If you’ve read any of my previous outpourings you’ll have noticed the constant refrain of “Update early, update often.” Especially with web facing software. Out there on the Internet an army of malicious beings waits to exploit a chink in your armour for their own nefarious purposes. Whether to spread smut, viruses or to drain the bank accounts of innocents, it’s a rough world out there. The teeming mass of malefactors will not hesitate to take advantage.
Never being ones to let the grass grow under their feet, jewelion.com has had an SSL certificate for a long time now. More years than we care to remember. Right from the start when we first started hosting eCommerce sites we decided that SSL was A Good Thing™. Back then each SSL protected site had to have its own IP address - due to the way the https protocol then worked.
The relentless march of WordPress improvements carries on. Yesterday (16th November 2017) we were greeted with the good news that those awfully nice WordPress people have an update for us: 4.9 “Tipton”, no less. Tipton is named after jazz musician and band leader Billy Tipton. The increase in number from 4.8.x to 4.9 indicates that this is a pretty important release, introducing major new functionality rather than addressing bugs or blocking security holes.
As sure as winter follows summer, here comes another Wordpress upgrade. I’ve just received emails from the sites I run to say that Wordpress 4.8.3 is now the recommended version. It looks to be a pretty important update - billed as a security release. The advisory page says: we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately That’s Wordpress code for “We’re probably aware of something nasty wrong in the old versions and if you don’t get your site(s) updated / patched don’t blame us if someone or something nasty gets into your site!
Privacy, or lack of it on the internet and our daily lives, is hotly debated. Ironically, those very organisations which profit from analysing our online activities are the most vocal in the promotion of techniques to prevent people’s browsing habits from being exposed. Google is actively encouraging the use of SSL across all websites. This is not the appropriate blog post to investigate or query their motivations - rather we’ll look at the practical use of SSL (the little padlock) in securing your website and making your visitors feel safe.
Unless it is abandoned, all web software is continually under development and being improved. Sometimes we might wish developers would keep some of their “improvements” to themselves, but that is a topic for another blog! It’s incredibly difficult to talk version numbers without sounding terminally geeky - but that’s the situation we find ourselves in. Please indulge me… Already running Prestashop? Then it’s highly likely you’ll be running the 1.
Or watching the watchers. Many people who are in charge of specifying websites stipulate that the finished product should be W3C compliant. Sometimes, if accessibility is a priority then there may be a couple of other tests to pass. That’s all very well and good - we’re all in favour of standards. Standards are what allow our websites to be viewed by people on their phones, tablets and laptops using Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome or Internet Explorer.
Who is the strongest? Who is the best? I have been through a few e-Commerce solutions in my time. I have toiled at the cliff face of Actinic when it was based on Perl. I have rolled my own shopping carts in Perl and PHP. I have dallied in the dystopic realms of osCommerce and swam in the waters of Zen Cart. And finally, having tried them both, I plump for Prestashop in preference to Magento.
Sometimes when you’re typing you need to do just that. Type, let the words flow without having to stop and lift your hands to grab the mouse, I don’t know, to maybe click here or there to italicise this word or embolden the other. OK - most people know about CTRL+I and CTRL+B; you do, don’t you? But beyond that, wouldn’t it be great if you could insert a heading with the same ease?
New (Old) Ways of Working Being in the business of creating websites for other people means that it’s sometimes easy to overlook the mess in ones own back yard! It’s with this in mind that I have made use of a few spare minutes to start to put together a new site for Jewelion using some of the latest & greatest techniques. These days it’s very easy, too easy some might say.