Open Web Analytics – How to Install OWA WordPress Plugin

Open Web Analytics Plugin

Open Web Analytics is free and open source website visitor tracking software. This tool requires that you copy and pasted either JavaScript or PHP code into your websites index.html or index.php file. For example if you are using WordPress content management system then you would need to add this code to your index.php file.

One problem with this scenario is that you are editing a WordPress core file which will get over written each time you upgrade WordPress. Also, you may not want to get into the habit of editing WordPress core files. I searched for a n Open Web Analytics plugin that would inject code into each WordPress post or page so that I could track website visitors.

I found such a plugin called Open Web Analytics Plugin by Christian Schmidt. However, this plugin was developed nearly 7 years ago. This plugin may or may NOT work with newer WordPress versions.

Looks as if this plugin was abandoned years ago. Proceed with caution and AnetComputers.com is not responsible for problems with your website. I will now give you instructions on how to install and configure this plugin.

Login to your WordPress dashboard. Click on "Plugins". Now click on "Add New".

Type in "owa" without quotes into a search box. Look for "Open Web Analytics Plugin" by Christian Schmidt. Click on "Install Now".

Click on OK at the "Are you sure you want to install this plugin now" warning pop up. The plugin should download and install. Click on "Activate" to make this plugin live.

Under "Settings" there will be an option titled apropos "Open Web Analytics". Choose that option and you will taken to this plugins settings. This is where you configure this plugin to grab data from open web analytics that you already installed.

You have to enter your open web analytics site ID into the first field. You must login with your admin account into the open web analytics tracking system. Click on "Edit Profile" for the website that you want to integrate with WordPress.

You will see your "Site ID" under "Site Profile". This is a lengthy alphanumerical string. Copy and paste this site ID into the first configuration field in the WordPress plugin configuration. You can have this plugin track "Downloads".

You can add in the host name of the server where you installed open web analytics. This is entirely optional. For example I would enter in www.anetcomputers.com.

The "Base URL of installation" should already be filled in with /owa/. For example if you installed open web analytics into the owa directory under your web root, then you should see /owa/. However, if you changed the installation folder on your web server from /owa/ to say /stats/ then you want to change /owa/ to /stats/ in this field. You can optionally track the admin user with this tool.

Place a check next to "Track the admin user too". Now click on "Update Settings". Now you get to test if this plugin is working. Browse to your website so that this open web analytics detects a visitor.

In the open web analytics administrator back end you should see:

0 Visits 0 Page Views 0.00 % Bounce Rate

Now that you just visited your website, you should see some statistics for your website. Click on "Tracked Sites" from the main administrator dashboard. AnetComputers.com should show at least this:

1 Visits 1 Page Views 100.00 % Bounce Rate

If you were to click on an addition page you should see this:

1 Visits 2 Page Views 0.00 % Bounce Rate

This plugin injects tracking code into each WordPress post and page. You should begin to see more website statistics now that you have properly configured this plugin. This saves you the time from having to manually copy JavaScript or PHP code into your website index.html or index.php file.

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Open Web Analytics – How to Install Free OWA Software in 10 Minutes

Open Web Analytics

Open Web Analytics is free and open source software that helps you track your website visitors. This software is similar to Google Analytics. Once upon a time there was some other free open source software called Trace Watch.

However, that software is no longer supported. I then turned towards Open Web Analytics, when I had either my own virtual private server or physical web server. Then I eventually went back to using shared web hosting from Namecheap.

I turned to using the Awstats that was already installed. Now, I just earlier this year purchased virtual private server space. I am going to show you how to install Open Web Analytics.

This should take you around 10 minutes if you are familiar with the concept of installing software on your own virtual private or dedicated server. I would say in my opinion most shared hosting providers will not give you root access therefore you most likely will not be able to install this website analytics software on shared hosting. You will need to download a tarball.

The most recent version is 1.6.2. You will need to decompress this tarball. It will create a "owa" folder with all the installation files.

