Tools is a blog series on various tools we use in the office to help us accomplish our task.

For the inaugural post of Tools, I’d like to feature an app that’s frequently used here at LexBlog: Integrity

Integrity is a link checking app for Mac that’s been used by LexBlog for many years. Whether it is launching a new blog or migrating an old one, we use Integrity to check for broken links, images, attachments, and etc. Although with the improvements implemented over the years the number of broken links or objects have decreased significantly, we still run Integrity checks for all launches. Let’s face it, broken images or links are simply unprofessional.

The results Integrity returns are quite straightforward: the link text, the link’s address, where it’s found, and the type of error (if any). And you can sort them by link, page, status, or just view everything at once with flat view. Those who prefer doing more analysis with the results can exporting into a .csv or .xlsx file.

Something to be mindful of when using Integrity is to find an optimal setting for the number of threads you would like to crawl at once; the higher it is the faster the sooner the task will be completed but it also increase the likelihood of false positives (links not loading due to server’s limited capacity) or IP address being flag as malicious attacker. As such, You’ll need to play around and find the optimal threads setting.

So, if you need to check broken links or objects, give Integrity a try. If you use Integrity already, how you like it?

At LexBlog, we manage a lot of sites with a small (but mighty!) team. While we carefully introduce new features on a regular basis through a combination of automated and functional tests, it’s much easier to trust the process (any Philadelphia 76ers fans out there?) when your team is responsible for writing that functionality. However, as LexBlog’s platform is built on WordPress and includes a variety of third-party plugins not written by LexBlog’s product team, we’re often put in a position to introduce new code to the platform without having the luxury of reading each line. In fact right now, we’re preparing for a core update now that WordPress 4.9 has been out long enough to see a security release added to the initial point release.

In our line of business, this is fraught with peril as not all sites are created equally (meaning they often run different bodies of code) and the standard at LexBlog is high where a few pixels of change is cause for concern. So how do we do it?

Continue Reading How We Update WordPress (and Third-Party Plugins) at LexBlog

One of the things that I’m proudest of at LexBlog is our commitment to using WordPress for everything we deliver to our clients. The WordPress open source project’s mission statement – to democratize publishing – aligns with LexBlog’s goals to democratize legal publishing, and aligns with my personal philosophies to make the web accessible to those that can add value to the world’s largest conversation (the internet).

The past two years of the State of the Word have been largely the same. In 2015, Matt Mullenweg called upon a community of PHP developers to learn JavaScript deeply while pushing RESTful APIs as the future of WordPress development. In 2016 this focus was carried over as JavaScript continued to eat the web and major components of WordPress’s REST API were folded into core.

Continue Reading WordPress Marches on with 2017’s State of the Word

In 2008 I switched to the Chrome web browser. I was a very early adopter. As a person who made their living as a web professional, it was not convenient. No one was using Chrome at the time, so I still needed to keep other browsers around for testing. That was okay, for the previous 6 years, I had been a Firefox user, and was used to checking projects on various browsers.

Chrome has had a good run. Not only has it dominated MY web browsing life for nearly a decade, but it has come to dominate the majority of websites. Depending on who you listen to, it has at least 50% of the browser market and as high as 70%. Not bad.

Sadly over the years, Chrome has become bloated. Sites crawl and lockup on my 3 year old work laptop. Since nearly everything I do is in the browser, this is kind of a big deal.

At onetime IE felt safe at the top of browser mountain.

On November 14th, Firefox’s new browser “Quantum,” finally came out of Beta and was made available to the general public. I decided to give it a spin and I was hooked. It easily handled dozens of tabs and importing everything from Chrome was a breeze.

It felt to me like Chrome was the pinnacle of browser technology and that no browser would ever make me feel a difference in my browser experience again. I was wrong. After the long slog of dwindling returns on Chrome, the new Firefox is noticeably better and I am not the only one who thinks so.

I even started using their Pocket service, which I had largely ignored up until now and I love that as well. With its recommendation system, I find myself not opening Feedly as much anymore.

The online world is full of surprises. It is easy to get complacent as a consumer and a company. Mozilla is showing that they can reinvent their flagship product and wow people.

I am not sure if it is too late for Firefox to make a comeback in a browser war that Chrome has come to dominate, but you never know. At onetime IE felt safe at the top of browser mountain. I for one am now a loud and proud member of team Firefox and will be telling everyone I know.

That being said, I will also keep a copy of Chrome around to continue to see the online world the way the rest of world sees it.

Hmm, I feel like I have been in this exact same place before.