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Web site techniques, utility and visibility
Resources from the web site of Well House Consultants on the subject of Web site techniques, utility and visibility. We provide open source training course and business hotel accommodation in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

Background
I write a lot of longer articles on effective marketing through your web site, or making you website easy to use, and on applying the technology. Many of these articles are grouped under this headline.
Longer articles related to this subject
Spotting and stopping denial of service attacks
Suggesting alternative search terms to web site users
Making all your .html files run a Perl script
Error messages in PHP
Keeping the PHP and the HTML apart

Articles and tips on this subjectupdated
4492Almost so wrong, but perhaps it's right for some?
Posted by a Facebook Friend: I'm all in favour and admiration of keeping daily contact groups clean - of not reducing correspondence to a spam level that goes out on a frequent basis to a huge number of half-interested people. But I don't like this:   1. It encourages untruths   2. ...
2015-05-11
 
4474Effect on external factors on traffic to our web sites - an update
A post on the "Four in a Bed" Facebook fan club page says that the reader loves the show - but says there are too many repeats for her liking. Well, sure, it's expensive to make new shows ... and I wonder just what is "too many" repeats. I know some of our Facebook friends who took part in the show ...
2015-04-26
 
4401Selecting RECENT and POPULAR news and trends for your web site users
How do we give people recent news, or talk about recent trends or popular posts>? The obvious answer is to take data for the last "n" days or months and analyse that. But whilst that's the obvious answer, it's also obviously a fairly crude measure as it gives undue influence as it changes to what happened ...
2015-01-19
 
4376Well House Consultants, Well House Manor, First Great Western Coffee shop, TransWilts / 2014 web site reports
Welcome to 2015. And now that midnight has passed, I can share some complete web site access data for the old year with you - from Google Analytics, showing the number of sessions per day though the year on various sites that we host / have an interest in ... The Well House Consultants (IT Training) ...
2015-01-01
 
4239Facebook marketing - early experiences
I would love to see the new regional trains that link Swindon to Westbury, via Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge, and with onward connections to Warminster, Salisbury and Frome, succeed. And indeed initial passenger numbers are quietly encouraging. But how do we reach people? How do we make people ...
2014-01-19
(longer)
4136How do I post automatically from a PHP script to my Twitter account?
How can I now post automatically from a PHP script to my Twitter account? It was "all change" earlier this year as the old API was deprecated then removed, to be replaced by 1.1. This can do a lot, but there's a fearsome list of steps according to some of the documentation, it's not easy to follow, and ...
2013-07-15
 
4115More or less back - what happened to our server the other day
I woke Wednesday morning to an email informing me that one of our two dedicated root servers had been identified as being involved in a Distributed Denial of Service attack and that the hosting centre where it's based (and the company from whom we lease it) would be taking the system offline (said "had", ...
2013-06-15
 
4076Web site - fully back!
A bright spring morning! Any regular readers may have notices that the addition of comment and text to this blog has been patchy during April; failure at Easter to rebuild the server based on Centos rather than Fedora, and to build fresh releases of Apache httpd, PHP, MySQL and the other tools that ...
2013-05-04
 
4001Helping search engines with appropriate 400 error codes
Our web site's done its best over the years to help people who enter URLs that have slight errors in them - misspellings, wrong directory names, etc ... and we have quite a number of scrips that take parameters which can be modified to give different results - for example   http://www.wellho.net/net/quote.html?where=L10+1RF will ...
2013-02-11
 
3974TV show appearance - how does it effect your web site?
We were told to expect our web site to get busier when we appeared on "Four in a Bed" on Channel 4, but no numbers were put onto what we might expect. Would it be a doubling of traffic? More than that, or less? It was suggested we ensure the site was robust for further traffic though, suggesting that ...
2013-01-19
(longer)
3896An email marathon
Is sending out 26 different emails in a day a Marathon? After an eventful morning (read all about it on my facebook page), I travelled from home to set up the systems I'll be using for the course I'm giving the rest of the week. As they're not my machines, I felt I needed to make sure I knew how ...
2012-10-20
 
3776Some traps it's so easy to fall into in designing your web site
"Vegetarians' can obviously be catered for" ... obviously. Don't know why they bother to tell us ... "I hope they haven't paid a lot of money for this" says Lisa, pointing me at the web site of a hotel that's not in Melksham, but is "near" according to their definition. I hope they haven't - or that ...
2012-06-23
 
3745Legal change - You need to obtain user consent if you use cookies on your website
The law which applies to how we use cookies and similar technologies for storing information on a user’s equipment such as their computer or mobile device changed on 26 May 2011. There has been a year's "grace" in the UK prior to the adoption of this new law, but as from this coming Monday, it's adopted. ...
2012-06-02
 
3744Short Web Addresses for Melksham
Web Addresses - URLs - get too long to remember, and they take up "real estate" in short messages. Which is why there are a number of shortening services out there, many of which are automatic. You really don't want to have to use up 60 characters of your 140 on Twitter with a URL, nor dictate 60 ...
2012-06-02
 
3734QR codes with marketing logos embedded
I've been rather interested to notice a number of QR codes turn up recently in which there's an icon representing the site. Turns out not to be part of the standard library we use, but achievable through a handful of sites. Here are some "marketing" QR code: The redundancy within the code is reduced ...
2012-05-19
 
3623Some TestWise examples - helping use Ruby code to check your web site operation
How to test your website and browser based applications? In a previous article I covered watir-webdriver which lets you run the Firefox Browser from a Ruby script, passing in instructions as to what to fill into certain fields, and then lets you check with all the power of Ruby the pages that are returned ...
2012-03-03
 
2333Formación, de los lenguajes de código abierto
Bienvenido. Nueva aquí? Somos los autores y proveedores de una amplia gama de cursos de formación de código abierto, con sede en Melksham, Inglaterra. Creemos en el cuidado de nuestros clientes y dar a la comunidad también. O no hemos enseñado usted, le invitamos a navegar nuestro material: ...
2012-02-11
 
3589Promoting a single one of your domains on the search engines
We have a number of different domains offering information about our courses, and technical content too. There's www.wellho.net which is our main, worldwide site. But then there's www.wellho.co.uk which carries information with a U.K. bias and mobile.wellho.net which presents for the smaller screen ...
2012-01-28
 
3563How big is a web page these days? Does the size of your pages matter?
According to the BBC, the average web page is up in size from 726 kBytes to 965 kBytes in the last year. See [here]. Does this matter? I first browsed the web with a modem - I remember stepping through modem generations at 9.6k, 19.2k, 28k, 33k and 56k bits / second. The slower speeds were used ...
2011-12-31
 
3554Learning more about our web site - and learning how to learn about yours
There are quite a number of tools out there which will give you statistics about your web site - and quite a lot of people who will tell you various statistics about yours and theirs. But there's "Lies, Damned lies and statistics" according to Benjamin Disraeli. How do you really understand your traffic ...
2011-12-17
(longest)
3532Sharing the user experience - designing a form with the customer in mind
I came across a business survey to fill in this morning. I started. Then I stopped, cleared it, and took it in to class - as an excellent demonstration of some of the issues that system designers should consider when they're designing a form, based on the thoughts of a user filling it in. Seven pages ...
2011-12-03
 
3491Who is knocking at your web site door? Are you well set up to deal with allcomers?
Anyone who advertises a public facing web server / web site is telling everyone about a door to their resources ... and even those people who have web sites which they don't advertise are likely to be talked about and so discovered by a potentially wide audience. So it's rather important for the people ...
2011-10-21
 
3426Automed web site testing scripted in Ruby using watir-webdriver
How do you test your web site? With a visit to a few pages, or by waiting for customer feedback if something's not working? That's a very risky approach, and what you really need is a planned and systematic testing regime, with unit tests that must be passed (but will flag fails) run on a regular basis. There ...
2011-09-09
 
3367Google +1 - what is it?
Do you like my pages? If you do, you may choose to write to me to tell me that you do (for the people who go to that trouble, we really appreciate the input), a huge THANK YOU - especially if you tell me why you like the page. Because that helps me make our pages even more relevant and likeable. Facebook ...
2011-07-22
 
3197Finding and diverting image requests from rogue domains
Search engines search images as well as text these days - and our images are often picked up because we're "good boys" and label them with alt attributes. Good - that helps generate traffic. However, there are some image search engines which have a tendency to be used for, and to feed out, adult material, ...
2011-03-08
 
1970Plagarism - who is copying my pages?
I came across a little banner like this one when I was doing some gentle browsing this morning, and (as I'm interested in this whole copying of content / plagiarism business!) followed the link. Turns out to be a rather nice little engine which you can give one of your own URLs and have return a page ...
2011-02-18
 
3149Looking back at www.wellho.net
It's truely amazing just how much historic information you can find online these days if you want to - that's Internet historc data; by contrast it can be very hard to look back prior to the days of The Web in some areas - you just try putting together a table of London to Manchester train fares and ...
2011-01-29
 
1494A time to update pictures
Time to change a few picture ... with the replacement of our fleet of training laptops with bigger, better machines over the New Year, the pictures illustrating our courses were all out of date! What better opportunity to use a series of picture from last August, taken on the journey up beside the Hudson ...
2011-01-13
 
994Training on Cascading Style Sheets
There are certain technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) that I describe as associated technologies - not our bread and butter training business, but never the less subjects that we need to know, quite well and with practical experience too, as part of our work. These technologies get peripheral ...
2010-12-29
 
3087Making the most of critical emails - reading behind the scene
You can't please 100% of the people 100% of the time. So if you have a public facing website with anything like a reasonable number of visitors (we had accesses from over 16,000 different IP addresses in the last 24 hours), you're bound to have a few visitors who aren't totally delighted with what the ...
2010-12-16
(longer)
757Horse and Python training
Writing a blog called "the Horse's Mouth", and providing a training service, I suppose I should expect to be approached by horse trainers who would like to exchange links - such as Keith Hosman, who wrote to me today. OK - I do expect it ... I've had approaches like this before, and no doubt I'll have ...
2010-12-04
 
1184Finding resources - some pointers
We have resources - huge resources - available on this site, and regular readers will know I've been updating much of the navigation over the past week or three. Just updates ... our resource indexes for individual topics ... here are some starters: The Well House Manor project, general non-technical ...
2010-12-04
 
3022Retaining web site visitors - reducing the one page wonders
Two alternatives: There's more on this example here, here and here This example is described in the following article(s):   • Script to present commonly used images - PHP - [link]   • Letting new visitors know we provide training courses - [link]   • ...
2010-10-31
(longer)
800Effective web campaign?
"but how effective have you been ..." asks a post on the "Save the Train" website for which I'm the webmaster. The site is dedicated to the Swindon to Westbury, Salisbury and Southampton train service that's under threat, in spite of dramatic traffic growth and much more potential. Frankly, the question ...
2010-10-13
 
2981How to set up short and meaningfull alternative URLs
Wouldn't it be nice is URLs were shorter? Well - there are ways of making them shorter these days and you'll find them on networking sites like Twitter ... http://bit.ly/d7t8ID or http://bbc.in/XTQ8V . But where such URLs gain in brevity, they loose in comprehensibility. But it's very easy to provide ...
2010-10-02
 
2668Is it worth it?
Occasionally, I ask myself "is it worth it?". I write a lot of technical articles and add them to our website, and at times it feel like they're going into something of a void. It's rather like talking in a padded cell where any echo at all is notable by its absence. But then I ask myself "how often ...
2010-03-09
 
2569How to run a successful online poll / petition / survey / consultation
How can one poll succeed in attracting people to complete it, whereas another is notable because of a lack of votes? 750 people signed up last year to support an online campaign that I 'fronted' on a newly registered domain, from a "standing start". Yet only three people voted in a poll that a user ...
2010-01-10
 
2552Web site traffic - real users, or just noise?
It's been said that on some web sites these days, the majority of traffic isn't users at a regular browser at all; instead, it's robots that are indexing the page (such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, Yandex and others), and malware that's looking for holes through which to inject content on to other people's ...
2010-01-06
 
1237What proportion of our web traffic is robots?
We welcome search engines to our site - to index our content and point their visitors back to us where appropriate, but such search engines are a means to an end and not an end in themselves. How much traffic to our web site is true visitor traffic, and how much is automata? An interesting pointer is ...
2010-01-05
 
