SEO, Websites and Marketing Blog

Bye bye CSS3, Hello there SASS

Our goal at NetON is to make sure that we are always more efficient and faster at delivering results to our clients. NetON is proud to announce a new way moving forward in Web Development. We believe that this new technology will make it more efficient for us to deliver projects to our clients. We are as such moving from CSS3 to SASS for all our new projects. We are really excited about the fact that this will remove a lot of css errors and cut down significantly in delivering new projects.

What is SASS

SASS is a CSS preprocessor, similar to what PHP is to HTML. SASS allows us to create functions, variables and really simplify CSS development during the project and make it easier to make changes after the project is completed.

Here are some features of SASS

  • Variables so that we can make styling changes in one place and roll it out across a website
  • Nesting to keep the CSS data clean
  • Mixins so that we can make the CSS more modular and faster
  • Extenders which will help us make the CSS code cleaner

What is CSS

CSS is an abbreviation for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS dictates how a HTML page and its elements look like on different devices. CSS is basically a style layer (kind of like clothing) that sits on top of your website code and makes it look pretty. Although we will still be using CSS technically, the CSS we use will be generated by SASS.

Please note that this change is only for new full projects moving forward. If you would like for us to change your CSS into SASS, we can quote for that separately.

NetON Website Upgrade 2017

While we try and upgrade our site once every 6 months, we have been really busy this year with improving our client websites and rolling out a number of supplementary websites. The fact that Bootstrap 4 was out in Beta and we were still in Bootstrap 3 gave us the kick that we needed to start the transition. We were really happy with the look and feel of the site so we didn’t want any theme changes but we really wanted to make it easy to build templates, connect our Marketing Automation platform and make our pages look and work better. What we really want before the end of the year is a solid foundation for the next year where we can roll out a number of new products, market them effectively and integrate all the other systems that we have been building in the last 2 years.

Bootstrap framework upgrade

We have been building a very modular site since the beginning of the year where we have completely separated the data, the theme and the functionality of the site. So it was amazing to see all that come to fruition. The framework upgrade actually only took us a couple of minutes to complete,  collectively blowing our minds on the highs that website development has reached today.  In the past this would have been a few days at least for a website of our size and the components it has. Yes, some pages and templates didn’t work but 90% of the site and 95% of pages visited every day was functional and working straight out.

Separation of Components

One of the core changes we have been working on our site has been a separation of components. Similar to how a MVC system works, we have been trying to separate the skin and the functionality. While in the past this was all interconnected and an upgrade to the site meant separating them, rolling out the new site and then meshing them together again, we are now able to keep the functionality separate from the framework. This makes doing upgrades on our site a breeze.

Better ways of displaying data

We have also built a number of components to create better ways of displaying data. In the age where Google is king, our pages are expanding at the rate of our waists. So its time to trim them up by using gradients, boxes, icons and components that we can use from Bootstrap to make big amounts of content look more aesthetic and easily digestable.

Breaking up with CSS and in bed with SASS

As of this iteration, we are also fully running on SASS and ditching the age old CSS behind. We loved CSS but we were swayed by competition. SASS allows us to make styling changes to our website blazingly fast and with less code and less time. We want to reach a point where we can make fundamental theme changes and updates to the site in minutes and not hours.

Integrated Marketing Automation

This was probably the biggest thing we really wanted on this update. We have been setting up our Marketing Automation platform and we really wanted it to be fully integrated to our website. We are so excited that  full Marketing Automation integration is also complete on the site. This opens up a huge opportunity for us to now improve our website and our funnel.  Having the lead flow, lead follow up means that we can now focus on the top end of the funnel and let the mid and bottom end of the funnel work out by itself.

Why talk about our site upgrade?

As an agency, we feel like every time we upgrade our website, we learn and lot. What we learn from working on our website, we can start rolling them out to our customers. We thought that this post will be a good introduction to how we upgrade our sites and how we can help you with your site upgrade.  Please feel free to check out our WordPress Development page and our Marketing Automation pages for more information on our offerings.

 

WordPress 4.9 features and release candidate

The next Release Candidate for the the most used CMS in the world WordPress is almost at our doorstep with the release of WordPress 4.9. The newest version WordPress 4.9 is a Release Candidate and is due on 14 Nov 2017. This release is available with adding numerous improvements to the WordPress CMS. WordPress 4.9 comes with a number of new features as listed below: – all the new features to the Customizer, saving drafts of theme changes, new gallery widget, and coding enhancements

What’s new in WordPress 4.9 Release Candidate?

This latest update of the most used CMS in the world comes with the following featues:

Draft and Schedule theme changes

WordPress now allows you to draft and schedule changes to your theme as you would do with your pages and posts. So you can work on the customiser and make changes and try out how the theme of your site looks and save it as a draft. You can then come back and keep working on it until you are happy. When you are happy with your changes you can then publish the theme or you can schedule your theme to go live on a certain date and time. Imagine that you wanted to roll out a new skin for christmas, you can start working on the customiser now, make a few changes every week adn then when you are ready you can set your theme to go live on the 25th of December. How cool is that 🙂 You can also now use a frontend preview link to share the changes to a colleague or your boss without them having to log in to the system.

Install Themes from the Customizer

Another cool little feature that has been added is the ability to install themes from directly inside the Customizer. While not a new functionality, it came sometimes come handy 🙂

Gallery Widget

After last update where you can add video and media files as widgets in the Widgets area, WordPress update now allows you to add galleries from directly the widget area. Additionally you can also add a WYSIWYG text block as a widget. A small update to the Video widget also allows you to add Vimeo and other Video providers as a widget.

Codemirror powered code editing

If you are the type to make changes to the WP code from the backend itself, All WordPress code editors now ship with Codemirror making it easier to code and debug on the fly as you make the changes. Codemirror is now implemented on the CSS changes for the customizer and custom HTML widgets.

NetON Release Candidate Update Policy

This release of WordPress is a Release Candidate which means that this version of WordPress is still getting fine tuned and not ready for Production servers. Any Release Candidate of WordPress usually would have gone through extensive testing and is very close to the Final Release but some changes may occur when the final version comes out. Please note that Beta release of WordPress is not suitable for production websites, so our team will not be updating your site with this Release Candidate.

About WordPress

WordPress is arguably the most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today. The latest version of WordPress has been downloaded more than 30 million times. 60% of all CMS run websites run on WordPress.

NetON WordPress Development Services

Neton is your go to team for any WordPress development services in Australia. Our team is constantly working on WordPress Website Development, WordPress Design, WordPress Hosting, Strengthening WordPress Security, running SEO OPtimisation on WordPress Websites and upgrading Core and WordPress Plugins. Whether you are starting a small blog or an enterprise fortune 500 company, we can help build and maintain your WordPress website for the best results online. If you have any questions, or if you need a quote, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Please call us or email us on the details on our Contact Us page.

WordPress Demo Website

NetON maintains and upto date demo site of the latest version of WordPress that you can browse through. Click here to view WordPress Demo Site

Why close comments on some WordPress sites

For a large number of smaller websites, we recommend closing off comments because of the amount of comment spam on WordPress. Usually unless you are a big B2C website or daily news, we don’t see any comments on websites, so its best to close off comments. We find that the effort required to filter through the comments is not worth the time to find the 1 comment once a month. Instead of comments we recommend having your contact us forms on key pages.

Please be advised that even though comments are closed site wide, you can enforce some pages/posts to have comments functionality. Please reach out to us on instructions on how to enable comments for specific pages/posts.

WordPress 4 Updates and RoadMap

WordPress 4.8 Main Features

Widget updates

WordPress 4.8 came with the ability to use 3 new widget types in your widgets. On top of the existing Text Widget, you can now use an Image, Video or an Audio widget on your sidebars. All you have to do is to click on add media and then select the media (image,video or audio) to showcase your media on your sidebars.

WordPress 4.7 Main Features

New TwentySeventeen theme

WordPress 4.7 was the last major update for 2016 and came with a sweet new theme TwentySeventeen to focus on more Business Websites rather than personal blogs.

Custom Post Types

Something that all developers and content marketers were waiting for a long time, WordPress 4.7 came with the ability to have templates for blog posts/articles.

