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WordPress Menu Limit – Can’t save all changes – max_input_vars

wordpress menu item limit

WordPress Menu Limit

This evening I have been working on an extensive build for a client. When I got to 47 menu items in my primary menu, I noticed any pages I added would not save. Even when I added the pages one at a time, or from different computers. This was very frustrating so I began doing my troubleshooting. The order of the menu items didn’t matter, but the number of items did. As soon as I noticed that it was 47 items, I assumed the menu.php page send the entire menu over in one process. It doesn’t add just a page or two, it adds the whole menu each and every time. This led me to believe there was a cap on how much data the page can send or the host can receive. This issue also causes problems for prestashop users as well, so listen up if this applies to you as well!

I began to poke around on the web and found some information about the max_input_vars variable in your web hosts php.ini file. This sets the amount of variables the server will allow you to send it in any process. Mine was set at 1000. I wanted to change this value, increase it.

Now, the current site I am working is on a godaddy account. On bluehost and other hosts you can access you php.ini files and make edits as you need. Godaddy however does not allow this. So you have to make your own php.ini file. Here are the steps to  fix this limit.

  1. Access your webroot via your file manager in godaddy
  2. create a new file and name it php5.ini
  3. copy and paste this single line of code into that file without the quotes “max_input_vars = 300o”
  4. save the changes to the file.
  5. go to Hosting>System Processes
  6. Select “End Web” Button
  7. Now try to save your additional menu items.

This is what worked for me. While this is a little intimidating to do at first as you may not be sure what exactly you are doing, if you delete the file your host should revert to their default php.ini. So the process is reversible and not all that scary!

Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7

upgrading-to-windows-7

Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7

 

Well its finally starting to happen. I am beginning to say goodbye to my old friend Windows XP. If you are an XP holdout as I am, you are concerned about change. I too, dislike being forced into change. No one likes it. But I am being forced to upgrade. I am currently finalizing my upgrade of an entire network from Windows XP to Windows 7.

 

Why did I do it?

 

I am upgrading my system, not because of Windows XP performance problems, but because of other software’s dependencies on updated services. Our network has several softwares that share data. And these software rely on databases, database services and even inherent microsoft software such as internet explorer to run properly. Thus, as our soft-wares are updated to their latest versions, we receive warnings about these dependencies. To update to version x.x, you will need internet explorer 10. Well, Internet Explorer 10 is not available for Windows XP. Ah Ha! I cant update my software without updating my operating system. There is the final straw! The final thing that makes upgrading a necessity instead of an option.

 

How I did it

 

So, the process of upgrading can be a bit of a pain when it comes to a network. This is why typically you want to do these sort of processes when there are few or zero users connected to your network. In my situation, I had to upgrade a Windows XP file share server to a Windows 7 Professional file share.

 

I started with the server, as this is the heart of the network. This is the data hub. I purchased a really well setup Dell Precision T3610 CTO. Similiar to the device to the right.I began to set this sytem up as I would any other computer.

 

I installed my anti-virus first. This is standard for me. I don’t use anything special. I have always been successful using AVG Free. I am always careful which sites I browse on, so a few of my computers I dont even have anti-virus on. Yes, Windows XP computers with no Anti-Virus and with no viruses. it is possible. Don’t believe the hype! lol

 

After I installed my anti-virus, I decided upon my sharing architecture. I made folders specific to the different groups of users who will connect to this computer. For a few people, they only use software A. So I made a folder under my C: drive called “software A share”. Now I will share this location with those specific people who need it. They can map a network drive to this location, or they can browse via the network. Whichever they prefer. I repeat this process for all the different software we use that shares data.

 

After I setup the shares, I need to create the user accounts for those who need to access data on the new server. I do this via control panel and begin to add users. I set their passwords the same as their workstation computers and this enables them to connect to the server seamlessly.

 

Once my server is set up, it’s on to the workstations. I have to begin setting up the client computers that need to connect to the new server. So I am updating Windows XP clients to Windows 7 Client computers. We purchased all new CPUs as our testing showed that our hardware (old computers)  couldn’t successfully connect and operate with the Windows 7 professional Operating System.

