Websites for Wisconsin Lake Organizations

Lakekit Memo – May 2017

Hi Lakekit Members. Below is a new communication memo.

Hosting Service. As mentioned previously, we are planning to switch hosting providers sometime around midsummer, probably mid-August. This switch is largely because our current hosting service does not have plans to provide free SSL, a system that greatly reduces the chances of someone collecting private information such as your login credentials. We will confirm the timing of this move later this summer. Members who have their own domain names will need to change their nameservers where their domain names are registered to correspond to the new hosting service when the move occurs. Also, the first part of the URL (internet address) for all member sites will change from http:// to https:// when the SSL certificates are completed.

Network Operation. Karen Reynolds is now trained to do version updates, which are needed maybe 5-10 times a month. Thanks to Karen. She and I will be alternating with this task. We hope to maintain the membership fee at $50/year through 2019 if we can continue network management through volunteers alone. The $50 covers hosting, a fee to generate remote backups, and an emergency fund. To keep the network manageable, the network will be limited to 20 members (currently 16 members) going forward, unless another volunteer becomes available to share the more technical network management tasks. We also have identified a service in Mpls-St. Paul who could sustain the network longer range if professional services should be needed for some of the tasks volunteers currently do.

Member Training. Members are always given free help when they startup their sites, but do members want some form of continuing WordPress training to be comfortable in maintaining their site? Feedback to this question in the last memo was sparse. If you are interested in ongoing help, please respond to this email indicating those in the list below which would be most beneficial to you?

  1. Schedule a workshop somewhere in central Wisconsin for a small fee.
  2. Form a group, such as a Google Group, so any member can ask a question of the group, and members can choose to answer or not.
  3. Let members know of other members who are willing to provide one-on-one help to another network member.
  4. Provide more detailed instructions for specific topics at the base site.
  5. Continue these occasional email memos that include help topics.
  6. Provide a list of free (or low cost) internet sources for WordPress help, including answering questions.

Changing Site Colors.
The template that site members start up with does not have much color – mostly gray or black. Do you want to spice up your site with some color? Before making changes such as colors, it’s a good  idea to save your current theme settings so you can get back if you don’t like a set of changes. Dashboard -> Appearance -> Weaver Xtreme Admin -> Save/Restore -> Save Current Theme Settings will store your settings in the site database. Then, for example, to change the color of the main content and sidebar area Dashboard -> Appearance -> Weaver Xtreme Admin -> Main Options -> Wrapping Areas -> Content Areas -> Content Area BG and click in the blank space to get a color option display. Click the color in the rainbow area and then the darkness level in the darkness steps to the right. Finally save settings and visit your site. If you make changes and do not remember them, you can return to the original settings at Dashboard -> Appearance -> Weaver Xtreme Admin -> Save/Restore -> Restore Settings.

Avoiding Contact Form Spam. The Jetpack contact form which was originally included when members started their site was used to make adding a contact form as simple as possible. But that contact form is vulnerable to getting spam entries because a robot could fill out the form. To avoid this vulnerability, the Contact Form 7 plugin can replace the Jetpack form. Visit the bottom section (Improving contact form reliability and avoiding spam!) of template-a/help-mail-list page for instructions to replace the Jetpack contact form with the Contact Form 7 form.  These instructions include a math quiz to assure a human is filling the form.