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Security Notice: Update Your Browser

In an effort to provide the highest level of security for our members, we have disabled connections to AAUW’s secure online services from devices using any Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol less than 1.1. Any device that is not using TLS 1.1 or higher will not be able to logon to AAUW’s online services. Today, all recent versions of the major internet browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer) support TLS 1.1 and higher. This complies with industry standard secure payment processing and helps to protect your private data.

The chart below shows what O/S (Operating Systems) and browsers support TLS 1.1 & TLS 1.2. Only users of older versions of Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox as their browser will not have the ability to support TLS 1.1 & 1.2. If you are using an unsupported browser and need to access the Membership Services Database, access your Site Resources branch or state website, make an online donation or submit a membership form, or access other members-only materials on AAUW websites, you will need to install an alternate browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera or upgrade to a newer version of the browser and operating system. Links to download alternate browsers are below.

Chrome: https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/
Firefox: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/
Opera: http://www.opera.com/

All Windows O/S using Firefox (versions 36 or greater) or Chrome (versions 41 or greater) Yes
All Windows O/S using last nine versions of Opera Yes
All Windows 7, 8, or 10 using Internet Explorer 11 Yes
Windows 7 users using version 9 or 10 of Internet Explorer (**must be manually enabled) Yes
All Windows Vista using Internet Explorer No
All Windows XP using Internet Explorer No
All Mac OS X 10.9 -10.11 using Safari version 7 or greater (Earlier versions or Safari are not supported) Yes

How to compress pdf files?

Site Resources websites receive 350MB of web space. When files are uploaded to a media library without compressing their size, the space will fill up pretty fast.  Most websites maintain pdf versions of their newsletters. To compress PDF files, I recommend using http://smallpdf.com/compress-pdf or http://www.ilovepdf.com/compress_pdf. The website contains a free tool that will compress your PDF file significantly without impacting the file’s quality.

When you compress the file for example “May-2016-Newsletter.pdf” using smallpdf.com, it will append “.compressed” in the filename and the file will look like “May-2016- Newsletter.compressed.pdf”. Make sure to remove “.compressed” and rename file to “May-2016- Newsletter.pdf” before you upload it to your media library.

If you have a newer version of Acrobat Reader installed on your machine, you will also see an option to reduce your PDF file size. Go to Document > Reduce File Size.

How to improve search engines results?

WordPress is one of the best content management systems when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However, there are a few simple yet powerful practices that will make a site appear higher in search engine results:

  1. “Content is king” for optimization. Search engines don’t care how fancy sites are, but the quality and relevance of content counts. When you write any content, think about key phrases or words someone would use when searching your information. The actual content should be arranged in a logical and visually pleasing manner. And, the copy should be rich in keywords. You can use those keywords more than once, but not in every sentence or so.
  2. Once search engines index your new site, and your contents have keywords then only the site will start displaying in queried search results. However, this does not necessarily mean you’re going to be on the first page of search results.
  3. Highlight informative content or keywords on your website using headings and sub-headings (h1-h6) or a bold tag (<strong>…</strong>) but don’t overdo it.
  4. Inbound/outbound links help to improve search results. Link to relevant pages on other websites relating to that topic and also with websites with high page ranking, but do not link every page to another site. Outbound links help search engines understand your focus areas. Similarly, you can make request to other relevant websites to add your content link to their page. You can share your website content on social networks to increase inbound links.
  5. For image files, use a meaningful name. For example, a picture related to equal pay day can be named “Equal pay day 2016.jpeg” instead of “IMG1001.jpeg”. Site engines can read it if someone searches with keywords such as “Equal pay day”.
  6. Use the alt tag and title tag for images and links on your site. Images are used to entice visitors to read your content and these tags strengthen the message. The alt text describes what’s on the image and the function of the image on the page. For example, if you have an image that’s used as a button to register for an event, the alt text would say: “button to register for AAUW state conference.”
  7. Make sure that your HTML code is clean. Errors in code may prevent a search

“Rules” and things to know about a new domain or changing an existing domain

The typical naming convention for Site Resources website subdomains is branchname-stateabbreviation.aauw.net. Most branch websites with shorter branch names do not have an issue with the naming convention as they can use the full name of their branch in their URL. Some branch names are quite lengthy, though, and members may be confused about whether to use a full branch name, a portion of a branch name, or just an abbreviation in their URLs.  Several branches who launched their websites using one subdomain later changed it for marketing or other reasons. It is typically recommended to finalize your domain name during your initial set up and not change it whenever possible.

There are two ways to change a domain name:

  1. Set up a brand new subdomain with a new name and redirect the older website to the new one.
    This means creating a duplicate website including all your content and maintaining the same content in two places. Search engines frown upon this practice and might penalize your site.
  1. Within the existing site, update the subdomain name with a new name.
    When a domain name is modified, there may be several repercussions:
  1. Your old URL will appear as a broken link when someone types an old URL to your browser. It will not redirect to a new URL automatically.
  2. For several days after the domain name is changed, it will still display an old link in search. When the link is opened, it will direct the user to the Site Resource site at http://site-resources.aauw.org/ and not your old branch website.
  3. A new site will not appear in search engines immediately because they have not indexed the site yet. It might take a week or more for search engines to show up your new domain. This is valid whether you are changing an existing domain or you have just launched your brand new website.
  4. You can submit a request to search engines to index your new URL by using their Webmaster Tools, but even if you don’t the search index will eventually catch up.
    1. Google : https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
    2. Bing : http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster
  5. You can also request removal of the older site from search engines by using their Webmaster Tools.
    1. Google: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals
    2. Bing: https://www.bing.com/webmaster/tools/content-removal
    3. If the site is removed from the Bing search, it should take care of yahoo search as the Bing provides the actual search engine for Yahoo searches.

NOTE: If you have used your old URL in print or other promotional purposes, you should inform your members about the URL change and update print pieces when possible.