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Mis à jour : il y a 1 heure 3 min

Combining Typefaces Made Easy (Free eBook)

il y a 11 hours 52 min

Since the introduction of web fonts, the undivided variety of typography is available to web designers and their projects. However, combining the right fonts is easier said than done. The free ebook “Combining Typefaces” helps you find fonts that fit together nicely. So, which fonts suit my web layout and which fonts harmonize with each other? The ebook answers this and other questions on over 60 pages.

Introduction to the Basics of Typography

Everyone that wants to first read the basics will find a lot of general information on font and typography in the first chapter of “Combining Typefaces.” The chapter gives the reader an overview of the anatomy of letters, meaning that, among other things, it explains ascenders, descenders, and serifs. Foreign readers can learn the English expressions in this chapter. The ebook is written in English.


Anatomy of the Letters

Whenever it gets very specific, the book refers to websites and books that allow you to deepen your knowledge. The classification of fonts – meaning the stylistic and historical placement of fonts – is only mentioned briefly. There are references to further literature on the topic, however.

Choosing and Combining Typefaces

The rest of the chapters deals with the actual issue. Which criteria should you follow when choosing one or multiple fonts? What do you want to achieve with the typography? There are many factors that play a major role when picking a font. For one, there’s the readability. Fonts can also be chosen and applied to attract the reader’s attention, however.

The book’s primary emphasis, the combination of fonts, is explained in a very detailed way. That’s because the combination of appropriate and harmonic fonts is not always easy. Those that would rather stay on the safe side stay within one font family and, for instance, combine a font without serifs with a serif font of the same family.

The ebook also gives a lot of useful advice on how to find fonts that suit each other outside of one font family. For example, it is helpful first to decide on one “anchor font,” the font that you will use for text blocks and is thus used for the majority of your texts.


Comparing Fonts

You should choose a suitable font for the anchor font, which is used for headers, for example. Here, “Combining Typefaces” presents some criteria to keep in mind while selecting. Comparing the font’s proportions is very helpful as well. Compare the relation of the upper case letters to the lower case letters, as well as the letter width. This way, you’ll find fonts with similar proportions, which thus harmonize well with your anchor font.

Combining Typefaces: Well-Done Examples

In the final chapter, a couple of well-done examples of good font combination are presented. There are explanations as to why the fonts fit together and what makes the combination excellent and unique, according to specific scenarios.


Example for Combined Fonts on a Website

For all presented fonts, there are links to the respective foundries. This way, you can possibly find one or two new fonts for inspiration, or maybe even a font provider that you didn’t know before.

Overall, “Combining Typefaces” is an extensive book that is interesting and helpful for both typography beginners, and advanced users. If you’re looking for a profound entrance into the topic of typography and the combination of fonts, this book certainly is a good choice for you.

The ebook covers 60 pages and weighs in at ten megabytes. It can be downloaded for free as a PDF file from Adobe’s font service Typekit.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

SEO Tool: On the Road to Success With Searchmetrics

4 mai, 2016 - 10:00

When it comes to search engine optimization, nothing is as constant as change. This fact can cause desperation amongst page operators. A single update from Google can destroy the work of the past weeks or months. This causes a painful breakdown in visitor count that, in the case of commercial websites, comes alongside heavy sales losses. In some cases, the necessity of constantly keeping an eye on Google development, and permanently optimizing your own page has the potential to take up so much time, that running the website can come close to unprofitable. This is the point when searchmetrics comes to save the day, as it’s a very potent SEO tool that documents a website’s traits in detail, even over longer periods of time. Here, amongst other things, Google updates and their effects are displayed in a graphic, and details on recent algorithm changes are available in the searchmetrics blog.

What Does Google Actually Want?

In the early days of the internet, search engine optimization meant understanding Google’s latest features and adjusting a page accordingly (think of keyword stuffing). Early successes in the SEO area were thus often related to a short-term profit from existing imperfections of the search engine: those that knew how to abuse Google’s partial blindness had a significant advantage over their competition, independent from their website’s content, often at the cost of frustrated internet users. In the course of technological evolution, Google’s goal started leaning towards user friendliness more and more. The core of the business model always was leading the user to the website that actually suits his desires, not just the letters he typed.

Thus, the mission of searchmetrics is not to support website owners to manipulate the SERPs, but helping them by showing tangible facts that help with the work that is necessary to improve their ranking. The fact that the removal of weaknesses comes with an according increase in the Google rank is not really the purpose, but the logical consequence of the done work.

How searchmetrics Works

searchmetrics accumulates the data of different influences within its own database and automatically creates a meaningful analysis for the respective website. The basis for this are the ranking factors, updated yearly by searchmetrics, and calculated from the first three search results of the 300.000 most popular search keywords. This established database allows you to understand the way Google works, to learn about some of the Google algorithm’s secrets, and to directly apply the new knowledge to your website using the searchmetrics suite.

To gain specific recommendations on the optimization of your own page via searchmetrics, the first step should be to set up the domain as a new project in the searchmetrics suite (image 1). Once done we can define some of the keywords that are the most relevant for the page.

Image 1 – Working With searchmetrics Starts With the Set-Up of a New Project.

For the analysis, searchmetrics uses its own research cloud, a pool of 250 billion recent files. Optionally, external data sources like Google Analytics or the Google Webmaster Tools can be connected to your searchmetrics account. It is recommended to make use of this option to provide the widest possible range of information for searchmetrics to use.

An Analysis Highlights Strengths and Weaknesses

The first analysis already sheds light on the SEO visibility: a graphic highlights how the website’s visibility has developed over a longer period (image 2). Especially interesting: searchmetrics also enables you to directly compare your site to those of relevant competitors, and this way, it shows the remaining potential of your domain.

Image 2 – searchmetrics Example Graphic: First Successes Become Visible.

The section SEO Research offers a lot of detailed information that help you gain an overview. Which direct competitors does your website have? How do your keywords develop over time? What about the visibility of potential subdomains or indices on the page? How much sense does the internal and external link structure make, and how popular is the page on social networks? (In both of these aspects, it is recommended to include further tools for a more exact analysis, like the LinkResearchTools, for example).

searchmetrics answers all of these, and many other questions, and not just for the organic web search: the visibility of paid ads (Google AdWords) can also be analyzed using the tool, as well as improved via the adjustment of commandments per click. However, in this regard, expansions to searchmetrics would be desirable. Currently, the strengths definitely are the ranking and development information from the SEO area.

Worthwhile Work

The list of errors, warnings, and information that contains suggestions for improvement from searchmetrics, can be rather frustrating: It looks like a whole lot of work (image 3)! However, working down the list over time is worth it to achieve a long-term increase in your ranking. To soon achieve the first successes, it makes sense to observe the index of the respective potential for improvement, which searchmetrics displays in the right column. Those that want to go deeper into optimization, starting with the list, should also go in-depth on the areas “Keyword Optimization” and “Content Optimization” (the latter is only available via paid license).

It is not advisable to blindly trust the displayed data, as, for example, the information “many external links” (view image 3), can be misleading as those links are necessary and rarely ever pose a problem.

image. 3 – Project Start: the First searchmetrics Error List Could Turn Out to be Rather Extensive.

For the further expansion of the website, a proper keyword research is recommendable. searchmetrics can also help with that: the keyword finder does not only show you fitting suggestions for search keywords but also creates SEO-friendly URLs for future subpages.

Conclusion

searchmetrics gives a deep insight into all of a website’s connections that are relevant to search engines. Using the tool does take some time. However, this is a worthwhile investment, as a page owner can save many frustrating detours this way. The frequent updates of the information make first successes visible very fast, assuring that no motivation is lost.

The searchmetrics community has recent information and solutions for many problems. Their Youtube channel also supports the users with plenty of useful information.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

22 Fresh Free WordPress Themes (Edition: May 2016)

3 mai, 2016 - 10:00

To get the month of May going in terms of creating we gathered fresh free WordPress themes for WooCommerce, real estate, portfolio websites, fashion, magazines, businesses, creative agencies, a multipurpose graphic website and more. Responsive design, clean and modern, minimal, and lazy load are just some features to highlight. Some of the following themes integrate tons of elements such as unlimited widgets areas, sidebars, navigation bars, sliders, boxed layouts, thumbnails, top search bars, calendars, excellent socials and a lot more.

This round-up of fresh free WordPress themes is particularly large as we have added two collections by the friendly people of Themeshock and ByPeople to the list. Never has there been more to explore than in the following post. Have fun!

22 Fresh Free WordPress Themes (Edition: May 2016)

All these themes are free though some may have commercial variants available or require registration.

Cool Soccer Blog Theme Collection

Created by: ThemeShock
Features: More than 50 submissions, top-quality free WordPress themes, hand-picked from across the Internet for years, one-click download
License: Free for personal use

Amazing Magazine Themes Collection

Created by: ByPeople
Features: More than 50 submissions, top-quality free WordPress themes, hand-picked from across the Internet for years, one-click download
License: Free for personal use

Typecore: Polished Magazine

Created by: AlxMedia
Features: Neatly organized in several multisize thumbnail sections, perfect for news or magazine purposes, left sidebar for recent, or popular posts, and comments, right sidebar for what’s hot section, responsive design
License: GNU GPL

Kontrast: Responsive High-Resolution Magazine

Created by: AlxMedia
Features: Toggle fixed-width sidebar, related posts, and post navigation, featured story or slider, boxed layout, footer and header ads, standard post style, ultra-responsive, unlimited widget areas.
License: GNU GPL

Slanted: Colorful Blogging

Created by:  AlxMedia
Features: Material Design-like header top navigation bar, fixed layout, regular pagination, bottom recent comments and posts list, nice socials and credits footer.
License: GNU GPL

Blogline: Classic Blog Design

Created by: AxlMedia
Features: Ultra-responsive, extensive styling options, post formats, unlimited widget areas, social links font selection flexible layout options, good SEO, and more
License: GNU GPL

Blogrow: Clean & Modern Personal Blog

Created by: AlxMedia
Features: Standard, grid, or list blog layouts, flexible and full-width carousel, related posts and posts navigation, ultra responsive, extensive styling options, post formats, unlimited widget areas.
License: GNU GPL

On Sale: Storefront for WooCommerce

Created by: ecommercethemes
Features: Clean and crisp child theme, WooCommerce integration, Storefront must be installed before this theme, simple color palette, logo, favicon, and page layout options in customizer, and more.
License: GPLv2

Zoner-lite: Modern Real Estate

Created by: Fruitfulcode
Features: Bootstrap responsive design, home, blog, documentation, and support pages, several types of posts, standard pagination, and more.
License: GNU GPL

Drento: Minimal and Essential

Created by: CrestaProject
Features: Clean and minimal style, off-canvas right sidebar menu featuring a calendar, tag cloud, recent posts and comments, big thumbnails, glossy hover effects on featured images.
License: GPL

Tanx: Beautiful Minimal Blogging

Created by: PhiRhythmus
Features: Minimal style, responsive design, single column layout, multiple pages, beautiful typography, lazy load, top search bar, off-canvas right sidebar menu.
License: Free for personal use

Klasik: Framework-like WordPress Theme

Created by: klasikthemes
Features: Base/ starter theme for quicker WordPress theme development, perfect for business, portfolio gallery, blog or personal, nine widget areas, eight custom widgets, full CMS control.
License: GPLv2

WP Flat White: Clean Blogging

Created by: Invictus Themes
Features: Modern design, beautiful typography, carousel as a header, multipage layout, fading overlay descriptions on hover events, typical sidebars, several sections.
License: Free for personal use

Kira Lite: Creative Agency

Created by: Macho Themes
Features: Responsive layout, WooCommerce support, translation ready with WPML, flexible, one-page layout, creative design, line icons.
License: Free for personal use

