Solving the vmError: Warning, the Safe Path is not accessible (does not exist or no permission)

When transferring Joomla Virtuemart software between servers, the Safe Path location listed in the Virtuemart configuration does not automatically update. Because of this, you see an error 'vmError: Warning, the Safe Path is not accessible (does not exist or no permission).'

The Safe Path is a location Virtuemart uses to store the PDF invoices and delivery notes it generates. Ideally you create this below the root of your website and provide the server path to that folder in the configuration, often it looks like '/var/www/vhosts/mywebsite/safepathfolderhere'. In many cases, shared hosting does not allow access below the root so Virtuemart suggests using a randomized folder name places above the root, below the administrator area, because that has a little extra security generally. In these cases the path looks something like:

'/var/www/vhosts/mywebsite/administrator/components/com_virtuemart/HyHf5ahdJuty96/'

You simply add your version of that to the Virtuemart configuration at Virtuemart > Configuration > Configuration > Templates (Tab) > Media Files Settings (Area) > Safe Path. Permissions should be 755.

Virtuemart Safe Path permissions problem

If you see the error message 'vmError: The path for invoices seems to miss the correct file permissions Safe Path', check that the folder permissions are set to 755. If that is correct, check that the backslashes in your folder path are all the correct way (backslashes and not forward slashes). Finally, check that there is also a single trailing backslash slash at the end of the safe path

'/var/www/vhosts/mywebsite/administrator/components/com_virtuemart/HyHf5ahdJuty96/'
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What is the default password reset link for Joomla 3?

Sometimes users forget passwords and rather than manually resetting them in Joomla admin, you can simply provide them with this link to reset their passwords themselves.

The default link for the password reset page in Joomla 3 and many other versions is:

index.php?option=com_users&view=reset

You simply add that to the end of your website name to navigate to the Joomla user password reset page

Joomla 3 password reset link

http://www.example.com/index.php?option=com_users&view=reset
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Fixing the "JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: XX" Warning

Whenever a Joomla article or category is created, the system records the account that created it. This is useful for content items where we also want to display a link to the user who wrote the article, or for displaying content authored by a specific Joomla user.  The warning message "JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: XX" is telling us that the user with the XX id number could not be loaded, typically because that user has been deleted.

Note that this message is a warning rather than an error, so while it can be annoying and may show notices or warnings it won't break your site. In the future, when users leave your organisation it is better practice to disable their Joomla account rather than to delete it. That prevents this issue from arising again.

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Troubleshooting a Joomla Update problem

Troubleshooting a Joomla Update problem

A few things can go wrong when updating Joomla though later releases tend to have fewer and fewer issues. We describe some common issues and provide solutions here as well as examining tools to diagnose the root causes.

1. One-click didn't work. The one-click update basically grabs the update files from the Joomla code repository and installs them similar to the way extensions get installed. If you're behind a firewall or on a weak connection this can fail. In this case, you have the option of downloading the upgrade package ZIP file manually and installing it via the Joomla update extension. If that fails there is a third option where you extract the contents of the upgrade package and overwrite the files on your Joomla installation. If you use that method you'll also need to follow our next troubleshooting tip to apply the database update.

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Updating Joomla - the expert guide

Joomla! is a fully-featured Content Management System that runs about 3% of the world's top one million websites. Like any software, updates are released from time to time to help keep it secure, squash some bugs; and advance the feature set. In this article, we show you what steps to take when Joomla updates are pending, before and after you apply those updates.

Disclaimer - This advice will be all you need for most sites, but do feel free to contact us if you need specialist Joomla update help

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Joomla! 3.4.4 and 3.6.3 exploit unauthorised users and escalated privileges hack

On October 25th, 2016 the Joomla team issued a security release for the 3.x series of Joomla. Joomla 3.6.4 fixes a high-severity security vulnerability that can allow remote users to create new accounts, modify existing accounts, and elevate their privileges to that of a Super Administrator on any Joomla site not patched. These issues combined potentially give attackers enough power to get complete control of your Joomla website. The affected Joomla versions are from 3.4.4 through 3.6.3.

