Category Archives: Web Usability

Git plugins within WordPress on WP Engine

I am currently 0 for 2 in finding plugins for managing Git that play nicely with WP Engine.

The plugins I tried were:

  • Revisr
  • VersionPress


A way to commit and push changes from within the WordPress dashboard to a git based repository


WP Engine’s approach for using git works well most of the time.  I don’t track the WP core in my repositories, but I do track plugins.  I do this to track custom developed plugins and bug fixes/enhancements to freely available plugins that never get pushed into their original code base.

The benefit of using managed hosting is that they automatically update plugins if necessary for security fixes.  The bad part is that these updates are only made on the production server and don’t end up in the repository.  Also, from time to time, they will ask you to remove a plugin from their disallowed plugins list.  If it isn’t removed within a week, they will remove the plugin and this change doesn’t end up in the repository either.  Additionally, managing plugin updates through the admin panel requires deleting the local copy, downloading the changes via SFTP, committing, and pushing to the remote.  The desired goal is to cut out these additional steps and commit directly from within the WordPress back-end.

Lastly, I also like knowing when plugins were first installed and especially if someone else requested the functionality.





“I made Revisr to simplify the development process,” Matt Shaw the developer told WP Tavern. “There are currently no plugins on that allow developers or site admins to use all of the main features of Git through the WordPress dashboard, and I made Revisr to do just that,” he said.

I installed this plugin first, but wasn’t able to get it running without the installation path to git:


WP Engine doesn’t expose git for security reasons.  0 for 1 so far.




I installed VersionPress and got a notice that it required a newer PHP version on the server.

I admittedly installed this without checking the disallowed plugins list.  I got an email the next day informing that VersionPress is disallowed on WP Engine.

VersionPress — In order to function properly, this plugin needs access to server level functions that we disallow for security purposes. – WP Engine Disallowed Plugins

I am 0 for 2.

A final note

One interesting thing I read, but cannot seem to find again, is that one of these plugins has dropping the installed git requirement on its road map.  If I can find that again or becomes a reality, I’ll update here.

How to Extract links from a Webpage

Turn this…


into a neat file with clean links…


Things you need:

  1. A web browser
  2. A webpage from which to extract links
  3. An online tool to automatically extract the links
  4. A program to open .csv files (Excel/Google Sheets/free alternative, etc.)

Hint: If you only need links from a portion of the page use Firefox.  It allows you select a portion of the page and view only the “selection source” instead of the entire page.


  • Navigate to the desired webpage in your favorite browser
  • View and copy the page source
    • Chrome: “View page source”
    • Firefox: “View Page Source” or “View Selection Source”
  • Paste the copied html into an online tool and click the button to generate a CSV file with the resulting links
  • Download, open, & enjoy!

Once the file is open you can do more other things in Excel like sorting by Domain or removing duplicate links.

Online Tool for Extracting Links from webpages:

Daily Links Monday 1/25/16

Priming and User Interfaces

Exposure to a stimulus influences behavior in subsequent, possibly unrelated tasks. This is called priming; priming effects abound in usability and web design.

Conducting Usability Testing with Real Users’ Real Data

Qualitative user studies benefit from using participants’ personal information, but asking for sensitive information requires preparation and consideration.

Login screens for the 10 top US websites – November 2015

1. Google signin screen





2. YouTube signin screen



3. Facebook login screen



4. MSN signin screen



5. Twitter login screen



6. Bing signin screen



7. Yelp login screen



8. Amazon signin screen



9. Buzzfeed login screen



10. Ebay signin screen



Top 10 US websites:


as measured by Quantcast on 11/12/15


  1. Quantcast Top Sites retrieved 2015112 (PDF)