Categories
Blogging Technology Web Development Wordpress

WordPress… To The Core!

Back from vacations, it’s been a long time since I’ve written my latest article.
As some of you might know, I’m actually working on a new theme design for Gibni, which is supposed to be much more faster and Search Engine Optimized than the current theme (Prince Blog Theme I).
Good to know that the present online theme gets a 97% SEO Score! And it takes almost 10 seconds to load on a medium speed connection for the first time you visit the site and less than 4 seconds to load in the next visits.
I got some news about the next theme! I’m working on a “Featured Articles” carousel, which will get the most visited articles on the top of the first page. To make that possible, I’ve gone deep inside wordpress, and I edited the core! Now, with a standard wordpress query, I can get the posts ordered by their views count.
This is very useful when you cannot find a plugin which does this job neatly and fastly.
With this method, I limit the SQL requests and obviously, the page loads faster.
I’ll keep you updated on the developpment of the new theme, and also the new WordPress!
I never thought I could even understand the core of wordpress, but now I am adding “in-built” features to WordPress!

Categories
Blogging Technology Web Development Wordpress

Design a WordPress Template – Part 2

Design WordPress Template 2In the previous tutorial we talk about designing a wordpress template and some point to keep in mind while designing. We talked about a website being User-Friendly, Search Engine Optimized, Fast to load and Monetized. Let’s continue:

Multi-Browser, Multi-Platform Compatibility:

A well made website is a website that is showing well in different types of browsers, i.e. when you open it in Firefox, it should look as well as it might look in Opera or Internet Explorer; this is a Multi-Browser compatible site.

A website that can adapt its look and functionalities to the platform it is visited from is a multi-platform website. As example, if you browse Gibni from your mobile device, you’ll get a page that is adapted for the device you’re using, and not the full version you get on your PC’s (or MAC’s) browser! That makes is just EASIER for you to access Gibni from a mobile device and navigate easily on it.

When designing a website you should ALWAYS keep these aspects in mind.

Sometimes this might be the most difficult part of designing a website as different browsers have different behaviours with the same code!

The look, The Design:

The look of your website, makes it unique, so use your creativity and search around for good designs to get new ideas, mix and remix them, and find a good design to make for your website. We’ll discuss this topic in a seperate post as it takes time and is a special topic.

Currentl Gibni’s look is a unique design made from my imagination and mixing other unique ideas together. The upcoming release is a different design, but still UNIQUE!

Tools and Software to use:

Making the design, editing images:

To make the design and also images you want to use, you need to have a good image editor software; best choice is ADOBE PHOTOSHOP. It’s not the easiest thing to learn, but once you get into it, you’ll have the best tool to make and remake and optimize graphic designs and images. I use Photoshop to do every image editing job. It’s the best and most complete solution.

Writing the code:

To design a WordPress theme, we need a software to write the PHP code with, you can simply use NOTEPAD, but that is a very thought way to choose!

I personally use ADOBE DREAMWEAVER, as it is very robust and easy to use, and EXTREMELY professional. There are extensions which simply inserting wordpress functions. But I didn’t use these extensions because they get me confused sometimes.

Testing:

To test localy what you are making, you will need to have a local server. That might sound difficult, but ChSoftware made a VERY useful PORTABLE WEB SERVER that you download and just run! no need for installation, no complicated configuration. In WOS II (by ChSoftware), there are a lot of packages you can use, as phpMyAdmin, WordPress, MySQL, PHP 4, PHP 5 and a lot more. Just visit their website, download WOS and run it on your PC. Instructions are clear and easy to understand on their website and in the software itself.

Browser:

I recommend that you use at least two browsers (Internet Explorer and Firefox) to test your code and design.

