WordPress Toronto North – Let’s Fix Your Site #11

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We had a good turn-out of over 20 people at our monthly August Meetup. Drew Mathers led the session and our group, that was now full of new faces, really stepped up to help answer questions and offer suggestions. It’s great to see that when our resident experts are away that our community comes through with support from their own experience with WordPress. That’s what it’s all about!

We started with the people who had contributed to the online forum on our Meetup page (we request that our members post their issues ahead of time to get priority service). So 1st up was Humara who is working on a very commercial site (GNC) which used to just be a static page and now wants to expand into eCommerce and more. The site was not being responsive enough, there are style sheet issues with the theme (Vitrine) which uses its own settings page, rather than the WordPress Customizer. The advice is to use a theme that has responsive break points built in so that your site display adjusts according to the device it is being displayed on.

GNC also is experiencing a theme issue for their top menu bar because they want it in French. The top menu bar adaptation of the built-in options would require CSS customization so it was concluded that the best way to get a French menu bar in this theme would be to use an additional footer menu that displays in French.  It was suggested that Humara try using a sticky menu (Fixed static object in the menu) so that the menu is always visible as you move down the page.

Liquid Web has a specific plan for high volume Woo-Commerce clients. They are the 1st host who is dealing with a managed Woo-Commerce option (it costs $250/month).

The discussion then turned to how to get the best French translation. It was noted that themes don’t deal with language, they only deal with display. Two main plug-ins for dealing with translations are WPML.org and Polylang. Code in WP.com compares translations of the five major translation plugins.  

It was suggested that Humara get a sandbox/staging site in order to be able to make changes on such an important and high volume site offline before implementing them live. It was noted that Customizer now has a ‘go back’ option which mimics a staging site.

David wanted to make minor text changes in his code e.g changing the text on a button. He tried using WP translation mechanism to replace text anywhere but there were some code issues. Drew said that there’s a plugin for that: Say What An easy-to-use plugin that allows you to alter strings on your site without editing WordPress core, or plugin code. Simply enter the current string, and what you want to replace it with and the plugin will automatically do the rest.

Heather is looking for faster load speeds for her sites so she requested help to improve results from a pingdom test. Specifically, how to Parallelize downloads across host names, combine external javascript and CSS (even when Autoptimize has been added), and how to improve leverage browser caching when WP Super Cache has been added. https://tools.pingdom.com/#!/d0UUnA/https://bunkielife.com/

Marios explained that caching is for the visitors to your site (dev) or the owners of the site.

Jacques suggested using ‘smart lazy loading’ but its maybe not necessary cuz each page is separate. GT Metrics? Asks Jacques.

For a video platform for Heather’s #bunkielife site, it was suggested that Blue Host gets good ratings for their service but this site might not be worth fixing because it will still take a long time and maybe not even be an appreciable difference.

You can find how quickly your site loads with a website grader tool that will give you more information such as where ther biggest wins are for your efforts. It could even be a transient issue because you get different responses at different time of the day. Other recommended WP managed hosts include Emagine; InMotion;WP Engine and Kinsta.

Johnny Asked about why his music player up that was and running Audio Igniter for wordpress on the following sites but finds that all of a sudden it won’t play in Safari, though it shows up the same. It works on mobile but then seems to have issues. and works in Firefox but sometimes also acts up. www.folksanctuary.com/music  and www.johnnyhatch.net/music

Now all of a sudden it wont play at all in Safari, tho it shows up the same. Drew tackled the question even though Johnny wasn’t in attendance and explained that software can’t help at the browser or server side. His best bet would be to test on Safari using a basic WP theme without any plugins.

David asked how to replicate this page on his site – https://paulboucher.com/pay-paul/ – What plugin is he using? Other plugins he had looked at couldn’t get more than one currency per form per page. Drew gave him the heads up on the Meetup page that the site is using WP Simple Pay: https://wordpress.org/plugins/stripe/

Dylan works for a non-profit Canadian Women for Peace Initiatives, http://vowpeace.org/

She recently had some help redeveloping the site and had the following questions:

  1. my clear cache button seems to have disappeared on my dashboard (lost home page URL)
  2. the page is not secure
  3. “donate” page – would like to insert a form (similar to this – https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/4138). similar form for membership page. Currently it just leads to PayPal.
  4. sign up for newsletter button at bottom of page

They need a current back-up and she asked about plugins or a managed service. It was suggested to put a copy of the site in development and then push/redirect the URL to a secure version of the site (HTTPS versus HTTP). As far as plugins go, Redirection and Force HTTPS. For the contact form, Quick Contact or specifically for donations GiveWP.com (Michelle Ames, Head of the Rochester WPGroup, is their Implementation Partner Manager) for donations. Marian suggested that Dylan find people already using a donation form and ask their opinion of it. It was added that Dylan’s organization should implement Google analytics and search console so they can see and measure their traffic.
A member asked about media files because they won’t load in My Pictures to Database. Is there a limit? They’re with SiteGround who say it’s not their problem. We tried Add Media and the loads do not show up. It was suggested to go through the log files. Go to C Panel and look for the picture. They said they once had all their image files on NexGen instead of using the simple Media Gallery but now that there’s a mix of image storage locations, they are acting in conflict with each other. We found that essential grid and Smart Slider 3 are in conflict.

The winner of the 1 month of free WPUP.co Professional service plan valued at $99 is Dale.

Our next Meetup is September 17, 2018 at the North York Civic Centre. The Meetup page will be updated with all the correct time and room information September 4th.  Remember to RSVP and post your questions ahead of time to get priority in the Meetup.

Please fill out our survey so we can have your input for the planning of WordCamp Toronto 2018 (especially since we’re hosting at our venue, North York Civic Centre).

Take the planning survey.

Thanks and see you on the 17th!

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