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By on Jul 07, 2016 at 1:40 PM

Since June 22nd, Google has begun requiring an API key in order to use google maps on your website. Without the key, you see an "Oops! Something went wrong." notice instead of the map. This affects anyone using WSN's maps features on a new website. Pre-existing websites are exempted from this requirement, at least for the moment, as google doesn't wish to break the entire internet -- but they warn that the quality of service will be lower for the legacy keyless sites and recommend getting a key.

This unfortunately means WSN will no longer be able to automatically display maps reliably without asking you to manually generate a key via google's process. Today's latest releases 9.2.61 and 10.0.11 prompt you to get a key whenever you update the switches page and have the maps switch turned on (and don't have a key saved yet). Sorry for the inconvenience, but it's google's fault.


By on Jun 18, 2016 at 9:00 PM (Edited Jun 18, 2016 at 9:01 PM)

If you're in the European Union, or some of your clients are, you're probably aware of the EU requirement to notify visitors that your website uses cookies. In today's WSN 10.0.9 Beta 1 release, I've added an "EU cookie privacy notice" switch at Admin Panel -> Settings -> Switches. Enabling this switch automatically handles your legal obligations by adding a cookie notice in a semi-transparent bar at the bottom of the screen. The visitor can dismiss the notice by clicking the X (which, appropriately enough, sets a cookie lasting one year to remember that they've dismissed it).

If you'd like to customize the look of the cookie notice bar, style .cookienotice in the stylesheet or edit the notice area in the wrapper template just above </footer>. To change the text on an english-only installation just edit the wrapper template... on a multilingual installation, go to Admin -> Customizations -> Language and search for general_cookienotice.

The notice links to your privacy policy, which uses the "Privacy Policy" template. In multilingual installations, the text of the policy is in the language item privacy_info.


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.
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