Aug 05

When ever you browse the internet, information passes from your computer to the web site you are visiting. Information like which website you are visiting, keywords you use in Google, details you enter in a contact form and more are transferred between computers.

Normally, without encryption, this data is transferred in plain text. It is possible for anyone to actually see the information that is being transferred from your computer to the server (or website you are visiting).

To fight this, HTTPS was introduced which encrypts all data from your computer to the server and back.

If a website starts with http:// it means no encryption is happening and everything is being sent using plain text. If a website is using https:// then the data is encrypted and it is impossible for anyone to see the data that is being transferred.

When purchasing items online, or filling out contact forms, protecting your privacy is important so a big push is happening now to change all websites from regular http:// to https://

In fact, Google will give an instant boost to your website’s listing if you move to HTTPS.

Some web browsers will even show a warning if a website is not using HTTPS which can scare away potential visitors from your website.

How to Change Over to HTTPS

To use HTTPS you need an SSL certificate. You can usually purchase one from your hosting company.

Once you have an SSL certificate you need to forward your old http website to the new https website. This is important because if you don’t do it then you will end up with two different URLs which will hurt your search engine rankings because Google will see two websites with the same content and it will negate the benefits of https because most visitors will continue to visit the plain http version.

To properly forward http to https can get a little technical. Many web hosts are slightly different so I will explain the way to do this for the most common servers. Confirm with your web host that you are using Apache on a Linux server and that they support .htaccess files before doing the following.

  1. You need to create a .htaccess file at your root directory. You can do this with any FTP program
  2. Edit your .htaccess file and add the following code;
    RewriteEngine On 
    RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.example.com/$1 [R,L]
    
    
  3. Change example.com to your actual domain name.

What the above code does is tell your web server to forward any traffic going to http:// to redirect to the https:// version. Your website visitors don’t have to do anything more and they are automatically forwarded to your secure website.

Non-Technical Way with EverWeb

If you are using EverWeb to build your website, version 2.4 can actually do all of the above for you without any work on your part. You will need the EverWeb + Hosting platform to take advantage of this feature.

All you have to do to switch over to HTTPS with EverWeb is;

  1. Make sure you have the EverWeb Site Shield add-on
  2. In EverWeb go to the File menu and select ‘Edit Publishing Settings’
  3. Check the box that ‘Use HTTPS Secure URLs’
  4. Publish your website

Get Your Instant SEO Boost with HTTPS

In order to quickly take advantage of the SEO boost with an HTTPS website you will need to submit an XML sitemap of your website to Google and other search engines.

An XML Sitemap will make a list of all of your web pages, along with important meta information like the last updated date, how frequently your web pages are updated and a few more details.

It is important to create an XML Sitemap file with your new https:// URL and submit it to your Google Search Console account.

There are many ways to create an XML Sitemap. You can make one that just lists your web pages, or you can also make a more complex one that includes the meta details discussed above.

To create an XML sitemap file follow these steps;

  1. Use a Sitemap Generator such as Sitemap Automator or Xml-Sitemaps.com
  2. Create your Sitemap using the above tools
  3. Upload your Sitemap to your root FTP account
  4. Login (or create) a Google Search Console account
  5. Follow the steps to add your website, verify your account, and submit your sitemap file

If you are using EverWeb, iWeb or any desktop website builder you can follow these video tutorials;

  1.  Video tutorial for creating your XML Sitemap File for EverWeb websites
  2. Video tutorial for creating an XML Sitemap file for any website builder

By the end of the year HTTPS websites will be the norm. It will be essential that everyone is switch over because Google and other search engines will essentially require it. Web browsers will start giving warnings for non HTTPS websites as well which may scare off your website visitors.

Switching to HTTPS should be straight forward. If you have any questions, please post them below.

 

 

Apr 07

I’ve been contacted over and over again about users stuck because Apple discontinued iWeb and they need a solution to update their site.

I know the feeling, you rely on a product, you learn it, you become an expert and then one day, it stops working! Do you really have time to learn something new?

Well you don’t have to worry anymore! I can get you converted from iWeb right into EverWeb which is almost the exact same thing, just with new, modern features. If you used iWeb, EverWeb will feel like the exact same thing.