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How to make custom search engine friendly URLs in Joomla

How to set Joomla Search Engine Friendly URLsThe Joomla CMS provides a neat little way to turn the standard ugly urls from their long, unfriendly format to a much more human readable 'Search Engine Friendly (SEF)" version.

Follow these two simple steps in order to make your Joomla system show friendly URLs!

Change this:

http://www.example.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=44&Itemid=918

to the much more readable and search engine friendly:

http://www.example.com/blog 

There are just two things you need to do to achieve this. In the Joomla administrator area, navigate to System > Global Configuration. On this screen the first tab is Site. On the right hand column, under the title SEO Settings set Search Engine Friendly URLs to Yes. A new field will appear 'Use URL Rewriting' which you can set to Yes also.

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Getting 'invalid security token' after Joomla 3.6 update - Solved

Joomla Update Component UpdateThe latest release of Joomla contains maintenance and security patches but also adjusts the way Joomla updater works.

To update Joomla 3.6.1 you'll first need to update the core extension that manages updates.

To achieve that follow this instruction:

 

Remember to run a backup before attempting any updates!

Go to Extensions > Manage > Update. Find the Joomla! Update Component Update and apply this update

Once that component update has been applied, you can update Joomla core in the normal way, using Components > Joomla! Update

Invalid security token error message? 

When you update a system running Joomla 3.6.1, you may see the following warning:

The most recent request was denied because it contained an invalid security token. Please refresh the page and try again.

To fix this issue, we just need to run a database check. Navigate to Extensions > Manage > Database and click the 'Fix' button in the top left hand corner. 

That's it! You're now successfully running Joomla 3.6.2. 

Database fix for Joomla!

Are you using Akeeba backup?

Some users have reported problems with Akeeba backup when the 'Backup on update' plugin runs before the update. Should you experience this scenario, run a backup manually and then disable the 'System - Backup on upgrade' Akeeba plugin before completing the Joomla update.

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Disabling Joomla Update Notification Emails

Joomla Update Emails notify you an update is available
Joomla Update Emails notify you an update is available

Joomla! version 3.x containing a system plugin which by default emails every super-administrator in the system notifying them when a core Joomla! update is available. The emails are not sent by the Joomla! software project but rather by the Joomla! system installed on your web server. By default, this plugin emails Superadministrator accounts once per day until the update has been applied.

In Joomla! 3.6.1 there was a bug which caused multiple emails to be sent in a short space of time. As we keep superadministrator accounts on all our JoomlaCare Managed Service customers, we received a lot of these emails - over 300 for one customer alone! 

How to disable Joomla! Update Notifications

To disable these update notifications emails, while logged into your Joomla! administrator area navigate to Extensions > Plugins and search for 'Update Notification'. Then unpublish the 'System - Joomla! Update Notification' plugin in the Plugin Manager on your site. This stops the emails. When an update becomes available, you will still see a notification in the administrator area after you login.

Should I update my Joomla site?

Yes!.. but backup first! It's a good idea to keep your Joomla! software up to date because updates often contain new features as well as important security updates and fixes. However, it's important to ensure that any of the other extensions you have installed, for example components, templates, plugins, modules and language packs are compatible with the update. If you're not sure about that you can check with each extension provider. It's also always a great idea to ensure you have a validated backup before you do any sort of updating, so you have a fall back if something goes wrong. We recommend the Akeeba backup extension for Joomla backups.

What Joomla versions are compatible?

As of writing this article, the latest major release of Joomla is version 3. If your Joomla website is version 1.0.x, 1.5.x, 1.6.x, 1.7.x or 2.5.x then you can't complete a simple upgrade, many of the extensions associated with these versions are incompatible with Joomla 3 and  will also need updating. In fact, the jump to Joomla 3 is so significant we need to migrate the core content, user accounts, menu items, and everything else into a new Joomla 3 system and then install and import data from any extra extensions you have in use for example Virtuemart, Kunena forum, Image Galleries, Membership components or other extensions. In all likelihood you will also need to implement a new template, which will give your website a responsive design - allowing it to be viewed well on small screen devices.

For moving between versions of Joomla 3, an upgrade is the way to go. Be sure to have a valid backup before proceeding or talk to a Joomla Expert for a free review if you're unsure!

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