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Perishable Press Site Renovation Strategy

Now that my recent site overhaul project is nearly complete, I thought it would be useful to share my carefully developed “plan of attack.” The following seven-step strategy is designed to facilitate the entire renovation by logically ordering events and breaking down complex tasks. Upon execution, the following plan is designed to improve overall site functionality, presentation and structure, while factoring in several critical parameters: Modular time organization — due to my hectic schedule, it is necessary to break large projects down into manageable chunks. Separation of main site from test site — I need a clear distinction between Perishable […] Read more »

Rethinking Site Functionality, Presentation, and Structure

Two weeks ago, I decided to completely overhaul Perishable Press. The decision came after several months of smooth sailing with excellent site performance, an optimized theme, plenty of visitors, and even a comfortable posting schedule. All things considered, everything was peachy keen — until I began reflecting on the “big picture,” meditating upon certain aspects that are frequently taken for granted or simply overlooked during periods of hectic operation and maintenance. For example, while troubleshooting htaccess and PHP errors, webmasters generally don’t take the time to meditate on the structural and functional integrity of their overall site configuration. Fortunately, I […] Read more »

Notes and Tips for Better Social Bookmarking

For those of you still hiding your bookmarks within the dark confines of your browser’s “favorites” menu, may I suggest stepping into the “here and now” with a fresh new approach: social bookmarking. Hopefully, most of my readers are already familiar with the many wonders of managing and sharing your bookmarks online, but for those who may still be questioning the whole idea, allow me to expound briefly on several of the immediate benefits: Universal access to your bookmarked sites Forget about time-wasting browser extensions that fumble to synchronize your business; manage your collection online at a great site such […] Read more »

Five-Step Feed-Portfolio Makeover

Recently, I found myself drowning in an ocean of RSS feeds. Even after switching to Google Reader, which definitely speeds up the process of plowing through posts, I was wasting too much time consuming subscribed content. Thus, in an effort to find balance between saving time and staying current, I executed the following five-step feed portfolio makeover: Drop lame feeds. Previously, I had subscribed to a number of feeds simply because they were recommended or mentioned in an article somewhere. Unfortunately, sound referrals and interesting commentary do not necessarily equate with strong syndicated content. I often found myself reading post […] Read more »

Stop WordPress from Leaking PageRank to Admin Pages

During the most recent Perishable Press redesign, I noticed that several of my WordPress admin pages had been assigned significant levels of PageRank. Not good. After some investigation, I realized that my ancient robots.txt rules were insufficient in preventing Google from indexing various WordPress admin pages. Specifically, the following pages have been indexed and subsequently assigned PageRank: WP Admin Login Page WP Lost Password Page WP Registration Page WP Admin Dashboard Needless to say, it is important to stop WordPress from leaking PageRank to admin pages. Instead of wasting our hard-earned link-equity on non-ranking pages, let’s redirect it to more […] Read more »

Seven Ways to Beef Up Your Best Pages for the Next Google PR Update

Time is running out! Soon, it will be time for the next Google PageRank (PR) update. While it is difficult to predict how your site will perform overall, it seems likely that your highest ranking pages will continue to rank well. The idea behind this article is to improve your site’s overall pagerank by totally beefing up your most popular pages. Of course, every page on your site is important. Ideally, you would want to employ these techniques to every article on your site. But time is short, and Google is coming soon! The next PageRank update is slated for […] Read more »

CSS Throwdown: Preload Images without JavaScript

Clean, easy, effective. You don’t need no stinking JavaScript to preload your images. Nope. Try some tasty CSS and (X)HTML instead! Here’s how.. (only two steps!) Step 1 — Place this in your CSS file: div#preloaded-images { position: absolute; overflow: hidden; left: -9999px; top: -9999px; height: 1px; width: 1px; } Step 2 — Place this at the bottom of your (X)HTML document: <div id=”preloaded-images”> <img src=”http://perishablepress.com/image-01.png” width=”1″ height=”1″ alt=”” /> <img src=”http://perishablepress.com/image-02.png” width=”1″ height=”1″ alt=”” /> <img src=”http://perishablepress.com/image-03.png” width=”1″ height=”1″ alt=”” /> </div> ..and that’s a wrap! All images are preloaded and ready for calling as you please. Completely valid, […] Read more »

SEO 101: Best Practices

After studying Peter Kent’s excellent book, Search Engine Optimization for Dummies, several key methods emerged for optimizing websites for the search engines. Although the book is written for people who are new to the world of search engine optimization (SEO), many of the principles presented throughout the book remain important, fundamental practices even for the most advanced SEO-wizards. This article divulges these very useful SEO practices and organizes them into manageable chunks 1. Text Essentials The golden rule for developing a popular website is to create a useful site and share it with as many people as possible. When designing […] Read more »

Compressed JavaScript Compression

In this article, we extrapolate our favorite CSS-compression technique for JavaScript. Below, we outline the steps required to auto-compress your JavaScript documents via gzip and PHP. Two different compression methods are presented. The first method does not require htaccess, but rather involves the manual editing of JavaScript files. The second method employs htaccess to do all the work for you, thus requiring much less effort to implement. In either case, the result is the same: automatically compressed content delivered only to supportive browsers, resulting in reduced bandwidth, faster loading times, and smiling visitors :) Read more »

Fast, Effective PHP Compression

PHP compression is an excellent method of conserving bandwidth and reducing client download times. We have already discussed an excellent method for CSS compression, and in this article we share a super-easy technique for compressing all PHP content without editing a single file. Using two PHP files and two corresponding lines of .htaccess, it is possible to compress your PHP files via gzip-encoding. Browsers and other user-agents capable of interpreting gz-encoded data will employ the compressed content, while other user-agents will utilize the content uncompressed. Read more »

Flash-Detection Triple-Threat

In our previous article, Alternate JavaScript Slideshow for SlideshowPro, we present an elaborate method for providing alternate content specifically for SlideshowPro. Although the method points toward a more generalized adaptation, its overall functional implementation remains focused on the presentation of slideshows. This article explores the generalization of the previously defined method for providing alternate JavaScript content when Flash support is not detected. Using skyzyx.com’s excellent Flash-detection script, Flash Detect 3, we will outline a general approach for supporting the following browser configurations: Browser supports the required version of Flash Excellent. This is the ideal situation. Your Flash-based content will be […] Read more »

Alternate JavaScript Slideshow for SlideshowPro

For the unenlightened, SlideshowPro (SP) is a Flash-based slideshow-authoring system that delivers full-featured, high-end, Flash-based slideshows. Websites featuring SP slideshows present content in sophisticated fashion, inspiring users with elegant captions, beautiful transitions, and intuitive navigation. However, many visitors are unable to experience SP slideshows because they lack the requisite Flash support. SlideshowPro-based slideshows currently require Flash 7 or better to function. And, although Flash 7 is quite common, it is far from ubiquitous. In the "worst-case" scenario, Flash-challenged visitors will see a broken webpage or missing content. Unfortunately, the typical "best-case" scenario is not much better, as non-Flash users typically […] Read more »

Search Engine Registration Notes

In his excellent book, Search Engine Optimization for Dummies, Peter Kent explains that many search engines actually get their search results from one (or more) of the larger search engines, such as Google or The Open Directory Project. Therefore, the author concludes that it may not be necessary to spend endless hours registering with thousands of the smaller search sites. Rather, the author provides a brief list of absolutely essential search sites with which it is highly recommended to register. Further, by registering with the following sites, your site will be listed in a significant majority of all search engines. Read more »

SEO 101: Establishing and Evolving an Effective Link Strategy

Optimizing your website for the search engines involves many important aspects including keyword development, search engine registration, and SEO logging. This Press post scopes yet another critical weapon in the SEO wars: establishing and evolving an effective link campaign. Within your SEO log, you should devote an entire section to the logging of all link-related activity associated with optimizing your site for the internet. For example, you may wish to subcategorize your link campaign according to whether the links are elsewhere, pointing to your site (referring/incoming links), or present within your site, pointing to other sites (external/outgoing links). Users may […] Read more »

Cultivating a Successful Screenshot Archive

Let’s face it. Websites are as transient as the wind. Developers and designers spend countless hours producing sites that may exist online for mere months or even less before being restructured, redesigned or removed completely, forever disappearing into eternal nothingness — or, even worse, into the sterile void of a search engine database. Clearly not the best situation for designers looking to maintain a complete record of their online work. Even for sites proactively encouraging their caching and archiving by the search engines, accurate and reliable online site preservation approaches the impossible. Unfortunately, search engines are extremely inconsistent when it […] Read more »

Launch Multiple Programs with One Click

Speed up your workflow by launching your favorite programs in one click using batch (.bat) files: Create a folder and add shortcuts to your favorite programs. Rename the shortcuts so that each consists of a single word. Create a text file and change the name to something.bat. Right-click on the .bat ("batch") file and select "Edit". Emulate the following template according to your specific programs. rem comments should begin with rem rem note: this file launches all of my favorite apps! rem note: replace the names below with your own.. @echo off start %SystemRoot%\system32\cmd.exe start firefox http://google.com/ start dreamweaver start […] Read more »

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