30 Aug

Formula E – Electric Race Cars

I’m looking forward to electric race cars in Formula E though might be weird not hearing the noise of the petrol engines as they whizz past. Interesting they are planning to change cars when the batteries run out, would have thought they could just change batteries which would seem a more logical choice if they want the technology to eventually move to standard vehicles.

Also street circuits are  planned, in Formula 1 street circuits tend to be less exciting due to fewer overtaking opportunities, though this year has been an exception – don’t want Formula E to be dull!

More details in this article from BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19402383

23 Aug

Network Solutions Hosting Costs

Just had a 3 year renewal invoice for a shared host account from Network Solutions and the cost was $411. We have a number of hosting accounts with many companies and this is one of the most expensive I’ve heard of for shared Linux hosting. I found somewhere to host the site for $22 for two years. This saves $126 per year in hosting – $252 for two years and if extrapolated to 3 years it saves a whooping $378 over three years.

Host Server RackSo I moved the site (took less than one hour) and went to cancel the account with Network Solutions.… Read the rest

03 Aug

Moving your Website to Amazon EC2

We recently transitioned our website from a VPS (virtual private server) to the Amazon AWS cloud environment. Benefits include more control of your server and usually less cost. The major drawback is you need to run the server yourself so some basic Unix knowledge is necessary.

The transition itself was very straight forward consisting of the following steps:

  • Purchase Amazon EC2 large instance, this provides enough CPUs and memory to run a full LAMP environment (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). If you don’t need a database then using a medium will work OK.
  • Ensure you provision enough disk space for your software, database and for backups.
Read the rest
16 May

Fun with Google Translate

Go to Google Translate;

Copy this text:

pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk bschk pv bschk bschk pv kkkkkkkkkk bschk bschk bschk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk bschk pv bschk bschk pv kkkkkkkkkk bschk bschk bschk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk bschk pv bschk bschk pv kkkkkkkkkk bschk bschk bschk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk bschk pv bschk bschk pv kkkkkkkkkk bschk bschk bschk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk bschk pv bschk bschk pv kkkkkkkkkk bschk bschk bschk

Pick German as the “from” language; Press the “Listen” button.… Read the rest

10 Apr

Add review snippets to WP-Post Ratings

Based off the schema at http://schema.org/AggregateRating adding rating numbers to your wordpress posts is a matter of changing the field ‘Ratings Vote Text:‘ on the Ratings Templates admin page to:

<div itemprop="aggregateRating" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/AggregateRating" style='display:inline;'>
%RATINGS_IMAGES_VOTE%
(<strong itemprop="reviewCount">%RATINGS_USERS%</strong> votes, average:
<strong itemprop="ratingValue">%RATINGS_AVERAGE%</strong> out of
<span itemprop="bestRating">%RATINGS_MAX%</span>)<br />%RATINGS_TEXT%
</div>

Once this is loaded use Google’s rich text snippet checking tool at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets to test it

30 Mar

Migrating to Eclipse IDE – Importing Sites into Eclipse

I have been a big fan of the Dreamweaver IDE for many, many years and have still yet to find a better IDE integrated with FTP. I moved to Eclipse a year ago for a PHP project I was working on and found it really easy to use and the intellitype function definition help was so much better than that in Dreamweaver that I decided to  move to Eclipse full time.

I still prefer Dreamweaver for creating HTML (their WYSIWYG is awesome) and the FTP integration is superb but one of the reasons I moved was the version of Dreamweaver I was using didn’t handle SFTP well so I ended up using FileZilla for that anyway so the main reason to keep on Dreamweaver went away.… Read the rest

23 Mar

Is it possible to kill a competitors website?

Yes. As seen with the recent Build My Rank fiasco you can buy BMR links and point them to your competitors sites and you will kill their site, and as they didn’t pay for them will not be able to remove the links, and won’t be able to file for reinclusion. Good bye competition, hello higher rankings!

Your mileage may vary. Don’t expect this to work for Wikipedia but it will for some smaller outfits.

Google has to address this as they have now created a huge loophole in their algorithms. There are several linking networks out there, BMR is just one.… Read the rest

01 Mar

How to Work Out Share of Voice

Disclaimer – I wrote the Sycara Share of Voice system so there will be obvious bias.

One of the seemingly obvious questions in SEO is ‘who are my competition’. As the video says it should be obvious but it’s not always obvious. It also changes, for one set of terms your site might be in competition with companies a, b and c, for another set it might be x, y and z.

So how do you work out share of voice? For each keyword you grab the top 10 sites ranking and assign each position a certain number. You can assign linear numbers (position 1 = 10 points, position 2 = 9 points, etc) or based on click through rates (position 1 = 42 points (42% click through rate), position 2 = 16 points (16% CTR).… Read the rest

14 Feb

Simple WordPress Contact Form 7 Phone Validation

I looked around for a simple Contact Form 7 phone validation however all the solutions I found relied on hacking the Contact Form 7 code. By looking through the CF7 code I found a way to attach a simple function to the validation to allow custom validation of any input type you like

To plug into the Contact Form 7 validation there are some filters you can attach to. The built in validation functions do this so we’re copying the standard CF7 way of validation.

All of the code given here can be put into the functions.php file in your wordpress theme.… Read the rest

07 Feb

What to do if WordPress site just shows a blank page

Sometimes a poor setup for wordpress can cause the site to return a blank screen. If you try accessing through /wp-admin/ and it still returns a blank screen then there are generally three causes:

  1. A broken .htaccess file
  2. A broken theme
  3. A plugin causing issues

Go through the following steps to fix this issue:

  1. Try removing the .htaccess in the root directory and see if the site works
  2. Remove the main theme directory (using FTP access) and see if the site works.
  3. If this fails turn off your plugins (by deleting them using FTP if you can’t get in through wp-admin) and again see if the site works.
Read the rest