Category: Frequently Asked Questions

How to secure your WordPress website with SSL at Host Pond Web Hosting

As of January 2017, nearly all Host Pond customers have SSL certificates available and ready for use on their websites.  You can test this out by entering httpS:// followed by your website in your browsers address bar.  It should load without a certificate error if it is properly available. Though in most cases, if you have a WordPress website, it will redirect back to the insecure HTTP:// connection as that’s how WordPress behaves out of the box.

Before continuing, I highly recommend that you follow these instructions to backup your WordPress website. Some of these instructions, in some situations can cause your website to break. Having a current backup is absolutely critical. If at any time during these steps, your website breaks, please follow the restore instructions to restore your website from the backup you just created.

If you have a WordPress website, and you want to secure your website with SSL (encryption), the first step is to login to your WordPress control panel.  Typically, it is the URL/Address with a “/wp-admin” appended at the end, without the quotes.  So, if your website was http://pdxwebsite.com, then the WordPress login for that website would be http://pdxwebsite.com/wp-admin. Please note that in many cases, Host Pond customers have a plugin that changes the “/wp-admin” to some other hidden address. This is to keep hackers from trying to break in. If you have any trouble at all getting logged in or locating the login address, please send us an email to details@hostpond.com for assistance.

Once logged in, go to the “Settings -> General” area of the control panel.

WordPress Settings General SSL

Ensure that both the WordPress Address (URL) and the Site Address (URL) begin with https as is shown in the following screenshot.

https for site address

Then click the Save Changes button.

save changes

This simple change will essentially force redirection to the secure/encrypted connection for your website. In a perfect world, this would be all you would need to do. And in fact, there may be some of you where this works like a charm, and nothing more is needed. You can test this out by going to your website with Google Chrome to see if you notice the green “Secure” to the left of the address bar, indicating that everything is working.

However, it is important to note that WordPress is extremely resource intensive to load. So, if visitors are coming to your site, initially without the httpS in the address bar, they are having to load WordPress twice, in which case they are probably having to wait a really long time for the first page to load. Because of this, even if the above gets things working properly for you, I highly recommend modifying your .htaccess file to force a secure redirection, which will make for a more pleasant and speedy response time for visitors coming to your website.

In some cases, you may see something like the following in your address bar after forcing redirection.

SSL not secure

Unfortunately there are many reasons why this could happen. When you encounter this error, there are typically options for getting further details about why this is occurring. At this point, if you’re not adept in sifting through and understanding the error message, you may need to reach out for assistance to make the secure connection work properly.

The most common reason for seeing this kind of message is because of mixed content. Meaning, some of the images or resources are being loaded insecurely. This typically happens when you’ve got hardcoded “http://” references somewhere in your WordPress website. One way to verify this is to view the page source of the broken page and search for these http:// references to see if they exist. If they do, you may be able to manually correct these by modifying your WordPress template, or by modifying the links within your pages.

There is one option available for quickly replacing these insecure links across your entire website, but the method for doing so is rather technical. It involves uploading a search and replace script to the server, and running it to change all http://yoursite.com references in your website database with https://yoursite.com. The instructions for successfully doing this are beyond the scope of this document. However, for your reference, here is the script that we use at Host Pond to perform the search and replace on WordPress websites. WARNING : USE THIS SCRIPT AT YOUR OWN RISK IF YOU CHOSE TO.

https://interconnectit.com/products/search-and-replace-for-wordpress-databases/

How do I add an Add-on Domain?

If you already have one domain hosted with Host Pond on and now you’ve purchased another one to add to your Business Hosting package but aren’t sure how to proceed, we’ve got you covered with the following steps!

(NOTE: A Personal Hosting package will allow for only one domain name–if you need to add a second domain name, you will have to upgrade to a Business Hosting package.)

 

STEP ONE

  • Open your web browser and go to the Host Pond website at https://www.hostpond.com/
  • Once there, click on the “Account Login” tab.

 

 

STEP TWO

  • Log in using the email address with which you had signed up for Host Pond services–this is the same email address at which you receive your monthly Host Pond invoices.
  • If you do not recall your billing system password, you can use the “Request a Password Reset” link at the bottom of the page.

 

 

STEP THREE

  • Click on “Services” from the main navigation menu, then select “My Services.”
  • Click on the “Active” button next to the hosting package you’d like to access.

 

 

STEP FOUR

  • Click the “Login to cPanel” link.

 

 

STEP FIVE

  • Now find the “Domains” section and click the “Addon Domain” icon.

add-on6

 

 

STEP SIX

  • In the “New Domain Name” field just enter your domain name, no need for “www” or “http://”
  • In the “Password” filed choose a new password (you will have reenter this password in the field below)
  • Click the “Add Domain” button

add-on7

 

At this point your cPanel will now recognize that new domain and you will be able to access and modify it just like your original domain.

