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PHP 7.4 is here and performing well

Race track photo showing gridlines and counting down 11 to 1

WordPress hosting companies are notoriously behind in upgrading PHP – the web service that processes a website’s data and logical code into HTML output. The cost of this delay is enormous in terms of website maintenance and performance. The jump from PHP v5 to v7 was a big one that required software updates and often […]

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WooCommerce Website Accessibility

Handicapped parking sign

Website accessibility (codename: a11y) has always been an important quality dimension to a website. In recent months website accessibility has seen tremendous growth not only for the purposes of inclusion, customer growth and search-engine optimization, but also to shield litigation, frivolous or otherwise, in connection with federal and state laws (ADA, Disabled Persons Acts, and […]

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Giving a Theme or Plugin Developer Admin Access

Man sitting at laptop wearing headphones, microphone at a busy office pod with two other workstations in the periphery

Let’s say you’ve reported a bug that you’ve observed in a theme or plugin. Good job by the way! Should you provide the developer admin access to your production site so they can diagnose or repair the issue? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

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How to fix time-to-first-byte (TTFB) problems

Hand with old fashioned stopwatch timer

Time-to-first-byte (TTFB) is one of the most useful website performance metrics. It’s also one of the hardest to improve. Caching plugins can’t do much for it; actually they contribute to it. Caching plugins don’t fix cache warm-up, authenticated sessions, submissions / processing, and administration. To improve those you need to get TTFB in range. The recommended target is 0.5 seconds. Here’s my tips to optimize your TTFB.

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WooCommerce – The Leading Open eCommerce Framework

UpCity Blog Post September 4 2019 WooCommerce - The Leading Open eCommerce Framework

Check out my blog post WooCommerce – The Leading Open eCommerce Framework featured on UpCity. In this article I discuss where WooCommerce and open-source fits into the overall eCommerce Platform segment and popular proprietary systems. I also discuss community events and some technical tips.

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Splitting a Store From Its Site

Two Parallel freeway bridges

Recently a client brought in an interesting request to split their store off onto a subdomain, for example https://store.mywebsite.com. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this idea. I thought I’d share those insights with my audience. Pros The plugin load gets split, so each site runs less plugins or customization risks above the core […]

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The Importance of Payment Gateway UX

Brown leather mini wallet with three credit cards pertruding

During a recent Amazon Pay webinar I attended entitled Optimizing Your Mobile Checkout, I couldn’t help but notice their prioritization of credit card fields. This stuck out to me because I’ve observed all manner of credit card gateway user interfaces. Research data is telling us to pay particular attention to these fields. Of the presenter’s […]

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The most popular themes for WooCommerce websites

Avada by ThemeFusion example windows

Recently I’ve been assessing WooCommerce sites based in California as part of a new client outreach effort. Through this process and its first 100 subjects I’ve discovered more data on where people host their WooCommerce sites, what errors are showing up (SSL, JS/console, ADA, state compliance), performance metrics, who they use for hosting/registrations/email, what all plugins they use, and which theme they selected. I’m compiling this data into something more useful. For the time being, here’s the data on theme usage.

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Why You Should Avoid WooCommerce Template Overrides

WooCommerce template files out of date notification in WP Admin

There’s an irritating message we see whenever a site has modified WooCommerce template files and the WooCommerce plugin updates one or more minor versions. There can be one or more default WooCommerce template file(s) that had been copied into the child theme and the HTML code tailored for the design. It’s not unusual to see up to 10 of these conflicts on a custom designed site. I’ve even seen sites with dozens! On sites affected by this development strategy every WooCommerce core update causes fear and the responsibility to test the update on staging prior to updating on production.