Website Designers and Webmasters

Dedicated to all the tasks Webmasters, Website Developers and Website Designers find themselves facing.

By: Ashton Sanders

.htaccess – AddHandler

Apr 19 2007

There is a very common problem when trying to upgrade sites made by “newbie” website developers or when you realize that html isn’t the only language on the internet, and you need to upgrade your site.

Problem:

You have a site where every page has a *.html or *.htm extension, and you want to add a dynamic, server-side programming language like PHP.

Solution #1:

Go through your entire site, and change every file name to a *.php extension. Then go through every page and correct all of the hyper links. Then do testing on your entire site to ensure that you haven’t missed any links. Also, if you know anything about search engine optimization and websites, you’ll know you need to create 301 redirects from your old pages to your new so that you don’t lose any Rankings you may have gained. Then you have more testing to do to make sure all of your 301 redirects work….

Solution #2

Add this one line of Code into your .htaccess:

AddHandler x-httpd-php5 .php .htm .html

That’s all it takes to add PHP to my html files?

Yep, that’s it. That little line of code has saved me hundreds of hours of work, and I’m sure it’s not as commonly known as it should be.

-Spread the Wealth
-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

Google is: Funny

Apr 12 2007

Filed under: Google,Humor

Yes, Google is a lot of different things. One of the things that Google is, is “Funny”

I don’t know who figured this out… but let just say you wanted to drive from Boston, MA to …. France! You could ask Google Maps to give you directions…

And It’s actually a fairly simple process. I’ve got the map saved Here:

Click to Get Directions

I’d like to bring your attention to step 5.

HAHAHA

-“I love Google!”
-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

SEO – Table Trick

Mar 30 2007

Filed under: SEO

It has been said that Search Engine Optimization “is not yet a science — it’s still an artform.”

I totally agree with that quote. Search Engine Optimization is hundreds of little things that you with your site to make it more search engine friendly. The table trick is one of those SEO things you can do to improve your rankings (however slightly) in the search engines.

Theory

Search Engines don’t usually index your entire page. They usually have a KB limit of how much it will index from each page, and it will probably value the information near the top of a page more than it does the information at the bottom.

Unfortunately, it is the style of the internet to have menu/navigation bars on the left side of the screen. Usually this means that the menu/navigation bar shows up in your code before the content of your web page. So the search engines have to sift through a bunch of formating code in your navigation before it gets to the meat of your site.

Here is where the table trick comes in:

Using this code, you will be able to have a left navigation bar that shows up below the content of your code. Here is the code:

<html>
<head>
</head>
<body>
<table>
<tr valign=”top”>
<td><!– leave this TD empty – it will disappear –></td>
<td rowspan=2>Put the text for the page here. </td>
</tr>
<tr valign=”top”>
<td>Put the Navigation Bar Here</td>
</tr>
</table>
</body>
</html>

That’s it! If you want to see a website that is currently using this trick, go to Front Sight.com.

The above quote and this table trick supplied courtesy of Jere Matlock of Words in a Row. Jere is the best SEO resource anyone could ask for. His site is full of useful Search Engine Optimization tactics and ideas. You can also check out his blog: JMblog.

Another fun quote he has on is blog is:

“If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.”
-Kingsley Amis

-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

Google Webmaster Tools

Mar 13 2007

Filed under: SEO,Webmaster

Yet another reason why Google is awesome: Webmaster Tools

Webmaster tools is the greatest tool for anyone wanting to get their sites up in the search engines. Search Engine Optimizers who don’t know about this tool, aren’t really search engine optimizers.

You prove to them that you own your website in one of two ways: 1) uploading an .html document to the server with a certain name like Google2903ncvd90nk30.html or 2) add a meta tag to your home page with a similar random name. After that, Google will get you all the information that they have about your site!

The program will tell you all of the crawl errors that the Google bot has while crawling your site! So if your site has gone through a couple redesigns or upgrades, I guarantee there are pages that used to exist that Google can’t find. And everyone of those pages create a 404 error for the Google bot – which, by the way, is not good. But you’ll never know unless you get this tool and find out!

Its got endless tools like that. It has a robot.txt analysis page that will tell you if you have any problems with your robot.txt.

It will tell you how your pages are ranked by Google. It will tell you like 50% of your pages have medium page rank and the other 50% has low page rank. It will also tell you how many links you have directed to your website, and where they are coming from.

Google Webtools also has a place for you to submit your website’s site maps! (Get gsite crawler to create your sitemaps… It makes it as easy as pie.)

And I barely scratched the surface on all of the different tools available to you through webmaster tools.

Check it out
-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

Cheating the Search Engines?

Mar 4 2007

Filed under: SEO

On the topic of Search Engine Optimization, there are many ways to “Cheat” the Search engines. (Most of these ways are very detectable and you will get penalized for it today, but it was a “good idea” back in the day.)

White Text on White Background: This will alow you put lots of heavy keyword content on your page without having to bother your visitors with them.

Hard to find links: This is where you link a space ” ” or a couple letters and force it to not underline. This way you can direct the search engines to a content heavy page without showing your visitors.

All of these “cheats” will get your site penalized on the Search Engines. This is Google’s first “Quality guidelines – basic principles“:

  • Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”

(Source: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/…)

But what about link farms?

A link farm is a system or program that links thousands of sites to your website. Since number of links to your site is one of the main things that Google and other search engines look for, It probably isnt’ a bad idea.

But note, if you get 10,000 links from sites that all have pagerank of 0, your website’s going to have the page rank of 0. So you have to be careful about which program you choose.

I would recommend Link Farms for today, but keep an eye on your page rank, and if it disappears one day, it may because google devised a way to detect link farms.

-Enjoy,
-Ashton Sanders

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You have found the semi-coherent ramblings of Ashton Sanders: a website designer, developer and webmaster. This is primarily Ashton's place to save notes about techniques and things that he learns in his never-ending conquest of the internet. Hopefully it's coherent enough to be useful to you too.

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