How to view email disk space usage

If you’re curious just how much of your allotted disk space your domain email is eating up (or even how much each email inbox is using) you can discover that information by following these steps.

 

STEP ONE

  • Open your web browser and go to the Host Pond website at https://www.hostpond.com/ 
  • Once there, click on the “Account Login” tab.

 

 

STEP TWO

  • Log in using the email address with which you’d signed up for Host Pond services–this is the same email address at which you receive your monthly Host Pond invoices.
  • If you do not recall your billing system password, you can use the “Request a Password Reset” link at the bottom of the page.

 

STEP THREE

  • Click on “Services” from the main navigation menu, then select “My Services.”
  • Click on the “Active” button next to the hosting package you’d like to access.

 

STEP FOUR

  • Click the “Login to cPanel” link.

 

STEP FIVE

  • In the “Files” section click on the “Disk Usage” icon.

 

STEP SIX

  • Here we can see that “mail” is using up 173.87MB of the disk space.
  • If you’d like to discover the usage for each email inbox, click on the “>” symbol next to “mail” to create a drop down list.

 

STEP SEVEN

  • Click the “>” symbol next to your domain name.
  • Here we can see that Rachel is using the most disk space (she must be very chatty). We can even click the “>” next to “rachel” and see which folders (“cur” is read mail, “new” is unread, etc.) contain the most usage in her email account.

How to modify the DNS Zone records of a domain that is registered by (but not hosted by) Host Pond

If you have a domain name registered through us, but you do not have hosting for it through us, and you need to modify the DNS zone records, we have you covered with these following steps.

 

 

STEP ONE

  • Open your web browser and go to the Host Pond website at https://www.hostpond.com/ 
  • Once there, click the “Account Login” tab.

 

 

STEP TWO

  • Login using the email address that you signed for services with.  This is the same email address that you receive monthly invoices at.
  • If you do not recall your billing system password, you can use the “Request a Password Reset” link at the bottom of the page.

 

 

STEP THREE

  • Click “Domains”
  • Then select “My Domains” from the drop down menu.

 

 

 

STEP FOUR

  • Click the “Manage Domain” button (represented by a wrench) to the right hand side of the domain you wish to have redirected.

 

 

STEP FIVE

Next, you’ll need to click on the DNS Management for this domain name.  If you don’t see this menu option shown below, then please either call us at 877-467-8503 or email us at details@hostpond.com and request that we enable “DNS Management” for this domain name.  It is freely offered for all domain names registered through us, but is sometimes not enabled by default to avoid confusion for most hosting customers that do not require it.

Billing System Choose DNS Management

 

 

STEP SIX

Here is where you start adding your zone records for your domain name.  Below is an example of the basic DNS settings to direct your domain to a particular IP address, and also to set the default MX (mail delivery) record for your domain name. You’ll of course need to change the input values appropriately. To add more records, you must click the”Save Changes” button.

Billing System DNS Management Example

 

 

STEP SEVEN

  • STOP.  As of 05/26/16 there is an issue with our upstream registrar. Please stop here and instead email us at details@hostpond.com or call us at 877-467-8503 to manually make the following changes for you. We are working on this issue and hope to resolve it presently.
  • Click  the “Nameservers” tab.  

 

  

STEP EIGHT

  • Choose the “Use custom nameservers (enter below)” option and enter the following:

    dns1.name-services.com
    dns2.name-services.com
    dns3.name-services.com
    dns4.name-services.com
    dns5.name-services.com

  • Click the “Change Nameservers” button.

 

How do I increase my upload file size for my WordPress site?

Perhaps you’ve attempted to upload a very large file (a video or very long audio file, for instance) and ran into a message notifying you that the file was too large to be uploaded, listing the file size requirements? This is a precautionary step put in place to prevent hackers from uploading very large files to your site, as a site typically wouldn’t host file sizes any larger than those file size limits. But perhaps you actually do need to upload a very large file, and thus need to increase the file size limits, but aren’t sure how to go about doing so? We can help you increase the file size limits with the following steps.

CAUTION: Please do not increase the file size limits by too much else that vulnerability can be utilized by hackers.

 

STEP ONE

  • Open your web browser and go to the Host Pond website at https://www.hostpond.com/ 
  • Once there, click on “Account Login” tab.

 

 

STEP TWO

  • Log in using the email address with which you’d signed up for Host Pond servies–ttis is the same email address at which you receive your monthly Host Pond invoices.
  • If you do not recall your billing system password, you can use the “Request a Password Reset” link at the bottom of the page.

