In-depth insights on content, code, and creativity
Generative AI is shaking up every category of knowledge work, and professional software development is on the front lines of the revolution. With new advancements on the horizon, what does that mean for developers in the here and now? Our team experimented with a few of the leading tools and shared their impressions, along with suggestions on best practices for navigating AI usage in web development.
WordPress has a flexible and robust ecosystem for creating a wide variety of websites. But when your site needs to grow and expand functionality, having a dedicated, experienced development team to support and build out new features is essential. Learn about Mugo Web’s best practices when it comes to developing in a WordPress environment and see how we’ve helped save clients thousands of dollars with innovative solutions.
Getting the most out of your WordPress site can take some work. You want a site that looks great, loads quickly, and provides a good user experience for visitors. Unfortunately, WordPress sites often struggle with optimizing images, which can cause significant delays in load time and produce sub-optimal experiences for users on mobile devices. With a little effort, you can create responsive images and drastically improve your site’s performance, both for users and search engines.
There's a lot your website needs to communicate to users. When you have crucial information you don't want people to miss, an announcement banner can be a useful way to prioritize that information on your site. While this can be a simple solution, there are several use cases to consider when implementing site-wide banners. Working with our library partners, we've developed a full range of features to help deliver information quickly, effectively, and painlessly for both the front-end user and the back-end administrator.
Monitoring your web infrastructure is key for several reasons. It enables you to gain insights into the performance and health of your resources, identify potential issues, and make informed decisions for optimization. AWS offers a comprehensive monitoring solution through Amazon CloudWatch, which provides built-in metrics and the flexibility to create custom metrics. However, while comprehensive, the free monitoring options available still might not always meet your needs, and upgrading to the next level of configuration might be overkill and drive up your hosting costs. Auditing and customizing your CloudWatch infrastructure is a great way to get the metrics you desire and save money along the way.
As your website grows, custom site search becomes an increasingly important way for users to quickly find the information they need.
Here at Mugo Web, we find that most of our clients’ sites evolve to the point that they want to add a custom search feature. They may simply want to provide a more seamless experience for users as they search for that one how-to blog post from seven years ago, or they may want to guide an intricate search and drill down through a scientific taxonomy.
Your website can have the best data in the world, but it quickly loses value if your users struggle to find it. Solid search features and intuitive filtering options can increase discoverability and lead to more sales.
We’ve helped several of our partners by creating better solutions for searching to address this issue. Our book publisher clients using the ReaderBound platform have very rich data sets they need to make use of for discoverability, presentation, and sales.
One of the most helpful uses of website analytics for an ecommerce site is being able to track a user’s journey. Following someone’s path as they enter the site, visit different pages, and reach (or don’t reach) key milestones can tell you a lot about what is working on your site and what isn’t.
Subscription paywalls are an essential part of any publisher’s strategy to build a strong brand and diversified revenue stream. Our team at Mugo Web has worked with several publishers to implement paywalls based on content type, age, and subscription level. Imagine any criteria you can, and we’ve built a paywall to give site visitors gated access to premium content.
Sometimes, Apache Solr doesn’t index data in just the way you need for your custom search criteria. When you need to add data not indexed by default in the Solr search engine, the document field mapper should be created to fit your needs.
Having quality images on your site is important, and creating all the different versions of images for the various ways they will be used on your site is time-consuming and potentially frustrating. Letting browsers auto-render images to different sizes and shapes will cause pixelation and stretched images that don’t reflect well on your brand. The good news is that there are several tactics to automatically generate high-quality and specific versions of images to cover all the use cases.
Google Maps is an almost ubiquitous tool and can be incredibly useful to integrate into your site. There’s a lot of versatility in its uses, but depending on how much you’re asking it to do, the results might not be optimal. When you have a huge dataset to display on Google Maps, the performance tends to slow down. When that data is spread across a large geographic area, the issue can be compounded. As you zoom out and more markers try to load, your map can slow to a crawl. What was a useful tool now becomes a point of frustration for visitors to your site. Let’s take a look at the technique that can be used to improve the performance of maps with large datasets.
One of the major selling points for Google Analytics 4, when it was released in late 2020, was the inclusion of predictive analytics metrics, a Big Data feature that until then had largely been the domain of enterprise analytics packages.
