Email Account

Bluehost.com provides unlimited email accounts for clients.  I guess this is a good common feature for web hosting.  Today I created an email account for one of the company officers, and she was very happy about having her own personal email account with this non-profit organization.  Haha…  I guess she is a happy girl overall and cherish all the little things she get.  A great attitude.  Many of us focus on the things we didn’t get instead of the many little things we have.  Optimism is much better, we all know it, but we tend to forget about this principle.

Shopping Cart

I need a shopping cart for the site I am working on.  Without much research I could only think of two products: GoogleCheckout and Paypal.  I used both products before and no problems with either one.  Those experience was from being a buyer.  Now I am going to be the seller.  So which one to use?  Everytime I have a question, my default answer is goole it!  And I found this article comparing the 2 shopping carts.  Exactly what I want to know. In short, Google’s advantage is that your shopping cart fee will be lower if you have Adword account link to it. Paypal’s advantage is that customers can use their paypal accounts. Googlecheckout does not provide payment method through Paypal. As for developer like me I find it much much easier to use Google’s Store Gadget to set up a store. I try that Gadget thing and had my store setup in 5 minutes. That’s very impressive! In paypal, it took me near 5 minutes just to create a buy button. So, I go with GoogleCheckout. In limit experience, Googlecheckout wins. If you want your customer pay by Paypal, go with paypal’s shopping cart.

Importing WordPress Database

I made some changes to quite a few page files in my wordpress production site. And I don’t want to do the same changes again in my development site. So I used phpMyAdmin to export the production database and then import it to my development database. Wow, it turned out to be a mess. Since I imported the whole production wordpress database to development. Now some links in my development site points to the production site. And the worst part is my development site wordpress admin login page was now unaccessible. Luckily, phpMyAdmin still works which allowed me to change the wordpress options table manually. So I changed my development site url back to local and things work again. I was thinking to to reinstall WordPress at first. Thank god I don’t have to. Be very careful when you import wordpress database using phpMyAdmin.

SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The goal of SEO is to make your webpage appear on top of the search results so that people can find your webpage easier. Easy finds lead to more traffic. There are some easy SEO steps a webmaster should do. First thing is to use meta tag “keywords” and put keywords you would like people to search for in it.  Second thing is try to have keywords in your link, title, and content.  Third thing is try to have other sites link to your site.  The more credible sites link to your site, the better. The fourth thing is try not to cheat, if you repeat the same keyword 1000 times in one page without reason, the search engins will ban your site and thus your webpage will not show up in search result at all.   And lastly, content is king, make sure your site has relevant contents to match the keywords you try to optimized.  If your page title is “chinese guqin”, but you write about American football, then your page will be ranked in the bottom of search keywords on “Chinese guqin”.

file names are case sensitive

While working on a page at tranquilresonance.com, I was able to see a background picture in my Windows development platform. Once the the same .php file was uploaded to the bluehost server, the background image didn’t show. After some gooling and head scratching, I figured out the answer myself. The image file name was case sensitive. myphoto.jpg is not the same as myphoto.JPG. This problem only happened on the bluehost server which runs on Linux. In my windows platform I don’t have this problem. After renaming my background file to .jpg which is what my CSS stylesheet is looking for, the problem was gone.

favicon.ico

I am currently working on www.tranquilresonance.com. In order to do testing before I publish contents online, I had installed Apache, MySql, Php in my home computer and replicated the site. Tranquilresonance.com was originally created by Thomas and I recently took it over and started to add contents. One thing I didn’t know before was the icon file. If a site has an icon, it will appear on the left side of the address field. And this icon can unique identify your site. So I was wondering how to create this icon. It turned out to be an icon file name favicon.ico. Simply place this file in the site’s root directory(public_html in the case of bluehost) and then add a link to the page header will make the icon appear. Add this code to the header section of a page:

<link rel=”shortcut icon” type=”image/x-icon” href=”/favicon.ico”>

The newly icon takes quite some time for Internet Explorer to pick up. However, Firefox and Safari pick it up on the first try.