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Welcome once again to our regular Lunchtime Live Q&A segment, where we answer all of your WordPress questions. Today, Geoff joins Gary on the couch to discuss:

  1. How to sell courses with grouped licenses in LearnDash
  2. How to fix errors in Contact Form 7
  3. How to safely upgrade your hosting to PHP 7.2
  4. How to change themes, from using Salient to Divi

As always, if you have any WordPress questions that you’d like us to cover, get in touch and we’ll answer them on our next Lunchtime Live Q&A session.

Gary Weis: [00:00:00] We’re live! G’day Facebook fans, WordPress lovers. You’ve got Mr Geoff Franklin.

Geoff Franklin: [00:00:05] That’s me.

Gary Weis: [00:00:06] That’s him. And I’m Gary, and we’re both… We’re both, not separately, but we’re both here from WP Butler, Australia’s Home of WordPress. That’s it. And welcome to our Friday Lunchtime Live. And today, we’re going to be having a chat about WooCommerce and LearnDash, we’re gonna have a quick look at Contact Form errors, and we’re also gonna have a look at PHP 7.2 upgrades, which seems to be the big news item of the week here at WP Butler. Plenty of those little bad boys coming through the desk, as 5.6 and 7 have come to end of life, pretty much…

Geoff Franklin: [00:00:44] 7.0.

Gary Weis: [00:00:44] Sorry 7, 7.0.

Geoff Franklin: [00:00:47] Not all of the 7s but 7.0.

Gary Weis: [00:00:50] Pretty much all hosting companies are pretty much drawing a line under 5.6 and 7.0 in terms of even offering them as a option now. So, as a partner of WP Engine, we won’t have the option to even roll back to a 5.6 or 7.0 as of Friday the 28th. So, we’ve been busy upgrading all those ones, but there’s been a ton of them coming in from other customers out there, so yeah. Plenty happening here at the WP Butler headquarters this week in terms of PHP 7 but we will get to that. All right, here we go. Straight off the bat. No more messing around.

Gary Weis: [00:01:27] Hayley from Byron Bay says “We have online courses set up with LearnDash and we’ve been told to set up WooCommerce to take the payments, and we want to be able to sell access to the courses in batched licenses. Is that possible?” How do we do that? Is it possible Geoffrey?

Geoff Franklin: [00:01:43] Well firstly, it’s really great using WooCommerce as the payment system for your courses, selling your courses. WooCommerce, very popular. So actually, sounds like you’ve already got LearnDash and WooCommerce linked together? I’m going to say you do. So basically, what you would do is… Well, there’s a premium plugin that comes to mind called Group Registrations by Wisdm Labs, wisdmlabs.com. Interesting spelling, but anyway. So those guys over there created a group registration plugin that allows you to sell individual licenses or individual products WooCommerce products, which you then link to your course when you’re selling it. So basically the group registration plugin allows you to buy individual licenses or group licenses. So the batching, like the question you asked. So, essentially when you activate that plugin and you’ve got in the product, which you purchased to give people access to your course, when you go to add that product to the cart, you’ll actually see two options just near the Add to Cart button that says “individual” or “group”. And when you select group, it will give you the option to select the quantity. So let’s say the example is a teacher that’s going onto the website to buy access to the course for five students. So this is where this is where I’m guessing what you’re setting up here. Let’s just say, and then you would add 5 in the quantity field and then add that to your cart. And basically, you go through the whole process like a typical WooCommerce store. And then when you’ve logged into the site, you’ll actually have access to… What the plugin does is it sets up a group registration page for you. And on that page, you’ll actually then see the five licenses that you’ve just purchased, and you’ll then be able to enter the name and the username for the students, and then click send. And basically the plugin manages everything else. So the student will get their login details, or then be able to log in and access the course just like yourself, if you’re logging in and signing up as the teacher. So that’s basically what that plugin does. It sounds like that’ll do the trick for you. Yeah, we’re very familiar. I’m personally very familiar with that plugin, so I’m more than happy to help you out there if you’re not feeling up to the challenge yourself.

Gary Weis: [00:04:24] Well there you go. That’s our second LearnDash question in two weeks, so as I think I said last week, lucky we’ve got a LearnDash guru on board here at WP Butler, because again that went completely over my head, but I hope that’s of help for you Hayley. And again, reach out if you’ve got a LearnDash installation on your website, reach out to WP Butler at wpbutler.com.au if you need some help, or if you’re looking at setting up some form of online learning, which is pretty much the description isn’t it? Online learning courses. Take a look at LearnDash and again, reach out to WP Butler at wpbutler.com.au if you wanna have a chat about that. There is a form, there’s a live chat, and there’s also a number on your screen you can dial to talk to one of these guys. And if it is LearnDash, then ask Mr Geoffrey Franklin and he’ll be able to help you out. Don’t ask for me. All right.

