It seems that I am very good at making busy work for myself. I decided that even though http: versions of hyperlinks to the Harvey Mercheum website will redirect to https:, the redirect is an extra step and slows the process down, so I should correct them. While I had to edit all the URLs anyway, I decided to set up campaign parameters to help me track visits in Google Analytics. Once I did that, with the help of the Google Campaign URL Builder, the URLs were long and ugly, so I decided to shorten them using my long-ignored Bit.ly account.
I was just reading this excellent post by Troy Hunt about why even a static HTML website should use HTTPS, when I was reminded by The Hacker News that today is the day Google Chrome starts marking all non-HTTPS websites as “Not Secure”. I am very glad I spent my 4th of July making the switch.
I recently had an email discussion with the support team at WPBeginner about my problems finding a replacement for my custom taxonomies menu widget. It turns out that WordPress‘s standard menu functionality picks up custom taxonomies, so the need for a specialized widget has been eliminated. I did want the menu to have “accordion” ability, and the standard WordPress menu widget does not provide that, so I am trying out a new plugin to provide that functionality. One feature that has been lost is showing the count of the number of exhibits each particular selection will show, but I consider saving screen space worth the price. Please try navigating using the new tree, and leave a comment below or use the “Contact the Curator” form to let me know what you think!
I have gone through all 115 exhibit pages and fixed all of the image links from http: to https:. Once again, if you notice broken links, missing images, or any other unexpected behavior of the Harvey Mercheum website, please leave a comment below or use the Contact the Curator form to let me know about it. Thank you for your patience.
One of the reasons I moved hosting of the Harvey Mercheum website from Arvixe to SiteGround was the promise of one click conversion to HTTPS and a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. I have worked with computers long enough to realize that it could not be that simple, and so have been putting off making that “one click” for quite a while. However, Google keeps pushing for all websites to go to HTTPS, and this month is releasing a change to their Chrome web browser to mark all HTTP websites as not secure. Not sure what the difference between HTTP and HTTPS is? The best explanation I have found was written by the company better known for SEO, Yoast:
While performing an inventory of plugins used, I discovered that the plugin I was using to display “Recent Exhibits” in the left navigation bar had not been updated in several years. I have replaced it with another plugin that seems to be being maintained. The appearance is slightly different, but the functionality is the same. If you experience any problems because of this change, please let me know in the comments below, or use the Contact the Curator form.
I have made a couple of minor changes to the Harvey Mercheum website, based on some reading I have been doing on website accessibility and CSS. The first change is that I have added a dashed red outline around the element that has focus. Users who navigate websites using keyboards or equivalent can now see what pressing enter will activate. You can see this change for yourself by pressing tab two or three times until “Home” in the menu bar becomes outlined. Previously no indication of focus was available.
The other change is that I have added a thin black outline around the text in the menu bar and sidebars. While color contrast checking tools do not consider this an improvement to legibility, I think it looks better.
If you have any comments on these changes, or any suggestions for additional improvements, please let me know in the comments below, or use the Contact the Curator form.
Early last month, I talked about how I wanted this website to look. I was talking about the background image, and how much of it should show behind the actual content portion of the page. What I did not talk about was this actual content portion, and how I further divided the amount of space available into two sidebars: one left, one right, with the content in the middle.