WordPress 4 has been released

I’ve updated this site to the new WP 4 and it seemed to go smoothly. It did require a database update, so if you decide to upgrade soon, you may want to be sure you have a backup of your database (though we keep backups of them on the server and can grab them if you have a problem). The new features of WP 4 include some improved editing of both images and content and a new plugin gallery that will make finding and installing plugins easier. Otherwise, it seems much the same as before!

As always, be sure to contact Ryan or I if you have questions or concerns about the upgrading process!

Update to WP 3.9.1

After some testing, it appears that the update to WordPress version 3.9.1 is not causing problems on any sites that have done it. There are some benefits – mainly making images easier to edit and insert – and some improvements to widget and header previews in the theme customization side of WordPress. As always, let Ryan or I know if you all need us to help you out with the update! Happy posting!!

A List of KLOW Sites

There is a list, organized alphabetically, of all the KLOW sites in Kansas. This was hand-crafted, so it is pretty basic, but if you had any questions about what libraries are and are not part of KLOW, this is the definitive list. Please let me (rhastings@nekls.org) know if there are any libraries on the list that shouldn’t be or if you don’t find a particular KLOW site there.

Event Calendar 3 for PHP 5.3

Just a quick note for those of you who use this plugin – development on it has stopped and it hasn’t been updated in 2 years. Some folks who use it are finding it’s not working as the WordPress software updates and changes. No corresponding updates are being made to this plugin, so it’s not keeping up!

Here at NEKLS, we use the Events Manager plugin (http://wordpress.org/plugins/events-manager/) which is up-to-date and pretty robust. Please feel free to ask your system techs if you need help installing/configuring this plugin! As always, feel free to contact Ryan (rsipes@nekls.org) or Robin (rhastings@nekls.org) if you have any questions!

WordPress 3.8 install revisited

We may have spoken too soon – the new WordPress 3.8 admin design seems to be flawed! The main issue seems to be the new admin CSS styles – they aren’t loading properly some of the time, giving you a list of bulleted items that you have to scroll past,  several pages down, to get to the page you want. Even then, because the CSS that lays out the pages in the admin area isn’t being loaded, the pages look and act “wrong” at times.

The best fix for this right now is to hold off on upgrading. If it’s too late for you to do that, you can click on the “Upgrades” menu item (it’s toward the top when the CSS hasn’t loaded) and scroll down past all the menu items until you find the “reinstall” button below. Click that button, wait for a few moments for the code to re-load and then refresh your page. This fixes it 100% of the time. For at least a day.

Please remember you can always ask us for help if you need it – email us at tech@nekls.org if you would like us to do this for you – we’ll get to it ASAP! Thanks – and keep an eye out for an announcement that WP has released a patch and fixed the issue – we hope to see that coming soon!

Is your text gone?

When you go to the editing screens on your website, is your text gone? Have your editing buttons at the top of your page disappeared? You are not alone! We are seeing this happen to a few of our libraries websites today (and it just happened on this website 2 minutes ago!!). In every case, upgrading to WP 3.8 or, in the case of this site, reinstalling that update fixes the issue. To find the update page, hover your mouse over the Dashboard menu item – that will bring up the updates menu and the button to reinstall WP is right there at the top of the page.

According to my Internet sleuthing, this appears to be a common issue with a number of different causes. If updating or reinstalling WP doesn’t work for you, let Ryan or I know – we’ll dig into it further to see what might be causing the issue for you!

WordPress 3.8 is out

WP38screenshotWordPress has a new update and the changes are pretty extensive – at least in the “how it looks” department. There are now admin theme colors that you can change by going to your user profile and setting them (you can have black, your coworker can have green and I can set all the admin themes to red – or whatever else sounds good at the moment!). Other changes include an easier-to-use Widget page and better layout/control of the themes page. As with many of the biggest updates, there is also a new theme that you all can check out to see if it will work for you! More information about the updates and the new theme can be found on the release notes page for this update.

So far, we’ve heard of no issues with the update, though one library had to re-apply the update once to get the admin pages to display correctly, but that was the only real problem we’ve encountered so far. Feel free to update your installs to the new WordPress 3.8 (please!!) and, as always, let us know if you have any questions or need any help with your KLOW site!

WordPress 3.7

WordPress is updated again. This update, to 3.7, includes some security fixes that we strongly recommend you perform. The upgrade *may* require an update to your database (depending on your theme/plugin combinations that you have installed). Please let us (your system tech folks) know if you are uncomfortable with the install process and we will be happy to do it for you!

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact Ryan or Robin if you have questions, concerns or need help with your KLOW site!

Malware and Security Plugins

Malware Infection

Recently, some websites on the KLOW server reported virus alert messages appearing to website visitors when they visited their website with the Internet Explorer Browser.  This was a result of some malware that was able to infect websites using a Trojan Horse virus, found in a WordPress theme.

The virus has been removed and the code the malware injected into websites has been cleared off of the server.  Not all websites on KLOW were infected, but if you are experiencing any issues with your website or if you get any reports this week of virus alert messages appearing to those visiting your websites, please let the NEKLS Tech Team know via this Email: tech@nekls.org

Actions Taken

In an attempt to protect KLOW websites against future attacks I have installed a few plugins on the websites that were infected and will continue to install them on more KLOW websites in the future.

They are as follows:
1. All In One WP Security – This gives your sites a security score and provides ways to easily improve that score.
2. Wordfence Security – This plugin quickly searches your sites for malicious code and informs you of it.
3. Anti-Malware by ELI – This plugin does a full (long) scan of your website and gives you an option to remove any malicious code if it finds any.  (I recommend running Wordfence to scan the website and then if it finds anything, run this plugin).

A picture of how the plugins appear on the side panel are found below, so if you see these on your website don’t worry.  They are helpful plugins.

securityplugins

What You Can Do

Anyone who reads this may be wondering what actions you can take to ensure your website isn’t infected in the future.  If you are thinking like that – great!  I have a few steps you can take to protect your website.

Step 1.  Remove any unused plugins or themes.  Unused Plugins and Themes can be a perfect exploit used by hackers or viruses to get malicious code onto your website so if you’re not using it, lose it!

Step 2. Update your plugins and themes.  Oftentimes the way viruses get onto your website in the first place is by finding some code in a plugin or theme that isn’t secured properly, and exploiting that problem with the code to give them unauthorized access to the site.  One way to combat this is to update your plugins and themes whenever there are updates available.  Doing this increases the chance that any problems with the code contained on your website will be patched (fixed), and your website will be more secure as a result.

Step 3. Update WordPress.  When there is a new WordPress update available it is best practice to update to the newest version.  These updates often include security updates that make your site harder for viruses and hackers to attack.  If you are worried about updating, check out this website first.  We’ll try to use www.mykansaslibrary.org to post any problems with updates when they are released.  If we don’t post anything then there likely aren’t any known issues we have discovered with using the new version!

Following those steps should help protect your website from the evils of the Internet and provide you with some security on your KLOW website.  If you have any questions or concerns please send us an Email at: tech@nekls.org

Have a great day!

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