WordPress 4.7 also came with a large number of moderate features such as

  • PDF Thumbnails in media library
  • Dashboards in different languages
  • Other developer updates

WordPress 4.6 Main Features

Plugin and Theme library enhancements

With WordPress 4.6, you could now install a plugin or theme from the screen without leaving the current page, so all your themes and plugins could be installed from the grid layout using a progress bar.

Visual Editor Updates

A number of things were updated in the Visual Editor including the ability to highlight broken links.

WordPress 4.6 Other Improvements

  • Enhanced Auto-save and Recovery
  • Better Import functionality

WordPress 4.5 Main Features

Improved Customizer

WordPress 4.5 was a major update to the customizer allowing users to set the website logo directly from the customizer and enabling responsive previews from the Customizer itself.

Other Updates

  • Improved favicons
  • Enhanced responsive image optimisation
  • Visual editor enhancements
  • You can now log into wordpress using your email

WordPress 4.4 Main Features

New Default TwentySixteen theme

WordPress 4.6 codenamed “Clifford” came with the new Twenty Sixteen theme which featured a standard blog layout but worked like a good mix between a personal/corporate website incorporating a horizontal menu, larger image sizes, custom color options and widget areas at the bottom of pages/posts.

Responsive images

WordPress 4.4 also introduced improved image handling which meant that large images would load faster and will fit nicely in smaller screens.

Other Improvements

  • Expanded embed capacity
  • REST API improvements
  • Developer improvements

WordPress 4.3 Major Improvements

Stronger Passwords

WordPress 4.3 Billie came with a number of security features. The key feature being stronger passwords, where you are discouraged from using weak passwords using a strength meter.

Comments off by default

The other major update in this version was that comments were disabled by default to combat comment spam.

Other Features

  • Updated Visual Editor
  • Set Website Favicons from customizer
  • Customizer updates

WordPress 4.2 Features

Customizer Updates

WordPress 4.2 Customizer allowed you to update and preview themes on the fly from the customizer itself without activating them. So you could test out how your site will look without enabling the new theme.

Faster Plugin Updates

You can now update your plugins using ajax without leaving the plugins screen using a progress bar. This meant that you don’t have to wait for each plugin but click on all of them to update them at once.

Other Updates

  • New Auto Embeds such as Tumblr or Kickstarter. Just copy and paste the link and WordPress will do the rest
  • Emoji support in WordPress
  • Under the Hood changes

WordPress 4.1 Features

New Default Twenty Fifteen Theme

WordPress 4.1 released wit the new mobile first Twenty Fifteen theme, an elegant and clean blogging theme with a left sidebar.

Other Improvements

  • Distraction free mode to help you create more content without getting distracted
  • Inline Image editing
  • Language packs
  • Plugins recommendations

 

Analytics on your website Backend

We have just rolled out an update for our SMART Websites which allows you to see the traffic on your website directly from your SMART website backend.  The Analytics comes in 3 areas of your site:

Last fortnight report on your dashboard

When you log into the backend of your website, on your dashboard, you will be able to now see the traffic to your site for the last fortnight (or the last 2 weeks). This is visible as soon as you log into the backend of your website.

Last month visitor overview report

This report gives you all the overview metrics for your visitors in the last month, including these stats

  • How many visitors came to your site
  • How long each visitor stayed on your site in average
  • What was the bounce rate for each visitor
  • How many pages did a visitor view on your site
  • Where your visitors found your site (Google and Search Engines, Other Referral websites, Social Media etc)
  • What country your visitors are coming from
  • What cities are your visitors coming from

Last 10 Visitor Log

This report give you a lot of the last 10 visitors to your website and what they looked at in your website. It also tells you if the visitor is a returning visitor or a new visitor, what location they are from and what kind of device they are using to access your website. This also gives you a timestamp for each page they went to .

 

 

WordPress 4.7 New Features

As expected, WordPress 4.7 has shipped and is now available. Our team are very excited to work with whats new in this release. It is a Major Release of 2016, and comes with some exciting new features. In this post, we will look at what’s new in WordPress 4.7, and which features you should notice or play around with after updating to this version. To view all the updates, bug fixes and new features included in this new version, please visit on over to https://wordpress.org/news/category/releases/.

