Category: "Uncategorized"

Google Pagespeed Insights

Many site owners are familiar with or at least heard of Google Analytics however some are not aware of Google’s Pagespeed Insights! This tool is very useful in helping you improve page loading times (speed per say) and it also checks normal designs along with mobile devices as well.

From Google’s information page regarding PSI:

Page Speed Insights measures the performance of a page for mobile devices and desktop devices. It fetches the url twice, once with a mobile user-agent, and once with a desktop-user agent.

The PageSpeed Score ranges from 0 to 100 points. A higher score is better and a score of 85 or above indicates that the page is performing well. Please note that PageSpeed Insights is being continually improved and so the score will change as we add new rules or improve our analysis.

PageSpeed Insights measures how the page can improve its performance on:

  • time to above-the-fold load: Elapsed time from the moment a user requests a new page and to the moment the above-the-fold content is rendered by the browser.
  • time to full page load: Elapsed time from the moment a user requests a new page to the moment the page is fully rendered by the browser.

However, since the performance of a network connection varies considerably, PageSpeed Insights only considers the network-independent aspects of page performance: the server configuration, the HTML structure of a page, and its use of external resources such as images, JavaScript, and CSS. Implementing the suggestions should improve the relative performance of the page. However, the absolute performance of the page will still be dependent upon a user’s network connection.

  • You can learn more about Pagespeed Insights here.
  • To test your site now, visit the developers tool section of Google then Pagespeed Insights.

 

 

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LiteSpeed Cache and Xenforo

Every forum owner wants a lot of posts but high post counts and traffic can bring a large forum to a crawl in peak hours. The falling cost of SSD’s has helped considerably but a good caching scheme is mandatory.

LiteSpeed in conjunction with the admins at XenForo has come up with what looks to be an efficient and well-maintained scheme.
The LiteSpeed Cache Plugin for XenForo (LSCXF) is a PHP-based plugin that communicates with your installation of LiteSpeed Web Server(LSWS) and its built-in page cache, LSCache. LSCache is built directly into LSWS to significantly reduce overhead with greater efficiently than with other PHP-based caches.
The current community version of LSCXF will only cache and serve pages for non-logged-in users. After a user has logged in, their page requests will always hit the backend.
Additional Plugin Features
Automatic page caching greatly improves site performance
Support for HTTP/2 & HTTPS out-of-box

LiteSpeed ForoMTB cache efficiency.

LiteSpeed ForoMTB cache efficiency.

Load comparison Apache vs. LSWS
*Courtesy LiteSpeed Technologies Inc

Server Environment
2x AMD Opteron 6272 CPUs (32 cores)
64GB RAM
2x 1TB drives with RAID 1

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Making vBAdvanced CMPS Mobile Friendly – Avoid Google Penalty

Many vBAdvanced Users have come to realize that their CMPS Portal system is not mobile friendly.

Google now penalizes sites for not being mobile friendly as of April 21st, 2015.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

Test Your Site!

You can view information and documentation and also test your site.

If I don’t use vBAdvanced, how do I become Mobile Friendly?

  • AdminCP > Settings > Options > Style & Language Settings > *Scroll to find “Default Style for Old Mobile Browsers” and “Default Style for Modern Mobile Browsers” and set both to the Default Mobile Style.

The “Default Style” should be set to a normal desktop/pc style, if you set this as the Default Mobile Style it can produce a blank white page upon visiting the forum so ensure that you leave the “Default Style” setting alone and only change the settings for “Default Style for Old Mobile Browsers” and “Default Style for Modern Mobile Browsers” respectively.

That one simple change to two settings now has your site shown as Mobile Friendly, test it to be sure!

If I use vBa CMPS – What does vBAdvanced Recommend?

If you use vBAdvanced CMPS Portal System your site will not test as mobile friendly when using the vBulletin default mobile style. vBAdvanced CMPS is known to not be mobile friendly, you can reference that here:
http://www.vbadvanced.com/forum/showthread.php?48266-CMPS-page-is-empy-when-viewing-on-a-mobile-device

Then the work-around is in this thread:
http://www.vbadvanced.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47981
^ Although  this doesn’t always work for everyone.

Instead it was advised to disable the cmps on mobile devices:
http://www.vbadvanced.com/forum/showthread.php?41168-VBA-intergration-problem-wish-I-don-t-know-anymore
^ Reference post #6 in that thread.

However as many site owners know, the CMPS is their home page and/or primary portal system so disabling it on mobile devices is not the way to go, the best thing to do is to have the CMPS working properly in the mobile style so it’s 100% mobile friendly!

How can I make vBAdvanced CMPS Mobile Friendly?

Our staff has successfully done this! Please note the .xml file attached is for vB4.x series only, this fix has only been performed on a vBulletin 4 site and since no default mobile style exist in vBulletin 3 this tutorial does not apply to vBulletin 3 powered sites respectively. Here is a quick guide on how to make your vBulletin vBAdvanced CMPS mobile friendly:

  • Install the Innovative Template Manager (vB4.x Series)
  • > AdminCP > Template Manager > Import / Export Templates > *Now click the top selection to “Import templates from XML file”.
  • *On the right, click the checkbox titled “Default Mobile Style” so the templates are added to the mobile style ONLY.
  • Download the correct template file (right-click and choose to Save As) and save it to your desktop: For vBAdvanced 4.2.1 use this vbulletin-vba-cmps-templates.xml OR For vBAdvanced 4.3.0 use this vbulletin-vba-cmps-templates-430.xml
  • *Click BROWSE and select the file vbulletin-vba-cmps-templates.xml from your desktop.
  • *Click the box “Add Template(s)” to import the missing templates.

Example Import Templates Image:

importtemplates

After you import the templates, check the CMPS using your Default Mobile Style, it should now work properly and test as mobile friendly – Enjoy no penalty and a working CMPS system!

A Screenshot of the templates you need to have in the default mobile style in order for the CMPS to work properly in the mobile style:

vba-cmps-templatelist

Please Note:

  • The templates in the file provided are from vBa CMPS ver4.2.1 OR 4.3.0 ONLY, the most current is vBa CMPS ver4.3.0 as of 10/21/2015. So with that being said, if you run a version between 4.2.1 and 4.3.0 and notice any issues – simply edit your default styles vBA templates and carefully copy the template contents then paste over the same templates in the default mobile style which will ensure all the templates are from the current version you have installed.
    While the CMPS can display on the default mobile style with some adjustments, your widget content can still cause it to not pass the “Mobile Friendly” test i.e. if links are too close together or if using stacked images that are also links – it truly depends on your widget content. Making adjustments to widgets and other issues listed will result in it finally passing.
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    Upgrading phpAdsNew OpenX Revive Ad Server

    Revive Ad Server is an excellent free software to help you deliver ads to your website and/or forum with it’s ease-of-use and multiple features including advertising campaigns among other options!

    Over the years it has went through several name changes:

    1. phpAdsNew
    2. OpenX
    3. Revive

    With the latter i.e. Revive being the most current and official version.

    Upgrading OpenX to Revive

    When you upgrade Revive, it’s actually very easy due to how they’ve designed the upgrade script. When you upgrade from OpenX to Revive you should follow the upgrade documentation they provide and you should ensure your server meets all requirements. Using the guide provided by Revive regarding upgrading you will see it consist of:

    1. Uploading fresh files.
    2. Copying then editing a .conf file.
    3. Cloning a database OR exporting then importing the ad tables into a new database.
    4. Running the upgrade script.

    Typically following their guide will result in a successful upgrade of OpenX to Revive, this brings you fully up-to-date regarding Revive software and ensures you’re able to deliver ads more securely.

    Upgrading phpAdsNew to Revive

    Now we can discuss the purpose of this article! The reason we wanted to discuss upgrading phpAdsNew to Revive is the fact that we recently had a client who wanted to upgrade their phpAdsNew to the new version which was currently Revive. Upon following the upgrade instructions on Revive’s site we realized the easy way of upgrading was not an option, there was no .conf file present in the /var/ folder of the old installation in fact there was no /var/ folder at all! So what did we do? Upgrade then tell our client to manually include all their ads over again? No as URLJet prefers to work smarter, not harder so here’s a quick guide on how to upgrade from such an older outdated version to the newest!

