Category Archives: Meetup Handouts

1/15/17: Is Your (Client’s) Website Ready for 2017?

Google is laying down the law again. Are you (and your clients) ready for 2017’s requirements regarding SSL (HTTPS), popups, and Google AMP? It’s really all about mobile-friendliness. This is a search ranking trend that’s been going on even since before “Mobile-geddon” in 2015.

Pizza Sponsor: Lisa LaMagna

Thanks to Lisa LaMagna for providing the pizza!

Site Demo: MK Design

Merel Kennedy demonstrated the use of the WP Image Zoooom PRO plugin on her MK Design portfolio site.

Site Demo: Private Lender Link

Rocky Butani demonstrated the FacetWP advanced filtering plugin on his Private Lender Link website.

Main Presentation: Is Your (Client’s) Website Ready for 2017?

This presentation covers three things you and your clients need to think about in 2017, in order of universality and importance.

HTTPS

Google is pushing us all toward the use of HTTPS (the secure version of HTTP) by shaming sites that are not secure. But Google isn’t the only one. You need HTTPS in order to use the new, faster, HTTP/2 protocol. WordPress will start making some features available only to sites that use HTTPS, and will only include hosting companies that offer free SSL certificates among their recommended hosts. PayPal now requires HTTPS for anyone using its IPN.

The three types of SSL certificates are DV (Domain Verification), OV (Organization Verification) and EV (Extended Verification). Most people only need DV certificates. (The free certificates offered by Cloudflare and Let’s Encrypt are DV certificates.) If you need to demonstrate that you are a legitimate business, you might need an OV certificate. If yours is a site that might be spoofed for a phishing attack (such as a financial institution or auction site), you’ll need to pay the extra money for the EV certificate.

The good news is that many hosts already make it easy to get a free SSL certificate, and even if yours doesn’t, you can get free HTTPS through Cloudflare. The presentation walks through setting up HTTPS on SiteGround, WP Engine, Pressable, and BlueHost, followed by the basics of setting up SSL with a free Cloudflare account.

After you set up HTTPS, remember to update your Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Otherwise you’ll be wondering what happened to all your traffic.

References

Mobile Search Penalty for “Intrusive Interstitials”

This only applies to mobile: we’re going to keep seeing obnoxious intersitials on our desktops/laptops.

Your email signup form and other offers for your own products are included.

The “interstitial” doesn’t have to be an actual popup: anything that covers the first screen visitors land on from a mobile search link counts.

Legally required popups (such as for age-restricted sites or the European Cookie Law) will not be penalized. Small ads, inline ads, and exit-intent popups are acceptable.

To avoid penalties, make sure that:

  1. Popups are desktop only by Default
  2. You Use Device Specific Display Rules
  3. Floating Bars are Mobile Optimized
  4. You Use Smart Display Rule Triggers

References

Google AMP and Mobile Performance

There seem to be as many drawbacks as advantages to Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). If you are a news organization syndicating articles, it might be a good idea. But it’s not the only way to ensure a good mobile user experience, and AMP pages don’t include your branding or calls to action.

References

July 2016 Handout: Accessibility Resources

The good news about web accessibility is that there are a lot of resources out there for developers who want to build accessible websites. Here are a few of the ones I’ve bookmarked.

These are not the result of a comprehensive search, which I’m sure would turn up many more resources, but rather articles I have come across in my regular WordPress and web development reading.

WordPress Accessibility Handbook

Rian Rietveld’s State of Accessibility Presentation from WordCamp Europe

Elise Roy’s TED Talk: When We Design for Accessibility, We All Benefit

Web Accessibility Basics from Marco Zehe

Free Web Accessibility Course from Udacity

WordPress.org Accessibility Support Forum

WordPress > Support > Accessibility

The A11y Project

ChromeLens

Tota11y Accessibility Visualization Kit

WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

Enter your URL to check the accessibility of your website.

Yoast’s Must-Read Accessibility Posts (A11y and SEO)

Carrie Dils: An Intro to Accessible WordPress Themes

7 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about Accessibility

Article on Medium by Jesse Hausler from Salesforce. Doesn’t want to do the content card thing.

Color Safe WCAG Palette Generator

Presentation by Michael Beil: How do I know if my web project is accessible?

More WordCamp Accessibility Videos

tuts+ Accessibility Learning Guide

How to Make Your Website More Accessible (WPMU DEV)

PageGauge: Quickly Assess Your Website’s Usability

www.pagegauge.io www.pagegauge.io

How to Create More Accessible Content

WP Accessibility Plugin

Feb 2016 Handout: Managing Multiple WordPress Sites

Things change rapidly in the WordPress world. The content in this post is more than a year old and may no longer represent best practices.

