Tag Archives: developer

Knowing What’s Missing in WordPress Functionality

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WordPress has become one of the most well-known website platforms in the world. Many people love this platform because of its flexibility, security and ranges of plugins that one can install to provide additional functionality. However, with many benefits that it offers, WordPress still lacks with many things. If you are a web developer, the information below can be beneficial for you. Here are a few requests for the missing functionality in WordPress; and some workarounds for the meantime.

Ability to Duplicate Posts

WordPress is equipped with completely redo settings to get the desired output which can be unnecessarily time consuming. This functionality on WordPress is limited to the use of a plugin: Duplicate Post.

With a duplicate post plugin, you can “clone” a post or “create a new draft”. The latter copies the post and opens it in a new window for editing. On the other hand, the former creates a new post entirely.

Moreover, you can also edit settings that let you do things like copying with this plugin:

  • Original date,
  • Original status (saved to draft, published, pending),
  • Original excerpt; original attachments,
  • Children of the original page,
  • Taxonomies/custom fields.

You are also able to work with custom post types in this plugin. Unfortunately, not all plugins are compatible and doesn’t necessarily call out these incompatibilities on the front end. As a result, it can cause worst scenario, such as complication from using this plugin can crash your website, so it is important for you to have a backup.

Bundle Settings and Plugins for New Installs

If you are planning to create multiple sites in WordPress, it would be particularly helpful to have some functionality that combines all the desired features into a file that could be uploaded to the site you’re building. If you work with clients in a similar industry, you will see that many WordPress websites have the same base features. However, installing /activating the launch list plugins one by one is tedious, so as a solution, you can install WordPress Install Profiles plugins. Once installed and activated, Go to Plugins > Bulk Install Profiles.

Furthermore, you can easily add or remove plugins from the list with a default list of plugins. Use the name on the plugin’s URL to add a new plugin, after that, give the list profile a name and download it to your computer.

You’ll need to have the WordPress Install Profiles plugin installed and activated on that site, then import the profile you want to install on another website. However, since this plugin hasn’t been updated in many years, there may be compatibility or security issues associated with its use.

SITE CACHING

Site caching supports your site to load faster by storing the website processes in an HTML file to be loaded as needed. That is why page loading is a major factor for ranking in technical SEO. To avoid any server calls, developers wish that WordPress had site caching.

Even though you cannot find site caching built into the platform, there are many plugins that can initiate this process, like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. Actually, there are some WordPress hosting companies that offer site caching. However, many find that site caching offered through a web host is more efficient than these plugins, so if that’s an option, don’t install a caching plugin.

Built-In Form Builder

You can find a lot of form builder plugins, but since most businesses use forms anyway, why not add this functionality to the WordPress core code? Rather than waiting for this functionality missing in WordPress, try an all-purpose contact form plugin like Contact Form 7. With contact Form 7, you can manage multiple contact forms, and you can easily customize form and email content with simple markup. Besides, Contact Form 7 supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, and other important security factors. Another benefit that you can get is the simplicity to set-up, flexible, as well as it offers customizable default messages, and easily-defined mail messages.

Improved Theming System

In terms of the theming system, WordPress still needs lots of improvement. There are still “sloppy code” and “disastrous mix of business and display logic”. In the current version, you can see that template hierarchy does not take plugins into account. As a result, the plugin has to override the template system, or create a workaround to provide a default template for displaying this custom post type if you have a plugin with a custom post type for movies.

The more complex the code base, there is a greater opportunity to improve code practices, eliminate short codes, and fix template hierarchy for a more efficient base theme.

Custom User Permissions

In general, WordPress serves its users with 5 roles:

  • Administrator
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Contributor
  • Writer

In terms of managing tasks, each of these roles has their own specific limits. Many developers suggest it, so that WordPress could allow users to set, specify, or limit what each individual user can do, especially for a multi-author/user site.

To overcome this functionality missing, you can use Advanced Access Manager plugin; which manages both frontend and backend access.

File Browsing Interface

Even though you can find various plugins available, you have to be careful in choosing the right plugin for your website, since certain plugins may cause your website to slow down. By having an error code, you can identify this, but when it does not, then you have to manually deactivate all files, and then reactivate them one by one in the admin area to determine what is causing the error. However, you have to use a File Transfer protocol (FTP) like Firezilla to backup all plugin files if the error does not allow access to the admin area.

Besides, developers can quickly fix issues without needing cPanel/FTP access since you can access files directly from WordPress.

Nowadays, WordPress is still the most powerful platform on its own. No wonder there are various plugins that have been developed to support the functionality missing in WordPress, even though many developers are still hoping that the issues will immediately get built-in solutions.

Ways to Make your Apps Serverless

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The rise of a new buzzword has made many people think that servers no longer exist, but the fact is, a server is still needed somewhere. This is why the “serverless” term may mislead many people. What makes “serverless” term is that you can successfully build your applications without deploying code to your own servers. Therefore, as a web developer your dream of spending less time worrying about servers and more time for building software will come true.

Serverless in Action

When your site serves many readers a month, it means that the traffic that comes to our scale is significant and sudden, as articles can go viral at any moment. As a result, you may have trouble keeping up and our engineers are spending too much time on operations. Therefore, as a solution, you can take a look at serverless platforms which offer you a complete success of your projects, such as more maintainable, easier to operate, and cheaper.

Amazon Web Services

Serverless has a close relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS). In fact, AWS is the answer for one critical question; where does the custom code go? The concept of using third-party services and platform is not new, with database, you can push notifications, caching, and many other layers of an application have all been available ‘as a service’ for a while, but they sat on the edge of your application. Therefore, a server is still needed as a place for core application code, which is usually a server responding to external requests. Through AWS Lambda and AWS API Gateway, you can deploy custom application code without the overhead of managing your own servers.