We are most excited about the brand new TwentySeventeen Theme and enhancements to the customiser. (more details covered below)

What’s new in WordPress 4.7 Major Release?

This update is a really huge update for WordPress. While most of the updates seem to have happened on the new theme, this brings a new dimension in WordPress’es online domination of the Website market as well as pushes WordPress right into businesses and not just bloggers. This latest major update of the most used CMS in the world comes with the following featues:

Brand new TwentySeventeen Theme

The new WordPress ships with a new theme Twenty Seventeen.

twentyseventeen

The new theme has been specifically designed for businesses rather than blogs and is great for both small, medium and large busiensses. The new theme also comes with a large number of enhancements to make it easier for smaller businesses to setup such as

  • Generic starter content already populated that a customer can just go in and edit
  • Edit buttons on editable areas that you can click on and edit elements
  • Videos that can replace the big images on the front page or the header
  • Custom css that allows admin to make changes to the site quickly
  • Live preview of custom css
  • Ability to add pages directly from the Customiser and then update the pages later

PDF Thumbnails

A big feature that has been missing from WordPress has finally been  fixed. Now you can preview the thumbnails of your PDFs in the media library. Oh the hassle and time this feature will save 🙂

Different language Dashboard

You can now setup WordPress with multi lingual dashboards based on user preference.

Post Type Templates

Another huge update, allowing you to customise your posts in different templates.

REST API endpoints

Another huge update for Developers allowing them to use WordPress as a data repository and pull content from them. Currently it allows interaction with posts, comments, terms, users, meta and setttings.

More Developer updates

  • Post Type Templates
  • REST API endpoints
  • More Theme API functionalities
  • Custom Bulk Actions for list tables 🙂
  • Updated WP_Hook
  • Customise changesets

NetON Major Release Update Policy

Our team will be working on your website (hosted at our servers) to make sure your WordPresswebsite is up-to date. This is done for any Major Release.

WordPress

WordPress is arguably the most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today. 30% of all new domains run on WordPress. 60% of all CMS run websites run on WordPress.

WordPress Update Policy

With this being a Major Release, our team will be working to make sure that your website gets updated as soon as possible.

NetON WordPress Development Services

NetON offers a complete range of WordPress Services for Australian businesses. Our team is constantly working on WordPress Website Development, WordPress Design, WordPress Hosting, Strengthening WordPress Security, running SEO OPtimisation on WordPress Websites and upgrading Core and WordPress Plugins. We work with some of the smallest and the biggest companies in Australia and around the world and help them build and maintain their WordPress website to generate the best results for them. Please contact us for more details on our services. Please call us or email us on the details on our Contact Us page.

WordPress Demo Website Updated with new theme and 4.7 goodness

NetON maintains and upto date demo site of the latest version of WordPress that you can browse through. We have just updated the site to WordPress 4.7 with the new twentyseventeen theme. Click here to view WordPress Demo Site

Customer Database and Enquiries on your website backend

We have just rolled out a new update for our website platform that allows you to see all your customers and enquiries in one location in the backend of your website. Please log into the backend of your website and click on Enquiries to access this feature.

The Enquiries section has two areas

Address Book

This includes a list of all email addresses that have interacted with your website, including form fillouts, commenters etc.

Inbound Messages

These are all the form fill outs on your website.  You can view the subject lines

And you can click on the subject lines to view the full messages

You can also use the options on the top to filter the messages by which form was filled and dates.

And you can also export all the entries 🙂

 

 

Whats new in Drupal 8.1.0

Drupal 8.1.0 is now released to the public. Our team are very excited to work with whats new in this release. This is a Minor Release of Drupal and is ready for use on production sites. In this post, we will look at what’s new in Drupal 8.1.0, and which features you should notice or play around with after updating to this version. To view all the updates, bug fixes and new features included in this new version, please visit on over tohttps://www.drupal.org/node/3060/release. This minor release provides new improvements and functionality without breaking backward compatibility (BC) for public APIs. We are really looking forward to trying the Migrate UI module so that we can migrate Drupal 6 or 7 sites to Drupal 8.

What’s new in Drupal 8.1.0 Minor Release?

