How to Change A WordPress Username

How to Change A WordPress Username

Need To Change a WordPress Username?

It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while a client or website will need a way to handle user requests to change a username.

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t let you change a username in it’s stock version. A quick look at a user account will show the username greyed out and a note that you cannot change it is beside the field.

There are ways around this though. In today’s episode we will talk about three methods of changing a username for WordPress accounts. 

  1. Creating a new user, then deleting the old one
  2. Using a plugin
  3. Directly changing in phyMyAdmin

Back Everything Up!

Like a TV pharma commercial, here’s a disclaimer on messing with user accounts and the database.

Any changes you make doing this are permanent.

If you misspell a name, forget the “.” in an email address, or just change the wrong line in the database you will have to remember what you changed and change it back or correct it. Just a heads up!

Method 1 – Creating a new account and deleting the old one.

This is a pretty easy solution if there’s no need to keep anything assigned to this user like events, an account, page access, purchases, etc. The process is very straight forward.

  1. Create a new user
  2. Transfer authorship from the old to the new user
  3. Delete the old username.

That’s it. The new username should work and gain access to the site.

Method 2 – Using a WordPress plugin to change a username

WP plugins are a great way to managed processes that manually could mean direct editing of a database (see Method 3) or website code. To change a username in WordPress I have found the Easy Username Updater.

  1. Install Easy Username Updater
  2. Search the plugin for the username wished to be changed.
  3. Change the username 

Once again, this is making a permanent change to the database, so be careful.

Easy Username Updater

Version:
Requires: or higher
Compatible up to:
Released:01 January 1970
Downloads:
Last Updated:01 January 1970
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Method 3 – Direct editing of the database

The quickest, but scariest way to change a username right in the website’s database. Before we go further, BACK UP YOUR DATABASE!

  1. Log into the cPanel
  2. Open phpMyAdmin
  3. Open the wp_users table
  4. Find the username you wish to edit
  5. Click “Edit
  6. In the username field, type the new username, and click “Go

This will change the username but leave everything else assigned to the account in place. So purchases, access, posts and other info will still be tagged to the new username since it just replaced the original. 

Thanks for listening to this episode of the WP Wednesday Podcast

Do you have questions, experiences related to today’s topic? Head over to @Bebizzy on Twitter and send them there. 

Don’t forget to try out WP-Rocket and optimize YOUR WordPress website today by going to bebizzy.com/rocket.

And also I would love if you would subscribe to the WP Wednesday podcast on Apple podcasts, Stitcher radio or your favorite podcast app.

Then you can sit back, relax, and leave the technical stuff to us

Tech Changes in 2020

Tech Changes in 2020

2020 Forced Lots of Technical Changes

2020 was weird. There. I said it. 

The past nine to twelve months has change the way many of you work and live. Commutes, water coolers and being interrupted by a co-worker walking around have been replaced by video meetings, garbage trucks backing up and kids needing help with their schoolwork. 

Luckily I’ve been insulated from much of this, but I feel the pain. And I also had to change due to some technical issues. So as we wind down 2020 I wanted to share some of the technical changes I’ve made as we run towards 2021. 

Technical Changes at BeBizzy Consulting in 2020

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Hardware

  • Samsung Galaxy Chromebook – replaced a dead old Samsung Chromebook and an ancient Samsung tablet with a shiny new, Intel-powered, Ferrari-red Chromebook to handle tasks outside the office.
  • Samsung Galaxy Book Flex – replaced a four-year-old desktop computer and a severely hard drive space challenged Microsoft Surface Book with a crazy-fast and powerful Samsung laptop.
  • Increased Bandwidth for Cable Connection – 300Mbps to better manage everything I do : file upload/downloads, video conferencing, VoIP phone calls,

Software

  • 17Hats – I’ve finally jumped to the powerful 17Hats business management system.
  • Microsoft Office – I’ve danced around using various apps instead of MS Office for years, but I came back.
  • Brackets – For many years I’ve used Dreamweaver to edit PHP, HTML, CSS and other files. But I didn’t want to pay for Adobe Cloud, and the old version I’ve been using was probably a decade old, so it was time to update. Brackets is a modern interface and intuitive program to edit these code files.
  • Notion – Want an amazing way to manage meeting notes, easy database tasks, projects, files, time tracking, and much, much more? Notion does this across virtually any device and platform.
  • GIMP – Like Brackets, I started using G.I.M.P because I was tired of paying for an Adobe Cloud Photoshop account. It’s the right price, FREE, and does nearly anything you had to do with PS.
  • Google Meet – Everyone is using a video conferincing app in 2020

Website Apps

  • WP Rocket – I’m a DIVI theme user, and unfortunately that means I had to sacrifice a bit of site speed for ease-of-development and functionality. WP-Rocket recovered that speed easily.
  • Google Drive Backup Space – Earlier in 2020 I ran into a server space issue that was the result of years of backups, unused files and dead sites. So I moved my UpdraftPlus backups to Amazon S3. I quickly encountered unplanned costs for bandwidth and space so I started looking for a better alternative. Google Drive was an easy to use, powerful alternative for $100 a year.
  • Dedicated File/Web Server – I started using Sync as a Dropbox alternative a year or so ago. It’s been great, but to have a complete backup of my Sync storage took up 1.5TB of hard drive space. So, I took my old desktop computer and turned it into a file server including my Sync backup. Accessible from anywhere inside my network, I can get to files without working on something direct inside the online Sync network.The goal is also to get this box set up as a development area for website in early 2021 to eliminate developing on my production server with password-protected sites.

