Posts Tagged ‘Joomla’

How to remove the meta generator Content (Joomla! – Copyright) in Joomla 1.5

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Joomla-remove-meta-generator-content-to-hide-joomla-site-install
Do you wonder How to change <meta name="Generator" content="Joomla! – Copyright (C) 2005 – 2007 Open Source Matters. All rights reserved." /> in Joomla 1.5

If yes, Here is how I've just found to remove the:

 

in my Joomla installation.

I need to remove that as a part of making my website not to leak out that it runs on top of Joomla.

So here is how:

1. Go to your Joomla website main root directory
2. Edit /libraries/joomla/document/html/renderer/head.php
Look for line: 83 in the /libraries/joomla/document/html/renderer/head.php
There you will notice the code:

$strHtml .= $tab.'<meta name="generator" content="'.$document->getGenerator().'" />'.$lnEnd;

In order to remove the <meta name="generator" content="Joomla …." /> change the above code to something like:

$strHtml .= $tab.'<meta name="generator" content="My Custom Web site Generator name" />'.$lnEnd;

That's all now next time you refresh your website the content="Joomla! – Copyright (C) 2005 – 2009 Open Source Matters. All rights reserved." will be no more.
Cheers! 🙂

How to easy add Joomla 1.5 donate Paypal capabilities with Joomla PAYPAL DONATION MODULE

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Reading Time: 3 minutesPayPal donation Module Joomla Screenshot

Many joomla CMS installations are for Non-profit organizations or Non Government organizations. These are organizations which are not officially making profit and therefore this instituations are interested into donations to support their activities.

In this occasions adding Joomla paypal capabilities is very essential. There are plenty of modules which enables Joomla to support paypal monetary payments, however many of them are either paid or requires registration and thus it’s quite time consuming to set up a decent PayPal supporting module for Joomla.
After a bit of investigation thanks God, I’ve come across a module that is free of charge, easily downloadable (wihtout registration) and is also relatively easy to configure, these module is called PAYPAL DONATION MODULE
I’ve mirored the module to my server, just in case if the module disappears in the future.

Here are a very brief explanation on how the module can be downloaded installed and configured:

First Download (mod_ojdonation_pp) Paypal Donation Module here

Install it as joomla module via:

Extensions -> Install/Uninstall
menu

Afterwards, go to:

Extensions -> Module Manager

In the list of modules you will notice the Donate module which will be disabled. Use the Enable button to enable it.

Next by clicking on the Donate Module Name, one can configure the module, where the most essential configuration values that needs to be filled in are:

1. Title: – The title of the donation form:
2. Donation Title: – Title of donation picture to show in the webpage
3. Donation Amount: – Default donation amount user will donate with paypal by clicking on Donate button
4. Currency – Default currency the donators will use to donate to configured paypal account
5. Paypal ID: – The email address of paypal account your donators will donate to (This was a bit hard to understand since Paypal ID is not a number ID but the email address configured as an username in PayPal).
6. Donation Description: – Description text to appear before the Donate button
7. Donation Footer: – Text to appear after the Donate button

There are two ways one could add the donation module to show the donation form, on the joomla website:
a. One is to enable the donation button on every joomla webpage (I don’t like this kind of behaviour).

To use this kind of donate button display approach, you will have to select from the Donation module, conf options:
– Show on FrontPage: and Show Title:

Also make sure the Enabled: option is set to Yes

b. Second approach is to set the PayPal Donation form only to appear on a single menu, to do so:

While in Paypal Donation Module configuration in Menu Assignment section, select:

Select Menu Item(s) from the List
instead of the default All value set for Menus.

The last setting to be choosen is the paypal donation form page location (where exactly on the selected pages the form will appear).

The form location is set from the Position: dropdown menu, the option which I found to be the best one for me was the bottom option. However just play with the Position setting and choose the one that will be best for you.

Then scroll on in the Menu Selection: and choose only the menus where you want a paypal donation form to appear.

Finally to save all the recent made settings, click on Apply and refreshing in a new page should show you paypal’s money donation form in joomla

If all is configured fine with Joomla’s – Paypal Donation Module you should get on your webpage:

PayPal donation Module in Joomla Screenshot
 

Stop contact form spam emails in Joomla, Disable “E-mail a copy of this message to your own address.” in Joomla

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Reading Time: 3 minutes

email-copy-of-this-message-to-your-own-address_Contact_email_form
If you happen to have installed Joomla based website and setup a contact form and everything worked fine until recently but suddenly your server starts mysteriously acting as a spam relay – even though email server is perfectly secured against spam.
You probably have some issue with a website email contact form hacked or some vulnerability which allowed hackers to upload spammer php script.

I have a website based on Joomla and just until recently everything was okay until I noticed there are tons of spam flying out from my Qmail mail server (which is configured to check spam with Spamassassin has Bayesian Filtering, Distributed Checksum Claring House, Python Razor and plenty of custom anti-spam rules.

It was just yesterday I ended into that situation, then after evaluating all the hosted website, I've realized Spam issues are caused by an Old Joomla Website Contact form!

There were two issues in the form

in the contact form you have the field with a tick:

1. Well Known Joomla Form Vulnerability
Currently all Joomla (including 1.5.22 and 1.6 versions) are vulnerable to a serious spam relay problem as described in the official Joomla site.

There is a quick dirty workaround fix to contact form vulnerability –  disable a Joomla Comonent in ../joomla/components/com_mailto/

To disable it I had to:

cd /var/www/joomla/components
mv com_mailto com_mailtoNOT_USED

Above solution was described under a post resolve joomla spam relay earlier by Anatoliy Dimitrov (after checking closely the website it happened he is a colleague at HP 🙂 )

2. Second issue causing high amount of spam sent over the email server
was: "E-mail a copy of this message to your own address." contact form tick, which was practically enabling any Spammer with a list to inect emails and spam via the form sending copies to any email out on the internet!

You would definitely want to disable  "E-mail a copy of this message to your own address."
I wonder why ever any Joomla developer came up with this "spam form"?? 

joomla-disable-email-copy-of-this-message-to-your-own-address

Here is the solution to this:

1. Login to Joomla Admin with admin account
2. Goto Components -> Contacts -> Contacts
3. Click on the relevant Contact form
4. Under Contact Parameters go to Email Parameters
5. Change field E-mail Copy from Show to Hide and click Apply button

And Hooray the E-mail a copy of this message to your own address will be gone from contact form! 🙂

I've seen already plenty of problematic hacked servers and scripts before with Joomla in my last job in International University College – where joomla was heavy used, but I never experienced Joomla Security issues myself 'till know, in future I'm planning to never ever use joomla. Though it is an easy CMS system to setup a website its quite complicated to learn the menus – I remember when creating the problematic website it took me days until I properly setup all the menus and find all joomla components … besides these there is no easy way to migrate between different versions major releases in Joomla like in Wordperss, I guess this Mail Security Issue absolutely convinced me to quit using that piece of crap in future.

In mean Time another very serious Apache security flaw leaked on the Internet just few days ago – The OpenSSL Hearbleed Bug. Thanksfully I'm not running SSL anywhere on my website but many systems are affecting making most of your SSL communication with your Internet banking, E-mail etc. in danger. If you're running Apache with SSL make sure you test it for this vulnerability. Here is description of Heartbleed SSL Critical Vulnerability.

heartbleed_ssl_remote_vulnerability_logo

"The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users."

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Improve Website Apache Webserver SEO without Website source code moficitations with Google PageSpeed module on Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora and SuSE Linux

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Improve-website-apache-webserver-seo-without-website-source-code-modifications-with-Google-PageSpeed-Apache-module

For hosting companies and even personal website speed performance becomes increasingly important factor that gives higher and higher weight on overall PageRank and is one of the key things for Successful Site Search Engine Optimization (positioning) in Search Engines of a not specially SEO friendly crafted website.

Virtually all Google / Yahoo / Bing,  Yahoo  etc. Search Engines give better pagerank to websites which load faster and has little or no downtimes, for the reason a faster loading time of a website pages means better user experience and is indicator that the website is well maintained. 

Often websites deployed written for purpose of a business-es or just community CMS / Blog Website Open Source systems such as Joomla, Drupal and WordPress by default are not made to provide fantastic speed right after deploy without install of custom plugins and website tuning, i.e.:

  • Content size optimization (gzipping)
  • More efficient way to deliver CSS / Javascript (MinifyJS / CSS files into single ones
  • HTML optimization
  • Stripping (useful) page Comments
  • Adding <head> if missing on pages etc.