Freesia: Responsive Business

Created by: Themefreesie
Features: Cross-browser compatibility, multiple layouts available, responsive design, SEO friendly, social media integrated, WooCommerce compatible
License: GPLv3

eStore: WooCommerce Responsive

Created by: ThemeGrill
Features: Clean style, fully customizable, WooCommerce integration, several custom widgets for a professional online store, YITH, and WooCommerce Wishlist Plugin compatibility.
License: GNU GPL

Latte: One-page Portfolio

Created by: Hardeep Asrani
Features: One-page parallax, perfect for profile & portfolio showcasing, services section, maps, contact form, testimonials, pricing tables, drag&drop page editor/builder.
License: Free for personal use

Philomina: Fashion Website

Created by: charlieasemota
Features: Clean minimal style, fashion blogs or websites, responsive layout, multiple language translations support, parallax effects, off-canvas menu.
License: GPLv2

Dyad: Multipurpose Graphic Theme

Created by: Automattic
Features: Responsive layout, Pairs image and written content in tight together cards grid layout, full-width top header, perfect for restaurants, food blogs, photographers, and related.
License: GPLv2

Integral: Elegant Agency

Created by: Themely
Features: Responsive design, media content, smooth parallax effect, drag & drop reordering, toggle sections, translation ready, sticky navigation, contact form 7, and more.
License: GNU GPL

Sauron: Clean Multipurpose Theme

Created by: webdorado
Features: SEO-friendly, multipurpose, responsive layout, front-page builder, full-screen lightbox, slideshow, layout editor, jetpack, cross-browser compatibility, and more.
License: GPLv2

Codilight Lite: Modern & Clean Magazine

Created by: FameThemes
Features: Theme Customizer, complete localization, SEO optimized, custom page templates, browser, custom theme widgets, top notch support.
License: GPLv2

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

20+ Fresh and Free HTML and PSD Templates plus GUI Packs: May 2016

2 mai, 2016 - 10:00

May has started. The month of transformation shall give you the power to restructure what you need to be restructured. Should your website be among these things rejoice. We have another great collection of free HTML and PSD templates, GUI packs and more freebies for you. Today you will find several web responsive templates, a bootstrap theme, an HTML5 template, a Pinterest-like portfolio, a restaurant website, agencies websites examples, a car dealership website, a multi-purpose template and more. We could not leave behind several UI kits and customizable PSDs featuring an invitation card mockup, an iOS wireframe kit, and a fantastic medical web template. A great collection of UI kits, a minimal OSX kit, a stylish starter kit, an E-commerce design rounds up today’s collection. To top it all off, we have two sets of icons showcasing a flat emoji set, and a transportation pack.

20+ Fresh and Free HTML and PSD Templates plus GUI Packs: May 2016 Flexible: Responsive One-page Bootstrap Theme

Created by: Andrei Dorin
Features: Responsive layout, one-page template, focus on simplicity, corporate business, and presentation websites, Bootstrap and Less.js developed.
License: Free for personal and commercial use

ZFurniture2: Responsive HTML5 Template

Created by: Zerotheme
Features: Parallax effects, multipage layout, hover effects, gallery grid, sections got home, gallery, about, and contact.
License: free for personal and commercial use

Save The Date: Invitation Card PSD Mockup

Created by: GraphicBurger
Features: PSD format, print-ready, smart object layers, 4000×3000 pixels, fancy paper texture.
Licence: Free for personal and commercial use

Visualize: Nice Pinterest-like Portfolio Template

Created by: Cherry AJ
Features: Responsive features, hovering animations, HTML5 built, masonry grid layout, zooming effects on images and pictures.
License: Free for personal and commercial use

Cooks: Beautiful Responsive Restaurant Web Template

Created by: PSD Depot
Features: Fully responsive, flat style, PSD format, elements style grid, HTML5, and CSS3 built, compatible with all browsers.
License: Free for personal and commercial use

Phantom: Clean Responsive Portfolio Template

Created by: HTML5 UP!
Features: Fully responsive, high customization, hovering animation on cards, zooming effects on images, minimal design.
License: Free for personal and commercial use

Adventure: Clean & Creative Agency Template

Created by: Free CSS / tooplate
Features: For blogs and business, three columns, available in 3 color schemes,  highly animated interface, clean style, HTML5 and Bootstrap built, sliding effects by selecting each page section.
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Garage: Amazing Car Dealership Web Template

Created by: Tooplate
Features: Big header automatic slider, a modern and useful search bar for keywords, category, year and price counting on drop-down menus and range bars, big thumbnails, responsive layout.
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Digital Team: Modern Agency Web Template

Created by: Tooplate
Features: High customization, clean style, agency purposes, Bootstrap v3.3.5 layout design, slideshow, content tabs, pricing tables, grid and contact form.
License:  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Froto: One-page Agency Template

Created by: Ready Theme
Features: Fully responsive, smooth scrolling, easy transitions, Retina-ready, Bootstrap 3.x compatible, clean design, Parallax background section, sticky menu and more, cross browser compatible.
License: Free for personal and commercial use

MoGo: Modern & Clean Web Template

Created by: Ready Theme
Features: Bootstrap 3.x compatible, HTML5 built, CSS3 animations, clean design, fully responsive, font awesome included.
License: GNU GPL

Flow: Clean iOS Wireframe Kit

Created by: Vineet Kumar
Features: 12 different screens, gray, white, and red scheme, several types of screens,
License: Free for personal and commercial use

Medicare: Medical Web PSD Template

Created by: Madhu Mia
Features: Fully layered PSD, well-structured, beautiful Bootstrap grid system, regards medical business, map-featured contact form.
Licence: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

El Capitan: Minimal OSX UI Kit

Created by: Masao Takahashi
Features: Sketch format, UI for window, status bar, dock, title bar, context menu, buttons, indicator, text field, tab, and more.
License: Free for personal use

Lovely Sketch & PSD iOS Kit

Created by: ThinkMobiles
Features: PSD and Sketch format, 200 MB zipped file, screens for maps, products grid, and more for iOS devices.
License: Free for personal use

Creama: Stylish UI Starter Kit

Created by: Hila Yonatan
Features: PSD format, widgets for calendar, weather, product, video, account, and more, stylish round corners.
License: Free for personal use

Elton: Stylish ECommerce Design UI Kit

Created by: PixelBuddha
Features: UI Kit, blog, magazine, shop, eCommerce, corporate, slider, forms, headers, footers, PSD format, and stacks more.
License: Free for personal use

Mobile App Flat Emoji Set

Created by: DesignShock
Features: 700 icons, Ai, SVG, and PNG format files in 5 different sizes, nicely designed flat style.
License: Free for personal use

Amazing Transportation Flat Icons Set

Created by: IconShock
Features: Professionally crafted in flat style, all categories included (terrestrial, aerial, aquatic, sports, man-powered, etc.), vector files, SVG, Ai, and PNG formats, several sizes.
License: Free for personal use

Photo Management UI Kit

Created by: Kamil Janus
Features: Photo management application, single PSD format file, fully layered UI Kit, left sidebar menu, round corner thumbnails, and more.
License: Free for personal use

Landr: Web & Mobile PSD Template

Created by: Andrei Josan
Features: Two Retina-ready designs, web and mobile versions, all icons from Smashicons, images from Unsplash, mobile preview screens from Tethr
License: Free for personal use

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

HTTP Security Headers: How to Secure Your Website

1 mai, 2016 - 12:00

Recently, we’ve introduced you to the online tool Securityheaders.io, which allows you to check a webserver’s safety. You can find your own server’s weaknesses fast and easily. Additionally, you receive plenty of good professional articles on the topic. With all of this support, it is rather easy to neutralize the most significant vulnerabilities and implement another layer of safety. In today’s article, I’ll explain how to set the primary HTTP security headers to allow you to make your server safer.

In Advance: Scanning Servers and Determining the Original State

Use the online tool securityheaders.io to scan your domain. You are likely to see red, as this is the color presented to you when your server is potentially unsafe. That’s not a big deal, as an estimated 80% of all web servers are not secure.

The scan has created results that are the most common ones. For websites with an HTTPS certificate, there are two additional aspects.

In this article, we want to close the security gaps that the scan informed us about. Furthermore, we want to analyze if all of the results make sense and whether they should be implemented or not.

We’ll Talk About the Following HTTP Security Headers in This Article
  • X-Frame-Options
  • X-XSS-Protection
  • X-Content-Type-Options
  • Strict-Transport-Security (Nur HTTPS-Websites)
What Are HTTP Security Headers?

Every time a browser requests a page from a server, the server replies with the delivery of the page and sends an HTTP response header. These headers can carry metadata like character sets, cache control, and error codes. However, you can also make the response headers send settings that are relevant for the security, and tell the browsers how to react. For example, a strict transport security header would tell the browser only to communicate via HTTPS. In total, there are six different security headers. We’ll tell you which headers you should use, and which ones you should stay away from in this article.

Important: All Mentioned HTTP Security Headers Belong Into the .htaccess File in the Website’s Root Index.

In general, there are three ways to place the headers. For one, using the configuration file of the Apache web server (httpd.conf), then, via PHP directly within the website that you want to protect, and finally, via the server control file .htaccess. I will talk about all three methods. As always, one click on the graphic opens the Gist at GitHub, where the code can be downloaded.

1 – The X-Frame-Options Header

The X-Frame-Options header is supposed to protect your website from being carried out in a frame. Professional content thieves like to create websites that take content from other sites. This content is dragged into the third-party website using a frame most of the time. The thief’s finished site will look as if the material stems from their own website. To prevent this, use an X-Frame-Options header. It is very effective at preventing the execution in a frame.

Browser Support: IE 8+, Chrome 4.1+, Firefox 3.6.9+, Opera 10.5+, Safari 4+

The Disadvantage of This Header: The website can not be executed as a frame anymore. This also includes the “responsive layouts” of the web developer toolbars by Google Chrome and Firefox, as well as the website “Am I Responsive”. Thus, the header should only be placed when the website is not in development stage anymore.

2 – The X-XSS-Protection Header

The X-XSS-Protection header was developed to call up and activate the cross-site scripting (XSS) protection filters in modern browsers. This header should be used in any case.

There are three different setting options: 0 to deactivate the filter, 1 to activate (the browser tries to purge and display the defective page) and 1; mode=block activates the filter (the defective page will be blocked).

Browser Support: Internet Explorer 8+, Chrome, and Safari

3 – The X-Content-Type-Options Header

This header protects you from attacks with wrong MIME types. When the MIME type is not correct, the browser rejects the loading of styles and scripts. In this header, the setting can only be named NOSNIFF. Once the header is set, only styles and scripts with a correct MIME type will be loaded. The following MIME types will be regarded as correct:

Styles
  • text/css
Scripts
  • application/ecmascript
  • application/javascript
  • application/x-javascript
  • text/ecmascript
  • text/javascript
  • text/jscript
  • text/x-javascript
  • text/vbs
  • text/vbscript

Browser Support: Internet Explorer and Google Chrome

4 – The Strict Transport Security Header (Only for HTTPS Websites)

The Strict-Transport-Security header tells the browser to only access the website via a safe HTTPS connection. This assures that no unsafe connection that could potentially be attacked is created. In addition to that, this HTTP response header prevents users from accessing the page if the server’s TLS certificate is not trustworthy.

Set-Up Options:
  • max-age – The amount of seconds within which the browser forces the secure connection.
  • includeSubDomains – Tells the browser that the safe connection should also be forced for subdomains.

Browser Support: IE 11+, Chrome 4+, Firefox 4+, Opera 12+, Safari 7+.

You should use all of the HTTP security headers that we’ve dealt with up to this point. When your website is only distributed via HTTP, you don’t need the last header. However, I strongly recommend setting the upper three.

When all mentioned headers were placed correctly, the next securityheaders scan should result in a solid B. That’s a practical value.

