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Everything posted by owatagal

  1. So far as I know, it looks static to the spiders as well as humans. Google links to the static version of the URL, not the dynamic one. And in my referral log the links show up as the static-looking one, not the dynamic one (which is good, because Awstats doesn't track dynamic URLs so far as I can tell). But as TCH-Jim said, simple dynamic links are doing fine in search engines these days. Set your template up however you are most comfortable doing it, and if you want help rewriting links when you're done, let me know. Bruce--thanks for the edit. I don't know what I ws thinking.
  2. Also, if you are worried about the dynamic links still, you can play with .htaccess and ModRewrite so that the links LOOK static even though they aren't. For example, I have a site where a URL might actually be ht*p://mysite.com/blog/archives/index.php?date=2004-12-04&key=grapefruit But the link I give visitors (and search engines) looks like: ht*p://mysite.com/blog/archives/2004/12/04/grapefruit/ So if you wanted to try TCh-Jim's version of the template system, but didn't want the URL to look dynamic, it would be possible. I could probably help you set up a simple RewriteRule, or a post in the cPanel and site maintenance forum would get others to help as well. Edit TCH-Bruce: Changed forum suggested from backend services to cPanel and site maintenance
  3. I'm surprised they aren't including Thunderbird and something Blogger-related as well. ZD Net suggests Open Office might be included in a later release of the pack--I can't imagine why they would do that, since Pack is only available to XP users, and I find it hard to believe that the average XP user will choose Open Office over MS Office. Although it would be nice if they did... Mostly this looks to me like a precursor to an operating system--get people used to looking to Google for essential programs, make updates easy through this new updater thing, and then if they do release their own OS they already have an established user base who will feel comfortable switching. Maybe. I dislike Desktop and Toobar too much to think this is in any way a good thing, but for people who are already using these products the updater, at least, will be useful.
  4. There are different ways of templating a website. I think Dreamweaver, for example, does some template system that never made sense to me where, yes, you could change the index page and everything else altered. I tend to use PHP includes to create my own template system. Basically, I take any information that I want to appear on every page and save it in its own file. So I have files named things like header.php, navigation.php, and footer.php. Then I create a basic HTML page that contains the information specific to that page. Where the header or navigation or footer information would go, I call it through PHP's include function, which looks like this: ><?php include('/home/cpanelname/public_html/includes/thefileiwant.php'); ?> That one line will let me call in the specific file. Then if I ever need to update the navigation, I just edit navigation.php and all my pages will get the new information from that file. But in this system, I still make a unique HTML page for each page I want to have on my site. Putting all your page information into a database offers another way to template pages, but that gets more complex because you need to code all the database queries. And not every site really needs to be in a database. I recommend playing around with PHP include() for a while and seeing if that helps you at all. Just make sure to save your pages as .php instead of .html.
  5. The always-helpful help desk folk were able to confirm that the problem is in fact with my ISP. And they've given me a trace route on my own IP, which, if I understand anything I've been reading on trace routes, will help my ISP sort things out more quickly. Yay! Now I can go bug my ISP, who I really should have been bugging eight hours ago instead of waiting to see if the problem fixed itself.
  6. The linked post was actually the one that helped me figure out how to run a tracert at all. I think I just need more time to read and play with it to really understand it all. I'll go ahead and submit a ticket then--I didn't in the first place because everything is slow for me right now, not just my hosted sites. But if it looks like it might have to do with the TCH servers and not just my general connection... off to the help desk I go.
