Another reason to stay away from Site5

I received an email this morning from Site5, my former hosting provider and domain registrar. The email stated that bentcorner.com was about to expire and I should renew it now. One small problem: I changed bentcorner.com’s registration to GoDaddy last year.

Here’s the email:

Site5 is a terrible company. They used to be great until they were acquired by EIG. Since then, Site5 has become a terrible hosting provider, just like HostGator, Bluehost, and the other hosting providers taken over be EIG.

EIG is like the Borg from Star Trek. They zip around the known galaxy and take over once respected hosting providers.

One of the changes put in place by Site5’s new overlords is that to sign into your account, you have to agree to their Terms of Service (ToS).  I’ll cut off a thumb before I agree to EIG’s ToS. I don’t know what it even says, but if it was put in place by EIG, it’s got to be bad for the consumer.

This fraudulent email is just another ploy to get me as a former consumer to agree to their ToS.

Take my advice and stay away from Site5 or any other hosting provider acquired by EIG.

How to add Yoast breadcrumbs to the Twenty Sixteen theme

If you are using the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress powered website and would like to add the breadcrumb feature to your site, the first thing you will need to do is turn the feature on. Log into WordPress and on the left-hand side, select SEO and then Advanced. At the very top of the screen, you will see the Breadcrumb feature. Enable it.

You’ll then need to fire up your favorite FTP client and log into your website. Go to wp-content/themes and select the theme you’re using. I’m using Claire Brotherton’s excellent child theme for the default Twenty Sixteen theme. You will need to grab the single.php file to add the code for the breadcrumb.

Because the child theme doesn’t have a copy of the single.php file, I grabbed a copy of it from wp-content/themes/twentysixteen, the main parent theme. I moved it to my local desktop and opened it with Sublime Text. I then made the following change:

Before

After


Once I saved the change,  I uploaded it to the child theme folder. Since the child theme didn’t have a copy of the single.php file, it was using the file in the default Twenty Sixteen folder. That’s the way child themes work. They first try to use resources in the child theme. If the resource isn’t there, it pulls it from the parent theme. Now that the child theme has a copy of the single.php file in its folder, it will use that instead of the parent theme’s copy.

Once I did that I deleted the single.php file from my desktop. If and when I modify the file again, I’m going to grab a fresh copy using FTP. When making updates or changes, it’s better to work with a fresh copy of a file from the website, not a local archived version. That way you know it’s up-to-date and current. The copy you have on a local computer may not be as up-to-date as you think.

Once I did that, the breadcrumbs were showing at the top of every post. I then made a change using CSS. The reason? I don’t like the post’s title to be displayed in the breadcrumb. It’s always seemed overly redundant to me. The title of the post appears under the breadcrumb, why also include it in the breadcrumb too?

I added the following to the stylesheet of the child theme:


That hides the title of the post from the breadcrumb. It’s still there, you just cannot see it.

Even though I wrote this Yoast SEO breadcrumb tutorial for the Twenty Sixteen theme, it can be applied to any WordPress theme.

Should you delete someone’s comments when they ask?

I read the following tweet the other day and it piqued my interest:

Jeffr0 is Jeff Chandler, editor in chief at WP Tavern, a website dedicated to things happening in and around WordPress. WP Tavern is owned by Audrey Capital, an angel investment and research company created by Matt Mullenweg, co-creator of WordPress and founder and CEO of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com.

This tweet bugged me for a couple of reasons. If someone asks you to remove a comment they left three years ago because it’s showing up in Google when people search their name, the nice thing to do is to delete or sanitize the comment. If you can’t bring yourself to delete the comment, at least remove all identifying information from the comment that connects the comment author.

One shouldn’t need to go to Twitter asking people if you should do this.

When in doubt, be nice. This is especially true when being nice doesn’t burn any calories  All Jeff Chandler had to do was either delete the comment or remove the comment author’s full name and URL from the comment.

Never miss an opportunity to be nice, especially when doing so is so easy.

The other thing that annoys me is Jeff Chandler deletes comments all the time on WP Tavern. Comments regularly disappear on WP Tavern. It’s one of the reasons I stopped leaving comments on WP Tavern. I don’t think any of my comments were deleted, but I’ve seen loads of others slip into the ether, never to be seen again.

I’ve tried to follow comments on some of the most active posts on WP Tavern. I would make a note of how many comments were in a thread and if I saw that number increase, I’d scroll down to find the new comments. What I often saw was the total comment count decrease, not increase.

The funniest part about that is each comment left on WP Tavern must first be manually approved before it shows up. Each and every one. It doesn’t matter if you’ve left 50 quality comments there in the past, each new comment must still be manually approved. Why go back and delete comments after you’ve already approved them? Who knows. The perception is that if a certain someone reads a comment they don’t like, they tell Jeff Chandler to delete it.

That’s the perception. It may be true or it may not be true, but it’s what some people believe it going on. The problem is Matt Mullenweg owns WP Tavern, a website that tries to be a WordPress news site. When comments disappear even after they’re approved by an administrator, it looks kind of fishy.

For the record, I delete comments when people ask me to, unless they threaten me with legal action. I hold comments in moderation if it’s the first time someone is leaving a comment. Once their first comment has been approved by me, they’re free to leave future comments without delay or moderation. I figure if someone doesn’t post links to penis enlargement cream in their first comment, they won’t do it in any subsequent comments.

