SEO Tests – Carver Skateboards

I’m doing some tests at the moment on a few different SEO ideas based around both a brand (Carver Skateboards), and two models (C7 Swallow Tail and C7 Spaceman Pintail) at Skate-Parts.Com and I thought since I’m keeping a record of what I do when anyway, why not blog it?

Initial Rankings

Carver Skateboards – 15
Carver Swallow Tail – 6
Carver Spaceman Pintail – Not in top 100

Changes Today

  1. Reworded content on product pages to add more differentiation from manufacturers products.
  2. Added additional relevant text to the top of the category page.
  3. Promoted products to the front page.

 

Posted in SEO | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Handy Magento Upgrading Links for 1.5 to 1.6

English: Magento Commerce Logo

Image via Wikipedia

When upgrading Magento, it doesn’t hurt to have some handy resources. I’ve pulled up a few for doing the upgrade from 1.5 to 1.6:

Some other handy links for upgrading that aren’t specifically relevant to 1.5-1.6 upgrades:

And if you are running Magento on a Hostgator server, this may be handy for upgrading with SSH: How do I get and use SSH access - Hostgator support portal.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in Web Applications | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fixing Youtube iframe overlay issues

Español: Logo Vectorial de YouTube

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve got a website that displays iframe embedded Youtube videos and uses Lightbox to load images up, however, the images load behind the Youtube video. I’ve come across this before on other websites but not on any of my own. I fiddled around with z-indexes for a bit but they didn’t do anything. Turns out, it’s actually a very easy fix. Just add ?wmode=opaque to the src address in the iframe.

For example:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/hTCAeGIBaxw” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Becomes:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/hTCAeGIBaxw?wmode=opaque” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Super easy!

I also came across this video by 360 Creations explaining it:

From what I read, ?wmode=transparent should work as well, but it sounds like it is a bit slower to render as it has to render transparency, opaque renders solid. It would be great if Youtube included this in the src address by default! It would make it so much easier for everyone.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in Web Design | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Upgrading Magento Community Edition Through Magento Connect

I’m still experimenting with Magento, and there has been a new version released. As I am going to put this experimental site into production once I’m happy with it, I figure it’s best to keep it up to date and to make sure I know how to update it.

It took me a little bit to work out the best way to do this though. With Drupal, you just download the latest files and upload them to the server, overwriting the old files (more or less anyway), WordPress now has an update button that handles it automatically. Magento I thought should have something in Magento Connect about it, but I couldn’t find anything.

After a bit of hunting around, I found Inchoo’s guide to upgrading, but the extension key he provides to use in Magento Connect simply doesn’t work. It turns out that this is because it is a Magento Connect 1.0 key. The version of Magento I have installed uses Magento Connect 2.0 though, so I needed to find that extension key. I did a little bit of hunting but ended up just modifying another extension key to:

http://connect20.magentocommerce.com/community/Mage_All_Latest

I put this in Magento Connect and off it went, happy as Larry.

For reference though if you are using Magento Connect 1.0, the extension key is:

magento-core/Mage_All_Latest

Posted in Web Applications | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Running a remote backup of cPanel automatically

I’ve been looking for a way to automatically backup individual cPanel accounts to a remote server that don’t necessarily have root WHM access. In particular, I want the MySQL databases, but I would also like to get entire site backups if possible.

I’ve found a few posts about it that I’m going to have to have an experiment with when I get a chance and see what works. For reference though, and if anyone else is looking for this, the sites that look the most promising are:

Posted in Web Applications | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Installing Drupal on Windows Server 2003 – Relevant Links

Recently I have needed to setup a Windows 2003 IIS server to run Drupal, the catch though is that it already runs an ASP.NET website and does not have MySQL, PHP, or even FastCGI installed. So, it must not affect the existing website at all. Working on a development server, I’ve been trying to get this to behave correctly. It is out of my area of expertise, so I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on it. The links I’ve used are mostly all below, mainly for my future reference and for anyone else that may need to do the same:

The easiest way to set Drupal up on Windows should be with Microsoft’s installer. It uses their WebMatrix with the Web Platform Installer and looks like it should automate the process and configure everything that needs to be configured. The problem with it though is that it uses IIS Express, which can’t run alongside IIS, and the installer cannot run with IIS, which means I can’t use it for this situation.

