There are several reasons to move your website to a new domain. Maybe you’ve gained access to a much stronger domain. Perhaps you’re changing direction or you’re rebranding. Or you’d like to start over with a new name and a new site. Assuming you have a good reason for moving your site to a new domain – other then “this name just sounds catchier” – there are some things to consider concerning security and SEO when moving your website to a new domain.
In this Ask Yoast, we’ll answer a question from Anbu Devilhunter:
“If I move to a new domain are there any security measures I should take?
Read this transcript to learn more about SEO and security measures when you’re moving your site to a new domain:
“Well, yes. You should make sure that you have your old domain and keep it forever, so that you can keep the redirects from that old domain to your new domain. Because otherwise, at some point, someone else is going to use that old domain and you’ll lose your redirects. So you’ll lose a lot of links pointing to your site.
Any other security measures? Well, yes, everything that you need to do to a good domain. But I’d suggest talking to our friends at Sucuri, and see what they can do for you. We run their web application firewall in front of everything we do and I would suggest you do too.
In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from followers! Need help with SEO? Let us help you out! Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you want to change the default Gravatar on your WordPress site? By adding your own default gravatar image, you can make your comments section branded. In this article, we will show you how to change the default gravatar in WordPress and replace it with your own custom default gravatar image.
What is Default Gravatar and Why Change it?
Gravatar is a web service created and run by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg’s company called Automattic. It allows anyone to create a profile and associate avatar images to their email addresses.
All WordPress sites come with built-in support for gravatars and automatically show users’ avatars when they write posts or leave comments.
However, if a user doesn’t have a gravatar image, then WordPress automatically shows the default gravatar image. The default option is to show an image called mystery man. It looks like this:
If you don’t want to use the mystery man as default image, then you can change it to your own branded image.
Having said that, let’s see how you can change the default gravatar image on your WordPress site, so you can use a custom default gravatar image.
Changing Default Gravatar Image in WordPress
First, you need to visit Settings » Discussion page and scroll down to Avatars section. This is where you can configure and change gravatar settings on your WordPress site.
You will notice that there are a few choices available under the default avatar option. These avatars are used when a user does not have a gravatar associated with their email address.
Out of the box WordPress uses the mystery person icon as the default gravatar. You can change that to blank or gravatar logo.
There are few other options available as well. These are automatically generated images in different designs. These images use comment author’s name or email address to mathematically generate a unique gravatar image.
Don’t forget to click on the save changes button after changing your default gravatar.
Using Custom Default Gravatar Image in WordPress
WordPress also allows you to use your own default gravatar images. Here is how you can easily add your own custom default gravatar image in WordPress.
First you need to create an image that you want to use as the default gravatar. This image should be a square, like 250×250 pixels.
Next, you need to upload this image to your WordPress site. Head over to Media » Add New and upload your custom default gravatar image.
After the image is uploaded, you need to click on the Edit link next to the image.
WordPress will now open your image for editing. You need to just copy the image file URL and paste it in a plain text editor like Notepad.
I don’t know how it started, but sometime after WordPress switched to Slack in 2014 the norms for checking in to a dev chat switched to emoji. Many people , some use slack specific emoji like the bowtie, and others change it up on a regular basis.
Like many traditions, this started completely organically and at this point it’s so normal, no one bats an .
I feel like It’s important to have traditions in open source software, but it’s also important to make them easy to pick up. It helps new contributors feel a part of the process. If the traditions are too hard to pick up on, then you risk creating an us vs. them problem. Thankfully, emoji’s to show you are present is one that people can pick up on right away and immediately feel a part of the WordPress team.
WordPress 4.7.1 is available for download and fixes eight security issues that affect WordPress 4.7 and below. The PHPMailer library was updated to patch a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability. WordFence reported the vulnerability last month as critical and that it affects WordPress core.
However, in the announcement post for 4.7.1, Aaron Campbell, WordPress’ new Security Czar says that, “No specific issue appears to affect WordPress or any of the major plugins we investigated but, out of an abundance of caution, we updated PHPMailer in this release.” Dawid Golunski and Paul Buonopane are credited with responsibly disclosing the vulnerability.
WordPress 4.7.1 also fixes an issue where the REST API exposed user data for all users who authored a post of a public post type. This release limits this ability to only post types which have specified that they should be shown within the API. Brian Krogsgard and Chris Jean are credited with responsibly disclosing the vulnerability.
In addition to patching eight security issues, this release fixes 62 bugs. To see a full list of changes, visit the release notes page or you can view them on Trac. Sites should update automatically but if you’d like to update sooner, visit your site’s Dashboard, select Updates, and click the Update Now button.
When I was summarizing my last month of daily posting, I mentioned a few ways I felt like my writing was having impact. I didn’t even consider that my work would inspire someone to translate what I wrote my writing into another language. However, I was incredibly honored when Takayuki Miyauchi asked to translate my post about user trust. I’m going to add having an article translated to my list. If you would prefer to read in Japanese, the link to the post is above.
Recently, one of our readers asked if there’s a way to add title attribute in WordPress menus? Title attribute allows you to provide extra information about a link. It often appears as tooltip text when the mouse moves over the link. In this article, we will show you how to add title attribute in WordPress navigation menus.
