Notification About Cookies for Privacy Laws

Notification About Cookies for Privacy Laws

webdesign

Two big laws have been passed covering privacy online and more are sure to come in the future. While most Web site owners are happy to comply with the laws, they struggle with how to do it easily. Let’s see if we can at least cover the basics with minimal effort.

The two existing laws are General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which took effect on May 25, 2018 and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which takes effect on January 1, 2020. We are not lawyers and do not take this post as legal advice. We are simply providing one possible tool for complying with these new laws.

One part of GDPR is notifying site users that you are using cookies. A tool to assist with compliance of that part of the law is Cookie Notice for GDPR. While it does not explicitly mention CCPA, our feeling is that it will also cover the upcoming law in future updates.

Cookie Notice for GDPR

To start, add the Cookie Notice for GDPR plugin to your site. It is free! Once you have it installed, go to the Settings and configure how you want it to work on your site. This includes the message it displays, color schemes, type of button and whether or not it links to your privacy policy. In total, it should take less than five minutes to have it up and running.

No, this does not magically bring your site into compliance. But it does handle one step of the process very quickly and at a price we all like—FREE!

Resolving Divi Theme Builder Conflicts With Related Posts & Social Sharing

Resolving Divi Theme Builder Conflicts With Related Posts & Social Sharing

webdesign

We are big fans of the Divi Theme from Elegant Themes and use it almost exclusively on our projects. As they released the much anticipated v4.x of Divi, we made plans to evaluate and then slowly and safely update the sites we designed with Divi.

Most of the issues were minor and there were easy workarounds. But we ran into a big problem when we took advantage of one of the new features. Their Theme Builder feature enables the ability to do amazing things with the header, footer and other parts of a site. It was tested on a couple of sites with no issues and then we created a new header for our Graphics Unleashed site and had some big problems.

Almost every type of content in WordPress is a post since the platform was originally built for blogging. Things built with Theme Builder are a custom post type. Unfortunately this caused issues with a couple of tools we were using on the site as they were set to display below posts.

The first conflict was with Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress. It has a variety of functions, but we used one of them to display social sharing buttons below each blog post. Unfortunately they were now displaying below the header instead. The only immediate solution was to turn off the social sharing buttons.

As Elegant Themes, makers of Divi, also make the Monarch plug-in. Monarch also has social sharing buttons and we felt that Elegant Themes would have made sure their products worked well together. Unfortunately the same problem existed when Monarch was activted. So the best solution for now was to go without social sharing buttons. Yes, we could have probably found a workaround, but it was time to move on.

We also had a problem with related posts. On this site we were using the related posts functionality provided by the Jetpack plugin. Just like the social sharing buttons, the related posts were displaying under the header. After exploring alternatives, we discovered the Contextual Related Posts plugin was a solution though we needed to tweak the settings.

First, we turned them on in the General tab of the settings. This did not solve the problem as related posts were still displaying below the header.

Contextual Related Posts Automatically Add

To solve the problem, we went to the List Tuning tab and checked Limit to same post type as shown below.

Limit to same post type

Now the Related Posts were only displaying below the blog posts as desired. While we were unable to solve both issues, solving one was better than nothing.

Of course these issues were reported to the support team at Elegant Themes. They acknowledged it was a bug and that it would be addressed in an update in the near future.

Eight Tutorials For Improving Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Eight Tutorials For Improving Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

seo

Today we have the last part of the series started four weeks ago. First we covered Six Essential Guides to Mastering SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Next we went over Six Tools for Improving Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Now we have eight tutorials helping you improve the SEO on your own site or that of a client.

Photo by unsplash-logoFancycrave

Six Tools for Improving Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Six Tools for Improving Your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

seo

Two weeks ago, we started this series by looking at Six Essential Guides to Mastering SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Today we’re going to focus on some tools you can use to improve and measure the SEO on your site.

Photo by unsplash-logoEdho Pratama

Six Essential Guides to Mastering SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Six Essential Guides to Mastering SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

seo

Building a good looking Web site that delivers useful information to visitors is very important. Once built, it is important that the site have solid Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that it ranks well in the search engines and gets seen by more people. In the first part of this series, we have a set of tutorials explaining different types of SEO.

Photo by unsplash-logoFancycrave

Using WebP Images With WordPress

Using WebP Images With WordPress

tutorial

In the early days of Web design we had GIF and JPEG. Then PNG came along in the mid 90s to provide a very good alternative to GIF. Other formats have come and gone since then with none of them truly taking hold. That is, until now! The folks at Google have created the WebP format and it is one you should consider using. Let’s look at why it is beneficial and then how to use it on your WordPress site.

There are two major types of images: lossless and lossy. WebP has answers for both and those answers provide smaller files than the alternatives. Smaller files mean Web pages load faster and that’s always a good thing.

We now use JPEG format for lossy images. Lossy images have different sizes based on how much quality you are willing to sacrifice. When using an equivalent quality, WebP images are 25-35% smaller than JPEG.

PNG is typically used for lossless images and has the benefit of an alpha channel. What’s an alpha channel? It allows for varying levels of transparency. WebP can do lossless and an alpha channel while being 26% smaller than PNG.

If any of you want all the technical details, Google has the info for you. While Google provides a tool for converting images to WebP, it may not be the best choice right now for Web designers. WebP is directly supported in Chrome and Opera, but not other browsers. So if you use it directly, your pages will probably not display correctly in other browsers.

How Do I Use WebP With WordPress?

If you try to directly upload a WebP image into WordPress today, you’ll likely get a message that the file type isn’t allowed for security reasons. Given the limited browser support, that’s isn’t such a bad thing. The best way to use WebP with WordPress is via a plugin. While there are several choices, the best free option is the EWWW Image Optimizer. The plugin has a number of other features, but we’re focused on the WebP support.

EWWW Image Optimizer Plugin

Using the EWWWW Image Optimizer Plugin, you’ll still upload JPG and PNG files just as you’ve always done. The plugin converts those to WebP format and serves them up to site visitors using a supported browser. JPG images will become lossy WebP images and PNG images will become lossless WebP images (with alpha channel intact). It is also compatible with caching and content delivery networks. This option is as simple as installing the plugin and enabling the WebP feature.

Given that installing the plugin will make your images at least 25% smaller, why not give it a try now! it is a very simple way to speed up your site. Also pretty cool for geeky visitors to know you are using the latest in imaging technology.