Wednesday, July 12, 2006

backpaddeling on some Ajax - for search engine optimization (SEO)

ealier I wrote about some nifty ajax I had put on my website.

I now think that I went too far and that I have been missing out in search engine referencing.

Implementation was:
  • such that the central page content was loaded asynchronously - after the actual page load finished
  • navigation over several pages of content just repulled the central content via Ajax, too
  • the initial page load pulls in the full content - allowing search engine crawlers to see it
  • navigation over several pages is still done through Ajax - i.e. pages further down may not be visible to search engines crawlers
  • therefore I added a 'view all' link which is a classic href and shows all pages in one - this can be followed by search engine crawlers, allowing them to crawl to all of my content
  • some users may find this 'show all' link very useful, too ;)
Google here I come!
See the page for yourself (as always in French) on BAOssimo! Resto

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

BAOssimo! eMail now hosted by Gmail

Do you agree that gmail is the best webmail out there?
Now you can have gmail for your own domain - at least in beta.
It took only a few days after applying with Google that I received an ok by eMail with instructions.
It's all very easy - you just need to have access to the MX DNS records of your domain and you're ready to go.
It actually comes with all sorts of features from gmail - including Talk and Calendar.
There is one big uncertainty, though: the beta is (obviously) free but they don't say anything concerning the roll-out. This might well turn into a paying service - at which point I'd have to migrate back to my own hosting.
Apparently Microsoft offers a similar service. I didn't test that one since their webmail doesn't run in Safari.

Have fun shaking off your mail server worries: security, updating, uptime, etc.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Properspell and PHP

When I first discovered Properspell I immediately wanted to use it on my sites, too.
Spell check suggestions for your search box on your site powered by Google. Have a look at their site (Properspell) to find out more.
And yes it was actually pretty easy to get to work. At least on HTML/javascript pages.
1. Sign up for a Google API key
2. Sign up for a Properspell API key using your oogle API key
3. Properspell will generate the code for you to insert into your pages

But my pages are generated by PHP. I did not get it to work.
Does anyone have a working implementation of Properspell using PHP? I haven't found any article googling.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Blogger Tips and Tricks: Blogger Categories: Easy Method

Blogger Tips and Tricks: Blogger Categories: Easy Method

Do you like the Categories workaround in the sidebar?
The link above gives the (very easy) instructions of how to add this feature using (you can use any other social bookmarking service - the set-up is still relatively easy).
Only disadvantage: you visually leave blogger for the list of articles to show up. Works smoothly nonetheless.

Another very nice workaround uses the search feature - very easy set-up, too.
Have a look at both and choose your personal favorite.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Day In The Life: Surf Secure...

A Day In The Life: Surf Secure...
(came accross this digging - so most of you may have seen it already)
Still I thought I'll pick it up because it's so simple and effective:

How to read your gmail more securely - for example at work.

Secure the connection in-between you and the gmail server (apparently works similarly with hotmail) just by logging in through a https:// login form.
That's great. Careful: this secures only you reading email already on your server. Emails are still being sent in clear to and from gmail when you send or receive.

Monday, July 03, 2006

some more Ajax where it really makes sense

I've put some more Ajax into BAOssimo!
looking around at the different frameworks it was quickly evident that the minimal solution would be the best: my-bic just does the dirty work around the asynchronous communication - all the set-up is completely configurable by the developer
This means more manual work but also more flexibility.
Another big plus for me is that it is readily wrapped in PHP.
I want to share some points that made initial deployment difficult for me:

1. in one of the tutorials given by my-bic an element id of 'content' is used - this seems to be a keyword for the global document --> changing the innerHTML of 'content' replaced the entire document for me
Solution: use a different id like 'changingContent'.

2. depending on the browser special characters got mixed up. BAOssimo is a site in French language and therefore uses lots of special characters everywhere (using iso-8859-1) .
Solution: edit mybic_server.php and add the following line
header("Content-type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1");
echo $response;
similarly if you need to convert postings back to iso-8859-1 on the server side (they arrive there as utf-8) as follows before plugging them into your mysql database:
$posted_text = mb_convert_encoding(urldecode($this->queryVars['posting_textfield']), "ISO-8859-1", "UTF-8");

In general: be careful not to open up any new holes in your secure CMS ;) - SQL injection etc...

For an example have a look at the filter implementation on BAOssimo! Resto (site in French, as I said, but you'll see how it works easily enough).

Several other blogs have discussed my-bic before me: