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WordPress Tutorials

Increase request timeout for IIS 6 with FastCGI module

September 21, 2017

If you are hosting PHP on IIS (Windows Server) using FastCGI, there is case that you meet script timeout issue even the max_execution_time value in php.ini is high enough. The error is as below screenshot

The reason is that FastCGI module has its own timeout setting. In IIS7, it’s called ActivityTimeout and you can configure in IIS > FastCGI Settings > Activity Timeout

However, in IIS 6, there isn’t an option like that. To change the request timeout, you can go to C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\config, open ApplicationHost.config. You will find this section

<fastCgi>
<application fullPath=”…\php-cgi.exe”/>
</fastCgi>

What you need to do is to add activityTimeout parameter to the module, like this

<fastCgi>
<application fullPath=”…\php-cgi.exe” activityTimeout=”3600″/>
</fastCgi>

Now restart your IIS, it will work!

WordPress Tips

Turn on off WP DEBUG mode in WordPress

September 15, 2017

WordPress has a feature to DEBUG code (finding bugs) in developing environment. When this option is turned on, developers will see all notices and errors that come from the code. That’s great for deveoping themes and plugins.

However, when come to production environment, that option should be turned on. It’s because sometimes the notices or warnings are harmless to your site. You may install many plugins and many of theme do not care about notices or warnings. If the messages (of those notices and warnings) appear on the screen, users will feel uncomfortable. In some cases, those messages can break the site layout.

Thus, it is recommended to turn of DEBUG mode in live site. To do that, open /wp-config.php file (at the root folder of your site). You will see this line of code

define(‘WP_DEBUG’, false);

Change the value from true to false (and vice versa) to turn it off/on

define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true);

Remember to save the file. You can do this by using a file manager tool (often provided by your hosting) or a FTP app. The DEBUG mode will be handy if you see your site breaks in the middle of rendering the layout or you see a white/blank page. Turn it on, copy the message (of fatal errors) and send it to your technical supporters.

WordPress Tips

How to get higher Google PageSpeed grade over 90

September 6, 2017

To evaluate a website performance, people often use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Ping Dom. These online tools analyze your site content and give a grade based on various indexes such as Server Response Time, Optimize Images or Minify CSS.  A good grade is above 85 for Google PageSpeed and 90 for PingDom. Below are some tips to get higher score with Google PageSpeed (and consequently, Ping Dom)

  1. Server Response Time
    Server response time measures how long it takes to load the necessary HTML to begin rendering the page from your server, subtracting out the network latency between Google and your server. The only way to improve this index, is to upgrade your server. A stronger server will process faster and return results quicklier. Two components you should be aware of are CPUs and RAM. A SSD storage is even better (than normal HDD one). How many are enough? It depends on your site features. A shopping site is of course needs more CPUs than a personal blog. Try to upgrade your server until the response time goes below 1sOf course, make sure your theme and plugins code is optimized before looking for a stronger server. If you feel your site response is too long abnormally, it may come from the code itself. Try to disable theme and plugins one by one to detect the reason and switch to a better one.
  2. Minify HTML, CSS and HTML, enable Compression, Caching
    These indexes are quite easy to get high grade. Most caching plugins can do this for you automatically, such as W3 Total Cache or Super Cache plugin. Just install the plugins and turn on the cache & minify options, then you are ready to go.You can combine using Autoptimize plugin to minify HTML, CSS and HTML before caching. This plugin works very well with above two. One small note is that, sometimes there is a javascript file (or CSS, or HTML) which has improper piece of code. After minifying, the minified file breaks. As a result, the site doesn’t work. In one case, there is a missing ; (semicolon) at the end of the line so the minified lines is not valid anymore. You will need experience to detect the file having the issue, fix it, or ignore the file from minified files list.If you use a shared host (such as Google Daddy Managed WordPress), there is case that the caching setting doesn’t work. That’s because the caching module is not installed on your server. Readmore about this issue here. If you can, change the server.
  3. Prioritize visible content
    Google says: “If the amount of data required exceeds the initial congestion window (typically 14.6kB compressed), it will require additional round trips between your server and the user’s browser”. It is tricky. In many cases, you cannot do anything. It depends on your site design alot. It means the first 14.6kB compressed content of your site must be enough to render first page so visitors can see content quickly. So for example, if you leave a big image in the top of the page, browser will try to load the image instead of loading other text content. If  you use a lot of javascript to generate page layout, then visitors must way until all assets (image, javascript files) are downloaded before they can see anything. That will make “Prioritize visible content” index get a bad gradeTo improve this, there are 2 ways:
    • Structure your HTML to load the critical, above-the-fold content first. Don’t let your content and layout be mostly affected by javascript
    • Reduce the amount of data used by your resources, by compressing, minifying, or reduce number of images
  4. Optimize Images 

