which could cause performance issues. Fixed a possible technical error message (rather than a graceful error screen) showing if a very low-level error (such as database server offline) occurs in certain circumstances. Fixed a missing warning when the hooks.php file was not writable before application and plugin installations and upgrades. Fixed an issue when using profile complete and forum specific themes. Fixed uncaught exception if manually going to a specific URL to try to promote something which cannot be promoted. Fixed an unnecessary redirect in the applications upgrade process. Fixed some minor language string inconsistencies. Removed logging of notices that a template was requested to be rebuilt while already rebuilding. Check to ensure that https is used before allowing Facebook to be used as a log in handler. Fixes a read/write separation issue with unhiding Forums Fixed moderator permissions for posts. Fixed an issue where moving archived topics from one forum to another did not update the forum counters. Fixed an issue where posting a hidden post causes the forum to indicate a post pending approval is present. Commerce Added an option when refunding a transaction which was paid by a PayPal Billing Agreement to also cancel the Billing Agreement. Added support for AUD, CZK, DKK, HKD, ILS, MXN, NZD, NOK, PHP, PLN, RUB, SGD, SEK, SEK, CHF, and THB for PayPal card payments. Fixed automatic recurring payments for subscriptions not re-subscribing members correctly. Fixed subscription upgrades/downgrades not being available at all to plans which are set to only be payable by particular gateways, or whose base price is modified by the chosen renewal term. Fixed missing language strings in member history when upgrading subscriptions. Fixed missing tax on purchase reactivation. Fixed not being able to remove product discounts. Fixed incoming emails being saved as blank replies. Fixed incoming emails from certain email address formats, including emails using new domain extensions. Fixed the link to print an invoice that gets sent in the email not working for guests. Fixed missing language strings in the email advising a user their support request will automatically be marked resolved. Fixed invalid referral banner image URL shown to users. Fixed broken referrer tab in AdminCP customer profile. Fixed broken images when viewing a purchase of an advertisement in the AdminCP. Fixed advertisement purchases created by generating an invoice in the AdminCP. Fixed possible text overflow when viewing shipping order in AdminCP. Fixed support requests not showing assigned staff member in preview. Pages Fixed the page BBCode and editor button which allows content to be split over multiple pages. Fixed incorrect sorting of number database fields. Fixed search permissions when changing the "User can see records posted by other users" setting for a database. Fixed an error occurring when editing a comment that is synced with a topic that has been hidden. Fixed numeric database fields which use more than 2 decimal places in the value. Fixed an issue where using a custom field validator with a unique field would mean the unique check is skipped. Gallery Fixed broken redirect after deleting an album and moving images in it to a category. Fixed broken promote form for images within an album. Fixed missing watermark when a file was inserted via the "Insert other media" feature. Downloads Fixed screenshots that have been imported from a URL missing from embeds. Blog Fixed blog cover photo being used when sharing entries on social media even when the entry has its own feature photo. Fixed broken Blog Embeds. Fixed link to the last Blog Entry inside the Blog Embed. Calendar Fixed cover photo offset not copying correctly when copying events. Fixed venue not saving from ical upload. REST & OAuth Fixed OAuth setups refreshing refresh tokens more often than they should. Fixed OAuth setups not properly supporting implicit grants. Converters Added support for redirecting direct post links for Vanilla. Improved performance of conversions. Improved description of minimum version for vBulletin 3 conversions. Fixed error with login after conversion. Fixed extraneous breaks in content converted from vBulletin. Fixed personal conversations from Vanilla. Fixed Gallery albums being converted with no default sort option. Fixed issue with converting Calendar Event attachments. Fixed issue where some code box content may be broken after conversion from phpBB. Fixed vBulletin 3 redirects no longer working if you converted prior to upgrading to 4.x. Upgrader Added UConverter support to the UTF-8 Converter for sites with mixed character sets. Fixed an issue where announcement widgets may not get removed when upgrading to 4.3. Fixed possible SQL error when upgrading Calendar from 3.x. Fixed how sharedmedia BBCode gets converted to embeds for Gallery albums when upgrading from 3.x. Fixed an issue where converting to UTF-8 prior to upgrade can throw an error in some situations. Fixed Gallery sitemap showing incorrect date for images upgraded from 3.x. Third-Party / Developer / Designer Mode Fixed album embeds when in developer mode. Fixed errors adjusting sitemap configuration preferences when using developer mode
  11. Microsoft developed an operating system Windows 95 and included Internet explorer, a graphical web browser, in line with it. Undoubtedly it was the most widely used and popular web browser with more than 95% usage in 2002-03. The decline in popularity of Internet explorer started with the launch of Firefox in 2004, Google Chrome in 2008 and significantly because of the growing demand of other operating systems such as Linux, iOS, macOS and Android that do not run Internet Explorer as their default web browser. Microsoft quickly realised the importance of other operating systems and especially designed Internet explorer for Mac, UNIX, Xbox 360 and for windows phone but still Microsoft couldn’t reclaim the lost status of Internet explorer. In March 2015 Microsoft launched their new web browser with a name Microsoft Edge as their default web browser to replace Internet explorer and effectively produced Internet Explorer 11 as their final release. Since with the inception of Microsoft edge and other web browser such as Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera, many Windows users may want to get rid of the old Internet explorer but unfortunately it is still included in Windows 10 as one of its feature. You will not find Internet explorer in programs and features option to uninstall it like other programs but you can only turn it on or off by following the below procedure. STEP 1. INTERNET EXPLORER IS NOT LISTED IN “PROGRAMS AND FEATURES” WINDOW You cannot uninstall Internet explorer like other programs or applications in windows 10 because Internet explorer is not listed in programs and features window. You can check your PC by clicking on Start > Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features. STEP 2. TURN WINDOWS FEATURE ON OR OFF On similar window of “Program and features” locate option “Turn Windows features On or Off” on the left side of the window under view installed updates link and click Note 1. Windows 7 and 8 users can click on view installed updates and find Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) in the list and directly select Uninstall to remove IE11from their operating system. Microsoft 10 users will not find Internet Explorer 11 in the list of View Installed Updates. STEP 3. UNCHECK INTERNET EXPLORER 11 Uncheck the box with a title “Internet Explorer 11”. STEP 4. SELECT “YES” OPTION IN THE “WINDOWS FEATURES” WARNING
  12. George Prodromou

    Top 10 Mozilla Firefox Tips and Tricks

    One of the major reasons behind the popularity of the Mozilla Firefox browser is the riches of downloadable add-on and an array of customization options it has in stock. So if you prefer Firefox over other browsers, it quite makes sense. Many find Mozilla really cool and efficient for browsing the web. However, looking under the hood, Firefox entails a bunch of hidden tips and tricks that can pimp up your browsing experience manifolds. If you want to make the most of Mozilla Firefox then here are some amazing tips and tricks that can liven up your web browsing experience on Firefox. In this article, we will share with you extremely useful Firefox tips and tricks which are very helpful for people using Mozilla Firefox. As all of you know very well, Mozilla Firefox is one of the best, open source browsers. To use Mozilla Firefox more efficiently you can use the following tips: MOZILLA FIREFOX TIPS AND TRICKS KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS: F5 (Reload) Ctrl+F (Find) Ctrl+T (New tab) Ctrl+= (Increase text size) Ctrl+- (Decrease text size) Ctrl+L OR Alt+d (Go to address bar) Ctrl+K (Go to search box) Ctrl+D (Bookmark page) Alt-Home (Go to home page) Ctrl-W (Close current tab) Shift-Spacebar (page up) Space bar (page down) Alt-N (find next) Ctrl+Enter when it is a .com domain (i.e. when domain name is https://www.techlila.com then type, only namase in address bar then Ctrl+Enter it will automatically completes the address) Shift+Enter when it is a .net domain Ctrl+Shift+Enter when it is a .org domain. MOUSE SHORTCUTS: Middle click on link (Opens in new tab) Middle click on a tab (Closes tab) Ctrl-scroll down (Increase page size) Ctrl-scroll up (Decrease page size) Shift-scroll down (Previous page) Shift-scroll up (Next page) OTHER MOZILLA FIREFOX TIPS AND TRICKS: SPEED UP MOZILLA FIREFOX: Type about:config (about:config: Feature of Mozilla Firefox which lists application and configuration setting) in the address bar and hit Enter button, it will show you message “This might void your warranty!” Click on the button: “I’ll be careful, I promise!” then type network.http in the filter field, and change the following settings (Double-click on them to change them): Set network.http.pipelining to true Set network.http.proxy.pipelining to true Set network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to a number like 8. This will allow it to make 8 requests at once. Now, right-click anywhere and select New -> Integer. Name itnglayout.initialpaint.delay and set its value to 0?. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives. HANDLE MULTIPLE TABS WITH KEYBOARD: Mozilla Firefox provides feature of multiple tabs, you can handle multiple tabs by keyboard. Below are some tips to handle multiple tabs by using your keyboard. Ctrl+Tab (Rotate forward among tabs) Ctrl+Shft+Tab (Rotate to the previous tab) Ctrl+1-9 (Jump to a specific tab) CHANGE BEHAVIOR OF CLOSE BUTTON: Sometimes by mistake you click on close button of Firefox tabs. Here is a trick to remove or move close tab button. Type about:config in the address bar and hit Enter button, then search for browser.tabs.closeButton in filter field. When you find it double-click on given result. It will show you a prompt with default value 1. Change it to different values for different behaviours. Enter 0 to display a close button on the active tab only. Enter 1 (default Value) to display close button to all tabs. Enter 2 to avoid displaying any close buttons. Enter 3 to display single close button at the end of the tab bar. SHRINK YOUR ICONS Make your icons small in Firefox To make use of more screen space just make your icons, small. This tip is really useful to achieve a more minimalist look of your browser screen. Simply go to View > Toolbars > Customize > and then select the box named Use small icons CHANGE THE DEFAULT EMAIL SETTINGS When you click on mailto links in Firefox, it automatically takes you to the default email program, i.e. Outlook in Windows and Mail on a Mac. Sometimes these don’t work well for you or you want some other mail programs. You can prevent the default mail annoyance by altering your preference settings. Go to Tools > Options > Applications and then just hit the drop-down menu and choose the program you want to go for. Next time, when you click on a mailto link, your browser will automatically take to your preferred email client. USE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS FOR FASTER BROWSING This is where you can really improve your browsing experience. It just takes a few revisions to get in to it, but once you are done with the learning process, you can enjoy superfast browsing. Just check the listed most common Firefox keyboard shortcuts: To find something on the webpage just press CTRL+F To page down press Spacebar To page up press Shift+Spacebar To bookmark a page CTRL+D To open a new tab CTRL+T Go to search box by pressing CRTL+K Go to address bar by pressing CTRL+L To increase text size CTRL+= To decrease text size CTRL+- To close tab CTRL+W Go to home page ATL+Home To reload a page F5 SEARCH BETTER WITH KEYWORDS If you find yourself searching through the same sites over and over again, you may want to consider utilizing search keywords. For example, if you’re an avid Wikipedia-er, you can use search keywords to access an intra-Wiki search directly from the main address bar. To create a search keyword, right-click on the search box within the site you’d like to add. This action will prompt a pull-down menu where you can choose “Add a Keyword for this Search.” This in turn prompts a pop-up bookmark window, which includes a “Keyword” field where you can create a nickname for your search, e.g. IMDb.com would get “IMDb” and PCMag.com would get “HellaAwesomeTechSite” (from experimenting, it appears that you can’t use a multi-word keyword). Once added, you access that search by typing the keyword followed by the search into the address bar. For example, you would just need to enter Wikipedia Charles Darwin in the search bar to be taken directly to Darwin’s Wiki page. HOW TO OPEN MULTIPLE WEBSITES WHEN YOU START FIREFOX: Open multiple websites in Firefox Look for ’startup’, under main tab. Then type the website address/URL in ‘Homepage’ box separated by “|” symbol. For example, if you want to open Google, Yahoo and Alexa at the same time, then type – www.google.com | www.yahoo.com | www.alexa.com in Homepage box. Then Restart Firefox and you will see Firefox loading all 3 websites by default.
