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Everything posted by surefire

  1. Yep... that's what I thought. I figured no free lunch. Thanks guys.
  2. A quick search online reveals that Adobe wants about $600 for their product, yet somehow, unrelated third party sites offer it for as little as $70. Obviously alarms are going off in my head: pirated software?, scam?, etc. Does anyone have experience buying Adobe software at steep (90%?) discounts? Should I proceed with caution, or stay away?
  3. I can't answer this question since I'm not working for TCH, but I'm curious... you didn't say why you'd be suspended... bandwidth?
  4. Well, at least I have my answer. Thank you for being so helpful, gang.
  5. Thank you Rob and David. I'll test it out... maybe I'll get lucky. I can't tell you how many times I've discovered something new just by attempting things that you just 'knew couldn't work'.
  6. I came across a link recently that was http://sub1.www.sitename.com I'm assuming the www in this case is a directory or sub1 where sub1 is the subdomain? Anyone have any ideas on this? I'd like to have the ability to set up links in a similar fashion.
  7. surefire


    carbonize is correct, but let me add my two cents. You can have a div start after all the other content (tables, divs, etc) and that may be the bottom of the page, or if the rest of the content doesn't fill up a page, it could be halfway down. This is relative positioning and it puts the div after whatever comes before it. If you have a page of content preceeding the div, then a visitor would have to scroll down to see it, and it would be at the bottom of the web page. You could use absolute positioning to take the div out of the normal flow of content and place it x number of pixels from the bottom of the page. This will overlap some of the content that comes before it, but it will certainly be at the bottom of the webpage, even if the content that comes before it doesn't reach very far down the screen. I've read your question a bunch of times... I hope I didn't miss the point.
  8. You've described the tree, can you give me a view of the forest? What's the big picture thing you're trying to accomplish?
  9. (I may be missing some of your meaning... but here goes) I'd use an array. That's not technically a variable, but sounds like the tool to use. If you need the array in a variable, serialize() the array.
  10. PHP 4.4 has been out for several weeks. If you have any software that is encrypted with ioncube then you would be wise to upload the updated loaders for php 4.4 and 5.0+ so that if your server's installation of php is changed, you won't miss a beat. You can find those loaders here http://www.ioncube.com/loaders.php Anyone using Ultimate Form Mail should grab the new loaders. (no link provided on purpose, and just to be clear - TCH doesn't endorse any software, including this one. I only mention it as a service to members here that use it.)
  11. Since you asked... nope. Let's say your most important keyword phrase is 'investment advice'. Title: Investment advice - Investments analyzed by Ant and Sons h1 needs to be on your page high as possible in html and be something like: Investment Advice from Pros (Keep in mind you can style the h1 to fit the layout of your page. But you're currently using h4... and that's not the best use of your tags) Currently 'investment' only appears twice on the page. You need it to appear more, whilst striking a balance and not 'spamming' the page with the word. It should appear natural, but you still want the word more than twice, if that's your key word. Given the url and name of your site, and the fact that your keywords are not present in either, I'd strongly recommend that you'll need to separate all branding strategies and SEO efforts. In other words, you need to target what people are looking for... not who you are. People go to the search engines to find a solution or to do research. Unless your primary keyword phrase is 'Ant and Sons' you need to drop it off of the important tags of your site. Especially the title. Something that hasn't been mentioned before is the level of difficulty in the niche you've chosen. I imagine there's a LOT of competition for 'investment advice' so if you were my client, I'd do research for you to find some smaller ponds where you could become the 'big fish'. For example, maybe you want to focus on exercising stock options for employees of publicly traded companies. Or tax managed mutual funds. Or investment scams people should be aware of. If you're not examining the supply/demand of your keyword phrases before making these kinds of weighty decisions then you're making a big mistake. The great thing about the internet is that you could really drill down to something excrutiatingly specific and still be very successful, or more successful. Now, having said these things, I still say that off page factors are more important than on page factors. If you could only do one exceptionally well and the other exceptional poorly, you'd want to focus on off page factors. Specifically, links back to you with your keyword phrase in it. (Not 'Ant and Sons')
  12. In my post I mentioned that the article was a little basic. But I liked the fact that it seemed to be built on sound principles. I see a lot of people that are learning PHP discover a new tool but aren't told how to use it safely and to take steps that would prevent attacks. The article doesn't address some obvious things you'd want in a templating system, as you have pointed out. To answer your question, there are several ways to skin a cat. I would put the html from the 'main' file (in the tutorial referenced) into the header file. This way you could do something like ><title><? echo $site_title; ?></title> How you set the site_title variable just depends on your coding style and what you're comfortable with. I'd probably take the simple array given in the tutorial and turn it into a more detailed associative array where the title was contained in the array. But, in all honesty, I wouldn't use this templating system as it's written. It's a good starting point for you to learn how to build templating systems. Specifically, it defines in advance a finite number of possibilities for the PHP to include into the code. This is a safety feature that is missing from templates built by beginners.
