Google Search Console showed me that I have some duplicate content issues on, so I went ahead and tweaked my use of the rel="canonical" link tag.

When you have content that is accessible under multiple URLs, or even on multiple websites, and you don't explicitly tell Google which URL is canonical, Google makes the choice for you. By using the rel="canonical" link tag, you can tell Google which version should be prioritized in search results.

Doing canonicalization well improves your site's SEO, and doing canonicalization wrong can be catastrophic. Let's hope I did it right!

While working on my POSSE plan, I realized that my site no longer supported "RSS auto-discovery". RSS auto-discovery is a technique that makes it possible for browsers and RSS readers to automatically find a site's RSS feed. For example, when you enter in an RSS reader or browser, it should automatically discover that the feed is It's a small adjustment, but it helps improve the usability of the open web.

To make your RSS feeds auto-discoverable, add a <link> tag inside the <head> tag of your website. You can even include multiple <link> tags, which will allow you to make multiple RSS feeds auto-discoverable at the same time. Here is what it looks like for my site:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Dries Buytaert" href="" />

Pretty easy! Make sure to check your own websites — it helps the open web.

Stephen Hawking passed away this morning at age 76. He was an inspiration in so many ways: his contributions to science unlocked a universe of exploration and he helped to dismantle stigma surrounding disability. Perhaps most importantly, he dedicated his life to meaningful work that he was deeply passionate about; a message that is important for all. Rest in peace, Professor.

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Talking about the many contributors to Drupal 8.5, a few of them shouted out on social media that they got their first patch in Drupal 8.5. They were excited but admitted it was more challenging than anticipated. It's true that contributing to Drupal can be challenging, but it is also true that it will accelerate your learning, and that you will likely feel an incredible sense of reward and excitement. And maybe best of all, through your collaboration with others, you'll forge relationships and friendships. I've been contributing to Open Source for 20 years and can tell you that that combined "passion + learning + contribution + relationships"-feeling is one of the most rewarding feelings there is.

I just updated my site to Drupal 8.5 and spent some time reading the Drupal 8.5 release notes. Seeing all the different issues and contributors in the release notes is a good reminder that many small contributions add up to big results. When we all contribute in small ways, we can make a lot of progress together.

Josh Gee, former product manager for the City of Boston's Department of Innovation and Technology, recently shared how identified 425 PDF forms used by citizens and moved 122 of them online. Not only did it improve the accessibility of's government services, it also saved residents roughly 10,000 hours filling out forms. While is a Drupal website, it opted to use SeamlessDocs for creating online forms, which could provide inspiration for Drupal's webform module. Josh's blog provides an interesting view into what it takes for a government to go paperless and build constituent-centric experiences.

Caribbean sunset

Spending a few days at the Cayman Islands, where the WiFi is weak and the rum is strong. When I relax, I become creative and reflective. Writing helps me develop these creative thoughts and deepens my personal reflection. It's a virtuous cycle, because when I see my world, myself and my ideas more clearly, it helps me relax even more. Relaxing makes me write and writing makes me relax.