  7. The short story: for the last eight hours I've been unable to do any real work because my internet connection is frazzled somewhere. Or else my broadband connection is suffering an identity crisis and is pretending to be dialup with attitude. I don't know. I ran a tracert to one of my sites to see what that would tell me, which is: >traceroute to crankywoman.net (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets 1 xxx.xxx.x.x (xxx.xxx.x.x) 1.989 ms 0.648 ms 0.566 ms 2 * * * 3 xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.xxxxxx.net (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) 11.392 ms * 7.179 ms 4 xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.xxxxxx.net (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) 19.538 ms 6.877 ms 7.783 ms 5 xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.xxxxxx.net (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) 24.096 ms 24.926 ms 6.747 ms 6 xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.xxxxxx.net (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) 38.888 ms 36.514 ms 44.254 ms 7 xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.xxxxxx.net (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) 38.296 ms 36.918 ms 37.187 ms 8 acr2-so-1-2-0.seattle.savvis.net ( 36.836 ms 35.117 ms * 9 dcr2-so-1-0-0.denver.savvis.net ( 62.444 ms * 64.116 ms 10 dcr1-so-7-0-0.chicago.savvis.net ( 97.294 ms * 87.972 ms 11 bcs1-so-1-3-0.washington.savvis.net ( 106.22 ms bcs1-so-3-0-0.washington.savvis.net ( 104.419 ms bcs1-so-1-3-0.washington.savvis.net ( 114.178 ms 12 iar2-loopback.washington.savvis.net ( 126.755 ms * 104.607 ms 13 iar2-loopback.washington.savvis.net ( 102.221 ms 106.729 ms ge6-0.core2.dca2.hopone.net ( 105.455 ms 14 ge6-0.core2.dca2.hopone.net ( 103.373 ms vl2.msfc1.distb2.dca2.hopone.net ( 103.926 ms 103.297 ms 15 vl2.msfc1.distb2.dca2.hopone.net ( 103.696 ms * 105.139 ms 16 * * * 17 * * * 18 * * * 19 * * * 20 * * * 21 * * * 22 * * * 23 * * * 24 * * * 25 * * * 26 * * * 27 * * * 28 * * * 29 * * * 30 * * * But I'm not going to pretend I know what that means. Something timed out somewhere, but it may or may not be at hopone.net? Ok... so I pinged the IP address listed with hopone.net to see if that told me anything ( and got this: >20 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss That's bad, isn't it? For kicks I also pinged crankywoman.net's IP ( I think?): >25 packets transmitted, 22 packets received, 12% packet loss And a second ping to gives me this: >55 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss Has this told me anything useful about where the connection is failing, or have I just discovered a new toy? (Fun With Terminal: Amaze and Astound Your Friends, Only $19.99 + shipping and handling) I pinged myself just for fun, and you'll be relieved to know, I'm sure, that I'm 100% here. It's the rest of the world I don't know about...
  8. I resolve to never, ever, ever again put off renewing my driver's license and car's license plates until the last Friday afternoon of the year, especially when the Friday afternoon is the last open day before a three-day holiday for the DMV. And especially not after moving from an IM-free state to an IM-obsessed state. You'd think they'd issue a temporary plate so you could get the car tested after the holiday, but nooooo. They send you down to the garage to wait in line with all the other suckers who put it off to the last minute. Six hours chasing paperwork to get new plates? I'm bad at resolutions, but I think I can keep this one.
  9. The number of errors on the various pages is interesting, but I doubt AOL really has 250+ errors. Well, ok, it is AOL... I doubt Frontiernet actually has 500+ errors. Sometimes the validator gets mixed up in the code-- a certain kind of error can throw it off and it'll read the rest of the code incorrectly, listing errors that don't actually exist. But as soon as you fix the one error, the other 100+ errors magically disappear (since they never existed in the first place...). Unless someone knows for sure the validator folks fixed that glitch in the validator, I suspect AOL and Frontiernet have far less errors than it appears and one of them has just thrown the validator off track.
  10. For what it's worth, my site has good rankings in the major search engines for a couple terms I track, and it has for years. Until maybe a year ago both www.mysite.com and mysite.com were valid addresses. A year ago I added an htaccess rule so all incoming www.mysite.com traffic is redirected to mysite.com (for reasons other than SEO). I'm pretty sure I tacked a 301 error message on there for the search engines too. But this theoretical switch from "two" sites to one didn't do a thing to my rankings--up or down. I've always thought (with no evidence or proof to back this idea up, mind) that the "duplicate content" issue was more of a concern if you had two very different URLs pointing to the same page, i.e. mysite.whatever/folder/page.php?foo=bar and mysite.whatever/f/foo/bar/ Search engines can't anticipate that those are the exact same page, although they might be if you're doing an htaccess redirect. So then you get penalized for duplicate content. Whether or not a www is present, or whether or not index.php is present, can be anticipated in the algorhythms. I would think, anyway.
  11. Does the code work correctly if you put the secure.php file in your public_html folder -- that is, are you certain this is a problem with the include path and not the code? (Not that I've spent hours staring at an include path only to discover the code itself was to blame, or anything...
  12. I guess my question would be how you're trying to create the files. For what it's worth, I can use fopen and fwrite to create and edit files (even if they don't exist) without worrying about changing anything in .htaccess. All I had to do, like Bruce said, was make sure the directory I was creating the files in was set to 777.
  13. I run my contact scripts from outside public_html, so it can be done. In my case-- I created a folder outside of public_html--let's call it secret_folder. Inside that folder, I have a file called process_form.php -- this is the script that handles checking and then sending all the form data to me. In public_html, I have my contact folder and it only has an index file. A stripped-down version of that file would look something like this: ><?php if ($_POST['submit'] == 'Send It On') { include '/home/mycpanelname/secret_folder/process_form.php'; } else { $showThis = ' <p>I love comments! Send some to me!</p> <form method="post" action="/contact/index.php"> Name: <input name="name" /><br /> Email: <input name="email" /><br /> Comments: <br /> <textarea name="comments" rows="10" cols="50"></textarea> <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Send It On" /> </form>'; } ?> <html> <head> <title>My Contact Form</title> </head> <body> <h1>Contact Form</h1> <php echo $show_this; ?> </body> </html> Basically, the idea is that the script first checks to see if the submit button was pressed--did the visitor just send data in? If so, the script will include process_form.php from my secret folder. process_form.php checks all the form data, verifies a couple things, and then emails the comments to me. It also builds a variable called $show_this that contains a thank you message and, I think, a copy of the message the visitor sent to me (been a while since I tested that...). But if the submit button hasn't been pressed, the script will instead create $show_this with a message inviting people to send me comments and providing a form to do so. And then in the HTML portion of the page, all I really have to do is echo out the $show_me variable -- it'll either be a thank you note for sending me comments, or a form and invitation to do so. The server doesn't care where you include files from when it goes to process them, so it's ok to throw the meat and bones of the script outside public_html. If you're using a premade script, though, you'd want to be really careful about moving parts of the script around so you don't break it. It's definitely possible to do, though. In all honesty, though, the location of the script is the least important thing in securing it from abuse. A badly-written script can be abused no matter where it is on the server. I would worry more about making sure the processing part of the form does thorough checks on all the user-submitted data, and make sure there aren't any holes in the script someone could manipulate, before I'd worry about where that processing script was actually located. A well-written script in public_html is 100% safer than a badly-written script in a private folder.
  14. abindi, I'll trade your telemarketers for mine!
  15. Dear Santa, As you might remember, my college loans are entering repayment. Since I doubt you're going to show up with a big check to cover the loan costs, I'll keep my wish list simple this year. I'd like my answering machine back, please. My unspeakable current loan provider has sold my information to every Joe on the street. You know which company I'm talking about--they're on your evil list. In big, bold letters. Thanks to them, I'm getting six or seven telemarketing calls a day from people trying to consolidate my loans. Interestingly, the telemarketers are putting me on hold before they even talk to me. You heard me right: I answer the phone and immediately get Muzak masquerading as Christmas music. If I hang around long enough, a telemarketer eventually picks it up, but I've stopped hanging around that long. Who would? Actually, I stopped answering my phone. I let my machine get all the calls now. This saves my sanity, but it's depressing my machine. By the time I get home, there can be up to ten minutes of tinny Christmas Muzak on the machine. That's enough to depress anyone, even a machine as simple as my answering machine. It isn't even digital. It still has a little mini tape recorder in it. But I swear I can see tears of pain seeping out of that red blinking light when I get home. I'm afraid my machine will kamikazee off the kitchen counter if this keeps up. And if that happens, there will be nothing left to protect the tiny kernals of goodwill-towards-men that the telemarketers and my loan company haven't been able to shatter yet. I'd like to have some humanity left for the New Year. I really would. And like I said--I'm not asking you to pay off my loans or anything. Just give me back my answering machine. Thanks, Santa.
  16. A visitor to one of my sites emailed me today saying she couldn't access the main content of the site--she kept getting a long error message. She didn't say anything else, but since she sent the email via the site's contact form, I'm assuming the error message had to do with the MySQL connection/database. I'm sure I could submit this as a ticket to the help desk, but for my own education I'd like to know if there's anything else I can check, because I keep coming up empty. I looked in the error log in CPanel first, but it lists a single page not found error. That's not the problem. I checked Awstats just for fun, but it didn't have anything useful in its HTML errors either (not that I expected it to). I downloaded the raw logs and, using the time of the form submission, I think I isolated her visit. A typical page visit from her looks like this: [iP address removed] - - [01/Dec/2005:18:50:05 -0500] "GET /archives/poetry.php?author=rivera HTTP/1.1" 200 136 "ht*p://mywebsite.com/archives/" "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041107 Firefox/1.0" If I remember right from the last time I dug in the raw logs, the "200" after the "GET" part means the HTML page was ok. So that doesn't help either. And I don't know where to go from here. Are MySQL errors stored anywhere that I can access them? Have I exhausted what I can do through CPanel and the raw logs and should I submit a ticket? Right now the site is working fine for me and I can't reproduce the error, so it's not like this is a critical issue, but I would like to know what went wrong so I can try and prevent it from happening again.
  17. Strict CSS--as in, I even hate having to use non-semantic DIV tags and avoid them as much as possible. I design more quickly, redesign more quickly, can tell what's going on in a page more easily, have better accessibility, better search engine rankings, quicker download time for visitors, and, believe it or not, fewer complaints about browser issues. The box model problem is a non-issue for me 95% of the time. And the other 5%... I'd rather deal with it than look at a page of nested tables. All the other benefits of CSS are more than worth an evening or two spent cursing IE.
  18. evhwanabe, I do something very similar with one of my nav menus. The only thing I would suggest is that you could use the ternary operator to tighten up the code. For those who don't know, the ternary operator is a slick shorthand for if-then statements; see for example this tutorial in your case, the whole code snippet could be shortened to: ><?php echo '<ul>'; echo ($PHP_SELF == '/page1.php') ? '<li><a class="active" href="/page1.php">Page One</a></li>' : '<li><a class="none" href="/page1.php">Page One</a></li>'; echo ($PHP_SELF == '/page2.php') ? '<li><a class="active" href="/page2.php">Page Two</a></li>' : '<li><a class="none" href="/page2.php">Page Two</a></li>'; echo ($PHP_SELF == '/page3.php') ? '<li><a class="active" href="/page3.php">Page Three</a></li>' : '<li><a class="none" href="/page3.php">Page Three</a></li>'; echo ($PHP_SELF == '/page4.php') ? '<li><a class="active" href="/page4.php">Page Four</a></li>' : '<li><a class="none" href="/page4.php">Page Four</a></li>'; echo '</ul>'; ?> I've formatted it to make it easier to read, but that's really just six lines of code total. And it even includes the commands to print out the <ul> and each individual <li>, so that doesn't have to be a separate part of your code. For me, it's easier to maintain -- if I need to rename page2.php, all the instances of "page2.php" are right in one area of the code. (Not that I'm a fan of the ternary operator or anything... ok, I am. Just a little bit. But it's such a neat little snippet.)
