AMP Ping Up Joomla Website

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) make your website more digestible for Google and has been adopted over the past 5 years by the other search engines. Google currently being the most utilized search engine, and the focus of this article. The goal for AMP is to make the content delivered more quickly for mobile users by condensing and indexing the pages. WordPress adopted this as a part of their core installation, and in testing we discovered Joomla is Rich Results Ready as well. Here is some of the things we have done to improve a Joomla site to be AMPping itself up to be searched.

A great place to start is to use Google as an AMP Tester. Use the link below to access Google’s AMP tester.

https://search.google.com/test/amp

There is also Google’s Rich Results Tester which can be accessed here.

https://search.google.com/test/rich-results

The hard part about these tests are they do not work on your “home” page. There is also Google Structured Data which is the actually the important part of the indexing; however, the page will benefit by being AMP ready. The combination will get your page mobile ready for search engines, with very specified content details you want indexed. We start with the Google Structured Data (GSD) on the services pages. The first thing we did was install a free plugin by Tassos Marinos which you can download in the Joomla Extension Directory (JED) or directly from his site.

https://www.tassos.gr/joomla-extensions/google-structured-data-markup

Install the component like a normal Joomla component. Then enable the plug-ins. There will 3 of them.

Then go to Components >> Google Structured Data >> Dashboard.

Click on the “Items” tab on the left, and “Article” will be the main item to deal with.

Once in “Article” item we set it to pull the “Browser Page Title” vs the “Title” because of the way we have the SEO set up. Make sure to complete as much of these sections as you can. Save your changes.

Then go back to the “Configuration” tab. Fill out as much as you can. Once you are done and satisfied you can go to the “Advanced” tab and turn on the minify of the output.

Before you minify the output look at the source code and make sure the content you want in the GSD is correct. We had an issue with “description” not showing up. We had to reinstall the plugin.

We had also installed a free AMP plugin, but it didn’t help. Just using the GSD plugin from Tassos was enough to make the site Rich Result Ready. Make sure to follow the instructions and view the source of the page to make sure the Structured Data looks the way you want it to before you request Google to index your pages. If you don’t it could be weeks before Google crawls the site and indexes it properly.

Lets us know if this helped you…

WordPress 5.6.2 Update to 5.7 Failed – Solved

We do love the ease of WordPress except when it goes wrong. While working on a new site we got the 5.7 update notification, and we hit the button to update. Well it didn’t go like planned. We had try to update manually, and not something we have done often. It went pretty easy, and we didn’t disable the plugins before starting. We were able to get back into the site when we finished; however, the page content for all the pages didn’t show. We were left with a shell. We started with this article from WordPress.

https://wordpress.org/support/article/updating-wordpress/

  • We backed up the two directories “wp-admin” and “wp-includes” into a temporary folder we called “archive”.
  • Downloaded the latest package from WordPress.
  • Extracted the zip.
  • Moved the extracted “wp-admin” and “wp-includes” into our site directory.

We didn’t have move any other files or disable any plugins and we were back in action, or so we thought. We restored the site with an Akeeba backup, but the update failed again.

Our final solution was to take a copy we posted for customer review on HostGator that was able to run the update and restored this to our XXAMP development machine. Not a perfect solution, but we are building once again. There are a number of variables that are different between the hosting and the PHP versions being one of them. It looks like PHP 7.3 worked better than 7.2.

Lets know if this helped you….

wp-admin “redirect_to” old wrong URL after migration

We recently used Akeeba Backup to migrate a WordPress site for testing purposes; however, whenever we after enter our credentials into the new URL’s admin area we got redirected the old URL admin area. This was frustrating because we didn’t notice at first and started experimenting on the good site. A search lead us to the following post that resolved our issue.

https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/121084/login-to-wp-admin-redirect-to-points-to-wrong-url-after-migration

It is a similar issue to when you manually migrate a WordPress site. We resolved the issue by going into PHPmyAdmin and the “Options” table. Sure enough the “home” and “siteURL” were set to the old site. Usually Akeeba does a great job updating this options.

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3 Dots After Google Search Listing

While doing a review of our site for SEO we were thrown by seeing out page URL’s shortened and three vertical dots at the end of the title. An example is our shows one of our services as just our site name, the category “services”, and then the three dots. We were expecting the specific service after that. When you click on the three dots you get a modal with “About this result Beta” and some stuff. It looks like this.

Our access control page in Google search listing

Now this windows shows what the full URL is; however, at first this is alarming. We work hard on our SEO.

At first we really didn’t find any information on this, and we expected an email in our webmastertools account. It turns out to not have an affect on the search results. Eventually we found the following article to explain the new “about this result” feature.

https://www.ghacks.net/2021/02/03/the-three-dots-menu-in-google-search-next-to-results-its-a-new-feature/

We never found out why it pulls from Wikipedia. Colleges do not consider Wikipedia a reliable source. Sources say Google claims this feature was developed during the pandemic to ensure users on how reliable the source is. Making web searches from everyone in the USA are getting reliable information.

