It’s come to light this week that serious security flaws have been discovered in the processors of most modern PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and cloud computers. These bugs allow programs to steal data being processed by other programs running on the device, and could be exploited to extract secrets from running programs, including passwords and personal files.

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Nuff said: new WordPress site set-ups from £250 + VAT.

WordPress hosting and support just £20 + VAT per month per site.

Secure SSL hosting, DDoS protection and backups as standard.

Well this IS nice: an article on our local paper about the H G Wells Short Story Competition 2017, with Prater Raines named as a sponsor.

The Prater Raines team took on the running of their WordPress website for the competition in 2017, providing volunteer support to manage the site, update content and editing the site.

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Now that we’ve set up our multisite WordPress network, the next problem is going to be moving the content from our multiple existing single site installations into the multisite network.

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November 15, 2017
by Matt Raines

Switching to WordPress multisite

Last week I went into detail about how we’ve simplified our procedure for keeping WordPress up to date by using Composer for dependency management. Stage two in our process to clean up our many separate installations of WordPress is to create a single “network” where all the sites on our server share the same core code and plugins. Why update 19 installations when you can just update one?

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November 9, 2017
by Matt Raines

Dependency management for WordPress

Prater Raines launched our 19th WordPress website recently, a petition campaigning for justice for the marginalised children of Vietnamese mothers and South Korean fathers born during the Vietnam War.

Our support contract with clients always includes backing up their data and keeping their website secure and easy to modify in future by making sure it’s running the latest version of WordPress and any contributed plugins. This has been a fairly manual process for a while and it felt like a good time to streamline things a little.

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November 8, 2017
by Tim Prater


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

June 16, 2017
by Matt Raines

MySQL and the case of the missing EU flag

A customer recently wrote to us to tell us that they wanted to add an EU flag character (🇪🇺) to an email they sent out from on of our websites but doing so resulted an error message.

It turned out to be a problem with the “utf8” character encoding in the MySQL database engine.

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Prater Raines support a suite of websites for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations: their Influence PR article aggregating site based on WordPress, their bespoke CPD platform Ladder and the main CIPR website based on Drupal.

When we took over the management and maintenance of their websites a few years ago, it was clear that the Drupal site – based on Drupal 6 – was going to need to be updated at some stage. At that time Drupal 8 was still in Beta, and we were expecting to move straight from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 when it was fully available.

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On Saturday 8th July we are planning on moving our server array to a larger “rack” with our existing datacentre (we’re remaining with our excellent hosting partner Custodian). The move is to allow us to further enhance the security and resilience of our servers by introducing a new hardware firewall and remote access capability across our systems.

In physical terms, it means powering off all servers and switch, unwiring, removing from their existing location, moving to a new one (about 100m away!), putting into their new home, rewiring and bringing back online.

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