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Hi there, hope you're having a great Friday!
This is Colm and Simon from CommerceGurus, with a handpicked weekly roundup of eCommerce articles.
Occasionally something comes along that just looks, well, exciting and fresh - and Web Stories does that for me.
It's from Google, and it's a free plugin to create immersive stories within WordPress using its own custom template editor.
It's in beta form at the moment, so not ready for production sites but I think it could become a very interesting new tool to discover and learn.
Check out Web Stories for WordPress
I've been waiting for this for a long time, 4 years to be exact. WordPress will be making the long-belated leap to jQuery 3.5 and removing jQuery Migrate. What does this mean for you?
Performance, basically. The newer jQuery is quicker to load, and removing the Migrate dependency means there's one less file required.
You should also see improved scores in Google's Lighthouse web performance tool as it penalizes sites with older versions of jQuery, which for WordPress sites, is basically all of them.
It's coming in the 5.5 release, currently scheduled for August 11th.
Read the blog post
If you've been following this newsletter for a while you'll know ahrefs is one of our favorite tools for SEO research and coming up with topics to write about.
It can be a bit expensive though, but I only recently noticed that they offer a more basic version of their keyword generator for free. They only tell you the KD (keyword difficulty) for the first 10 results but this is still extremely useful.
A keyword difficultly of 10 or less is much easier to rank for on the first page of search results.
(the keyword "WordPress" has a difficulty of 97 - it's extremely hard to rank for it)
Plus, Brian Dean published a comprehensive guide recently on ahrefs which gives a great insight into how it can help your business improve its organic SEO rankings.
Try the free keyword generator tool
This is a topic I've been thinking about a lot more recently and I spotted this upcoming book from David Dylan Thomas which looks like an excellent resource.
UX Design had a good article a couple of years ago on cognitive bias within user research (and how to avoid them). I think it's a topic we should all be more aware of when we're designing eCommerce stores and framing content.
It's coming out in August from A Book Apart - you can add your email address to be alerted when it's available.
Read more about the book
Colm came across this excellent thread on Twitter which is well worth favoriting (or bookmarking if you don't normally use Twitter).
Ivan Akulov, from 3perf.com has 21 performance tips, many of which are obvious in hindsight and straight-forward to implement.
If you're building sites for clients, this is well worth a look. Performance is not a given, and it's something worth budgeting for when billing. Expertise in this area does not come cheap.
See the Twitter thread
Latest Shoptimizer updates
If you've been using our Shoptimizer WooCommerce theme, we will be releasing a big update later today - version 2.1.9.
See everything on the theme's changelog page later today.
It's recommended to first look at our updating WooCommerce guide and do it on a staging site before live.
That's it for this edition. Simply reply to this email if you have any questions or suggestions, we read every message. Have a great week and best of luck with your projects!
Colm and Simon from CommerceGurus