Why Use Title Attribute in Menus?
Title attribute is an HTML attribute that can be added to any element, but it is most commonly used with links and images.
My tweet splitting algorithm first splits the post by sentences. It then tries to build tweets and prioritizes keeping sentences intact. My thinking is that this helps the tweets stand on their own a bit more. If you want to use this, download and activate both publishiza and the gist below as plugins.
Helen Hou-Sandi, in response to someone suggesting a large rewrite in slack wrote this:
Your plan as I understand it disregards a couple of core WordPress philosophies/practices: striving for maintenance of backwards-compatibility, and that an X.0 release is no more significant than X.1 or Y.9 (this is closely related to maintaining back-compat, in that something like semantic versioning is less meaningful for WordPress core).
Generally, the most successful refactorings in core have been done in support of features being built, whether that’s a user- or dev-focused feature. It’s not that core code can’t be improved (clearly it can), it’s that better decisions regarding back-compat and, more importantly, forward-compat for an API or other bit of code can be made when one eye is on practical application.
As a user centric project, WordPress chooses philosophies that put the user first. There is also an unwritten philosophy point that many committers talk about which is that User Trust Matters. What that means to me is that users trust WordPress for running businesses, sharing content, and engaging with their own users. User trust must be maintained in order to provide features such as automatic updates.
User trust isn’t something you earn and then just get to keep forever. It’s a maintenance relationship.
Trust is maintained by understanding that WordPress core is one piece of a WordPress website. It doesn’t matter if it’s a plugin using an API in a novel way, a theme missing a needed CSS class, or an outdated version of PHP running on a server. When a site running WordPress breaks, it’s WordPress that breaks and it’s user trust that is hurt. It’s why WordPress has a beta and RC period with many calls for testing. It’s why a field guide is published and plugin authors are emailed before a release.
It works for users now. When it stops working for them, it’s our fault and we lose their trust.
Over the last 3 years, the underlining taxonomy code in WordPress has changed dramatically in order to support taxonomy meta. In new versions though, WordPress still considers the case that data hasn’t been migrated. At WordCamp NYC a few years ago, five contributors talked through how to best handle meta when a term hadn’t been split. By thinking through cases where things aren’t pristine, WordPress is stronger and users can trust it.
To design a spacecraft right takes an infinite amount of effort. This is why it’s a good idea to design them to operate when some things are wrong
Akin’s 2nd law of spacecraft design
WordPress can absolutely do a better job with maintaining user trust, but as long as it considers the fact that User Trust Matters, it will be a stronger project.
In the Quora example, the customer needed a drawing solution for his website. However, there are plenty of variables, such as:
What features should be supported for the drawings? This may very well be a Photoshop in a browser
What kind of UI/UX are we talking about – when it comes to the drawing panel itself, the single drawing view, archives, option pages
How will that connect to users in the current site
Is a new user management toolkit needed as a part of the plugin
How should that scale (are we talking about a large, performance-sensitive site)
If there are lots of interactions with different users in different roles, what is the security policy, third-party tools using that, etc
These are just a reduced list of all the questions that come to mind. That said, once a similar request is sent to a number of contractors, each will come up with different conclusions based on their point of view.
How Do Products Work?
When you are buying a car, you know exactly what you get – there is a technical specification for every element, car reviews by various experts in the industry. If 10 people buy 10 cars from the same model from different vendors (resellers or partners), they will get the exact same result.
Products are designed to scale, and therefore they follow the very same structure, built by the same materials and available for distribution in hundreds, thousands, or millions of units. If your car is lost or missing for whatever reason, you can purchase the same model and practically enjoy the exact same set of features with the same comfort that you’re used to.
There is zero uniqueness between different products of the same model.
Even so there may be factory/product defects – certain units that were produced with poor quality chips or units that misbehave as compared to the bulk of the ones produced out there.
Why Are Services Different?
Unlike products, services are different. They require custom work produced given a custom set of criteria, by different vendors with different skills, expertise, and workflow.
We have all had to deal with different service providers on a daily basis – from customer support over the phone or email, through courier delivery services by different postmen that craft their agenda and style in a unique manner, through plumbers and electricians solving problems in our homes. We don’t want to call an electrician that would assemble our electrical system in a way that would cause a short circuit burning the entire apartment, do we?
Research Is Often Omitted
There seems to be a common misunderstanding when purchasing online/web services and comparing quotes for services. Additionally it becomes more ridiculous when the lowest price is being targeted regardless of the expertise or a portfolio of the service provider.
In fact that’s what many governments do as well for public tenders.
For example, we do have a problem locally with the road infrastructure. The public tenders for highways and city roads are usually compared by the lowest price criteria, which inevitably leads to picking a provider that uses low-quality concrete and other materials that are not sustainable during the summer or the winter, when the road melts under the hot sun when trucks are driving, or ice breaks numerous holes everywhere due to the lack of durability in the low-cost materials.
Selecting a professional service provider is mandatory in the long run, and this is common for all sorts of services.
You Can’t Describe Your Idea Completely
Regardless of your understanding of what you’re after, there are usually plenty of ways to get your solution executed.
