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By on Jun 17, 2016 at 2:21 PM

For a long time, it has been easy to convert a WSN site to use https:// secure URLs by default: simply change the http to https in the URL at Admin -> Settings -> System Configuration -> WSN Links Installation Details -> URL. But this misses two common scenarios: the case where you want non-secure to be the default but want to allow people to use a secure version if they choose, and the case where you want to forcibly redirect to the secure version of each URL.

What if you want to optionally enable https, while leaving http as the default? Leaving the installation URL as the http version results in the secure version of the page looking broken due to all the insecure resources it calls which the web browser blocks by default. WSN 10.0.8 solves this problem by automatically detecting when the secure version of the page is being accessed and temporarily acting as if the installation URL is https, without changing it.

What about when defaulting to https isn't good enough and you instead want to force it? WSN 10.0.8 adds a rewriting option at Admin -> Settings -> SEO - > Force Secure URLs which will automatically redirect visitors to the secure version of any page they request. I've implemented this on links.webmastersite.net now, for example.

Note that you can get a free SSL certificate from https://letsencrypt.org

By on Jun 17, 2016 at 3:09 AM

The big enhancement in WSN 10.0.8 is submenus support for the main menu in the menu manager. This solves the problem of having more pages than you have horizontal space for on the menu bar.

In new installations, the Options menu is a submenu associated to the member home menu, such that everything from the member home menu automatically shows on it. If you wish you can disassociate this and build a custom options submenu.

Bootstrap themes use the native bootstrap menu javascript and css. Non-bootstrap themes use superclick. Older wrapper templates may not support submenus until their menu template code is updated.

By on Jun 06, 2016 at 2:53 PM

When you set up a website, there are two ways people can access it: www.yourdomain.com, or just yourdomain.com. This creates a couple of problems. First, unless you've set the site's cookie domain to .yourdomain.com, when someone logs in at yourdomain.com they won't be logged in at www.yourdomain.com -- which leaves them confused if they end up on the other version from a link they found somewhere. Secondly, search engines don't like the duplication.

The solution for this has always been to add redirection into the .htaccess file to redirect www URLs to their non-www equivalents or vice versa. Many of you have done this in WSN using the extra .htaccess content option in the SEO settings.

The latest WSN 10 beta adds automatic handling of this situation, whenever URL rewriting is enabled on a site. It checks the directory url value to see whether you want www or not, so you can change it either by changing the directory URL at Admin -> Settings -> System Configuation or by changing the selection at Admin -> Settings -> SEO -> Domain Format (which will in turn update your directory URL for you). WSN writes the appropriate redirection rules to the .htaccess automatically.

Having a duplicate redirection (one you set in the extra .htaccess content as well as the new automatic redirection) shouldn't be a problem, works fine in my tests, so you don't have to change anything -- but can feel free to remove any redirection you added whenever you're ready, for clarity.

By on May 07, 2016 at 5:17 PM

Today I've been enhancing WSN's "add from web search" option to allow you to add articles from a bing news search. There are 8 categories of news to narrow the results to. If you're running a directory of news articles, this should be a huge help.

If you find this useful, let me know if you'd like the ability to set a category to automatically add new content from search results at an interval.

I've also added a checkbox to specify that the contents gathered from web/news searches should be held for validation. There was already a tweak, but this makes it easier to hold the data for manual review and just use the searches as a fountain of ideas.

In the process of adding that checkbox, I've created a generalized way to make checkboxes that are remembered by cookies -- just use <input type="checkbox" name="x" value="1" onClick="wsn_tickcookie('x')" {FUNC_TICKCOOKIE[x]}> where x is whatever name you want.

By on May 06, 2016 at 9:12 PM (Edited May 06, 2016 at 9:13 PM)

Lots of changes in tonight's WSN 10.0.5 release.


I fixed a situation where sponsor type separation had been on by default when it shouldn't be, by disabling it for anyone who hasn't declared the sponsor types in the template. Fixed a bug with sponsor type separation where it wouldn't show sponsored results in a search if there were multiple sponsored types. Fixed the link checkers to not check unvalidated listings. Fixed the ability to disable automatic bug reports, which was only disabling one of the two types of bug reports before. Corrected some wording on updating passwords. Enforced automatic writing of .htaccess files for those who chose in long ago versions to disable automatic write, because managing .htaccess by hand is begging for site-disabling errors and the option to turn off auto-write hasn't been visible for a while anyway.

New Stuff

I've added a URL search to the admin search page, for your convenience in case you want to find listings by URL or parts of their URL. On the listing validation pages I've added the full path to the category so that there's no longer any confusion at a glance about what category the listing is in if your bottom level categories often have the same names. Added server-side thumbnailing of thumbshots, which means your thumbshot images (from pagepeeker or thumbshots.com) are now much smaller and load much faster.

Added a new tweak 'nomembersearch' which provides an easy way to disable the ability for people to search members, and also automatically prevented members from being able to search members when the 'can view member list' permission is turned off for their usergroup (these changes are useful for sites that use emails as usernames and want to avoid exposing email addresses to spammers).

Made some small changes to your paypal receipts for paypal sponsorships for your conveience. The receipt emails now include the sponsorship level description and the listing or member profile url. This makes it quicker for...

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