  13. surefire


    I believe aMember is really just for creating password protected sections of your site. I have not used it, but I read what others have said about it. If I'm correct, then it will only resolve the first half of what you want to do. The second half is for your members to have content that is assigned to them. When they log in (whatever mechanism is used) then your system needs be able to pull up their past work. There are many ways to skin a cat, but to me, this cries out for a database. I'm sure you could do it with a flatfile system (just another kind of database) but mysql would be more robust... IMHO, better. You're not going to like what I type next, but if you have created custom forms and you want to pull up that data as you have saved it in its current state, then you're looking at a custom programming job. You'll need a log in system that then gathers the data on command based on the identity of the person that logged in. If you're looking to start over from scratch then I would search for a robust CMS system, possibly a community type system (similar to Nuke but I wouldn't use Nuke for many reasons). I'd start my search at opensourcecms.org To clarify the aMember comment. I think aMember is useful if you wanted to create content and then restrict access to it. For example, a members only section of special content that you charge monthly membership fees for. aMember keeps the nonpayers out and lets your members in, but once they're in, aMember's job is over. That's my understanding.
  14. My biggest web design contract of the year needed a CMS system that met the following criteria: 1- Easy to use (of course) 2- Superadmin could edit all content 3- Contributor admins of lower permission level couldn't add, but could edit posts assigned to them 4- Admin didn't look like a control panel, but looked like the actual page that was being edited. They wanted low-tech worker bees to be able to edit without much brain power. I wanted one that was as low cost as possible because any cost came out of my successful bid. Obviously I'm thinking opensource. I tested out what I considered to be my three best possiblities. Here are the three and what I had heard about them prior to the test: 1- WordPress - yeah... it's blog software, but can work as a simple to use CMS. Easy to setup. Works great out of the box, and very,very, very low learning curve. 2- Drupal - powerful but high learning curve. 3- Nucleus CMS - I found this one on opensourcecms.org Even though it's listed as a cms at opensourcecms.org (Wordpress is listed as a blog), and it's name says cms, it's built for blogging first. I had no expectations going in. But their online demo looked promising and they got high ratings on opensourcecms.org (take it with a grain of salt) As a side note, I didn't really consider Mambo for several reasons: security issues, past experience with it, and a recent comment at opensourcecms.org that indicated tables were STILL hardcoded into the core of the system even after years of requests from the Mambo community to change this. WordPress looked promising, and still might be chosen by the client, although I doubt it. They really want something that you can edit without going to anything that resembles a control panel. Hey, that's their choice. My job is to make it happen. Drupal... I can't remember if I've b*tched about this before but, in a nutshell, this thing is way too complicated. All this jargon about nodes, stories... etc. I spent many hours reading the poorly organized documentation online and still can't tell you the difference between a page and story, why an FAQ section should be built with a 'collaborative book', and what in the world a node is. The deal killer for Drupal on this project was that their permission based system was confusing and didn't give people permission to edit but not post. I'll admit that this is a strange request... but again, my job to make the magic happen. I say the permission based system was confusing because you'd check a column of boxes indicating what they could and couldn't do and upon testing realize that what you had chosen wasn't being peformed in the background. Things my new user should be able to do they couldn't, and vice versa. A few trips to the online forum indicated that lots of people had this problem and the developers had the issue on their list of things to do. On the bright side, Drupal (with the addition of a template plugin called phptemplate) gets templating 'right' in my opinion. I feel qualified to give my opinion on this templating issue because I have built my own cms for my clients and anyone with even a small degree of html experience can 'skin' my system in ten minutes