In the WordPress context, even when following the WordPress standards and conventions, assigning the same project to 10 different freelancers or contractors will yield different end results.
Over the years we’ve consulted over a hundred clients requiring technical consulting for their services – through architecture definition, interviewing employees or contractors for their projects, or assessing code quality produced by some. Which is where the difference in experience is quite notable.
Some contractors merely create a proof of concept model of the work
Others create a complete enterprise solution for projects that are supposed to be used in a small intranet
There are the ones who focus on speed or performance, and go out of their way to handle hundreds of millions of traffic to be used only by small blogs
Some do create a compilation of various plugins which turns out to be cheap at first, and massively unstable in the long run through different updates
Even if you have a 40-page description of your project, there are various ways to get something implemented.
As an example, we had a client in 2015 that came with 70-page specification, 30-page document for sitemap, user roles, use cases and flow charts, a definition of all components connected to their website, an Invision account with 40 mockups for their pages, and their existing website as a reference.
The project took 9 months worth of design and development. During the beta testing phase when the management team assigned the project for active content entry by their team of 10 content producers, we’ve received over a hundred requests for flow updates that contradicted with the original specification.
While the platform was working properly and design was followed to the last pixel, there were business needs that weren’t addressed. And those weren’t noticed over the 3-month discovery period by the entire team (including the content folks and the management), nor through the next 6 months of implementing all of those concepts to a fully-fledged application.
Additional budget was provided for implementing the new requirements as the company decided that implementing these will save approximately 200 hours every single month by improving the way data is fetched and connected to other types of content, which would optimize the work of all administrators that was totally justified as a final cost.
User Experience Depends on Implementation
Often user interface is completely different as well – and often depends on how the client perceives the Internet in general, and what tools have they used before. When working with long-term accounts, we do learn a lot about their usage of a platform, their needs, the regularity of changing certain sections, and the amount of flexibility they require in different areas of the site. Think about CRMs or Project Management systems as well – there are hundreds of alternatives out there, and yet all of them enjoy a good number of customers simply because it’s a pretty subjective matter that is identified through a lot of research and testing.
Some clients find it easy to use the Customizer for adjustments on given page templates. They may prefer shortcodes within the content in order to place sections in-between different paragraphs essential to their business. Other page template may be built with Widgets that allow dragging back and forth and adjusting elements accordingly, or an editor button generating snippets that are more flexible (yet require some minor HTML knowledge). Some prefer metaboxes for editing content in their site, others go for theme options or settings global to the site – depending on how flexible their solution is.
Interestingly enough, this is a case study that you conduct yourself by purchasing 20 themes by different providers and exploring their options and how is content modified. For instance, Elegant Themes do rely heavily on posts for most of their themes – which are being displayed by category in different sections in the homepage, or internal pages. Genesis themes are often widgets-driven – as you can see in their tutorials as well that replicate the theme demo through dragging widgets with predefined markup.
Many ThemeForest themes integrate with a visual builder (back-end or front-end), or provide dozens of page templates with different layout for different problems. They often offer dummy data that some users prefer as editing may be easier than building from scratch.
Estimates Will Always Differ
All of those examples can easily explain why estimates by different service providers depend a lot, be it on their expertise, expectations of how the project will work and how different components will interact with each other, or including/omitting certain details from the end solution. I wrote a lengthy post on how WordPress installs differ from custom solutions as professional software engineers keep in mind a lot of parameters learned through education and practical experience – such as what OS will be running the web stack (and what server solutions will be used, with their versions), what type of bandwidth is supported (i.e. should media be compressed, or buffered asynchronously to allow for mobile connections as well), whether there’s a need for database normalization and custom tables for a solution, are external APIs needed and what not.
Each of those considerations may cost tens, if not hundreds of extra hours, and solve different types of problems for customers.
At DevriX we often write content focused on business owners that are not familiar with the industry. In fact we even launched a free email course for website owners explaining many of those problems in details.
Our experience over the years tailored our work process accordingly – by introducing WordPress retainers that focus on minimum viable products at first and iterating based on customer feedback; charging hourly with approximations instead of coming up with a fixed budget due to limited understanding of the business needs, and providing paid discovery sessions for new clients that allows us to learn more about their needs, expectations, and what are the best ways to implement a solution custom tailored to their needs.
WordPress core development is kicking off in 2017 with the new focus-based development process that Matt Mullenweg announced during the 2016 State of the Word. The new approach to releases shifts WordPress from the familiar time-based release cycle to one that is more project-based. The idea is that design and user testing will lead the way and upcoming releases will ship when significant user-facing improvements are ready.
Mullenweg, who will serve as the overall product lead for 2017, announced tech and design leads for each of the three focus areas: the REST API, the editor, and the customizer.
“For the REST API we’re going to work on getting first party wp-admin usage of the new endpoints, and hopefully replace all of the core places where we still use admin-ajax,” Mullenweg said. The REST API team nominated Ryan McCue and K.Adam White to take the lead on the objectives Mullenweg outlined, as well as infrastructure and endpoint performance, security, and improvements to authentication options and documentation.