. Therefore as I said in many of my previous LAMP Optimization articles page  (opening) speed could make really Bad Users / Clients experience when the site grows too big or is badly optimized it gives degraded page speed times (often page loads 20 / 30 seconds waiting for the page to load!). Having Pages lagging on big information sites or EShos has both Ruining Company's Image on the market and quickly convinces the user to use another service from the already thosands available and thus drives out (potential) customers.

As Programming code maintainance and improvement is usually very costly, companies that want to save money or can't afford it (because of the shrinking budgets dictacted by the global economic crisis), the best thing to do is to ask your sysadmin to Squeeze the Best out of the WebService and Servers without major (Backend Code) infrastructural changes.

To  Speed up Apache and create Proper Page Caching without installing on server external PHP Caching modules such as Eaccelerator  / PHP APC caching and without
extra CMS modules
such as lets say WordPress W3 Total Cache there is Google Develop Apache Webserver external module – PageSpeed.

Here is Google Pagespeed Module overview :
 

PageSpeed speeds up your site and reduces page load time. This open-source webserver module automatically applies web performance best practices to pages and associated assets (CSS, JavaScript, images) without requiring that you modify your existing content or workflow.


What does Apache Google PageSpeed actually does?
 

  • Automatic website and asset optimization
  • Latest web optimization techniques
  • 40+ configurable optimization filters
  • Free, open-source, and frequently updated
  • Deployed by individual sites, hosting providers, CDNs


1. Install PageSpeed on Debian / Ubuntu, deb derivatives) Linux

a) Download and install module 

On 64 bit deb based Linux:

cd /usr/local/src
wget https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/linux/direct/mod-pagespeed-stable_current_amd64.deb 
dpkg -i mod-pagespeed-stable_current_amd64.deb
apt-get -f install


On 32 bit Linux:

cd /usr/local/src
wget https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/linux/direct/mod-pagespeed-stable_current_i386.deb
dpkg -i 
direct/mod-pagespeed-stable_current_i386.deb
apt-get -f install


b) Restart Apache
 

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Important files and folders placed on server by deb installer are:

/usr/bin/pagespeed_js_minify – binary that does Javascript minification
/etc/apache2/mods-available/pagespeed.conf – Pagespeed config
/etc/apache2/mods-available/pagespeed.load – Load module directives in Apache
/etc/cron.daily/mod-pagespeed – mod_pagespeed cron script for checking and installing latest updates.
/var/cache/mod_pagespeed – Mod Pagespeed cahing folder (useful to install memcached to increase even further caching performance)
/var/log/pagespeed – Directory to store pagespeed log files

 

2. Install PageSpeed on (RPM based CentOS, Fedora, RHEL / SuSE Linux)


RPM 64 bit package install:
 

rpm -Uvh https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/linux/direct/mod-pagespeed-beta_current_x86_64.rpm

 


32 bit pack version:
 

rpm -Uvh https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/linux/direct/mod-pagespeed-stable_current_i386.rpm


Modify pagespeed mod config 

Restart Apache

sudo /etc/init.d/httpd restart


Important config files and folders created during RPM install are:

  • /etc/cron.daily/mod-pagespeed : mod_pagespeed cron script for checking and installing latest updates.
  • /etc/httpd/conf.d/pagespeed.conf : The main configuration file for Apache.
  • /usr/lib/httpd/modules/mod_pagespeed.so : mod_pagespeed module for Apache.
  • /var/www/mod_pagespeed/cache : File caching direcotry for web sites.
  • /var/www/mod_pagespeed/files : File generate prefix for web sites.

3. Configuring Google PageSpeed module

 

To configure PageSpeed you can either edit the package installed bundled pagespeed.conf (/etc/apache2/mods-available/pagspeed.conf,  /etc/httpd/conf.d/pagespeed.conf) or insert configuration items inside Apache VirtualHosts config files or even if you need flexibility and you don't have straight access to Apache config files (on shared hosting servers where module is available) through .htaccess.
Anyways try to avoid adding pagespeed directives to .htaccess as it will be too slow and inefficient.