  19. The only content shifting I see is related to the scroll bar. On you home page the content is long enough that there's a scroll bar to the right. But the next page does not have enough text to merit the scroll bar, so the scroll bar disappears and the text shifts slightly so the content stays centered in the window. Is this the shifting you mean? I am not 100% certain how to fix it, but I think you can force the scroll bar to appear regardless -- something about changing the CSS overflow property on the body tag.
  20. Have you looked at the suckerfish dropdown technique? These have gotten pretty spiffy lately--multiple level menus, verticle or horizontal, etc. You'll probably have to spend some time playing with the HTML and CSS code to get it to work, but there are a lot of tutorials around the web -- e.g. http://www.htmldog.com/articles/suckerfish/dropdowns/
  21. As something of a FAQ addict-- A good FAQ will fit in with the site. So if you have a serious, business-like site, the FAQ should also be serious and to the point. If you have a sarcastic or snarky site, your FAQ can reflect that sarcastic/snarky tone. No matter what the tone, the FAQ should always provide actual information for your visitors--questions (and answers!) they actually want. If you don't already know what your visitors would be looking for on this page, check out your competitors and use their pages as an initial guide. Eventually, you'll get tired of answering the same questions repeatedly from your visitors and will realize those questions need to go on your FAQ. The standard formatting used to be a hyperlinked list of the questions at the top of the page followed by the questions/answers at the bottom -- this way visitors can either click the one question they need an answer to or just read down the page. Recently I've seen more FAQs that skip the list of questions and just dive straight to question/answer. The question/answer format is still the gold standard. The few sites I've seen that tried to move their FAQ away from questions and into just straight paragraphs didn't do it well. It's useful to your visitors if, at the bottom of the page, you include a blub telling them what to do next if their question still isn't answered -- visit your forum, link to the contact forum, provide a telephone or address for them to contact you, whatever works for your site. My biggest issue with FAQs are that sites either don't answer the most obvious questions in their FAQ and it's useless to me OR they try to answer every question under the sun and I can't find the one I actually need. The trick is to find the balance between too much/too little -- again, start by looking at your competitors' sites to get a general idea.
  22. After a second look at the screen shots -- is it just me, or does the ribbon take up a lot of screen space to provide users with options most of them will never actually use? And where are the shortcut keys, which I like to use all the time? It looks to me like the new UI is going to require a lot more mouse-keyboard-mouse movement while making it more difficult to get a full page view. It's hard to say without being able to actually play with the program, but I'm seeing less and less to like in those screen shots. On the other hand, it will definitely be interesting to watch how other programs react to it. Even if the reaction to Office 12 is lukewarm, someone like Open Office could pick up the new concept and improve it. From a purely visual standpoint, I really don't care what the program I'm using looks like. If MS or Open Office or Bob down the street can take that UI and make it truely functional, great. From where I'm sitting looking at those screen shots, though, I don't think MS is on that track. If they really are a year away from release, how likely is it they'll improve some of the most obvious flaws in that interface?
  23. Forget what it looks like--I'm worried about how it works: Of all the things MS could have done, their solution was MORE canned formatting effects? After all these years with their current suite I *still* can't get their dumb canned effects to get out of my way and let me work... and now they're making it even harder to personalize formatting? Unless they change that before they release, I think someone is going to have to pay me to upgrade. A lot.
  24. Thanks, guys! That confirms what I was thinking--but it's good to know why.
  25. In terms of server load, what's the difference between calling information from a flat text file (using PHP's include() or readfile() functions) and putting the same information in a database and using SQL queries? I'm not thinking about complex information here -- just basic text like an about or copyright page might have.
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