 

You can update your current computer to Windows 7, but it may not operate too well as the OS is more CPU intensive than XP. But its worth a try if

you’re looking to save bucks. You can buy a full copy of Windows Professional 7 somewhat inexpensively. For a network, you need Windows 7 Professional. But if you are a single home computer, you need only Windows 7 Home.

 

Once I received the new Windows 7 professional CPU’s, I began setting them up. Same procedure as the server. Set the user up on the computer. I use the same name for the computer as I use for the user on the file share server to avoid any confusion. I name the computer, for example, John-DT to represent Johns Desktop, but the user name for the computer is “John”. And Johns user on the server is also just “John”, with the same account password. This may not please the overzealous security types. But it works just fine for us. Our network is password protected and our shares are all password protected. And yes, the firewalls help a bit also.

 

Once the user is setup, I install my anti-virus and other necessary software. The only difference this time around is when it comes to the software that uses shared data. Remember, “software hare A”? Well its time to access that data from a client computer. I install the software that uses the shared data. With some software you may have to select “Client” vs. “Server” installation. be sure to select the proper version. I am installing a client, so this is what i would choose.

 

I then map a network drive to the shared location, in this case “software share A”. This makes accessing that data easier than browsing through the network and drilling down to the folder. Its kind of like a shortcut for yourself and programs to use. Once you are accessing the data from the shared location without any issue, you are all set.

When does the Graphic Design end?

graphic design

Graphic Design is alive and well on this island! Living on Long Island is expensive! If you are reading this, I am sure you’ll agree. So to be able to live and thrive on this island there are lots of small businesses. Most of the work we do here is for small businesses. Local companies trying to make a big splash on a small budget. It makes perfect sense, and it is what we have to do!

Most small businesses who contact us are in need of a lot of services. More often than not, an initial consultation is generally us finding out what a client doesn’t need. What I mean by this, is when we ask what can we help you with, the response is typically “everything”! The world of online marketing has created a visibility race, which includes necessities such as website design, graphic design, print marketing, social media monitoring and a slew more! We really enjoy branding businesses, helping them to get what they see in their heads, on their computer monitors. And all visual content requires graphic design. Whether its a website, flyer,business card, whatever. All these services are categorized in our eyes as graphic design. We are designing a visual representation of a companies name and values.

We are currently working with a client who contacted us for everything! They needed a new website, a logo, business cards, a commercial for both web and network tv, a radio commercial and they will also be sprinkling in some pay-per-click advertising. Phew! That’s a lot. However, we’ve been working on the logo for 3 weeks. is this typical? No. The client has lots of ideas and values he is trying to convey with his logo. Initially it started as “I want it to look good”. So we submitted several logo variations.  The response from these were, “these look great! Can you make these look more official”. So we changed the logos theme to more of a badge type. These received great response as well. But the colors weren’t working for the client now. OK, we went in for a third round of logo design. And now they have chosen one.

With ten or more services in queue, spending three weeks on a logo is a long time. But is it too long? Obviously, we could have use a standardized form to narrow down what the client was looking for. And sometimes we do. But with this client, they didn’t know necessarily what they wanted. And thats ok! We spent additional time on creating their logo, probably 15 hours in total. That may seem like a lot of time invested. But this client will be spending 50-60 hours weekly representing this logo. Becoming the face and work behind this logo. We may have spent more time allotted on this logo design than we anticipated, but we are fine with that. It will be a drop in the bucket compared to what our client will spend developing its reputation.

And once the logo and color scheme is final. Then we begin graphic design of the website. The business cards. The invoices. The commercial. The web advertising and banners. The list goes on and on. And when does the “Graphic Design” aspect of our services end? It doesn’t. If its something perceived visually, no matter what the medium. It is all graphic design! It is all a visual representation of a brand, a company.

Graphic Design isnt just a logo or business card. It is all things perceived by your clients eyeballs! So you tell us, when does Graphic Design end?

 

Can’t establish a reliable data connection to the server




Can’t establish a reliable data connection to the server

AHHH! Android, you’ve done it again. So after three weeks of troubleshooting my son and daughters tablets I finally got the solution to the “Can’t establish a reliable data connection to the server” error on their samsung galaxy tablets. And once again, it is a simple, and very dumb fix…

The fix was not messing with my router settings. The fix was not buying a new $250 router. And the fix was not force stopping the google services in the setting areas. It all comes down to one silly little thing that all websites use to keep their security tight. Checking your devices date and time against the servers date and time. if there is a mismatch, there is a problem. And if there is a problem, you don’t get into the club!

 

I  spent hours troubleshooting this issue only to find what I needed to do was one simple step. Here it is:

  1. Be sure that your date and time are correct….




Yep, thats what did it for me. 2 devices having issues for weeks. Adding and removing accounts. Changing router and network settings. Buying a new router even. And all that was wrong was our date and time somehow got changed to 3 years ago….I  think there was an issue with the devices syncing that caused it to go haywire. Both units went astray at the same time so that ruled out the kids tinkering with the settings. besides, all they do is play minecraft and soome strange farm game.

But again, the fix for me to the “Can’t establish a reliable data connection to the server” error was just setting the proper date and time. As soon as I did that, all sorts of notifications popped up and we were back to making crappy looking villages and feeding our digital chickens!

 

 

The End of Windows XP Support

windows xp support

I’m a techie sort of guy, so it may surprise you to learn everything I do is done on a 10+ year old cpu. From HD Video editing to Vector Design to Web Design. A very old Dell Optiplex is my workhorse, and it is running Windows XP. Yes, I know how to tweak the operating system for peak performance, and yes I know how to max out my ram. And I will when I need to. Thats the sad part of the slow and painful death of Windows XP. I feel like I am putting down Old Yeller, except there is no growling. There is no sickness. My Optiplex is perfectly fine, and someone else is forcing me to put it down.

My “ancient” CPU and its “ancient” operating system work great. I can do all I need to do fast and efficiently. I still have room to upgrade my ram if I want more speed. I still use the latest and greatest software. But I now have to contemplate upgrading my system for fear of vulnerabilities. Since Windows XP Support ended April 8th, all XP holdouts are now in the digital wild west. Microsoft has eliminated Windows XP throughout its products, downloads, etc. So we are now “on our own”.

Many have said it before me. Microsoft made Windows XP too good. They made a great OS that the world was happy with. Which should be a good thing! But when your product is ageless, you cant receive additional profits on that product. Make a new one! Say its better, and cross your fingers… I dont have a single CPU past Windows XP, and I am not ashamed to admit it. I do support computers that have Vista, Windows 7 and 8. And while the new operating systems are very pretty, they don’t necessarily wow me into upgrading. They have twice the ram of my xp box, better processors and bigger monitors, but they still take a second to open a program. They still have network conflicts and need to be defragmented and optimized.

All this being said, what do we get with these new systems? A hole in the pocket for a prettier looking system. I am very curious to see how this final step in the phase out process goes. Will companies begin offering services to keep those holdouts happy with XP. Will Norton, McAfee and other firewall and anti-virus services begin phasing out XP as well? Or will they try to capitalize on the fear of this Windows XP Apocalypse?

I am upgrading several business networks and have seen some serious growing pains. Latest and greatest has never been a desire for me. I’m more of the tried and true type. I will continue to offer my own windows xp support. And for now, I will keep my pup as is! It is still vibrant and full of life! I am just delaying the inevitable, but I will continue to delay until I see my puppy really is sick and needs to be put to rest!

Gmail SMS Chat

gmail-sms-chat

GMail SMS Chat no more…

With disbelief I kept logging in and out. Nope, the send SMS option is still not showing up. I chatted a friend of mine up immediately. “Did you lose SMS capabilities in Gmail?”. He said he didn’t use that feature at all. Myself on the other hand, I use it all day every day!

If your a gmail user, you may have known that you could send text messages to peoples cell phones right from your browser. There are many other services, but I am logged into 3 gmail accounts all day every day so the inherent feature was priceless. Not everyone has a smartphone. And not every message needs to be a saved email.

Unfortunately, the gmail sms chat is no longer. I am left to try alternatives or have another tab open with google voice. You can still send texts with a google service, google voice.  Having a gmail account allows you to have a new phone number. This new phone number can be forwarded to another number, such as your cell or home phone. This can be very useful for those wishing to keep a number private, but utilize it for a public service.

Check out google voice if you miss this feature as much as I do. I do still love google, but I am upset that they hurt my productivity, just a lil bit….

RPC S-7 AEC-0

error retrieving information from server s-7 aec 0

About a month ago, I began experiencing issues with my Droid RAZR M. I went to download an app and got an error. The error was:

Error retrieving information from server RPC S-7 AEC-0

Now, at the time, I just ignored it and gave up, thinking it was a one time issue. Oh well, next reboot it will fix itself. Well 4 weeks later, several reboots and 60 forums later I finally figured out MY fix.

Phone Accounts

Under my phones general settings, there is a category called accounts. This where you setup your gmail and other necessary accounts for your phones apps to use and connect with. When I looked in there, I noticed two of my gmail accounts were having “sync” issues. So here are the steps I used to address the syncing issues, which, in turn, fixed my google play issues. I had three total accounts under google, so I assumed I could delete the two bad accounts, and re-connect them. Which I did, which worked perfect! Here are the steps.

 

      1. if you have only one google account which is causing issues, you will need to add an account. this is temporary, so you can add a friends or relatives gmail account to just fix this temporary issue, or just make a new account. If you have multiple accounts, you can move to step 2.
      2. Once you have two accounts or more on your phone, one good x bad, you can remove the bad syncing account. (probably has a red swirl next to it, or says can not sync.)
      3. Once you have removed the account, remove any other bad syncing accounts. You should be left with only one, properly syncing account (green swirl)
      4. Now, back out of google accounts menu, into your phones main “accounts” area. scroll down till you see “add account”.




    1. Add the bad syncing account back in using the steps your phone asks when you select “add account”
    2. Once you have the account reconnected, it will take time to sync.
    3. Once it syncs properly, you should be able to go back to google play and start happily downloading again!
    4. The message(error retrieving information from server RPC S-7 AEC-0) should not cause you any more frustrations, ever!

 

Choosing a Website Builder

Long Island Website Builder

When looking for a website builder or web designer you have a lot of different variables to think of. What type of website do you need?

Website Builder / Designer

Choosing a Website Builder or Designer can be very confusing

The first question you should ask yourself is what type of website do I want? Do I want my website designer to make me an e-commerce site? A site to sell my products on? Do I want my website designer to make me a forum site? Like a community of people with similar interests as myself? Or do I simply want an online blog so people know what I am up to?

Whatever your answer to this question, know All Things Digital can help! We can implement a website for you in days, not weeks or months. You will be able to update your own website (yes, seriously)!

Google or DIe

Google Blog

I love Google. I really do! Despite what you are about to read, know that I have been a google-ite for well over 15 years! If only I’d bought some stock, I’d be quite well-off nowadays. This being said, Google is an absolute digital pioneer and though I’ve seen plenty of experiments that failed, they came from the same brains of experiments that prevailed.

I do a lot of Long Island Web Design and Search Engine Marketing. I spend more of my time lately implementing the various “points of contact” that Google has created. From Google Places for Business, implementing Google Ad-Words campaigns and making sure my clients show up on Google Maps, YouTube and yadda-yadda. I refer to these digital destinations as “points of contact” because in the world of business, you want to try and be visible on every front. If company xyz is listed on 10 different locations on the web, it’s 10 times better than being listed only on xyz.com. And the locations I mentioned previously are just Google-centric, they don’t even begin to delve into the social media realm. Geez… Bottom line is if you are not seen, you are not heard, and if you are not heard, your products don’t get purchased or your company does not get hired!