I’ve teamed up with EverWeb to help update an iWeb site and bring it into EverWeb.

With this service you will get virtually the exact same iWeb site, just built in the new, modern EverWeb app, which works just like iWeb and with constant updates, 24/7 customer support and awesome new features.

Within 10 days (depending on the size of the iWeb site), you’ll be back in business with the ability to update your website with EverWeb, with absolutely no work on your part.

Get Your iWeb Conversion Quote

Simply fill out the iWeb Conversion form on EverWeb’s website.  Myself or someone from EverWeb will get back to you within 24 hours with a quote for you.

Convert Your iWeb Site On Your Own

Looking to convert your iWeb site to EverWeb on your own? That’s no problem either.

This iWeb to EverWeb video tutorial will discuss how this can be down.

Did you know EverWeb can even import your iWeb blog? It’s the only tool available that can actually import al your blog posts. Learn how in the iWeb to EverWeb Blog Import Video Tutorial.

 

No matter which option you choose, I want to relieve the frustration you may have when updating your iWeb site. So please, leave any questions here and I’m happy to address any questions!

 

Why Update to EverWeb?

I’ll list just a few of the benefits of updating your iWeb site to EverWeb.

  1. EverWeb is actually support and constantly updated.
  2. EverWeb has 24/7 customer support
  3. MasterPages lets you update one page and have your changes reflected on your entire site
  4. Mobile Pages!
  5. Built in SEO features for more website visitors
  6. Dropdown navigation menus
  7. eCommerce and PayPal integration
  8. Fast loading pages, HTML5 and CSS3
  9. Lots of third party widgets and add ons

 

Nov 16

I have heard from a lot of readers here that they have been holding off from upgrading their web site from iWeb to EverWeb because of the lack of a blogging feature.

A few days ago, RAGE Software released EverWeb 2.0 with the very feature you have all been waiting for, blogging!

I have been testing EverWeb’s new blogging features for the last few weeks. My goal is to convert this web site to an EverWeb web site now that blogging is provided, and it looks like it is now time for anyone else to convert their iWeb website to an EverWeb website with this update.

How to blog With EverWeb 2.0

Blogging with EverWeb could not be easier. If you remember how iWeb worked with blogging, it will be just as easy to EverWeb.

  1. From the toolbar press the ‘Add Page’ button
  2. Select the ‘Blank’ template from the top of the templates list
  3. Select the ‘Blank’ template from the top of the templates list
  4. You will see the new Blog page option, click that and add the page
  5. Your blog has now been created in your web page list

In the web page list you will see a new Blog directory page, a posts page and an archive page.

  • The Blog page is the main page of your blog that will list your most recent blog posts
  • The Posts page is where you will actually start creating your blog posts
  • The Archive page is where you will see all your historical blog posts

Creating Blog Posts

Click the ‘posts’ page in the web page list. From here you will see your blog posts above EverWeb’s design canvas as shown below;

Blogging with EverWeb 2.0

Press the ‘New Posts’ button to create your first post. Then, in the blog entry field below, just start typing. You will see the design canvas update as you type.

And that is pretty much it. EverWeb, takes care of the rest for you.

Your forward/next links, blog archive listing, RSS feed and more…

Three Helpful Tips When Blogging

  1. Always check the Inspector->Widget tab (last tab in the Inspector) when you have the blog post widget selected, or blog archive widget setting. You will see a lot of customization options there for your blog
  2. If you find typing to be slow while typing in the blog entry field, make the design canvas as small as possible by hovering your cursor on the bottom edge of the blog entry field and resizing it. The design canvas won’t constantly update until you resize it to be larger. This can speed up typing for large blog posts
  3. Under the Insert->Buttons menu you will see the option to enter an RSS button. RSS lets your visitors subscribe to your web site’s blog to see updates in their RSS readers.

I’ll return with more tips and tricks for blogging, but for now, let me know your questions or comments in the comments section below!

Jun 20

An important thing that web masters sometimes forget is that website styles change. This is similar to the fashion industry, which is why you see different styles come and go. Keeping an up-to-date and modern website is important for keeping visitors on your site.