“The editor will endeavor to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has ‘blocks’ to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or ‘mystery meat’ embed discovery,” Mullenweg said. Automattic employees Matias Ventura and Joen Asmussen will be taking point on the editor.
Mullenweg’s proposed direction for the customizer team is to “help out the editor at first, then shift to bring those fundamental building blocks into something that could allow customization ‘outside of the box’ of post_content, including sidebars and possibly even an entire theme.” Weston Ruter and Mel Choyce will be taking the lead on the customizer focus.
A preliminary discussion on upcoming Customizer priorities cropped up in the comments. Nick Halsey, co-maintainer of the customize component, responded to the proposal of having the customizer help out the editor at first. He believes the best approach is to create the new editor within the Customize API, giving it live previews from the start.
“Improving the editor within an ‘admin’ interface that lacks live preview doesn’t address the fundamental problems with the current content editing experience and creates something that still has to be entirely rebuilt and reimagined within a live preview context eventually,” Halsey said. “If the editor is built on the Customize API first, rather than rethinking the editor and then bringing it into the live preview API, the customize and editor contributors would be able to join forces to focus on improving the content editing experience much more effectively.”
It will be interesting to see what direction Mullenweg and the leads decide to take in the foundational task of architecting the new editing experience. Mullenweg made it clear in the State of the Word address that he would like to see Calypso or a similar interface replace wp-admin in the future. However, Calypso was not built using the Customize API, WordPress’ own single page application admin interface that plugins and themes already widely support.
After WordCamp US, I asked Mullenweg about his intentions for Calypso in relationship to WordPress core. He said the application was “designed to be in core someday,” which is one reason they selected the same license and made it open source.
Automattic is actively recruiting popular plugin authors to make their plugins Calypso-aware. Demonstrating the application’s interoperability with the WordPress plugin ecosystem is a must before Calypso can be considered a promising replacement for the WordPress admin. In the meantime, the foundation for a new page and post building experience is being laid with consideration for how the customizer can improve the editor.
Mullenweg responded to comments on the post indicating that feature plugins or other improvements to WordPress outside of the three focus areas would need to continue on as plugins for the time being. However, performance improvements may be included in minor releases.
“What goes in a minor release will broaden a bit, which I know is something we have to approach carefully, but performance is very important and improvements will be something I will consider for being in a minor release,” Mullenweg said. Contributors are currently working on WordPress 4.7.1, which is planned for release on Tuesday, January 10.
After creating a redirect, it might happen you’d like to use the URL of that post or page again. Or perhaps you decide that you’d like to cancel that redirect after some time. Reasons for this could be that redirecting that post or page was a mistake, or the post or page contains valuable content again. In this case you might ask yourself: is it possible to use this URL again, while it has been redirected? I’ll explain whether that’s possible and what’s important to consider when doing so!
In this Ask Yoast we received a question from Ahmed M Hassan:
“If I want to use a link that had been 301 or 410 redirected before, can I cancel the redirection and use it again?”
Read this transcript to learn more about cancelling redirects:
“Yes, you can. What I would do, when canceling a redirect, is a Fetch and Render from Google Search Console to that URL and then submit to index, so Google knows that that URL now has content again. Otherwise, it can take months or even years for Google to come back to that URL, because it assumes you’ve redirected or deleted it. So use Fetch and Render for that and get those old URLs back in if you really need to. If you need to do this a lot, you need to think about your redirection strategy and whether you’re redirecting too quickly though.
Example of Fetch and Render in Google Search Console:
In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from followers! Need help with SEO? Let us help you out! Send your question to email@example.com.
W3Techs published its Web Technologies of 2016 report today, compiling technologies that saw the largest increase in usage last year. The survey pulls data from the top 10 million sites (according to Alexa rankings) and compares the number of sites for each technology by measuring the difference from January 1, 2016 to January 1, 2017.
W3Techs ranks WordPress as the fastest growing content management system with 58.5% market share. Shopify and Squarespace demonstrated the second and third largest increases in usage. Squarespace is a newcomer to the top three. In 2015 the second and third place winners were Drupal and Shopify. WordPress has dominated the top spot every year since 2010.
CMS usage on the whole saw a 3.3% increase. Of the top 15 CMS’s only six demonstrated growth, including the aforementioned top three, as well as Joomla, Drupal, and Bitrix, which showed nominal 0.1% increases in market share by the end of 2016. Blogger is on the decline, and the remaining CMS’s showed no increase or decrease.
PHP regained its top ranking among server-side programming languages as the fastest growing in 2016, a title which it temporarily lost to Java in 2015. W3Techs estimates PHP to be used by 82.4% of all websites for which it can detect a server-side programming language.
Another interesting result of the survey is that “WordPress Jetpack,” the stats module in Jetpack, ranks third among the fastest growing traffic analysis tools, trailing Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrika. Jetpack Stats has been on a slow upward trend, rising from 1.6% in 2011 to 4.5% in 2017. The top fastest growing players in this category have repeated several years in a row.
It’s important to note that many Jetpack stats users also use Google Analytics, but these numbers also give a rough idea of Jetpack usage increase, since it is one of the most popular modules in the plugin. According to W3Techs, Jetpack Stats is used by 6.9% of sites for which it can detect a traffic analysis tool, which it estimates as 4.5% of all websites.