    This index is both easy and difficult. To get higher grade in this index, make sure your images are compressed (enough to look good on web) before uploading to your WordPress site. In addition, use proper image size (without resizing using CSS). For example, you should use 1280×900 px images in a place where it only needs 600x400px. That will give you bad grade in PageSpeed.That sounds easy? Yes. However, today we talk a lot about responsive website. It means the site must look good on mobile or smaller screens, at the same time page size must not be too big. On a responsive site, sometimes an image turn from 50% width into 100% width to adapt with new screen size. As a result, sometimes we need to prepare bigger image size than it actually needs. That will downgrade your PageSpeed scrore! A technical solution is to use responsive image (with srcset property). Basically you declare many sizes in a single place. When browser detects different screensizes, it will choose to load appropriate image sizes. Read more here. However, it’s not a perfect solution. When you resize your browser (on PC), there are cases at which the width does not match with any of previously declared values. Browser will still use small images at bigger places (or vice versa), thus images are stretched or shrinked making your site looks bad.

    Therefore, you will need exchange the responsiveness of your site with getting higher grade in this index. Re-design the layout in different screens so you can reduce number of image sizes needed. A great tip for you: focus on screen 1280px (HD screen), it is the size that Google PageSpeed grades your site.

    Well, one more good tip: if you already compress your images before uploading, but you still see warnings about a list of images which need to be compressed, don’t be panic. It’s because Google has a better compress algorithm than the tool you use. It thinks images can be compressed more. To overcome that, look for the link at the end of the result

    “Download optimized image, JavaScript, and CSS resources for this page.”

    Click on that link, you will be able to download optimizes resources that Google prepare for you. Re-upload images and you will get better result

Final words: although getting a higher grade at Google PageSpeed is a good thing, don’t let it fool you. There are many debates or dicussions saying that, the score doesn’t has any meaning. The only one that you need to focus is the loading speed and user experience. Anyway, the tool gives you indications to improve your sites, that’s great enough!

WordPress Tips

Visual Composer conflict with Skrollr lib of theme

May 21, 2017

If your theme uses Skrollr library, there is a chance that it will break the parallax effect of Visual Composer’ (VC) row element. The reason is that VC also uses Skrollr.  Because this library only inits once, when VC Row tries to init Skrollr, it returns the previous object inited by your theme (VC’s JS is loaded after your theme’s JS file).

In addition, VC row uses JS to add “data-” properties to parallax row, so the previous Skrollr object cannot detect these properties. As a result, VC parallax row does not work.

To fix this, you will need to trigger the Row Behavior function of VC again so Skrollr can understand “data-” properties of parallax row again

$(document).on(‘vc_js’, function(){
vc_rowBehaviour();
});

The “vc_js” event is trigger after all VC functions have been called.

Let me know if this solution works for you.

News

Happy 5th year anniversary of CactusThemes

May 3, 2017

Updated: The campaigned has ended.

We are pleased to inform you that:

CactusThemes has completed successfully 5 years in business.

All of us at the CactusThemes want to thank you for your loyalty and support during 5 years in business.

Because of customers like you, we have had an avenue to provide our quality service and to prove our mandate of excellence. We could not have made it in 5 years without our loyal clients, and we hope to serve you even better during the next 5.

On this auspicious occasion, we gladly announce a 30% discount on this featured product to our clients and customers.

VideoPro – SALE 30%

banner

$59  →  $41 Only


VideoPro is a Premium Video WordPress Theme

VideoPro – an outstanding theme of CactusThemes is the most powerful WordPress theme for video-based websites.

It is built upon our True Mag theme – one of the biggest video themes on market and trusted by more than 5000 site owners to host hundred thousands of videos.

VideoPro has more unique features which helps you to build any kind of video websites. Whether it is about game, movie, news, entertainment, science… VideoPro can do it!


VideoPro has many unique features which help you to build any kind of video websites.

Tons of features of VideoPro are waiting for you to explore.

VideoPro 2.0 – The most powerful update with membership features

VideoPro 2.0 – a powerful video wordpress theme includes all the features you have been waiting for to build a community and sell your premium content. No other themes have done this before and we are as excited as you are.

Build your own video community: Members can create their own channels and playlists from Front-End Subscribe Authors and Channels.

WPMU Membership 2 Integration: Sell memberships and premium content with this feature.

BuddyPress Intergration: Follow members’ activities through notifications.

687474703a2f2f766964656f70726f2e6361637475737468656d65732e636f6d2f66656174757265732f76657232302e6a7067Other quality features:

2 Header Layouts and 2 Color Schemas, Child Theme for Poster Size, 5 Widget Styles, 3 Page Layouts, 3 Blog Layouts, 2 Video Layouts, Ajax Search, Affiliate Features and so much more features.

Full Feature List

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WordPress Plugins

7 Free WordPress plugins for video theme

April 13, 2017

Free WordPress plugins for video theme to consider

Video theme is powerful and it’s an important element in your online marketing. On the internet, if a photo talks a thousand words, then a video tells a million more.

In fact, videos can help drive sales, go viral and increase the time a visitor spends on your website! Videos can be used to show your work process, or explain something a little more complex or simply post entertainment news. Moreover, you can use videos to explain how to use a product, present an online course, or create a vlog about yourself!

WordPress has luckily many great video plugins to extend your video WordPress theme functionality. In this article i have compiled a list of 7 Free WordPress plugins for video theme.

1) Video Embed and Thumbnail Generator

Video Embed Thumbnail Generator

Video Embed and Thumbnail Generator is a plugin to make embedding videos, generating thumbnails and encoding files easier.

Several fields are added to any video uploaded to the WordPress Media Library with this plugin. After choosing some options, then you’ll get a shortcode that will embed a flexible Flash & HTML5 video player with a preview image into your post.

2) WordPress YouTube Embed

WordPress YouTube Embed

WordPress YouTube Embed plugin is convenient and useful plugin to add videos to your WordPress website without coding knowledge.
You can easily add videos in widgets, posts, pages. It means that you can add videos almost everywhere(also you can use this plugin shortcode to add videos in header or footer of your website).

WordPress YouTube insert module have some helpful components that you’ll need.

3) FV Flowplayer Video Player 

3

FV Flowplayer Video Player is simple to utilize and finish answer for inserting different type of recordings into your blog or site pages. It is a complete solution for embedding FLV or MP4 videos into your posts or pages. With MP4 videos, FV Flowplayer Video Player  offers 98% coverage even on mobile devices.

4) Cool Video Gallery:Cool-Video-Gallery

Cool Video Gallery is a Video Gallery plugin for WordPress that is used to upload videos, attach media files, add Youtube videos and manage them in multiple galleries. Preview image generation automatically for videos uploaded using FFMPEG library is now available .
Cool Video Gallery also provide option to upload images for video previews. It supports ‘.mp3’, ‘.mp4’, ‘.mov’, ‘.m4v’ and ‘.flv’ video files.

5) Workbox Video from Vimeo & YouTube Plugin

Workbox-Video-from-Vimeo

Workbox Video from Vimeo & YouTube Plugin allows to create a video gallery on any wordpress-generated page.
By pasting the video URL, you can add videos from Youtube, Vimeo and Wistia.
Moreover, it allows to control sort order of videos on the gallery page and video galleries can be called on a page by using shortcodes now.
Workbox Video from Vimeo & YouTube Plugin is for advanced users. If you run into problems, please send us detailed notes about the errors and your set up, then we’ll do our best to get back to you.

6) WordPress Colorbox Lightbox

WordPress Colorbox Lightbox

WP Colorbox plugin is a free-simple lightbox plugin for WordPress. It allows to pop up content in lightbox using the popular jQuery ColorBox library. Users can also view the larger version of a particular media file without leaving the page.

7) Sidebar Video Widget

Video Sidebar Widgets

Sidebar Video Widget is a collection of sidebar widgets for displaying Flash Videos from 14 video sharing networks.
These video networks includes Youtube, BlipTV, Vimeo, Google, etc. Sidebar Video Widget consist of 2 widgets and 1 TinyMCE editor button.

 

WordPress Tips

Steps to create your own Video Blog

April 3, 2017

What is a video blog?

Video blog is becoming more and more popular on the internet. In fact, almost authors of video blogs are making a living through them. If you think about a video community or a business idea on video, you should create your own video blog immediately.

A video blog is a website includes a collection of videos with the intention of getting a response from viewers. Creating a video blog is the easiest way to share your own your ideas and expertise with the world.

How to create your own video blog?

Creating a video blog is easy once you dive in and give it a try. It can also be a lot of fun.

Follow the 5 easy steps below to create a video blog, CactusThemes believes you can have your blog ready to go in less than 30 minutes.

STEP 1: Identify the purpose/ reason of your video site.

Video blogs can be created for various personal and professional purposes.

For example:

STEP 2: Find a domain name and hosting

You need two things to get the site online:

  • A domain name (the address people use to get to your site like name.com). Actually, you have to pay an annual fee to use that web address. If you stop paying, someone else can use the domain instead.
  • Hosting (a service connects your site to the internet). If you have your own hosting, your website will load quickly and won’t go down for hours at a time. It’s convenient for everyone visit your website.

The thing that you should concentrate is choosing a perfect domaine name. It might be difficult, especially considering to choose domains which is short, easy to type and represents your brand.

Here are our recommendation for domains and hosting

  • Namecheap: the website for domain registration. This website is amazing and has a great search feature which will suggest alternate domain names if the one you want is taken.
  • Cloudways: the website for hosting that requires a bit of technical know about how to get your cloud server configured correctly.
  • SiteGround: another website for hosting.

STEP 3: Install WordPress

Download wordpress here: DOWNLOAD

STEP 4: Choose a theme and customize

You can choose a free theme or premium theme depends on your purposes.

  • If you started your video blog for a business purpose. You need it to grow your offline business, attract clients for your services or build a platform towards the launch of your book. A premium theme is the perfect choice. It’s so much more professional than a free theme that makes you come off as serious and credible. We highly recommend you to choose a premium theme in A collection of themed marketplaces of Envato.
  • However, if you started your blog as an online diary to share your experiences as a hobby or a temporary project, you might need a free theme to save some money. There are thousands of free themes for you in the Themes Directory of WordPress.

As you want to start video blog, you should choose a video wordpress theme with full video features. And now, we suggest you VideoPro and True Mag which are powerful video wordpress themes.

The premium theme will go with online documentation and online support that help you very much on theme customization. Well not all helpful tutorials are videos after all. Besides, there are TONS of tips on the WP Explorer WordPress blog that are very helpful for you.

