Webdancers clients who spend time in their WordPress admin area may have noticed a new type of widget appearing under Appearance > Widgets, called the "Classic Text Widget". The addition of this widget was necessitated by a change in the behavior of the native "Text Widget" in WordPress 4.8. If you want to stop reading here, just use the Classic Text Widget in the same way as you used the old Text Widget and all will be well. For the full story, read on. Since the very early days of … [Read more...] about What’s a “Classic Text Widget”?
With the release of Chrome 53, Google made a small but important change in the information it makes available to users about the websites that they visit. It’s all part of Google’s push to encourage website owners to secure their websites using HTTPS. In the near future, secure websites will also be faster than insecure sites, a key metric for Google. Prior to Chrome 53, secure sites displayed the familiar padlock icon next to the URL in the address bar. Insecure sites showed no icon. Now, … [Read more...] about Google is pushing for a more secure web
All WordPress sites under Webdancers management have been updated to the latest and greatest version, 4.6 "Pepper". Here are some of the new features to enjoy: Streamlined updates. Don’t lose your place: stay on the same page while you update, install, and delete your plugins and themes. Native fonts. The WordPress dashboard now takes advantage of the fonts you already have, making it load faster and letting you feel more at home on whatever device you use. Inline link checker. Ever … [Read more...] about WordPress Update to 4.6
Images are an extremely important component of website design. They communicate ideas in ways that text can’t. They also provide places for the eyes to rest and focus. Without them, most people have a hard time maintaining their interest in all of the information being presented. So, given their importance, what do you need to know about the mechanics of website images? Vector vs. raster Vector images are not commonly used directly in web pages. These images are comprised of lines, curves and … [Read more...] about Website Images Explained
Caching your browser in the act I cringe every time I tell someone to clear their browser cache, for a couple of reasons: 1) They usually don’t know how to do it and 2) it’s another frustrating example of technology not “just working”. So why suggest it? First, a definition: The browser cache is a space on your computer’s hard drive where files downloaded from web pages are stored. When the web page is revisited, these files are retrieved from the cache, which is much faster than downloading … [Read more...] about Cache Clearing: When, Why and How
Most people I talk to (when it comes up at cocktail parties) are concerned about their online safety and security. So it caught my attention when I saw the headline,Google Security Expert Criticizes Meaningless Antivirus Excellence Awards. It seems that Verizon has been certifying products as “excellent” for having the ability to, well, run: Some of the certification "criteria" included the likes of: "Enable and disable the Detection of Malware" (which is a basic start/stop button for the … [Read more...] about Are you practicing safe computing?
Here's a question that comes up fairly often from clients and in classes. John Fenger of Fenger Painting writes, “When directing someone to my website (like on a business card), is there any reason WHY you need to put the http:// first? Or can you just put fengerpainting.com? What does www. mean vs the http://? No one seems to know.” The short answer is, you can just put in fengerpainting.com. Technically, the http:// (or https:// if the site is secured) is required but the browser will add … [Read more...] about Are http:// and www really necessary?
I recently added a security certificate to the Webdancers site, which put me on a bit of a crusade to help make more sites ‘secure by default’. I attended an excellent presentation last year at WordCamp Sacramento by internet security expert Zack Tollman, of Wired, Inc., on the benefits of converting websites to use SSL/TLS* encryption (watch the video and you can see the back of my head). This is the technology that displays the familiar little padlock icon in the browser (or URL bar), … [Read more...] about ‘Secure by default’ builds customer trust
Back in August, I wrote about Choosing a Home In the Cloud, which described my attempt to become less dependent on Microsoft Windows. Since that time, I've moved more of my applications and data into the cloud, including: Moving my business accounting from Quickbooks to Xero.com. Using CodeAnywhere.com, an online Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to write and publish code for almost all of my website work. Using a hosted version of the Gimp image editor, accessed through a web … [Read more...] about Moving From Windows To the Raspberry Pi