Quick post to announce updates for all DigWP themes, free and exclusive. All themes are current with the latest version of WordPress, and include new features, bug fixes, and enhancements. Read on to learn more..
The year is coming to an end and I’ve spent the last 23 days successfully publishing something here each day. It hasn’t been easy. Some days it is as simple as seeing something online and being inspired, others I struggle with an idea all day, but I am guided by a couple principles.
Always Press Publish. It’s easy to fall in the trap of wanting something to be perfect before you share it. It’s similar to the “one more feature” trap that hurts the ability for software to be released. By having a deadline of every single day something needs to be published, I force my self to understand that perfect is the enemy of complete.
Press This is my friend. If I read something cool, I try to share it on my site. Especially if it’s something I’ll want to reference later.
My thoughts and opinions matter. Or at least they matter to me. If they help someone else, that’s even better. But I am ok with pressing publish because for me, at the time that I write something, know that my thoughts and opinions matter to at least myself.
If your goal is to blog more in 2017, those are the principles I used to blog more in 2016.
I’m sharing these stats with the duel caveat that commits aren’t a great measure of impact and that commits only represent one type of core contribution. When I talk about employers it’s with the caveat that some people change jobs. Also not everyone works on donated time. Now that I have looked at these numbers for two years I think that it’s interesting to see the trends.
In 2015 31 people with 16 unique employers committed to WordPress core. In 2016 it’s 37 people with 20 employees.
The employer with the highest percentage of commits in 2016 remains Automattic at 14.66%. This is down from 20.37%.
The individual with the greatest number of commits is @ocean90 at 360. Last year it was @wonderboymusic.
The total number of commits is down from 5106 to 2967. While that number is big I don’t think it’s necessarily bad.
For props this year 750 individuals got props with 396 for the first time. This is up from 721 total and 379 first timers in 2015. 91 people contributed to every release in 2016 vs 94 in 2015.
“While this is only the first iteration, the plan is to continue design and development to create something truly amazing,” Mark Uraine said in the announcement. “This is the first step toward that goal.”
The header and footer have been kept from the previous design. According to meta team member Samuel Wood, matching them to the new design is beyond the scope of this first iteration.
“The header and footer are global pieces,” Wood said. “Redesigning them, in any way, will have to be part of a much larger effort in redesigning, well, everything. The entire site would need adjustments to adjust them.”
Uraine said in a previous post that there are iterations underway for a new, more minimal header that better aligns with the new homepage style.
Feedback on the initial draft included notes on the copy, particularly the “Meet WordPress” headline. One person commented on it not being inclusive of people who have already met WordPress and are returning. Also, a few found the tagline to be too narrow: WordPress is open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app. Some suggested the inclusion of other use cases, such as store, forum, and membership site. These ideas have not been incorporated but they were recognized by the design team in the comments on the initial draft.
The homepage redesign went from sketches to prototype to live on WordPress.org in a matter of a couple weeks. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far, and most see it as a huge improvement. The new design should receive a great deal more exposure now that it’s live, which will hopefully bring in more varied perspectives towards making it extraordinary in future iterations.
Hi everyone, it’s winter at last, and there’s snow in the mountains! This is the perfect time to sit by the fire and look at your plugins and get rid of the ones you don’t want to be on the hook for any more.
Did you make a plugin for an event that happened a long time ago, like the 2008 Olympics? Did you make a featured plugin that got wrapped into core and you’re done?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the plugin and we’ll close it for you!
Doing this means you won’t get any new people complaining about how the plugin doesn’t work and disables itself in WP 4.3 and up (even though you documented it…). It’s less work for you and it’s okay to EoL plugins. We’ll close ’em for you and you’ll be done.
A lovely winter present for everyone.
(If you think the plugin has a use and life, but you don’t want to support it anymore, consider adding the tag ‘adopt me’ to your readme. Just update your readme file with that and maybe someone will come and offer a new home for your old plugin. Check out https://wordpress.org/plugins/tags/adopt-me to see the plugins out there looking for you!)
A revolution is currently going on in the underpinnings of the web. HTTP, the protocol your browser uses to connect to your site, has a new version: HTTP/2. This is not something that should concern the average user, but for web developers, it changes how we do performance optimization entirely. In this short article, I want to explain what performance optimization best practices you can do away with, and why.
The most important thing you should know about the new HTTP/2 is that it no longer requires a new request for each file. This is the modification that makes our performance optimization guidelines change so drastically. In the HTTP1 / HTTP/1.1 world, it’d be faster to combine JS & CSS files and even images, so there would be fewer requests between browser and server. In the HTTP/2 world, this type of optimization is no longer needed and can even become counterproductive.
The answer is, fairly simply: yes. If your site is running on HTTPS, then all major current browsers support HTTP/2. You or your hosting company might have to change your server configuration to make sure it supports HTTP/2, but that’s it. Some older browsers might not be able to use it, but your site would still work for them.
So I can use HTTP/2, but should I?
Yes, you should use HTTP/2! It’s a lot faster than old fashioned HTTP1, and when you set it up well, most of your visitors will benefit hugely.
Does HTTP/2 mean I don’t need a CDN?
Even with HTTP/2 you still need a CDN. A CDN delivers content a lot faster than your average server ever will, so your site would still benefit enormously from having one. Every proper CDN will already support HTTP/2.
Performance best practices that changed
The following performance best practices are no longer needed with HTTP/2 and should be done away with:
Concatenating CSS and JS files
As reducing the number of requests is no longer an issue, there’s no reason to do this anymore.
Image spriting Image spriting is the practice of combining several small images into a larger image so as to reduce the number of requests. This is a cumbersome process with quite a bit of overhead, and HTTP/2 entirely removes the need for it.
Domain sharding Though this was slightly less common, some heavy sites used multiple CDN domains to serve their files. This because a browser could only open eight parallel connections to a server in the world of HTTP/1 and they’d want to serve more files in parallel. Because HTTP/2 removes the need for parallel connections as there can be parallel downloads within one connection, this best practice becomes counterproductive. The use of multiple CDN domains actually means multiple DNS requests, which slows the site down instead of speeding it up. (Steve Souders, the godfather of web performance, already predicted in 2013 that when HTTP/2 becomes ubiquitous, domain sharding will go away.)
Inlining CSS and JS Inlining small bits of CSS and JS is a practice that was aggressively pushed by Google. Because the CSS and JS are inline, it cannot be cached properly. As a request for a small file now has no extra overhead, we can do away with this best practice.
Google PageSpeed and HTTP/2
Unfortunately, Google’s PageSpeed tool and many other web performance testing tools are rather slow in their adoption of HTTP/2. They should be changing their guidelines. If a simple HTTP/2 test shows you that a site is capable of using HTTP/2, quite a few of the site speed suggestions are moot. Their documentation speaks of “networking round trips” that simply, in an HTTP/2 environment, don’t happen.
There are people at Google that understand this, of course. This presentation by Ilya Gregorik in 2015 already shows all of that.
A WordPress.org homepage redesign is now in the works with a strong focus on marketing to new users. As the face of the open source project, the site is long overdue for some design attention. Mark Uraine, a designer at Automattic, posted on the Make/Meta blog about how quickly the project is coming together:
“During the Contributor Day at WordCamp US, the Marketing Team sat down with a project in mind — the homepage of wordpress.org,” Uraine said. “Since the new design style is making an appearance in various places across the site, there was a desire to reboot the homepage as well.”
Uraine posted the group’s original sketches as well as a screenshot of the initial draft on desktop and mobile. The screenshot doesn’t include the site’s header and footer, which will be added when the design is implemented. The team has also created a Codepen Prototype, which demonstrates the fixed background featuring high profile WordPress sites that visitors see as they scroll.
“Keep in mind that this is only version 1.0 and we’re planning on launching and iterating quickly,” Uraine said when asking for feedback from the community. “Otto has offered his help to get this implemented. After a few technical revisions, I’ll be passing it over to him for implementation and providing support where I can.”
The redesign focuses on social proof (market share and showcase examples) as well as WordPress’ features and extensibility:
“Extend WordPress with over 45,000 plugins to help your website meet your needs. Add an online store, galleries, mailing lists, forums, analytics, and much more.”
Since Uraine posted the design draft, commenters have been weighing in with revisions to the site copy, which hasn’t yet been finalized. A few contributors have also suggested including A/B testing, although no specific metrics have been determined. The redesign is moving fast, so make sure to jump in on the Make/Meta post if you have feedback on the draft.
WordPress is getting more strategic about its marketing in 2017. Matt Mullenweg announced during the 2016 State of the Word that he is bringing a new product-based leadership to core development and is assembling a Growth Council to coordinate strategy with organizations invested in WordPress’ growth.
“I think in the past WordPress got by on a lot of marketing happenstance,” Mullenweg said. “We can become a lot more sophisticated with our messaging and presentation on WordPress.org to bring people in and tell the story about what makes WordPress different.”
Are you seeing a pluggable.php file error on your WordPress site? Sometimes when you add a code snippet on your site or activate a new plugin, you may get the pluggable.php file error. In this article, we will show you how to fix pluggable.php file errors in WordPress.
When and Why You See Pluggable.php Errors?
WordPress allow users and plugins to override certain core functions. These functions are located in the pluggable.php file.
If a WordPress plugin or a custom code snippet fails to correctly handle one of these functions, then you will see an error like this one:
Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/username/demosite/wp-content/themes/mytheme/functions.php:1035) in /home/username/demosite/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 1179
Sometimes you may be able to continue working on your site with this or some other error still appearing in the admin area.
Having said that, let’s take a look at how to easily fix pluggable.php file error in WordPress.
Fixing Pluggable.php File Errors in WordPress
The pluggable.php file is a core WordPress file. It’s never a good idea to edit the core WordPress file as your first option, even when there is an error pointing to them.
Most likely than not, the error is coming from a different location.
In order to fix any error mentioning pluggable.php file, just look at the first location mentioned in the error.
Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/username/demosite/wp-content/themes/mytheme/functions.php:1035) in /home/username/demosite/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 1179
In the above example, the error is located in the theme’s functions.php file at line 1035.