and with uploading one file. (I'm not using my cms for this project for several reasons, but the biggest one is that mine does not have several levels of permission for different admins and probably never will. My client base doesn't need it.) Finally, went to Nucleus CMS. Install was easy (as it was with all three). Documentation was horrible, horrible, horrible. Did I mention horrible? Outdated, scarce, poorly organized. The online forum was almost impossible to search and find relevant content. If you're looking for 'fire and forget' this isn't it. You're gonna have to put in some sweat to learn how to 'skin' this sucker. Also, the admin isn't very intuitive. If you start getting into some of the advanced features of the system you have to really hunt around for the right page, because it's not on the side navigation. Once you figure it out, it's easy... but again, not clearly explained anywhere in the documentation (and I searched just about everywhere on the site). But... once you figure out how to create a new 'skin'... and you figure out the difference between a skin and template, and why you can't find any template files anywhere in the directory structure, the system is very useful for the end user, my client. When a lower level person (not admin or superadmin) logs in, they can go right to the live website, and if they created the post, they see a link at the top of the page/post to edit the page. Clicking the link pops open a nice editor (which can be upgraded to a WYSIWYG editor with an easy plugin). So, my client will be able to have their folks edit the content and see the changes right away. I have to hack some code to assign ownership to people that didn't actually write the post/page so that they can edit it, but that's not a problem for me. So, this should turn out to be a great solution, and really easy for them to use. One more thing I'll mention about Nuclueus CMS is that I have mixed feelings about their templating. On the one hand, it's very easy to make changes to a skin and to do something very nifty, called cloning. But the skins and templates are broken into fragments that you have to hunt down and change in the control panel. I guess if you are uncomfortable with php and you just want a nice looking site, you would find it pretty easy to write your code, edit the default css, and you're off to the races. If you're like me and you want to write a template that's an html/php hybrid that you ftp to your site, then it's a bit of a letdown. In truth, the abysmal documentation on their site is the biggest drawback to using Nucleus CMS. But now that I know how to use it, I'm glad to have this cms as another tool in the toolchest.
  15. Rob and Jim really hit the nail on the head. You got a very valuable analysis of your site and some very helpful tips. I'll add a few more. First, you need some h1 tags. The only heading tags I found on my quick skim of your site was h4. Second, more important than content is the number and quality of text links pointing back to your site. Unfortunately, if you get a text link with your site name in it 'Ant And Sons' I bet Google will come to the concusion your site should be about either ants or sons. So, ideally you'd get text links like 'Investment advice', or 'Stock and Bond Trading'. Many businesses are discovering that a well run blog can help get good links coming your way if you (1) create fantastic content (2) name your articles with SEO and traffic in mind Good luck.
  16. If you're new to PHP and you want to get started with something very easy but very powerful, then here's a tutorial you should read http://www.digital-web.com/articles/easypeasy_php_2/ There's a lot of ways to skin a cat, so to speak. And this method of templating is very basic, but it works well. I have been using something very similar to this to help me manage a 16,000 page site in my spare time. Enjoy.
  17. I'm surprised to say you didn't find any tutorials on the subject. The problem I had way back when I was learning was that there were many more tutorials than I had time to read, and not all of them were excellent. I'm sure someone will give you a link to one or two, but I want to give you some other advice: dissect someone else's code. That's one of the best ways to learn. It doesn't replace a book or a tutorial, but will speed up your learning. http://hotscripts.com/Detailed/30989.html Looks right up your alley. By the way, if you really want to learn php and database programming, you owe it to yourself to buy a book. The internet breeds this concept of something for nothing, but from my personal experience I have to say that learning the ropes on nothing but free tutorials is much more difficult. Good luck.
