How to bulk update all WordPress pages or posts

Hello! Sometimes its necessary to perform mass or automated actions against your WordPress content. Reasons for this can vary, but in our scenario there was a bug in a plugin relating to translated content via WPML where afte a fix / plugin update was applied, resolving the content errors was as simple as re-saving an existing post (with no changes). Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but what if your site has over 1,000 pages or posts? Doing those one at a time , or even via the “Quick edit” method can be tedious and resource-taxing (both in-person and server resources!). Alternatively, what if you needed to update a byline in the post content, or standardize a title format for your posts? The reasons can vary again ,but I thought it might be helpful to include an automated process using a method called “bootstrapping” WordPress. What this really means is […]

How to optimize and speed up your WordPress site

Hello! What a topic : how speed up your WordPress site. There are so many elements and factors that contribute to site speed, it is my intention to cover each area that contributes or affects overall site speed, specifically with a WordPress site. Being the most popular CMS in the world means that all sorts of people are using WordPress for all sorts of reasons. Having a fast performing site has been proven to improve things like overall sales with e-commerce as well as bounce rates with end-users visiting your site. People tend to not have patience to wait around for websites to load these days, and Google has recognized that and will prioritize sites organically that render faster than others. This is a tricky endeavour because some of the issues that may be contributing to underlying slowness may be pointing you in the wrong direction in terms of a […]

How to transition your Toronto business online

Hello! Without a doubt, the covid-19 pandemic has caused a massive disruption to the global economy including a fundamental shift to how small, medium and large enterprise businesses can conduct their day-to-day operations. The impact of social distancing and other quarantine strategies as dictated by the various health regulatory bodies have had a staggering impact on brick-and-mortar businesses without a doubt. This shift, albeit temporary or more longer term, has put an onus of importance on establishing or improving an online presence. Many grocery stores, butchers and other essential retail businesses have transitioned to an online e-commerce ordering system to accommodate the ability to delivery grocery and goods to their customers. Having an online business can be the deciding factor as to whether you can actually continue operating as a business. Your front doors to your showroom may be closed, but your customers still will be able to browse and […]

What is good web design?

Hello! Trends in web design have come and gone over the years, however there have been some recurring indicators that have manifested as good web design in different iterations as styles change, web development technologies change and the internet changes. CSS, HTML and Javascript frameworks have all come a long way in terms of front end development and the tools that the different technologies bring to the table that allow us to implement modern, interesting, artistic, clean and beautiful websites. But what makes good design? That’s the million dollar question! At Shift8, we have offered web design in Toronto for hundreds and hundreds of businesses across all niche markets. Each marketplace or industry has their own unique challenges, however there are common elements and expectations that we have noted happens for the most part across almost all of our projects. I will attempt to break down these challenges in order […]

How to Start an E-commerce Site in Toronto

One of the biggest roadblocks to starting a new business in Toronto is the upfront costs involved with opening a store or even securing office space. With today’s online economy, though, those expenses can be eliminated by opening an E-Commerce Site. These online sites provide you with a great virtual storefront that doesn’t come with a price-per-square-foot. It also allows you to market your products to people across Canada, North America, or even the world. You may actually be able to bring in many more customers and make a larger profit by going with an E-Commerce site instead of a traditional storefront. The biggest question most people have is simply “how to I get started with an E-Commerce site?” It may look like a large project at first, but selling online is actually pretty straightforward.   Become an Official Business It can be tempting to try to skip over registering […]

How to Start a Business in Toronto

Are you thinking about starting your own business in Toronto? There are a number of benefits to owning your own small business. You’re the boss, for one, and you get to make all of the decisions about the company, its products/services, and its direction. While starting a new business in Toronto isn’t difficult, you do need to make sure you do everything correctly so that your business is a legal entity in the city and that it’s a business poised to make a profit.   Refine Your Business Idea Before you start looking at the paperwork to create a business or sign a lease on office space, you need to make certain you know what your business is and what you’ll provide. Spending money to start a business without a clear plan is not likely to end well. You need to do your research to identify a need your business […]

Web Design for Toronto Businesses

Hello! If you are operating a local business in Toronto, one of the most important things you need to do is maintain a web presence. Whether your business is a startup, business services or restaurant : your web presence is key to the fundamental survival and operation of your business. What does it mean to have a web presence? Well the most important aspect that reaches across any niche market or industry, especially in a local market like Toronto, is having your address and phone number indexes properly as a local Google business. We have put together a checklist of steps to ensure that your business is positioned as best as possible and as visible as possible. In a dense city like Toronto, it is more common than not to have very high competition for even basic visibility.   1. Create a Google My Business Account You need to create […]

How we created our own free content delivery network for WordPress users

Try out our Free CDN service by installing the Shift8 CDN WordPress pluginHello! We thought it would be an interesting challenge both from a DevOPS perspective as well as a web development and integration perspective to create our own fully managed content delivery network. Utilization of the network is geared specifically for WordPress users. The idea being to give users a dead simple way to leverage geographic CDN endpoints across the globe by simply installing a WordPress plugin and activating with the click of a button. You never have to leave your site to register on a 3rd party website, you never have to set up API keys by hand or troubleshoot problems. We wanted it to be simple. And to work! There are many components that need to be integrated and ultimately tied together in order for a system of this magnitude to work. I’ll try to break it […]

How to build a port scanner with Javascript using React Native

Hello! Why bother writing a port scanner in Javascript you might ask? Well javascript is many things, however the majority of its use is based on its original design to be synchronously executed in-browser using a single thread. Because of this, it becomes a challenge to write code outside of this original use case, though not impossible. The challenge of interacting with a local network using a language like Javascript then becomes an interesting endeavour (at least to me). If you take this type of a challenge and integrate it into a javascript based framework like react native, the potential increases exponentially. If one can successfully implement this type of network analysis on react native, then the use-case expands to platforms like iOS and Android. Same goes for AngularJS or Apache Cordova. There are many functions, libraries and modules that will help write asynchronous code. One of which is async. […]

How to block your WordPress site from being scanned by WPScan with Nginx

Hello! First and foremost, why would you want to block WPScan from probing your site? Well we all know that security through obscurity is a bad practice. That said the risks of malicious activity on your site is undoubtedly heightened through many points of information disclosure that is freely available to parse and organize to make an accurate security risk assessment of your WordPress site. This type of information is easily attainable through automated scanners like WPScan. Tools like this scan for version tags in readme files, file size fingerprints and meta tags to determine not only the version of WordPress you are running but the version of each of the plugins you have installed. Why is information disclosure bad? Some would argue its not bad. Others would also point out that a 0-day WordPress core or plugin vulnerability could mean that minutes and hours of circumvention or lowered risk […]