I could be wrong.

I am going to WordCamp DC 2017

I just purchased my ticket to WordCamp DC 2017. Even though I have been a user of WordPress for over ten years, this will be my very first WordCamp.

WordCamp DC 2017 is taking place July 14-16 at the Carnegie Library of Washington, DC, seen in the above photo. I normally try to stay out of nearby Washington DC in July. It’s alien planet hot and extremely humid in out nation’s capitol in July. Then again, I will be inside an air-conditioned building, not walking around the National Mall like a tourist. It doesn’t matter what it’s like outside. I just hope nobody pulls the fire alarm like they sometimes do at local comic book conventions.

Something tells me WordCamps aren’t like comic book conventions.

I am an ominvore

I have good exceptions for the event. During the sign-up process, I was asked for my meal preference (ominvore) and my t-shirt size (2XL). That makes me think someone is going to feed me and clothe me. I normally like it when I am clothed and fed by strangers. Now that I think about it, considering this personal characteristic, it is a wonder I have not been recruited to join a cult. Am I not cult worthy?

Sometimes it is better not to know the answer to a question. This is one of those times.

WooCommerce raises renewal rates 50 percent

WooCommerce, the popular eCommerce software for WordPress, secretly and without notice, raised the renewal price for extensions by 50 percent, or in other words, to the full original purchase price.

WooCommerce raises renewal rates 50 percent - Bent CornerWhen you buy a WooCommerce extension from WooCommerce, you’re purchasing a one-year “subscription” that entitles you to a year of free updates and support. After one year, you don’t get any updates or support unless you subscribe for another year.

For example, the extension to add the First Data payment gateway to WooCommerce costs $79. If you subscribed, you paid $39.50 every year after the first year.

Not anymore.

The WooCommerce pricing system always seemed shady to me. For $79, you get a copy of the First Data payment gateway extension, but you’re told you can only install it on one website. If you want to install it on more than one website, you must pay $99 for the right to install it on up to five websites. If you really want to go crazy, you can pay $199 to install it on up to 25 websites.

What about GPL?

My problem with this pricing scheme is WooCommerce and its extensions are licensed under the General Public License (GPL). One of the rights users have under the GPL is the right to copy and freely distribute any program licensed under GPL.

From the GPL:

You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program’s source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License along with the Program. You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.

According to the license, I don’t even need to buy a single-site subscription From WooCommerce to use a WooCommerce extension. According to the license, I can get a copy from anyone. Once I have a copy, I can install it on as many sites as I want. I can even give a copy to anyone else. I can even charge people for the extension.

Personally, I would never charge someone for open source software, but that right is allowed under the license.

How then does WooCommerce get away with charging people over and over for the same open source software? Because most WordPress users don’t really understand open source software. They don’t understand the the GPL. They choose to treat WordPress software like they would Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver, or Microsoft Office.

WooCommerce gets away with gouging customers because they know most people won’t read the license. They know most people will just assume WordPress and WordPress extensions are similar to all the commercial software they use.

WooCommerce profits from consumer ignorance

It seems as though WooCommerce enjoys the best of both worlds; they enjoy the benefits of restricted licensed commercial software, but they also get to wrap themselves in the pretentious cloak of open source.

WordPress founder and Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg.

WooCommerce is owned by Automattic. Matt Mullenweg is the founder and CEO of Automattic. Matt Mullenweg co-created WordPress with Mike Little.  You’ll probably find no bigger defender of open source and the GPL than Matt Mullenweg. The man is seriously hardcore about open source. Considering this fact, it’s kind of ironic that WooCommerce is making money selling the same GPL-licensed, open source software over and over and over to the same customers.

Don’t get me wrong, WooCommerce is within its right to increase its renewal fee. They can charge customers whatever they want. Customers are also free not to pay WooCommerce anything. Because of the GPL, they can legally, ethically, and morally obtain the software elsewhere. It says so in the licence.

WooCommerce has done nothing wrong here.

 

If Squarespace is so great, why do you use WordPress?

A lot of the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis advertise for Squarespace, a website builder that claims to allow anyone to quickly build a fantastic looking website.

Squarespace versus WordPress

I was listening to the Nerdist podcast today while, coincidentally enough, working on a WordPress website. As I was listening to host Chris Hardwick talk about the many benefits of Squarespace, I wondered if he uses Squarespace. If Squarespace is so awesome, surely Chris Hardwick uses it to make the Nerdist website, right?

I went to Nerdist.com and took a look at the source code:

If Squarespace is so great, why do you use WordPress? - Bent Corner

Having a folder named wp-content in a website’s root directory means it’s a WordPress joint, not Squarespace. All in One SEO Pack is a WordPress plugin. Chris Hardwick is using WordPress, even though he’s a paid shill for Squarespace.

I don’t understand. If Squarespace is so great, if it allows anyone to create a fantastic looking website, why is Chris Hardwick using WordPress?

Chris Hardwick, more like Chris Hypocrite.

Truth in advertising

I think it’s pretty disingenuous for someone to take money to advertise a product they themselves don’t use. If Chris Hardwick had any integrity, he’d move his website over to Squarespace. It would also be nice if Squarespace would only approach content creators to advertise their product with content creators who actually use Squarespace.

Considering how great Squarespace is, I’m sure there are lots content creators they can chose from. Right?