Before requesting support, please do a quick self-check. This can save time by pinpointing common issues right away.
Before you go any further, did you “enable the web services” for your GeoNames username? This is a step that many people forget to do. So, make sure that you completed Step 2 on the Quick Start Guide (or Step 13 on the Full Setup Guide). If you did that, then you can continue here.
One more thing to check first: did you just update to a new version? If yes, the please check the Release Notes page to see if there is any important notice for your update.
Now, you can continue here.
To complete this self-check, you will have to look at a few lines of your Site Health Info.
You can find your Site Health Info on your WordPress dashboard > Tools > Site Health. Click “Info.”
Please check these 8 lines of your Site Health Info:
- PHP version. Find the PHP version in the Server section. The PHP Version should be a number, 5.6 or higher.
- GD version. Find the GD version in the Media Handling section. This should be a version number for the chart image to work. This is not required for the birth report itself, but rather it’s only required for the chart drawing image. If it says “not available,” you must contact your web host to ask them to add a GD library. A GD library would provide the tools necessary for your site to create images.
- PHP_SHLIB_SUFFIX. Find the PHP_SHLIB_SUFFIX in the ZodiacPress section. This should be “so.” If the value here is “dll” then your site uses Windows hosting, and you should please see this.
- Server architecture. Find the Server architecture in the Server section. If this begins with windows or win, then your site probably uses Windows hosting, and you should please see this.
- exec(). Find
exec()in the ZodiacPress section. This should be “okay.” If it is disabled, please see this.
- chmod(). Find
chmod()in the ZodiacPress section. This should be “okay.” If it is disabled, your web host does not let the plugin set the necessary file permissions, in which case you should please see this.
- swetest file. Find “swetest file” in the ZodiacPress section. This should be “okay.” If it says “Missing!” then please see this.
- Ephemeris permissions. Find the “Ephemeris permissions” in the ZodiacPress section. This should be “okay.” If it says “Not executable!” then please first check all the previous items. If the previous items are okay, and this line still says “Not executable!” then go ahead and create a support request.
If all of these items are okay, and your issue is still not resolved, then please create a support request in the support forum.
If your website is running on a Windows operating system (i.e. using Windows hosting), then you’ll need to use the ZodiacPress Windows Server plugin.
ZP Windows Server overrides the default Swiss Ephemeris execution file with one that works on Windows.
ZP Windows Server is a free extension for ZodiacPress. Go to its main page to download it. It’s perfectly safe to install the plugin even if your site doesn’t use Windows hosting. The plugin will check for Windows hosting, and it will do nothing if your site is not hosted on Windows.
If you’re already using ZP Windows Server, and yet the birth report is still not working, then check the other ZodiacPress Troubleshooting documentation articles for other possible causes.
ZodiacPress includes a file that must have permissions set to 0755 (CHMOD 0755) in order to get the planetary positions from the Swiss Ephemeris. The file is named swetest and its path is:
The plugin tries to set these permissions automatically.
If you received this error notice:
Your server did not allow ZodiacPress to set the necessary file permissions for the Ephemeris. ZodiacPress requires this in order to create astrology reports.
…it means that your server did not allow the plugin to set file permissions.
You can try to manually set the permission for this file (
zodiacpress/sweph/swetest) to 0755.
Most web hosts allow you to set file permissions. Contact your web host, or check their support pages to see how to set the file permissions.
If your web host uses cPanel, you should be able to do this, easily. In cPanel, go the File Manager. In the cPanel File Mananger, navigate to the ZodiacPress’s ‘sweph’ directory, which should be in your WordPress plugin directory:
In the ‘sweph’ directory, you’ll find the swetest file. Look at the last column on the right to make sure that this file has permissions set to ‘0755’ like this:
If it does not have permissions set to ‘0755’, you can change the permissions by selecting that file and clicking “Permissions” near the top right of the screen. To set the file permissions to 0755, make sure it matches this:
If you confirm that the file (zodiacpress/sweph/swetest) has the proper permissions set to 0755, and yet the birth report is still not working, then check the other ZodiacPress Troubleshooting documentation articles for other possible causes.
This plugin uses the PHP
exec() function. Some website hosting companies disable the
exec() function. If this function is disabled, ZodiacPress will not work. If your host has disabled this function, contact them as they may have a way for you to enable it. (Check their support pages.)
ZodiacPress uses GeoNames webservices to get birth place latitude/longitude coordinates and the timezone ID. Every time the ZodiacPress form is filled out and submitted, it accesses the GeoNames geographical database through its webservices.
GeoNames imposes a limit to how many times it can be accessed. They measure usage by “credits.” Free GeoNames accounts are limited to 20,000 credits per day, per username. They are also limited to 2,000 credits per hour, per username.
The ZodiacPress birth report form uses at least 1 credit every time the form is submitted. (It uses one credit for looking up a city. If the user types another city, that uses another credit.)
So, with GeoNames limits, that means that the form will work a maximum of 2,000 times per hour, and a maximum of 20,000 times per day.
This limit is okay for many websites, but if your website gets more traffic than that, you will need to purchase credits for GeoNames Premium Webservices.
(Or use the ZP Atlas plugin to avoid GeoNames altogether.)
GeoNames allows you to purchase credits for GeoNames Premium Webservices so that your form can handle more traffic. This also comes with added benefits which you can see on their page.
To use ZodiacPress, your website server must have PHP version 5.6 or higher.
PHP versions older than 7.1 have reached official “end of life” which means that they are outdated and unsupported. Running your website with an outdated version of PHP “may expose your site to security vulnerabilities” (see WordPress Requirements which recommend using at least PHP version 7).
As of this writing, I recommend PHP version 7.3.
Most web hosting companies should have an option available for you to update the PHP version on your own. Log in to your web hosting account and have a look around. Look for your PHP version and you may find an easy way to update it.
If a ZodiacPress plugin file is missing, you will get an error like this:
You are missing a file from ZodiacPress. This file is required in order to create astrology reports.
This error means that the
swetest file is missing from the plugin. The file can go missing for several reasons. Some shared web hosting plans will block that file because it is an executable file. Some WordPress security plugins may delete that file from your plugins folder because it is an executable file.
To solve this problem, you will have to first find out what is deleting the file. If it’s your web host, you’ll have to contact them and ask them if there is a way for you to allow the executable file. If it’s a WordPress plugin that is deleting the file, you’ll have to check the settings to see if there is a way to allow this file.
Then, you can try to manually upload the missing file to your ZodiacPress plugin folder on your server. (You can use an FTP client, like FileZilla, to upload the file to the plugin.)
You can get the original
swetest file from the plugin. To do this, manually download the plugin from WordPress. You’ll find the swetest file is inside the plugin folder:
swetest file to your server. The file belongs inside the
sweph folder, which is inside the ZodiacPress plugin folder: