Where is my editor?

Some of you may have found out by now that the standard editor in WordPress 5 has now been permanently removed and replaced with the Gutenberg editor. Now you are stuck and not sure what to do because nothing is familiar. 

For Divi users it is a bit worse because they have changed their interface as well to coincide with the release of WordPress version 5 and if you are not careful you may end up deleting your page altogether if you try to revert back to a standard editor. 

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Divi Colour Palette

When you are editing a website, particularly when carrying out formatting it is useful to have a colour palette handy so you can apply the colours used in your website. 

If you have a Divi based website it is possible to set these up so that they are available whenever you want to do some editing. 

Home-Start Colours

In or around 2007 Home-Start had a very comprehensive guide for styles for websites and printed materials. It has changed over the years, but some of the colours are still commonly in use. 

I will create the palette below with the hexadecimal RGB values and also show you how to add them to the website palette built into Divi. 

Please note the guidance at the bottom of the image. The ultimate source for guidance on Home-Start branding is from Home-Start UK. Not from me. They will frequently change their guidance for branding. If in any doubt contact your sources at Home-Start UK.

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Gutenberg

I am still using the new editor which is going to become standard in WordPress shortly. I turned it on in this site several months ago, and while I still use the same editor you are using everywhere else, I am finding that by persisting with the new editor on this site it is starting to grow on me. 

It is like most things that are new and different, you just have to keep trying. With only a few exceptions I can do everything I was doing in the old editor. So just in case your website changes at some point when it is rolled out to everyone; don’t panic.  You should be able to turn on the old editor, or simply give the new one a try. 

If you are stuck let me know and I will get the old editor working. I will try to put a Gutenberg video tutorial together in the next month or two to provide some tips on using it. 

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Password Protected Pages in Divi

On many Home-Start sites, and some of the regional charity websites I have included one or more password based pages. You can add these yourself, it is controlled in the editing view of the page or post on the right handside where it refers to Visibility. You have the following available:

  • Public
  • Public (and stick to the front page)
  • Password Protected 
  • Private

Items are normally set up as Public. If you use Public and stick to the front page, check what it does first. It may not work as you expect it to work because it relates to the template. 

Password protected pages in Divi

There is an annoying problem with password protected pages in Divi, if you try to enter one the first time you will see small writing on the left and a button on the right. On a wide screen these look totally disconnected, and not obvious. If you have a non Divi based website, you are unaffected. 

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Featured Image on Posts

This is only of interest to Divi template based websites. If you use this facility in your template and it is not Divi based, take care to check what it does before you accept using it. Different templates work in different ways.

Many of the latest Divi based designs I have been building for both Home-Starts and other groups have at least one news page, often more than one. For example a summary on the home page of the latest six news items is useful, and a fully featured news page as well for everything. 

Filtering News

You can do this on other sites, but within the Divi environment it is very easy to use:  you can have a fundraising page, and at the bottom of the page have a Fundraising blog. This is an automatic feature where any new posts which you categorise as Fundraising will appear there. They will also change over time as you add more content.

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What does this mean?

Sometimes you can see a small symbol where an image should be located, why is it broken, what does it mean, and how can I fix it?

Missing image symbol is at the bottom of this screen shot

What this symbol means is that there was an image referenced here and it is now no longer available. It displays this small icon to indicate it is missing. 

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Outlook Email Problems?

Before you read this, my initial feedback is very few people are affected by this, so if you are not aware of a problem, your version of Outlook is probably ok. However do be aware of the following:

I think this may be mainly associated with Office 365, but may also apply to late versions of MS Outlook as part of a recent MSOffice installation. It looks like Microsoft have changed the default behaviour of the application when logging into a mail server. I have been told through the hosting company that we use that Outlook uses a different password encryption method to what it used to use prior to an upgrade around 1 week ago. The impact on the user is that they can no longer access their email and will see something like this:

“task ‘Synchronizing subscribed folders for name@domain.org.uk, reported error (0x800CCC0E) : ‘ Outlook can not synchronize subscribed folders for name@domain.org.uk. error: Cannot connect to servicer. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or internet service provider (ISP).’

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Managing Images in WordPress

I frequently find that people have uploaded images from their phones and cameras directly into the image library and then added them to a page. What they have forgotten to do is optimise the image for the browser screen.

If I look at my camera, it takes image which are 5700px wide x 3800 px high and 10MB in size.

My monitor screen is a little higher definition than HD, so these images are too large for my browser, and if viewed on a phone which may be 700 pixels wide or less they are huge by comparison.

For most users these days, they view websites on mobile devices and may not be doing this over WiFi, so if they are downloading your web page from a 4G or 3G network, it is costing them money.

As a general guide your images need to be no bigger than 150kB in memory size, and no larger than the largest screen you are likely to come across. Today that is around 1200px for the web content space for most sites.  Many of the sites I have built, the content area is no wider than 1080px.  Continue reading Managing Images in WordPressFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Improving Website Speed

One of the areas I have been looking at in June and July is the apparent slowness of some, but not all websites, this can be intermittent and influenced by other things happening on the same server. The guidance below covers the sorts of things I will check if someone reports this. If you think your website is slow, follow this checklist to rule out some of the factors that may be responsible. There are also tips below on how to improve your performance. If you need help please contact me and I will take a look for you.

What is “normal”?

What performance should you expect is really the first question. It depends on what you are doing. If you are not logged in and a normal user viewing the website, you should expect the site to load in under 5 seconds, in my experience in 3.5 seconds but I am on a very fast internet connection. It may take a little longer to locate the site the first time you access it, but after the site has been located use that as your guide. If it is consistently taking >10 seconds to load, then it is a problem that needs to be checked out.

Normal of course is also determined by your internet download speed. If that is the bottle neck, then your performance may be slower.  Continue reading Improving Website SpeedFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Securing mail from your website to a mailbox

By default a wordpress installation uses a method of sending mail that does not use a mailbox to send the message and does not encrypt the message. Email cannot be confirmed to be end to end secure unless you know the receiving or sending person is using encryption and is set up correctly; you can encrypt mail in the places where you control email so that it is encrypted from the website to the mailbox. If it is your mailbox, and you know that your mail client is set up correctly with encryption, then you have end to end security. If the website is running over SSL and the address starts with https:// (98% of them are now), then a user entering information into a form is also encrypted. So the path from the users browser, through your contact form, from the website to your receiving mailbox is encrypted and cannot be intercepted as plain text.

How do I make the changes

Log into your website and go to Plugins.
Seatch for WP Mail SMTP, locate it and install it. Continue reading Securing mail from your website to a mailboxFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail