A couple of readers Wednesday noticed that a few things on UrbanSurvival stopped working for a while. For example, our “header image” went missing for a couple of hours. And when it came back, the next issue was when people wanted to make a reply to a comment, that button was missing.
As of this morning, though, most everything should be back in its place and performing as it should.
What’s been going on? You may find some of the “background” processes I’m working on to be of interest. Most of the time I focus on the writing and the content and research. Once in a while, though, I put on my programming hat (which looks very much like a Dunce Cap) and roll up the sleeves.
After doing all the research on the World Wide Web as the emerging battle ground for Global Conflict – a topic we got into deeper in Peoplenomics Wednesday – I got on the “optimization for battle” of UrbanSurvival.
The main place you should notice this (besides the pages loading a bit faster) is that the HTTPS/Secure Site should be popping up all the time, now. And since we’re not “preloading” on phones, the site might be faster.
If you want to get a sense of who has “what kind of standards compliance” on the web, you can go to www.securityheaders.com and put in a website address. As of this morning, Urban looks like this:
Another good site to help judge whether a site is super-serious about standards and performance is www.gtmetrix.com. Here’s how we score there.
This may be endlessly boring to you – since the whole convenience thing of the web is it should take no work. But, if you own a business of any size, this is the kind of thing that “separates the men from the boys” in terms of web presence.
Go ahead and pop some of your favorite websites in and you’ll see how they do. If you weren’t impressed by such back-end efforts before, remember that if “warfare on the web” spreads out beyond the digital mob rule evolving on social media one way to eliminate a HUGE portion of Webolution Partisan Websites would be to put filters in place that would ban all sites that don’t have a working Content Security Policy, for example.
It’s instructive. ABC and NBC get lousy scores on Security headers when we looked. CNN and the NY Times managed C’s. Honestly, it was surprising to learn that even with “Amazonian Jeff” as their owner, the Washington Post carded a D on the security headers site. The Amazon mothership posted a C score.
A few others to consider: ebay.com ranked a B. PayPal scored an A – a halt-step down from our A+ because they could tweak their referrer politiy. But, damn good. Other financial institutions could use work: Bank of America carded a D, but Wells-Fargo had a B. Go figure.
Looking at this as a taxpayer, the Federal Reserve came in with a D. WhiteHouse.gov failed with an F. EPA earned a C while the Department of Justice managed to be blocked…hmmm…
It takes a bit of “decoding the lingo” to see who’s worried about what in their web battle plans. Google, for example, is OK on Cross Site-Scripting countermeasures (XSS), but they’re not enforcing HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS). But that’s clearly a user-consideration because Google is trying to serve as broad an audience as possible. Some older-browsers may not handle the latest and greatest in web security.
Don’t know if you realize it, but recently some of the browsers (Firefox and Chrome in particular) have been popping up with notices of insecure sites a lot.
Usually, the site hasn’t changed – but the big brains of the web have their eye on the future and some of the threats on the horizon demand increased attention to security.
This is not to say what we’ve done is perfect…there will always and forever be tweaks. That’s the nature of the beast.
Peoplenomics, while secure, will be undergoing a lot of “front end work” in the coming week. The “look” of the front-end pages may change a bit.
That’s because our old content framework is out of date and needs an upgrade so we will be rolling with Genesis or Divi frameworks there.
The inside content of Peoplenomics, which has been entirely hand-coded HTML will also be rolling over into a more modern phone-friendly delivery system soon but that’s a tactical grenade. Parts of Peoplenomics offer real challenges from a design perspective.
For example, in a typical report there are over a dozen charts. These are divided into four sections: There’s the Big Picture chart – where we track how the present is comparing with 1929. This is followed by a Global Index at a couple of zoom levels, a Global Oscillator, and then a comparison of how the US is doing vis-à-vis the Rest of World. Next comes the Weekly view of the US markets – along with a simple trading oscillator for long-term (lazy) investors like me. And last, but not least are a series of daily data views that give our current two-cents worth on what’s out there ahead.
The first stage of all this will be the changes to the Peoplenomics “front-end.” After that we will go through some work on the “middleware.” Peoplenomics is a subscription-based site so there is a signup process.
I know there are some people who have not subscribed to Peoplenomics because we run everything we can in subscriber revenue through PayPal. This is done for two reasons. First is we never want to hold anyone’s personal financial information (like credit card numbers).
But, there is another reason as well. A recent US Supreme Court decision says States can collect sales taxes from web-based sales. Large financial clearing corporations – like PayPal – will likely be able to automate the collection and filing of sales taxes. That will keep our business model lean – at least as much as 215 pounds can be considered “lean.”
Sorry to delve into such depth. All comes down to Software updates to the front-end of Peoplenomics are next and our software platform for Urban is now not only solid, but right up with (and beyond) the best of class large commercial sites. We figure it’s an investment in the future….
Write when you get rich,