    1. Run backups! File and Database!
    2. Upload the new Revive files to a new folder (we used /adserver/ per the documentation as the older ad system was at /ads/ respectively).
    3. Perform a 100% Fresh installation. *Why yes, you won’t have any ads but we’ll sort that later! **Ensure you setup the Admin account with the same username+password as your older system it’s easier this way.
    4. Now create a new campaign (name it whatever, but NOTE: the campaign ID should be 1), advertiser, and manually create one banner (so you can view the table in phpmyadmin to see the structure and more easily).
    5. Once you’ve created a new banner view the structure of the rv_banners table. Now view the structure of the ads_banners table, as you can see some of the columns are missing since you’re seeing an older versions table and comparing to a newer version.
    6. You will need to export the structure from the newer table into the older one. *DO NOT forget to delete the one entry in the new banners table (the demo banner you created earlier to view in the table itself) otherwise duplicate entry error for primary will show when attempting to import the structure into the older table.
    7. In our scenario when importing the structure not everything came through. Now the tricky part but easy since it’s only comparing… open up each table in a new tab so you can easily switch back and forth – what is missing in the older table that you see in the newer table? This is what the difference is and you need to adjust this before the banners functionality in your admin panel for Revive will function properly.
    8. What you’re basically doing is taking an older table and updating it to ensure the structure and all columns match. Once done you should see 40 columns in the Revive rv_banners table (Revive Ad Server version 3.2.2) if you have any additional columns or entries other than the required 40, delete them.
    9. Now you must run a query on the rv_banners table:

    UPDATE `rv_banners`
    SET `campaignid` = 1
    WHERE `campaignid` = ”;

    The above query will then associate all your older banners with the current campaign and upon clicking to view Banners in the Admin panel all will now show ;). The only downfall to all of this is the fact the Name for each banner is currently “Untitled” so you’ll need to manually edit each banner and input a proper name.

    Please Note: Regarding #8 above where it states you should have 40 rows in the table rv_banners; Here is a list of the rows in the rv_banners table and they need to be in this order – an sql query and array bring processed when updating a banner is why they need to be in this order:

    1. bannerid
    2. campaignid
    3. contenttype
    4. pluginversion
    5. storagetype
    6. filename
    7. imageurl
    8. htmltemplate
    9. htmlcache
    10. width
    11. height
    12. weight
    13. seq
    14. target
    15. url
    16. alt
    17. statustext
    18. bannertext
    19. description
    20. adserver
    21. block
    22. capping
    23. session_capping
    24. compiledlimitation
    25. acl_plugins
    26. append
    27. bannertype
    28. alt_filename
    29. alt_imageurl
    30. alt_contenttype
    31. comments
    32. updated
    33. acls_updated
    34. keyword
    35. transparent
    36. parameters
    37. status
    38. ext_bannertype
    39. prepend    text
    40. iframe_friendly

    Please Note: You must setup a new zone and other perquisites, if you do not then the ads have no “Zone” to display in. Furthermore any previously used codes in your websites or templates (if using a CMS or Forum software) will need to be changed and the new invocation codes used once proper zones are created.

    Navigate around the new Revive system and ensure it’s all working as-intended. Don’t forget that you’re now on a much newer version of the software so you’ll still need to setup zones, redo your old <script> and ad codes so the new code is present in any files/templates before they’ll show again, so some manual work is required unfortunately but once completed you should be in the clear for quite some time.

    We hope this helps all of those who ran into issues upgrading from such an older version, please comment if you have any questions or feel free to open a support ticket and we’ll gladly assist.

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    Will Google start punishing repeat spammers

    Webmaster Pay attention to this;

    Google published a blog post this morning named Repeated violations of Webmaster Guidelines explaining that if you have repeated violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and those violations lead to numerous manual actions, Google may take a more serious approach to penalizing your site.
    Google said “repeated violations may make a successful reconsideration process more difficult to achieve.” “Especially when the repeated violation is done with a clear intention to spam, further action may be taken on the site,” Google added.

    https://www.seroundtable.com/google-manual-actions-repeated-20918.html

    https://www.seroundtable.com/google-manual-actions-repeated-20918.html

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    WordPress Cheat Sheet for Designers and Developers

