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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.

Fixes

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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By on Apr 06, 2016 at 7:08 PM

As you upgrade through the 10.0 series in the coming days/weeks, you may notice that there are a ton of small template changes and you may wonder what these are for. These changes are part of ongoing efforts to merge as much of the default theme and the bootstrap theme as possible without changing the appearance of either.

The reason: bootstrap needs to be a first class citizen, so that you can feel secure building on it and easily apply your own custom bootstrap themes even if you start from the default theme. With bootstrap having dozens of customized templates like it has so far, maintenance is difficult and it ends up being buggier than the default theme because I occasionally forget to apply a change to bootstrap that I apply to the default theme. As I merge the templates, bootstrap will be able to directly add its style to default templates. Only a small number of bootstap templates will remain customized -- even though they'll all look just as customized as they do today, and the default theme won't start looking bootstrappy.

How is this possible? Basically, I'm including both the standard and the bootstrap css classes on each element. For extra elements bootstrap has which default lacks, I'm adding those into the default while leaving them unstyled so they're not visible in default. Table header rows on submit/edit pages are the most difficult since bootstrap's titles are above the table while default's are in the table's first row, but I've solved that by changing it to the bootstrap version while making it appear the same in default as if it were the table header row.

So far, so good. While I'm testing as I go, there's always the chance of this messing something up for someone, which is why I'm doing it in the new series and not the stable series (9.2 is now the stable series). In the long run, it's very good news if you're a web designer who wants to more easily take advantage of the many bootstrap themes out there.


By on Apr 04, 2016 at 6:40 PM

For a while now, WSN has had an option to add new listings to a category by using a google search for a given term. Unfortunately this isn't officially supported by google so runs the risk of getting your server blocked. The solution? The bing search API.

WSN 10.0.2 Beta 2 introduces the option to add listings from a bing search, using any of their dozens of country/language locales and the search term of your choice. To use this you'll have to sign up for an API key, but the good news is it's free for the first 5000 searches per month and you're unlikely to need more than that.

In the future, I could use bing's spatial API to allow adding results from a particular city. There may be a way to fetch addresses also. News searches by categories are also an option. Let me know if you're interested in any of these possibilities.
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