Planned Changes for 2021

  • Moving my desk/office back into the BeBizzy Dungeon – We are shrinking down and going back into our cell where it all began. The windowless, soundless, 12×12′ office off the utility room I lovingly refer to as the BeBizzy Dungeon.
  • Video Podcasts – Going to launch the WP Wednesday Podcast on a YouTube channel. Stay tuned!
  • Two more planned podcasts – we are tentatively planning to launch two more podcasts in 2021. One featuring interviews on a variety of subjects, and one dealing with outdoors. Keep listening!

Today’s News Links

  • WP Rocket  3.8.1
    • Update to 3.8.1 removed the option “Remove jQuery Migrate” option that was causing an issue with many WordPress 5.6 websites.

Technical Changes at BeBizzy Consulting in 2020

by BeBizzy Consulting | BeBizzy Break Podcast

Basic Technology Troubleshooting Steps

Basic Technology Troubleshooting Steps

Troubleshooting Technology Is Easier Than You Think

Ever sit down at your desk ready to get the day started and push the power button on your computer, only to have NOTHING happen? I mean nothing. No lights, no fan sounds. nothing…

You’re not alone. But before you run out the door to your favorite computer or tech store to have it looked at, here are some tips on how you can solve the problem, or at least help the tech repair place solve the problem.

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Basic Steps To Fixing Your Technology

There are some things you can do 

  • 758ba104655a443ba12a2fccdb035ebbReboot! – “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” 
    THE basic troubleshooting step is to power the device all the way down, give it a few seconds, then turn it back on. We have a tendency to leave tech sleep mode or standby, and while that makes it easy to quickly power it back up it can leave the device in a mode that isn’t fully functional. Rebooting also clears out running processes and programs that are using memory and even processor power.
  • Document Errors – If the reboot doesn’t fix your problem (it will, most of the time), write down or make note of the exact error you are seeing. Does it boot to a black screen, does it even turn on, is there an error box on the screen, can you close it out or move past it? This information is very important to you or the technician to solving the exact issue you are experiencing.

    If you can get past the error, type the exact error into Google and find out how thousands of other users have solved the exact issue.

  • Check the cables – Whether you’re talking about smartphones, computers, lights, tv’s… whatever, cables come loose. Maybe it wasn’t plugged in correctly the first time and it worked itself loose. Power everything down, unplug and replug everything, then power back up. A loose cable can cause not only the attached device to not work but also the operating system or top-line device.

Steps To Ensure You’re Prepared For A Breakdown

Tech issues are inevitable… here are some steps you can take that when something big happens, you’re prepared.

  • Virus Scan – I’m not a fan of the big anti-virus programs like Norton, McAfee, Avast, etc. If you’re running a Windows computer, Windows Defender does a great job of protecting your PC. Just make sure it’s turned on, updated and running. I run a full scan around when I do a feature update (twice a year).
  • Updates – Keep your operating system, phone OS, and various programs and apps updated to keep small pinholes from being exploited by attackers. If Microsoft, Android or Apple is telling you NOT to run an update, hold until they give you the green light. 
  • Backups – Need to restore information damaged by viruses, attacks, broken hard drives or virtually anything else? Backups are your savior. Backups are also great in the event you get hit by ransomware. If your files are corrupted and you have a backup, you can tell the guy holding your tech hostage to pound sand, reinstall Windows and restore the backup. All you lose is some time.
  • Get Rid of Programs You Don’t Need – Uninstalling programs, apps or even browser plugins that you don’t use or will probably not update is a great way to harden your device from attack. 
  • Eliminate Insecure Wi-Fi Hotspots – Lock your devices down to connect to know and safe hotspots, and if you do have to run on an open system, get a VPN.

Regardless of how great your technology is, it will fail. It may be today, it may be four years from now, but it will fail. Power supplies quit turning on, hard drives stop spinning, memory fails. Prepare yourself from an issue, and if you do suffer a failure, take a few moments to reboot, document issues, and hopefully you will get your machine back online in minutes, not days. 

Have any questions or suggestions on fixing your own technology issues? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

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Is WordPress Safe?

Is WordPress Safe?

It’s a widely sites fact that WordPress powers 25% of the internet’s webpages. Think about that, 25%! And nearly 60% of the sites that use a CMS (content management system).