    No matter how many times you do something, there’s always the one you just don’t remember. We found this list of WordPress templates and snippets over at startbloginonline.com

    WordPress Cheat Sheet

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    Optimize WordPress for Performance

    URLJet shows you how to speed-up your WordPress site

    While we can’t cover everything involved in one tutorial, we’ll give you some starting tips on improving the speed of your WordPress site. A fast site will improve your users experience and rank better in search engines like Google and Bing as page speed has become part of their ranking algorithm.
    Blazing WordPress Performance
    Your URLJet hosting solution is pre-optimized at the server level and includes potent optimization features. Our WordPress hosting solutions include:
    • Static Cache
    • Dynamic Caching
    • gZIP enabled by default.
    • LiteSpeed Code Optimizer
    • All SSD Drives
    • Free Cloud Flare CDN
    In this How-to we’ll cover the following topics: Using Cloud Flare, Optimize Images, Mimify CSS and JavaScript files. Utilize Browser Caching, Optimizing Your Word Press Database.
    Our default configuration enables caching your WordPress site and adds to the the site speed. Different caching options are available under the Select PHP Version button in your account cPanel. Here you can switch between Xcache, Memcache or eAccelerator to find the one that best suits your site.
    Enable gZIP compression
    gZIP reduces size of data being transferred between your server and your site users. Its enabled by default but should you want to expand it to additional parts of your site placing the follow code will enable gZIP compression for images, CSS and JavaScript files. This will cause the web server to compress specific types of content before sending it to the sites users, where their browser decompresses the content before rendering it to the page. This can greatly reduce the size of the data transferred along with lowering your bandwidth and page load time.
    To enable gZIP compression for a specific file type, add the line with the correct file type to your sites .htaccess file in the root WordPress folder:
    ## ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION ##
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
    ## ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION ##
    Using Cloud Flare
    Content delivery networks (CDN) are networks that cache parts of your site at their locations (pops) around the world. This means you’re more static data is served from the closest server location and not from the URLJet datacenters. The reduces the latency effects of data traveling long distances. Use the Cloud Flare button in your cPanel to enable. Please note that some CDN options may break your site we recommended testing before fully committing.
    Optimize Images
    Images are vital to every website, as is optimizing them for your sites performance. The points below are important to keep in mind when adding images to your WorPress site.
    • Size images correctly. Don’t upload big images then force the server to scale them to the desired size. Images loaded to the server should not be larger than the size their displayed in.
    • Remove unneeded data from the images. Photoshop has a setting for this and Yahoo has a great free program called Smushit. These tool use a technique call lossless compression that removes additional data from your photos – creation date, camera used for the photo, gps coordinates, and so on, without affecting image quality.
    • Use image Sprites for your themes, if possible. Sprites use a CSS technique that lets a one large image represent many small images on a page. This loads several images as one and one lager file transfers faster than many small ones. However, use of sprites must be considered when the theme is designed. Always for themes that utilize sprites.
    Minify JavaScript and CSS files
    Minifying your CSS and JavaScript files removes unnecessary data like double spaces, empty new lines, comments and so on to reduce their size. You can use online tools like Minify, the option built into Cloud Flare or the W3 Total Cache plugin that gives you the option to minify your theme’s CSS and JS files.
    Utilizing browser caching
    Browser caching let you specify how long your visitors’ browsers should cache thing like images, CSS, JS and flash files. Be aware that this can cause issue with highly dynamic site with many changes. To test or use it on your site, add the lines below to your .htaccess file. Please Note: the change below sets cache to 1 month. You can shorten or lengthen as your site requires.
    ## LEVERAGE BROWSER CACHING ##
    <IfModule mod_expires.c>
    ExpiresActive On
    ExpiresByType text/css “access 1 month”
    ExpiresByType image/gif “access 1 month”
    ExpiresByType image/png “access 1 month”
    ExpiresByType image/jpg “access 1 month”
    ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access 1 month”
    ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access 1 month”
    ExpiresByType application/pdf “access 1 month”
    ExpiresByType application/x-javascript “access 1 month”
    ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access 1 month”
    ExpiresDefault “access 2 days”
    </IfModule>
    ## LEVERAGE BROWSER CACHING ##
    Optimize your WordPress Database
    Optimizing your WordPress database occasionally is also a good idea. It’s like running Disk Defragmenter on your local machine. To optimize you WordPress database, open PHPMyAdmin in cPanel and navigate to your WordPress database. Open it and scroll to the bottom of the page to locate a check box for tables having overhead. Click and open the drop down and choose Optimize Tables and let run till completion. It’s a good idea to run it a second time only choose Check All and Optimize Tables This is losing importance as MySQL moves more to the InooDB engine.

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    Great Tool to Animate CSS Gradients

    This will generate the needed code and give you a preview in a few short steps.

    http://www.gradient-animator.com

     

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    How To Personalize your vBulletin Forum

    OK, vBulletin is installed, how you make it look like your site and not vBulletins. Head for the Administration Control Panel (ACP) and Style Manager. Style Manager is where you can modify and change everything about vBulletin, from the logo and header image to font color to the pixels width separating different elements, or to change the overall background image.

    Intimidating at first glance, it’s really pretty simple to use. To illustrate, the following few step will totally change the look of vBulletin.
    Best Practice: Create a New Style
    DO NOT modify the default style; instead create a new style in Style Manager. This will allow you to always be able to return to the default style, should you need to test functions later on and users can continue to use the old style while you develop the new one.

    Change the Logo

    First, let’s change the vBulletin logo to something more relevant. You’ll need to upload the new logo to the images folder. The default location of the logo image is public_html/images/misc/
    URLJet Logo

    Best Practice: Add a folder for your new style.
    Add a new folder in your forums image directory to store the graphics for your new style. Trust me, files will be much easier to find if you need to make changes later.

    With the new logo uploaded, login to the ACP and navigate to Style Manager. Click the dropdown list next to the style you’re editing and select “StyleVars”.

    styvar

    In the variable list on the left, scroll to StyleVars “titleimage” under the header “ImagePaths”. In the title image box on the right, enter the path for the logo and save. vBulletin uses relative paths so as long as you uploaded the new image to the images/misc/ folder, just replace the vB logo with yours. The header will automatically resize to fit. This is a good time to visit your forum to check your work. TIP: To quickly find the variable you’re looking for; use the search function in the upper left hand menu. Enter the name of the StyleVar you’re looking for and vBulletin finds it for you.

     

    Change the Header Background

    So, your new logo is in place, but it doesn’t go with the background and you want to change the background to match the header. Repeat the steps used to change the vBulletin logo, but instead of choosing the “titleimage” StyleVars, pick the “header_background” under the “Header” section.
    hedbacki

    The URLJet logo is a mix of blue and red and adding a white background makes it pop. In the background color box change the Hex color to white (#FFFFFF). This link will take you to a handy hex color picker. http://www.color-hex.com. If your background is more complex, you can also build one with the appropriate dimensions, upload it to your new style folder, then call out its location in this window.

     

     


    Change the Background of the Tab Bar

    Say you want something other than the vBulletin green here. Like the header background, vBulletin uses a repeating gradient image here as well.

    navgrad

    We made a black gradient. After uploading it to the style folder, head back to the Style Var Editor, look for the NavBar section and select “nav_tab_background” and save.

    navtab

     

     

     

     

     

    Time to practice….Check back and well have more tips on a vartrity of sujects from vBulletin to XenForo and WordPress

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    XenForo 1.3.3 Released

    XenForo upgrade

    XenForo upgrade

    Today, we are happy to release XenForo 1.3.3. This release fixes a number of bugs and issues that were found in 1.3.2. As this is a maintenance release, the vast majority of the focus was an increase in stability.

    Some of the bug fixes include:

    Fix Google+ integration in IE8
    Attempt to prevent appearance of duplicate posts when refreshing the page in Firefox
    Improve the speed of BB code stripping on large posts
    Fix link canonicalization of “//” links

    Disable the rich text editor in Firefox on Android due to incompatibilities
    Fix some editor inconsistencies in IE11
    Maintain formatting when pasting between editors in more cases
    When editing a link in the editor, update the link text if it’s the same as the link
    Ensure that links in emails that are set to blend in have underlines
    See or contact URLJet.com for more information

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