Automattic gets a deposit of $300M from Salesforce

This is massive news for anyone using a WordPress website. Salesforce just invested a whopping $300 Million into Automattic (the folks that bring you WordPress). According to the article on Silicon Valley, the company’s total raised over $617 million! Yikes!  While Automattic Inc., has it's hands in many profitable ventures, including a recent (not as profitable) acquisition of Tumblr.

This not only strengthens Automattic, but certainly reinforces WordPress stability, longevity and overall success in the following decades. Great news for programmers in this arena as well; Work guarantee. Way to go Matt!

WordPress has matured significantly over the years and is a stable product in almost every web development company's arsenal. It's not everything, but it can solve a majority of front end management and maintenance for a lot of users. With the advent of high quality commercial themes, builders and plug-ins, there is little reason not to use it.  WordPress success is evident in the percentage of the web it owns. Last count it was over 30 percent. Pretty impressive.

Shameless plug; Give us a shout if you need a fast, high quality WordPress website design and development. We can even take your cousin's 9th grade photoshop design and make it into WordPress!  Yeah, really. It happens.

Google will be soon forcing a new image format

A while ago, Google started recommending a new image format for the web. Yes, "change", it's forever on the web. They call it progress. Based on prior experience with Google and the high-bar set for websites, everyone will need to go with the flow. They are calling it WebP, a snazzy name for lossy images which can be 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG (gasp!) images at similar or equivalent SSIM quality index. This means we have to migrate to WebP. Boo! Yay for developers with plenty of time on their hands to whittle at old websites (feel the sarcasm burn-in right now).

There are some solutions. Namely conversion tools are starting to flood the market to "assist" users to convert and/or serve the new format. Within WordPress websites a number of plugs are already trying to combat the old format. WebP Express is one of those plugins. There are others as well, but keep in mind, large websites such as shopping carts, catalogs, photo websites and galleries might not be as friendly. It's not unknown that the world wide web has many more images than websites. What we will be testing, if these image conversion tools can keep up with 3K or even 5K images on a website. Clients that tend to their site within B2C areas usually are prolific about images and several thousand large images uploaded in a year is par for the course.

Lastly, we all benefit from this, regardless of the amount of developer pain or quality of the conversion tools. The web will be faster, and for mobile (thin-client) devices, they need all they can get. Let's rejoice! You can learn more from big G right here.

SSL is a Requirement

Not too long ago, Google said, we need everyone to have SSL! This essentially meant that all communication from your browser/device going to the destination, will be encrypted.  However, the massive amount of traffic going through the pipes today, you really need hefty equipment to be able to listen in on a tiny fraction of unencrypted communication. Before this demand, we use to just encrypt the pages that actually carried sensitive data, like the checkout page, maybe the signup if critical info was entered. Email isn't considered "critical." So, we said, OK Big G, we'll do that. The downside, is it does slightly make the response time slower on the server. But what good is it else? Just SEO ranking. If you don't have a SSL on your site today, Google will suppress it off page one results (so the rumor goes).

We still come across websites today with NO SSL and they have not a clue why. Either they were told they "had one" and it was going through a CDN using the free SSL, such as Cloudflare or it expired. The SSL pricing was fairly prohibitive for most websites 10 years ago. Now the prices have gone down significantly and we even see free SSL services by Let's Encrypt. While this is great, don't get it confused with website security. It will not stop someone attempting to inject or takeover a website with brute force. While we harden all of our websites, the SSL is not a website "guard" of any such way. It's just an encrypted pipe that offers data sniff protection.

Making a SSL set up on a website today is a fairly trivial task, but it's a requirement if you want to rank well on the SERPS.  Call or email Webix if you are looking to put a SSL on your website.

New Webix Website

We finally got around to working on our own website. But the guilt level is very high. Why? Because it's not really an income producing project, however, it has a significant impact on our outward appearance. So, hence, we better have something than just a 1 page website. Although, the 1 page site really cover everything... in pitiful bullet points. :/

While the front end of the site is pretty simple and kinda cute, we really focused on the backend. We need something that is super light and can be maintained 3 years from now when we have to update it for the new HD Hologram pop ups. Oh yeah, it's not here just yet, but around the corner, you can guarantee that something will need to be adjusted, changed or even overhauled to keep up with today's frantic technology pace.

It was barely 40 years ago and we had no idea that a phone could be without wires. Sure, the tech was there, but the processes, materials and knowhow was not.

Forward, we hope that this new website will give potential customers some transparency in our work. And existing customers a feeling of comfort that we have something else to do when they have zero updates! This blog will probably have topics all over the place, but it can serve as a internal compass to what Webix is up to in the realm of internet change. Thanks for reading and subscribe to ... something!