I want to quickly touch upon 3 ways of enhancing your website and adding that small detail that makes a big splash.

Custom Modern Fonts via Google Fonts

Google Fonts has a huge collection of really nice/modern fonts that take your website beyond Arial. These fonts are all free to use. And best of all, there is no installation process for using them on your EverWeb site. Check out this video tutorial to see just how easy it is to download and use Google Fonts.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrI-vRSWUFY[/youtube]

Resizing Header On Scroll

This is one of my personal favourites. The resizing header is a very modern feature for your site that serves two purposes. First, it adds a nice interactive touch to the site, whereby the visitor changes the size of the header when they scroll down (or up) the page. Second, it keeps the navigation menu on the page at all times, making it easy for the visitor to navigate from page to page on your site. This feature requires a third-party widget from EverWebCodeBox and a bit of attention to detail. See this video tutorial to learn how to add a resizing header to your site.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br19cknW5q4[/youtube]

Anchor Links

Anchor links are an easy way to enhance the navigation of your site. When you want to send a visitor from one particular spot on your page to another, anchor links are the best way to do it. In EverWeb you can create an anchor link that will quickly jump the visitor from one place to another, and/or an anchor link that will smooth scroll the visitor to a particular spot on a page. For the smooth scroll option, you will need some code, or a widget. The video below will show you how to add anchor links to your page in EverWeb.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fco_xFEp-I[/youtube]

Thanks for reading and I hope this has inspired you to make a change to enhance your website.

EverWeb is a desktop application that will allow you to make your own website by just dragging and dropping objects on a canvas. No coding is require, and no website building experience is needed. To learn how to use EverWeb, there is a large library of video tutorials that will teach you everything you need to know.

Jul 14

Ever wonder where that tiny little icon next to the address bar, or on the left side of a tab in a web browser comes from? This tiny image is known as a favicon. It allows websites to ‘brand’ their site in a web browser with their company logo or icon. You can easily add your own icon to your site made in EverWeb. This feature is available on the Site Publishing Settings page. Normally you would need to upload a 16×16 image labeled ‘favicon.ico’ but EverWeb takes care of all of this for you. Just select the image you want to use and publish your site. The video tutorial below will illustrate how to utilize this feature.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAjN8YRe-II[/youtube]
Jul 10

One of EverWeb’s built-in widgets is the Image Slider. This widget allows you to create a slick looking slideshow on your website. Some people might use the image slider as a preview for a larger image gallery, or for other purposes such as a slideshow to show off their professional photographs. Whatever use you might have for the image slider, it is definitely a great addition to any website. EverWeb’s image slider widget is highly customizable so making it fit the design of your site is rather easy.

Below is a video tutorial that will show you how to use the image slider widget. From EverWeb’s latest major update (1.8) you can now make the image slider respond to the width of the browser. Let me know what you think of the image slider and what features you like/dislike or think needs to be added to it.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= FqTyt6O6xRo[/youtube]
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Aug 19

As a webmaster, one of your top priorities is to make sure that websites you are building for your business (or your clients) are as professional as they can be. Having a website that comes off as unprofessional, annoying, or something that looks like it was made by a child can cause a potential customer to look elsewhere.

Here I will outlined (in no particular order) 5 ways to make your website more professional.

1. Ditch the hit counter

Remember back in the 90’s when websites would compare their popularity with a chunky hit counter? Those went out of style along with Pogs and overalls. If your website still has a hit counter on it, consider removing it and replacing it with an invisible tracker such as Statcounter.com or Google Analytics.

2. Remove your splash page

Brick and mortar stores need to have doors. Your website does not. When a customer visits your website, don’t make them click a link to ‘enter’ your site. They are already on your site and should not require an extra click to get to the important part of your website. If you have a cool graphic that you don’t want to go to waste, you can always find a different place on your site to put it.

3. Speed up your site!

Does your site load slowly? Check your page’s speed by running your site through this test. If you get a very low score, consider speeding up your site by removing large images and fixing any errors that may be present.

Slow loading websites can cause impatient visitors to hit the back button. In addition, the speed of your site may have an effect on your website’s rankings in search engines.