Host:

To host your website, either it is a blog or a CMS or an E-commerce website, you should choose the best hosting company that you can afford. I actually use LunarPages, as my hosting. They provide me avery good customer support and they offer very interesting plans, either for begginers or for professionals who need dedicated servers. The server response time is a fairly good one and scripts run very smoothly on their servers. The best thing is that THEY CARE ABOUT YOU! an exaple is that a long back, they got a problem with a hardware and their server went down for few hours, I contacted them and asked for help, I got a reply in the following hour and the problem got solved very quickly; the next day I got a phone call from Lunarpages customer service, the guy apologized for the problem and offered me a free month of hosting to show their good will! I was shocked and happy! firstly to get a month of free hosting and secondly to be with a hosting company that cares about its customers!!

Anyway, try to look for the best one you can afford, and check the availability of everything you will need before paying the host.

If you want to get a good offer from Lunarpages, click this link and make your purchase by following this link: Lunarpages.com – From Gibni

In next posts we’ll see how to start the work!

Detailed posts about the currently discussed topics will be available on Gibni, so I recommend that you subscribe to the RSS feeds.

All comments are welcomed

Categories
Blogging Technology Web Development Wordpress

Design a WordPress Template – Part 1

Design WordPress Template
I’ve started to redesign and remake Gibni’s theme. As Gibni’s main technology relies on WordPress, MySQL and PHP, so this post might be useful for many bloggers and for almost every theme designer.
User Friendly:
A lot of readers and visitors complain about Gibni being confusing and they say that they’re “lost”! I agree that the current look is full of information and users might get tiered reading pages. As this is a HUGE drawback a site can have, I’m trying to make the new theme look clean and net and though it will have a bundle of info and widgets and also be monetized; it should be easy to read and very user friendly.
Search Engine Optimization:
So far, the current theme which is Prince Theme v1.0, is very reliable and stable. But better than that, it is very well Search Engine Optimized. The current SEO score till date is 97% SEO, based on www.Domaintools.com SEO Calculator.
The new theme will be also optimized to the maximum and I am trying to make the keywords density and relativity increase. I thought of a technique to show a special output for search engine spiders and bots, but I’m studying the impact on loading speeds.
Monetized:
The current version (v1.0) is monetized with Adsense, Kontera, PepperJamNetwork and few affiliates.
Main issue here is that ads take a huge amount of space and on the other side make the pages look ugly sometimes. My goal is to try making ads camouflaged and prevent them from disturbing the reader as well as providing the visitors relative ads based on the content they’re viewing. For this, firstly I’ll need to choose an efficient way to keyword the pages and posts and more important, to put the right ads on the right places!
Loading Times:
I call “Loading time” the time a page takes to load on a visitors browser. You may have noticed that Gibni loads pretty fast the first time you visit (with an empty cache) and after that it load EXTREMELY fast! Well, I actually use advanced caching and data loading technologies that not all designers know about. I’ll explain these technologies in a seperate post. What I aim at now is to make pages load even faster than now and make caches more reliable and load important content FIRST, to not keep the visitor waiting for what (s)he is searching for to appear!
In next parts we’ll talk about the look, the code, testing, browser compatibility…
Detailed posts about the currently discussed topics will be available on Gibni, so I recommend that you subscribe to the RSS feeds.
All comments are welcomed.

Categories
Technology Web Development Wordpress

QR Codes, The Begining.