  13. George Prodromou

    How to recover deleted files on Windows

    Ooops!!! That’s the general feeling we have when we mistakenly delete a file or folder which we still need. It’s happened to most of us. You delete a file and realize you need it back, you know that it can be incredibly frustrating, and it’s even more frustrating when it’s something you have been working on for days, weeks, or even months. This guide will explain when you can get that file back and how to go about it. First thing we do is to look around your computer system as you might have moved the file or folder to another location without realizing it. This will save you from kicking yourself going through this tutorial just to see the file/folder in your favorite cat videos folder. HOW TO SEARCH FOR A FILE ON YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM You can scan your entire computer drive memory for a particular file using the name of the file or the file type, we do this by: Step 1: Click on the windows button on the lower left edge of your desktop on windows (that is the icon in the shape of a window frame). Step 2: You can immediately start typing in the name of your file and the search results will begin showing or if you don’t get a response you can move your cursor to the search box in the Windows Explorer or File Explorer window and click on it. Step 3: if your file is still in your computer system you should see it as one of the results in the search dialogue (ensure you use the correct spelling of your file name). You can also use file extensions to search for all files with a particular file extension. If you do not see your file or the search dialogue displays “no results found”, don’t despair just continue to our next step LOOKING IN THE RECYCLE BIN Fortunately, deleting a file may not be the end of the world. In fact, in many cases, the file is hiding in the recycle bin and can be easily retrieved. Just double-click on the recycle bin or trashcan icon and you can see everything that’s inside. You can search the Recycle Bin using the search box at the top-right corner of the window, which may help if you have a lot of files in your Recycle Bin. You can also right-click in the window, point to “Sort By”, and select “Date Deleted” to view files that were recently deleted. Did you find what you thought you had deleted? Simply drag it back onto your Desktop, and you are good to go. Note that programs like CCleaner and Tune Up Utilities empty your Recycle Bin when you run them, so having Tune Up Utilities or a similar program automatically run in the background can prevent you from recovering files from the Recycle Bin. If it’s not in your trashcan, then there are a number of other things you can try to recover a deleted file. One of the things you can do is to recover the file/folder from your backups (Hopefully you have been doing backups). It is advisable to make regular backups of your most important files so you won’t lose too much critical data if they ever vanish on you and you can restore it from a backup (if you’re using Windows backup) or you can try to restore it from a previous version. Previous versions are copies of files and folders that Windows automatically saves as part of a restore point. Previous versions are sometimes referred to as shadow copies. It might be a day old, but it’s better to lose a day than lose everything. HOW TO RECOVER DELETED FILES USING BACKUPS If you do have a backup, now’s the time to check it for a copy of the file you deleted. RESTORING FILES FROM A BACKUP To restore a file from a backup, make sure the media or drive that your backup is saved on is available, and then follow these steps: Step 1: Open Backup and Restore by clicking on the Start button The Start button, then clicking Control Panel, and clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Backup and Restore. Step 2: Click Restore my files, and then follow the prompts in the wizard. OR. Step 1: Working with File History, first go to “Settings” on your Windows system, then “Control Panels.” Look for “Save backup copies of your files with File History” under “System and Security.” To recover a file from File History, select “Restore personal files” on the left side of the window. This shows all the folders being tracked with File History. To check a specific folder like “Desktop,” double-click and see what it has archived. To restore the most recently backed up version of the file, click to select it, then click on the round green restore button at the bottom of the window check this. In a moment or two the file will return, safe and sound back on your Desktop. RESTORING FILES FROM PREVIOUS VERSIONS You can restore deleted files and folders or restore a file or folder to a previous state. To restore a deleted file or folder you: Step 1: Open “My Computer” by clicking the Start button The Start button, and then clicking “My Computer”. Step 2: Navigate to the folder that previously contained the file or folder, right-click it, and then click Restore previous versions. If the folder was at the top level of a drive, for example C:\, right-click on the drive, and then click Restore previous versions. You’ll see a list of available previous versions of the file or folder. The list will include files saved on a backup (if you are using Windows Backup to back up your files) as well as restore points, if both types are available. Note: To restore a previous version of a file or folder that’s included in a library, right-click the file or folder in the location where it’s saved, rather than in the library. For example, to restore a previous version of a picture that’s included in the Pictures library but is stored in the My Pictures folder, right-click the My Pictures folder, and then click Restore previous versions. YOU DON’T HAVE ANY BACKUPS? There’s still hope though if you don’t have any backups and your file is not in the trash, you might want to try one of the many file recovery programs out there, like: Recuva, DMDE Free Edition, PhotoRec, Easy Undelete, Undelete 360, or Pandora Recovery. Another option is Disk Drill, a recovery tool originally designed for Mac OS and now available for Windows OS. It offers help with partition loss, hard drive reformatting, failed boot-ups, accidental deletions, and more. Another possibility to consider: have you emailed the file to anyone? Have you saved a copy on a cloud-based service like DropBox, iCloud, or OneDrive? If so, you might be able to grab a copy from there. Again, even if you lose the most recent changes, it is better than nothing. However you approach it, there are lots of optionsto explore after you realize you have accidentally deleted a photo, document, spreadsheet, report, or other file. And get those backups going too, so next time you need to find a deleted file, you have more options.