This means you need to edit your theme’s functions.php file and change or remove the code causing this error.
Let’s take a look at another example:
Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/username/demosite/wp-content/plugins/some-plugin-name/some-plugin.php:144) in /home/username/demosite/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 1090
This error message is pointing to a plugin on your WordPress site causing the error. You can simply deactivate the plugin and notify the plugin author about the error.
In almost all cases, errors mentioning pluggable.php file are not caused by the file itself.
These errors are usually caused by a custom code snippet you added to functions.php file, or a poorly coded plugin, or even your WordPress theme.
During the last WordSesh event held in August 2016, Matt Mullenweg joined the community for a session where he spoke about the growth of WordPress and his thoughts on confronting the project’s external threats. Mullenweg floated the idea of a WordPress Growth Council – a collection of individuals and organizations interested in contributing to WordPress’ growth.
“We have very direct competitors in Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix,” Mullenweg said. “Wix is a public company so it’s actually possible to see their numbers and look at things. This year alone there’s about a quarter billion dollars being spent in marketing by proprietary systems that compete against WordPress. That’s more spent in one year than has ever been invested in all of the WordPress companies combined since they started. That’s more money spent in marketing than for many consumer brands.”
WordPress has grown organically over the past 13 years through the power of its community, without expensive advertising campaigns or traditional marketing initiatives. For the first time, Mullenweg is looking to tap a segment of the community that hasn’t often been directly involved in contributions – people and organizations with large scale marketing expertise.
“I think we could do a lot to figure out a roadmap for countering this huge marketing spending being directed against us, because we are the big guy here,” Mullenweg said. “We are the 26% and they are like a 1%. But even though they’re smaller, they might be cannibalizing some of the most valuable aspects of the WordPress customer base.”
Just before WordCamp US, he formalized the idea with a post on his blog and an open invitation for council member applicants:
Never have there been more threats to the open web and WordPress. Over three hundred million dollars has been spent in 2016 advertising proprietary systems, and even more is happening in investment. No one company in the WP world is large enough to fight this, nor should anyone need to do it on their own. We’d like to bring together organizations that would like to contribute to growing WordPress.
The survey for potential council members asks them to share what they bring to the table as well as a few ideas about the growth of WordPress so far, how it can be accelerated, and how the project can best respond to the millions of dollars competitors are spending in advertising. Responses have already started coming in.
Alexa Scordato, VP of Marketing at Stack Overflow, applied to be part of the council. She said her experience as a long-time WordPress user and marketing executive has motivated her to help improve the overall consumer experience.
“I’ve been tinkering with self-hosted WordPress sites since 2007 and I’ve helped probably 100+ individuals and organizations explore the merits of the .com and .org experience,” Scordato said. “Let’s get real – the relationship is confusing, the admin panel is intimidating, and the learning curve is steep. The product marketer in me is itching to help streamline the value proposition across these funnels to help make it easier to educate and on-board new users.”
She is also an advocate for the open web and sees WordPress as a key player in combating the threat of walled gardens and closed systems that diminish user freedoms.
“While many enterprises are beginning to invest more in open source projects, there’s an imbalance in the force,” Scordato said. “The fact that an open source platform like WordPress powers 27% of the web makes it the greatest agent in defending Internet freedom.”
Nuno Morgadinho, co-founder of WidgiLabs and co-organizer of WordCamp Lisbon, is another applicant to the growth council who published thoughts on what it should address. He thinks WordPress needs to take a hard look at attrition before considering advertising.
“As important as advertising is, a lot of businesses struggle and fail, not because they aren’t adding new users, but because they are lousy at keeping the ones they’ve got,” Morgadinho said. “We have to look at ourselves and see where we are losing users rather than just desperately try to reach new ones. Most people use things based on referrals.”
What Will the Growth Council Look Like?
After WordCamp US, I had the opportunity to ask Mullenweg a few questions about what types of applicants he’s hoping to attract to the council. He said he envisions it will function very much like a working group or mastermind group where council members learn from each other.
“It’s not necessarily only people at larger companies – the biggest contributions will come from people who currently are or have in the past managed some sort of large promotion of something,” Mullenweg said. “It doesn’t need to be WordPress. Maybe they sold Starbucks. Large advertising campaigns are what we’re trying to counter so experience for that is a good precondition for participating in the growth council.”
Mullenweg said he has received applications from people whose companies aren’t in the WordPress ecosystem but who are experienced in this area and want to contribute some night and weekend hours to help out.
“I imagine there will be other folks, including from Automattic, that are going to be spending budgets of tens of millions of dollars in the coming year and want to talk about that,” Mullenweg said. “There are some things that could be shared, including publicly. Everyone who does marketing does some research first. Why don’t we open up that research? That’s part of what I want to encourage. By taking an open source approach to this, doing more sharing both within the council and in the wider WordPress community, I think there’s a lot more to learn.”
Mullenweg said the meetings won’t be completely open, as companies may want to share some confidential information. The council may have some house rules in place to make it a safe space for companies to share what they are doing and to keep strategies safe from competitors.
In 2017 Mullenweg has committed to putting on the “product lead” hat for WordPress core development and it seems he’ll be bringing that same approach to the growth council.
