Archive for the 'Website Development' category

Internet Marketing - a Great Way to Learn

am2 Silver


I’ve been in AM2 Gold for quite a while now - over a year and a half. In that time I’ve learned a great deal about internet marketing.

AM2 Gold does come with a pretty hefty price tag - worth every penny if you ask me.

Now there is a secret way to get in and for a whole lot less money too.

Even if you don’t buy in, you get to watch three free videos, so I suggest you go check it out and discover what a small group of us already know.

Google PR Shakedown

Google has updated page rank again recently.  The good news: my allergy site has gone from PR 4 to PR5!  The bad news: this site and a few others I have dropped from PR 4 to PR2.  Bummer.

I’m not sad though.  Hate to say it but this site doesn’t make a whole lot of money.  The allergy site does.   The change in PR seems to have corresponded to a massive increase in traffic on that site, which I am super-happy about.

Particularly active lately have been articles about gluten.  For some reason, lots of people want to know about it lately, and I am happy to provide visitors with information on the subject, in fact I am encouraged to add more material to the allergy site about gluten.

Maintaining Consistent WWW Prefix in Drupal

It has been bothering me for months that visitors arriving at my sites without the www (for example, rather than end up at two different places (as far as Google is concerned).

Note to WordPress users: this does not seem to work for WordPress. I just tried it with out success. That is why this blog, which runs on WordPress, will not change into

I just stumbled across the solution in the Drupal Issues page which explains how to fix this.

Actually, I was lucky, because Drupal 5.x has a bug in the.htaccess file. There is provision for this - an explanation and some lines to be un-commented, but I had not bothered to read the .htaccess file.

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Optimizing my Website for Search

I’ve been having an “interesting” time optimizing my main business website Douglas Samuel (

It started off well. For the first time ever, Googling Douglas Samuel brought my website to the top of the list (as it should be). Before I knew anything about SEO, none of my websites came up, period. Also, I was able to get decent ranking for Ottawa Technical Writer and Technical Writer Ottawa. What really surprised me though, was that Ottawa Writer and Writer Ottawa also placed quite high. Not as high as I would like, but I have been contacted for some writing assignments, so already the website has been worth the effort.

Now comes the interesting part. Firstly, my page rank shot up from zero to 4. Great! Meanwhile, Ottawa Writer slipped to coming up at 97 - not very useful. Unfortunately, it is a useful term for me. Writer Ottawa on the other hand, sometimes comes up considerably higher, like 19th or so. Just now though, it has slipped to 84. Again, not very useful.

Technical Writer Ottawa is better at 22. This turn seems to bounce around between 25 and 14. Ottawa Technical Writer is considerably better, at 13. Still not first page ranking though, I’m afraid.

The slap on the face though, is Douglas Samuel. I’ve been displaced by some author with a book on Amazon. I now come third, after Amazon, and then Amazon again. Doug Samuel brings up my site in the third spot. Not the home page, but the contact page. At least I’m not invisible.

The remedy I believe, is to build a bigger website. As I’ve noticed, especially with my allergy website, the bigger it gets, the better it pulls.

The next challenge is getting my website to rank well for Search Engine Optimization Ottawa or Ottawa Search Engine Optimization!

Subdomains that Work Independently From Drupal

If you have Drupal installed in your main directory (i.e. public_html), and you want to use subdomains for webpages or websites that have nothing to do with Drupal, you may have noticed that they don’t work!

The problem is that the .htaccess file in the public_html folder is set up to assume that the default index file is index.php. What you probably want is to have index.htm and index.html recognized as the default file when your visitors browse to

The solution is simple:

  1. Create an .htaccess file in the subdomain folder (e.g. public_html/sub)
  2. Add the following line to the .htaccess file: “DirectoryIndex index.php index.htm index.html ” Add “index.php” as well if you think you might ever use php in the subdomain as part of your index file.
  3. And you are done!

Now, when you go to, your index.html or index.htm should get served up.

Thanks to CogRusty for his solution on the Drupal Support Forum for the solution.

rel=nofollow pros and cons

nofollowI recently ran across another article about whether to use rel=nofollow in links from your visitors comments. Jonathan, the author, advocates installing the Dofollow Plugin For WordPress, which removes the rel-nofollow attribute in comments.

Is this a good idea?

In a previous article on this blog, I commented that using rel-nofollow may improve the quality of comments. While this may be true, it may also discourage commenting in general, certainly among the link-savvy. At the same time, it may discourage comments for the sake of a link to the commenter’s blog.

I think I have a solution to this for anyone who wants to develop a plugin to make the following idea happen.

Extending the publish/delete comment function in a blog, how about being able to publish with or without rel=nofollow? This way you can reward on-topic comments with links to a related blog, but still publish comments that are a bit off-topic, or do not link to a related blog. Such a plugin would flag which comments are which, and publish your rel=nofollow policy next to the comment form.

I have not yet installed the dofollow plugin, but I am considering it.

What is your opinion about rel=nofollow? Would you like to be able to rate the comments left on your blog and reward the most relevant ones? Are you more likely to leave quality comments on a blog which does follow links back to your blog? Your comments please!



More articles about rel=nofollow:

Burry rel-nofollow - clearly against it.

Hiding Blocks in Drupal for Administrator

It is a curious oversight in the design of Drupal, that you can not directly control block visibility for the administrator by configuring the block.

The easiest way to hide a block when logged in as administrator, is to follow a modified version of the instructions on the Drupal site explaining the advanced use of block visibility.

This requires PHP, but you don’t actually have to know anything about PHP, just copy and paste the code below, as instructed. (View entire article to see code).

First, you have to set up the block so it will use the PHP code to decide if the block should be visible or not.

Then, you have to copy the code below into the pages field in the Show block on specific pages section.

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The Bleeding Edge of Drupal


When I set up my allergy information website in January, I decided to use the latest version of Drupal, then just released. In deciding between WordPress or Drupal, I chose Drupal over WordPress, because I want the website to be much more than a blog. In this I am not disappointed - when I get the time, I’ll write more about the difference between the two content management systems - they each have their strong points.

Having chosen Drupal, I then had the choice of installing the tried and true 4.7.6, with its plethora of modules, or the latest and greatest Drupal version 5.1, with rather fewer modules available.

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How to Choose a Good Domain Name

Choosing-a-domain-nameIt’s harder and harder to think of a good domain name that isn’t taken. I keep thinking of great ideas, only to find that they have already been though of and registered by someone else (or just as likely, a computer). This leads to thinking up alternative names that are not nearly as good.

I found this interesting article about domain names on the LearningCentre forum. The article covers ten types of domain name, with a description, pros, cons and examples of each. Here is a summary of the name types:

  1. Real Words
  2. Compounds
  3. Phrases
  4. Blends
  5. Tweaked words
  6. Affixed words
  7. Made up or obscure origin
  8. Puns
  9. People’s names (real or fictitious)
  10. Initials and Acronyms

The ideas in the Name Inspector’s article will help feed my lateral-thinking engine!