News & Alerts

Understanding how to use this site

I have added a page under the main menu that shows you how to use this site. There are currently over 200 news/ self help/ information items on the site with hints and tips and 34 fixed pages. I realised that some of you visiting here may not be aware they are there because they cannot be located directly through the main menu.

They are news posts that are accessed through the news and alerts page. Each is categorised according to the content in the page and it’s relevance.

To help you get as much information as possible from the information on this site please see this page for more an explanation of how the site works. How to use this site. 

For clients of Wingrove-Media

If you have recently been working with me, and I have developed a site for you, or I am hosting your site you can sign up to a monthly newsletter using the form below:

After clicking Subscribe please check your email account and confirm your subscription

Please note that if you are not recognised as a client you will not be added to the mailing list. Most general articles on this site are freely available to everyone, I have made this available in the same spirit of many other developers who wish to help people, if only in thanks to those that have helped me in the past when I first started. The purpose of the content in this site is primarily targeted at my client base who have a specific implementation or are using specific services to support their website and email. 

Please check the sidebar for a list of articles, or search the site for something using the methods described in the sidebar. There is a category cloud in the side bar which is used to categorise posts. You can use this to narrow down your search.

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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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Two bugs to watch out for

All of the websites either automatically upgrade themselves, or I initiate an upgrade on most of the Divi based sites once per week through an automatic process. 

From time to time a plugin developer will do something that creates an incompatibility on your site, or impair the performance. 

GDPR Plugin by MOOVE Agency.

Some of you have a GDPR plugin in use from MOOVE Agency. It started off as a very simple and elegant pop up which advised you of the Privacy Statement included in websites following the GDPR regulation coming into force in May. 

It worked very well for several months, and for some reason they started to change things in the plugin, and introduce some bugs. There is one at the moment that is slowing websites down. It depends on the state of the plugin on your website. 

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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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Is email secure?

I met with an IT friend of mine and we had a discussion about security and email. I have been recommending that everyone uses SSL or TLS to connect to their server when they are reading or writing emails. 

Using SSL or TLS secures your connection to your server and ensures that your login details cannot be compromised by a third party. Email programs that do not use SSL or TLS send the login details in plain text. If this was intercepted by a third party, then the password details could be read, and a potential spammer could use your SMTP (sending email server) to send out lots of spam messages. Or read your mail and access your account. 

Once your email has reached your sending server, it may then be handled in plain text across the internet over multiple hops (Mail Relays) to the destination server, because that connection is generally not encrypted.

There are several systems out there, and they all need to play nicely together, but the bottom line is we should consider at the worse case all email to be insecure. Even though we may be applying best practices at the send and receive server end of the system. 

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Have I been Pwned?

No that was not a typo. There is a website that has access to data breach information. It is not clear whether it lists all data breaches in the public domain, or a select few of them. The website asks you to enter an email address into the site, it will check through the information it holds and will respond if a match is found. 

I tried one of mine and it returned several results indicating that my email address and an associated password to access an online account is in public circulation. It also shows if your email address is in spam lists as well. 

I have seen two sets of results on data breaches, one indicated your email address exists in a list somewhere that is in circulation, (typically a junk mailing list). You cannot do anything about this. The other case tells you the website and your email AND a password is in circulation. In the latter case you should be concerned about it if you were previously unaware. 

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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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Get a bear

I am adding a link behind this image at the bottom of new sites. Admin’s can click on it to go to a special admin page.

This is especially for Divi based websites. I have revised my training for new websites, and am now running the training for Divi based sites within the template environment. My tutorial is based on an ordinary post or page layout. 

If you think it will be helpful, I can add a special private page and post to your website. These can only be seen by an administrator who is logged into the site, the general visitor cannot see them. 

The Admin page has a general description on the relevance of Sections, Rows and Columns; these are elements within the Divi Template. It also talks about the differences between pages and posts.  There is a section with links back to my training videos and other education resources. 

I also include a Template Post which has guidance built into it to help you to remember what to do. It is explained at a very detailed level, and I would anticipate it would help to ensure you cover every step.  I also include a guide built into the website as well. The guide includes screenshots. You can see a copy here. 

Access to this area is through a small bear in the footer of your website. Or for those of you with more adult rather than family content I can use a different icon. The point being you click on it when you are logged in and it takes you to the Admin page with all of the tips on. 

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Featured Image Posts in Divi

If you have a Divi website there have been quite a few changes to the template and organisational structure. On new sites I have created a template which can be loaded by the editor. The template contains the instructions and tips on what you need to do to create your news item. 

The guidance is all built in for you. You delete the guidance before publishing. 

It makes it all a bit easier, and will help you to achieve consistency, because you don’t do the editing on the site all of the time. I have also created a cheat sheet which contains the steps in more detail and screen shots. You can download it here:

If you want a template added to your Divi based site to help you, drop me a line, and I will make some additional changes to the way the blog or news sections work to make them more interesting to view. 

Other Divi Resources

The downloadable link below is for a PPT presentation in PDF format which explains how the layout features in Divi work. You may find this useful as well. 

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Where to go for free images

Free image from Unsplash.com by rawpixel

For those of you with Divi based templates on your sites, images have become more important as they can spice up your websites. I subscribed to Adobe Stock images at around £20 per month for a year, which I am now regretting as I have 120 credits and nowhere I can use them. While the images are excellent, there are other sources, many of them free, and for those of you in the NFP/ Charity sector, as we know paying for an image is a luxury you can ill afford. 

So here are two places I have been using. You probably have to sign up to both, but there is no money involved unless you wish to buy the contributor  a coffee or make a donation. However the images are licensed for free use.

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