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Category Archive

Standards-Compliance Throwdown: MS-IE5/6 DNS/404 Error-Page Redesign

Default DNS Error page for Internet Explorer First of all, congratulations if you are geeky enough to understand the title of this article. Many would be like, "CSS, MS.. IE, error ..what..?" Whatever. If you get the title, you will get the point of this utterly pointless exercise. If that is the case, prepare for a delightful romp through geekland. Otherwise, save your precious time and stop reading here (exit strategy). Well, okay, for the seriously unenlightened, let us explain the object of our present focus: The default "DNS Error" page for Internet Explorer unfortunately remains a familiar sight for millions […] 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 »

Embed Flash or Die Trying

Embed Flash or Die Tryin’ Web designers and developers looking to embed Flash content into a web page currently enjoy a wide variety of methods from which to choose. The most common methods vary along several key dimensions, including standards-compliance, user-friendliness, and universal support. Some methods make it easy to provide alternative content, others enable auto-activation of Flash content, while others feature plugin-detection functionality. In an attempt to round-up the myriad techniques, this article presents nine of the most useful, practical, and popular methods for embedding Flash content. 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 »

Go Back via JavaScript and PHP

Use this simple code as a button that will return users to the previous page: <form> <input type=”button” value=”Return to previous page” onClick=”javascript:history.go(-1)” /> </form> Here it is as a simple text link: <p> <a href=”javascript:history.go(-1)” title=”Return to the previous page”>&laquo; Go back</a> </p> You can make things easier by serving PHP and printing the link automatically. Here is the button link: echo “<form><input type=\”button\” value=\”Return to previous page\” onClick=\”javascript:history.go(-1)\”></form>”; And here is the PHP code to print a "Go back" text link: echo “<p><a href=\”javascript:history.go(-1)\” title=\”Return to previous page\”>&laquo; Go back</a></p>”; Better yet, you can kick the accessibility factor […] 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 »

URL Character Codes

URL’s frequently employ potentially conflicting characters such as question marks, ampersands, and pound signs. Fortunately, it is possible to encode such characters via their escaped hexadecimal ASCII representations. For example, we would write "?" as "%3F". Here are a few more URL character codes (case-insensitive): Read more »

Embed QuickTime Notes Plus

This post contains random notes for embedding QuickTime within web pages. QuickTime Embed Attributes via CSS <style> <!– embed, .embed { pluginspage: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/; controller: false; autoplay: true; bgcolor: #000; loop: true; } //–> </style> Read more »

Feed your Image via Atom or RSS

This quick tutorial explains how to add images to both Atom and RSS feeds. Although both formats allow for image-inclusion, feed-reader support for image-display is currently quite limited. Hopefully, that will change in the near future.. Images for Atom Feeds Images included within Atom feeds must have a ratio of either 1:1 or 2:1. There are no other restrictions as to file type or size. Use the < icon> XML element for URL’s targeting 1:1 images. Otherwise, use the < logo> XML element for URL’s targeting 2:1 images. Either element should be placed in the < feed> element: <feed> <icon>http://domain.tld/path/icon.ico</icon> […] Read more »

Embed Flash and Video via the object Tag

Embed Windows Media Player via the object tag Here is the general format for including .wmv files in web pages: <object type=”video/x-ms-wmv” data=”http://www.domain.com/path/to/winmovie.wmv” width=”340″ height=”280″> <param name=”src” value=”http://www.domain.com/path/to/winmovie.wmv” /> <param name=”controller” value=”true” /> <param name=”autostart” value=”true” /> </object> Read more »

Invite Only: Visitor Exclusivity via the Opt-In Method

Web developers trying to control comment-spam, bandwidth-theft, and content-scraping must choose between two fundamentally different approaches: selectively deny target offenders (the "blacklist" method) or selectively allow desirable agents (the "opt-in", or "whitelist" method). Currently popular according to various online forums and discussion boards is the blacklist method. The blacklist method requires the webmaster to create and maintain a working list of undesirable agents, usually blocking their access via htaccess or php. The downside of "blacklisting" is that it requires considerable effort to stay current with the exponential number of ever-evolving threats, which require exceedingly long lists for an effective response. […] Read more »

Essential Mint Extensions

Mint As many statistics freaks already know, Mint is an excellent way to keep a close eye on your site’s visitors, referrers, most requested resources, and much more. Even better, Mint’s functionality is easily enhanced via a growing collection of free extensions referred to as "Peppers". Peppers provide Mint functionality for a wide range of statistical operations, including everything from geographical IP information to nice, graphical summaries of collected data. While we have not tried every Pepper available today, we have managed to incorporate an extremely powerful arsenal of statistical weaponry that keeps us well-informed about our site’s online activity. […] Read more »

Maximum and Minimum Height and Width in Internet Explorer

Behold the seventh wonder of the virtual world: max/min-height and max/min-width properties are possible in Internet Explorer! Indeed, by taking advantage of IE’s proprietary CSS attribute, expression, you too can whip IE widths and heights into desirable proportions. The CSS expression attribute enables JavaScript commands to be executed within Internet Explorer. JavaScript via CSS? Thanks, Microsoft! Why is this so great? Well, because in other, standards-compliant browsers, max/min-height and max/min-width properties are easily accomplished with this simple bit of CSS.. Read more »

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