“Advertising is just a product, just like an interface is, just like a website is, just like anything else,” Mullenweg said. “There’s a lot of opportunity there.”
During his WordSesh session he outlined a few initial objectives for the council to tackle, including figuring out why the project has grown so far and understanding where the community’s resources are currently being spent.
“We should try to enumerate and track what is being spent right now, add up all the advertising, affiliate fees, and sponsorships of events,” Mullenweg said. “Determine what that adds up to so we know what is the gap we need to close and the relative arsenals on both sides.”
Mullenweg said he would like the council to figure out a plan for advertising where “we’re not competing with each other but really directing that outward against the folks who might go to Wix or Squarespace.” This particular aspect may be a challenge, as the council will need to avoid the appearance of serving only larger corporate interests in the fight against external threats.
“These external threats and proprietary threats are far bigger than any intra-WordPress open source threats,” Mullenweg said. “We can grow the pie far faster than we can take shares from people in the same pie.”
For the past three years, WordPress has consistently added 2% to its market share each year without any form of advertising. Instead of the project continuing to get by on “marketing happenstance,” as Mullenweg put it in the State of the Word address, 2017 will be the first year that WordPress makes a coordinated marketing effort to change the growth curve.
“The people power of WordPress is probably the thing that contributes most to the usage of WordPress,” Mullenweg said. The growth council’s challenge with advertising is producing that same magnetism on a larger scale without tarnishing the organic quality of the message. Can they come up with a marketing campaign that captures the essence of what WordPress is to the people who love it most? If the council is successful, it stands to have a positive impact on the WordPress economy as a whole.
Yesterday we released our new internal linking tool in Yoast SEO Premium. The internal linking tool will help you to link to related content. It will find related posts for you, and it will become much easier to link from your post to these related articles. Using our tool systematically will help you improve the structure of your website.
Internal linking is important for SEO. In order to make sure your content is findable, content just needs to be linked to. In the original PageRank algorithm, internal and external links were both equally important. This algorithm will probably have changed over time. Nevertheless, internal links are still an important ranking factor.
In addition, linking related content also serves another goal. It shows Google that that certain content on your site is related. You can even tell Google what’s the most important article, on this particular topic, that you have on your site. You can do so by linking to this main article from all your other articles on the same topic. We call this main article cornerstone content, and we also wrote about how to incorporate it on your site. Smart internal linking can push this article up in the search results.
On top of that – or perhaps in the first place – linking related content simply makes sense to do for your visitor. If they’re interested in a particular topic, chances are that they’d like to read more about the same topic on your site.
Why every writer will benefit from our tool
While writing one of my previous post, I literally stumbled upon our new tool in the WordPress backend. The suggestions of the internal link tool really surprised me. I know the importance of links, but I usually link to my own articles (as I know these articles best). I also tend to link to the most recent articles, and often forget about articles I wrote some time ago.
The internal linking feature of Yoast SEO Premium gave me the suggestion to link to one of Michiel’s articles and to one of my own articles I almost forgot about. Both of these articles were better matches to the blog post I was writing, than the posts I would have linked to if I had not used our new tool.
If your website becomes large, it’s just not possible to remember everything you and your colleagues wrote. The internal linking tool is a great help in picking those articles that fit your new post best. In the end, it’ll help you to set up a great site structure by connecting related content to each other.
In my case, it’ll help me to link to those articles written by Joost or Michiel. It’ll remind me of a related blog post I wrote some time ago. It’ll improve the structure of the website, which will have it’s impact on the ranking of our site. And, it’ll improve the User eXperience, because our audience will easily find the most relevant content to them!
In the sidebar of your WordPress backend, you’ll find our suggestions for internal links:
You either click on these links and check out the article (it’ll open in a new tab), but you can also easily copy and paste these links into your text. In most browsers, you’ll even be able to drag and drop as well. Check out our screencast if you want to see for yourself how easy it is:
So go ahead and start interlinking your posts!
Do you want to make sure you’re linking your posts well, and that your complete site structure is optimized for search engines and users? Then our Site structure training is what you need!
We rarely talk about are the challenges presented by the REST API, especially for non-developers, mostly because the only people who talk about the REST API are developers.
This talk provides a short guide to the WordPress REST API from a non-developer perspective: what is it, how it will change WordPress development, combined with some thoughts on the impact it will have on projects created with WordPress and the people creating them.
Recently, one of our readers asked us how to disable PDF thumbnail previews in WordPress. Introduced in WordPress 4.7, this feature creates thumbnail images for all PDF files that you upload. In this article, we will show you how to easily disable PDF thumbnail previews in WordPress.
Why Disable PDF Thumbnail Previews in WordPress?
WordPress 4.7 started generating thumbnail previews of PDF files uploaded from WordPress media uploader.
This is a very useful feature for most WordPress sites.
However, some site owners may already be using PDF plugins that handle thumbnail previews and the overall display of the PDF downloads on their website.
If the new feature is conflicting with their existing PDF uploads, then they may want to disable PDF thumbnail previews in WordPress.
Having said that, let’s take a look at how to easily disable PDF thumbnail previews in WordPress 4.7 and later versions.