4. Auto-load Audio

Many websites still have music (or videos) that play automatically when a user visits the page. This can be annoying to many users. Consider making your music not play automatically, but instead give the user the option of clicking on the play button themselves.

5. Mobile Friendly Website

A large number of users will be visiting your website on their mobile devices. Make sure that you have created a version of your website that is mobile friendly. This will create a much better user experience and will result in less users exiting your website from their mobile devices. EverWeb users should check out this video tutorial that will show you how to easily setup your mobile website in EverWeb.

Jun 11

RAGE Software released EverWeb 1.4 yesterday which includes many updates, one of which being the much anticipated image gallery captions feature. Since the launch of EverWeb, users – especially iWeb users – were eager to see an option for captions in the image gallery. The folks at EverWeb even got users excited by a popular Facebook post which gained a lot of “Likes” very quickly. Captions can now be added to each individual image in a gallery (Image Gallery widget).
.

Image Gallery Caption Feature in EverWeb

Image Gallery Caption Feature in EverWeb

Also included in the image gallery update is the ability to specify the number of images per page that you want. This is a big feature for users who have a large number of images in their galleries. Instead of having a really long page with say, 100 images, you can split that up into 5 ‘image pages’ of 20 images. You can easily navigate from one ‘image page’ to the next by clicking on the links that automatically appear right above the gallery (see image above).

Other items worth noting is that the captions are used as alternative text, so for those focusing on search engine optimization (SEO), you will definitely find this feature to be very useful. You can also now drag and drop multiple images into the image gallery’s assets list. Likewise, you can also delete multiple images at one time. You also have the option to show, or hide the social buttons in the image gallery’s slideshow.

Other enhancements put into EverWeb 1.4 is the ability to add multiple images at one time for the Image Slider widget. You can also deleted multiple images from this widget as well.

It is very exciting to see these improvements in EverWeb and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store. EverWeb really does appear to be a fantastic iWeb replacement, and it just keeps getting better and better.

Mar 11

The new version of EverWeb, brings a whole list of new enhancements. One of the more notable enhancements is the ability to password protect a website. Unlike iWeb which only let you password protect your entire site with just one password, EverWeb lets you password protect sections of your website with an unlimited number of usernames/passwords.

This is a great way to create a membership page that offers exclusive content to your visitors. You can provide unique usernames/passwords to anyone who purchases your products or services.

Note: Password protection is only available in the EverWeb with Hosting option.

Password protection works by protecting directories on your website. Press the Add Directory button in the toolbar at the bottom of the EverWeb window.

You can label it whatever you like, in our example we’ve chosen Members Only. You can also press the ‘Add Page’ button to add child pages to this directory. If a visitor tries to access any of these pages through their browser, they will be prompted for a username and password.

EverWeb Password Protection

Create a directory for Password Protection

Next, select the directory that was just created and select the ‘Page Settings’ tab in the Inspector. Scroll to the bottom of that tab until you see the Password Protection section. From there you can enter username and password combinations.

Add Passwords

Add Passwords

Usernames and Passwords are case sensitive.

Once you add your passwords you can publish your site. When a visitor visits this section of your site, they will be prompted for their username and password in order to access it.

Feb 13

Although Mavericks has been out for a while now, iWeb users who have not yet upgraded have been emailing me wondering if iWeb works properly on Mavericks (OS X 10.9).

The short answer is, yes it will work just as it does on Lion and Mountain Lion.

The long answer is that there is a growing number of features that have stopped working, and they are mostly related to MobileMe closing. These features include Google Maps, MobileMe Galleries, Password Protection, Blog search, and Blog commenting.

Although we have discussed some alternatives for the above such as how to add Google Maps to an iWeb site. The reality is that the work arounds are getting a bit tedious now.

In addition, iWeb will never support the newer features introduced with each operating system or hardware. For example, it is not possible to create Retina ready websites for iPhones, iPads and Retina MacBooks. New CSS techniques that let you properly style text without converting them to images and new, modern styling techniques will never be supported in iWeb. That’s a big shame and something that will hold back your website from its full potential.