So far, I’ve tried the IIS Aid PHP installer, which seems to work for the most part, however, I’m having FastCGI errors left right and centre with it crashing constantly. Unfortunately the IIS Aid installer doesn’t seem to work when using ISAPI instead of FastCGI, so I’m not up to installing and configuring PHP manually using FastCGI, and if it’s still unstable, ISAPI.

Another option is to look at running Apache on a different port to IIS, but I would rather not go down this route if I can avoid it.

It’s a real pain. If you have any experience with this, tips or advice would be appreciated!

Posted in Web Applications | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Great Creative Commons Coffee Cup Photos

I recently had to find the perfect image of a coffee cup for use on a client website, and Creative Commons images were approved for use, so I did some hunting around, both on stock photo websites and searching through Creative Commons images on Flickr.

Some of the Creative Commons images on Flickr are fantastic! Here is my top 10 (in no particular order), click on the images to check them out full size at Flickr and check the Creative Commons license:

Quality Coffee

“Quality Coffee” by sh0dan.

My coffee's design for the day at Fluid

“My coffee’s design for the day at Fluid” by ~ggvic~

Coffee

“Coffee” by Rob Qld

Used coffee mug

“Used coffee mug” by odolphie

Fresh Cup

“Fresh Cup” by mikecpeck

Tea Cup

“Tea Cup” by *saxon*

Golden Gate

“Golden Gate” by CarbonNYC

Coffee

“Coffee” by mcveja

A moon in my coffee

“A moon in my coffee” by fdecomite

Coffee...mmmm

“Coffee…mmmm” by L. Marie

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Story of Co-Design

I find Co-Design a fascinating way of producing a design. It’s the way that most designs should be done, yet most designers don’t even consider it.

ThinkPublic have produced a video that does a great job of explaining what Co-Design actually is, and how it works.

Check it out:

Posted in Graphic Design, Web Design | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Internet Explorer Truncates Long CSS Files

I came across an interesting quirk in Internet Explorer a couple of days ago whilst working on a project for a client.

There is a section on their website that has an extensive set of stylesheets that is around 3,500 lines long. Combined with the stylesheets for the rest of the website, the total is about 6,500 lines.

The design was all finished and looked great in Firefox, Chrome, Opera, IE 7 and IE 8. However, then I did up the set of styles I mentioned that ended up totalling 3,500 lines. Due to the way I lay out my stylesheets, these started at about line 2,000. Which meant about 1,000 lines were after them.

While I’m working on something new I test in Firefox with Firebug and then once I’m finished I adjust for IE. So all of a sudden when I tested in IE 7 and 8, they are not displaying things correctly, including things in the design that were working previously. Using IE’s built in developer tools I was able to see that there were stylesheets simply not being applied to things that they should have been after about the 4,500 – 5,000 line mark. The entire stylsheet was loaded though and could be viewed.

I began tweaking things in the IE specific stylesheet since I couldn’t get it to work by editing the regular stylesheet. Once I realised that I could copy things directly from the main stylesheet into the IE one and it worked without tweaking, I started to think something odd was going on.

Cutting the extra 3,500 lines out put the site back to normal in IE, except for what those things affected.

If I put those lines in a separate stylesheet, everything worked perfectly fine again.

So it seems to me that for some reason IE just will not read more than around 4,500 to 5,000 lines in a stylesheet. It could perhaps also be total characters, however I didn’t test to find at exactly what point it stopped reading so I can’t be sure.  Fortunately, simply adding in an extra stylesheet did solve the problem, and given the nature of the extra CSS, it probably should have been done that way in the first place so that it could be loaded solely on the pages that actually need it. It should be noted that the total lines are still the same, they are just split between two stylesheets now, one of which is only loaded on certain pages.

I did a quick search for this but didn’t really come up with anything similar elsewhere, so if you have had a similar issue, I would love to hear about it!

It seemed to be consistently about the same place in both IE7 and IE8, so hopefully it won’t find it’s way into IE9.

Posted in Web Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Bortolin Photographer

John Bortolin is a photographer based in Lennox Head that specialises in wedding photography as well as portraiture and landscapes. He looks after the photography for weddings all over the Northern Rivers region including Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore. He came to me at TerraMedia with an existing static website that had been intended as an online showcase of his photography.

John Bortolin Wedding Photography

John Bortolin Wedding Photography Home Page

I revamped the website for him, cleaned up some of the design issues and produced a gallery system that is clean and efficient, showcasing his landscape, portrait and wedding photographs.

Continue reading

Posted in Portfolio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment