Recently, I had a chance to sit down with my friend Jackie D’Elia of Jackie D’Elia Designs. She just launched a show called Rethink.fm, the forward-thinking podcast about web design and front-end development in WordPress.
We’ve had several discussions leading up to this about content first strategy and design, which is the polar opposite of how most web projects are actually run. Jackie suggested that we record an episode to talk about content first web design.
I’m going to start this article with a controversial statement.
Referrals aren’t a reliable source of income.
I can hear you disagreeing with me now, but hear me out.
Now, if I were to ask you your number one source of sales, chances are high you’d tell me referrals or word-of-mouth.
Now while I do run into businesses that are booked solid from referrals alone, these are an anomaly, not a normality.
Every browser has it’s own idiosyncrasies.
One bug I encountered recently in Safari is related to pages with a slider located on the page.
Specifically, when the slides animate, font weights of various HTML elements somewhere else on the page change when the slides animate. Weird, right?
It turns out this is a bug in Webkit browsers like Chrome and Safari. There are some technical aspects to this involving how browsers render a page, and I won’t bore you with those details.
The best way to describe what triggers this bug is: when CSS animation is in effect, anything that might appear on top of the animated element can be affected, if that element’s
left properties are changed during the animation, if the element follows the animated element.
This sounds complex, but there’s a fairly simple solution to this bug in Chrome and Safari.
Today we’re discussing one specific scenario that that hurts business websites. This is when WordPress website owners don’t own the plugin licenses for their site.
For those of you who don’t know what that is, many CMS like WordPress have “plugins” that extend the core site functionality. Some plugins are free, and some are paid. Other content management systems like Drupal or Expression Engine have the same sort of thing, they just call them different names.
On the WordPress repository, there are free plugins. But there’s also a ton of premium (paid) plugins in the overall ecosystem. These usually have an annual license for support and updates.
Many third-party companies, like WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, or WordImpress, for example, sell these plugins for a set price each year. The premium plugin licenses are good for one year. The licenses have a unique key which allows the site owner to update their WordPress plugins when they are available, or get ticketed support from the plugin vendor.
Bear in mind, your website is like any other piece of software. When software updates are available, they need to be applied. This helps keep everything functioning correctly, and keep your site safe and secure. Most websites today are not simple static brochure sites. E-commerce websites in particular are full-fledged web applications with a database and complex functionality.