Sal Aguilar's Bilingual Adventures in IT

computers are easier to deal with than people

WordPress 5 Beta 1 is released TODAY — October 24, 2018

WordPress 5 Beta 1 is released TODAY


Today it was announced that we are going to have WordPress 5 Beta 1. Go to the link below for more information!

https://make.wordpress.org/core/2018/10/24/wordpress-5-0-beta-1-update/

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Colaboración con La Prensa sobre sitio web de Policía Nacional — June 21, 2017

Colaboración con La Prensa sobre sitio web de Policía Nacional


Ayer tuve la oportunidad de colaborar con un editor del periódico La Prensa, durante esta colaboración analicé el exterior del servidor y sitio web de Trámites Online de Policía Nacional, abajo el artículo completo

http://www.laprensa.com.ni/2017/06/21/nacionales/2250107-miles-datos-personales-riesgo-sitio-web-la-policia-nacional

WP Nicaragua: walking towards a WordCamp in Nicaragua on 2017 — August 25, 2016

WP Nicaragua: walking towards a WordCamp in Nicaragua on 2017


First I must admit that I love that as part of my job in Sucuri I get to  assist to WordPress events like WordCamps. I had the opportunity to assist the first WP Campus in Sarasota, Florida. This event was for all the Universities and other Higher Education entities that use WordPress on their campus for their websites. It was pretty cool to see all the talks from Developers from 10up, Modern Tribe, Lynda.com, WP Engine, Pantheon and other companies which made the event possible.

This year, I met the organizer of the Costa Rica WordPress group , Roberto Remedios, and I had the opportunity to give a talk remotely to their group, and after that I realized that he was organizing the WordCamp San Jose, Costa Rica 2016 and I offered my assistance as a volunteer and to speak at the event.

nicaragua
WordCamp Nicaragua 2014 – Suyapa Beach, Las Peñitas

As a Nicaraguan, I’m truly excited to have a WordCamp in Central America. We did hold a WordCamp here in Nicaragua in 2014 and also in 2013, and we will he hosting a DrupalCon as well on Nicaragua this year, but I don’t have much details for now, but I will make a post as soon as I get all the inside scoop.

This year we are trying to push for at least a monthly meetup in our Managua WordPress Group, and we have had a good discipline and have held all the following meetups:

And this month we will held another, to keep meeting and sharing good practices and cool new tricks about WordPress, come and join us: http://www.meetup.com/Managua-WordPress-Meetup/events/233562086/

The ultimate goal, for us as a group/community is to hold a WordCamp next year, so we do not compete with Costa Rica for speakers or sponsors. So we are meeting regularly and have started the talk about who would volunteer to help organize such event in Nicaragua, so we can plan ahead, and have a great event as well as a good attendance from other Central American countries like Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

If you would like to help organize, speak or sponsor our event, you can contact me, or go to our MeetUp page and click on contact: http://www.meetup.com/Managua-WordPress-Meetup/

We are going to try to push for WordCamp Nicaragua, WordCamp Costa Rica and then WordCamp El Salvador, and hopefully in 2018, hold our very first WordCamp CentralAmerica, were we can gather as a region instead of separate small countries so we can have a higher traction in assistance and sponsorship!

If you are from Guatemala or Honduras, and need help on setting up your WordPress community or want to be part of the WordCamp CentralAmerica, ping me on twitter or email me. I will be cool to gather as one!

I look forward to your comments!

Top 5 Wordpress Tools for any Wordpress Developer — February 18, 2016

Top 5 Wordpress Tools for any Wordpress Developer


As a professional working on WordPress sites, I wanted to share what are the tools that I use on my day to day WordPress Development and Management tasks, I hope these tools will make your life easier, as they did to me, so without further comments, let’s begin:

Chrome Developer Tools

faster-htmlcss-workflow-with-chrome-developer-tools
It’s incredible that many people who do WordPress sites are not aware of how useful your Chrome browser is. Google has made very great things with it and Dev Tools is a biggest part of it. You can find Javascript errors, see HTTP headers, do performance analysis and much much more. Its an essential part of what I use to diagnose issues with websites.

Website: https://developers.google.com/web/tools/chrome-devtools/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJR-n8szgBc

wp-cli: Command Line Interface for WordPress

wp-cli

If you are a console lover like me, you’d appreciate this tool very very much. wp-cli is a terminal application built on PHP, that allows you executing a lot of wordpress management tasks such as updating & install plugins, adding users, password resets, etc and everything from the comfort of your favorite shell environment (I use and ❤ Oh my zsh). It requires you to have a unix like environment and PHP installed.

Website: http://wp-cli.org/ 

Twitter: @wpcli

GitHub: https://github.com/wp-cli/wp-cli

YouTube: WP-CLI – A Practical Guide For The Rest of Us WordCamp

Wocker: Docker for WordPress

Wocker Rapid development environment for WordPress

Wocker is a rapid development environment for WordPress. It’s based on Docker. It works on Linux and Mac. Since I am using a Mac, it made my life easier as I don’t need to setup Apache and MySQL each time I have to setup a new WordPress boilerplate! (AWESOME)

This allows you a great way to locally develop a site and then you can migrate it over to your web host using any of the available methods!

Author: Kite Koga (@ixkaito)
Website:
 http://wckr.github.io/

YouTube Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3OAm7qMeic

Presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/kaitokoga9/wocker-create-a-wordpress-development-environment-in-seconds

WordPress Codex

One thing I love the most about WordPress its all the documentation is available online, and codex @ wordpress.org is the best online resource for anything wordpress documentation, whether you are starting or you need a quick reference about any function of the CMS. +1 to Automatic for making such an awesome resource online available to us all.

Website: https://codex.wordpress.org/

The IDE: PHPStorm by JetBrains vs SublimeText

highlight-comparision

I know this is a very personal decision for each one of you, but to me PhpStorm is better than SublimeText when it comes to being a real IDE. Sure SublimeText has a lot (I seriously mean A LOT) of plugins that extend its functionality, but PHPStorm comes with everything I need from scratch.

Download PHPStorm: https://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/

PHPStorm & WordPress Tutorial: WordPress Development using PhpStorm

Download SublimeText: http://sublimetext.com/

SublimeText & WordPress tutorial: Setting Up Sublime Text for WordPress Development

Conclusion

This are the tools that I use and work for me, let me know if I missed other tool that you use on your daily tasks that simplify your work with WordPress. I would love to learn new tools!

Wordpress Security: your responsibility as a website owner — February 17, 2016

Wordpress Security: your responsibility as a website owner


As part of my job, I help customers on a daily basis to overcome hacks, defacement and malware infections on their WordPress. Most of them are just business owners or WordPress developers who don’t mind much about security.

A website is like a car, if you don’t do regular maintenance then you can’t expect it to last forever. The software: WordPress, themes and plugins,  have bugs that are discovered thru time and that is why WordPress is updated pretty often and same for themes and plugins.

Since WordPress makes up for the 25% of all the website in the world wide web, it has become an usual attraction for hackers and script kiddies looking for an ego boost, or simply to use your site as a proxy to attack someone else.

I regularly have a tough time trying to explain this, but I was lucky enough to find this amazing talk by Tony Perez, the CEO of Sucuri (@perezbox on twitter). Sucuri is one of the leading Malware cleaning companies that are helping website owners and developers to protect their sites & help them recover from malware infections.

Below is his talk from a WordCamp from 2015:

Navigating Today’s Website Threats!! – A Stroll Through WordPress Security

 

Upgrading to Debian Jessie 8.3 — January 31, 2016

Upgrading to Debian Jessie 8.3


Recently I became aware that there was an update to my favorite Linux, Debian. I have been using Debian Jessie 8.2 on my laptop (Dell XPS 14) since it came out and honestly I did not have any problems at all.

But recently I was requested to install a Linux server for a small app developed on Ruby on Rails. And honestly my first choice is, and probably always be Debian; unfortunately when I came to the meeting with the good folks who wanted my assistance, I was informed that the server was already installed and that the developer installed Ubuntu 14.04 on it. Well that shouldn’t be much of a problem, after all is Debian at heart.

But due to many issues with it (performance and others), I wiped the install and did a Debian Jessie 8.2 install on the beautiful Dell server. Everything went well during the installation, but the error stroke after the first boot 😦 video issues all over the place. I couldn’t see the console or screen due to some odd conflicts with the drivers and the Matrox video card. I did see several issues and complaints on some forums about the same that I was experiencing, but it has its positive side. The developer was using this server as a workstation and had the GUI installed and used tools like Atom and other things and was going to use the server to do the training. And now with the issues with video, I had the perfect excuse to make him use his laptop. #Win for me.

Today, I was happy to read that many video issues have been patched with 8.3 and I intend to do the upgrade on the server tomorrow night. But I did try to do the upgrade on my computer and everything went well.

How to upgrade to Debian 8.3 from Debian 8.x?

The process itself is pretty easy, on your terminal using an account with sudo rights, run the following commands:

sudo apt-get update

This command will request all the latest versions from all the repositories that you have on setup on your sources.list.

sudo apt-get upgrade

The upgrade modifier on apt-get compares the latest versions of software on the catalog available online against the local catalog of installed software on your machine, and tells you which are the ones that you can upgrade to newer versions.

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

The dist-upgrade modifier, besides doing the same thing as upgrade it also changes the dependencies with newer version of packages. It will prioritize the most important packages to upgrade.

sudo reboot

After the reboot your computer should be now running full Debian 8.3 and you can verify it by running the following command:

lsb_release -a

The output should be something like this:

Distributor ID: Debian
Description: Debian GNU/Linux 8.3 (jessie)
Release: 8.3
Codename: jessie

And there you go, Debian Jessie 8.3 installed, enjoy!

If you face errors or have questions, let me know!

PS: Thanks to Christian Torres for the correction!

Happy 2016 & update Wordpress! — January 8, 2016

Happy 2016 & update Wordpress!


It’s January, it’s 2016. If your site survived the holidays without going down or getting hacked, Congratulations!

If you are not aware WordPress recently released an update, which honestly is just a maintenance and security update to fix 52 bugs from WordPress 4.4 aka Clifford which was released on December 2015.

So if you want to keep your WordPress secure quickly run to your site WordPress Admin and then update it. But wait!!! Do you have a backup ? If not then do it RIGHT NOW before it’s too late.

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So what is coming up on this blog? Well I do have a few ideas about articles to post on the future, some of my rough drafts are:

  • wordpress.org vs wordpress.com – an idiots guide!
  • BulletProof Security vs Wordfence
  • W3 Total Cache with CloudFront – an easy guide
  • W3 Total Cache with Memcache – simple steps
  • Debugging on WordPress

I’m also exploring other topics, if you have any suggestion, drop me a note or comment below.

By the way, we are close to officially launch SeñorCoders.com this year and we do have a couple of projects to finish before we do the launch party! So if you need professional WordPress support and implementation, contact me or contact senorcoders.com. If you refer my blog you would get a special discount from yours truly!

La Prensa is back and it’s new — November 17, 2015

La Prensa is back and it’s new


Yup, the issues from yesterday were due to a change of providers.

DOAP is no longer managing the infrastructure and web services for them. They are now running it themselves.

What happened?

After 12 months of several issues with their provider, a slow website with a lot of issues, poor UI/UX, they decided to change.

  1. They kept WordPress but developed a theme in-house.
  2. They also kept AWS EC2 and are trying to implement CloudFront again.
  3. The developers were pushed/rushed into deploying the version that was scheduled for January due to the long list of issues with the previous provider.
  4. The site was not complete so there are still some bugs which the local Developer Community in Facebook is trying to report so they can fix it asap.

Conclusions

  1. Rushed development and deployment often come with a lot of bugs. But it’s better done than perfect.
  2. Better UI/UX this time and I only hope it gets better and gets to the high standard that El Nuevo Diario has set due to the awesome team of KronosCode.
  3. There are still a lot of bugs that have been inherited from the previous provider. They are still trying to patch things up.
  4. They really really need the caching layer, or they are going to pay a lot of money with a higher amount of EC2 instances.
  5. Some security measures are needed. Disable XMLRPC and protect wp-admin.
  6. Ah by the way their small sister site Hoy.com.ni was also updated.
Wordpress Plugin Vulnerabilities — May 12, 2015

Wordpress Plugin Vulnerabilities


This is for all of you WordPress users. Recently a lot of vulnerabilities were discovered which allow hackers and script kiddies to have access to your website if you are running outdated versions of all the following plugins:

  • Jetpack
  • WordPress SEO
  • Google Analytics by Yoast
  • All In one SEO
  • Gravity Forms
  • Multiple Plugins from Easy Digital Downloads
  • UpdraftPlus
  • WP-E-Commerce
  • WPTouch
  • Download Monitor
  • Related Posts for WordPress
  • My Calendar
  • P3 Profiler
  • Give
  • Multiple iThemes products including Builder and Exchange
  • Broken-Link-Checker
  • Ninja Forms

The above plugins have already been updated by their developers to fix the issue so we strongly recommend logging into your WordPress admin panel and updating these as well any other plugins that are installed.

What can you do?

UPDATE WordPress

Yup! Get your WordPress to the latest latest version available. Go here to know what the latest version of WordPress is the one that was recently released -> WordPress.org

UPDATE Plugins

Go to your WP-ADMIN Dashboard and then to plugins and update all the ones that are outdated. Please note that this will probably cause some features to break, but its better to fix this than to get hacked and get your domain or server blacklisted. Preventive maintenance it’s ten times better than corrective maintenance. At least that is what my mother taught me.

REMOVE Plugins

If any of the plugins listed above is on your WordPress and it does not have a recent update less than 2 weeks ago (please note that today is May 12th 2015), remove it. It’s better be safe than sorry.

Also cut all the fat, and remove all the plugins that you are not using, even if you have them disabled it’s just safer to remove them for good. Bye, CIAO, ADIOS!!!

Say no to cracked or nulled Plugins and Themes

I know the idea of not paying for software might be appealing to you.. However I suggest to not be cheap when it comes to this, as it’s more often that these types of warez have some sort of injected code which will allow other to get access to your account and use it to run commands on your account remotely.

So do not be a part of the next DDoS attack or SPAM source. Pay for your plugins and themes, below are some great places to purchase your WordPress Themes and Plugins:

For Themes

For Plugins -> Code Canyon By Envato

Further reading

For more information about this vulnerability, please visit the following link:

https://blog.sucuri.net/2015/04/security-advisory-xss-vulnerability-affecting-multiple-wordpress-plugins.html

Paypal finally opens in Nicaragua — May 5, 2015

Paypal finally opens in Nicaragua


Paypal lands in Nicaragua

Yes, finally!!! Well sort off!

Paypal arrived to Nicaragua two weeks ago, it launched quietly but it was here. My friends from Pragmaz.com and Danfer Habed with whom I am working on a personal project that will launch soon, started making some tests with it. I was able to integrate it using the classic API with Express Checkout on a test OpenCart installation I made. Success!

Invoicing, Request Payments, Classic API, Rest API and other features are working now for Nicaraguan accounts.

What is the catch?

Well, to start off you are unable to transfer your money to a Nicaragua bank account. Before the only thing you could do is to link a US based bank account so you can cash out your money there. But that will only work for some folks, not for the vast majority.

Some interesting discussions were given on my 2 favorite Facebook groups: Desarrolladores Nicaragua & Marketing Digital Nicaragua. And we all started making tests and interacting with Paypal and their support staff. Unfortunately we can’t move money to local banks, or any other card or anything. Local bank clerks were even confused when we asked them if we could move money from Paypal to their account. They were thinking that it was about a Wire transfer from an external bank, which for me it is consequence of the low technical skills we have in Nicaragua.

We tried to use services like Payoneer, where they give you a US Based bank account so you can get payments done to that account and they provide a Mastercard Debit Card that you can use here in Nicaragua. Sad enough that does not work.

Some folks like Juan Jose from primitivista.org and Manuel Diaz from ListoMarketing.com; who also have online business gave their opinions and we all agree that even though this is a small step, we have still a long way go.

On a personal note, I believe that this is not Paypal‘s fault but our very own. Our laws or lack of them for electronic transactions is a leaving us behind. Paypal would need to sign agreements with local banks in order to reduce the transfer fees, but I do not see that happening soon. I believe Paypal needs to work with “Super Intendencia de Bancos y Otras Instituciones Financieras” or SIBOIF in order to be compliant and open locally as a financial institution so it can lower the fees when transferring money to local banks.

I will try to talk to someone from the Banking industry and will provide further feedback here when I get it. But in the mean time you can donate to this blog by sending money to sal.aguilar81@gmail.com via Paypal.

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