Configuration is managed by setting different so-called "Rewrite Levels". Default behavior is to use Level of "Corefilters.", a set of filters (module behavior configs) which according to Google is safe for use. PageSpeed Filters is a set of actions applied to Web Delivered files.

Default config setting is hence:
 

ModPagespeedRewriteLevel CoreFilters

Disabling default set of filters is done with:
 

ModPagespeedRewriteLevel PassThrough

"Corefilters" default filter set as of time of writting this article:
 

add_head
combine_css
convert_jpeg_to_progressive
convert_meta_tags
extend_cache
flatten_css_imports
inline_css
inline_import_to_link
inline_javascript
rewrite_css
rewrite_images
rewrite_javascript
rewrite_style_attributes_with_url

Complete documentation on Configuring PageSpeed Filters is here.

If caching is turned on, default PageSped caching is configured in /var/cache/mod_pagespeed/
Enabling someof the non-Corefilters that sometimes are useful for SEO (reduce of served / returned pagesize) are:
 

ModPagespeedEnableFilters pedantic,remove_comments

By default pagespeed does some things (such as inline_css, inline_javascript and rewrite_images (Optimize, removing Excess pixels).  My litle experience with pagespeed shows in some cases this could break websites), so I found for my case useful to disable some of the filters:

 

vim /etc/apache2/mods-available/pagespeed.conf

 

ModPagespeedDisableFilters rewrite_images,convert_jpeg_to_progressive,inline_css,inline_javascript

 

4. Testing if PageSpeed is Enabled pagespeed_admin

By default PageSpeed has Admin which by default is only allowed to be accessed from server localhost (127.0.0.1) to get basic statistics either install text browser like lynx / elinks or add more access IPs again in pagespeed config / vhosts pagespeed.conf include more Allow lines like below:

 

    <Location /pagespeed_admin>
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from localhost
        Allow from 127.0.0.1
        Allow from 192.168.1.1
        Allow from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

        #Allow from All
        SetHandler pagespeed_admin
    </Location>
    <Location /pagespeed_global_admin>
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from localhost
        Allow from 127.0.0.1

        Allow from 192.168.1.1
        Allow from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
        SetHandler pagespeed_global_admin
    </Location>

 

Once configured pagespeed_admin access it with favourite browser on:

http://127.0.0.1/pagespeed_admin
http://127.0.0.1/pagespeed_global_admin

improve-website-apache-webserver-seo-without-source-code-modifications-google-pagespeed_admin_panel

Other way to test it is enabled is by creating php file with good old <? phpinfo(); ?> – PHP stats enabled / disabled features code:

pagespeed-in-phpinfo-x-mod-pagespeed-output-screenshot-apache-webserver

I've also tested also pagespeed unstable release, but experienced some segmentation faults in both error.log and access.log so finally decided to keep using stable release.

PageSpeed is a great way to boost your server sites performance, however it comes on certain costs as expect your server CPU Load to jump drastically, (in my case it jumped more than twice), there are Linux servers where enabling the module could totally stone the servers, so before implementing the module on a Production system environment, always first test thouroughfully with loaded pagespeed on UAT (testing) environment with AB or Siege (Apache Benchmarking Tools).

My PHP/ MySQL Restaurant Reservation Form

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Reading Time: < 1 minute
Two months ago, I’ve developed a contact reservation form in PHP. The form is really easily customizable and is straight forward to integrate.
I’ve developed the form for a small restaurant which was missing the feature on it’s joomla based website in order to be able for restaurant clients to reserve tables.

Here is how my restaurant reservation form looks like:

hip0's plain php restaurant reservation form

Later on I found there are plenty of possibilities to easily make a reservation form in Joomla but at that time I had no idea that custom contact forms can be prepared with Joomla, so I developed my own one from scratch in plain PHP and MySQL.

The form’s fields are in Dutch, because the form I’ve developed for a Dutch restaurant.
However changing the form text is really easy,to do so open the php file and modify it, according to your needs.
I decided to share here the reservation form in hope that it might be helpful to somebody out there.
The Reservation form is licensed under GPLv2 so you’re very welcome to distribute and modify it freely.

The form installation is described in the README file you will find bundled with the reservation form archive.

You can d Download my PHP restaurant reservation form here

Feedback on the form is very welcome!