Archive for the ‘webdev’ Category

Updating WordPress & Preparing Theme

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

I have just updated to WordPress 1.5.2. Very quick & painless. Please tell me if something’s wrong.

I am also in the process of “skinning” the blog, so it may look temporarily funny in the next few hours (it was already looking very wrong through IE!)

I will post as soon as it’s finished.

Entrepreneur: Get your HTML right!

Friday, July 29th, 2005

I’ve been having some problems with the www.ngedit.com. It was working nicely, but almost zero searches had ever found them. It’s weird, because quite many searches have found blog.ngedit.com.

After the release of ViEmu, it’s a bit different, but up until last week, the top search item finding this blog was “WM_CHAR”. WM_KEYDOWN and friends were also up there on the list. Search phrases revealed the frustration and desperation of programmers fighting to tame the Win32 keyboard input model: “how to get utf-16 wm_char without unicode”, “getting wm_syskeydown instead of wm_keydown ime”, “wm_char arrows repeat”, even “brief explanation of egytian currency”! My blog post on the issue is even on the first page you get from google when you just search for WM_CHAR!

As an aside, web stats are a source of awe and wonder for me, I cannot help but imagine the story behind every search, and this links to my theory of “exceptions”, but that’s a story for another day.

But only two terms have been finding the main page: ngedit and www.ngedit.com. A grand total of 23 search hits since the existence of the site (and I’m pretty sure several of them were either me or some friend I told about the endeavor).

It didn’t worry me too much until now. People were finding the blog and that was nice, the main site was almost placeholder stuff. But now, after the release of my first product, www.ngedit.com is important for the good advance of my venture.

And this week, after the release, I’ve gotten quite a lot of traffic from JoS and some announcements here and there, as well as the nice blog posts from fellow entrepreneurs setting up their own shop at the same time. But nothing from google or other search engines.

The weird thing has been that my site has basically not appeared when looking for “visual studio vi emulation” (I know I looked for that when I had the need myself.) And, even if I didn’t do it on purpose for SEO, the main site must be filled up to death with the phrase!

As a weirder thing, my blog post on the release of ViEmu is on one of the first pages with that search phrase, and even Ian Landsman’s post is on the second page! How come www.ngedit.com does not appear on Google searches?

I set up a google adwords campaign yesterday (please, if you see the add, and you already know about the project, do not click on the add :) I’m doing it with a very limited budget). Ads are not appearing either (although google reports 6 impressions with 0 click-throughs).

Weirdly, today I found out that if I wrote it in another order, such as “vi studio visual emulation”, the site appeared… on the second page! Come on, this is not such a crowded market niche!

Today, I’ve found out something which I believe is the key to all of this: as I was preparing a new page for the site, I found out with terror that my html pages were full of html syntax errors! Well, actually not full, there were about two or three on the main ViEmu product page, all pages were missing the DOCTYPE line, and, by some accident, I had removed the opening <html> and <head> tags from over half the pages. Duh.

Please don’t take me wrong - I do all my html and css by hand, with a lot of love put in every html tag and every css style. I don’t have much experience with html (although that’s rapidly changing), and I prefer to do it this way by now. I check everything with Firefox and IE, and I pay a lot of attention to proper html - but had simply forgotten to actually verify it with something such as the w3c validator.

So, now everything’s corrected (the new content section is not uploaded yet), and I hope to get good google search results in a very short while (couple days?), unless they really punish you for having lowered the average quality of html on the web.

And a happy fact is that I actually used NGEDIT to convert all the files from CRLF terminators to LF terminators, so that they don’t have to be converted by ftp each time I upload them :)

On other news, yes, I will be adding an “Articles” section to the main site, with some new content which is ready now, and I’ll publish there the main articles instead of on the blog - leaving the blog for shorter and more day-to-day entries, and announcements for the articles posted there. I really don’t think the blog is the right place for the long articles I tend to post.

Main site updated

Monday, June 27th, 2005

I have updated the main site to a much nicer design. Now only the blog needs a lift-up. And, please let me apologize for not posting in a whole week. I can tell you it’s been a heavy development week, delving really deeply in hardcore COM programming!

I hope I’ll be able to post some new interesting technical article during the week.

IE-compliant web page up

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

I just fixed the padding/border problems with the page, so it shows up fine with IE. The fix involves using Mozilla specific hacks to make it understand width/border/… in the same way as IE, that is, deviating from the W3C standard. It’s ugly, but it seems to be one of the standard solutions. The good thing with standards is that there are as many as you want, and if you don’t like them, you can always create a new one.

Now I just need to apply the design to the blog so that it doesn’t show the standard WordPress look, which cries amateur. Some more CSS hacking down the road.

Web page up!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

After some design work with the Wacom tablet, some digging into CSS Zen Garden in order to learn some CSS, and some CSS trial & error, www.ngedit.com now shows a nice front page.

Unfortunately, it only displays well with Firefox and it looks really ugly on IE. I hope I’ll be able to fix it soon enough, before no one sees it like that.

My first experiences with browser compatibility. Nasty.