AWS Lambda

Applying Lambda is quite simple, you only need to write code and upload it. Lambda is Amazon’s version of functions-as-a-service (FaaS). Then, as a response to events including HTTP requests, S3 uploads, DynamoDB updates, Kinesis streams, and many others, AWS will run the code. Since scaling happens automatically, you are only charged when your functions are running.

None of these features are strictly a requirement for serverless, but AWS has certainly set the bar high. Any serverless platform will likely to have a stateless FaaS offering with very granular billing because of the precedent set by AWS.

Other Platforms

Right now, Amazon may still be the first competitor in the arena, but other providers are showing up quickly. All the major cloud platforms have recently launched services targeted at serverless applications. Here are a few of them:

  • Google Cloud Functions: Still in alpha, having almost the same functionality to AWS Lambda and can also be triggered by HTTP requests.
  • Azure Functions: This platform is still relatively new and similar to Lambda. Other benefits are Azure has a pleasant UI and makes it easy to expose functions over HTTP without needing a separate routing service.
  • IBM OpenWhisk: This is the only open source platform. You will want to investigate this, if you are interested in deploying your own serverless platform or just curious with how they work under the hood.

Challenges

If you think serverless is the solution of every problem, you might be wrong, for serverless does not come without its challenges. In fact, the community is still discovering best practices, especially when it comes to operations as the space is new and as such. In fact, this platform still requires tools for deploying, maintaining and monitoring our applications. However, many believe that there will be many new startups’ third party services targeted at solving these problems for serverless developers.

Tools

With lots of open source community, it is possible to manually build and deploy serverless applications yourself, but we suggest that you use the existed frameworks, since a few endpoints, building, packaging, zipping, uploading and versioning all become difficult to manage. Here are some frameworks that you might want to consider:

  • Serverless framework: This framework has a robust plugin system and integrates with many community developed plugins with many community developed plugins. Its stated goal is to eventually support deployment to any of the major cloud platforms.
  • Apex: Even though it is written in Go, it supports Python, Node.js and Java runtime languages. Furthermore, the inventor of this tool, TJ Holowaychuk, is a well-known fixture in the open source community and has a great sense of what makes for good developer tools.
  • Chalice: it is the only framework created and maintained by AWS and currently supports Python.
  • Shep: If you are looking for framework that can be used for all our production services, Bustles’ own open source framework can be a great choice. It focuses on the Node.js runtime and strives to be opinionated about how you should structure, build, and deploy applications.

 It seems that in 2017 “serverless” technology will keep growing and you will see rapid adoption from startups to fortune 500 companies. This is because many developers have realized that the serverless movement is the best way to build better software.

How Google Considers Webpages as ‘Low Quality’

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When talking about producing best websites with best value, one cannot deny that they have to pass Google quality assessment. To classify sites, Google usually issues their quality update monthly and as a web developer, you surely wish your site will be qualified as a high quality, right? Therefore, you have to know how Google classifies Webpages as ‘Low Quality’. Knowing what makes webpage  considered as low quality is as important as knowing what makes it considered as high quality, so to prevent your sites from getting low rank, you can read the following information.

Excessive & Unnatural Internal Structural Links

Since early of 2012, Google has been talking about its low-quality criteria list when they filed a patent that directly targets websites repeating internal links across sidebars and footers. This was actually a part of SEO technique, but now it has become an unnatural form of SERP manipulation.

You can see some obvious signs when a website is untrustworthy, like it’s been hacked or it’s full of spam comments and spam pages. There are some less obvious factors that Google considers it as low quality signals.

Phantom 2

As Google keeps updating its algorithm, we began to see a change in Google’s algorithm in the end of April 2015 where in May 2015 was dubbed the Phantom 2 update. Many webmasters speculate that Phantom 2 is made to examine the newly patented low-quality criteria list, a lot of websites with poor quality content saw upwards of a 10 percent decrease in organic search traffic.

Over-Monetization of Content

Google considers most websites to be designed to trick users, search engines, or both. If Google determine your web as a part of this kind of websites, then they will record your web as the lowest quality. In fact, Google has taken greater steps to cater for high volume search queries that don’t have a single dominant interpretation.

Ads & Affiliate Links

Regarding to ads and affiliate links, you should make sure that the main focus of the page is its main content, so users shouldn’t have to scroll past affiliate links and ads or interact with intrusive overlays. For example, Taboola and Outbrand which blend in with the page, this design makes them look like they belong to the page and increase’s users trust. However, the bad side is, it will affect your quality ranking.

E-commerce Trust Factors

Another issue that you have put to underline is the lack of attention to detail e-commerce hygiene pages and hygiene content. Below are some pages that you should consider the most.

Financial Transaction Pages

Good transaction pages do not only have to contain cart/checkout and subsequent stages on the website, but these pages should also contain prominent links to standard e-commerce hygiene pages or any page that allows a user to “purchase’ or add a product to their cart/basket. Furthermore, as this page can be considered as the most important user pages, you should develop it with the best effort possible.

Financial Information Pages

Don’t forget to create a high quality content for your finance content, financing product purchases on your own site, or content and information that can insure products or services. High quality content should contain keywords and understand the relationship between keywords and content.

The bottom line of this article is, in order to get your SEO basics right, make sure that your pages and internal linking structures serve users very well, so that it doesn’t pass link equity to the money pages, especially for e-commerce and brochure service websites.