QR Codes

Ever heard about QR Codes? You surely know about the Barcodes, which you see on almost every purchased product. Ever asked yourself about that barcode reader application on your new smartphone?
Well, recently there’s been a new invention called QR Code. It’s a square with lots of black nad white points in it! yeah, kinda strange and extraterrestrial alphabet!
This square can contain information which you can scan with your smart phone and save that info on your device. It prevents typing and more important TYPOs!
To know what it the technology and who invented this tech and different aspects of it, go to your favorite search engine and search for it; a good reference is Wikipedia. Click Here for Wikipedia Article on QR Code
So, if you’ve read the article on wikipedia, you probably know better about QR codes. Today, a lot of mobile phones have inbuilt QR Readers, where the Nokia N95 is one of them.
QR Codes mostly contain URLs and Contact information. You can see them on some products, in recent street advertisings, on websites, business cards and so on. This is still a new technology to the public, but it’s spreading very fast.
In the next post on QR Codes, I’ll write about how a QR code is created and what type of data it can contain.
In the following posts, I’ll write about how to create your own QR Code, and at the end I’ll explain how to implement a QR Code for the desired page of your blog or website automatically.
As you can see, recently I’ve integrated a QR Code for each post and each page on Gibni. This code is genertad automatically by the server and it contains the page/post URL. You can try it by scanning the QR Code at the left with your QR Reader or Mobile Phone’s QR Reader Application.
In N95 8GB, the application can be accessed from Menu > Applications > Office > Barcode.
Give Feedback/Rating/Comment if you read this article please.

Categories
Blogging Technology Web Development Wordpress

Amazon Associates is SLOW! – Website Speed Optimization case.

A while back, I tried to run Amazon.fr Associates scripts and advertisements on Gibni. Everything looked nice and working. But the problem was that pages used to load very slow.

After a lot of research and studies on how to accelerate the loading speed and make pages load faster, I developed a strategy to implement, after all the tweaking, still there was some lags in loading.

So I came to find that Amazon’s JS files and scripts are VERY HEAVY, and they take a lot of time loading.

I tried to download it from Amazon and run the JS from Gibni’s Server, but the script did not operate correctly.

The size of a JS file, was crossing my 30KB limit! And that was out of question for me to accept.

I contacted Amazon support team, and explained the matter. The question is, don’t they really know how to reduce a JS file and make it faster?!!

Here’s the email conversation I had with them: (it’s originally French with Amazon.fr, I translated it for you)

Here’s my e-mail:

Bonjour,
Apres avoir utiliser votre script sur mon site, j’ai eu des temps de reponse tros long. et j’ai etudier vos script (Javascript, fichiers JS comme
https://cls.assoc-amazon.fr/fr/links/updateLinks-2.js) j’ai vue que vos script ne sont pas optimize pour une reponse rapide. mon conseil serrai de compresser et utiliser gzip aussi pour
method de compression, comme le font les grands reseaux de publicite (Google Adsense). Malheureusement je vais supprimer vos script de mon site jusqu’au jour que vous aurai des script plus efficace et plus rapide.
Veuillez me tenir au courant si vous mettez a jour vos scripts.Merci.
Cordialement.

Hi,

After having used your scripts on my website, I got longer load times. I’ve studied your scripts (Javascript files like https://cls.assoc-amazon.fr/fr/links/updateLinks-2.js) and I’ve seem that they’re not optimized for fast response and short loading time. My advice would be that you compress them using “gzip” as other big advertisers like Google Adsense do it. Unfortunately, I’ll delete your scripts from my website until the day you will have more efficient and faster scripts. Please keep me informed if you update them. Thanks.

Regards.

Here’s Amazon.fr’s reply:

Cher Internaute, Merci d’avoir pris contact avec Amazon.fr.
Nous avons bien recu votre suggestion concernant nos scripts et notamment l’optimisation que l’on pourrait avoir par l’utilisation de gzip et l’avons transmise au service concerne. Nous vous remercions de nous avoir fait part de votre avis, nous pouvons ainsi mesurer vos attentes et faire evoluer notre site dans la direction
qui convient le mieux a nos clients. Merci d’avoir choisi le site
Amazon.fr.
Cordialement,
Ju G. Service Client
Amazon.fr

Dear Internet user, Thanks for contacting Amazon.fr,

We have received your suggestion about our scripts and mostly the optimization we could reach through the use of gzip, and have forwarded this to the concerned department. We thank you for your opinion, it will help us satisfy your demands and improve our site to the expectations of our clients. Thanks for contacting Amazon.fr.

