Category Archives: Site Administration

Securing & Maintaining Administrator Access

Perform Web Hosting Server Functions from the Client Services Panel

Be aware that a number of web hosting server functions can be performed from within the Client Services Panel at http://www.alisaholdings.com/billing/clientarea.php?action=services.
  
Once you’ve logged in and are in the ‘Services’ tab then you will see the products and services you are currently licensed for.  Simply click on the specific service to manage the product’s server.  In the lower portion of this page then you will see a Website Management module that looks like this:
 
screnshot#1550 - 'Client Area - Shiftcode & PerformaNetwork, I_'

Note that these Website Management functions are very rarely needed – just please do know that they are here (use with caution!)

Especially be careful with the following function (be sure not to inadvertently cancel your hosting service due to ‘pilot error’ here:
 

screnshot#1551 - 'Client Area - Shiftcode & PerformaNetwork, I_'

 

Expanding ALL Your GPT Admin Panel Menu Options (optional)

Expanding ALL Your Menu Options (totally optional step based on your own personal preferences – may be skipped)

If you wish to have ALL of your admin panel options expanded (showing as is shown below on the left in the image below) instead of being kept compact (most options unseen until expanded – as is seen on the right – below) then while you are logged in as the administrator in the admin panel click on ‘Edit Preferences’ button on the top red horizontal menu bar (toward the left on the top)

The page section heading will say ‘Template’ though we are only interested in the ‘Expand All’ checkbox at this point.  Check the ‘Expand All’ checkbox indicating ‘Wes, keep all the navigation links expanded’.  Ignore (don’t change) the ‘Template’ drop-down box below it (though it should already be set to the ‘ShiftCode 2.0’ selection)  Click the the ‘Update’ button to save your ‘Expand All’ preference (you’ll then see a green backed ‘Success!’ confirmation)

compact-vs-expand

You also should now notice that ALL your admin panel navigation options on all the menus have been expanded with all options showing.  Do you like all the options showing and expanded or do you find this distracting, confusing, and/or overwhelming? (some people do)  If you dislike like everything expanded then go back and uncheck the ‘Expand All’ box and ‘Update’ again.  I’ve always found that seeing all of my options expanded and open makes it easier to locate the configuration areas I’m looking for (it’s totally your choice but I will assume that your menus are in the ‘expanded’ mode from this point forward in this document)

expand01

 

 

Securing and Maintaining Access to Your GPT Site Admin Panel

Your ShiftCode Admin Panel

Refer to any welcoming email message from ShiftCode staff you have likely already received after your ShiftCode licensing purchase.  Look for references to your ShiftCode Admin Panel URL (web location) and login (username and password)  Enter (or copy and paste) your ShiftCode Admin Panel URL into your browser and proceed to that web location.  If all things have gone well so far you should now be viewing a special admin-only page that looks like this (below):

scadminlogin

First things first, you may have noticed that your own special ShiftCode Admin Panel URL contains a series of what looks like gibberish letters and numbers (like this ‘63d130df7xbe167e2’)  This is called a security ‘hash’ (it’s basically a URL with an encrypted section added on) – it is unique to your own particular instance of the ShiftCode script and you should NEVER reveal that web location to anyone else (other than yourself)  The admin URL containing the hash is purposely made hard to guess by hackers or others that may have bad intent with regard to your site (yes, this hash code is changeable via a ShiftCode support ticket but rarely (if ever) is this needed)   We’d suggest that you take the time to write down and safely bookmark this URL as this is where most all functions of your site are configured and performed.

Next we’ll address your assigned admin username and temporary password.  Chances are that you’ve been assigned a relatively simple admin username and password.  You’ll want to change these to your own preferences as soon as possible (now?) for increased security purposes!

Use your given admin login to log in to your admin panel.  You should then see a seeming complicated (but really easy to navigate and powerful once you get used to it) screen that looks like this:

scadm1

Next find the ‘Main’ heading (link box) in the upper right corner of the admin panel just under the ShiftCode logo (as seen below)

scmain02

Click on Users & Groups.  Notice the top section of that page is for ‘group’ management (which are basically defining roles available to assign to admin(s), staff, and designers, etc)  What we’re interested in now is the ‘User’ management area just below the group management area.  Notice that your own administrator account is listed along with the ‘shiftcode’ admin user account (the shiftcode admin user account is for internal official ShiftCode staff and cannot be edited or deleted because it is necessary and mandatory)

Instead of editing your own administrator account (while also being logged into the same admin user account) then we feel it is much safer to create a secondary new admin account for the time being (after you’ve successfully logged into the newly created admin account then you can delete the original admin account)

Click on ‘Add User’.  Enter your desired new administrator Username and Password (we suggest a strong password that includes a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, at least one number, and at least one symbol character – though strong passwords are not enforced at this time then it is best for your own good)  Make sure that you’re not using a password you have ever used at any other site (past or present)  The new admin account you are creating will have ultimate access to all your sites functions including financial balances, etc. don’t shoot yourself in the foot by specifying an easy to guess or repeated password!

Specify that this new account is part of the ‘Administrator’ group (chances are that at this point you have no other options)  The Description field is totally optional / not crucial and will be explained at a later point in this documentation.   Leave the Description field blank.

Take a moment to write down your new username and password (now!) Click the ‘Add User’ button to finalize your new administrator Username account creation.  You should see a green headed ‘Success!’ message further stating  that ‘The user has been added’  At this point the User management area should be showing your old admin User, your newly created admin User, and the permanent internal ‘shiftcode’ admin user account.  Click on the ‘Logout’ button on the upper red bar on the upper left under the ‘ADMIN PANEL’ heading (as seen below):

logout01

Now log back into the admin panel using your new administrator account credentials.  Go back to the Main > Users & Groups  area (the area where you just created your new admin account)   Now click on the blue gear box at the right side end next to your old administrator user account and choose delete.  Confirm that you wish to delete that account and then this mission has been accomplished!  Give yourself a pat on the back safe in the knowledge that your new administrator account is safer than the previous default admin account assigned to you.

Incidentally, that ‘Users & Groups’ area is also the area where you can eventually add a new group of sub-admin privileged staff members or site template installers and when you add a new group you will be able to specify exactly the level of access each new group has.  It is NOT necessary to make any new groups at this point in time (continue the quick start guide and stay focused on the important steps we point out – you can go back and add groups etc. at a later point as needed)

Locating & Bookmarking Your ShiftCode GPT Admin Panel On Your Own Domain

AFTER, your site has started appearing on your own domain name (www.MyOwnGPTSite.com) as well as on the shiftcode.com subdomain (myowngptsite.shiftcode.com) then as a matter of preference (though it has practical benefits as well)

First, log-in as the administrator on your shiftcode.com sub domain (chances are you are already logged in.  Take a look at your browser’s URL bar.  Note everything that comes after the ‘shiftcode.com‘ part (starting with a slash (“/“), continuing with your unique hash code, another slash (“/“), and then ending with an index.php (select and copy all that to the clipboard)   Now open up a new browser tab (or window) and type in your domain name starting with the ‘www.’ part and then immediately after your domain then past everything you copied from your sub domain based admin panel URL and past it after your own domain name now – hit return (or enter)  You may be asked to -re-login to your admin panel.  Now once you are in to your admin panel on your own domain name then bookmark that URL and use that as your main admin panel access URL.  It will likely prove useful and have a few advantages over using your sub domain based admin panel (though bookmark both admin panel URLs just in case your domain name service is ever disrupted (rare))