  18. Also, reducing the number of table cells would decrease the file size of each page. The header where your logo is, in particular, could be done with much less code. If you want to reduce file size even further, use css to replace the image rollovers in the nav.
  19. Each server could be configured differently, but in my experience it's localhost for server and zilch (null) for the rest.
  20. I'm on the fringe of the 'cone of death'. It seems like just a few months ago the plywood came down off the house. A couple of gripes I have that the rest of you Floridians might be able to relate to: Weather Channel inane 'Local on the 8's I almost put my foot through the screen of the tv on many occasions in 2004 watching the 'Weather' Channel, waiting to get some news about the hurricane du jour. The hurricane is heading towards us and you get this insipid Local on the 8's with comforting muzak and ridiculous text like: Forecast: Breezy with thunderstorms expected. Gee... you think? There's a friggin hurricane approaching, you jerk! Weathermen from out of town looking a little too excited and happy when a hurricane makes landfall... and a little down in the mouth when a hurricane misses I have some choice words about this one, but I don't want to offend anyone. Local weathermen and newscasters that know this is the only time we tune in to their station... it's SHOWTIME, BABY! With local news stations being harbingers of doom and gloom 365 days out of the year, it's no wonder that their ratings are so shoddy. Now, all of a sudden, the local populace has to tune in to find out what's going on, and the local news station gets the attention they feel they so richly deserve all year long. Oh, man... are they happy. Martha, look at the idiot anchorman standing out in the class 5 cyclone of death What is it about hurricanes that make weathermen want to grab the nearest cameraman and run out in the middle of a storm so we can watch them lean into the wind? Where's the flying debris when you need it? And now... back to football The last hurricane we got, I'm hunkered down with the wife because we just heard that an F4 tornado was spotted in the area. I'm listening to the AM station that is supposed to be carrying news about the hurricane, and they decide to cut back to their regularly scheduled football coverage. Are you kidding me?
  21. CSS positioning would eliminate all those spacer gifs and give you the background image you're looking for... with much less code and work. Even if you didn't go with pure css and used a basic two column table for your layout you could save yourself a ton of time with CSS. But the more you use CSS, the less you can depend on the preview pane of Dreamweaver (or any WYSIWYG software) to show you what the site will actually look like.
  22. David, I know what you mean about running the mouse quickly over all the navbar options but that's not even close to the herky jerky motion I'm talking about. The webstandards project website estimates something like 25% of the cost of website design goes into BS like this where developers have to hack around non-compliant browsers (IE) that don't follow standards. And yes, your input helps. Thank you.
  23. Maybe I spoke too soon. Maybe 6.0.28 has its own special IE bugs. I know this, it has to do with the Flash playing in the background. If you go to an internal page, where there is no flash, the problem should dissapear. And, strangely enough, when I put the flash tags outside of the divs I'm using, the problem also goes away. So, in a sense, I know how to fix this... but the curiosity is forcing me to try to figure out why this would happen.
  24. Thanks Rob. I'm really befuddled. My hunch is that it's specific to my IE browser... just don't know what it could be. But your feedback helps. Thanks.
  25. Here's the mystery I'm trying to solve: A web page I created for a client many months ago and tested thoroughly in IE and FF with flying colors is now acting strangely in IE on my computer. The address is suteraskin.com Specifically, here are two problems I'm noticing: 1- The drop down menu at the top is herky jerky when I rollover the navbar. 2- The css rollover button 'Share the Love' is very slow to go from inactive to active and even back to inactive. To make this even more strange, I fire up my wife's computer, hit the site with IE and it works perfectly. Admittedly, she's running 6.0.22 and I'm running 6.0.28 but I don't think that's the difference. I haven't updated or changed anything with IE on my computer and things just got weird lately. I have been searching the internet and racking my brain to figure out what the deal is. Even if you don't have any ideas, you can help by letting me know if you see the site in IE with no delays in the rollover and smooth dropdowns, or if you're seeing the same herky jerky action too. Thanks for the feedback.
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