Regards,

Ju G. Client Support Amazon.fr

From that day, I removed their script, but I really appreciate their fast and complete reply and that they show they are interested in improvements! I really look forward to have them back again as advertisers on my site!

If you have Amazon (all sites .com , .fr , .de…) ads on your site/blog, you should know that it may slow down your pages, so if they did’nt optimize their scripts yet, blog about this issue, and contact them and give a trackback or a link to my post; this will accelerate the optimization process.

You’ll see more on “How to Optimize Your Website/Blog” and the strategies I developed and implemented in How to build a Website / Blog – A successful and perfect One – Part 1 and following upcoming parts.

Subscribe to my RSS or to the mailing list to get the latest News and Posts directly delivered to you!

 

Categories
Blogging Education Technology Web Development Wordpress

How to build a Website / Blog – A successful and perfect One – Part 1

Well, in these tutorials, I’ll explain how you can start your own blog/website, how to analyze it, how to optimize it, how to update it, how to market it, how to make profit out of it and how to make it a successful project!
Either you are a student, a university professor, a beginner web developer/designer, a business man, a flowers’ passionate, a restaurant chef or what ever else, and you want to start a website/blog to promote your business, your passion, or inform people about the dangers of global warming or the doom’s day prophecy, or help people rise money for their education, or what ever goal you have, I will help you on developing and delivering the best website/blog you can ever build!
And what is fantastic is that this tutorial is free and all you have to do is once you started your website/blog, the only thing I ask you in exchange, is that you write a blog post or article about these tutorials and my website, but that is optional and up to you.
Well, if you get through difficulties and you have questions, just post them in the comments section of the related tutorial, and you’ll get the reply very soon. To follow the tutorials and their comments, just subscribe to my RSS feeds or subscribe by e-mail (on the left side panel of Gibni).

Well, first and most important thing to do, is to decide what you want to do, and define your goals and trace a plan. Almost everything in this level is to be done on paper (real one).
List your goals, by asking yourself, what are the things you want to achieve by the project, the immediate goals and long term ones.
List and relist, and arrange them, then sort your goals by time, ie. put the ones you need to achieve first on the top of the list. But be careful to be realist, think like this that if you want to change the world, you should start by changing yourself and your surrounding.
So, now that you have sorted them by time, sort them also by toughness, put the easiest ones in top.
Now that you know what you want to achieve, we will proceed to the next level, which is, how to achieve it. Go to your favorite search engine, and type in the keywords you think match best with your project. You will get some results and websites which have almost the same topic(s) as you, visit them, and see how they present their content. Get a better idea of what you might present that would be new and would attract more visitors.
Well, now, comes a little bit difficult part, decide what technology use to develop and implement your website/blog. I personally would recommend that you use PHP as the main language of development for your site. Because PHP is really easy to learn and to implement and it’s cheap on the maintenance side and even on the servers and hosting side.
Now, to simplify your work, I recommend you use some CMS/ PORTAL/ or similar content management web application. Right now, I’m using WORDPRESS for Gibni, and as you can see, it’s not a normal blog, I transformed it to act as a CMS (Content Management System) too. So, now it’s up to you to find out what best matches your requirements, search about WordPress, PhpNuke, vBulltin, Joomla, PHPBB and so on…

Now, start to draw a rough draft of the design of your site/blog, from how you want the overall look of the site, if you want any columns, if yes, how many, which side? Think about the header, about the main content, about the footer. Then, think about what colors you want to implement and try to find the best colors that match together, there are websites and software which suggest best color combinations. Then if you use a CMS or web application like wordpress, search and look for available themes. Like this, you’ll get a better idea of different possible designs and styles.
No, it’s to you to be creative and create a new design (if you wish to have a unique blog/site)
Remember, to be successful, all you need is creativity and a bit of knowledge and junk!
All the tools are available to help you, so just make an effort and be creative.

In the next part, we will review some design tips and few examples. So now, you have to go out and get enough knowledge and decide on the basics as said above. Take your time.