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Nexcess Blog

What Does PHP 7 Mean For WordPress Users And Developers?

December 10, 2015 3 Comments RSS Feed

PHP 7PHP — the programming language behind WordPress, Magento, ExpressionEngine, and thousands of other applications — recently got its first major version bump in years. The move from PHP 4 to PHP 5 happened a decade ago, although the language has seen multiple minor version bumps in the intervening years, culminating in PHP 5.6, which was released last year.

PHP 7 is a major update to the foundations of the language and will impact both WordPress users and developers of WordPress themes and plugins. The WordPress team has been hard at work getting ready for PHP 7. It was officially released on December 3rd, 2015, and that’s when WordPress (and Nexcess) began to officially support PHP 7.

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Posted in: php, WordPress

Meet Magento Argentina 2015 recap

December 8, 2015 0 Comments RSS Feed

Product DocumentationFor the first time, Meet Magento landed in Argentina. The last Meet Magento event of the year took place in Buenos Aires, organized by our friends of Summa Solutions. As usual, we assisted this event, this time as bronze sponsors, and connected with the local merchants and community.

The event started early in the morning with a delicious breakfast and a keynote by Aldo Bressan, Summa’s co-founder, and Thomas Goletz, Meet Magento Association President, who highlighted Magento community events’ expansion to more than 30 countries worldwide.

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Posted in: Magento, Nexcess

WordPress Basics: What Are Custom Post Types Used For?

December 3, 2015 0 Comments RSS Feed

Custom Post TypesWordPress was originally created as a blogging engine. It had posts and pages, which gave it all the flexibility it needed to support traditional blogs. To be properly regarded as a content management system, WordPress needed a more flexible way to arrange content. Custom post types were introduced way back in WordPress 3.0 and allowed WordPress users to publish content that wasn’t limited to the post-and-page model.

First, let’s clear up a bit of terminological confusion between post and post type. A post — think a blog article — is a piece of content with the post type post. A page is a piece of content with the post type page, and so on for several default post types.

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Posted in: WordPress

Writing Gooder, Part 3

December 1, 2015 1 Comment RSS Feed

One day soon, Twitter, Snapchat, and kitten memes will eradicate all other forms of web writing, forcing technical writers to find jobs as sideshow freaks. Until then, I present three more ways to tighten the screws on loose and lazy writing. Go here for Part 1, and here for Part 2.

#4 “Which” and “that” are not identical twins

This is difficult to explain without venturing into Ye Olde Festival of Yawns, but here it goes anyway.

“Which” and “that” are not interchangeable. They are mere cousins, and they’ve grown tired the Internet’s relentless abuse. Particularly “which,” which hasn’t bothered anyone since The Witch and Which Incident of 1987.

Use “that” when only some of whatever comes after “that” applies to the subject. For example, “The shopping carts that are empty make me sad.” In this example, only some of the carts are empty; some are full. If you use “which, “everything changes: “The shopping carts, which are empty, make me sad.” Now, all of the carts are empty, and they all make me sad.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Multi-channel Selling With Magento

November 26, 2015 2 Comments RSS Feed

Multi-channel SellingIn the modern eCommerce world, it pays to offer products through multiple channels. Owning a Magento store gives retailers considerable power over promotions, sales and marketing strategies, and customer data. Selling through channels like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy gives them access to reach and network effects that would be almost impossible to build on a stand-alone store.

The obvious course of action is to do both. Maintain an eCommerce store as the center of retail operations, but also sell on the other channels. The traditional problem with this approach has been complexity. Managing sales, stock control, and product catalogues over several different sales venues can have the most diligent eCommerce merchant tearing her hair out in frustration.

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Posted in: Magento, Nexcess

November’s Best Magento, WordPress, and ExpressionEngine Content

November 23, 2015 0 Comments RSS Feed

Holiday TrafficSince our last roundup, Magento 2!!!! Magento 2!!!! Magento 2!!!! Oh yeah, the the Magento-Ebay split is officially complete. Magento is now an independent company, backed by the Permira funds. During the recent Magento Live Australia, it was amazing to see the excitement surrounding the Magento community. We can’t wait to see what comes next. Without further ado, check out November’s best content here. If you’re looking for the same great articles on a day-to-day basis, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Enjoy and let us know if we missed anything important in the comment section. Read more

Posted in: Monthly Roundups

Writing Gooder, Part 2

November 19, 2015 2 Comments RSS Feed

Recently, I unleashed my inner English teacher upon this unsuspecting blog, only to tease (or perhaps relieve) the audience with one rule. With apologies to Conrad Vachon, the hero of my introduction from Part 1, let’s jump right into two more ways to flex your writing muscle.

#2 Passive voice should be exterminated Exterminate passive voice

This ties in with the first rule, “Omit needless words,” but it’s important enough to stand on its own. At best, the passive voice is awkward and long-winded. At worst, it’s a lazy, swollen abomination feeding on the flesh of your writing.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Five Strategies To Make The Most Of Holiday Traffic On Your Magento Store

November 17, 2015 0 Comments RSS Feed

Holiday TrafficWe’re close to the biggest eCommerce season of the year. According to Adobe, last year the month that includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday generated eCommerce sales in excess of $32 billion. And, of course, November is closely followed by the Christmas season, which can be an even bigger revenue-generator for eCommerce retailers.

To maximize your eCommerce store’s slice of the high-season pie, it’s worthwhile making sure you’re prepared to make the most of the peak spending period.

The first, and most important, part of being prepared for the holiday season is to make sure your Magento site can handle the load. There’s little more disheartening than seeing your store grind to a halt because too many shoppers are filling their baskets and trying to check out. Take a look at your store’s performance metrics over the past year and ask yourself if you have the infrastructure it takes to support the traffic you’ll be getting over the next couple of months. If you aren’t completely satisfied, then it may be time to upgrade.

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Posted in: eCommerce, Magento

Writing Gooder, Part 1

November 12, 2015 2 Comments RSS Feed

As this is my first blog post for Nexcess, an introduction is in order. I am one of the technical writers at Nexcess, though I’ve also been fortunate enough to write for the Web and a few other places.

Writing is easy. Writing well is damned hard. And the Web is full of easy, lazy writing that punishes shoppers and readers alike. But this is eCommerce. People see pretty pictures, click on things, fill a digital shopping cart, and click Buy. Why waste time by criticizing web copy, Mr. Technical Writer?

It is true that strong web copy probably cannot save a confusing or ugly webstore. It is also true that a sleek user interface and good product can often compensate for lackadaisical writing. I bow down to the power of an intuitive interface and glossy images, yet even the most image-driven web store eventually turns to the written word for its product descriptions. The image hooks readers, and unless the price annihilates your competition, the copy reels them into the boat. Bloggers enjoy many more allowances for personal style and conversational tone, but since they only have their writing and knowledge to sell, those elements aren’t good excuses for a sloppy effort. The Internet serves up a mountainous steaming heap of blogs every day, and expertise and pretty pictures aren’t always enough to nurture a following.

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Posted in: Nexcess

vBulletin Users Should Update Immediately To Mitigate Potential Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

November 10, 2015 0 Comments RSS Feed

The developers of vBulletin have released a patch to the popular forum software that fixes a remote code execution vulnerability that could be used by attackers to compromise vBulletin sites. The vulnerability has been available on vulnerability marketplaces for some time, and – in the spirit of full disclosure – a proof of concept and details of the vulnerability were released by Check Point. In consequence, the existence of this vulnerability and the mechanism for its exploitation are public knowledge – unpatched vBulletin sites are at risk of compromise.

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Posted in: News Releases, Security, vBulletin