Gutenberg: a new window on the world

Gutenberg: a major change to WordPress coming soon

On the 19th November, WordPress is going to make a major change to how we interact with the world: the CMS is changing and will look and behave very differently. That matters because WordPress powers 30% of the entire internet.

What is the CMS?

The CMS or Content Management System is the part of the site in which I am typing this blog post. It is where we store our ideas and craft them with images and optimised text ready for a browser to present to the world.

What is Gutenberg changing?

Quite a lot. If you’re used to being able to type up and add things in the current (now called ‘classic’ which makes me feel even older) version of the CMS, then you are going to need to get used to some ways of doing things. On the upside, if you’re a blogger, then a lot of the things you want to do in a site build will become easier. You can insert blocks of text and images much more easily in the new version of the CMS, for example.

What can I do differently in Gutenberg?

Blocks are the  err… new building blocks for your WordPress site.

A lot of work that was done previously by hard-coding the site will now be something that you can choose to do visually using blocks.

Picture them as reusable templates of how to present information. Like a testimonial or a biography photo. Or buttons or shortcodes that you want to refer to elsewhere on the site.

Can I use the classic editor/CMS if I want to?

Yes. You’ll need to install it as a plug-in which a site administrator will easily be able to do. That’s bound to be pretty stable as a lot of people will opt for that choice and transition when they’ve been able to try Gutenberg in the background.

Doesn’t Gutenberg (the UI) look familiar?

To me, it looks very much like Grammarly. Simple white space where you can create and a sidebar in which to augment your copy into a web page.

What do I do if I have a corporate website built in WordPress?

We’d recommend getting to grips quickly with whether or not you are going to be using Gutenberg as of 19th November or sticking with the classic CMS. The latter should be more stable for now as it is established, but it also a plug in, so not nativer as it has been.

How does Gutenberg work with Yoast?

Yoast (SEO and language optimisation tool for WordPress sites) has been working incredibly hard to get ready for Gutenberg. We’ll blog about how to continue optimising in the new CMS as our next blog. They’ve blogged about the move to Gutenberg.

What’s next?

We’re going to rebuild this site ( using blocks and talk and blog about it as we go – the challenges we face, what can be done differently and more easily as a result.

Any questions?

Please get in touch and we’ll help.

HTTPS: Feeling insecure? An update on law firm web security

Two weeks ago, I blogged about a number of firms whose sites were not secured. By not secure, I mean that Chrome, the world’s most used browser, warns you not to exchange any data with them as it may be stolen. That would include personal details (logins), downloads forms (name and passwords), or credit cards (less likely with commercial firms, but not unheard of). It’s easy to spot: they don’t have an HTTPS site.

I wanted to do an update on the original story now that it has appeared in The Times, The Lawyer, and several insurance and accountancy sector titles too.

In the original survey, 22 of the top 200 law firms did not have an HTTPS site. Five of those firms are in the top 25 largest firms in the UK. All five of those firms promote cybersecurity practices.

I rechecked the offending firms’ sites this morning, and the results are:

  • The same five of the top 25 firms have not resolved the https issue (it takes, maximum, a few hours to fix).
  • All of them still sell cyber risk solutions.
  • One of those five has a client extranet that is not secure. So clients should not use it to exchange sensitive data with their law firm. (Which is the basis of using an extranet); and
  • Of the broader original 22, four have addressed the issue and now have a secure website – so it is now safer to share data with them.

To that list, we’d also add in some of those firms who had certificates that were about to expire/be distrusted. Of the five firms who originally found themselves in this position:

  • One has removed its certificate for now, and so it is ‘not secure’ to share your data with them. It’s one of the largest law firm brands in the world. Ripping off the plaster is not a solution.
  • Two have updated theirs to other free certificates. These free certificates are used in website hacks such as the BA copycat site which has featured in the news so much recently.
  • Two have not tackled the https problem and probably don’t even know that they are not getting web traffics a result. If you use Chrome to look for their website, it won’t display it to you as it says it is unsafe to do so. Potential clients will then go and use another law firm.

Here we are, just over a year on from the Paradise papers (NB @appleby’s website is currently secure, by the way) and it’s almost as if firms are waiting for a cyber breach to happen to them before they act.

It’d be much easier to act now. Contact us if you’d like to know if you’re on the list or how to resolve it.

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