Breaking Down The Urgency of Mixed Content Fixes

A2 Hosting’s latest e-newsletter contains an important article titled What Is Mixed Content & How To Fix It. It makes several points that every WordPress user should be aware of. You know how you get a warning screen now when you try to view a HTTP website? Well, it’s going to get worse. Starting this month the next releases of Chrome will block Mixed Content.

What is Mixed Content?

Mixed Content is defined as a browser (like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) loading both HTTP and HTTPS content. You may have a SSL certificate and a site that displays as HTTPS in a browser bar, so where does this HTTP come from? The simple answer is LINKS. If you’ve linked to pages within your own site that used to begin with HTTP or other websites that begin with HTTP.

Should I Care?

Yes. To restate the problem…. Even if your site is HTTPS, it it displays HTTP content (website links, even old YouTube links, etc.) the browsers may block pages on your site.

How Do I Know What To Fix?

Pinpointing HTTP links in your site is a reminder to do a periodic check for broken links. You’d be surprised where broken links come from! A great example is President Thomas Jefferson on the White House website. It’s a dead link (page that no longer exists). Jefferson hasn’t been purged, but each administration has the prerogative of changing websites and the current administration did that, Jefferson is still there but on a new page and in a new layer of page structure on the site.

How Do I Fix the HTTP?

There are several options as how to handle these dead links.

  1. If the page still exists, however the site is now HTTPS, simply add a “S” to the “HTTP”
  2. If the page no longer exists but you stil feel the information is of value, it can be located in the Wayback Machine and that link used.
  3. If there is no page and no archive in the Wayback Machine, you’ll want to remove the link.

Can Plugins Help?

The simplist method is to search Posts and Pages for “HTTP:” to see where it is used in links and text.

There are also two types of plugins for WordPress that are valuable. The first is the Broken Links Checker. It’s in use by at least 700,000 WordPress users. It shows broken links, gives you the opportunity to change links in the plugin dashboard, and can even provide a link to the Wayback Machine. If you don’t enjoy changing links one by one (even in a plugin dashboard) you can resort to a find and replace plug that will seek out HTTP: files and change them to HTTPS:. This method must be done with extreme caution and while it changes a large number of site links in one click it DOES NOT identify if broken links so you may solve your HTTP to HTTPS problem but not fix dead links.

Have You Tested Your Contact Form?

got email? maybe not!

Take a break. Open up your WordPress site and try sending an email to yourself through your contact form. Now check your emails to be sure it was received… be patient… wait… wait. Still not received? You may have a problem.

What’s the cause?

Have you changed your email address? If you’ve started using a different email address or have never set up your address in your email client (your reader) then you won’t be getting contacts from your website that use that address.

What’s your PHP? WordPress uses a programming language called PHP for short. It sits on the server. If your hosting company is not updated to a latest version of PHP your contact form may not work. Recently a client’s host was running 5.3 and when updated it was running 7.0.25 which meant the contact form started working again.

Has SMTP been configured? If your WordPress site hasn’t been configured to send emails using SMTP, then your form is may be dead.

And the final point may seem the most obvious: Have your WordPress plugins been updated? Also, has your WordPress software been updated?

If your contact form is dead, call Design to Spec. I’ll get to the cause and get it fixed.

Love WordPress For Images — It’s Easier For You!

love wordpress for imagesUsing images online is easier than ever… you should love WordPress for images.

Q. What size image do I need for my WordPress blog?

A. The Internet displays photos and images at a lower resolution than you would need for printing. ¬†Back in the days before WordPress an image would have to be resized ¬†from 300 dpi to 72 dpi before it could be displayed on a website. This meant that Photoshop or another program was needed to alter an image. Today with WordPress you won’t need to resize your photos. Simply upload images from your computer desktop, a thumb-drive, and even your your smart phone!