As promised last month, I’ve released the latest version of Jishnu, now at version 1.1.1. You can find it for download (free, by the way!) on the main Jishnu page.
As I’d mentioned, it now takes care of some duplicate content issues that happened with multi-page posts/pages. I’ll use an example from this site to explain what the problem was, and how it works now that it’s fixed…
BEFORE (default WordPress behaviour):
If you split up your pages into… well, pages, they might have looked like this:
…everything looks as expected, except that when you’re on page #2, you actually have a button/link to go back to page 1. Except that link to page 1 looks like this:
…which happens to be the exact same page as:
Not fantastic. First, it’s duplicate content – 2 pages which are exactly the same. Search engines have to try and sort out which is the proper one. Second, search engine spiders will visit both of those pages, and if your site is struggling with high load already, you probably don’t need search engines adding to it with unnecessary requests.
Interestingly enough, WordPress has a bug that uses a “rel canonical” tag which points *all* of the pages in that example to the first one. So WordPress basically tells Google/Bing/etc not to index page 1,2,3,4 anyway which technically solves the problem with page/1/ (though introduces a problem with all the other pages). I’m going to guess Google ignores that tag on a lot of WordPress sites, but I added the ability to disable “rel canonical” in the Jishnu Advanced options anyway, back in version 1.0.
NOW (Jishnu 1.1.1)
When someone is browsing your multiple-page post, the page “1” button just points back to the original main page as it should. If somehow the link to page /1/ is already out there, that’s handled with a permanent redirect to the original page too.
So all should now be well there.
Next change, if you’ve used the Jishnu Advanced Options to disable the “pingback” stuff, it disabled it in the head. But there are also invisible “http headers” that are sent with every page, and I found out that WordPress likes to sneak a second version of it there, called “X-Pingback”. Now if you disable “pingback“, it takes care of that too.
Other items that aren’t necessary with HTML5 were also cleaned from the head. And stuff that had been hard-coded there unnecessarily has now been moved to WordPress’s wp_head.
Footers have been changed. Previously, if you did not choose a custom footer, the default “Powered by WordPress using the Jishnu theme” was there, with “Jishnu theme” being a link to the theme on this site. It’s a pretty common theme practice, though I made it as easy as possible to disable because I know a lot of people feel their sites look cleaner without “theme by…” stuff. For reference, if you haven’t changed it, it’s always been just a simple setting in the Jishnu Advanced Options where you can type in something else you’d prefer there. No need to edit your template files manually!
While I’m thrilled that so many people have downloaded the theme, I recently started running into issues where sites that show me who links back to me…. well sometimes they show each and every link. And some of you have huge sites, with that default footer there! And I’ve been finding it a bit tedious to scroll through the many pages of links from the same sites.
So the change is as follows:
The same text is in the footer if you haven’t changed it from the default (again, you can change it in the advanced options, and if you already did, it’ll still keep your changes when you upgrade to 1.1.1 too).
However, even though the text is still there, the only page that also include the Jishnu link is the main page. Links on the other pages have been removed.
I changed that remaining link to what’s known as a “nofollow” link, because search engines can usually figure out that site-wide links are just pointing to a theme (in other words, that it’s not important), but a single link is more likely to trick search engines, so the “nofollow” tells search engines to pretty much ignore it to keep things on the safe side.
The end result is that users who visit your site and like the theme might have a little trouble finding it if they’re not on your main page, although hopefully if they do a search for “jishnu theme”, they’ll find it anyway. With the 1 nofollow link, I can still get a gauge as to how many people are using the theme too, without having to sift through hundreds and hundreds of incoming links.
Unfortunately, that overall change is more for me than it is for you. But I figured I’d explain what was going on for those who might notice the default footer links not working any more across most of their site.
For anyone using my 404 Redirect Reloaded plugin, Jishu’s 404 page now has support for it automatically so you don’t have to go editing any code (just enable the plugin and it’ll work).
If you’re not using the 404 redirect reloaded plugin, that change won’t affect you and you won’t notice anything different there.
There are a few other minor under-the-hood changes too, but mainly to do with organization of the code, although if you come across any bugs, don’t hesitate to let me know!
The future of Jishnu….
I’m at the point where I’m pretty happy with the theme as a whole, as far as features and functionality goes. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a bug report, so I’m assuming it’s in pretty good shape there too.
The next logical step would be to change it to a “responsive” theme for a customized look on smartphones, but I did some testing and that isn’t really feasible – I’d have to make a lot of hard-coded decisions and you would lose a lot of flexibility. Since the theme currently looks good on phones anyway (I can read a Jishnu site just fine on my iPhone and only have to zoom to touch links), that option probably won’t be pursued anytime in the near future.
So all that to say… The theme is pretty much “complete”. Updates to the theme will probably be fewer and farther between from now on, so if you’ve been checking frequently for updates, you can probably check a little less frequently. I still plan to put out periodic maintenance and bug-related releases when necessary, but any additional features will probably be fairly minor moving forward.