  14. George Prodromou

    Laptop care and maintenance tips

    HERE ARE OUR TIPS ON HOW TO MAINTAIN AND CARE FOR YOUR LAPTOP. In recent years Laptops have been gaining popularity as the computer system of choice amongst hard core computer users. This is unsurprising as the main benefit of a laptop is its portability which is a defining factor in businesses today. Those who travel for work or attend regular meetings on campus can take their computer along. Let’s face it – our laptops go through a lot. It takes much more than being careful and traveling with a laptop case to keep your piece of personal technology running optimally. Regular maintenance for your laptop is very important. Doing so can help reduce risk of malware while ensuring your system runs smoothly. Maintenance may also includes: Keeping your laptop’s hardware clean on the outside and inside. Keeping your system (software) maintained will encourage better performance. It can even help a laptop last much longer. FOR YOUR HARDWARE (THE PHYSICAL PART OF THE LAPTOP) Hardware maintenance tips include: Clean your laptop display: No matter how careful you try to be, it seems like your laptop display always ends up smeared and dirty. Cleaning the screen means you’ll always view your work clearly; it’ll be much easier on the eyes. It’s a good idea to clean it off once in a while; you shouldn’t use harsh chemicals though. Instead, pick up a can of display cleaner from a nearby tech store or mix your own cleaning solution with equal parts distilled water and white vinegar. Just be sure not to spray it directly on the laptop display – instead, apply it to a damp cloth and then wipe the screen clean. Maintain your laptop keyboard: To clean your keyboard, you can grab a can of compressed air from a nearby tech store and blow away any dust that may have accumulated between the keys. If necessary, you can go a little deeper by removing your keys and cleaning out any gunk that may have slipped underneath. Just make sure you research to see if the keys can be taken off first. Check the laptop case screws: One step we often overlook is checking the laptop case screws to make sure they are still firmly secure. To check this, flip your laptop over and check the tightness of each screw using a very small Phillips screwdriver. Laptop battery: If you notice that your laptop doesn’t hold a charge as long as it used to then it may be time to replace your battery. Laptop batteries typically last 2-3 years before needing to be replaced & a replacement battery can vary in cost depending on what type of laptop you have. Clean out the internal dust & dirt: If it seems like your laptop fans are struggling to keep your laptop cool, it may not be because your laptop is getting old – it may just be dirty! Nasty dust bunnies build up inside your hard drive fans and exposed ports causing performance issues. Keeping your case free of dust and dirt buildup will help your laptop by preventing dirt from getting inside the laptop. If dust does make its way in, you can blast it free with a can of compressed air. LET’S NOT FORGET ABOUT THE OPERATING SYSTEM & SOFTWARE Proper laptop maintenance doesn’t stop with the hardware. You also need to dedicate time to optimize your Operating system and Software to keep your laptop running in tip-top shape. Software maintenance tips include: Update your Operating System: Most Operating Systems release system updates on a regular basis to add features and address any vulnerabilities that may have been discovered within the OS. It’s important to apply these updates to your computer regularly in order to get the latest features and patch security holes to keep your laptop as secure as possible. Clean Your Hard Drive: Over time it is easy for the mobile professional to accumulate a lot of unnecessary files on their laptop’s hard drive. Take the time once a month to go through your hard drive and examine the files you have there. As you look over those files, determine which should be saved elsewhere for future reference and which can be trashed. If you download programs regularly to try new things or to have access to new programs for projects, properly uninstall those programs when they are no longer needed. A clean hard drive is a smoother and faster running hard drive. Disable Startup Programs: Loads software are configured to automatically startup whenever Windows boots by default, but that may not be the best setup especially if you don’t use it regularly. Disabling unnecessary startup programs can help your system boot up faster & help improve your laptop performance since they won’t be sucking up resources in the background. To disable your startup programs: Start -> Type ‘msconfig’ and press Enter -> Click on the Startup tab -> Uncheck any programs that you do not need to run whenever Windows boots. Defrag Your Hard Drive: Defragging your computer is a process that rearranges fragmented data so that it is easier for the system to read, allowing your computer to work more efficiently. Unsurprisingly, defragging your hard drive is another maintenance task that ensures your laptop will run as efficiently as possible. There isn’t any need to defrag more than once a month for your programs to run more quickly and make better use of the space on your hard drive. When you defrag your laptop hard drive regularly, you will notice fewer software crashes and freeze ups, your programs will simply run better. Note that if you use a solid-state drive (SSD) in your laptop, there is no need to defragment. Back-Up Regularly: Full back-ups should be conducted on a monthly basis. There are software and hardware options available. You should choose the method that is efficent and can be done without stress. It may require trying different systems before finding the best back-up system for your needs. Most important, you should have a secure, fire-proof place to store your back-ups. Antivirus & anti-malware scan: Check that you have an antivirus and/or anti-malware software installed and that its virus definitions are current. If it’s been awhile, perform a full system scan to make sure there is no malware lurking on your laptop. HERE ARE A FEW OTHER TIPS TO HELP KEEP YOUR COMPUTER IN GOOD WORKING ORDER: Shut down your computer when not in use. This ensures that your previous work is “saved” and saves you money! Always use a carrying case when moving your laptop. Even a short fall can damage the hard drive and result in complete loss of your data! When traveling, do not check your laptop with your luggage, always carry it with you. Always “shut down”, “suspend”, or “hibernate” your laptop before moving it. This allows your hard drive to “spin down” which prevents potential data loss when moving your laptop. Avoid getting your laptop wet. Never try to power on a wet laptop! If the machine does become wet carefully unplug the power from the socket and contact a professional. Avoid extreme temperatures hot or cold. Computers operate best in the same temperatures that you do. Keep your laptop away from strong magnets or equipment that generates magnetic fields. In extreme situations this can easily cause data loss. Don’t leave your laptop unattended. Laptops are easy to spot and prime targets for theft!
  15. Most computers ship with a single operating system on them, but you can have multiple operating systems installed on a single PC. Having multiple operating systems installed — and choosing between them at boot time — is known as “dual-booting.” Not only can you do it yourself, but it’s reasonably easy. Of course, all of the operating systems must be compatible with your overall hardware. Assuming your PC is less than five years old, it should be able to take most versions of Windows along with almost any type of Lin ux. WHY BOTHER DUAL-BOOTING? Different operating systems have different uses and advantages. Having more than one operating system installed allows you to quickly switch between two and have the best tool for the job. It also makes it easier to dabble and experiment with different operating systems. HOW DUAL-BOOTING WORKS A computer’s operating system is generally installed on its internal hard drive. When you boot your computer, the BIOS loads the boot loader from the hard drive and the bootloader boots the installed operating system. By partitioning the drive into several different partitions, you can have one partition for one operating system and another partition for another operating system, splitting the drive between them. SETTING UP A DUAL-BOOT SYSTEM I’ll walk you through dual booting Windows and another version of Windows. With minor differences, this should work with other operating systems like Linux as well. MAKE A BACKUP OF ANY IMPORTANT DATA FILES: Before attempting a dual-boot you need to protect your system by creating an image backup–either with Windows’ own tools or a third-party backup program. Note: Don’t follow any of the directions below until you’ve created that backup. Once the backup is complete, create a new partition on your drive. According to Microsoft, you’ll need at least 20GB on the new partition. But I wouldn’t try it anything less than 60GB. ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE THE INSTALLATION DISKS FOR WHATEVER OPERATING SYSTEMS YOU WANT TO INSTALL: When you’ve prepared the new partition, boot from your Windows 8 DVD or flash drive. As you go through the installation wizard, keep an eye out for these two questions: WHICH TYPE OF INSTALLATION DO YOU WANT? *Select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)*. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO INSTALL WINDOWS? *Select the new partition you just created*. After the installation is over, booting your PC will bring you to a menu where you can choose your operating system. The bootloader can be configured using NT loader (Windows) to set which operating system you want to boot into by default and set a time delay to choose another operating system before the default is chosen. YOU CAN HAVE DIFFERENT OPERATING SYSTEMS ON ONE PC You aren’t limited to having just two operating systems on a single computer. If you wanted to, you could have three or more operating systems installed on your computer. You could have Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux all on the same computer. You’re only restricted by the storage space available on your computer and the time you want to spend setting this up. Note: There’s another option besides using partitions. You can install a virtual machine program and then install the second OS inside that program.
  16. FIRST WE NEED TO ANSWER THE QUESTION: WHAT IS A PARTITION? A partition is a part of a hard drive. You have the choice to determine the number of partition on your hard drive. After partitioning a hard drive, you can have more partitions. The computer regards each new partition as a separate disk and each of them will be showed under “Windows Explorer” in increasing alphabetical order (“Local Disk C:”, “Local Disk D:”, “Local Disk E:” and so on). Some partitions are readily available to the operating system while you store only data in other partitions. Therefore, after installing Windows 10 on your hard drive, it is advisable to partition it at first, and then formatting it before it can be available to Windows 10. WHY DO WE NEED TO PARTITION OUR HARD DRIVE? For most users, there are two essential reasons: Virus attack: Computers are constantly being attacked by viruses if your system is infected by a virus and there is only one partition and you format the partition. What will happen? If there was only one partition on a hard drive you automatically lose all of your data after formatting. Partitions are used as backups which are not affected by the happenings of the operating system. Ease of Control: You can separate your operating system, programs, and data. It is more convenient for you to manage your different datum in this way. In the event of a system crash, you will just need to reinstall your system; the programs or data stored in other partitions are still safe. Multiple Operating Systems: Most people partition their hard drive for the freedom and flexibility it gives them as they can choose between various Operating Systems (Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Linux HOW TO PARTITION WINDOWS 10 HARD DRIVE: Windows 10 is the latest iteration of the Windows Operating System (OS) released by Microsoft. Its loads better when compared with Windows 8, such as adding the Start Menu icon seen in Windows 7, a virtual desktop system, a voice assistant named Cortana, Xbox app and streaming, and the new revamped Edge browser. So how do we go about partitioning it? Well, It sounds difficult for users to partition their hard drive, but don’t worry, Windows 10’s Disk Management tool helps you manage hard disk partitions without rebooting your system or interruption. It is a convenient tool for Windows 10 users. The prime features of Windows 10 Disk Management are as follows: Ability to create, delete and format the partition. You can now mark the partition as active. Now you can explore partition to view files. Freedom to convert empty dynamic disk to basic disk. Helps you extend and shrink the partition. Also, change drives letter and paths. Convert empty MBR to GPT disk, and vice versa. Extending Partition using Windows Disc Management tool It’s sort of complex using disk management in Windows 10 to partition the hard drive. Therefore, it is highly recommended to backup important data in hard drive. We have three ways for you to launch Disk Management tool. Way 1: The easiest way for you to launch “Disk Management” in Windows 10 is from your Desktop. Right click on Start Menu (or press Windows + X hotkey) and select “Disk Management”. Way 2: By using the Windows + R hotkey to open Run window. Type “Diskmgmt.msc” and click “OK” or hit the “Enter” key. Way 3: Directly typing “Disk Management” in the Search box and choosing “Create and format hard disk partitions” from the options. After launching Disk Management, search for “hard disk partitions” at the Start Menu or Search tool. Right-click the hard drive and select “Shrink Volume”. Right click on the unallocated space and select “New Simple Volume”. Enter the New Simple Volume Wizard interface by clicking Next and specify the volume size. Assign Drive Letter or Path (e.g. C:, D:, E:,) then format the partition into default file system NTFS. Click Finish to complete creating a new partition in Windows 10. Note: Be careful while carrying out the above operations. Mistakes may result in the loss of vital data.
  17. BUILT-IN ADVERTISING IN WINDOWS 10 Though generally accepted as a step-up from Windows 8x, Windows 10 is not free of controversy. During the initial phase of the launch, the pestering ‘free upgrade’ notifications were heavily criticized. Later on, one of the most controversial aspects of the OS was the blatant built-in advertising. Today, we will take a look on how to disable most of it. LOCK SCREEN The Windows Spotlight feature is a particularly easy way of viewing fantastic pictures every day. However, Microsoft also includes ads in there, particularly for releases in the Windows Store. To get rid of them, you will have to disable Windows Spotlight by going to Settings > Personalization > Lock screen and choosing a new option from the ‘Background’ menu. While you are there, you might also want to disable the ‘Get fun facts […] on your lock screen’ toggle too. START MENU Those ‘suggested apps’ that sometimes pop up in the Start Menu are really just ads. To remove them, head over to Settings > Personalization > Start and turn off the toggle for ‘Occasionally show suggestions in Start’. MICROSOFT TIPS Sometimes, Windows 10 will give you tips that are most often used to advertise Microsoft’s own services over their competitors. While you are using Chrome, for instance, you might get a prompt to use Edge instead for ‘better battery life’. To disable these suggestions once and for all, head over to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions. Once there, turn off the ‘Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows’ option. GET OFFICE (OR DON’T) Though Office 365 might be a fantastic suite of tools, being constantly reminded of it can be extremely annoying. Windows 10 includes an app called ‘Get Office’ which more than lives up to its name. After all, it constantly reminds you that you too can enjoy a free trial of Office 365. Thankfully, the app can be uninstalled like any other. Alternatively, you can navigate to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions and turn its notification option off. ADS IN LIVE TILES While there is no denying that Live Tiles can be useful, they are all too often used as a sneaky form of advertising. The Xbox and Store tiles are particularly relevant examples of this behavior. To avoid them, simply right-click on the tiles and select the More > Turn live till off option. Alternatively, you can get rid of the tiles entirely by unpinning them from Start. AUTOMATIC DOWNLOADS A considerable number of Windows PCs come equipped with a variety of pre-built software from specific manufacturers. Now, Microsoft has decided to add to the bloatware with its own automatic apps including Candy Crush Soda Saga, Twitter, and Flipboard. Thankfully, you can uninstall them like any other app though they will appear to be default tiles at first. SOLITAIRE VIDEO ADS Solitaire and Minesweeper were basically staples of the Windows experience. With the latest version of the OS, however, that fact changed in an instant. For starters, Minesweeper is not included in Windows. And while Solitaire is indeed available, you will have to sit through 30-second video ads. Unless, of course, you are willing to pay $10/year for Solitaire and another $10/year for Minesweeper. There are plenty of free versions of the game on the internet, including one in Google’s own search (hint: just search for solitaire).
  18. Let discover how to get most out of the Netflix. We know there is a vast amount of content available on Netflix but that is only accessible to the people who have their secret codes. Fortunately, there is another secret, or you can call it a better way to browse deep into the Netflix, of accessing numerous movies and TV shows hidden deep on Netflix. Netflix is actually giving the access to movies region wise like if you are in the USA you will be browsing certain collections but if you are in Canada the movies list would be quite different so what we have to do here is to rub our internet IP through these countries so you have a different selection from Netflix. Note. This does break the Netflix terms and agreements so they can shut down your account if they find out that you are doing it. If you still want to proceed to the hidden movies on Netflix, at your own risk, follow the below given steps. METHOD 1 Download Google chrome, if you don’t have, and open the Google web store with the following Google.com/webstore Once the Google web store opens up, navigate to the search tab and write “Hola” and press Enter. You will see a list of apps click on Hola better internet with a burning smiley emoji with it. Click on install into the Google chrome extension. A small new icon will be added at the right top corner of the browser. Click on it and select a country of your choice. Once you have selected different country than you are living in, open your Netflix ID, here you are, you wull see a different collection of movies on your browser. Enjoy METHOD 2 This method is more easy and interesting. Now we know that Netflix has categorized their list of usual action, Drama, and Sci-Fi with different codes. This simple trick will allow you to reveal a number of hidden Netflix collections. Log into your Netflix account and enter the following URL: http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/ Netflix has assigned different codes to different categories, now just type the category code in front of /genre/”Code” and hit Enter, like http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/67673 and press Enter button. All hidden collection of Disney Movies will appear on your screen and you can access any of your choices. There is a website Orges-crypt.com which has made a list of thousands of categories available on Netflix This method is only applicable on Safari, Firefox, chrome etc browsers. You can actually access the categories with Apple TV, app or other smart TV solutions List of some of the important categories is given below. S.no. Category Name Code 1 Action & Adventure Movies 1365 2 Animation Movies 7424 3 Children and Family Movies 783 4 Classic Movies 31574 5 Comedies 6548 6 Cult Movies 6727 7 Documentaries 6839 8 Dramas 5763 9 Faith and Spirituality 26835 10 Foreign Movies 7462 11 Gay and Lesbian Movies 5977 12 Horror Movies 8711 13 Independent Movies 7077 14 Music 1701 15 Musicals 13335 16 Romantic Movies 8883 17 Sci-Fi & Fantasy 1492 18 Sports Movies 4370 19 Thrillers 8933 20 TV Shows 83
  19. George Prodromou

    How to install Windows 8 from a USB Stick

    Every time, buying a new DVD or inserting an old one in your computer to install Windows 8 is definitely not a cool idea. If you are bored in doing this practice time and again, than we have a solution to your this problem. And if you don’t want to download setup from Google, this article is also for you. Read this article till end and you will find real time convenient ways to install windows 8 using your portable USB. This guide is divided into four parts to make it easy and comprehensible to go with. PART 1: CREATE WINDOWS 8 ISO Install a burning program: There are lots of free burning programs available on the internet. You will be needed one that can create ISO for your Windows 8. Insert DVD of Windows 8: After creating a space for ISO, next step you will be doing is to insert your DVD for Windows 8 in burning program. You can see how you would choose your command in this picture. Saving ISO file: Till this step, your ISO file will be ready to be saved in your computer. Save it and remember its location in your computer as well. This may take long time depending upon the speed of computer. PART 2: CREATE BOOTABLE DRIVE Download windows 7 USB download tool: This is freely available on internet, download it and use it for ISO Windows 8. It supports all versions of windows. Source file selection: In this step, brows and select the source file (ISO) that was created. Once selected, click next button. USB device selection: Download tool will ask to create either DVD or USB file, click USB device. Selecting USB drive from the attached devices: 4GB space will be required to perform this action. Make sure that USB is connected properly and after selection, click Begin Copying. Wait for the program: Program will take sometimes to copy the ISO file. Little wait for it. PART 3: OPTIMIZING COMPUTER SETTINGS TO BOOT FROM USB Opening the BIOS: Booting computer from USB, you will need to set BIOS boot in the USB first before setting it in hard drive of the computer. For this purpose, you will be needed to reset the computer and entering into the setup by pressing displayed keys. These keys can be F2, F10 or Del. Navigate the Boot menu in BIOS adjusted: In dropdown options, change the first Boot Device to the USB drive. If USB drive is properly inserted, it will be shown There as either ‘Removable Device’ or any other name. Save the changes: In this step, you will be only needed to save the changes made. If everything is done correctly, Windows 8 will start to load after disappearance of logo. PART 4: INSTALLATION OF WINDOWS 8 Select the language: When installations will be begun, it will ask you to select the language you want to use. After doing this, click next. Click on Install Now: In this window screen, you will be needed to click on Install Now’s option. Enter the Key: This is called the product key that come along with purchased Windows copy. These are 25 characters and you will not need to enter the dashes while entering this key to the computer. This is a must step that should be followed prior installing the Windows. License agreement: In this step, you will need to check a box that will confirm that you are agreeing with license term and conditioned mentioned. This is also a must step and windows installation will only proceed once this step will be executed. Picking Custom Install: This step will give you two options, either you want a custom installation of Windows 8 or you want an upgrade. Custom Install is highly recommended that will allow full installation of Windows 8. Upgrade can cause problems on long term basis. Delete partition: In this step, a news Window will open that will ask you where you want to install Windows. For a clean installation, you will have to delete old Window’s partition. You will be needed to click on drive options, that will make you able to delete the old partitions and help you start with new clean slate. If you are installing an operating system for the first time, there will be no partitions to delete. At the end of all this actions, you will be needed to confirm the deletion commands. Select an unallocated space: There will be no need to create space for new partition before you start installing Windows 8. This is automatically done by the Windows. Click next in this step. Windows will start installing files: In this step, you computer screen will show the percentage of installing files by Windows 8. This percentage will increase gradually and may take up to 30 minutes time to complete the process. You will need to wait during the process. After done installation of files, computer will restart automatically. Gathering of information by Windows: After restarting the computer, logo of Windows 8 will appear with the text saying ‘getting devices ready’ along with percentage. After completion of this process, Window will automatically restart again. Personalize the windows: A personalization Window will appear after finishing the rebooting. You will be asked to pick up a color pattern for your Windows. However, you can change it anytime from Windows settings. Enter the computer’s name: Enter a name for your computer and click next. Choose your settings: A Window will appear asking for the settings of your choice. You will be needed to optimize the settings. Most common option is ‘Express Settings’ which will make enable the updates that will appear during the usage of Windows in future. Create the account: In this step, you will be asked to create an account so that you can log in to windows. Microsoft usually recommend a Microsoft account for this purpose however, you can enter any valid email address for the same purpose as well. This account will enable you to make purchases from Microsoft stores in future. You can also sign up for new email address if you don’t have one. Watch the tutorial: Once you are done selecting all of your customized settings, Windows will take a final round and will display several screens that will explain you how you will use Windows. On the finishing of this tutorial, you are ready to go with Windows8! Congratulations, you’ve successfully installed Windows 8 from a USB storage device!
  20. Microsoft replaces its previous live search, MSN search and Yahoo search offerings with Bing search engine in May 2009 with a hope that they can finally conquer the web that is so long has been dominated by Google. Microsoft kept the web search option in windows 10 as default to radically boost the user engagement for Bing. These two companies are engaged in a very tough competition that is why Microsoft want every single user they can get. The standout features of Microsoft 10 are Cortana digital assistance and web search direct from the windows start menu but the search function, controlled by the Cortana, works in an improbably annoying way by default. Whenever a file or app name is searched in start menu search option and that doesn’t match a system file or app, Cortana access a Bing search engine which comes up with a series of web site addresses by default, rather than checking local hard drive for relevant files. Initially, Microsoft provided a built-in feature to turn the web search option on or off in Windows 10 search bar in start menu but later on Microsoft removed that inherent option on its anniversary update as it was significantly affecting the Bing online search gains over Google. Most of the people don’t like to search the web from start menu search bar because they already have their browser opened with their favorite search engine for such task. They expect to search in their local hard drive when they write something in start menu Windows search bar. Luckily, it is still possible to disable the Cortana and Bing search feature from Windows 10 search by just following the below given steps. STEP 1. DISABLE CORTANA IN SEARCH SETTINGS Click on the search icon in the bottom left corner Click on setting icon on left bar Click “Off” next to Cortana/Web searches Note. If you have the latest updates installed on Windows 10 Home, you have to disable the Cortana with a registry tweak: Press win + R to execute Run dialog box Type “regedit” and press Enter key Locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search If Windows Search directory does not exist create one by right click Key Heading Windows and select new Key”. Call it “Windows Search” and perform the following procedure Right click on Windows Search and select New > Dword (32-bit) value Name it “AllowCortana” and double click on it. Set its value to zero 0 to disable Cortana STEP 2. DISABLING WEB SEARCH IN WINDOWS 10 SEARCH Press win + R button on keyboard to execute Run dialog box. Type msc and press Enter Key to open Group Policy Editor Now Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search Now Navigate to “Do not Allow web search” and double click it. Select enabled radio button, press Apply and OK. Locate “Don’t search the web or display web results in search” and double click it. Select enabled radio button, press Apply and OK Locate “Don’t search the web or display web result in search over metered connections” and double click it. Select enabled, press Apply and Ok Note. If you are Windows 10 Home user, you will not have the access to “GPedit.msc” Group Policy Editor therefore you have to follow the below procedure to disable the web search feature in Windows 10 search. Press “win + R” key to open Run dialog box Type “regedit.exe” and press Enter key. Now navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search If the key is unavailable, create one by right click and select New > Key and name it “Windows Search” Locate ConnectedSearchUseWeb and double click on it and set it to zero 0. It will disable the web search in Windows 10 If you can’t find the above preference, create one yourself by right clicking on Windows Search and selecting New > Dword (32- bit) value. Name it “ConnectedSearchUseWeb” and set its value to zero 0.
  21. There is always a perpetual need to save files or applications on our Windows computer and what this means is that hard drives fill up faster than they should. This is truer even with solid-state drives which offer much less hard drive space than traditional mechanical drives. If you are looking to free up space on your hard drive to accommodate more important files and applications, below are five ways you can do this. RUN A DISK CLEANUP On your Windows OS is an inbuilt tool which deletes temporary files and other unimportant data. To access this program, search for “Disk Cleanup” in the start menu, watch it calculate how much space you would clean up and once done, proceed to clean up system files. UNINSTALL SPACE-HUNGRY APPLICATIONS Uninstalling programs will free up space on your computer although some programs use very little space so you should find out exactly how much space each program on your computer is consuming. The easiest way to search for “Control Panel” on your start menu then proceeds to the “Uninstall a program” menu. On here, you would see each application on your system come up in a list format and see precisely how much space each is consuming. Note that some apps won’t show exactly how much space they are consuming so you might need a third party application to help with this and ensure there are no leftover files consuming space in the background. ANALYZE DISK SPACE You can find out exactly how much space you have on your hard drive using a hard disk analysis program. These applications scan your hard drive to determine precisely what files and folders are taking up the most space on your computer. One app we would recommend for this is WinDirStat. After you have scanned the system to find out exactly which folders and file types are consuming the most space and how much space they are consuming, proceed to delete unwanted files. Ensure you delete only personal files and not important system files. REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF SPACE USED FOR SYSTEM RESTORE It’s possible that system restore is consuming a lot of hard drive space through restore points, but you can reduce the amount of space allocated to system restore. The trade-off is you have less restore points to restore your system from and less previous copies of files to restore. For some persons, this is not that important so they can go ahead and free a few gigabytes by reducing the amount of space used for System Restore points. To do this, search for create a restore point then select configure on the menu options and a menu which allows you adjust how much space is used for system restore comes up.