Now you want to upload this folder to your web server. You will most likely use file transfer protocol to upload this folder. You can upload it to your website root folder.

For example /home/user/public_html/. Also, you can create a folder off of your website root and upload the folder contents there.

/home/user/analytics/owa

Once you have successfully uploaded the owa folder to your web server, you will be creating a MySQL database. You will need to access your MySQL server via command line or with phpMyAdmin. Click on "Databases" in phpMyAdmin.

The rest of these instructions will assume you are using phpMyAdmin. In the "Create a database" field enter in the name of your owa database. For example owadb.

You can either choose a "Collation" type from a drop down menu or just leave that setting alone. Now click on "Create" button. You have just created the database that Open Web Analytics will be using.

This database has no tables. Now you need to click on "Privileges". You will need to browse back to Home in phpMyAdmin and then click on "Privileges".

Place a check box next to at least one already created and configured user. You are giving this MySQL username access privileges to this newly created database. Look for "Add privileges on the following database".

Choose your newly created owadb database from this drop down list. Click on "Check All" next to "Database specific privileges". Now you remove the check next to "GRANT" and click on "Go".

Now you browse to the install path in your web browser. For example since I uploaded owa to the website root folder I will need to browse to this path:

http://anetcomputers.com/owa/install.php

You should see an Open Web Analytics Installer screen. Now click on "Let's Get Started..." to begin this installation. You should see a "Configuration Settings" screen.

You should not need to change your "URL of OWA". Type in localhost in "Database Host" field. Type in the name of your database in this example owadb into the "Database Name" field.

Type into the "Database User" field the MySQL user earlier that you gave privileges to. For example user. You will need to enter in the password associated with "user" into the "Database Password" field. Click on the "Continue" button.

Under "Site Domain" field enter the domain of the website you are going to track visitors for. This example would be anetcomputers.com. Now enter in your email address in case you forget your password for Open Web Analytics.

You are actually creating your admin login for this tool. Enter in a password for the email address you just typed in earlier. Remember this email address and password will allow you to administrate this website tracking software.

You should see a final "Success...Installation is Complete" page. You have just installed Open Web Analytics onto your web server. You should see the login and password information on this page.

For example:

admin
admin123

Click on "Login and generate a site tracker". This will take you to the Open Web Analytics login page. Login with your admin username and password just created.

Now you will be presented with tracking code. This is just computer code that you will copy and paste into your website. There is both JavaScript and PHP code available.

You want to ssh into your website. Also, you will want to either login with the root account or sudo to root. You will now be pasting this code into either the index.html or index.php file on your web server.

This depends on whether or not you are using a content management system like WordPress. You can use a text editor like vi. Make sure to write the file changes by typing :wq!

Now you can test your website tracking. Test a web page on your website by browsing to a page. For example you would browse to anetcomputers.com.

This also tests to make certain this software does not conflict with your website. If you receive a blank page then obviously there is a problem. Click on "Tracked Sites".

You should see your website in this list. If you properly added the tracking code, then you should already see some statistics. To view more detailed information, you want to click on "View Reports".

You can change how Open Web Analytics tracks visitors by clicking on "Main Configuration". User Management allows you to add additional users that will have access to this tool. Tracking additional websites is also available with this software.

You would just follow the steps above to add an additional website. Click on "Add New". I do NOT know if there is a limit to how many websites you can track visitors with this tool.

This is my preferred website analytics tool. Once upon a time, I used Google Analytics. That tracking system would slow down my website(s) and who knows what Google does with all that data.

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Easy Hosting Control Panel – Just How Easy is ISPConfig 3 to Use?

Easy Hosting Control Panel

I decided to no longer use a virtual private server and instead build my own web server. I obtained a Comcast Xfinity business class broadband service. As long as you have a business class service, then you can physically host your own websites.