2532Analysing Google arrivals by country of origin
Where do our Google visitors arrive from? If your log files record the referrer filed, you can find out ... and you can find what search brought them to you as well. Here's a recent log analysis showing where all you readers arrived from: com 7461 in 2177 uk 1409 ca 619 de 536 fr 383 ph 284 nl 276 au ...
2009-12-11
 
2519Status Page / breaks of service in early December
Our two dedicated servers will be offline overnight - one from 1st to 2nd December 2009, and the other from 10th to 11th December, while the companies that host them perform upgrades / maintenance at their centers. We maintain a status page at http://www.wellho.net/share/status.html which allows us ...
2009-12-09
 
2410Removal of technical resources from this site
"Will you ever be removing any of these resources?" A question asked in all seriousness by a delegate on the course I was concluding in Friday, as he looked through the huge range of pages we have here. I'm not a politician, so I can answer a question simply - the answer is "No - I can't see circumstances ...
2009-09-21
 
2389Writing with our customers words
I write "Korn Shell" rather than "ksh", and "regular expression" rather than "regex". When it comes to "new lines" there is a gap between the words - I don't write "newlines". I try to avoid using words like "today" as I write, as that leaves the reader scrambling for the authored date - on the same ...
2009-09-03
 
2341Koulutus, Open Source tietokone kielillä
Uusi täällä? Olemme tekijöiden ja tarjoajien monenlaisia Open Source koulutusta, joka perustuu Melksham, Englannissa. Uskomme huolehtia asiakkaidemme ja antaa takaisin yhteiskunnalle liikaa. Onko olemme koulutettu olet, voit selata materiaali: • artikkelit ratkaisu keskus • vinkkejä ja päivitykset ...
2009-08-09
 
2340ldning, Open Source dator språk
Ny här? Vi och leverantörer av ett brett spektrum av Open Source-utbildning, som är baserad i Melksham, England. Vi tror på att ta hand om våra kunder och ge tillbaka till samhället också. Huruvida vi har tränat dig, du är välkommen att bläddra i vårt material: • artiklar i lösningen ...
2009-08-09
 
2339Opplæring, Open Source datamaskinen språk
Ny her? Vi forfattere og leverer et bredt spekter av Open Source kurs, basert i Melksham, England. Vi tror på utkikk etter våre kunder og gi tilbake til samfunnet også. Om vi har trent deg, du er velkommen til å bla gjennom vår materiale: • artikler i løsningen sentrum • tips og oppdateringer ...
2009-08-09
 
2338Uddannelse, Open Source computer sprog
Ny her? Vi forfattere og udbydere af en bred vifte af Open Source-kurser, der er baseret i Melksham, England. Vi tror på søger efter vores kunder og give tilbage til samfundet også. Eller ej, vi har trænet dig, er du velkommen til at gennemse vores materiale: • artikler i opløsningen centrum ...
2009-08-09
 
2337Opleiding, Open Source computertalen
Nieuw hier? We auteurs en aanbieders van een breed scala van Open Source opleidingen, gebaseerd op Melksham, Engeland. Wij geloven in de zorg op onze klanten en geven terug aan de gemeenschap ook. Of wij al dan niet hebt getraind u, u bent welkom om naar onze materiaal: • voorwerpen in de oplossing ...
2009-08-09
 
2336Formação, Open Source computador línguas
Bem-vindo. Novo aqui? Nós somos os autores e fornecedores de uma vasta gama de cursos de formação de código aberto, baseado em Melksham, Inglaterra. Acreditamos em cuidar dos nossos clientes e devolver para a comunidade também. Quer ou não temos treinado, você está livre para navegar em nosso ...
2009-08-09
 
2335Ausbildung, die Open-Source-Sprachen
Willkommen. Neu hier? Wir sind Autoren und Anbieter einer breiten Palette von Open-Source-Schulungen, in Melksham, England. Wir glauben an die Betreuung unserer Kunden und die zurück an die Gemeinde zu. Unabhängig davon, ob wir nicht trainiert haben Sie, Sie sind willkommen, um unser Material: • ...
2009-08-09
 
2332Formation, des langages Open Source
Bienvenue. Nouveau? Nous sommes les créateurs et les fournisseurs d'une large gamme de cours de formation Open Source, basée à Melksham, en Angleterre. Nous croyons à s'occuper de nos clients et de redonner à la communauté aussi. La question de savoir si nous avons formé, vous êtes invités à ...
2009-08-09
 
2334Formazione, Open Source computer lingue
Benvenuto. Nuovo qui? Siamo autori e dei fornitori di una vasta gamma di corsi di formazione Open Source, con sede a Melksham, Inghilterra. Crediamo nella cura dei nostri clienti e restituendo alla comunità troppo. Sia o non abbiamo addestrato voi, siete i benvenuti a navigare nel nostro materiale: ...
2009-08-09
 
2225How important is a front page ranking on a search engine?
At the risk of researching and reaching an obvious conclusion (along the lines of "passengers will get upset if their train is delayed and they are not told why", which a half million pound report concluded the other week!), I've spent a few minutes taking a snapshot of old log files to see what proportion ...
2009-06-11
 
2065Static mirroring through HTTrack, wget and others
Our web site is not best suited to off-line browsing these days - it may be flexible, but if you want to take a copy of it, but it onto a CD, then browse away from the Internet, please resist the temptation. Why is it NOT a good idea to 'blind mirror' us? 1. The Changing nature of our web site. Our ...
2009-03-04
 
2056Web Site Loading - experiences and some solutions shared
I can recall a colleague of mine (OK, if you're reading this Peter, yes you were the boss) using the term "Open Kimono" to describe certain approaches at certain times, and (truth be told) I wasn't sure if there was something a little naughty in the connotations that the term conjured up. Yet the term ...
2009-02-26
(longest)
1513Perl, PHP or Python? No - Perl AND PHP AND Python!
"Which language is best for xxx task" I am often asked. And I'll listen to the questioner's description of his application, his background, and the sort of support he'll have at his place of coding before coming up with a suggestion. Never would I suggest he learn all three. And yet, today, I found ...
2009-01-28
 
1297Stuffing content into a web page - easy maintainance
All the pages on the main section of this web site are generated by some sort of program - a Perl script that we call "mksite" for page which are essentially static and are generated in batches from a template each time we do an update, and PHP scripts for the more dynamic pages ... although actually ...
2009-01-22
 
1982Cooking bodies and URLs
With over ten thousand different web pages on our web site, the issue of finding the right resource has become just as big an issue as having the right material available in the first place. Listings by article type and number (example) are great for crawlers / bots, and for staff checking page by page. ...
2009-01-11
 
916Driving customers away
Domain name registration is something that has dropped in price over the years and rightly so - it's very much a service where the volume of customers has dramatically increased and so the bulk savings of automatic processing allow for keener pricing than there was in the past. Netcraft tell us that ...
2009-01-01
 
1961Making our things easier to find
The gap from end-of-training a week before Christmas to start-of-training in the new year is a chance to catch up on some non-urgent, but never the less important things; catching up with family and on the personal side, as a starter (and that's somewhat away from this blog) but also with things like ...
2008-12-31
 
1104Drawing dynamic graphs in PHP
The web is all about presenting data, and a picture paints a thousand words - so what's better than a graph to quickly and easily present figures and trend to yor web site visitor? There's a great deal of software available to produce static diagrams and graphs as image files - .gif or .jpg are the ...
2008-12-26
 
1015Search engine placement - long term strategy and success
"Whenever I search for anything in Melksham, I keep coming back to your site". So say some of our friends; new contacts tend to be along the lines of "So YOU are the ones behind that web site I keep finding". We encourage the search engines to index our pages, and we know that many of our technical ...
2008-12-21
 
1955How to avoid duplicating web page maintainance
How do you move from a web site with a single static page to a web site with a thousand pages (URLs) without multiplying your maintainance work by a thousand? Such is the critical importance of being able to do this that there are many schemes available - many solutions - and virtually every site that's ...
2008-12-21
 
1888Find the link
What do the following have in common? 1. Discount Spa Covers 2. Childcare products 3. Poland Translation Services 4. Telephone Headsets 5. Executive life coaching 6. Eye Surgery in Houston 7. Web Design Courses 8. London Flatmates 9. Film and television casting calls 10. Door handles 11. Bedroom Furnishings They're ...
2008-11-16
 
