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Keeping your website up to date is Internet for Business 101

by  David Dwyer on  04/12/2013    2800 Reads

What a Twitter API change can do to your website & what to do about it

Keeping your website up to date is Internet for Business 101. 
 
Having expired offers or out-of-date stock information gives potential customers a bad impression, and might also lead them to question your trustworthiness as a vendor. It’s also a huge waste of an opportunity to make a sale and no way to maximise your website ROI.
 
But it’s more than just your own information that can go out of date quicker than you can say ‘yesterday’s news’. Some of the interfaces built into websites to present newsfeeds and social media can change, rendering your current interface obsolete. If you’re not on top of the changes, you can be left with a giant hole where you expected your essential social-media feed to be. If you’ve been relying on your Twitter and Facebook feeds to promote your latest offers on your website and keep it up to date, this can be a big problem.
 
This year’s move from Twitter API 1.0 to 1.1 is a good example of a change that’s still catching a lot of people out. 
 
A year or so ago, Twitter decided to pull the plug on API 1.0 and only support feeds with API 1.1.  ‘API’ simply means ‘application programming interface’ and it’s what you’d be looking at if you were reading a Twitter feed on a website. The ‘upgrade’ was unpopular with many developers, as it restricted the way they could display a Twitter feed on the websites they created. It was also unpopular with many owners of older websites, or those who incorporated Twitter early on. A lot of Twitter feeds became dead ducks almost overnight. 

Twitter OAuth Error

Twitter OAuth Error


Twitter Oauth Error 4

As a result of these changes to Twitter, our Developer SOS service has taken a lot of calls from panicked website owners. Since the summer and the final cut-off for API 1.1, we’re happy to say we’ve got quite a few companies’ social media back on track. What we needed to do wasn’t difficult or take long once we figured out how to resolve but it did have an impact on the client's web presence. Not every business owner can keep up with the various decrees issued by social-media giants, nor do they have the skills needed to reprogramme bits of their own website. Indeed many Web Developers do not keep up with these changes, which is another blog article perhaps. Our Developer SOS service was designed with these clients in mind. 
 
It doesn’t matter if Inspire designed your current site. We’ll happily sort our your website and social-media headaches in no time flat – leaving you plenty of time to write your next month’s tweets. (Or we could do that too if you’re really pressed!)
 
David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David’s academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot-Watt University and PRINCE2 Practitioner-level certification. He is also an active member of the British Computer Society.
Developer SOS, The Evolving Web, Twitter API Issues
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