Comcast will most likely block your hyper text transfer protocol traffic with one of their residential Internet services. Anyways, one predicament of maintaining your own web server, is what operating system and or web serving software to use. I tried for days if NOT weeks to install a web server manually.

This is often times called a Linux Apache Mysql PHP server. What I could not over come was some of the configuration files for hosting multiple websites. I finally gave up and started researching free open source multi website control panels.

I finally found my solution for an easy hosting control panel, called ISPConfig. I had used cPanel for years. However, cPanel requires a monthly subscription.

ISPConfig is one of the first free open source hosting control panels I tried. The installation can have quite a bit of a learning curve. Depending on what Linux distribution you install, you might end up using the ISPConfig installation script.

This installation script requires that you answer some web hosting technical questions. You will need to know and understand how a website actually works on the server end. Once you are able to successfully install ISPConfig 3, then this web hosting control panel could be classified as easy.

ISPConfig is just as easy to use as cPanel. However, there is a lack of documentation as the developers require that you purchase the user manual. I was able to find most if not all of my questions answered on their public forums.

I was able to configure and maintain two wordpress websites for four years. I was able to configure email as well. ISPConfig has a web based administrator interface.

Most if not all tasks that you can complete in cPanel can completed in ISPConfig. You can access the live online demo for free. You can even demo the administrator interface.

With anything that is new, their will become a learning curve. However, once you familiarize yourself with the web based interface, you will be up in running in no time. I actually because of a lack of money, had to abandon my business class internet and thus my own physical web server.

I am paying very little for a virtual private server currently. I tried installing ISPConfig with a quick installer. However, it failed and I decided to install Centos web panel.

However, I am considering installing ISPConfig 3 again. I was in a bit of a rush to move three websites from a yearly shared hosting plan. I would just need to provision my virtual private server again and restore all three websites.

ISPConfig 3 has four major sections where you maintain your website(s).

* sites
* email
* domain name system
* virtual server

Also, you can actually use ISPConfig 3 to resell web space. You just create separate clients. I was pleasantly surprised with the ease and speed of maintaining a web server.

Most major tools are at your finger tips so that you can maintain multiple websites. Installing WordPress is straight forward. Initially, I had installed ISPConfig 3 on a minimal version of Ubuntu server.

However, when I recently tried installing it, I was using a minimal server version of Centos. This could be the problem. Creating email inboxes was simple.

Also, you can create catch all inboxes with ISPConfig 3. Adding an Internet protocol address is simple as well. Many tasks like adding domains and sub domains only require a couple of mouse clicks.

I was able to maintain multiple websites with ISPConfig quite quickly just like I had before with cPanel. ISPConfig 3 supports the following Linux distributions:

* debian
* ubuntu
* centos
* fedora
* open suse

There is a separate billing module that you can purchase if you want to become a web hosting seller.

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Alternative Web Browsers – Falkon Official 3.0.1 Release

I finally found two alternative web browsers to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microst Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, Opera, and the list goes on. I have been using Qupzilla 2.2.6 for months now as my main web browser of choice. However, the developer has decided to no longer support Qupzilla.

This same developer created a new web browser called Falkon which is actually based upon Qupzilla. The official version of Falkon has finally been released. Falkon 3.0.1 is now available for download.

This web browser is free and open source software. You can install it on both Linux and Microsoft windows based operating systems. There was a pre-release version of Falkon 3.0.0 available since February.

Normally, I do NOT fuck with alpha and beta software. However, since this was considered a pre-release I tested this web browser out. The graphical user interface is almost exactly like Qupzilla.

However, when I tested it there were a few areas that became problematic. Falkon has been my backup web browser to Qupzilla for the past three months. Now that this alternative web browsers official release is here, I may make Falkon my main web browser of choice.

Falkon 3.0.1 official release is the first ever bug fix version. This version was released on May eight two thousand eighteen. Falkon is NOT yet available for Macintosh operating system.

Amazingly, the developer is working on a Macintosh version. You can install Falkon as a stand alone application or use it as a portable application. Fourteen bugs were fixed in this first ever official Falcon web browser 3.0.1.

* profile migration for QupZilla
* wrong form data
* wrong back and forward buttons
* loading uniform resource locator 20%
* download text files
* download manager not closing restored tabs
* location bar site icon
* QtWebEngine 5.11 problems
* speed dial blank
* html full screen
* speed dial settings
* crashed sessions
* bookmarks toolbar height
* collapsed parent
* opening new window

Falkon is an official KDE project. This project supports the three major operating systems. Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and Linux. Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows 8, and Microsoft Windows 10 operating systems are supported.

Mainstream Linux distributions are supported. Since the first official release of alternative web browsers Falkon web is NOT yet available for Macintosh operating system, then I do NOT know what versions of Macintosh operating system are supported. There are both x86 32 bit and x64 64 bit web browser version available.

For now I am pleased with both Falkon and Qupzilla. I will most likely make Falkon my main web browser of choice and keep Qupzilla around as a backup. Finally, some decent web browsers around that do NOT fucking drive me up a wall like the mainstream web browsers do.

Although I admit that this my dogmatic subjective perspective vantage point.

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Microsoft System Security Alert – Pop up a Real Threat or Not?

I received a request from a third party web site where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions. Here is their request:

"I just had something very strange that happened when I was on Google white pages. It was a large red screen that also was speaking saying it was Microsoft windows and it was an alert stating my information on my computer had been compromised and to call the # on the screen"

This individual was using a laptop with Windows 10 operating system installed. Let me cut to the chase. These types of alerts are scams.

I would never call any number advertised. These false positives actually can install adware, malware, spyware, and or a virus onto your computer. Here was my response:

This is most likely a scam. There are quite a few scammers trying to get money from people. However, you may have been infected with malware, spyware, etc.

You could perform a system restore back to before you received this message. Also, you could perform a full virus scan. You could scan for malware and spyware with my preferred anti spyware program.

This is a free download. Finally, make sure that your firewall is turned on. You can get infected with spyware just by browsing the Internet.

This individual requested that I remotely connect to their computer and perform some system scans. First, I noticed that there were two anti-virus running. You NEVER need more than one anti-virus software installed on your computer.

As a matter of fact two or more anti-virus software can actually slow down your computer to a crawl. These programs will conflict with each other. I removed Viper security, with the permission of this client.

They now only had Mcafee Internet security installed. I made sure any updates were downloaded and installed for Mcafee. Also, I ran a quick virus scan.

My preferred malware/spyware removal found two pieces of software that I removed. Also, it found over 700 tracking cookies. Mcafee did NOT find any viruses.

I verified that indeed the Mcafee firewall was turned on. Also, whenever I remotely connect to a client computer, I generally use my preferred PC optimization tool. Also, to save time, I run many scans at the same time.

This PC optimization tool found around 1500 registry items. Often times, whenever I run this tool, I notice an immediate difference in the over all responsiveness of a Microsoft Windows operating system. Also, I went into task manager and looked to see if there was high central processing unit, random access memory, and or hard drive utilization.

Another thing I check for is making certain there are no problems with hardware devices. A quick gaze at Device Manager did NOT reveal any problems. Finally, I normally check Microsoft Windows 10 updates.

These are nothing short of a disaster, but I check them anyways to see if any of them are failing. Believe it or not, adware, malware, spyware, and virus can cause problems with device drivers and even Microsoft Windows updates. I did try performing a system file check, but it was taking too long to run.

Overall, I think this computer may have been affected with just two adware/malware/spyware programs. Many of these Microsoft system security alert messages are just phony pop up messages seducing you into calling the telephone number advertised. Then the perpetrator will ask for your credit card information.

Worse of all is that they will request access to your computer and then intentionally infect your computer. I never take these messages seriously. I would never waste time calling any phone number advertised.

However, as a computer technician, I will run a spyware scan, just to make certain. In closing, you could install an advertisement or pop up blocker on your web browser. This individual was using Google Chrome web browser when they received this alert.

