Nexcess Blog

June 2015’s Best ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Magento Content

July 6, 2015 0 Comments

HTTP2 been a spring of attending conferences for the Nexcess team and the month of June was no different. First, we were at IRCE in Chicago discussing Magento and PHP. Then last week we were in London for Magento Live UK 2015. One of the big themes of the latter event was Magento 2, and you’ll notice that we include a couple of articles that look at where the world’s most popular eCommerce platform is headed. Social and mobile are also becoming major influencing factors in eCommerce, an idea that is explored in posts below. So before we spoil all the articles we included, here’s the best WordPress, Magento, and ExpressionEngine articles from June 2015. If you’re looking for the same great content 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

How Will HTTP2 Change Front-End Performance Best Practices?

July 2, 2015 0 Comments

HTTP2In an ideal world, front-end designers shouldn’t have to waste much time on the details of performance optimization. Sure, they have to make sure their web pages aren’t excessively large, but the bulk of performance optimization should take place at a lower level: the server and its software, the network, and the technology and protocols that let servers talk to each other and to browsers. In reality, designers spend a considerable amount of time optimizing how their assets will be served to reduce load times: concatenating files, inlining CSS, creating CSS sprites, even sharding assets across several domains.

Much of this extra work is done simply to get around the limitations of HTTP/1.1, which was first released nearly 20 years ago and has been out-of-date ever since. Created for a web that bears little resemblance to today’s complex ecosystem of applications and media rich sites, HTTP/1.1 has major limitations, the most relevant of which is the way it makes requests expensive.

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Is Ghost a Viable WordPress Alternative?

June 30, 2015 0 Comments

Ghost WordPress AlternativeWhen WordPress was first created by Matt Mullenweg, he was scratching his own itch; he wanted a simple-to-use blogging engine — and that’s what WordPress used to be. Over the years, it has grown into something much more powerful. WordPress is now a superbly feature-rich content management system with an enormous collection of extensions and themes — if you want to build a website of any sort, WordPress is more than capable of supporting it.

Some people just want to blog, though. They don’t need all the extra bells and whistles. They want what Mullenweg wanted when he first created WordPress, and that’s the itch Ghost creator John O’Nolan set out to scratch. He aimed to build a simple elegant blogging engine that does everything a blogger needs but no more. He succeeded admirably. Ghost is an excellent blogging engine.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Book review: Magento Best Practices

June 25, 2015 1 Comment

Magento Best Practices HandbookFrom time to time, someone publishes a book about Magento that provides worthwhile advice for both for expert and inexperienced developers. Alessandro Ronchi recently published Magento Best Practices Handbook, an eBook providing tips and strategies understandable to anyone that already understands the fundamentals of Magento development.

At 115 pages, the handbook is not long, but it covers essential subjects such as autoload, logging, runtime, Magento MVC, and a simple, powerful strategies for deployment. With short, accessible chapters, the work advises readers to already have a running Magento installation so they can explore its code while studying the handbook’s contents.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Using Metadata To Improve WordPress Search And Social Performance

June 23, 2015 0 Comments

Ideally, search engines and social networks would be smart enough to look at a website and glean all of the information they need from the human-readable content on the page. In reality, they’re nowhere near intelligent enough; they can make guesses which are often pretty good, but they need a little help to understand what the content on a page means. Metadata is one way we can help them out.

Metadata has been in the news a lot over the past few years, and, in essence we’re talking about the same thing here: data about data. But where web sites are concerned, we have a specific sort of metadata in mind: information that we add to entities on our pages to help crawlers like Googlebot understand what the entity is.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Google’s Mobile Search Breadcrumbs Highlight The Importance Of Information Architecture

June 18, 2015 0 Comments

Mobile Search BreadcrumbsSince the beginning of 2015, Google has made substantial efforts to improve the experience it offers on mobile. Part of that effort can be seen in the algorithm changes Google implemented to give mobile-friendly sites a boost in mobile search, and part can be seen in the iterative changes they’ve made to the SERPs themselves.

In a recent announcement, the company highlighted a change in the way SERPs are displayed on mobile. It’s a change that imposes some burdens on site owners, both in the form of new code to add to sites, and in the focus it throws on information architecture and the appearance of URLs.

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Posted in: Nexcess

Responsive Design Or A Mobile Site For WordPress Mobile-Friendliness?

June 16, 2015 0 Comments

WordPress Mobile-FriendlinessOver the last few months we’ve seen a number of mobile watersheds: Facebook announced that almost half of its users only use Facebook on mobile; Google announced that there were more searches from mobile devices than PCs in many key markets and that it would be giving mobile-friendly sites a boost in the SERPS for searches from mobile devices; and eCommerce shoppers are turning to their mobile devices more often.

All of which indicates that if you’re running a WordPress website that hasn’t been optimized for mobile, it’s past time you did something about it or risk being left behind as user preferences change and search engines change to satisfy their users.

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VersionPress Hits 1.0 And Brings Git Goodness To WordPress

June 11, 2015 0 Comments

VersionPressWordPress has a rudimentary revision tracking system built in. It’s great when you want to recover a paragraph you delete in haste, or check exactly who made an edit to an article. But the built-in system doesn’t have a fraction of the power of version control systems that developers are used to using every day. VersionPress, which has recently hit its first major release, aims to correct that.

VersionPress, which bills itself as Git for WordPress and uses Git for versioning, brings much of the power — although thankfully not the complexity — of version control to WordPress, offering full version control for both files and the WordPress database.

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Posted in: Nexcess

PCI DSS 3.1: Here’s What eCommerce Retailers Need To Know

June 9, 2015 0 Comments

PCI DSS 3.1The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was updated last month in an unusual out of band revision that emphasizes just how important the PCI considers the changes it has made. The next revision wasn’t due until 2016. PCI DSS 3.1 delivers new requirements focused on what the PCI believes to be an ongoing risk to cardholder data security: SSL.

The essence of the revisions is blunt and to-the-point:

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What Does The New REST API Mean For WordPress?

June 4, 2015 0 Comments

With what is expected to be the final release before work begins on integration into WordPress core, version 1.2 of the REST API development plugin has been announced. Like many new features planned for eventual inclusion into WordPress, the new API has been developed outside of the mainline of WordPress development, freeing its developers to experiment and make changes unhindered by being tied to the development goalsl and schedules of the core WordPress team.

But what exactly is the WordPress REST API, and why should you care about it?

An API (application programming interface) is a simple way to communicate with an application. Through a set of well-defined endpoints, developers can make their programs and scripts interact with the application.

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Posted in: Nexcess