 

 

STEP THREE

  • Click on “Services” from the main navigation menu, then select “My Services.”
  • Click on the “Active” button next to the hosting package you’d like to access.

 

 

STEP FOUR

  • Click the “Login to cPanel” link.

 

 

STEP FIVE

  • Scroll down until you find the “Files” section and then click on the “File Manager” icon.

 

 

STEP SIX

  • Navigate to within the “public_html” folder.
    • We are going to create a new file in this folder with the file name “php.ini” but perhaps you already have a custom php.ini file? If this is the case, select your existing php.ini file and click the “Code Editor” icon and then skip to STEP NINE and simply add that new code to your existing php.ini file.
  • Click the “+ File” icon.

 

 

STEP SEVEN

  • For “New File Name” enter “php.ini” (without the quotes).
  • Click the “Create New File” button.

 

 

STEP EIGHT

  • Your new file should appear within the “public_html” folder–select it and then click the “Code Editor” icon.

 

 

STEP NINE

  • Copy/paste this code into your new php.ini file:
    • post_max_size = 25M
      upload_max_filesize = 25M
      • NOTE: while you can change the “25M” to any size you want, it is not recommended to go higher than 35M as the larger the number the more opportunity it gives hackers to cause problems for your site.
  • Click the “Save Changes” button.

 

 

STEP TEN

  • Now we will want to create a php.ini file with that exact same code within the wp-admin folder.

 

You will now be able to upload even larger files.

 

How do I set up my domain email in Outlook 2013 or 2016?

If you have an email account set up for your domain and you want to configure Outlook 2016 (or 2013) to send and receive email from this email address but are not sure how to go about it, follow the following steps to configure Outlook to connect to your account:

 
STEP ONE

  • Start Outlook 2016 (or 2013)
  • Click the File tab, and in the right pane, click the Add Account button.
outlook2013-1 

 

STEP TWO
  • In the Add Account box, with Email Account selected, enter:
    • Your Name (how you’d like your name to appear when people receive email from you)
    • Email Address (your whole email address)
    • Password (the password you’d already chosen for this email address)
      • Retype your password
  • Click Next.
 
 
STEP THREE
  • Outlook will then try to connect to the Host Pond mail server. It may return an error saying that an encrypted connection to your mail server is not available and will ask if you’d like to attempt using an unencrypted connection.
  • Click the “Next” button.
 

 

STEP FOUR
  • Click the “Finish” button.
 outlook2013-4b 
 
Success! Now you have configured the account setup of Outlook.

How do I create a sandbox site?

Perhaps you have a site built in WordPress that you’d like to potentially make some major (or even minor) changes to without it being seen by anyone until you’re done, but you’re not sure how to go about it? We recommend setting up a “sandbox site,” which is a copy of your actual site so that you can play around with it without those changes being seen by anyone until you’re ready.

 

STEP ONE

  • First you’ll want to create a “subdomain” for this “sandbox site” to live on. To create a subdomain, follow these instructions.

 

STEP TWO

STEP THREE

  • Now you’ll want to import your current live site into Installatron so that we can use it later to clone that site and install that copy onto your subdomain. To import your current live site into Installatron, follow these instructions.

 

STEP FOUR

  • Next, you’ll want to backup your current live site in case any mistakes are made to the existing site. You can do so by following these instructions.

STEP FIVE

  • Now you can import that backup to your new subdomain to create your “sandbox.” To do so, you can follow these instructions, however, once you reach STEP EIGHT in that FAQ, choose instead to “Restore to new location,” and then choose your subdomain instead of your primary domain.

STEP SIX

Now you can get to work tinkering around with the “sandbox site.”
Once you’re happy with your changes and ready for the public to see them, you can clone that sandbox version over to your main site, but first we recommend that you once again create a backup of your current live site, again by following these instructions.

STEP SEVEN

  • Now that you’ve backed-up your current live site, you’ll need to remove it so that you can import the cloned version of your “sandbox site” to your main site, as simply overwriting the old version with the new version could cause complications. To remove the current version, locate it Installatron and then select the checkmark box next to it and click the “Uninstall” button.
    uninstall-wordpress-site

STEP EIGHT

 

You’re done!

How do I clone my WordPress site to another domain?

If you need to clone your site to another domain but aren’t sure how to do so, we’ve got you covered with the following steps!

 

STEP ONE

  • Open your web browser and go to the Host Pond website at https://www.hostpond.com/ 
  • Once there, click on the “Account Login” tab.

 

 

STEP TWO

  • Log in using the email address with which you’d signed up for Host Pond services–this is the same email address at which you receive your monthly Host Pond invoices.
  • If you do not recall your billing system password, you can use the “Request a Password Reset” link at the bottom of the page.