I was going to install an advertisement blocker for them, but to my chagrin Ad Block Plus was already installed. Nothing to me is perfect in the technology sector. I am NOT surprised that one of these fake alerts was able to bypass an ad blocker.

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HTTP Error – WordPress Media Upload Fix For Centos Web Panel

I recently migrated multiple websites from my old shared hosting provider to my current virtual private server provider. I obviously use WordPress for my blog here at AnetComputers.com. I recently kept receiving this error when trying to upload images to the media library.

HTTP error.

First I changed the "Store uploads in this folder" path in "Settings" then "Media" in the WordPress dashboard. This did NOT fix this problem. I went out and performed some search engine research and found a solution.

This fix is ONLY written for those of you that are using Centos Web Panel. You need to login via Secure SHell into your web server. You must be logged in with your root account or sudo as root.

Then you want to type the following command:

chown -R nobody:nginx /var/lib/nginx

You are changing the ownership for all files and folders under /var/lib/nginx to nobody. In a Linux environment different user accounts can have different permissions. By default the nginx account was the owner for all files and folders under /var/lib/nginx.

Nginx is a hyper text protocol web server. When I changed the owner of these files and folders from nginx to nobody, this resulted in that HTTP error disappearing. I was then able to successfully upload images to my WordPress websites.

When making changes to owners and groups on Linux, I would be careful as to performing these changes. You may want to monitor your WordPress website(s) more costly for awhile after making this change. You want to become certain that this does NOT cause other problems.

However, I have not noticed any other problems since making this change to the owner of the files for /var/lib/nginx. Finally, this fix was written exclusively for those of you using Centos Web Panel. Centos is a FREE open source website control panel alternative to cPanel.

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Install Adobe Flash – Player When You Cannot Download it

Another day solving computer and information technology problems. This time a customer could NOT download and install Adobe flash player. Here is their question:

Having trouble downloading flash player. Help instructions on the screen do not correspond to what I see. Just go ahead and get it on my machine if that is possible.

This individual had a computer with Windows 7 operating system installed. Also, they wanted Adobe flash player installed for Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 web browser. When you tried to install Adobe flash player on this computer you would not receive the proverbial "Run" or "Save" options.

This customer had installed multiple browser toolbars which I do NOT think are productive. Many times web browser toolbars can conflict with tasks such as trying to download and install an extension, player, etc. I went ahead and reset their Internet Explorer settings back to default.

This requires a Microsoft Windows restart. However, I decided to also manually install Adobe flash player. I downloaded Adobe flash player specifically for Internet Explorer and Windows 7.

You choose which operating system under "Select an operating system". Then you want to choose a flash player for "Internet Explorer". Finally, you click on "Download now".

I then remotely connected to their computer and copied this Adobe flash player installer. This process took a few minutes ad the latest version of Adobe flash player was downloaded. Eventually, I was able to successfully install Adobe flash player for Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.

However, I received a false positive error. The Adobe flash player installer claimed that this install failed. I went to "Control Panel" then selected "Programs and Features".

Sure enough Adobe flash player was listed as one of the programs installed. I double verified by browsing to this Adobe web page that lets you verify what version of flash player you have installed. Click on "Check Now".

This tool verified that indeed Adobe flash player had been successfully installed on this Windows 7 computer. The customer was able to successfully open up a web based training module that needed Adobe flash player.

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Fix Google Chrome – Blank Screen Video Playback Problem

I recently had a customer with a problem with Google Chrome web browser. Whenever, they tried playing videos with this web browser, they would receive a blank screen. I remotely connected to their computer and narrowed down this problem to just Google Chrome web browser.

This was their original request:

I click Watch Video and nothing happens.

This individual was using a MACBook professional. This MACBook professional had MAC operating system Sierra 10.12.6 installed. Interestingly enough, this customer claimed they were never able to successfully play videos on their MACBook professional.

They claimed they could only play videos on their Apple iPhone. However, when I remotely connected Google Chrome was able to play videos on some video sharing websites. For example Vimeo.com and Youtube.com.

However, any livestreams would just display a blank screen. You can fix Google Chrome blank video problem by clearing the Internet cache. Right click the chrome drop down menu with 3 vertical dots, on the upper right hand side.

Choose "Settings" then select "Advanced". Now you want to click on "Clear browsing data". You want to select "Clear the following items from" and choose "the beginning of time".

You can place a check each inside box for that specific category. You can clear the cache for browsing history, download history, cached images and files, etc. However, a one word of caution.

There is an option to clear your "Passwords". I would NOT recommend this as you will have to enter in all your passwords again. As a computer repair technician I never clear my customers' passwords.

I always leave this category NOT checked. Click on the blue "CLEAR BROWSING DATA" button. Depending on how much cache your Google Chrome web browser has accumulated, it could take a minute or so for all this cache to get cleared.

You could fix Google Chrome blank video problem using a computer optimization tool instead.

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Firefox Software Updater – Mozilla Version 59.0.2

Mozilla Corporation on March twenty six two thousand eighteen officially released Mozilla web browser version 59.0.2 which they have named Quantum. This latest version 59.0.2 includes eight bug fixes and some various security fixes via Firefox software updater.

* hardware acceleration invalid page rendering
* random browser crashes
* browser keyboard shortcuts not working
* high central processing unit and random access memory usage
* intermittent crashes canceling print job

One high impact security issue was fixed.

* compositor vulnerability

This version of Mozilla Firefox includes multiple operating system processes, which is supposed to increase speed of this web browser. You can install Mozilla FireFox 59.0.2 manually by selecting "Help" then select "About Firefox". In about Mozilla Firefox you will either see that your web browser is up to date or click on an "Update to 59.0.2" button.

You can download and install Mozilla FireFox version 59.0.2 Quantum. Another way to upgrade Mozilla FireFox is with automatic updates. Click on "Tools" then select "Options".

Click on "Advanced" tab. Select an "Update" tab. In update you have three options:

* Automatically install updates
* Check for updates
* Never check for updates

Ths brand new Mozilla Firefox Quantum web browser version 59.0.2 was developed for Microsoft Windows, Apple MACintosh, Linux, Google Android, and Apple iOS operating systems.

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Google Chrome Support – Release Version 65.0.3325.181

Google on March twenty first two thousand eighteen, officially released Chrome web browser version 65.0.3325.181. This latest version of google chrome includes one security fix. This latest version of Google Chrome affects Google Chrome web browser on Linux, MAC, and Microsoft Windows platforms.

I was NOT able to find out the exact security fix that was released in this version of Google Chrome web browser. The Google Chrome support team claim that they will keep information restricted pertaining to bug fixes until enough of their users have been updated. Also, they claim they reserve the right to keep bug(s) information restricted if that bug(s) has not been fixed yet.

In a response to a comment on this blog post, I found out that Google Chrome support team keeps information about bugs a secret for fourteen weeks after a bug is marked "fixed".

"Hi David, that just means all the bugs are currently restricted. By default they are opened up 14 weeks after the bug has been marked as fixed."

Andrew Whalley

Note: Access to bug details and links may be kept restricted until a majority of users are updated with a fix. We will also retain restrictions if the bug exists in a third party library that other projects similarly depend on, but haven’t yet fixed.

This information is new to me. Perhaps they released this statement after they did NOT release any information about a more recent Google Chrome update? Who knows, I do NOT know.

By default Chrome is supposed to automatically update. You can install Google Chrome version 65.0.3325.181 manually by selecting "Help" then select "About Google Chrome". In about Google Chrome, if an update is available, that update will begin downloading.

You will need to relaunch Chrome for that update to install. You can download instead and install Google Chrome version 65.0.3325.181. chrome://settings has a new look.

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