How To: Westhost WordPress Login Fix

This one took me all day to figure out, so I figured someone else could benefit from it.

A client has her site hosted at Westhost, who recently made the decision to disable all login pages for WordPress because they came under a brute force attack and their servers were getting slammed. They posted a workaround to be able to get back to the WordPress dashboard, but nothing on how to fix the bajillion locations within a WordPress installation that reference or redirect to the login page. So, for example, you could get to your new login page directly, but not if you typed in “”

After some digging and mildly obscene near-cussing, I found the page you need to edit to get things redirecting correctly.

WARNING: This requires a bit of savvy and may render your website (frontend and backend) unusable. I am not able to help troubleshoot or fix things. If you don’t know what you are doing, stop. If you are comfortable with FTP and very basic PHP, continue. Also, you are changing core WordPress files here. That’s never recommended, and once you do, any update to wordpress will get rid of these changes. There, enough disclaiming.

FTP into your server and find the file at /wp-includes/general-template.php

Change all instance of “wp-login.php” to whatever your new url is. If you followed the instructions on Westhost’s support page, it would be “wp-login_new.php” There should be 5 instances. In this client’s instance (an older version of wordpress) it was lines 218, 238, 276, 319, and 341.

Save and re-upload that file, and your site should be working correctly.

In the event that they (Westhost) change anything, it might break again.

Hope that saves you hours of looking. Oh, and I recommend switching away from WestHost to MediaTemple. WELL worth the price difference. Here’s my affiliate link:

Generating Weebly xml file for export to WordPress (without Google Reader)

I made a slight modification to the weebly logo.
I made a slight modification to the weebly logo.
I recently helped a client move from Weebly to self-hosted WordPress, and in doing so discovered how to make the move slightly less painful now that Google Reader is no more.

I’m indebted to this WPBeginner tutorial for the bulk of the heavy lifting.

Before Google shut down Reader, steps two and three of the above-linked tutorial worked great. Now, I have yet to find a reader which will display more than 10 posts. So, here’s my hacky way of making it work.

Go to your site’s feed (generally at or something similar).

Copy everything but the top line (start from the rss tag)

Copy everything but the top line.
Copy everything but the top line.

Paste that text into a text editor (NOT Microsoft Word) and save the file as blogposts.xml in a place you can find easily.

Now for the part that will make your palms sweat:

(This is where you start the repeating process)

You’ve got to go and delete the first 10 posts from your blog. Do this in a different tab from the RSS feed. Weebly’s web interface will warn you about never getting them back, and they are right. You won’t ever get them back in Weebly. Make sure that you’ve got all of their content saved in the xml file, and you will get them back in WordPress.

Once you’ve deleted those first 10 posts, refresh the page that is viewing your feed, and copy everything from the first “item” tag all the way to the end of all the “item” tags.

Select from here...
Select from here… here.
…to here.

Once you’ve got all those posts saved, return to the beginning of the repeating process and repeat until there are no posts left in your feed. Make sure to save the .xml file each time.

(end of repeating process)

This method gets you the .xml file needed to import into WordPress. Continue the other tutorial from here.

If you aren’t comfortable with the process, I’m more than happy to execute this portion of your move for you. My rate is variable, based on the complexity of your setup. Contact me below to get started.

BenandJacq Moved to MediaTemple DV-Developer Hosting!

That's a fancy little logo, there. They told me I could use it.
That’s a fancy little logo, there. They told me I could use it.
Heads up, this one gets really techy really quickly. If you don’t care about Linux or Ubuntu or server-side coding, here’s a video of my son that’ll almost certainly make you smile and be far more worth your time.

I recently migrated all of my sites to DV-developer hosting over at MediaTemple. This post will walk you through how to do the same.

I’m running Ubuntu 12.04 Linux, which was the default when I signed up. From there, I followed the instructions on this tutorial page to put the AMP in my LAMP stack. In steps 3 and 5 I left the VirtualHost *:80 code at the top of both the default file and each individual site’s file alone, as changing them made all of my sites redirect to the same root.

I also added phpMyAdmin for help taking care of my databases in a graphical sort of way. In order to protect phpMyAdmin access, I edited the file at etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf, changing line 10
Allow from by putting my IP address in (in place of as the only one where connections are allowed. I got my IP address by visiting and then I copy/pasted into the apache.conf file.

Note, I don’t have a static IP address, so from time to time I have to go back in and change that file. It’s one extra step in my routine to access phpMyAdmin, but I think it’s worth it.

