Verify Invisible reCAPTCHA in WordPress with AJAX

While researching to see if there was a good solution to verifying Invisible reCAPTCHA in WordPress, I came across several solutions that didn’t quite fit the bill for me. There are some plugins that will do this, for instance, but they generally hook into existing forms like the login and registration pieces. In my case, I had a form that lives on a page in WordPress, but is sending its information off to a 3rd party CRM that lives elsewhere. I came across Andrew Cross’s solution, which was pretty close to what I needed, and what follows is my modified approach to his idea. Read More

Why Does DirecTV Now Suck?

Hello, my name is Michael, and I’m a cordcutter. Years of cable rate increases, additional hardware requirements, and garbage network selection recently drove me to canceling my cable subscription. I already have a home theater PC and Chromecast hooked up in my living room, so the addition of a streaming service was pretty straightforward. My HTPC has a tuner card installed, which lets me use an antenna for broadcast stations (FOOTBALL), and I use Kodi along with a NAS for media. I know that might sound like a lot of complexity to some folks, but it’s not bad if you’re willing to just put a few hours into it, and the flexibility is fantastic. When I first moved to streaming TV, I used Sling. Sling was far from bad. What got me to jump was the initial DirecTV offer of their penultimate streaming package for $35/month. I’ve been using it a while now, and given that time, I feel obligated to bitch about some stuff. Like I do.

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Grouping Content with Content Groupings

This week I had the pleasure of presenting a workshop on Google Analytics at WPCampus in Buffalo, NY. One feature I demonstrated during the session was using content groupings to be able to better understand sections of your website as comparative units. After talking with some other folks, I decided that a more in depth discussion of this feature and some examples were warranted. So, here you go! Read More

A Web Security Primer – Sliced, Diced, and Giuliani’d

So, a couple weeks ago Donald Trump nominated Rudy Giuliani to head up his cybersecurity advisory position. Shortly after this announcement, I thought it’d be interesting to see what the strengths of Giuliani’s cybersecurity experience were. I was, to say the least… unprepared for what was to come over the next 48 hours. Thousands of retweets, over half a million Twitter impressions, triple digit Facebook shares, and several articles ended up sourcing the things I and a couple other friends found and shared (shout out to Paul Gilzow and Aaron Hill there). Things that, to me, were so incredibly basic that I was shocked that apparently no one else had noticed them and called them out.

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Tag Manager Analytics and EU Cookie Law Compliance

The specific exercise I’m going to go over in this topic may not apply to many that might read this article. However, I’d encourage you to skim it anyway, as there will still be some valuable information on using dataLayer variables to set up triggers that determine behavior based on cookies (or local storage, if you’re so inclined). What I’m talking about is using an EU cookie law compliance script on your website to effectively turn tracking on and off without completely disabling Tag Manager.

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Tag Manager Strategy: One Container or Many?

More than any other question I got at HighEdWeb this year, this one came up over and over: Should I use one container across all of my sites in Google Tag Manager, or make a separate container for each site? This was occasionally coupled with a question about performance impacts. There are merits to both approaches, and neither is necessarily “wrong.” During my final presentation, I made a promise to the community to start addressing these sorts of questions in detail, so this will be the first of many articles on Tag Manager you’ll be seeing in the near future. Let’s talk about each container approach and what the implications of each are. Read More

Dear Higher Ed Administrators

If you’re in higher ed web development, you probably saw this article making the rounds criticizing university web sitesMelonie Fullick put this together along with the feedback of other Twitter users after trying to research some information from various sites. I, too, recently had some complaints doing some research on programs at institutions and finding it infuriating at times trying to get relatively simple information. I’ve talked with a couple folks about the article as well, and thought I’d give some additional commentary. Not necessarily counterpoint, or refutations, just an additional viewpoint as someone who spent years behind that curtain. Read More

Newspapers’ User Experience Failure

For quite a while now, newspapers have been fighting upstream against other news outlets, blogs, and content sources in a battle for readership. Hell, even things like Twitter can be better and faster for getting eyeballs on an issue than mainstream sites. They’ve had many run of the mill issues, like simply lacking aesthetically pleasing designs with good information architecture that invite users in. But then there have been more specific problems like paywalls, popover ads, and interstitials which have been subject of much derision (and savvy users have been capable of working around them since nearly day one). Read More

Shortened URLs with dotCMS

While there are many solutions out there for doing URL shortening, most of them lack one feature that can be really important for a large site (at least without paying a hefty fee) – the ability to control destination URLs. This might not matter to a lot of folks, but can be extremely important if you migrate a site, move pages, or otherwise use those links in a way that would result in them breaking due to other site changes. Read More