Sunday, May 24, 2009

Want something more comprehensive than Google Analytics to track traffic to your website?

I wanted something that was more real-time than Google analytics to help me track traffic to all of the websites that I am the webmaster for. Google Analytics is not bad, but I hated that you have to wait until the next day to see the traffic for the previous day. After searching for something else that would show me real-time traffic, I found goingup! and I must say I am very impressed.

One of the things I like best about it, is that it shows the alexa rank as well as the google page rank for your site. It also shows you how many inbound links your site(s) have from Google, Yahoo,MSN and Alexa. It also shows you how many pages from your site(s) are index on these same search engines. It also shows you what key words were used to find you if the traffic comes from a search engine. Another good feature is that it shows you the referring page that your traffic came from which helps to show you who is linking to your website.

I highly recommend goingup!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just discovered a major annoyance for using windows live writer with Joomla

Not really sure how to fix this so may have to quit using windows live writer to post to my joomla websites. I took two microsoft word documents my wife had written and inserted pictures into and copied and pasted them into windows live writer. the output looked great and I was quite happy with it. I uploaded the first document then uploaded the second document. then when I looked at both articles they both have the same pictures. I determined that windows live writer dumps the pictures from word in a strange format where the file names for the images are generated as the same thing. so if you copy two word documents into windows live writer and then publish both to joomla and both have 20 pictures the second articles pictures will overwrite the first articles pictures.
Not really sure how to compensate for this. I tried to setup ftp instead of letting WLW upload for me and it doesn’t work correctly gives an error after uploading most of the images then stops.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How to use Windows Live Writer to Edit Joomla

I’m not going to take the credit for this one, found this today while researching for a better editor to use with joomla.

here is the link to the article.

How to Setup Windows Live Writer with Joomla


This will enable my wife to be able to edit and create her own topics for her websites. I want her to feel comfortable with creating and editing her own articles and the Windows Live Writer is very easy to use. I’m using it to blog right now ;)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Experience with Joomla a Open Source Content Management System (CMS)

I’ve been doing a major overhaul on my wife’s websites.

She had previously been using Web Studio 3.0 and after several years of changes the html code of her web pages things had gotten really messy.

I did some research and determined that the best thing to do to create a clean professional website that she could edit and change as needed with new information was to use a Content Management System (CMS)

I have some experience with MySQL and PhP due to the PhPBB3 web form I run Better Breeders Corner BBC Forum

I downloaded XAMPP which allowed me to setup a live in-house web server at my house on one of my spare computers. This way I could work on building the new site and then after I finished it and had it working like I wanted I could back up the mySQL database and the joomla files and then upload them, restore the mySQL database and then edit the configuration files so it recognized the new server.

Then I googled for CMS software and went through the list looking for popular Open Source CMS software and downloaded several different CMS software packages.

The software packages that I tried were.

WordPress - (not bad but a little limited for what I wanted to do)

Drupal - (didn’t have much luck with figuring this out, got it to run but couldn’t get it to do what I wanted, kinda complicated)

and then I tried out Joomla!

Joomla isn’t for beginners, but it was a lot easier for me to setup than Drupal. I had found the software I wanted to use to manage my content next came the configuration and design part.

I set down and looked over the page layouts for Web Studio (which looked horrible in Mozilla Firefox, the text was all jumbled up so badly I had to use Infernal Explorer aka Internet Explorer to view the pages) so I could copy and paste text as needed.

Next I accessed the ftp site for the old site and downloaded all of the images and html pages just to be on the safe side.

Then I sat down and started working on setting up the top menu with the menu entries and then linking those menu entries to place holder articles with plans on pasting in the text later.

Once I had all of the articles created with pictures I started working on coming up with a good web design template for the “look” of the site.

I highly recommend Artisteer for this, It allows you to design very nice templates, and has the ability to suggest designs if you are not sure how you want your site to look. If you don’t mind using a template that others may be using too for their site, there are plenty of free Joomla templates available if you google for this phrase in google or other search engines.

Here are two sites that I’ve setup using Joomla

Tsuwa Golden Retrievers and Snapdraggon Japanese Chins

The Japanese Chin Information Center

I had to do some manual hacking to create my own templates as I don’t have the money right now to buy Artisteer but It’s definately in my list of software to buy, as it’s worth every penny.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rest in Peace Duke Nukem Forever

I just found out that 3D Realms has shut down.

Duke Nukem Forever, in development for over 12 years has officially became Vaporware.

I only hope that Take-Two who has stated that they do retain the rights to Duke Nukem Forever will either finish developing the game or will make the code that they currently have Open Source so others can finish the game and release it.

I'll always remember Duke as being the Wise Cracking Smartass who I spent many hours with whipping up on Aliens and mutated monsters with.

RIP buddy, and save a table dance for me up in Video Game Character Heaven.