That is the main reason it is also a target. Like the popular Microsoft Windows or Android OS, WordPress powers so many sites that if you can find a way to compromise even a small percentage of websites using the system, you can gain access to literally millions of sites.

Because of this, one of the first questions I get when I suggest using WordPress is about security. But as I stated before, criminals and people looking to do general mischief as looking for the low-hanging fruit, the easy to hit sites. So with some basic precautions, your website can be even more secure than custom HTML sites.

Making WordPress Safe

There are a few basic steps that  web developer or your company IT guy can take to secure your new or existing WordPress site. Below is a list of plugins, best practices and other items used by BeBizzy Consulting and many others to make your site as secure as possible.

Backups

Let’s start off with the most important part of the security system. If you don’t have a good backup of the site, it doesn’t matter how you set the rest up. Something WILL cause your website to fail; the webhost could suffer an attack or hardware failure, you could alter some code and break the site, or a security breach could happen directly to your site. With no backup, there’s no easy way to return to “normal,” so at minimal do a complete backup of the site files, and don’t forget to back up the database. There are automated methods as well for this process which are highly recommended.

WordPress Updates

The easiest way to gain access to a WordPress is through an out-of-date WordPress system. I’ve recovered sites running on 2.x (current is 4.7), and that’s a scary endeavor. WordPress puts out major releases a couple of times per year, and security patches about once a month or so to stay ahead of the pinholes that are found in WordPress. The best part is there are thousands of people who are looking at WordPress, for good and for bad, that identify issues and get them repaired. Keep you site updated and make sure PHP version can handle the update. If not, time to move!

I also suggest turning on automatic core updates. You should be able to toggle a switch that will update WordPress automatically for “X.x.x” updates, keeping your site secure without you even trying. Just make sure you test the site when notified of an update to make sure everything is running as it should.

Plugin Updates

The next best way to gain access to WordPress is through outdated, or poorly programmed plugins. Last summer I worked on recovering a WP site that had a plugin that had not been touched by the developer in over five years. When I updated the site to a new WP version, the plugin crashed and I had to find an alternative, more updated plugin that worked close to the same. But it’s not just keep the plugins updated, it’s keeping an eye open for poorly secured plugins as well. Do some research on a plugin before installing. Has anyone ever suffered a breach or WordPress crash after installing? What is the support like? How often do they update?

One thing that is often overlooked is deleting themes that are not being used, or are even active on the site. This is extra code that has been abandoned for one reason or another, and leaving it on your website can open a hole you don’t even know is there.

A final note on plugins, themes and other items is to NOT use pirated versions of software. Most plugins are fairly inexpensive and the alternative to paying $10 for a plugin is often spending hours, or even paying hundreds of dollars to have malicious code removed from a site. Pay the $10.

Themes

Next on the list of vulnerabilities is your theme. Every WordPress site is working on a theme, whether it’s the 2016 theme that came installed or one you paid for or got for free. Again, do a little research to make sure the theme you are planning to use isn’t a know security issue, does not get updated or supported, or is poorly written before you install it on your site. Then, update it as soon as you get a notification it has been revised.

More Security Steps

Below are a few other steps that are taken by BeBizzy Consulting, and should be considered by your team, host, or developer to make your site as secure as possible.

Change Username

Like on a computer or virtually every other system, do not use “Admin” as your administrator username. Pick something a bit more robust and always use a secure password. Changing the password often also makes it more difficult to keep access once it is achieved.

Move The WP-Login.php Page

There are several plugins that allow you to choose a different admin login page for your site. Install one of them and rename your login to something less known can eliminate some from even trying to access your admin simply because it doesn’t exist at the usual spot.

Install a Security Plugin

Many sites have Sucuri or Wordfence installed to protect the admin and other parts of the site. Even the free versions will notify you when the admin is accessed, limit login attempts at wp-login.php and the premium versions can lock down the admin to specific locations or IP address, security scans for malicious code, and much more.

Keep Your Site Safe

There are definitely more ways to secure your WordPress site. Editing the .htaccess file, hiding WordPress from source viewers, hiding site author names, picking a good (reputable) host, automating security audits, removing plugin and theme editors and others will help keep your site safe, but do require some knowledge and planning by someone that knows their way around WordPress.

Adding an SSL to your site and hosting is also a good idea not only for encrypting data being shared back and forth with users, but also to the search engines which are starting to use it in their algorithms.

I still feel that having a good backup is THE step you have to take. If you have a restore point on which you can rely, you can move, restore or save your website pretty easily. But if you are starting from a dirty site and have to clean it, be prepared to spend either a lot of time, or a fair amount of money, to have it back up. And frankly, some times it’s even more cost effective to build over than to attempt the save.

Have questions about securing your WordPress site, or considering a new website? Contact BeBizzy Consulting today, and leave the technical stuff to us!