Monday, April 28, 2008

Prevent Website Disasters

Well tonight I made decision to convert one of my applications from using sessions to cookies. Reason being is when there will be thousands of users using this application I don't want my server to crash. Thankfully with CakePHP it was very easy to change. Sessions take up a lot of resources while a cookie is on the users computer. A cookie can be just as secure as a session if you encrypt it right. I am so happy I switched now so I won't have to deal with headaches later.

Adobe Flex

Well one of the newer technologies for developing sites on the internet is Adobe Flex. I have been reading articles about the software on Sitepoint and I have to say I am quite impressed with it. Instead of having to use Adobe Flash and create design elements that are used quite frequently one could use Adobe Flex and have it pre-designed every time. Adobe Flex is a rival to AJAX because it inherits dynamic page changes but through flash. If you have time be sure to search for some articles about Adobe Flex because I have a hunch this will be the new thing in createing rich internet applications. It even has its own language for creating in.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Patience and Website Success

In the past I have sold my websites early on because I was a money hungry high school teen who needed cash. Now a days I am letting my sites sit and making what I can off them so I can get more in the long run. Websites are like real estate, the longer you let them sit the more value they obtain. Over the years I have found out the key to success is patience. Patience is an important virtue non-the-less and takes time to acquire. Hopefully my new concept of being 'patient' will pay off and I can earn a stable income from my online businesses. My goal is to make a network of sites that I can continue to accumulate a cash flow from.

Friday, April 25, 2008

From Stat Counter to Google Analytics

Today I switched from Stat Counter to Google Analytics because although it takes 24 hours for data to accumulate, Google's service really offered more. I paid for more log space on Stat Counter but I was afraid it wasn't tracking all my stats because when I was at my college library, Stat Counter was blocked by the college firewall. Well upon switching I also learned that Google Analytics tracks Adwords conversions as well and I can set goals that I want achieve in terms of converting clicks. This is great and I hope switching to Analytics is the best decision.

CakePHP 1.2 and It's Flaws

In case you don't know what CakePHP is, I will put it to you in simple terms. It is a PHP framework. It allows you to create PHP powered websites without having the hassle of continuously having to write small HTML controls or other small aspects that you would use constantly throughout your application. One site that I have been developing in CakePHP has me a little more skeptical about the framework. Although I am an avid user of the framework, ever since I switched to the new 1.2 build things have been a little more hectic. Not only because I have to learn new aspects of the framework but get around customization issues with the new version. The 1.1 series allowed a lot more in terms of customization in my opinion because it didn't automatically build advanced tags around the controls it produces. I am still going to use CakePHP but lets just say I am going to explore other frameworks such as the Zen framework.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

PPC Conversion Test

During my marketing of Free Guestbooks through Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing, I did a test at which one would have better conversions. I spent $100 on each service and the results were sad because Yahoo Search Marketing is supposedly the 2nd best competitor to Google Adwords. Keep in mind these campaigns are highly optimized and I was using each service's conversion tracking code. Out of $100 with Google Adwords I got about 10-15 conversions per day with $10 being spent a day and with Yahoo Search Marketing I got around 3-5 conversions per day with the same budget. The CPC bid was around the same for both as well as the ad position. It just goes to show how much Google dominates the ad market and how their traffic is of higher quality than any other competition. I didn't use Microsoft's new Ad Center because after numerous phone calls to their support service and waiting my ad was not displaying and it was not inappropriate in any way or form. I may just start using Google Adwords as my sole PPC advertising program from now on.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yahoo and Their Future

I am a big fan of Yahoo and have been for about 3 years now. Why am I a big fan? Simply because they know how to create great websites that offer a lot of content to the user and unlike a lot of online networks, they don't do a sloppy job. Google is great when it comes to web development don't get me wrong but their speciality is web applications and not web content. Yahoo knows how to harness the power of web content and they know how to monetize it. Over the past couple of months a lot of people have been wondering when and if Yahoo will sell to Microsoft. Honestly, I think Yahoo will wait it out because after all they have been around since basically the start of user-viewed internet. Last week there was some great news that Yahoo's profits rose 3x their amount from last year. Some say it won't be enough to sustain the company from the powerful Microsoft but I do. I think Yahoo will ride it out and hopefully they do so Yahoo can keep creatin' those great looking websites.

Monetizing Adsense

So I run Google Adsense on my Free Guestbooks website and I was just using the regular templates that Google provides. Well it turns out I wasn't making much money and visitors (even though the ad is positioned in a good spot) seemed to ignore the advertisement. I brainstormed through some ideas and I came up with one that now gets me 2x the amount of clicks that I used to get. Google Adsense has a great feature that allows a certain ad to use multiple color palettes. So I came up with 7 new ones that make the visitors notice the ads in an unobtrusive way. I have listed the colors below, enjoy.
  • Sunshine - Border: #FFCC66; Title: #FFFF66; Background: #E1771E; Text: #FFFFFF; URL: #FFFFFF;
  • Freaky Green - Border: #2D8930; Title: #CAF99B; Background: 38B63C; Text: #000000; URL: #000000;
  • Pinky - Border: #CC0000; Title: #000000; Background: #E895CC; Text: #000000; URL: #000000;
  • Lucky (Dog's Name) - Border: #000000; Title: #333333; Background: #FFFFFF; Text: #7F7F7F; URL: #000000;
  • Murple - Border: #61613B; Title: #E895CC; Background: #800080; Text: #FFFFFF; URL: #FFFFFF;
  • Candy Cane - Border: #CC0000; Title: #FFBBE8; Background: #940F04; Text: #FFFFFF; URL: #FFFFFF;
  • Bluey (Favorite) - Border: #0066CC; Title: #C3D9FF; Background: #3D81EE; Text: #FFFFFF; URL: #FFFFFF;

I Finally Did It

Well everyone I finally got myself a blog. Usually I am too busy working on projects all the time to post let alone write a blog! I guess I will be sharing random thoughts in this blog on subject such as web development, networking, business concepts and more. One day I hope I have the time where I can focus solely on my blog as my main line of work and my web development as a maintenance job!