1856A few of my favourite things
"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens; Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens ..." Sorry - the raindrops get me all wet, and I always get caught up on the thorns of roses. Mittens restrict the hands and make me even more butter-fingered than I am normally ... isn't it great that we're ...
2008-11-02
 
1833Web Bloopers - good form design - avoiding pitfalls
The "Web Bloopers" book that we have on our shelves is a marvellous inspiration - a "there but for the grace of God go I" reminder when we put a web site - or even just a form - together - of catches to look out for. My thoughts came back on to this a few minutes ago as I helped Wiltshire Council with ...
2008-10-12
 
510Dynamic Web presence - next generation web site
Ostensibly, I'm giving a MySQL course. A client who has a large and complex data base and needs many staff to be able to make ad-hoc enquiries. Server is Linux, and regular (standard) enquiries will be via a browser fed by a PHP Page from a web server. In other words L-A-M-P or LAMP. Linux, Apache, ...
2008-09-27
 
1198From Web to Web 2
"How do these technologies relate to Web 2?" asked one of my customers last week as we studied Apache httpd and Apache Tomcat. And of course that's followed up by the need to answer the question "What is Web 2". Initial web sites - "Web 1" if you like - were discreet information sources provided by ...
2008-09-27
 
1793Which country does a search engine think you are located in?
Search engines have moved forward dramatically over the past few years. We used to laugh when Well House Consultants was the top hit - in the world - for "Birth Notice" - but I suspect arrivals were very frustrated indeed to find that the article in question wasn't really a birth notice at all. These ...
2008-09-15
 
1797I have been working hard but I do not expect you noticed
I spent all of yesterday working very hard on web site updates - to THIS site - and I don't expect you'll have noticed anything different about it so far today as you browse. Am I depressed about that? No - it's as I intended it to be - but then WHY make changes? We now have over 10,000 (yes, ten ...
2008-09-15
 
1756Ever had One of THOSE mornings?
Do you ever have one of those mornings where every (simple) task seems to take an age - where every code change that would normally be automatic for you results in a string of mis-spellings and syntax errors? I set out when I rose at dawn this morning to change the front page on our http://www.wellho.co.uk ...
2008-09-02
 
1747Who is watching you?
How would you feel if someone sat opposite you in a train, stared hard at your throughout your journey, watched what you were doing all the time yet without engaging you at all? I suspect you would find that it made your spine tingle - it certainly would with me, and it would make me wonder what that ...
2008-08-10
 
1711Rapid growth leads to server move
Here are some web site statistics for you ... Over fifty thousand different visitors in the last seven days. Those visitors have called up over a quarter of a million pages (that's about five pages each), and each of those pages has called up one or two extra file such as images and style sheets - ...
2008-07-23
 
533Bigger Box Campaign
Am I the only one to get frustrated when I have to write a complete letter in a text area that's 3 rows and 20 columns - a nice looking form but totally impractical to use when making an enquiry - case in point this morning - about a non-standard travel requirement? Whenever I'm designing a form I ask ...
2008-06-10
 
1653How do Google Ads work?
I came across this rather curious message on the top of a forum that I'm not associated with ... ... and it struck me that I've never given a quick intro (in my words) to how Google Ads 'works'. The Google Ads model 1. Google generates a lot of visitors to its search engine - a huge number of people ...
2008-05-25
 
109URLs - a service and not a hurdle
"A URL should be a service that provides a visitor with access to the information that he/she wants, and not a hurdle that he/she must pass in order to access that information". I'm paraphrasing there, but it's what Rasmus Lerdorf was saying in his "do you PHP?" lecture last month. Ours is a "sales ...
2008-05-11
 
98No more 'Error 404' pages. Something better.
"If a user enters a URL on a web site, the web site should supply them with the information that they want." Wise words indeed from Rasmus Lerdorf, of PHP fame, on the recent GeekCruise. He was talking about "error 404" status pages and suggesting that web site authors could do better. He was right, ...
2008-05-11
 
