February 2, 2012
I am using a jquery plug-in for Google’s API 3 called gmaps3 (http://gmap3.net). It has lots of functions from adding a simple marker to “clusters”. The examples are great and the provided documentation simplifies what would be a tedious process. However, despite the extra help, I find myself scratching my head at some of Google’s syntax.
Currently, I am going to use this for a standard “search for location” page. So far it has worked out well.
October 25, 2011
While working on the Rainy Day Games site, we came across an unusual server behavior. Memory allocated to the website pool kept growing and growing. The site should be hanging around 65k was growing to over 1 Gig of memory!!! So yeah, we had a classic leak. Took a little bit of work but we traced it to the XSL object. The parameter was set to true. When it is true, it will create debugging information for the debugger to gather and report back to the developers. As soon as we turned it off, the memory held. Furthermore, once we cached the XSL object, we saw the average CPU utilization rate dropped by half.
October 20, 2011
Just in time for Halloween, Rainy Day Games has risen from the dead. It used to be an e-commerce site selling board games. However they closed their door a few years back, but still owns all the content (over 400 products and reviews).
First, from a technical perspective, we had to update them from classic ASP to ASP.Net MVC, give them a new SEO friendly URL structure, and update the HTML from a table layout to a DIV structure. We kept the old look and feel and the category structure.
Second, from a business model, they added Adsense and affiliated links to Funagain Games. This required setting up accounts and loading 400 game IDs in to the database.
Finally, we did some load testing and added some caching to help with performance. We also found and solved a memory leak when using XSL which I will post about shortly.
September 1, 2011
We have finished converting another site called Adventarian. It’s a travel website/blog. It is a little outdated with the content, but it still needs to move over to .Net.
I have to say that I really enjoyed reading the content and all of his adventures. I personally enjoyed some of his photos from living in Canada.
Technically, we used URL rewriting for updating the old parameter method of ASP to more SEO friendly URL structure. Take a look at the code below. Easy.
August 5, 2011
Speaking of content, we had another client that did all their home work in record time. A new site for Ace Moving is up and running. Kept the look simple since the plan is to use this as a landing page from their Yellow Book ad (it’s the nature of the Winnipeg moving market, so don’t judge).
August 4, 2011
I have to be honest here, the number one issue I have with clients is getting them to write their content or at least supervise their content. Here is the issue: They are the expert in the subject domain. My team is not. My team knows how to program, rank, image manipulation, and design. They do not know the ins and outs of selling media sign on the sides of trucks that roam downtown Saturday night. Nor do they know the fine art of selling used books and VHS tapes. We do have writers available to actually do the writing, but they too know little of my client’s domain and need direction. Too often we hear “just write something, and I will approve it”. They don’t and some even get cross at how wrong we were. [sigh]. Garbage in, garbage out.
Anyway, I was very surprised with our new clients at Allergy Free Info wrote their own beautiful content, but they also provided their own links and citations! Citations! It brought a tear to my eye, because that is what the initial dream of the web was. Centers of knowledge universities building upon each other!
Good work guys!
July 6, 2011
Just moved another site, NBCPC.org over to ASP.mvc. We also convert the base html over to divs instead of tables. Finally, we added a Adsense component. The new URL structure should help with traffic greatly.
We also used URL rewriting instead of IIS for redirections of the old URL to the new ones. It’s a lot slicker then using the one by one method of IIS.
June 29, 2011
We finally updated the Lucky Dog Biscuits website to MVC 2.0. Since they stopped the ecom part of the site, it was an easy map to the new content management system. We also decided to target the site to “compare dog food” since that term gets 28,000 searches for the first position and make about $76 a day in adsense.
It will take them a few months to do the back linking effort, but the competition isn’t that strong.
One final note, we did not update the html. It still uses tables for layout… yuck! It bloats the site to three times the size if we used more modern methods.
June 9, 2011
I have been reevaluating the different mind mapping software applications for both the desk top and the iPad for when I am on the go.
I have narrowed it down to two:
I like the idea that iMindMap has both the iPad version and the desktop, however, it is expensive. The iThoughts does the iPad version very well, and has many different export options. So I think I will go with the iThoughts for the iPad, and the basic version of the iMindMap for the desktop.
Another benefit from this selection is that I can swap out the basic version for another free product like FreeMind if things change with iMindMap.
May 31, 2011
If you need some stock photos, one of the best places is Fotolia.com. They have a great selection of royalty-free stock images that you can use for websites.
One of my clients got images of paddle boats for their site.