Tag: usability

How to Remove Joomla’s Canonical Tag Without Hacking the Core

For reasons detailed in an earlier post about why Joomla canonical urls are not implemented correctly it may be that you want to remove them. That’s pretty easy by hacking the core, but safer to unset the tag in your template so the changes don’t get wiped out on an upgrade.

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Using Google’s Data Highlighter Tool

For a while now in Google webmaster tools there has been an option under the ‘optimization’ tab called ‘Data Highlighter’. This is their new attempt at an alternative to structured data (or another way to add it without changing the structure of your pages).

It is essentially a wizard interface to get Google to understand your pages better than they do right now.

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A New Solution to FOUT (Flash of unformatted text)

Adobe recently released their ‘blank font’. It is essentially a font which contains no glyphs and is basically a css hack to stop the flash of unformatted text when using webfonts.

I wrote a long time ago about how to cache the font files when using @fontface. That method can be used in conjunction with this to create the best user experiance for your site.

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Adding Microdata to Joomla Articles

Google has been using microdata for quite a while now and adding it to your website can help with clickthrough rates from search engine results.

The most obvious is Google’s own authorship markup (not strictly microdata per se) where linking to your Google+ profile adds your profile image to pages in search results, but there are many other tags which can be added to display extra information next to your page title and description.

In this article I am going to look at adding microdata for article publishing times, images and authors to Joomla 3.

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Adding Twitter Meta Tags

Last month (April 2013) Twitter announced the introduction of a new set of meta tags known as ‘Twitter Cards’. Adding these tags to your site allows extra information such as an image and description to be attached to any tweet which contains a url of a page on your website.

You can read the twitter article on the subject here.

As twitter falls back to opengraph tags, not all of the tags are needed if you already have Facebook opengraph tags on your website.

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Intelligent Contact Forms and HTML5 Local Storage

Contact forms are supposed to make it easy for users to ask a question or just get in touch.

These days, with all the captcha and anti-spam methods attached, the chances of a form being filled in incorrectly and not being sent is highly likely. The number of people using mobile devices who might loose a connection and thus, information already entered is also rising. Hell, even clicking the wrong button and going to a different page will usually wipe all the information that has been entered into a form and make you have to re-enter it, or worse, not bother and give up.

So what can we do to make forms more user friendly? Localstrorage to the rescue!

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How to get Joomla’s Current Site Language

Sometimes there is a need to get the current content/site language to use in other places. An example being when you want to set social share buttons to display in the same language as the site. Luckily Joomla makes this easy for us.

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Website Internationalization and Alternative Language Links

I was recently asked a couple of times about international SEO and targeting websites with similar content at the correct people without just serving up a duplicate site.

The most obvious example of this is a .com website which is meant for American audiences and .co.uk which is meant for England, but it could also be a ‘uk’ sub-domain of the .com and potentially a completely different website using a different brand name as the domain name. The content of these websites might be practically the same apart from an address and contact number. So how do we make sure that the correct site gets sent to the right users?

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Speed up @fontface loading time

@fontface is a great tool for giving your site an individual look, the down-side is that on a standard site, the font is downloaded on each page view.

As the font can take a little time to download, the page text is loaded first and then the font is replaced once it has finished downloading which (especially on slow connections) leads to a flash of unformatted text (sometimes described as FOUT flash of unformatted text).

There are a few tutorials which explain how to stop the text displaying until the font has finished downloading, but I feel this is against the readers interests as ultimatley they are there to read the text, however it looks.

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