Now that Google has announced that GA4 will replace Universal Analytics for all users by July 1, 2023, it’s worth a second look at how GA4’s predictive analytics can impact your business.
The Mugo Web team recently worked with one of our long-time clients, FindaTopDoc.com, to execute a seamless migration from its existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to a new platform.
This project was critical since FindaTopDoc relies on extensive use of CRM integrations to power its physician directory website. Applications range from updating doctors’ searchable listings to managing user-generated content, a pillar of the FindaTopDoc publishing strategy.
Events are the buzziest change between Universal Analytics (UA) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4). There’s a good reason for that — they mark a very substantial shift in how property owners track data on their sites. This is a daunting prospect and an opportunity. As a property owner, you will need to reevaluate how you use your analytics and how you can make the new system work for you. As you make the switch to GA4 before UA’s End Of Service date (July 1, 2023), you might be focusing on just recreating a familiar pattern and making your GA4 property look the same as your old UA dashboard; the better option is to clarify exactly what you need from your site’s analytics and leverage GA4’s superior flexibility to accomplish your goals.
We’ve discussed eep (Ease eZ Publish) several times over the years. It’s a powerful tool we at Mugo Web have used for innovative solutions. For the uninitiated, eep is a collection of scripts to support developers working with eZ Publish. Now that eZ Publish is a legacy product, we needed a new option for eZ Platform and Ibexa DXP. Introducing eep-bundle, a collection of Symfony commands specifically selected to work with the new system! We’ll dive in and look at some of the more useful functions eep-bundle provides, such as commands to work with cache, content, content field and type, location, section, and user data.
If you have a Google Analytics property, you’ve probably heard about the upcoming switch to GA4. You might have seen the banners across the top of the page when you log into UA. “Universal Analytics will no longer process new data in standard properties beginning July 1, 2023”, a polite yet vaguely threatening notification, easily ignored as a problem for next year. If you are proactive, you might have already started the switch to the new platform, having heard the recommendation to run both concurrently until the switch. And if you are like many, that might be as far as you’ve gotten.
Specialty presses have specific requirements that aren’t met by run-of-the-mill websites or standard e-commerce solutions. Their readers are among the most demanding consumers you’ll find online, and they want precise details about your publications, trustworthy reviews, and recommendations from a community of like-minded readers.
A retail shopping cart e-commerce system isn’t up to the standard these customers expect.
This is part of the reason why Mugo built ReaderBound, an all-in-one, a feature-rich website platform for publishers. The specific demands of this industry require an integrated, purpose-built commerce experience.
Libraries provide a myriad of services for their patrons, which requires a lot of coordination and communication. Patrons need multiple ways to interact with their librarians; in-person, via phone, social media, chat, etc. A modern library needs tools to quickly collect information and requests with an intuitive workflow for staff and the public.
When things go seriously wrong in a well-built but complicated system, the cause is often a cascade of small failures that pile up. Not that we’re building rockets over here, but an excellent example is the ill-fated Ariane flight V88. Solving the issues behind such failures can be problematic. Many things contribute to the difficulty, from the extensive use of caching to the need to convincingly reconstruct the failure in retrospect. Debugging this kind of failure, especially under pressure, is hard. We consider the ability to do this to be the hallmark of a senior developer. Even so, it is essential to have a team of experts working together to troubleshoot issues and find solutions promptly to help keep your site running.
If you manage one of the millions of websites affected by the Google-mandated migration from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you might be following the best practice of simultaneously running UA and GA4 scripts until you’re ready to adopt GA4 fully. One of the analytics features that needs special attention is cross-domain tracking.
The Toxics Use Research Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell wanted to add memos to records in its Pollution Prevention Options Analysis System (P2OASys), a database for evaluating and comparing the safety of chemistries. TURI could have elected to simply add a field to its database structure, but it saw a bigger opportunity to reinvent a key system that had not been updated for more than five years.
A great deal is only “great” if it ends up paying off in the long run.
This truth is perhaps best expressed by author Terry Pratchett in his “Boots theory” of economic value, as laid out in his iconic Discworld novel series: