Social Media: Supercharge Your Sites Part 1

If you manage a website or blog, then it can be challenging to consistently create engaging content through writing articles; however, social media posting has become pretty natural.  Luckily, we can leverage all the work put into your social media channels by embedding that content on your Demosphere website.  This two-part guide will show you all you need to know to integrate your Facebook page and Twitter account with your website. Let’s get started!

Social Media Tip 1: Facebook Pages

You can share all kinds of social media content between Facebook and your website including: timelines, messages, and events. Embedding your Facebook page on your site is an easy way increase your online presence. This section will cover how to connect different pieces of your Facebook page with your site.

1) Navigate to the Facebook Developer Page Plugin page.

social media page plugins

2) Scroll down until you see an input for, “Facebook Page URL,” and enter the url for the page from where you want to use content. In this guide we will be using Demosphere’s Facebook page as an example.

3) Choose the tabs you want to include in the input labeled, “Tabs”. Available options are: timeline, messages, and events. You may include as many tabs as you wish by separating each tab with a comma (example input “timeline, events”). In our example, we’ll use all 3.

social media page plugins

4) Configure the appearance of your page plugin. The nice people at Facebook have made this process very simple by exposing common configurations as checkboxes and text inputs. You can experiment with the look and feel of your plugin by previewing the content underneath the configuration settings. It is best to leave width and height empty, as well as leaving the checkbox for “Adapt to plugin container width” checked to ensure your plugin looks great on all device screens. For the guide’s example we are going to use the settings below:

social media page plugins

5) Get the code. You can get all of the code to put on your site by clicking the “Get Code” button beneath the plugin preview. You will need to copy both snippets of code from the tab “Javascript SDK” and put them on your page in the order they appear. Our example’s code snippets are below:

social media embed code

6) Add the code to your page. Add the snippets to your Demosphere website as “Rawcode” (shown below). If your site is not hosted by Demosphere, then you can add your code snippets to the source code of the page in the order shown above.

social media embed code

7) Check your public page:

social media public

Social Media Tip 2: Showcasing Specific Posts

Sometimes you will want to highlight a specific post from Facebook. You can accomplish this using Facebook’s Embedded Posts Plugin. We’ll walk through how to accomplish that below.

1) Start by logging into Facebook and navigating to the post that you would like everyone to see. In this example, we will use one of the posts from Demosphere’s Facebook page. Click the arrow at the top right of the post and choose the “Embed” option, then “Advanced Settings”.

social media post embed

2) Configure the post plugin. Facebook Embedded Post Plugin page should look familiar to the Facebook Page Plugin page. Set the pixel width option to “auto” as shown below.

social media embed post

3) Get the code. Click the button “Get Code”. If you’re following along from the last section and are not using the Demosphere platform, then you don’t need to copy the first snippet.

social media embed code

4) Add the code to your page. Like the previous section, you can add the code to a Demosphere page using “Rawcode”. If you are not using the Demosphere platform, then you can add the code snippets to your page’s source code.

5) Check your public page

social media public

What Next?

If you’ve been following along, then you have successfully integrated different elements from your organization’s Facebook page. Take some time to experiment with what you have learned in Part 1 of this guide and explore the various plugins that Facebook has to offer. Most of them can be implemented by simply embedding the code they provide into your site.

Having trouble? Did you setup an awesome social media steam? Leave a comment below and be on the lookout for Social Media: Supercharge Your Sites Part 2, where we will go over how to integrate Twitter with your site.

 

Clear Your Cache To Reveal Real-Time Edits

internet-browserHave you made updates to your website but can’t see those changes live?

Your browser can sometimes store an outdated version of your site. This stored version can prevent you from seeing edits that have been recently made on any website, including your own WebWriter® CMS site.

To confirm you are seeing the most up-to-date version, you need to clear your cache.

Depending on the browser you are using, this process differs. Find your browser in the options below for instructions on how to clear your cache.

Firefox

  1. Start in the History menu.
  2. Select Clear Recent History.
  3. From the Time Range to Clear drop-down menu, select how far back you would like to clear.
  4. Next to Details, click the down arrow to choose which elements of the history to clear. Make sure Cache is checked.
  5. Click Clear Now.
  6. Exit/quit all browser windows and re-open the browser.

firefox-browser

 

Google Chrome

  1. Start in the History menu.
  2. Click Show Full History.
  3. Click Clear Browsing Data.
  4. Set the desired time range you want to clear.
  5. Make sure the Cached images and files option is checked.
  6. Click Clear Browsing Data.

google-chrome-browser

 

Safari

  1. Start in the History menu.
  2. Select Clear History option.
  3. Select the desired time range, then click Clear History.
  4. Quit the browser completely.

safari-browser

 

Internet Explorer

  1. Select Tools (via the Gear Icon)
  2. Click Safety, the Delete Browsing History.
  3. Deselect Preserve Favorites Website Data.
  4. Select Temporary Internet files (or Temporary Internet Files and Website Files), Cookies or (Cookies and Website Data), and History.
  5. Click Delete. You will see a confirmation at the bottom of the window when the process is complete.
  6. Exit/quit all browser windows and re-open the browser.

If you haven’t updated to the most up-to-date version of your browser, refer to this blog post to learn how to clear your cache on an older version.

After clearing your cache if you are still having technical difficulties viewing recent edits to your website, please contact a member of Demosphere Support.

Allowing US And Canadian Registrants To Participate Seamlessly

Collecting addresses from Canadian registrants should not slow your registration process!

Accept Canadian addresses properly with Demosphere.
Canadian Province/Territory codes for registration.

For some customers like the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, registrants could either be from the United States or Canada. Thankfully, it’s just as easy to enter information regardless of country of origin.

In order to minimize data entry errors, Demosphere performs special validation checks to confirm that email addresses, phone numbers, and ZIP codes are formatted correctly.

By default, the system looks for US addresses. However, by adding a Canadian Province or Territory into the ‘state’ field, the system will then allow an alphanumeric Post Code to be entered where a ZIP code would normally be.

Province codes recognized by Demosphere are: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NU, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT.

This step is seamless for the registrant and also prevents errant ZIP code entries for US-based registrants.

Please contact our support team if you have any further questions about data validation in Demosphere.

Low-Cost Websites – Can Google Find Them Easily?

Free or low cost websites perform poor in page discovery.Have a free or low-cost website? Did you know that many of them do not adhere to some crucial website best practices?

When trying to determine where to rank content in search results, Google (and other search engines) look to a number criteria. Page URL, Page Title, and Page Description are three ranking factors that provide important clues about what can be found on that page.

Page URL

Your domain, www.xyzsportsclub.org, is what appears in the address bar when someone goes to your site. When you go to a sub page, how is that page named?

For example, if I went to the “Recreation Soccer” page, the page URL should be something like: xyzsportsclub.org/Recreation-Soccer/.

For many free or low cost websites, it’s not. Instead, it’s something like xyzsportsclub.org/Default.aspx?tabid=576439. Do you think that gives Google a good indication of what’s on that page?

Page Title

The title of the page should also provide Google another clue as to what’s on this page. An ideal title for our Recreation Soccer page might be “Recreation Soccer | XYZ Sports Club. Too often, it’s simply “Recreation Soccer” or even “Welcome To Recreation Soccer”, which is OK, but not great – it could be any Recreation Soccer page.

Page Description

Not generally seen by the public (except in search results), the page description offers a quick summary of what’s on the page. For many free or low cost sites, this area is simply left blank – or even worse, simply “Description”.

A good description might be something like “XYZ Sports Club offers Recreation Soccer programs to children ages 4-10 who live in the greater XYZ area.”

These three factors mean that the time you spend on producing great content for your site isn’t serving you as well as it could. To succeed in search results, be sure to look at the details of exactly what’s included in your website package – it’s possible that free or low cost option is costing you new business.

Security Issue: Demosphere’s Response to OpenSSL “Heartbleed” Vulnerability

heartbleedThe Development team at Demosphere has been working dili­gently to correct any exposure that our systems may have had to the OpenSSL “Heartbleed” vul­ner­a­bility. We want to share our progress as well as steps that you can take to protect yourself going forward.

Please NOTE: Due to corrective measures, we experienced some earlier issues with the Online Registration and Team Application pages; both public and administrative. All has been resolved. Please see our Twitter page for updates (@diisupport).

OpenSSL Vulnerability: “Heartbleed Bug”

You may already be aware of this widespread vul­ner­a­bility, but if not, the “Heartbleed Bug” (CVE-2014–0160), is a vul­ner­a­bility in the extremely popular OpenSSL crypto library, allowing nefariously-minded people to view snippets of the memory content of servers. Most of the Internet uses this library to com­mu­nicate, pri­vately, with itself. So, if com­mu­ni­cation that was intended to be private/secure is no longer that way, it’s a really big deal.

Our Development team has no evidence that this vul­ner­a­bility has been used against any of our servers. However, such an attack would also be very dif­ficult to detect. Therefore, we are taking actions to patch any potential vulnerability that may exist.

What could have been vulnerable?

  • Our firewall is the first line of defense in a highly secure, PCI-compliant network infrastructure. It uses a secure operating system that is NOT among those which are being categorized as vulnerable to Heartbleed.
  • However, we are taking an extremely conservative view of our exposure, so we must include our public-facing Demosphere web appli­cations delivered over SSL including:
  • Online Registration (OLR)
  • RosterPro Registration
  • Team Applications

as potentially vulnerable, including our load balancer infrastructure, which is all behind the firewall.

What’s been done?

Here is a list of the steps we are taking to correct the potential vulnerability.

  • Deployed updated versions of OpenSSL to load balancers and any affected server environments.
  • Replaced vul­nerable versions of OpenSSL that Demosphere processes were using, and restarted those Demosphere processes.
  • We are working to cycle all new SSL cer­tificates and expire/reject old ones.

What should you do?

We are encouraging all our users to act with caution. This isn’t to cause alarm, but we want people to know the facts. This is what you can do:

  • Login to OLR (if applicable) and update your password
  • Login to RosterPro (if applicable) and update your password
  • Login to WebWriter/ClubSite (if you use the Team Applications) element and update your password

Please note: It’s not mandatory that passwords be changed and there is no indi­cation that the “Heartbleed” exploit was utilized against our systems, but changing passwords is encouraged. Plus, it is a good practice anyway. Do not use passwords from any other websites, email, or social media platforms that could themselves already be compromised. Always use a new password you have never used before.

Questions?

If you have addi­tional questions or concerns about this event, please reach out to us. You can contact us via Twitter (@diisupport) or via email, at: support @ ​blog.demosphere.com.
We will keep you up-to-date on any changes or new devel­opments. Please follow us on twitter and keep an eye on our blog for addi­tional information.