The Content Security Policy Header

The Content-Security-Policy header is to be enjoyed with caution, as it can directly influence or even jam your website if it’s not noted meticulously. WordPress users will also have rather significant problems in the site’s admin area as the header affects that as well. Thus, I can’t give a general recommendation to use it.

The Content Security Policy (CSP) was developed as protection from Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and other code injection attacks. The idea behind the header is, that a so-called whitelist, in which all permitted resources are noted is created. Content sources or types that are not explicitly allowed will not be loaded and processed by the browser. If the CSP is not active, the browser loads all files and distributes them, regardless of the source potentially being harmful. With an active CSP, only the permitted files are loaded, all others are not.

All modern browsers support the Content Security Policy.

This response header’s options are very extensive; too extensive for this article. However, if you want to go more in-depth on the Content Security Policy header, I recommend the CSP reference:

Content Security Policy Generator

For you to be able to create the partially very long code snippets for the correct function of a website comfortably, there’s a good online generator. It leads you through the settings via tabs and lets you adjust the policy over and over until it finally works.

For the sake of completeness, the Public Key Pins Header should be mentioned. This one can also be used without worries, but it appears to be only doable for server pros.

Conclusion

We’ve talked about the most important HTTP security headers, and we can use them easily by copying the respective code snippets into the server control file .htacess. Even if you are not an expert, you can reach a B in the securityheaders.io scan and do a lot for your website’s security this way. However, only real professionals can achieve an A or A+. When using WordPress, it is very tedious to implement the CSP, as the admin area requires its own CSP to prevent problems. In the latter case, setting the CSP doesn’t make much sense anyway.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

High Speed: Really Accelerate WordPress Websites [#3]

30 avril, 2016 - 14:00

ghIn this series, we talk about the things that really accelerate WordPress websites. The goal is not to achieve the infamous 100/100 points on Google Page Speed, as these mentioned aspects often leave a lot of potential behind. We want to get as much speed out of the website as possible and dig into the millisecond area when it comes to loading times. We’ve already laid the foundation in the first and the second part.

Turning Off WordPress Performance Eaters

If you want to get lots of speed out of your WordPress, you should shut down a couple of features of the content management system. WordPress is not really one of the fastest of its kind. Many things have been put into the core, even though they are not thought out, and slow down the CMS more than necessary. That may be unfortunate, but you don’t have to live with it.

1 – WordPress Heartbeat API

The Heartbeat API controls all Ajax calls within WordPress. On top of that, it’s also responsible for the caching while writing an article in the backend. However, it does that very regularly, like a human’s heartbeat. These frequent calls to the server heavily burden the CPU and eat too much performance. At the same time, the Heartbeat API also has its advantages. These can only be taken advantage of when you don’t own a static website, but a blog or a magazine.

Thus, I’m bringing you two code snippets, one allowing you to deactivate the API entirely, and the other allowing you to disable it outside of the posts only. Automatic caching still works with the second one. Additionally, the admin-ajax.php can still be used through plugins. The comment plugin de:comments requires the file, which is why the Heartbeat API is only deactivated using the second snippet on my WordPress. The fragment belongs into the theme’s functions.php or a custom site plugin.

Click Below to Open the Gist at Github

2 – Turning Off wp-cron.php

One of the biggest performance brakes within WordPress is the wp-cron.php which is responsible for planned tasks within the CMS. That means it makes sure that tasks that were defined in advance will be started at a certain time. In general, that wouldn’t be a problem if it didn’t do that on every (!) site view. Every single page call within back and frontend causes a request. Of course, when there is not a lot of traffic on the server, that won’t make too much of a difference. However, with many visitors, this can cause the server to break down.

A much better solution is, to completely stop using the wp-cron.php, and then accessing it every 15 minutes using a real cronjob. Your planned articles might be published 15 minutes later than before, but does that really matter? Remember, in doing so, you really accelerate WordPress websites. Enter the following code in the wp-config.php.

Handling Website Logos

Logos are important. A cool logo gives your site the right kick and makes it unique. If you want speed, there are two ways to handle the logo. You either design it so it perfectly fits the surrounding container and save it lossy, which won’t look beautiful. Or you do it like I do, and display a retina logo which is displayed in a reduced way via CSS, and thus is tack-sharp. However, the original file shouldn’t be too large (file size, not measurements). My website’s logo has the measure 1,160 x 243 pixel, and a size of 13 KB as a PNG.

My website already delivers the logo to the browser via CSS (div with background image). To make sure that the CSS doesn’t have to load the logo file from the folder “images” first, I coded it in Base64 and directly implemented it in the CSS. While this does minimally increase the logo’s file size, it will be loaded significantly faster. Additionally, it doesn’t “jump” anymore while loading. You can find a good converter for this job here. This is what the code for the graphic looks like after the conversion:

The Optimization of a Google Webfont

Google Fonts are extremely popular because even beginners can use them in themes rather easily. But even the great fonts have a notable disadvantage. Depending on the chosen font, the website’s loading time increases measurably. This is joined by potential performance problems of the Google servers. That doesn’t happen often, but now and then, it does. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. Completely forgoing Google Fonts is definitely the fastest method, but certainly not the prettiest one. I wouldn’t want to forgo the beautiful fonts, but I also don’t want so many things to be loaded via foreign servers. Thus, I’ll show you my way of handling Google fonts today. I have them stored locally on my server, and access the font within my CSS. This accelerates my website measurably.

Storing a Google Font on Your Server

When you download a font and keep it locally on your server, it will generally load faster. So let me show you how to use fonts to really accelerate WordPress websites. First, you should choose a font you’d like to use. Then, you’ll receive a link element which you should copy into the header. But that’s exactly what you won’t do. Instead, you only take the link from the element, enter it in your browser’s URL window, and call it up. Next, you need the font file of the displayed code (only download woff or woff2).

Rename the file. Use a short file name. In my case, I named it “varela-round.woff2”. Move the file into the CSS folder of your theme. Now copy the full @font-face code into you CSS file, and change it as follows:

Click to Open the Gist at Github

Once you’ve done that, the font will be loaded from your server, and should be displayed super fast without delay. Also, if the CSS is cached correctly, it will only be loaded once.

Conclusion

Once again, we’ve completed some necessary tasks on our way to really accelerate WordPress websites. You probably guessed it already; this is far from completed. In the next part of our series (it will most likely have five parts), we’ll take a look at the most labor-intensive part, which will even make advanced users break a sweat: the optimal delivery of CSS and JavaScript. When you want your website to get to the millisecond area, everything has to fit. Most of it will have to be done manually, but I assure you: it will be worth it!

Sources:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

MH Magazine – a WordPress Theme for Online Publishers

29 avril, 2016 - 13:00

Multi-purpose themes are becoming more and more popular. Does this mean you should use one? Not exactly. Depending on your use case, there are other types of themes that might fit your needs better and faster. Today, we’ll introduce you to the premium theme MH Magazine by MH Themes, which is perfect for the entire field of editorial websites, such as blogs, online magazines or dynamic news portals.

This is the MH Magazine Theme

I don’t know about you, but I am not into themes for a wide application area, as most of them are created slovenly. Typically, the entire focus has been given to the creation of a beautiful landing page, while neglecting all other areas. The MH Magazine Theme is soothingly different. It sets itself apart from the masses in many ways. You can easily tell that a lot of development work has been put into the theme, just by looking at it. This is one unique selling point already, as these days, “complete” themes have become an exception.

By the way: The MH Magazine is one of the most successful themes out there. According to MH Themes, it is currently running on more than 40,000 websites. The lite version alone is installed and active on over 30,000 websites.

Nobody has to buy a pig in a poke; the theme can be tested in a reduced lite version before purchasing it. MH Magazine Lite is available as a free download from the official WordPress Theme Directory. Of course, the free theme doesn’t come close to the arsenal of features that are included in the premium version. Nonetheless, both versions of the theme are responsive and adapt to any screen resolution without issues.

The Flexibility of the MH Magazine Theme

The theme’s big advantage is its remarkably high flexibility. There are many different ways of using it. It is particularly fitting for professional blogs, online magazines, and dynamic news portals. It’s basically predestined for topics like lifestyle, gadgets, sports, food, fashion, traveling, technology. The entire landing page is based on widgets. Including the front page, the theme offers in total 26 different widget areas available for customization.  This allows you to create a website that completely adjusts to suit your needs relatively quickly.

In general, you can use the theme to do anything that comes to mind, while it is optimally used for all editorial areas. The following image depicts its enormous flexibility:

Clicking the Graphic Opens a Full Resolution Version

However, even this graphic only provides a brief impression of the many options that this theme provides. The landing page alone is adjustable in diverse ways.

Learn More About the Theme

Inspiration Part 1 – The MH Magazine Showcase

If you want to find some inspiration on what’s possible using this theme, take a look at MH Theme’s showcase. Here, you’ll find plenty of examples of how the theme is used in different ways. The majority of the showcase entries displays the MH Magazine in various designs and divisions. A close look will definitely spark your inspiration.

The MH Themes Showcase

Inspiration Part 2 – The Many Demo Versions

Theme Demo One of Twelve

The theme’s diversity and flexibility also becomes evident when browsing through the numerous demos that MH Themes has set up for MH Magazine. Twelve demo pages show you examples of what you can do with the theme.

The Following Demos are Available:

Some Screenshots of the Demos:

1 – Demo 3: Technology Magazine Theme Demo

2 – Demo 5: Food Magazine Theme Demo

3 – Demo 6: Travel Magazine Theme Demo

4 – Demo 8: Women Magazine Theme Demo

5 – Demo 10: Wildlife Magazine Theme Demo

The MH Magazine Theme’s Features

This theme is translation-ready and has already included translation files for a number of languages. This way, users don’t need to translate the theme on their own if the particular language is already available.

Let’s get to the important part: What does this theme offer? First, I should again mention the highly flexible landing page that I talked about earlier. On top of that, the theme comes with 23 custom widgets for all thinkable purposes. It offers the popular responsive FlexSlider 2, and is prepared for the use of child themes.

It is optimized for SEO, loads rather fast, and has included a collection of the most popular Google web fonts. All commonly needed functionality is already integrated. For instance, you don’t need an extra plugin for the author box below the article. Popular “share buttons” are available as well, and they perfectly fit the design. The Differences Between the Lite and the Full Version Theme Name MH Magazine lite MH Magazine Theme Demo Demo 12 Demos Download or Purchase Download Purchasing the Theme Responsive Layout Extended Layout Options Page Width 1080px 1080px / 1431px Second Sidebar Widgetized Homepage Template Amount of Widget Areas 12 26 Custom Widgets 4 (Basic) 23 (Full Version) Custom Menus 1 5 jQuery News Ticker FlexSlider 2 With Touch Support Integrated Breadcrumb Navigation Integrated Social Buttons Related Posts Feature Prepared for Advertisements Theme Options Simple Color Options to Alter the Color Scheme Custom Google Webfonts Typography Options for Fonts and Size Extended Features Customer Support The Theme’s 23 Widgets
  • MH Slider – includes layout options to display dynamic content on the landing page.
  • MH Custom Slider – used to display specific content on the landing page. (premium)
  • MH Author Bio – displays authors, avatars, and biographic information. (premium)
  • MH Authors – shows a list of authors and the number of published articles. (premium)
  • MH Custom Posts – used to sort posts according to categories or tags.
  • MH Posts Grid – used to display a grid made of images/thumbnails. (premium)
  • MH Posts List – shows a list of posts with thumbnails. (premium)
  • MH Posts Large – lists the articles with a large thumbnail. (premium)
  • MH Posts Digest – displays the articles with thumbnails and an article overview. (premium)
  • MH Posts Focus – shows five articles with the focus on long pieces in the center. (premium)
  • MH Posts Horizontal – displays a grid with posts including titles and thumbnails. (premium)
  • MH Posts Lineup – shows a featured post and a list of other posts. (premium)
  • MH Posts Stacked – shows five posts including thumbnail, title, and metadata. (premium)
  • MH Carousel – displays a rotating slider with thumbnails. (premium)
  • MH News in Pictures – shows a small gallery of linked images. (premium)
  • MH Tabbed – shows the latest posts, tags, and comments in 3 tabs. (premium)
  • MH Facebook Page – used to display the Facebook page. (premium)
  • MH Social – used to show social media icons in the sidebar/footer. (premium)
  • MH YouTube Video – displays YouTube videos on the landing page or in sidebars. (premium)
  • MH Spotlight – presents a highlighted post on the landing page. (premium)
  • MH Recent Comments – shows the latest comments including the avatar. (premium)
  • MH Custom Pages – used to display pages filtered by IDs. (premium)
  • MH Posts Columns – shows columns with posts of certain categories. (premium)
Costs and Support

The Support and the Extensive Documentation

MH Themes cares for providing thorough support. If your native language is German you will be happy to hear that the support is available in your mother tongue as well. Besides personal support in English and German, you will find a comprehensive documentation as well as many tutorials on the various features of the MH Magazine Theme.