Recent Reviews

Envato Tuts+ Series: Exploring WordPress Managers

Part 1 covers Jetpack and InfiniteWP. Part 2 covers ManageWP, CMS Commander, and MainWP. Part 3 (not yet published) covers iThemes Sync and WP Remote. The author uses InfiniteWP.

WPMU: Managing Multiple WordPress Sites: The Ultimate Guide

Covers ManageWP, InfiniteWP, CMS Commander, WPRemote, iControlWP, Jetpack Manage, and iThemes Sync. Comes down in favor of ManageWP, but gives pretty good ratings to everything.

WordPress Management Plugins & Services Featured at the Meetup

Mill: WordPress site management and deployment

Mill (sponsor)

French startup Mill provides deployment, updates, backup and restore, migration, and cloning for both WordPress and Drupal. Starts at $29/month for 10 sites and one user.

InfiniteWP

Infinite WP is a tool you set up on your own web server, rather than a hosted service. With it you get a dashboard that lets you update, backup, & restore your site, as well as installing themes and plugins. Free for those basic services; paid add-ons for things like cloud backups, 2-factor authentication, Sucuri scanning, and site cloning start at $50/year apiece, or $400/year for the whole suite.

MainWP

Another self-hosted site management tool: includes MainWP dashboard and MainWP child plugins. Free version includes site management, user management, bulk posting, upgrades, and backups. The Sucuri site-check and Advanced Uptime extensions are free. Paid extensions include cloning, code snippets, and broken link checking.

iThemes Sync

Sync does site management, updates, and plugin & theme installation (iThemes or WordPress.org). Integrates nicely with any iThemes plugins you have installed and with iThemes Stash. Free plan includes 10 sites. Pro version includes uptime monitoring and reports;  starts at $50/year for 25 sites.

ManageWP 

ManageWP was the first of these services and still rates highly in reviews (see above). It handles updates, theme & plugin installation, site optimization, pageview statistics, security scans, and performance reports. Additional features like backup & migration are available in paid plans. Free plan includes 5 sites. Basic plan is $0.80/month/website; Pro plan is $2.40/website/month; Business plan is $4.80/website/month.

More WordPress Site Management Tools

  • Jetpack Manage (free, but limited)
  • CMS Commander (5 sites free with basic features; premium plans start at $8/month for 5 sites with all features)
  • WP Remote (updates & snapshots; unlimited sites free)
  • iControlWP (updates, backup/restore, security; plans start at $15/month for 10 sites)

April 2015 Meetup Handout: ACF and ACF Pro Links

Things change rapidly in the WordPress world. The content in this post is more than a year old and may no longer represent best practices.

Here are the links I found while preparing for the April 2015 Meetup on Advanced Custom Fields and ACF Pro.

I used some of these tutorials to create the demo site, but have not had a chance to follow up on all of them.

Note that tutorials on Sridhar Katakam’s site require a paid subscription. It’s only $10/month and totally worth it if you develop for the Genesis Framework.

General ACF and ACF Pro Tutorials

ACF Pro Gallery, Slideshow and Content Slider Tutorials

ACF Pro Page Template/Layout Tutorials

ACF Videos

May 2014 Handout: Google Webmaster Tools

Things change rapidly in the WordPress world. The content in this post is more than a year old and may no longer represent best practices.

Plugins

It’s easier to verify site ownership in Google Webmaster Tools if you use a plugin. If you’re already using WordPress SEO by Yoast, you can use that. I like All in One Webmaster because it lets you do multiple things in one place: Analytics, Authorship, and Webmaster Tools. It also does Google Tag Manager, which I haven’t mastered yet. You might actually need both, though, if you have to verify both the www and non www versions of your website.

Tutorials

Yes, it’s possible to set up Webmaster Tools if you use WordPress.com, or if your clients do. (And not just Google Webmaster Tools, but Bing, Yahoo, Pinterest, and a bunch of other things.) So even though you can’t use Google Analytics with WordPress.com, you can use Webmaster Tools.

The WPBeginner article shows you how to verify your site either by pasting the entire meta tag into your header (using a plugin) or by using the Yoast SEO plugin. Using All in One Webmaster works pretty much just like using Yoast SEO. Using Google Publisher (beta) requires signing into your Google account rather than pasting in a meta tag.

The rest of the articles apply to using Webmaster Tools with any website.

Google