Blog, News, Tips & Tricks

Simple fix for WordPress “The response is not a valid JSON response” error

On a new WordPress site that I was working on I got an error message “The response is not a valid JSON response.” when I attempted to upload an image to a page via Gutenberg block editor.

After Googling it, I found a myriad of different solutions and troubleshooting steps to take but in the back of my mind I remembered encountering this before and remembered that it was a simple fix. One solution suggested using the Media Library upload button instead of the direct Upload button. This did actually did allow me to upload the image but when I went to save the page I got the error “Updating failed. Error message: The response is not a valid JSON response.”

Read more »

Why WordPress Page Builders Suck

In the context of WordPress, page builders are plugins (add-ons) that provide an alternative interface for creating and laying out web pages. Page builders are primarily aimed at DIYers who want to build their own websites but don’t have the HTML & CSS coding skills to create web page layouts with raw code. I have concluded that page builders are not a good solution for me or my clients. In this article I discuss six reasons why page builders are problematic.

Read this »

My Top 8 WordPress Advances in the last 12 years

I started building websites with WordPress in 2007. Since then WordPress has been my content management system of choice. Over the years I’ve witnessed a lot of great advances in WordPress. But even back 12 years ago WordPress was a great platform for building websites. I found that I was always able to customise or hack it to achieve what I wanted. For example, WordPress didn’t have navigation menu management features built in. But I was able to write a simple plugin that converted the Blogroll Links Manager feature into a navigation menu manager.

In the last 12 years I’ve witnessed the evolution of WordPress from a blogging-centric system that could be adapted to work as a basic CMS into a full-blown CMS and even a web application framework. Here are some of my favourite WordPress advances:

Read more »

E-commerce credit card payment options for New Zealand online businesses

(updated Aug 2019)

If you are setting up an e-commerce web site (shopping cart, online store, online shop), one of the decisions you will have to make is what system you are going to use for collecting payment. Payment can be handled off-line (by bank deposit, cheque, etc.) or automatically at the time of purchase by real-time credit card processing. In the case of off-line payment, the customer is provided with instructions for making a bank deposit or posting a cheque and the order is processed after payment is received. It is the simplest and least expensive system to set up but may present a barrier to some customers who are looking for the instant transaction that can be had using a credit card.

We should also mention POLi at this point. POLi allows instantaneous transfers from the buyer’s bank account to the merchant’s bank account. It can allow an instant transaction to take place with out as much cost as a credit card transaction. It requires a little more effort than a credit card purchase in that the customer has to log in to their bank account to complete the transaction but it’s much cheaper than a credit card transaction (at least 40% and more than that for larger transactions as fees are capped at $3).

When it comes to collecting credit card payments online in real time, there are two main types of systems:

  1. Third party (all in one) payment solutions
  2. Payment gateway linked to your own business merchant account
Read more »

Is WordPress any good?

Ok, first things, first, who am I to write a review of WordPress? Well, I’m an independent web designer/developer who lives in the small city (pop 50,000ish) of Nelson in New Zealand. I mostly build websites for small local businesses in the Nelson region, sometimes for businesses in other parts of New Zealand and occasionally for clients in Australia, USA and Europe. I’ve been working in this area (small business websites), since 2007 – about a dozen years. I’ve worked with a handful of popular content management systems over the years – Drupal, Joomla, Silverstripe, a funky Apple OS X based one called Manila, some e-commerce specific systems – Magento and Prestashop. I’ve also encountered and worked on a few websites (just a few!) built outside of content management systems – static HTML/CSS, ASP (the old pre-dot Net Active Server Pages), JSP, PHP and, God forbid, even Dreamweaver! But WordPress has been may mainstay since I researched and trialed content management systems back in 2007 and picked WordPress as the CMS that I would focus on.

Read more »

Design and Enhance Your Website for a More User Friendly Experience

When designing and maintaining a website, user experience is a simple, foundational concept that is often overlooked.

User experience is about how easy or difficult it is for visitors to your website to interact with the website to achieve their goals (and your goals). A good web site user experience requires:

  • easy to find and access content and use the functionality on the site (ease of use)
  • visual impact of the site is engaging and consistent with the brand identity
  • suitable functionality and features which engage the user and make it easy to complete the tasks appropriate to the site (e.g. purchase products, book a room, interact with other site visitors)
  • the website contains compelling, up-to-date content, appropriate to the needs and goals of the visitor
Read more »
© 2020 Stellar Web Works Ltd.