Gary Weis: [00:05:19] Number two, Emma from Melbourne. Gday Emma! Says “I’m using Contact Form 7 plugin and I keep seeing all these little exclamation mark errors when I’m editing each of the forms. The forms still seem to work, but I’m still concerned about the errors. How do I fix this?” Can you help out Emma?

Geoff Franklin: [00:05:40] Okay. It sounds like… Yeah, I’ve seen this before. So it sounds like, without seeing the error, it sounds like it’s the misconfiguration error that Contact Form 7 spits out and puts right in front of your face on the Contact Form 7 landing page, where you’ll see all the lists of forms that you have set up, if you’d have more than one. But basically, on that page, you’ll probably see a link at the top that says “validate these forms”. If you click that, it’ll actually spit out a report of all the errors that are in the forms. It sounds like that’s where you’re at right now. So basically, you go into the forms that your seeing the errors on, and the little exclamation marks should appear beside the fields in the settings of the form where you need to attend to. And it sounds like… The typical issue that pops up here is when in the To field of the form, in the From field of the form, and there’s a Header section in the form, Contact Form 7 never used to be strict about the way these fields were set up, but what it needs now is that the From field – this is when the form sends out the message to the recipient – the From field in the form, sorry, the From field in the form.

Gary Weis: [00:07:10] Say that ten times quick.

Geoff Franklin: [00:07:11] Yes. Needs to match… The email address in that field needs to match the domain name. So it needs to be like, you know, info@yourwebaddress.com rather than anything else. So it needs to match. So, once that’s matching, that exclamation mark should disappear. And then, what you need to do, is if that From email was the same email address you want people to click reply to, so when that email goes through to them and they click reply, if you need it to go to a different email, you need to actually in that headers field add in a reply-to bit of code. There’s a link there to get the documentation to help you with that. I’m not going explain that, but basically, there’s typically two fields you need to attend to – the From field and the Header field, and yeah, like I said, there’s a link there to look at the documentation. But once you’ve followed that and entered the, you know, change those fields in the form and clicked save, they should disappear. And you’ll just have to go through all the other forms that you have set up to do the same sort of thing. That’s basically it. That’s what it sounds like going on there.

Gary Weis: [00:08:27] If in doubt, read the instructions. Read the label on the bottle. Good luck with that Emma. If you need a hand, obviously reach out to WP Butler at wpbutler.com.au. Most of those little problems can be taken care with our priority tickets. So jump on board and buy one of those. Right at the top of the website, there’s a big “Buy Ticket” button, you can’t miss it. Or again, jump on chat, fill in the form or give the guys a ring, and they’ll be able to help you out. Thank you Geoffrey. All right.

Gary Weis: [00:08:59] Mark from Brisbane says “I’ve received an email from web host guys talking about upgrading my website to PHP 7.2 and I’m not sure what I need to do. My website is a couple years old now. So, does this mean I’ll need to make a whole new web site?”

Geoff Franklin: [00:09:15] OK that’s a big question. You go this way or that way. So the best place to start here is our good friends over at WP Engine actually have created a plugin, the PHP Compatibility plugin. That’d be the first place to go. Chuck that plugin on and run its test. It’ll spit out this report of this nerd talk. You may be able to understand it. Some of it’s colored – green is good, red is bad and yellow is like ok. So basically, you could go through and spin up that report and it’ll point to the plugin and the themes that potentially are problematic, that you need to attend to, that aren’t compatible with PHP 7.2. And before you click that report, there’s actually options to choose how you want to test. As in, do I want to test for 7.2 or older versions, which is kind of pointless now. But, so by default, I think it selects 7.2 for you. But yeah, run through that. That’ll be the best place to start. And you said your site’s a little bit old? I mean, if someone’s been managing the updates for you, which we do for all our customers, that should be fine. But then, some plugin developers don’t always update their code. So even though the plugin might be up to date, it may not be compatible. Anyway, that’s the first place to start, with running that compatibility test. And then, let’s just say, best case scenario, you get back all the results are fine and that might be a few little warnings there, and you could probably like upgrade to 7.2 quite seamlessly. Some of the warnings are just like… again, maybe you could send that report to us. We’re happy to have a look over it for you, but that’s kind of a bit hard to really say. So that’s best case scenario. Worst case, you get all these red flags everywhere and probably the place it’s probably gonna hit you the hardest is if if the theme needs a big update. Because theme essentially is the framework of your website. Plugins you can pull in and out, and switch out alternatives. So if your theme comes back with a bunch of red flags, having to find a new theme can potentially be where you go okay, this is the time we need to rebuild the website. Anyway, this is a pretty big conversation. I think that’s probably the best place to start. But yeah, like Gary mentioned before, we’ve done a lot of work with our customers, helping them through this process. Because yeah, it has been a bit of a process. So yeah, that gives you a snapshot of where to start with.

Gary Weis: [00:12:13] Thanks Geoffrey. Another way of looking at this is that if we didn’t have these movements forward in technology and changes in code bases and open source software, we’d still be sitting here using Windows 95. We’ve got to move forward and unfortunately when it happens it’s a bit inconvenient. This is just one of those inconvenient moments that is going to move us forward into a new generation of web development and basically speed and the way the whole web platform and in particular WordPress works. There are enormous benefits in upgrading to 7.2 which, again, you have no choice because 7.0 and 5.6 are now end of life and they’re not being supported, and web hosting companies aren’t offering those services anymore, as are our partner WP Engine. So we’ve got to pretty much have everything updated by the 28th. So there’s plenty going on here at WP Butler headquarters doing that. But just take it as an opportunity to have a look at a bit of an audit on your website, and just sort of see is it worthwhile doing a bit of an upgrade at the same time? Which may mean, if you do have those big red crosses all over the place, it might mean it’s time to throw on a new theme and sort of do a bit of redevelopment. Now that doesn’t mean you have to throw out all your content or all your images and all your bits and pieces. It might just mean an upgrade rather than a complete rebuild.

Geoff Franklin: [00:13:33] Yeah.

Gary Weis: [00:13:33] Beautiful. All right. That brings us to the… Actually, no it doesn’t. We’ve got a question here and it’s from Trevor, thanks for tuning in. Trevor from Carindale asks “I’m looking to change a theme on my WordPress website. I’m currently using Salient and want to change to Divi. Will that be easy enough, or will my website break? Good question Trevor. Very timely.

Geoff Franklin: [00:14:03] Salient to Divi. We’ve got a little bit of a rivalry here in the office between Salient and Divi.

Gary Weis: [00:14:07] We do – there’s Andrew and there’s Geoff.

Geoff Franklin: [00:14:08] Yeah, they’re both great themes right. But yeah, so changing from Salient to Divi. So Salient uses a page builder Visual Composer, and I think they have their own version of it. Like they’ve created their own version of it, Salient Visual Composer. So, if you’re going to switch over to Divi, in theory you can quite safely just install the Divi theme, and so long as you keep that Salient Visual Composer plugin – it’s actually a plugin – activated, it should be fine with the currently set up pages that you have. So if you were to go and create a new page or new post, you will then be able to have the option to switch to the Divi builder. Or you could then switch to and keep using the Salient Visual Composer. So you should see, like when you go and create new page, a couple of buttons at the top that allow you to choose which page builder you want to use. So yeah, it’s pretty seamless. The only thing then is, I mean, being a completely different theme, different framework, you’ll then need to go into the Divi theme settings, you know, through Appearance and Customize, like typically where you go for most themes to start setting up the fonts and the menus and all that good stuff. But the main part you probably need to pay close attention to is the pages and content. The content really. And, if you then want to do away with the Salient Visual Composer completely, it’s a manual process unfortunately. You’ll just need to perhaps create whole new About page, and then you have your old About page from the Salient Visual Composer, and you’ll just have to copy and paste, and copy the design and layout if that’s what you wanted to do. Or, if you were doing a whole new theme, then it doesn’t really matter. You start a whole new page and take the content and copy and paste it across. But that’s basically it. Yeah, I mean it’s not gonna break your site, but then the beauty is you do have that Visual Composer plugin which allows you to switch any theme in and out because you’ve got that plugin that’s managing the page content. But yeah, have fun with Divi.

Gary Weis: [00:16:32] Well just remember too, if you do that, and there’s nothing wrong with doing what Geoff said, but you’re gonna be carrying around a Visual Composer and obviously all the page builder bits and pieces that are built inside of Divi. So that’s a big trailer to be pulling around on the back of your website. So, just be wary that it could impact your performance and speed off the website by having all those extra bits and pieces active. Just to display one page, you’ve got a minimum of just two page builders that need to be active to make things happen for you. But good luck. If you get stuck Trevor from Carindale, which happens to be just down the road… You can probably drop into the office mate. We’re happy to help you out.

Gary Weis: [00:17:06] Alright, that’s it. That’s another Friday Live done and dusted.

Geoff Franklin: [00:17:12] Cool.

Gary Weis: [00:17:12] You got any WordPress news that hit you in the face this week?

Geoff Franklin: [00:17:20] I’m quite surprised that WordFence have released another podcast. I saw they did a mailout, their third episode, I think. Yeah I didn’t quite read what it was, but I skimmed it and I go that looks good, I’ll jump on that later. But yeah, they did say they’ll try and do it every couple of weeks. But yeah, they’re really hitting it hard, which is exciting to see. That’s all I really kind of got. WordFence, check them out. It’s our favourite security plugin here at WP Butler. Yeah.

Gary Weis: [00:17:50] We love them.

Geoff Franklin: [00:17:51] Yeah.

Gary Weis: [00:17:52] We love him. Alright. Thanks folks. We’ll wrap it up there. Again, thanks for playing along. Thanks for chiming in. Thanks for sending in your questions. Keep them coming. We love the variety of questions that you’re sending through to us. And the tougher they are, the more we love them. And until next week, remember, take a back up and stay WordPress. See you real soon.

Andrew Marks

Author Andrew Marks

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