32Web design platoon
Form design is a discipline in its own right, and it's amazing just how many sites get it wrong! Let me introduce some of the characters to you: Private N. Limit Nick Limit - that's short for numeric limit. Nick is only capable of doing a limited number for things at the same time (and often that's ...
2008-05-10
 
23Skills and responsibilities
Putting a web application together? You need a whole lot of skills: * You need some HTML skills to write the page * You need programming skills to write the dynamic content handler * You need data management skills to organise your data * You need some human engineering skills to help your visitors ...
2008-05-10
 
320Ordnance Survey - using a 'Get a map'
Sunday, and a chance to play. I've been interested in the possibilities offered by Ordnance Survey's "Get a map" service - which allows (with limitations described on their site) their mapping to be captured and used on web sites in a not-for-profit way. I've started to put up a whole load of pictures ...
2008-05-10
 
1634Kiss and Book
The headline on our story reads "We've got a New Online Booking System for our Open Source courses" ... but there's a story behind that headline. We pride ourselves in our flexibility - the ability to treat each customer as an individual and offer him a solution to meet his or her needs. And that means ...
2008-05-08
 
649Denial of Service ''attack''
We've had 45000 page requests in the last week from the University of Illinois - 17000 of which were within a period of a few hours yesterday. Not bad going? Had we been recommended to the whole University as a site worth seeing? Alas, no; all the requests were coming from a single host computer, ...
2008-05-04
 
1630To provide external links, or not?
My email this morning brought me a report of a broken link on our web site. Which I investigated, and found to be within a blog entry I had written a year ago, and linked to someone else's site over which I have no control. I'm a great believer in providing a wide range of linked resources for our customers, ...
2008-05-04
 
1610PHP course dot co, dot uk
"www.wellho.net". It's the natural domain for us to use - we provide Internet training services, and we'll provide those training services in whatever countries it's safe and legal for us to do so, and where we can be understood. Except ... search for us, and specify that you're looking for "UK pages ...
2008-04-16
 
1554Online hotel reservations - Melksham, Wiltshire (near Bath)
I'm happy to announce the release of our online booking system for rooms at Well House Manor - the hotel that we run alongside our training centre, catering also for other visitors to the area of West Wiltshire and Bath who are looking for larger, superior rooms, unlimited internet access, large screen ...
2008-02-24
 
1541Colour, Composition or Content
Is it the colour, the content or the composition that most makes a picture? I have heard arguments - but I don't know the answer. But I do know I have uploaded a lot of pictures that I like in the last hour or two. I like the colour of the reflection in the windows - this is the Royal Liver building ...
2008-02-18
 
1534Where in the world / country is my visitor from?
If you visit of current traffic page you'll see that we identify users by country - and we do this using the Maxmind Geolocation Technology. You'll see it's on a country by country basis - Open Source data (currently under the "Geolocation technology" button on their front page, and some simple APIs ...
2008-02-07
 
1506Ongoing Image Copyright Issues, PHP and MySQL solutions
I actually want to encourage people to use my images ... but to do so with permission, which usually means something as simple as a link back you our page which works out for everyone's benefit. A lot of people ask, but some don't seem to know that they should! I've added an ability to "watermark" ...
2008-01-17
 
1505Script to present commonly used images - PHP
"What are the most popular pages in your picture library, and where are they used from?" An interesting question and I could analyze raw web logs to find out the answers. However, most of our images are managed by a script that retains extra information such as an image title, and uses are logged ... ...
2008-01-14
 
1437Above the fold with First Great Western
"Do you realise that people aren't finding you on Google and the other search engines." I get a lot of emails like this, which go on to tell me how Well House Manor only turned up on the fourth page when the person writing searched for "Comfortable beds" or how Well House Consultants only turned up ...
2007-11-19
 
1212What brought YOU to our web site?
10 times a day, someone arrives at our main (www.wellho.net) web site for each and every one of the terms in this table. This is an analysis of the search terms used in the 28 days up to yesterday, with the number of occurrences listed against each word. We often ask ourselves questions such as "Is ...
2007-06-07
(longer)
1207Simple but effective use of mod_rewrite (Apache httpd)
[Index under mod_rewrite tutorial] Do you want a single 'intelligent' web page to provide the content for tens or hundreds of URLs so that you don't have to write each similar page individually? Do you want to set up your server so that it will take any requests for ".htm" files and turn them into ".html"s? ...
2007-05-29
 
1186Two new pages / sites
There's a lot of interesting clocks and other timepieces around and I've started to gather a few up. Well - one thing leads to another and we're got an embryonic clock page together - showing the UK time at the moment, and where we have them an appropriate picture of a timepiece. See the current time ...
2007-05-14
 
1177Sorting out for a site map
It's only when someone says "let's add a site map" that you realise justy how much old "stuff" there is to exclude, and how many different automated directories you have on a web site - or rather that's what I have found ... so it's been a long day "knife and fork"ing though directories and databases! ...
2007-05-08
 
1055Above the fold
Do you want to "placement" on web pages. Of course you do, but top isn't always a practical and acheived goal. But if you're looking to reach people from search / directory pages you really do want to be above the fold. What do I mean? I mean that you want people to see your offering on the first ...
2007-01-28
 
1029Our search engine placement is dropping.
A year ago, if you did a Google search for Birth Notice, you would be sent to the Well House Consultants web site here, but now we're not even on the top page. Search for Clock Image and you would come, top hit, here, and under Vancouver Skyline you would find us right at the top here. A search for ...
2007-01-17
 
976Santa at the station
Santa Claus came with us on the train today from Melksham to Swindon and back .. and there were so many children to see him that he had to get off at Melksham when we got back to finish his rounds. A great time had by all, and a big THANK YOU to Santa, and to the Melksham Rail Development Group who ...
2006-12-10
(short)
893Visibility
"Problem finding your hotel's website" says an email in my box this morning, and it's offering to sell me marketing services to help fill rooms. Funnily enough, it doesn't look like it was too big a problem for the senders of the email to find us, even though we've only been open for five nights and ...
2006-10-19
 
767Finding the language preference of a web site visitor
I can (and do) identify the country of origin of over 98% of the visitors to our web site using the maxmind database. But does that tell me what their native language is? No - it only gives me a clue. A further clue is available from the accept-language header that's returned by browsers, and is available ...
2006-06-19
 
528Getting favicon to work - avoiding common pitfalls
Ever wondered how to set up a "favicon" - one of those tiny logos that appear in your "location" line of your visitor's browsers? Ever tried to do it and found that - in spite of following all the instructions - it hasn't worked. Yes, I've been there too - but you'll notice that "favicon"s are now ...
2006-06-09
 
681Mirroring a dynamic site
We're delighted to welcome crawlers such as Yahoo, Inktomi, Google and MSN spiders through our web site to index content - it's in our mutual interest. Those crawlers are all well written to analyse the pages that they collect, note patterns, and tailor their activities to make the best use of a dynamic ...
2006-06-05
 
718Protecting images from theft
You want people to visit your website, see your wonderful product and be sold on what you have to offer through wonderful pictures. But you don't want them to take copies of the pictures and use them on their own web sites, nor do you want them to link in to your images and use your costly artwork ...
2006-06-05
 
732Where is a web site visitor browsing from
Here's an extract (reprinted with permission) from an email I received from James - a fellow web site owner, trying to identify visitors to his web site ... he had found and used our IP lookup, and was impressed that we got it right .... I have just bought a csv database from [[supplier deleted]]. ...
2006-05-24
 
Examples from our training material
googleplusone.html   Google +1 - source example of what you need in your page
Topics covered in this module
Designing a web site.
Web site presentation.
Technical aspects of a really useful website.
How to encourage the search engines to rank you highly.
How to encourage users to dally and to bookmark your site.
Complete learning
If you are looking for a complete course and not just a information on a single subject, visit our Listing and schedule page.

Well House Consultants specialise in training courses in Ruby, Lua, Python, Perl, PHP, and MySQL. We run Private Courses throughout the UK (and beyond for longer courses), and Public Courses at our training centre in Melksham, Wiltshire, England. It's surprisingly cost effective to come on our public courses - even if you live in a different country or continent to us.

We have a technical library of over 700 books on the subjects on which we teach. These books are available for reference at our training centre.


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