If I am working with a new client who hasn’t much more than the business itself, it is a lot of work to get them where they need to be digitally. I used to spend weeks designing websites alone. Now I get websites done in a few days and spend weeks getting companies setup on all the avenues of Google town! Then tailoring search engine rankings and keywords till I am blue in the face. Then social media thereafter. It is what it is. Having a presence in the big fish bowl is way more important than a presence in the 20 smaller fish bowls. Google is the big fish bowl, and in that big bowl is more fish looking to bite.

Google is always around the 67% market share for search engine traffic. The Juggernaut, as I refer to it. And as smartphones take over the world, that means more android devices, which is owned by, yup, Google. So, what do you think will be in 5 years when everyone has a smartphone. That much more Android out there, that much more “ingrained googling”. People joke about Google taking over the world, but if you begin to understand all the things Google is working on, implementing, and the way they work, you may be more awe struck than giggly.

Get your business “Googling”, if you don’t, you may die a digital death which unfortunately can carry over into the physical realm as well…

“I don’t need web advertising, when I search for my company, I come right up!”

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

When talking about setting up web pay-per-click advertising campaigns, this is the most common response I get when I am working with a new client. Most of my work comes from referrals, but when I am approached by a new client or I approach a company which I feel can use my services, the most important things I stress are an updated website, and web advertising driven to it.

More often than not however, people are always interested in getting a new or updated website up, but are not necessarily in love with advertising it. I feel the two go hand in hand and are not mutually exclusive. An updated website is a must. Websites are so affordable nowadays, even high quality websites using templates or open source platforms. A professional looking website gives potential consumers the confidence that your company is just that, a professional company with a professional website. If your website looks like it was built in the 90’s, your site looks outdated, so your company looks outdated. This does not promote a feeling of confidence in your company, which is what your site should be giving your potential client.

Just as important however, is driving potential clients to your professional website. This is where Google, Bing, Yahoo and all search engines come into play. The most common response I hear when I begin to discuss a marketing campaign is “I don’t need web advertising, when I search for my company, I come right up!”. I have devised a little exercise to get these people thinking differently. When I get this response I ask the client what is something they currently need, whether it be at their home or office. One recent client told me they could use a new printer. So I said, ok, lets say you’re on the web and you need a new printer. What would you do. He immediately opened up google and typed in “buy a printer”. This exercise makes me laugh every time because its effectiveness is so immediate. I said, “now you understand why you need advertising dont you?”. He was a bit confused. So I explained my statement. “You needed a printer, so you typed in buy a printer. And all these office stores show up. You didn’t type in staples, office max or other known stores that sell printers. You relied on these suppliers to advertise the fact that they sell the product you need. So why should you work any differently. You need to show up when people search for the services you offer. Your company showing up when searched for specifically should be a given. But your company showing up when the service or good you offer is searched for is the ultimate goal, as you just demonstrated to me.”

He was blown away. And in hindsight, it seems like such a simple concept. But this is the most common rebuttal to any discussion of web advertising. The internet is breaking down global barriers every day. And using it to your advantage is a must. Be sure to highlight not only your company name and location, but just as important, highlight the goods or services you offer. Try it for your company now. Do a google search for your company. Does your company show up in the first page results? If so, great, if not you have work to do. Now do a search for a good or service you offer. Do you show up on the first page, second page, tenth page….You have work to do here also. Especially when your market is heavily saturated.

There is many things you can do to improve both sets of results for free or for minimal cost. Adding keywords to your site, optimizing your site and submitting it to search engines,etc. These options can take months to begin yielding results. But if your company is buried on the internet, there is a way to dig yourself out immediately. This however isn’t free, but you can specify what you spend, be it daily, monthly or annually. And these advertising costs can be measured to determine effectiveness of each campaign, and return on investment, or ROI.

They say you have to spend money to make money, and advertising is a prime example.