STEP 5: Post video and create a successful video blog

Prepare contents with some equipment: a camcorder and a computer with video editing software installed onto it. Popular video editing softwares are Final Cut Pro, iMovie, and Windows Movie Maker. For example:

Post your videos. Now you can post your prepared videos to your video site. You can also improve the visibility of your videos by adding amazing titles, tags and description.

To have a successful video blog. You need to continuously create and update your content. In fact, videos about a topic you love, keeping an up to date video blog should be a joy and not a chore. The last but not least, to gain audiences for your video blog, you need to let the world know its exist! Through search engine optimization and blog aggregation sites, you can promotion your video site.

 

 

Freebie

TOP 8 PREMIUM STOCK IMAGES SITES

March 28, 2017

Why do you need Premium Stock Images Site?

Having high quality photos on your website is always important which makes its design more attractive. As we mentioned in our previous article on the subject, you can find high quality images for free through 11 Best free stock images sites.

However, sometimes the free stock images sites just don’t have what you need.

The drawback of these free sources is that they often share the same limited photos, which make the photos you found become so popoular and available in many different sites. It’s difficult to make an unique site if you use same photos with other sites.

It is the reason why you need Premium Stock Images Sites.

So, how to find best Premium images?

There are plenty of premium stock images sites that provide millions of pictures you could use. However, it takes time to find photos you desire. Furthermore, your favourite photos may charge you a large sum of money.

Luckily, Cactus Themes ’ve compiled a list of the top 10 premium stock images sites to buy stock images so that you knew exactly where to go to find the best images at the best price.

Be sure to check out these websites first.

1) ISTOCK

premium stock images sites 1

iStock  is one of the world’s leading stock content marketplaces. iStock offers millions of hand-picked premium images from 115,000+ contributors. Not only provides stock photos but iStock also provides illustrations, videos, audios, and editorials.

With iStock, you can get high quality stock images at ridiculously low prices:

  • Download a single photo: more than 20$
  • Download with credit: 9$ – 11$
  • Download 10 images per month: 40$ – 100$

2) SHUTTER STOCK

premium stock images sites 2

Shutterstock has have over 70 million stock photos, vectors, and videos to choose from. You can search images through their categories by using keywords.

Their prices start at $59 per month and 25-50$ for a single photo.

3) 123RF

premium stock images sites 3

123RF is a digital content library provides samples of logo design, graphics, audio, videos, photos, …. With humble beginnings in 2005, 123RF has now reached into one of the leading content provider of worldwide.

Image pricing ranges anywhere from 1 – 200$.

4) GRETTY IMAGES

premium stock images sites 4

Getty Images has over 24.7 million stock photos. Besides, Getty Images also provides video, music and other multimedia to help you complete your print designs.

Pricing for photo licenses can be anywhere from 25 – 600$.

5) STOCK UNLIMITED

premium stock images sites 5

StockUnlimited owns 800,000+ Visuals for Businesses & Professionals.

What makes StockUnlimited different from other content providers is its super simple license model. You can download and use as much content as you wish in any project only with a low monthly fee.

Price: only 9$ for a month access, 69$ for a year access, 139$ for 3 years access.

6) BIG STOCK PHOTO

premium stock images sites 6

Bigstock is a fast, easy-to-use marketplace for quality stock images. Bigstock offer over 47 million photographs and illustrations that available for almost any purpose from talented photographers and artists around the world.

7) GALLERY STOCK

premium stock images sites 8

Gallery Stock is an image library showcasing collections of award-winning photographers from across the world. Many of these photographers have never before been represented by a stock agency. The archive also represents image collections from promising and gifted younger artists. The collections are highly curated and constantly expanding.

8) DREAMSTIME

premium stock images sites 7

Dreamstime owns over 15 million stock images and illustrations. It’s easy to find what you’re looking for thanks to popular categories and a search tool feature in the website. However, some of them are quite expensive, but there are also plenty of affordable, high-quality images to be found so you should consider carefully.