As we’ve discussed before, EverWeb is a great iWeb alternative. Recently EverWeb introduced Master Pages which means you can design your site once and then apply that design to all pages on your site. When you want to update your site’s design, you just update the Master Page and your entire site is updated. This also means that re-designing your iWeb site in EverWeb just got much easier. Future updates to your site will also be much more manageable. You no longer have to go through each page on your site whenever you want to make a small design change.

As of this writing, EverWeb 1.3 is in beta testing and includes Password Protection (The ability to have unlimited passwords for different parts of your site, not just your entire site), 404 not found pages and direct FTP publishing.

My recommendation is that it’s time to replace iWeb with EverWeb. There is virtually no learning curve since they are very similar, EverWeb is actively developed for Mavericks and it includes more modern features that can benefit your website.

There is an iWeb to EverWeb video tutorial as well that can help you transfer your website.

Feb 05

As we have been discussing in previous posts, EverWeb is a new iWeb-like editor that will allow you to easily make your own website.  As I was talking to some small business owners last week, I was astounded to hear how much money they were spending on their websites, and nearly none of them we’re happy with the current site they had. It’s times like that I think we are lucky that we all know about iWeb and now EverWeb. Thousands of dollars can be saved by doing it yourself, and you just can’t put a price tag on having all the control over what gets done and how it gets done.

E-Commerce was a hot topic with iWeb, and this is no different with EverWeb. Luckily, adding e-commerce to an EverWeb made site is actually very easy to do using PayPal. All you will need is a free merchant account. You will be able to add Buy Now buttons, or even Add To Cart button’s that will allow users to add multiple items to their shopping carts before checking out. This is extremely useful for those of you that sell multiple items on your website. You can also use PayPal for adding Donate buttons, as well as subscription based payments.

If you do not like the default buttons that come with PayPal, you can upload your own custom buttons while creating the button on PayPal.

Here is a video tutorial that will actually show you the process of  setting up a basic add to cart button in PayPal. You may be surprised at just how easy it is.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysNeZTvpL9I[/youtube]

If you have any comments or questions, please let me know. If there are any requests for similar third-party additions to your EverWeb site, leave a comment below and let me know. I hope everyone is having as much fun with EverWeb as I am.

Dec 04

Web Clips provide an icon that will appear on iOS devices when a user chooses to save your website to their Home Screen.

You can try this yourself by opening a web page on your iPhone and press the Share button (middle button at the bottom of Safari on iOS 7). Then select the ‘Add to Home Screen’ button.

An icon will appear on your Home Screen that gives you quick access to your web site. If you want to provide your own icon for your web site you can do so with a Web Clip.

To add Web Clips in EverWeb is very easy.

First you need to actually create your web clip icon. Web clip icons should actually be in 4 different sizes for iPhones, Retina iPhones, iPads and Retina iPads. However, if you want to take a shortcut make just an icon that is 120 x 120 pixels. This is the size for Retina iPhones.

The optimal sizes for all four devices are as follows;

iPhone: 60×60 pixels
iPhone Retina: 120×120 pixels
iPad: 76×76 pixels
iPad Retina: 152×152 pixels

The web clip image should be saved in PNG format.

Next, save your default web clip image using the file name;

apple-touch-icon.png

If you are creating images for all 4 devices you can name them as follows;
apple-touch-icon.png
apple-touch-icon-iphone-retina.png
apple-touch-icon-ipad.png
apple-touch-icon-ipad-retina.png

Next, drag all your PNG images into the assets list in EverWeb.

Then, select your web page name in the upper left hand corner to bring up the publishing settings. Where it says Head Code, paste the following;

If you have specified all 4 icons than ADD the following lines to the Head Code field;

<link rel="apple-touch-icon" sizes="76x76" href="{!-ASSETSPATH-!}External%20Files/apple-touch-icon-iphone-retina.png">

<link rel=”apple-touch-icon” sizes=”120×120″ href=”{!-ASSETSPATH-!}External%20Files/apple-touch-icon-ipad.png”>

<link rel=”apple-touch-icon” sizes=”152×152″ href=”{!-ASSETSPATH-!}External%20Files/apple-touch-icon-ipad-retina.png”>

And that’s it!

You can load up your site on your phone and try it out.

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