  22. George Prodromou

    How to install nload on Ubuntu and Centos

    nload allows you to view your current network bandwidth activity for both incoming and outgoing connections, live as it happens. For Ubuntu use the following command: apt-get install nload For Centos use the following command yum install epel-release yum install nload To access nload just type in: nload You can use the left and right keys on your keyboard to switch between different network cards. Alternatively, you can use the command below to view all your network activity nload -m
  23. George Prodromou

    How to Tune PHP-FPM Guide

    Have you ever spent hours tuning PHP-FPM, stress tested it until everything runs smoothly. You deploy your changes into production and within a few hours or days it suddenly crashes? requiring a manual restart, whilst in the meantime taking your entire website offline? read on. PHP-FPM is very tricky to tune correctly and their are so many variables that it makes it almost impossible to provide you with the ultimate settings. However, I can certainly guide you in the right direction to tune it for ultimate performance and reliability. Common issues for PHP-FPM crashing after tuning You tuned and stress tested PHP-FPM on cached pages, but forgot to see how it performs on non cached pages You aren’t simulating enough connections, resulting in PHP-FPM running out of PM.Children and crashing You tuned PHP-FPM to use far more RAM than you actually have. This is a very common issue when you tune on a cached page, but not tested it on non-cached pages. Remember, a non cached page needs to execute a lot of PHP, requiring far more RAM than serving a cached HTML page. PHP-FPM TUNING Now let’s begin, the settings you would need to change will live in the following file: nano /etc/php/7.0/fpm/pool.d/www.conf You would need to scroll down and find the following lines. Note: they are not altogether as shown below. pm = dynamic pm.max_children = 4 pm.start_servers = 2 pm.min_spare_servers = 1 pm.max_spare_servers = 3 pm.max_requests = 200 These are the key settings which will heavily depend on how reliable PHP-FPM will be and much traffic it can handle. Before we begin tuning for PHP-FPM you will need to use a server stress testing tool. I personally use an SEO tool called ScreamingFrog where I can set the crawl rate very high which will simulate traffic on random pages. However this is a paid tool. If you do not have access to this, you can use something like the Apache Stress test tool which can be installed using the following command sudo apt-get install apache2-utils In order to execute a stress test you would use the following command line ab -c 100 -t 60 -r http://example.com/ -c 100 means 100 requests per second and -t 60 means for 60 seconds. It is strongly advised that you run this command from a different server then the one you are testing. Here you will be able to see how many requests your server can handle, how long it took to complete the requests and if PHP-FPM crashes along with how much memory it’s using under load using ‘htop’. This is where you would tweak the settings until you find the optimum performance. The key element here will be ‘pm.max_children’. Set this too high and your server will crash, set this too low and again your server will crash. This is heavily dependant on how much RAM your server has, how many CPU’s and what application is it running i.e. WordPress, Magento etc. High numbers usually perform best for multi-core CPU servers serving cached pages. However, will likely crash PHP-FPM if you get a surge of request on non-cached pages. This is what makes this tricky to get right. The second most important is ‘pm.max_requests’, after days of testing I always found setting this to 0 (unlimited) provides the best results when you are dealing with high concurrency. I appreciate some of you may want actual figures, here’s one I did on an 8 core server with 16GB ram, running WordPress and full page caching in Redis. pm = dynamic pm.max_children = 12 pm.start_servers = 6 pm.min_spare_servers = 4 pm.max_spare_servers = 8 pm.max_requests = 0 The configuration above allowed me to test up to 1,400 requests per second before maxing out the servers bandwidth at 2GB/s. Tip: when stress testing high concurrency, make sure you do not have other bottlenecks such as your server running out of TCP/IP connections, or Nginx keeping connections open for too long! this is a common issue with high concurrency where you can spend hours trying to get your settings right, not realising that PHP-FPM is not your bottleneck.
  24. Linus

    How to enable nginx site?

    After installing Nginx, you should have two directories: /etc/nginx/sites-enabled and /etc/nginx/sites-available. Your new configs should be created within 'sites-available'. To activate the Nginx config you will need to that the following command: ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/example.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ You will need to replace example.conf with your config file name. After that its adviseble to run nginx -tt this will test the config files to ensure no errors are present that could stop Nginx from restarting. After the files are linked, run sudo service nginx reload/ service nginx reload orservice nginx restart
  25. SCP EXAMPLES Copy file from a remote host to local host SCP example: scp [email protected]_host:file.txt /local/directory/ Copy file from local host to a remote host SCP example: scp file.txt [email protected]_host:/remote/directory/ Copy all files and folders from a directory on a local host to a remote host scp -rp /local-host/www/website-name/* [email protected]:/remote-host/website-name/public_html/ The same command as above, but for Amazon AWS EC2 remote hosts scp -rp -i /LightsailDefaultPrivateKey-eu-west-2.pem /local-host/website-name/public_html/* [email protected]:/remote-host/www/website-name/ You must first upload and reference your AWS EC2 private key as shown above. Furthermore, in order for this to work you must set the correct permissions to your PEM key using the following command chmod 400 /awskeyfile.pem Copy directory from a remote host to local host SCP example: scp -r [email protected]_host:/remote/directory/ /local/directory/ Copy directory from local host to a remote hos SCP example: scp -r /local/directory/ [email protected]_host:/remote/directory/ Copy file from remote host to remote host SCP example: scp [email protected]_host:/remote/directory/image.jpg [email protected]_host:/remote/directory/ SCP Linux options: –r Recursively copy entire directories. Note that this follows symbolic links encountered in the tree traversal. -C Compression enable. Passes the -C flag to ssh to enable compression. -l limit – Limits the used bandwidth, specified in Kbit/s. -o ssh_option – Can be used to pass options to ssh in the format used in ssh_config. -P port – Specifies the port to connect to on the remote host. Note that this option is written with a capital ‘P’. -p Preserves modification times, access times, and modes from the original file. -q Quiet mode: disables the progress meter as well as warning and diagnostic messages from ssh. -v Verbose mode. Print debugging messages about progress. This is helpful in debugging connection, authentication, and configuration problems.
  26. I installed Nginx on my Ubuntu server, but not sure how to enable a second config for additional domains. At the moment, only the default config is working.
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