Support Center | Tutorials | Theme Documentation

The Theme’s Costs

The theme costs $49 USD, which is a decent price, considering the provided feature set. Those who want to test it first can download the lite version from WordPress, which will already be sufficient for many use cases. However, the premium theme offers a lot more freedom regarding design, simply because of the increased number of customization options. Instead of wearing out a new theme every year, you can simply change the colors and order of the custom widgets. This way, your website receives a fresh, new look. This can save you a lot of work when comparing it to moving to a new theme.

Buy the Theme from Here | Download the Lite Version from WordPress.org Here

Conclusion

MH Magazine is, without a doubt, a very interesting theme for all editorial purposes. The most important and commonly needed features are included in the premium version without causing bloat. Plus, the overall quality of the theme is very good. The latter also becomes apparent through the ratings of the lite theme on WordPress. High flexibility, paired with a very appealing look lets me wholeheartedly recommend this theme.

(ahe/dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Link Audit as a SEO Measure

29 avril, 2016 - 10:00

Other than content, the link structure of a website is one of the most important ranking factors for Google. For the search engine’s crawlers, all links to a domain are of interest, but also the internal page navigation as well as the choice of links to foreign domains (outbound links). A frequent link audit should be on your to-do list.

However, the Google algorithm pays particular attention to what sources the backlinks are from (inbound links). The explanation for that is very simple: the more high-grade the referring page is to Google, the more reliable is the quality of its recommendations. The same applies vice versa: the lower the quality of the link structure’s sources, the more the linked website’s reputation and ranking in the search engine decreases.

Link Audit – The Optimization of the Link Structure

Those that put a lot of effort into optimizing the internal link structure, and consequently equipped promotional outbounds links with appropriate tags, maybe because of a punishment from Google, should also take a look at the inbound links afterwards: For a general “house cleaning”, it makes sense to reduce poor links in regular time periods, to become more attractive for Google due to this link audit. For that, it makes sense to create a list of referring links using an SEO analysis tool or directly using Google Webmaster Tools.

Often, the majority of links is part of a wild mixture of results from link exchange actions, and manual entries into web catalogs, which, for the most part, originate from the page’s launching. On top of that come the organic links that were placed over time by operators of other domains, as the website’s content has convinced them, or because they have published critic comments on the content, and linked your site as the source. These links certainly are, with certain limitations, the most valuable backlinks in the eyes of the search engine.

However, those links that were placed by the operators of plenty of spam pages are “as annoying as flies”. Their only purpose is to make as many webmasters as possible access the page via their analysis tools, to manipulate the access numbers this way. The home of these websites is not rarely located in Russia or the Far East, the content, however, is mostly relevant but not valuable.

Another type of links that almost all webmasters would deny are the paid references. For Google, they are the biggest enemy, unless they are explicitly labeled as advertisements, and equipped with a nofollow tag in the HTML code.

Link Audit: How Can You Tell Which Links Should be Removed?

There are mixed opinions on which links are good for the ranking and which aren’t. As Google still keeps its exact algorithm a secret and frequently updates it, webmasters depend on speculations. However, some factors are entirely unclear:

  1. Purchased links that carry money keywords, but are not marked as advertisements have a high risk of being detected by Google and contribute to a massive downgrade of the website.
  2. If there are many entries in rather unsubstantial web catalogs or pages with unfitting topics in the list of inbound links, only those that increase the visitor count should remain. By experience, almost nothing remains with these considerations in mind.
  3. Those that work with friendly webmasters a lot should analyze if a construction of up to twenty websites could also be recognized as a network by Google. This is the case when references towards each other are plentiful, and maybe even make up the majority of the link structure. In the most cases, such nepotism causes an enormous downgrade of the website’s ranking.
  4. When in doubt, a manual check can be helpful: Does the linking page leave a competent impression?
  5. Spam links of websites from overseas, however, can be neglected, as Google has already recognized and has most likely generally devalued them.

Subject: Asking for the Removal of Link Placements on Your Website

Dear Sir or Madam [Last name of the webmaster]

due to recent measures to restructure our link strategy, we want to politely ask you to remove the link to our web presence [URL] on your following page.

(Link Source/Link Text/Link Destination)

www.website-of-the-webmaster.com link text www.your-website.com

Please do not regard our request as a contempt of your website, as it is solely based on technological considerations. We want to thank you in advance for the resultant efforts. If you have any questions and / or ideas, we are happy to be at your disposal.

Sincerely

[Name and signature]

After waiting for a couple of days – without a reply – you can dig deeper using a reminding message that, in the best case, contains the previous email. It is not a rare thing that website owners only answer the second message, as it reminds them of your request.

Often, the webmasters are happy about a short thank you, which will also give you, the applicant, a good feeling, as the removal of links is barely ever connected to an expense allowance.

For links that can not be removed this way, the Google Search Console allows you to upload a Disavow list, which contains the respective URLs. The Google Disavow Tool is a part of the Google Search Console and is used to devalue inbound links. The tool was introduced with the Google Penguin updates, which was introduced to fight links of poor quality.

In conclusion, you can consider the link audit a very effective measure to optimize a web shop or a website, even if the effort might seem to be very high. The most important things are the conscientiously, and in the best case, manually executed valuations of the inbound links, as well as the respectful and polite treatment of the respective webmasters.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

wpDiscuz: WordPress Comments Modernized

28 avril, 2016 - 14:00

The WordPress comment feature is boring and, honestly, way outdated. Of course, you can comment on a blog properly using the native comment feature, but that’s not fun. The feature simply isn’t in step with the time. It would be great if you could edit your comments afterward. Or if you could integrate videos and photos. All of this is not possible when it comes to WordPress comments. Today, I will introduce you to the excellent, and free plugin wpDiscuz that adds plenty of functions to the native comments, and looks great while doing that.

wpDiscuz: Commenting Has Started Being Fun Again

Leaving a comment on a WordPress website should at least be a little fun. If it looks good on top of that, it were pretty much over and done with already. For the sake of data protection, it’s important that the comments are not located on other servers, like it is the case for comment systems like Disqus. Nobody wants to have his readers’ comments saved in a foreign country.

The free WordPress plugin wpDiscuz replaces WordPress’ native function and offers many additional features as well as a neat look.

  • Developer: gVectors Team
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Latest Version from: 02.21.2016
  • Cost: free on WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: Unknown
  • Developer Homepage: wpDiscuz
  • Download on WordPress.org
wpDiscuz – Interactive and Feature-rich

wpDiscuz is an interactive comment system and completely replaces the WordPress comment function. The comments are saved in your own WordPress installation. The plugin simply adds plenty of new features without changing the core. Commenting is done via Ajax in real time. That means that the comments instantly appear on the website, without a page reload. The settings you made for comments in the WordPress admin area remain the same. So if you chose to moderate all comments, this would still be in effect after you changed to wpDiscuz.

The wpDiscuz plugin is fully responsive and automatically adapts to any screen resolution without issues. The settings are easy to understand, and can be adjusted without much effort.

Cache Plugin Compatible, Fast Loading and Optimized for CDNs

wpDiscuz is fully cache-compatible and also prepared for CDNs (Content Delivery Networks). In addition, this plugin is also optimized for loading speed. It doesn’t slow down your website. Thus, you can also use this plugin on heavily frequented sites. It offers Disqus’ features without any of the disadvantages Disqus comes with.

The Plugin’s Functions
  • Comment function on articles, pages, and custom post types
  • Fully responsive. Looks good on any screen
  • Simple color adjustment to suit the theme
  • Real-time comments via Ajax
  • Optimized loading speed
  • Comment voting system – thumbs up or down
  • The comments can be edited after posting them
  • Live updates with notification buttons similar to a smartphone
  • Comment list sorting (oldest, newest, best rated)
  • Anonymous comments can be posted
  • Social media login preparation for Google+, Facebook und Twitter
  • After a certain number of comments, a “load more comments” button can appear. This helps performance.
  • If you really want to, you can also activate lazy load for comments
  • Implemented image links are converted into images
  • Detailed comments are labeled with a “read more” button to declutter the comments area
  • Double-opt-in function for the subscription of comments. This way, the European data protection laws are obeyed.
  • Works with the standard anti-spam plugins, however, a Captcha to further fight spam can be added without another plugin.
  • wpDiscuz can be extended at any time, thanks to paid add-ons
Paid Add-ons for wpDiscuz The Settings Interface

The settings are displayed in a clean, logical way. You can work with them very easily. One thing to criticize would be the lack of complete translations into other languages, but you can fix that. Simply create a custom translation for the plugin.

The settings you have already made under “comments” still apply. The plugin options only extend the native settings. Under the aspect “styling”, you can adjust the wpDiscuz color scheme to meet your website’s colors, so that it doesn’t look like a foreign body. Preparations for the most important social login plugins are made, and can be installed from the menu item “social login”.

The Comments – How They Look Like When Using wpDiscuz

The comment function and the comment list look appealing and modern. The colors of the actual comment form can be altered; you don’t have to use the gray standard.

Related Links: Conclusion and Recommendation

After a short test, I can only recommend this plugin. Even though it is entirely free, it provides a lot of functions that the native WordPress comments don’t have. Additionally, the comment list is very appealing, which adds a unique attribute to your blog. If you want to give your users a treat, buy the “media uploader extension” for an extra $25, as the visitor can then add photos, photo galleries, and videos to the comments. This way, you get almost the same functions that more expensive versions of alternative comment systems provide.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

10 New, Free WordPress Plugins (April 2016)

27 avril, 2016 - 15:00

To me, this article is the most exciting one of each month. I love free WordPress plugins, as they allow me to extend my CMS of choice with useful features almost infinitely. You won’t feel differently either, thus, let’s not lose any time. We’ll take a dive into the almost infinite plugin index, and find the ten most exciting, most interesting, new, and free WordPress plugins for you.

10 Free WordPress Plugins (April 2016) 1 – Webinfos

Webinfos is especially attractive for plugin or theme developers. It creates an own dashboard widget which can display fully customizable messages on the user dashboard. HTML can be used for its creation. You can also implement videos, logos, and other file types within the widget.

  • Developer: ymjid
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 04.18.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
2 – Hosted Content Importer

The Hosted Content Importer allows you to display externally hosted content on your blog. Furthermore, certain parts of the external content on your website can be altered by other users without them needing access to your blog. The external content is easily integrated via shortcode.

  • Developer: Bimal Poudel
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 04.18.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
3 – Bigboss All-in-One Facebook Social Widget

This Facebook social plugin creates multiple widgets all of which provide important features for Facebook. This includes all buttons in all versions, a Facebook like box, Facebook embedded posts, and videos, as well as a Facebook comment widget.

  • Developer: Bulbul Bigboss
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 04.16.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
4 – Wikilinker

The Wikilinker allows you to quickly put links to Wikipedia articles. A simple shortcode is all it takes. The plugin can ease work for people that have to reference Wikipedia a lot.

  • Developer: dartiss
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 04.16.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
5 – CSV to HTML

When you want to create HTML tables based on a CSV file’s data, this plugin could be the one for you. It can create appealing tables, based on one or multiple CSV files when the CSV files are located in your upload folder.

  • Developer: wibergsweb
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 04.16.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
6 – Enable Shortcodes inside Widgets, Comments, and Excerpts

This simple plugin allows you to use shortcodes within the comments, within widgets, and the category, tag, and taxonomy descriptions.

  • Developer: Aftab Husain
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 04.16.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
7 – WP-Password-Protect-Publication

This plugin adds a password protection to the Publish box on the page for the creation of new articles. This is an effective way of preventing other authors from altering or prematurely publishing an article. After distributing a password, only the article’s author can modify or publish said article.

  • Developer: Paul Bearne
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 04.16.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
8 – Eyga: HTTP to HTTPS link changer

A useful little plugin for all people that have converted their website from HTTP to HTTPS. The plugin turns all local, absolute links in your articles into the HTTPS version.

  • Developer: DSmidge
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 04.13.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
9 – Elevated Comments

This interesting plugin implements the best comment as a quote into your articles. The “adaptive” speech analysis identifies the best comment and automatically puts it into your article’s upper third. The automatic implementation can be turned off for each article, and also, a shortcode can be used for the manual integration. This plugin should be attractive to all WordPress users with a high comment volume. You can find out more about the way it functions on the plugin’s homepage.

  • Developer: Postmatic
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 04.14.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Homepage
  • Download on WordPress.org
10 – Youtube Responsive Video Player

The Youtube Responsive Video Player Plugin optimizes the display of videos of all known services on smartphones. The smartphone’s screens are used optimally, and the aspect ratio is optimized and adjusted as well. This way, the videos embedded in the articles can be utilized significantly better.

  • Developer: henri
  • Work in progress: yes
  • Latest version from: 04.14.2016
  • Costs: free via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
Conclusion

This month, we found some really useful, yet free WordPress plugins. Some of them are meant for a rather narrow scope of application, but that’s exactly what makes them so interesting. The Wikilinker is fascinating, and the Youtube Plugin is almost a must. Which of this month’s plugin do you like the most?

Other Recent WordPress Plugins:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

10 Fresh, Free WordPress Themes (April 2016)

26 avril, 2016 - 15:00

Every month, I go and search for exciting, new, and free WordPress themes flicking through the recent additions to the directory. I do this so you can always give your blog a new look and separate it from the thousands of other websites out there. As always, all presented themes are responsive and adapt to any screen resolution.

1 – Passionate

Passionate is a theme that can be used for many purposes. It could serve as a business website, but also drive a personal blog. Passionate comes with a couple of individual widgets. Colors and the logo can be altered, and the landing page layout is editable as well.

2 – TheFour Lite

TheFour is a multi-purpose theme as well, and is suitable for a business website just as well as it can be used for a portfolio or a blog. The theme is customizable to suit your plan very well. The colors, the landing page’s hero image, and the logo can be changed. On top of that, it offers some special page templates. A lot of effort was put into the design of the blog area.

  • Created by: GretaThemes
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: TheFour Demo
  • Download on WordPress
3 – SKT Towing

This theme was specifically developed for the car industry. However, it is definitely possible to use it for other purposes as well. It also works as a portfolio, a business website, or as a blog. This theme can also be the base for an online shop as it is prepared for the popular WooCommerce plugin.

4 – Pingraphy

The Pingraphy theme is soothingly different. It displays content in a fashion similar to Pinterest, and thus, it creates a unique blog that sets itself apart from others. The colors are adjustable.

  • Created by: Sophy – ThemeCountry
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Pingraphy Demo
  • Download on WordPress
5 – Bloog Lite

Bloog Lite is a theme for blogs that work with large format images a lot. Thus, the article images are very large, and drag the focus onto them.

  • Created by: 8Degree Themes
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Bloog Lite Demo
  • Download on WordPress
6 – Flat White

Flat White is a theme for fashion and design bloggers. However, it is also very suitable for photo blogs. Colors, logo, and the favicon can be customized, as well as the header image and the links to the social networks. A slider for the homepage is also included.

  • Created by: invictusthemes
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Flat White Demo
  • Download on WordPress
7 – Simona

Simona was developed for the most special day in the life of a man and a woman or a man and a man or a woman and a woman (as you like it). It was made to present a wedding as pretty as possible. Of course, other usage purposes are thinkable as well, maybe as a portfolio, blog, or photo website. It provides a header slider and allows you to use your own favicon.

  • Created by: Pasquale Bucci
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Simona Demo
  • Download on WordPress
8 – Activello

Activello is a blogging theme meant to be used with large photo formats. Thus, it’s an excellent theme for photographers and travelers. Portfolios can also find a home with this theme, however. Due to it being prepared for WooCommerce, it serves well as a shop. The theme comes with a lot of options to be adjusted via the theme optimizer.

9 – Nisarg

Nisarg is a blogging theme. The header image, the background, and the colors, as well as many other settings, can easily be adjusted.

  • Created by: Falguni
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: project site
  • Download on WordPress
10 – Latte

The Latte theme is a one-page portfolio theme for designers and other creative people. It comes with plenty of options that can all be adjusted via the theme customizer. Looking at the scope of features, it could easily be a paid theme.

  • Created by: Hardeep Asrani
  • License: Free for personal and commercial use | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for translations: yes
  • Demo: Latte Demo
  • Download on WordPress
More Free WordPress Themes:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Responsive Images and Performance Optimization using Cloudinary

26 avril, 2016 - 15:00

Using images on contemporary websites correctly is not the easiest task. Different devices with different resolutions and pixel densities require much more than just a default image file. Even though high-resolution displays require large images, the files have to be kept as small as possible due to limited data plans, especially on mobile devices. This is not an easy undertaking. However, the cloud-based image management solution Cloudinary turns it into one. Today, you’ll learn how simple image and performance optimization with Cloudinary can be.

Cloud-based Image Management Solution Cloudinary

Among the many cloud services, Cloudinary has specialized in image management and optimization. The service allows you to upload pictures, and integrate them in your website or blog in different resolutions, formats, and qualities.

In addition to that, you can add plenty of effects like vignettes and blurs, and alter contrast, brightness, and saturation on the fly. You can edit images from the Cloudinary interface, and then tie them into your web project via a generated URL.


Extensive Ways of Altering and Optimizing Images

The URL contains all information like image resolution, format, as well as all effects that you applied. Thus, you can also make adjustments directly via the URL.

http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/c_fill,e_sepia,q_80,h_425,r_30,w_640/demo.jpg

The example shows how image settings are transferred via URL. “c_fill” (“c” for “crop”) makes sure that the picture is cropped to fill the entire image area and, if necessary, certain parts of the picture are cut out. “e_sepia” (“e” for “effect”) creates a sepia effect on the picture. There are more than 30 filters that are similar to the ones available in Photoshop, and other image editing applications.

“q_80” (“q” for “quality”) defines the image quality and the values “h_425” and “w_640” (“h” for “height” and “w” for “width”) determine width and height of the picture.


Example of a Manipulated Image

This way, you create suiting image versions without having to use the Cloudinary interface. However, using PHP or jQuery is also supported.

$.cloudinary.image("demo.jpg", {effect: "sepia", height: 425, quality: 10, radius: 30, width: 640, crop: "fill"})

The jQuery example generates the same image file as the URL example. For those that prefer working with PHP, there’s a proper PHP class that works similarly to the jQuery example.

Cloudinary: Considering Pixel Density

Modern displays have a much larger pixel density and can display images at a much higher resolution than conventional monitors. High-resolution images can also be defined in modern web design. To do so, the “srcset” attribute was added, which you can use to load images for different pixel densities.


Image for Different Pixel Densities

As modern smartphones and tablets usually come with high-resolution displays, it makes a lot of sense to distribute the image files for high pixel densities. Cloudinary also helps you with that. It doesn’t take much effort to have it give out files in different densities for each image. To do so, a pixel density is simply sent to the image URL via “dpr_x”.

http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/c_fill,h_640,w_425,dpr_2/demo.jpg

In the example, an image with doubled image density is returned. Thus, the actual image resolution is not 640 x 425 pixels, but 1280 x 850 pixels.

The different image version should be implemented within the “<img>” element via “srcset”.

<img src="http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/c_fill,h_640,w_425/demo.jpg" srcset="http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/c_fill,h_640,w_425/demo.jpg, http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/c_fill,h_640,w_425,dpr_2/demo.jpg 2x, http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/c_fill,h_640,w_425,dpr_3/demo.jpg 3x " /> Image and Performance Optimization With Cloudinary: Unlimited Responsitivity

Those that use large format images when it comes to web design should use smaller image files on smaller displays, to avoid an unnecessary page load. Due to the “<picture>” element, different image files for different resolutions can be implemented rather quickly.

With Cloudinary, you can create different resolutions for your pictures and then integrate them into your website.

Often, however, images are not displayed in set widths but to adapt to the width of the viewport. I will use jQuery to show you how to reach that goal.

To do that, first, access the image file via the data attribute in an “<img>” element. Assign the class “cld-respnsive”. Here, you don’t enter a width. Instead, set “w_auto”, for an automatic width.

<img data-src="http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/w_auto/demo.jpg" class="cld-responsive">

Subsequently, a plugin is loaded via jQuery.

$.cloudinary.responsive();

The plugin assures that there will always be a generated image file for the picture’s current display size. This way, you can set up multi-column galleries, for example, which orientate themselves towards the browser window’s entire width.


Always Have Images in Galleries be Distributed Perfectly Fitting

For example, when an image is supposed to display at a width of 200 pixels, the images are generated and distributed with this exact width – done in the background by Cloudinary. This allows you to avoid the integration of unnecessarily large files, and helps you make your website slim and fast.

Those that also want to consider pixel density add “dpr_auto” in addition to “w_auto”.

<img data-src="http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/w_auto,dpr_auto/demo.jpg" class="cld-responsive">

Furthermore, Cloudinary also loads the appropriate images when enhancing or reducing the browser window. By default, changes to the browser size starting at 10 pixels are considered.

Image Quality and Format

Displaying entirely appropriate image files without having to scale down pictures in the browser is a major step for optimal image display that saves resources. However, there are two other important adjusting screws for small file sizes.

For one, there’s the image format. JPEG and PNG files are the most common formats alongside the still popular PNG. Each has its advantages. JPEGs are mainly useful for photos and large images while PNGs are used for graphics, as well as everything that requires an alpha channel.

However, depending on the browser, there are other image formats available as well. For example, Google Chrome supports the WebP format, which creates significantly smaller files than JPEG and PNG.

Microsoft also has its image format called JPEG-XR, which has a much better compression, but is only displayed in the Internet Explorer starting from version 9, and Edge. Using Cloudinary, you don’t have to worry about the correct file format. Via “f_auto”, you let the service decide which format is the best.

http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/f_auto/demo.jpg

In the example, a different format is used if needed, ignoring the file extension “jpg”. In Chrome, for example, the image is displayed as a WebP file, and in Internet Explorer, it is shown as a JPEG-XR.

On top of being able to determine the format, you can also define the image quality. For that, use a value between 10 and 100 (“q_80”, for example). Depending on the picture’s content, sometimes a stronger, and sometimes a weaker compression makes more sense.


“JPEGmini” to Always Have Optimal Results

Using the plugin “JPEGmini”, which is free for up to over 100 compressions, images are always optimally compressed. The plugin itself decides which compression is the best for each picture. You don’t need to manually try which quality makes the most sense.

Image and Performance Optimization With Cloudinary: Conclusion and Prices

Cloudinary is an extensive cloud-based image management service that is more than helpful when it comes to optimizing images for the web. Especially those that work without a content management system will find a valuable assistant in Cloudinary. Cloudinary will flawlessly and automatically compress and crop images, and adjust their formats for you.

Additional effects, text insertion, and other tools round up the service. Generating and loading of images are very fast as well. This is an important aspect that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Nowadays, different types of devices, resolutions, and pixel densities make it necessary to have one image prepared in a manually unmanageable amount of versions. Cloudinary does a good job here and is very easy to use.

On top of that, the service is free to use for most websites. Anyone that hosts up to 75,000 images, and doesn’t exceed the limit of 7,500 conversions a month, can use the service for free. 2 Gigabytes of storage and 5 Gigabyte of monthly bandwidth are included.

If you need more than that, you can choose from four offers from 44 to 224 dollars a month. There are no restrictions on features for any of the plans.

Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by Cloudinary. They took no influence on what we wrote, however.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

FotoJet: Online Service for Collages and Social Media

25 avril, 2016 - 11:00

FotoJet is a rather new free online tool to create collages and social media graphics with. FotoJet works in a similar way as its strongest competition, the popular service Canva. However, in contrast to Canva, FotoJet is completely free. There are no hidden costs; all functions can be used for free. While the tool doesn’t come close to the variety of instruments of its competitor, it’s fair to note that many of Canva’s tools can only be used after purchase.

This is FotoJet

FotoJet is basically to be considered as a slim version of Canva and has mainly specialized in the creation of mashups and social media graphics. While the service is completely free, you need to register to have access to all features. This can either be done via OAuth using your Facebook account, or the conventional way using your email address and password.

Some Examples of the Social Media Section

FotoJet’s user interface is very clean and similar to Canva’s. To start a new project, log in to gain access to all functions. After that, choose the project you want to create.

The Following is Possible Using FotoJet:
  • Mashups of Any Kind
  • Photo Cards for Any Occasion
  • Magazine Covers
  • Fun Cards
  • Photo Comics
  • Facebook Covers
  • Facebook Post Graphics
  • Tumblr Banners
  • Email Headers
  • Twitter Headers
  • YouTube Covers
  • GooglePlus Covers
  • Pinterest Graphics
  • Instagram Posts
The FotoJet Interface

As FotoJet is a real online tool, logging in is all it takes to be able to create any project. The menu item “Design” unlocks the social media options, “Collage” opens the – well – collages.

After choosing a project, the editing window is opened. Here, you can select the template from the left area, and the possible photos can be found on the right. Unfortunately, only four photos can be deposited for the graphics you wish to create. It’s possible to upload your photos, and you should be able to find something suitable in our collection of free photo services. The very nice thing is, that the interface’s language can change according to your location.

Simply pick a fitting template, deposit an appealing photo, choose the fonts, and you’ll have created an attractive graphic for social networks in no time.

Choose a Template From the Left Section and Edit the Photo

Choosing Font Types and Font Colors

Saving in Two File Formats of Different Quality

An Example File, Created with FotoJet

FotoJet: Conclusion

FotoJet is a nice way of creating appealing graphics (not only) for social media. You can get to nice results very quickly since you will get a grasp of the editing options fast and efficiently. Afterward, download the results and use them in various qualities.

To be fair, it has to be said that FotoJet is a lot slower than its competitor Canva. This will annoy frequent users. Once you arrived in the editing window, there’s not too big of a difference left. However, Canva looks a lot more appealing. The most annoying thing about FotoJet is that you can not define image sizes. Thus, FotoJet and its fixed format is not an option here at Noupe. Social media users, however, can use it without worries and will definitely find more functionality than they would using Pablo by Buffer.

Related Links

The article was originally created for our German sister magazine Dr. Web.

(ahe/dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Performance: Really Accelerate WordPress Websites [#2]

24 avril, 2016 - 15:00

Welcome back to “how to accelerate WordPress websites.” In the first part of our series, we’ve addressed the importance of the correct web-hosting solution. While doing so, we’ve answered questions on what advantages come with the hosting on SSDs, and why it’s important that HTTP/2 is activated on the server. In this part, we’ll deal with Prefetch and Preconnect, as well as with the effective optimization of images and graphics. Especially images make up a performance optimization’s bottleneck, and at this point, most users fail and quit optimizing, as they simply don’t know how to continue. We’ll also talk about the proper use of Google Adsense ads.

1 – Prefetch and Preconnect

Using both techniques is advantageous as soon as many external files and scripts need to be loaded. This includes Google Adsense ad blocks, as well as all other files that need to be loaded from external servers. They are easy to use and come with measurable advantages. The decisive factor is, that the DNS resolution and the so-called handshake are already executed in the initial loading stages of the website, and not at the latest point when the file is requested.

DNS – Prefetch <link rel="dns-prefetch" href="//fonts.googleapis.com" />

This link to the external resource that you want to be requested belongs into the website’s header. This line of code makes the browser execute the DNS resolutions at the beginning of loading so that the resource can be loaded faster later on. The DNS (Domain Name System) translates the IP addresses of your server into domain names. Enter the domain in the browser line and the DNS translates the domain into the server’s IP address for the browser. On average, this process takes between 20 and 250 milliseconds. The Prefetch element allows you to cut this time short.

Preconnect <link rel="preconnect" href="//fonts.googleapis.com" />

The Preconnect element is different from the DNS Prefetch in one aspect only. Here, one more step is taken, and a TCP and TLS handshake are executed. These are also important processes that usually take a moment. Combining both elements makes sense, as loading external resources can then be done quicker upon request. As all files that are not necessary to display in the visible area are located in the footer for a professional speed optimization, this causes the data in the footer to load faster. Thus, I recommend adding both elements into the header for all external files, however, only let them load where it makes sense. For most files, this will only be in the article area, but not on the landing page.

Thus, my header looks like this:

I control which attributes I need in what place using <?php if( is_single() ) : ?>. Prefetch and Preconnect only make sense, where the respective external files are actually loaded. As the landing page of my website doesn’t load all scripts and files, I only allow the DNS resolution where the files are loaded.

2 – Image Optimization

In this area, we need to reach deeply into our bag of tricks. This already starts with saving it for the web. In Photoshop, you need to make sure that JPEGs are saved progressively. Using multiple, partially large format images kills any performance. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t work. You only need to tweak around a bit and, unfortunately, spend money! Let’s take a look at the landing page of my website Democratic Post. There are 26 images on the landing page, one of them in the format 1000 x 420 pixels, five in the format 740 x 315 pixels. Additionally, I have activated the Jetpack Top posts widget. This is, to say the least, a real challenge. Here is the approach I took for optimization:

WordPress Plugin for Image Optimization: Optimus HQ

Optimus is currently the best plugin to optimize images with. Trust me; there’s no better one. Optimus is not free, as it is a premium plugin. Of course, there’s also a free Optimus version, but it doesn’t achieve what we need it to. Purchase can’t be avoided when using many images on your website like I do. Optimus HQ is currently offered for a lowered price and costs 19 Euro for one year. Not necessarily an amount that drains your pockets.

Optimus HQ’s lossless image compression is outstanding. Additionally, the plugin offers an advantage over all other image optimization plugins. It can create WebP graphics. Just this file format makes websites with many images this fast when the format is supported by the browser. However, it also achieves best results without the WebP support as well.

Optimus recommends using the Cache Enabler Plugin to integrate the WebP support. I advise against this, as Cachify still is the fastest caching plugin when it’s adjusted for the creation of static HTML pages, but more about that later on. After Optimus HQ was bought and installed, the bulk optimizer should be used to optimize all images that are already saved in the media library.

Securing WebP Support With the .htaccess

The most intelligent, and fasted method to deliver the correct image formats to the different browsers, is an entry into the .htaccess file. This will make sure that the JPG format is instantly rewritten into the WebP format in supported browsers. Just put the following code at the very top of your .htaccess file:

One Click Opens the Gist at GitHub

Now, when taking a look at the HTML source text, we’ll realize that JPEG files are still referenced.

However, when digging a bit deeper into the Google Chrome developer tools, in the area “network”, we’ll quickly see that the graphic is not displayed as a JPEG, but as WebP, by the browser.

Here, it is more evident:

Restrictions: The generation of WebP image formats only works for preview image formats that have been registered in WordPress correctly, via the post thumbnail feature.

The Result is Convincing

The difference in file size between JPEG and WebP is glaring. The first large preview image of my website in a resolution of 1000 x 420 pixels has a file size of 168 KB in the JPEG format while its size is only 98,7 KB as a WebP. In this case, the browser has 69,3 KB less to load. When adding all other images, this adds up to an enormous reduction in your website’s file size. Browsers that support the WebP file format can thus have their website be loaded and displayed much faster.

Browser Support for WebP Graphics

For Firefox, there’s a patch that adds the missing WebP support.

3 – Google Adsense Ads

There are barely any sites that can still do without the famous Google Adsense ads. That’s alright, as you can earn a pleasant amount of money off of them when placed correctly. But where should ads be placed so that they don’t affect a website’s loading speed, and are still effective? The correct and intelligent use decides about the money you can make, as well as about the performance. Google gives out a guideline themselves, however, it’s not efficient enough, and it also doesn’t consider the performance. Thus, I’ll give you my input on the optimal use:

a – Adsense Ads don’t have anything to do on the landing page!

Don’t place them there in any case. They will slow down the page building process by about 800 milliseconds. This equals almost a whole second of loading time for an ad block with a size of 300 x 250 pixels. The advertisements that are placed there also only reel in a couple of cents a day, even with larger traffic.

Always remember: the landing page is the flagship of your website for many visitors. They expect a rapidly loading main page. Additionally, the loading time has a direct impact on the bounce rate, meaning the amount of pages a visitor accesses before leaving your website.

b – Only integrate Google Adsense into the articles’ content

A single ad that was placed directly within the article’s content can make a lot of money. Much more than any other placement. From my experience, this one ad is enough to generate the desired profit, and to keep the loading time as low as possible. Here at Noupe, this ad is tied in above the first paragraph, I (at Democratic Post) integrated it below the first paragraph. For me, it works perfectly fine there.

c – WordPress Feature for Automatic Integration of Ads

WordPress can automatically implement the content after an article’s first paragraph. You need to complete the following code with your Google Adsense ad block, and then either add it to your theme’s functions.php, or into the custom site plugin.

One click opens the Gist at GitHub

Accelerate WordPress Websites: Conclusion of the Second Part

With today’s modifications, we’ve already gained lots of speed and shut the largest bottlenecks of performance optimization. Graphic and ad optimization adds a ton of speed that Google will reward with a better rank in the search results.

Related Links

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

WordPress: How to Create a Custom Site Plugin

23 avril, 2016 - 17:00

Everyone that has been running a WordPress website for a while knows this problem. You need to integrate small code snippets into the activated theme’s functions.php for all possible features. When the website only needs a few of these code snippets, it’s usually not problematic. However, a site that has been online for years might have collected a lot of snippets. First, you can quickly lose the overview, and also, all changes are gone when switching the theme or updating it. Today, I’ll show you a better way, namely how to create a custom site plugin.

Disadvantages of Code Snippets in the functions.php

After a while, many code snippets will clutter a theme’s functions.php. This hurts the overview a lot, as the file does not only contain snippets but might also contain theme functions, which is the case for all standard WordPress themes and some other themes. In addition to that, all code snippets disappear after a theme update, and you’re forced to recover a backup file, which you hopefully created in advance. Disadvantages over disadvantages.

Humans are gregarious animals and don’t question a lot of things – even things that didn’t work that well until now. Every WordPress website owner does it this way, so it’s done this way. I did the same thing for years. I knew all disadvantages but didn’t search for a solution, even though it’s so close.

Creating a Custom Site Plugin Instead of Using the functions.php

The idea is obvious and significantly more functional than using the functions.php. We just create a custom site plugin. All code snippets are only put into this plugin; old bits are simply moved. This comes with the significant advantage that all code fragments remain even after a theme update or theme change. Thus, the solution is future-proof and easy to handle.

But Before We Get to Work, Please Create a Backup of Your functions.php File. How to Create a Custom Site Plugin

You might think that creating a custom site plugin was really complicated. But it’s not. The opposite is the case, and it’s actually really easy. First, create a new folder on your desktop and name it websitename-plugin. Example: noupe-plugin. Put an empty file, which can be created using Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac), into this folder. Name the file websitename-plugin.php.

Now, open the file with a text editor or a development environment like Atom, Brackets or any other you prefer. Paste the following in there:

One Click Opens the Gist on GitHub

Now, you can enter your code snippets from the functions.php file into this file. After you’re done, upload the folder with the plugin into the WordPress plugin folder via (S)FTP. The correct path is the following: wp-content/plugins/.

Afterward, you need to log into your WordPress and activate the plugin.

Conclusion

With a little effort, we’ve found a better and, in most cases, more clear solution for the code snippet problem. Finally, our unique features are safe during theme changes and updates. This is pretty smart. If you’re looking for snippets to transfer, check out this article. There, we’ve collected a few useful code snippets.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Modern SEO: The Google Ranking Factor HTTPS and Let’s Encrypt

22 avril, 2016 - 10:00

From time to time, Google implements new ranking factors. In the year 2014, Google announced the encryption of websites with an HTTPS certificate as a ranking factor. Many websites have since switched to HTTPS, and can confirm first advantages in the ranking. Yes, it is already possible to measure gains in the ranking. The switch to the new protocol surely is complicated in many cases, however, the step should still be taken, to not get left behind by the competition. The project Let’s Encrypt eases the switch by providing free certificates for Google’s ranking factor HTTPS.

Ranking Factor HTTPS

Google wants to see fast and at the same time secure websites. That’s why the company decided to include the encryption of websites via HTTPS in the ranking. Of course it will take a while until webmasters can measure big advantages due to the switch. At the moment, Google wants to give the webmasters plenty of time to switch, which is why they implemented the encryption as a light ranking signal for now. However, advantages can already be measured, especially for strong brands and online shops. By now, the difference in SEO visibility of HTTPS websites in comparison to unencrypted sites is statistically significant. Differences of up to 5 percent visibility in the search results are currently possible
.

What’s HTTPS?

HTTPS is a communication protocol for data transfer on the internet. The difference to HTTP is in the encrypted and bugproof transfer of data via SSL/TLS, an encryption protocol. This means, that HTTPS provides your website’s users a safe way of communication between them and your website. The data exchanged cannot easily be read on its way to and from the site.

Info: HTTPS = HTTP + SSL/TLS

Without encryption, all transfered data on the internet could be looked into, and could be manipulated by third parties using a man in the middle attack. However, when an HTTPS certificate is used to encrypt the data, any communication with the website is safe and cannot be attacked. Of course, this brings up the question why owners of a simple blog are practically forced to switch to HTTPS. The compulsion will come, no doubt. At the moment, HTTPS is only a light ranking factor, but in the near future Google will change this factor’s significance.

In spite of everything, it’s still not clear why blogs and news websites should switch. It only makes sense, when a lot of sensitive customer information needs to be transferred. An online shop would be a fitting example here. Yet, Google will force a conversion for all websites, as everyone wants to have a good ranking. No website wants to see direct competition above them in the search results only because they have already converted to HTTPS.

The Tagging of a Connection Encrypted via HTTPS in the Web Browser

A website encrypted using HTTPS can be recognized in the browser rather easily. The lock symbol and the written HTTPS protocol are the indicators.

Convert to HTTPS For Free Using Let’s Encrypt

The web service Let’s Encrypt promises certificates for everyone, and entirely for free at that. The project is, among others, sponsored by Mozilla, Facebook, and Cisco. The service, which is currently in an open beta stage, wants to provide HTTPS certificates for free to anyone who demands one. Every webmaster can create his own certificate for his domain, as long as the server meets the technological requirements.

Let’s Encrypt doesn’t settle with just giving out free certificates, but aims to automate the process, so that the certificates, which are currently only valid for 90 days, renew themselves. At the moment, the process needs to be pushed forward manually. This is best done via Cronjob or command line orders. It’s planned to lower the timespan of validity to 30 days. For that to work, certificates should renew themselves. This way, the project is supposed to be able to react faster to compromised or improper certificates.

Those that want one of these free certificates need to make preparations on their servers. A Let’s Encrypt client from the Github repo needs to be installed. The client requires Python 2.6 or 2.7, support for 3.0 is supposedly coming as well. The Let’s Encrypt client currently only runs on servers with Debian version 8.0 or newer, including all Debian derivatives, and Ubuntu from version 12.04 and up. Other operating systems are not supported yet.

Here are some first impressions of the HTTPS for anyone (German language).

Google’s Ranking Factor HTTPS: Conclusion

Sooner or later, you won’t be able to avoid an HTTPS certificate. Google will surely change the significance of this ranking factor soon. If you have knowledge on server administration, you’ll be able to secure a free certificate from Let’s Encrypt fast and easily. This way, you don’t need to spend money on certificates. HTTPS clearly is the future. Webmasters shouldn’t be afraid to switch. WordPress users even see further advantages, as the CMS itself makes sure that old HTTP URLs are redirected to the new ones with HTTPS certificate.

Related Links:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Collaboration Tools: Design Discussions in the Browser

21 avril, 2016 - 10:00

Instead of presenting drafts and finished layouts to your customer on site, the internet is becoming an increasingly more popular method. While layouts used to be sent via email, there are plenty of tools now, which ease presentation, receiving feedback, and collaboration in general. Apart from pure graphic layouts and mockups, there are also services that take screenshots of websites or allow the user to comment on live sites. Today, we’ll show you four different collaboration tools that help you reach the communicative goal in a variety of ways.

“Live Capture” by InVision: Taking Screenshots via Extension

The first of our four collaboration tools, “Live Capture,” developed by the prototyping platform InVision, provides an extension for Chrome, which allows you to easily take screenshots of websites that you can distribute and receive feedback on.


Taking a Screenshot of a Website via Extension

“Live Capture” doesn’t only take a screenshot of a website’s viewport, but the entire page, in the resolution in which it is currently displayed in the browser. Afterward, the screenshot is available in InVision, and you can share it with your team and clients or whoever you want to share it with.


Commenting on a Screenshot

“Live Capture” allows you to generate and send a link. After that, everyone that has access to the link, as well as a free InVision account, can leave comments on the screenshot. They can be placed on any desired spot in the screenshot.


Drawing On the Screenshot Together via “LiveShare.”

Aside from the simple comment feature, there’s also an option called “LiveShare.” Here, multiple users can work, comment, and discuss a draft together at the same time. For example, you can freely draw and add text to the layout.

For Mac users, there’s a “LiveShare” plugin for Photoshop. You can use it to share your Photoshop workspace with other users.

Using InVision, including “Live Capture”, is free for up to three projects. More projects are possible for 13 to 89 Dollars a month.

Diigo: Receiving Feedback for Live Websites

Those that prefer working on “living” websites, should take a look at Diigo. Using the tool, you can leave comments directly on a website, without taking a screenshot first. To do so, a browser extension which is – currently – only available for Chrome has to be installed.


Creating a Screenshot and Comments via Extension

After having installed the extension, you can create a comment in any spot on any given website. Choose a spot where you want the comment to be available as a note. Alternatively, you can mark text on a website and leave a comment on that.

As it should be, you have the option to invite other users. This way, you can allow access to projects for groups that you can add as many members to as you want. All members of a group can comment, view other’s comments, and respond to them.


Freely Placing Comments on the Website and Marking Them in Different Colors

Of course, these comments are not public, but only visible to the before defined team members. Ordinary visitors don’t see them.

Commenting on a live website does not only have advantages, however. The placement of the comments is fixed. On responsive websites, a site’s elements move depending on the resolution. As the comments stay in the same spot, they are only in the right spot, when they are displayed in a particular resolution.

Besides the free plan, there are also multiple paid plans between 7 and 59 Dollar a year. The paid plans forgo ads, and come with additional features, like searching through the placed comments.

Marqueed: Extensive Sharing and Commenting of Layouts

Marqueed is not only specialized on websites, but also allows sharing and commenting of graphic layouts. Here, you upload mockups in standard file formats. Among others, PDF, as well as Photoshop files are supported. After uploading, they are transformed into “simple” graphics. Multi-page documents are supported for PDF files. Here, the single pages are displayed as individual graphics.


Uploading Layouts in Common Formats or Creating a Screenshot via URL

You can also use Marqueed to comment on websites. Just enter a URL, and the service automatically takes a screenshot of that site. You can then treat it like any other uploaded file. The tool also allows you to use files from your Dropbox.


Creating Comments

However, Marqueed only runs in two browsers – Chrome and Safari. You can not use the service elsewhere.

Bounce: Uploading and Commenting Without Registration

The service Bounce works in a way very similar to Marqueed. This tool also allows you to upload graphics and to take screenshots of websites. While commenting, you don’t pick a particular spot but mark a rectangular area which you can add a comment to.


Taking a Screenshot of any Desired Website

Within the area, you can add text, but also rectangles, circles, and arrows.

In contrast to the other collaboration tools introduced in this article, Bounce works without registration. Without signup, you can upload files, and take screenshots. Share a layout with others via a generated link. Every participant can just enter a name used as identification.


Defining Comment Areas and Filling Them With Text and Graphic Elements

Using Bounce is free.

Collaboration Tools: Conclusion

All introduced collaboration tools have their advantages and disadvantages. Some only work with an extension or only in certain browsers. Others focus on automatically created screenshots, or on uploading layouts.

Differences aside, all collaboration tools have one thing in common: They ease the presentation, commenting, and discussion of drafts in teams or groups.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

WordPress: Salon Booking Lets Your Clients Book Your Services

20 avril, 2016 - 12:00

Salon Booking is one of these WordPress plugins that you either need desperately or not at all. If you run any kind of business that depends on your clients making appointments, it is likely that Salon Booking can do wonders to you. Instead of making people call you to reserve your time slots or tables or other time-related resources you can simply let them book autonomously via the front-end of your WordPress website. It’s as easy as it sounds.

Salon Booking: What You Need to Know

To be more precise on the use case and to get straight whether you should read on or not, we should make clear that Salon Booking has been developed specifically with the needs of Barbers, Hairdressers, Beauty Centers and Spas in mind. You can surely run other time-related businesses with it as well, but the best fit are those as mentioned above.

Another thing you need to know before you invest more time into reading this article is that Salon Booking is not free. There is a free version available from the WordPress directory, but this version is limited to a total of 30 bookings. You can still try out all the features but after having made 30 bookings, the plugin will cease working.

The Pro version comes at different prices. For a version with full functionality on one site with free support and all updates for a year from purchase, you will have to shell out 69 dollars. The same license but for five sites costs 149 dollars and the free forever Pro version including unlimited sites and updates throughout the lifetime of the plugin plus endless free support sets you back 229 dollars. I’d recommend the latter should Salon Booking really fit your needs. Let’s find out if it does.

Salon Booking: Take the Adrenaline Rush Out of the Booking Process

What Salon Booking offers is simple and complex at the same time. It allows your customers to book your service without you or any other human being interacting with them. Should they come up with the need of booking a haircut in the middle of the night they could just open your website and book an appointment for the next date possible. This is comfortable and takes the frustration out of the game. How often have you tried to make an appointment by phone during busy business hours?

“I didn’t get your name. Kowalski? No, sorry, Koslovski? Okay. When do you want to come? Next Thursday? Ah sorry, you said this Tuesday? Yes, sure. You can be served by Harry. Ah, what? You said Mary?”

Adrenaline levels rise to the max and next time you might unconsciously tend to avoid such a call as a potential client. As a business owner, this scenario should trouble you. Offering people a comfortable, calm and reliable way of booking your services is crucial, and you should put all effort into achieving such an experience.

With the possibility of register once, book many, return bookings become even easier to do. Undoubtedly your clients will like a tool such as Salon Booking.

To show you how easy this actually is, let’s go through a demo booking process step by step:

Salon Booking Step 1: Choose a date and time

Salon Booking Step 2: Choose the services needed

Salon Booking Step 3: Choose the assistant wanted

Salon Booking Step 4: Confirm your data

Salon Booking Step 5: Confirm your booking

Salon Booking: Fill Your Order Books Almost Automatically

Running a Barber’s Shop is not only about giving the people the right treatment once they sat down in your chair. Getting them into it is as vital a task as is the perfect execution of your craft. Having employees stop shaving to accept bookings over the phone is in many ways inappreciable. Your employee wastes time, the client right on the stool now feels set back. Even if this takes only a few minutes per booking, the time consumption can quickly add up to an hour or more of unproductive time each day. Thus, it’s in your vital interest as a shop owner to reduce these avoidable time thieves to an absolute minimum.

Salon Booking can do just that. You’ve seen it as I led you through the booking process earlier on in this article. From the perspective of a shop owner, it’s important to know that the above-shown process can easily be customized to fit your needs and organizational structure. You set booking rules, products, that can be booked, the assistants doing the work in the end. It is even possible to have the bookings synchronized with your Google Calendar to have them with you wherever you go.

What you did not see in the process shown above is that Salon Booking is even able to integrate payment methods. This is important should you work with some kind of cash before you wash system.

Salon Booking does not only work for the front-end. It has numerous back-end reports for shop owners as well as a management system for client orders. Clients can change or cancel bookings, and they are entitled to provide feedback for the services received.

Salon Booking: Clients can manage their bookings

Customer relationship is another important feature of Salon Booking. Shop owners can set up an SMS provider to notify clients of upcoming bookings. All client data is safely collected in a database, a dream for any shop owner that is otherwise not in the position to know his clients’ addresses and thus has to rely on them to return voluntarily. With Salon Booking, you can start mailings or simply call your customers and remind them that they haven’t been visiting you for far too long.

Salon Booking: Sell Time Slots? Get This Plugin!

All in all, I can do nothing but recommend you this plugin. It will bring structure to your business you haven’t even thought about having before. Even if it might not completely help to get you off the phone, Salon Booking is an additional booking channel without any reason to refuse. Not even the price is an obstacle.

Does your website run on WordPress anyway? Install Salon Booking’s free trial. In any other case, install WordPress first ;-)

Catégories: News dév web

Foundation for Emails 2: Responsive, Simple, Universal

20 avril, 2016 - 10:00

While you can use HTML5 and CSS3 in modern browsers without any issues, and assume that Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explore or Edge display everything the way you expect them to, email services are a different story. Every program has its own idea of how to display HTML and CSS. “Foundation for Emails 2” is a new, extensive framework that allows for sophisticated emails that work in most programs as well as webmail interfaces.

Starter Kit With Eleven Templates

“Foundation” is a modern framework for responsive layouts, and recently, a new version for responsive HTML emails was released. “Foundation for Emails 2” is available in a CSS, and a SASS version. Once you’ve downloaded the starter kit, you’ll find eleven different templates for HTML emails.


Preview on the Eleven Email Templates

Among them, you’ll find rather simple templates, as well as multi-column templates for different purposes. For example, there are two unique newsletter templates with a larger header graphic, and one or two columns of text, depending on your choice. On top of that, you’ll find templates for common occasions, like order confirmations, and classic “forgotten password” emails, which usually contain a link to reset the password.


Two Templates for Newsletter

All templates come with an external CSS file, in which all styles are saved. The layout of the templates is kept simple on purpose so that there’s a slim, clear CSS source text that can easily be adjusted to your own ideas.

Foundation for Emails 2: Simple Table Layout

Unfortunately, many email programs and webmail services don’t know much about modern web development. While there is a rather limited supply of browsers, the number of email programs and services is so large, that you need to find a tiny common ground.


Templates for Orders and Forgotten Passwords

This common ground is that HTML emails are marked up as tables, just like in the old days before CSS and HTML5. The layout is not marked in a single table, however. Instead, multiple interleaved tables that are labeled with different classes are used.

The top table receives the class “body”. It defines the actual area of the email. It’s followed by tables with the class “container,” which represent a section of the mail. For multi-column tables, add another table with the class “row” within the container table. Within that class, you can then define columns with different widths.

A Grid of 12 for Responsive Display

As “Foundation” is based on a 12-column grid, you have the option to divide your columns in a flexible way. Two-, Three-, Four-, and Six-column layouts are possible without any issues. Due to different classes for large and small window or display sizes, you can simply decide how you want the columns to be displayed on small and large resolutions.

For example, for a three-column layout, assign the class “large-4” to your table cells for large resolutions. If you want them to be single-column for small resolutions, also assign the class “small-12”.

Predefined Buttons, Colors, and Fonts

To ease working with “Foundation for Emails 2”, many predefined components are available. Without much effort, you can integrate custom buttons into your email. Aside from primary and secondary buttons, there are specific buttons to display warnings and success actions.


Different Predefined Buttons

There are CSS presets for headings, texts, and links as well, and of course, you can adjust and overwrite them, too. For the orientation of texts and images, the “Foundation for Email” provides classes that allow you to display text in a left- or right-adjusted, or centered way, and have text flow around the images on the left or right side.

Creating Inline Styles

Apart from the necessity to markup the layout of an HTML email as table construction, there is another thing to keep in mind. Many email programs only interpret stylesheets when they are defined as inline elements, meaning that they have to be set via “style” attribute directly within the HTML element.

As the inline markup takes a lot of effort and editing long emails afterward is very tedious, “Foundation” provides a “Web-Inliner”. Here, you copy both your HTML, and your CSS source text, and paste them into one text field each. With one click, the “Web-Inliner” creates an HTML source text for you, in which all attributes defined in the external stylesheet are transferred into the HTML source text as inline styles.


Web Inliner Creates HTML Source Text With Inline Styles

In addition to that, word wraps and blanks are removed in the distributed source text, so that the source code is as slim as possible, even with inline styles. This source text can now be sent as an HTML email.

Only the media query rules are defined in its own “<style>” element, as they can’t be marked inline via “style” attribute. However, the “<style>” element is not placed in the HTML head as usual, but in the body, as some email programs remove all stylesheet blocks from the HTML header.

Foundation for Emails 2: Broad Compatibility With Common Email Programs and Web Services

Foundation for Emails 2” runs on many email programs, and not only their recent versions. For example, the framework supports Microsoft Outlook in versions 2000 to 2016. It also supports Version 7 and 8 of Apple Mail. The mobile default email applications of Android 4.4, and iPhone 5 and 6, the iPad, as well as the Android Gmail app, are supported.

As many emails are open via webmail interfaces, these are supported for the services Gmail, Office 365, Outlook.com, and Yahoo! on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

Overall, “Foundation for Emails 2” is very easy to handle, very flexible at what it helps you to achieve, as well as customizable. The vast compatibility with plenty of email applications makes it the framework of choice for HTML emails.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Google Analytics: How to Avoid High Bounce Rates

19 avril, 2016 - 15:00

If you own a website and use Google Analytics to keep track of visitors, you will quickly notice that the infamous bounce rate can shoot up pretty high. Bounce rates of over 60 percent are not a rare sight. High bounce rates are not always a bad thing. That’s why we’ll take a close look at what the bounce rate actually is, how it is formed, and how you can achieve a realistic bounce rate.

Exact Definition: This is the Bounce Rate

The bounce rate displays the percentage of visitors that leave your website after just one pageview without accessing any further pages of the site Google defines the bounce rate as follows:

The bounce rate is the percentage of visits on a single page (that means sessions, in which the user left your website on the landing page without interaction with the site).

Thus, if you have a bounce rate of 80 percent, that means that 80 percent of your visitors only looked at one single page, and left your website right after that without clicking anywhere else. However, a high bounce rate doesn’t have to be bad. Some types of websites will always have worse bounce rates than others due to their concept.

What Leads to a High Bounce Rates


Google and the Bounce Rate – Explained Comprehensibly.

The bounce rate of news websites is almost always worse than that of others. Many visitors only come to read a single article and then leave. Bloggers, however, shouldn’t know that problem, as in theory, blogs have a much better bounce rate than news magazines as they are more engagement-driven. But there are more, real factors that can create a seemingly poor bounce rate.

  • Bad Content: When the user doesn’t find the information he’s looking for, he’ll leave in no time. This will happen fast and constantly, as long as the content stays bad. The only thing that helps when that’s the case is revising the content.
  • Long Loading Times: Most visitors will not accept a long loading time of your website. If the content is not visible after two seconds at most, the user will leave the page. On top of that, it will also be harder to find the website using Google search.
  • Too Good SEO: Yes, even a (too) good search engine optimization can cause a high bounce rate. When the user instantly finds the information he’s looking for, he won’t click any further pages either.
  • Poor Webdesign: When your website’s layout isn’t all that inviting, or even looks sketchy, the visitor will quickly leave the page. An appealing layout is a must for every website.
  • Too Many Advertisements: If a website contains too many ads, this can scare away potential visitors. Less is definitely more in this regard!
  • Confusing Navigation: If your visitor simply doesn’t find his way around on your website, he’ll leave it quickly as well.

Are High Bounce Rates Affecting the Ranking?

I think we can answer this question with a definitive yes very easily. Google analyzes the bounce rate in-depth, taking into account that a high bounce rate is not always bad. For that reason, the search engine will also take the duration of the visit on the page into consideration. Only then, a coherent picture is created. When a visitor leaves a website after a couple seconds, that’s always bad. However, if he leaves after five or ten minutes, that’s a very good sign. It only means that the visitor found just what he was looking for.

How to Achieve a Realistic Bounce Rate

Google considers every visitor that leaves the website after just one page a bounce. Thus, the bounce rate increases no matter how long the visitor stayed on that one page. He could be a regular reader, who accessed the page via the website’s feed only to read this one article, as he’s already read the others. It is also possible that the visitor came from Twitter. All direct visits to a website are a sign of specific interest. While this is generally a good thing, these users unfortunately also drive up the bounce rate.

I think that the standard way of measuring the bounce rate gives a false impression, and doesn’t display a website’s reality. A real bounce would be somewhere between five and twenty seconds. The bounce rate is supposed to be significant, as it’s a good tool for website optimization. It is supposed to help you find problems. This can only be done when the bounce rate is realistic. That’s why we need to adjust and “tune” it a little.

Using the following tracking code, by simply replacing the existing one, we decide, that only visits below twenty seconds are counted as a bounce.

Clicking the graphics opens the respective Gist at GitHub.

Adjusting the new Google Analytics Code – analytics.js

Adjusting the old ga.js Analytics Code

The Effects of the New Code

After a short time, we’ll have a more realistic bounce rate at hand. Only the real bounces below 20 seconds are displayed.

Conclusion

With a small adjustment to the tracking code, you have now achieved realistic, though probably still high bounce rates that will be displayed in Google Analytics. Using the new values, you can now revise the articles with “real” high bounce rates, and start working on the problems (if there are any).

Sources:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

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Yves Bresson, ingénieur en informatique, consultant freelance, spécialisé dans la création de sites web (CMS, PHP, Ajax, jQuery, Bootstrap, HTML 5, CSS 3) et d'applications mobiles (iPhone, Android). Voir le profil de Yves Bresson sur LinkedIn