This latest update of the Open Source CMS platform, Drupal comes with the following featues:

  • Various Improvements

    Drupal 8.1.0 comes with numerous improvements, including CKEditor WYSIWYG enhancements, added APIs, an improved help page, and two new experimental modules.

  • Experimental UI for migrations from Drupal 6 and 7

    Drupal 8.1.0 now includes the Migrate Drupal UI module, which provides a user interface for Drupal core migrations. Use it to migrate Drupal 6 or 7 sites to Drupal 8. We will be testing this module very carefully and letting our clients know how easy it is to move older sites to new Drupal 8.

  • BigPipe for perceived performance

    Drupal 8 now uses the BigPipe module to provide an improved page rendering for page with dynamic, personalised or uncacheable content

  • Spellchecking and language markup in WYSIWYG

    Drupal 8’s WYSIWYG editor now comes with a built in spell checker as well as language markup for text for better accessibility.

  • Other Improvements

    • Improved help page with tours
    • Rendered entities in views fields
    • Support for Javascript automated testing
    • Improved Composer support
    • Developer API Improvments

What is Drupal

Drupal is an open-source (free) and customisable content management system (CMS). There are over 25000 modules for Drupal that let you extend and modify Drupal to your needs. Roughly 30% of all .edu sites and more than a million organisations use Drupal for their CMS system.

Drupal Minor Release Update Policy

Because Drupal 8 is still a manual update, we won’t be updating any current sites to Drupal unless requested by the client. Please reach out to us if you would like us to upgrade your Drupal installation.

NetON Drupal Website Development Services

NetON works with a number of clients in both Melbourne and Sydney on Drupal Development. We are constantly working with our clients on Drupal Website Design, Drupal Development, Hosting, Drupal Security, SEO Optimisation for Drupal sites and upgrading Core Drupal and Modules. Our experienced Drupal Developers have worked with a wide range of companies in managing and running successful Drupal websites in Australia, USA, UK, Asia and aroudn the world. Would you like a quote? Please contact us for more details on our contact us page.

Upto Date Demo Drupal testing website

NetON runs the latest beta updates from Drupal on our demo site, which always has the most upto date release and official theme from Drupal Click here to view Drupal Demo Site

WordPress 4.5 new features

WordPress 4.5 has been released. Our team are very excited to work with whats new in this release. This version is considered a Major Release and focuses on adding new features to the WordPress CMS. More details on the release can be found over at https://wordpress.org/news/category/releases/. adding a logo to the site and responsive customiser

WordPress 4.5 release notes

This latest update of the most used CMS in the world comes with the following featues:

  • Theme Logo Support

    WordPress 4.5 now comes with a feature that has been requested for a long time. WordPress 4.5 now allows theme builders to set logo directly from the customizer.

  • Customizer Responsive Previews

    WordPress customizer now comes with Responsive previews and allows you to select between desktop, tablet and mobile to see how your site will look in those devices.

  • Better Favicons

    WordPress 4.5 brings improvements to Favicons introduced in previous version 4.4. Now you can see exactly how it looks like on your browser in the site customizer.

  • Better image optimisation

    WordPress 4.5 improves on the responsive image optimisation introduced in WordPress 4.4 and now creates smaller sized images with the same quality.

  • Visual Editor Enhancements

    The Visual Editor in WordPress 4.5 has been improved allowing you to put inline links and improving shortcodes

  • Logging in using email

    A much awaited feature, now you can login using your email address on the wordpress login screen

  • Other improvements

    A number of other improvements have happened in the backend which can be read in release notes.

NetON WordPress Update Policy

With this being a Major Release, our team will be working to make sure that your website gets updated as soon as possible.

NetON WordPress Development Services

Neton is your go to team for any WordPress development services in Australia. We are constantly working with our clients on WordPress Website Design, WordPress Development, Hosting, WordPress Security, SEO Optimisation for WordPress sites and upgrading Core WordPress and Plugins. We work with some of the smallest and the biggest companies in Australia and around the world and help them build and maintain their WordPress website to generate the best results for them. If you have any questions, or if you need a quote, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Please call us or email us on the details on our Contact Us page.

WordPress Demo Website

We keep an upto date demo site with the latest (sometimes even nightly builds) of WordPress that you are welcome to have a look at. Click here to view WordPress Demo Site