I’ll detail how I went about optimizing my setup for WordPress in a future post. I’m happy to report a little over two weeks in that my setup is doing GREAT. You can sign up for MediaTemple using my affiliate link by clicking here.

I Never Thought I’d Leave AT&T…

I switched to AT&T from Sprint back in 2007 for a little device called the original iPhone.

My 7 years with AT&T even included working there for 1.5 of them. Of the large telecoms, I still think their stuff is the best. They advertise the speed of their network (not the size of it—a metric that only a traveling salesman would find the most compelling point), and they truly do work very hard internally to put the customer first. I think some things are broken internally, but nothing out of the ordinary for a company of that size.

So it is bittersweet news to let you know that last week I ported my number to Republic Wireless, because I believe they are (or at least represent) the future of telecom. And I’m going to save $90 to $100 each month on my mobile phone bill.

FYI: the link in the paragraph above and any other links are “referral” links. If you use the links to sign up for Republic, I get a little kickback. But don’t sign up for it before you read my review, and please understand that I would never recommend something that I don’t personally use and love.

I first looked into Republic Wireless back when I became unemployed in February of 2013. At the time, the only phone they offered was a painfully mediocre mid-level Android device. I couldn’t bring myself to sacrifice the daily experience of enjoying my phone, so I passed.

Fast forward to last week: a tweet from Henry Kaestner came across my feed, and I followed links back to only to find out that they now offer the Moto X as their device, and have new plans that start as low as $5 per month.

The Moto X is by any geek’s definition in the top 10 phones on the market in America right now. I’d (recognizing my stock Android bias) put it in the top 3 or 4 behind the Nexus 5, the Samsung Galaxy S4 (Google edition), and maybe the HTC One (Google edition).

No, Apple fans, I don’t include the iPhone in the top 3. But that’s another post.

The addition of a legit phone made the choice a no-brainer. Here’s the cost breakdown:

On AT&T:
2 phones (only one aging smartphone) with functionally unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 2 GB mobile data: $140/month

On Republic Wireless:
Phone cost (no contract, 2 phones): $600 (one time)
2 smartphones with unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 3G data: $50/month.
2 smartphones with unlimited talk, unlimited text, and one of them on 3G data (the other with wifi only data): $40/month.

After I’ve had the phone for about a month, I will give you a full review of it. But here’s a screenshot to stave off the “Android has bad battery life” contingent of my audience. (I’m looking at you, Zack Riesland.)

That's nearly 30% battery left, with nearly a day and a half of usage. Heavy usage.
That’s nearly 30% battery left, with nearly a day and a half of usage. Heavy usage.

Bottom line: switching to Republic Wireless has been painless and the new phone is the best Android device I’ve ever owned. If you want to switch also, please use my referral link:

1 Month with Republic Wireless: 1 Mild Annoyance.

I’ll periodically check back in here to tell you how things are going with switching from AT&T to Republic Wireless.

I'm not quite as thrilled as the people on Republic Wireless' website, but I'm very close.
I’m not quite as thrilled as the people on Republic Wireless’ website, but I’m very close.
After a month on the service, there has only been one annoyance, which is likely not an issue with Republic.

This has only happened once or twice, but sometimes when I am calling over wifi my wife has mentioned my voice distorting. In each case, something else was also happening on the wifi (a video upload in one case, and streaming music in another). Also, our office Time Warner Cable Internet package is the lowest one you can get, bandwidth-wise, with upload speeds less than 1 Mbps, and only 3 Mbps download.

Our home Internet is not much faster, but I haven’t experienced any issues there. I don’t talk on the phone all that much—preferring text or email—so I’m not the best reference point for voice quality issues.

My AT&T number took about 15 hours to fully port over, and it was a seamless process—I didn’t even have to restart the Moto X.

The phone is still easily the best phone I’ve ever owned (and I’ve owned 3 different iPhones, an HTC One X, Motorola Atrix 2, and some older Androids) for battery life, ease of use, and dictation. I haven’t been able to fool the dictation software no matter how fast I speak. I’m considering doing a video to demonstrate it. It’s uncanny.

I’ll keep you posted (especially once my wife gets the service) for how well it is working out. At this point, I’m well into the “thrilled” camp, and the new-gadget excitement has officially worn off.

In the meantime, if you do decide to sign up, both of us get $19 off if you use this URL:

Also, I’ve nearly talked my pastor (an iPhone user) into making the switch, and if he does I’ll document how to switch everything over from Apple to Motorola/Android. Spoiler alert: it’ll be pretty painless, and you’ll wonder why you stayed with Apple so long.