 

 

STEP THREE

  • Click on “Services” from the main navigation menu, then select “My Services.”
  • Click on the “Active” button next to the hosting package you’d like to access.

 

 

STEP FOUR

  • Click the “Login to cPanel” link.

 

 

STEP FIVE

  • Scroll down until you find the “Software/Services” section and then click on the “Installatron” icon.

 

 

STEP SIX

  • NOTE: If you have already previously installed WordPress to a domain, you will likely see another screen that is a list of any of your installations–you will want to click on the “Applications Browser” tab near the top of that screen.
  • Scroll down to the Content Management section and click on the “WordPress” icon.

 

 

STEP SEVEN

  • Select the checkmark box next to the domain you’d like to clone and then click the “Clone” button.

 

 

STEP EIGHT

  • Scroll down to the “Domain” section and select from the drop-down list the domain onto which you’d like to clone that site.
  • Click the “Clone” button.

 

After it copies all those files, you’re done!

How to Renew your Domain Name

This FAQ will walk you through the process of renewing your domain name for 1 to 5 years. If you wish to renew for more than 5 years (maximum 10 years total), you can do so by following up a 5 year renewal order with another 1 or 2 year renewal order.

STEP ONE

  • Open your web browser and go to the Host Pond website at https://www.hostpond.com/ 
  • Once there, click the “Account Login” tab.

 Splash Screen Account LoginA

STEP TWO

  • Log in using the email address with which you had signed up for Host Pond services–this is the same email address at which you receive your monthly Host Pond invoices.
  • If you do not recall your billing system password, you can use the “Forgot Password?” link at the bottom of the page.

Client Area Login

STEP THREE

  • Click on either the “Domains -> My Domains” menu option, or simply the “Domains” button shown in the example below.

Domains my Domains

STEP FOUR

  • Click either the wrench, or the green “Active” link to the right of any of your domain names. 

Domain List

STEP FIVE

  • Click the “Renew” link in the “Actions” area.

Domain Renewal Click

STEP SIX

Next, choose the number of years that you wish to renew your domain name for. The price of the renewal will display next to the number of years. Once you’ve chose the number of years you’d like to renew, click the “Add to Cart” button to the right of the domain name.

IMPORTANT : A domain name can ONLY be registered for a maximum number of 10 years. What this means is that, unless your domain name is expiring today, you can actually only renew your domain name for 9 more years. Your order will fail if completing it will effectively put the expiration date beyond 10 years from today. 

STEP FOUR  Click either the wrench, or the green "Active" link to the right of any of your domain names.

STEP SEVEN

  • Once all domain names you wish to renew show “Added” to the right, click the “Go to checkout” button at the top right.

Domain Renewal go to Checkout

STEP EIGHT

  • Confirm the total amount due, entering any promotion codes and validating them before continuing. Once the price is as expected, click the green “Checkout” button.

Domain Renewal Checkout

STEP NINE

  • Finally, choose your payment method, entering the security code on the back of your credit card if its a card that is on file with us.
  • Click the “Complete Order” button.

 

Domain Renewal Complete Order

 

That’s it. All done!

How to restore your WordPress installation from a backup

If you’ve created a backup of your WordPress installation that you’d like to restore to, but are unsure how to go about doing so, we’ve got you covered with these instructions.

 

STEP ONE

  • Open your web browser and go to the Host Pond website at https://www.hostpond.com/ 
  • Once there, click on the “Account Login” tab.

 

 

STEP TWO

  • Log in using the email address with which you’d signed up for Host Pond services–this is the same email address at which you receive your monthly Host Pond invoices.
  • If you do not recall your billing system password, you can use the “Request a Password Reset” link at the bottom of the page.

 

 

STEP THREE

  • Click on “Services” from the main navigation menu, then select “My Services.”
  • Click on the “Active” button next to the hosting package you’d like to access.

 

 

STEP FOUR

  • Click the “Login to cPanel” link.

 

 

STEP FIVE

  • Scroll down until you find the “Software/Services” section and then click on the “Installatron” icon.

 

 

STEP SIX

  • Scroll down to the Content Management section and click on the “WordPress” icon.

 

 

STEP SEVEN

  • Click the “My Backups” tab. Here you will see all of the backups you have manually created (note: there are, by default, no automatic backups, you will have to have manually created a backup for it to appear).
  • Click the check box next to the backup from which you’d like to restore.
  • Click the “Restore” icon.

 

 

STEP EIGHT

  • There will be two “Continue” buttons–be sure to click the one in the “Restore to original location” section.

 

 

STEP NINE

  • A new page will load displaying all of the files that will be overwritten. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to click on the “Restore” button.

 

 

A progress bar will show the progress of the backup occurring, and once it has reached 100% your WordPress installation will be restored to that backup’s version.