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Howto: Solve email issues in macOS

Dealing with email issues in macOS can be a tricky thing. And is not always straightforward – Is the issue with the account? Your server or with macOS Mail.

Here are some tips and methods to find out what may be going on. How to interpret certain error states and error messages. I’ll recommend common settings and warn of cave-ats. And how to fix stuff in macOS mail.

If your mail is not working

Your first step is to restart the macOS mail client. See if it works then. If not. Go to the Window Menu and click “Connection Doctor”.

A new window should open, checking all your settings.

Interpreting the error

Connection doctor lists all your email accounts 2 times, one for incoming and one for outgoing email. In the above example I deliberately broke one account – It’s marked with a red dot and the exact error is displayed behind it.

This means I have to check my settings, check the username and password. In my scenario the password is missing. When I add it in settings and check again everything shows green.

Checking settings

Of-course once we know what’s wrong with the email settings. I can go into settings and correct what macOS Mail thinks is wrong with it. In my case something with the username and password.

Things to check

View the screenshots here – And especially the items marked with a red arrow which are essential for a working mail account. Reach these menus via the Mail > Preferences menu.

Common Email ports:

Secure IMAP – port 993
Secure POP3 – port 995
Secure SMTP – port 465
Standard IMAP – port 143
Standard POP3 – port 110
Standard SMTP – port 25 / 587

Disable automatic settings detection

There are 2 easy checkboxes to disable this silly behaviour and give some freedom over what macOS Mail does.

In Mail Preferences, under each account in Advanced there is this little checkbox.

And in SMTP Server List for each server in Advanced is this similar checkbox.

Uncheck both and set your settings as you need. Save and restart the macOS Mail client.
Why? Since Apple knows just about *nothing* about your hosting providers servers it can’t possibly guess the right settings with any accuracy. Some hosting providers have a autodiscovery feature that may work. But in my experience Apple can’t seem to interpret that too well.

IMAP vs. POP3

If you receive your email on multiple devices you should try to use IMAP. This means that your email is synced via the mail server to all your devices. POP3 can not do that and will download emails on the device that asks for them first. Leaving the other devices without those emails. Having an asynchronous email setup like that is very 1995 and not very efficient. Most providers support IMAP these days. If you can, ditch POP3.

Security and privacy concern

If you can, always use the secure option. Check with your email provider if this is possible! When using a secure connection your email is encrypted end-to-end so nobody can snoop around and you can feel more comfortable sending eyes-only information.

Saving the settings

Saving the settings is done by either moving to another tab (top), selecting another account (left sidebar) or closing the settings window completely and confirming at the prompt.

Note: This post applies to pretty much every recent version of Mac OS X and macOS. So Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite and Sierra *all* have this tool. Probably older versions too.

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AdRotate Free 4.4 – Available now!

This months update fixes a few things with exporting adverts, doing away with the XML format and going to a more portable CSV structure. All translation files have been updated with new strings and someone even bothered to update the Spanish translation. Thanks!

Banner folder changes

Due to how WordPress works (or doesn’t work) giving too much freedoms for folder locations doesn’t exactly work without a crap-ton of work. I hate re-inventing the wheel so the logical choice was to get with the program and force the banners folder to be in the wp-content folder (or it’s equivalent).

The banners folder can not be moved in AdRotate Free, but internal references still had to be updated so it’s compatible with AdRotate Pro. This change will be unnoticable for 99% of all users, if not more.

However, if your banner images seem missing or banners can’t load their image please get in touch: Forum.

Changes

[unordered_list style=”arrow”]

  • [new] Advert exports to CSV
  • [new] Option to delete old export files in Settings > Maintenance
  • [change] Banner folder must be in wp-content (or it’s equivalent)
  • [change] Dashboard tweaks
  • [change] XML exporting no longer supported
  • [change] Advert exporting now requires ‘ad_manage’ permission
  • [i18n] Settings tabs added
  • [i18n] Updated Spanish by Juanjo Navarra
  • [i18n] Updated all po files with new strings

[/unordered_list]

Wearing a helmet while driving a motorbike

In reality there have been a bunch of laws around this, for years. Just nobody enforced them. Starting last month helmets are now “required”. Which basically means that police teams are setting up easily avoidable checkpoints to see if you wear a helmet. Until they get re-tasked to do something else. I don’t object to wearing helmets, but a ‘ordinary’ city helmet while trailriding is a bit odd… I’ll probably get a Motocross helmet soon.