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Solved – SiPass – operation did not complete successfully because the file contains a virus

We have a few customers running Vipre Anti-Virus, and we discovered this week a conflict between SiPass security system and Vipre. When we went to launch the security application the shortcut no longer pointed to the executable. The actual exe was missing.

It turned out that Vipre quarantined it. When the program got whitelisted the exe showed back up like nothing happened; however, we were now getting a an error saying there was potential virus.

Under the windows security settings everything was set for Vipre to be the Anti-virus and Windows defender was turned off. The issue was resolved after a reboot.

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Yoast Update Site Now in Maintenance Mode

Yoast plugin is always so stable, so we were surprised when a simple update broke the site and put it in “Maintenance Mode“.

We used a back up and got back to work on the site. We thought we would try to update the Yoast plugin on this recovered site. Again updating the plugin again and the site broke again.

Well we were able fix the site by deleting the “.maintenance” file in the root directory.

The following link was a good start to helping us.

https://wpbuffs.com/briefly-unavailable-for-scheduled-maintenance/

We were now able to access the site. We decided to try to update the Yoast plugin again, and it worked. The site was running fine after everything was done.

Let us know if this helps you….

Add Google Business Hours to Website

We were wondering how to do this and never got it working till today. We wanted this in the footer of Joomla site running Gantry 5 template. Regular Labs Sourcer plugin was already installed. This will allow us to add some PHP in a Custom HTML module, and put the code in the footer position. Here was the code that was needed.

<?php
    $curlURL = 'https://www.google.com/maps/search/?api=1&query=Google&query_place_id=ENTER_PLACE_ID_HERE';
    $curl = curl_init($curlURL);
    curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1 );
    $response=curl_exec( $curl );
    for($i=0;$i<7;$i++){
        $day = jddayofweek($i,1);
        $start=stripos($response,'[\"'.$day.'\",')+strlen($day)+9;
        echo($day.": ".substr($response,$start,stripos($response,'\"]',$start)-$start)."<br />");
    }
?>

We got this from the following link:

https://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/103058/is-it-possible-to-show-the-hours-from-google-maps-on-a-website-so-that-the-webs

To get our Company business ID we used the following link.

https://developers.google.com/places/web-service/place-id

We typed in our business name, found our listing, and when we clicked on the red location arrow we got our business listing ID. Everything worked but the hours weren’t quite right. As we messed with it to get it right we suddenly started getting a different error.

302 Moved
The document has moved here.
Wednesday: http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=utf-8"> 

This error happens now due to too many requests. Going to give it some time to see if we can get it worked out from a different IP or wait a day or two.

After a couple of days we ended up putting a PHP file with the code above in the templates/hydrogen/html folder and using Sourcer plugin to “include” the code into a custom HTML module. This worked perfectly.

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What is https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?

These are safe to click on. We were signing up a new user to a website, but the email the user received had the username and password changed to “https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?….”. It turned out to be the new Barracuda spam filter the client had put in was blocking the “username” and “password” being sent through the email.

Here is the link to the Barracuda spam filter service. https://ess.barracudanetworks.com

This is Barracuda’s “real-timeURL analysis rewriting the URLs. Bad URLs get directed to Barracuda’s warning, and good URL‘s go through. These “redirected” URLs don’t go away so they don’t expire, so those old links will still work. There is more information here on Barracuda’s site.

https://campus.barracuda.com/product/essentials/doc/49055519/understanding-link-protection/

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Divi Adding More Social Icons At The Top

We needed to add “LinkedIN” icon to the top of a DIVI site. Divi comes loaded with a bunch of social icons and ways to use them, but LinkedIN wasn’t one of them. Here is what we did to get past that.

  • Created a new menu and put it in the “Secondary Menu” position.
  • Turned off the the “Social Icons” in the “Theme Customizer“.
  • Added Custom links to the menu we just created, and you will need the class “et-pb-icon” for this to work.

<span class="et-waypoint et_pb_animation_off et-pb-icon et-animated" style="font-size: 22px;"></span>

The square symbol between the spans is the LinkedIN icon text from the following page:

https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/elegant-icon-font

LinkedIN icon code is: “&#xe0cb;”

Let us know if this helped you.

Outlook Cannot log on. Verify You Are Connected…

We had a customer with this issue. One of the error codes was 0x8004011c. It seemed like a profile issue so we created a new profile and repaired Office; however, this didn’t fix the issue.

We went into the Admin section of Office365 to get the MX record for the domain. We realized the web hosting with Godaddy was upgraded last week and perhaps the mail exchange was set to process the mail locally. It was set up that way so we set it to “Remote mail exchange“. The following article helped me work it out.

https://blog.grimeymedia.com/solved-not-getting-emails-from-website-or-this-sender-failed-our-fraud-detection-checks-and-may-not-be-who-they-appear-to-be/

It took about 10 minutes before the MX published the email was working again.

Let us know if this helped you….

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