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AdRotate Pro 4.7 – Improving stuff!

At long last – An update. This update improves and fixes importing adverts, exporting adverts and stats. The update also changes how the banner folder is handled a bit and more importantly, where it can be located. Translations have been updated with new strings that can be translated.

Skipping last month

Last month AdRotate Pro didn’t get an update. As you may have read I’ve been in a motorbike accident and couldn’t move my arm very well for a few weeks. I did update AdRotate Free, but when that was finished I was kind of fed up having a hurting arm from the typing and stuff. So I took a few weeks rest and skipped the AdRotate Pro update. All changes from last month have been folded into this update.

Banner folder changes

Due to how WordPress works (or doesn’t work) giving too much freedoms for folder locations doesn’t exactly work without a crap-ton of work. I hate re-inventing the wheel so the logical choice was to get with the program and force the banners folder to be in the wp-content folder (or it’s equivalent).

This means that if your banners folder is currently NOT in the default location you should move it to somewhere AdRotate Pro can reach it. The new allowed location is inside the wp-content folder. The default location is /wp-content/banners/.

Annoying, but if the growing menace that is WP Multisite is any indication, this is now a hard requirement for most plugins since WordPress after all these years only caters to content in the wp-content folder, and not for other locations.

AdRotate pro will try to create a new folder in wp-content as /wp-content/banners/.
It will also update the banner folder location to this new setting so that all adverts you currently have will look for their image in this folder.
This will be fine for 90% of all users, if not more.

If you need help moving your banner files to the new location – Please get in touch: Forum, or use the contact form in your dashboard.

Changes

[unordered_list style=”arrow”]

  • [new] Advert exports to CSV
  • [new] Advert importing from CSV
  • [new] Option to delete old export files in Settings > Maintenance
  • [change] Banner folder must be in wp-content (or it’s equivalent)
  • [change] Dashboard tweaks
  • [change] XML importing and exporting no longer supported
  • [change] Advert exporting now requires ‘ad_manage’ permission
  • [fix] Improved PHP7 compatibility
  • [fix] Sortable columns now properly assigned
  • [fix] Exporting of adverts
  • [i18n] Updated all po files with new strings

[/unordered_list]

I can’t see my house from here!

Having recovered from my accident (or almost) I can go ride again. If I’m careful I can drive up into the mountains. My house is behind the mountain range somewhere 🙂

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6 ways to a faster and safer WordPress

Having a WordPress website is often great, but it also makes you vulnerable for all kinds of attacks and mischief – Or maybe not vulnerable, but it invites many wrong doers to try and attack you. You’re an easy target. Let’s make it a bit less easy for them without using plugins!

Recently I’ve been plagued on another website by slowness, the occasional downtime and other annoying stuff. Paying more attention to usage stats and the error_log it turns out there was a bunch of stuff going on. A few of IP Addresses constantly tried something with wp-login.php and some other pages and files being loaded over and over again for no apparent reason.

Another issue was the RSS feed WordPress generates. Sure, it works fine. But if you get almost 10000+ requests on it per hour, that’ll slow things down, too. Sometimes.

So I did some research and have come up with a few things to try and prevent this kind of behavior. Of-course it’s no use blocking IP addresses but you can prevent access to things or if they access those things lessen the load on your server a great deal.

Read more »

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A Media.net offering – Monetize your site!

Recently I approached a number of advertising networks for an affiliate deal in combination with AdRotate and/or AdRotate Pro. One of the few who responded was Media.net. The others didn’t reply or I was directed to be the 13th in a dozen affiliate. I signed up for a few and ran a few affiliate banners for a few updates of AdRotate.

When I learned a bit more about those advertising networks, Media.net stood out as a very suitable replacement or alternative for Google Adsense. Offering similar features and relevant adverts. So I emailed them and asked if we could work together with a few things. They thought it was interesting and provided banners and text to use that suited AdRotate and AdRotate Pro – Since the dashboard has some non-standard sizes for that kinda stuff.

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