My blog

Web pages 3.0

Web pages 3.0 From today all web pages of richardlagendijk.nl have a new look.
The new "look" is based on the css design from Erwin Aligam. You can look at his css designs on the web page StyleShout.

Besides changing the css and view files it was also necessary to change several controller files and the database. The total "rebuild" has taken about two weeks.
Update: 2011-07-08 11:15:45

Becoming popular

Becoming popular A year ago I followed a Master Class PHP course to learn more about PHP, MySQL and web development in general.

After the course I started to rebuild all my web pages. One of my goals was to get more visitors. For many years the number of visitors of the Commodore Info Page was about 300 per month. I set myself the goal of 1000 visitors a month.

Improving the web page:
- Search engine friendly URL's.
- Quality HTML and CSS.
- Site maps, on the web page and one for Google.
- Every page a description and keywords.
- More content on each page.
- RSS feed.

After all the improvements the number of visitors was going up. In February 2009 the goal of 1000 visitors per month was reached. But it did not stop, it was going up and up. In March I decided to rename all my images and photos.
Before renaming the pictures I had about 400 pictures in the Google images index. After the renaming it dropped to about 40. Because a significant number of visitors were from Google Images the number of visitors dropped.

Problems in July 2009. The pictures on the info pages and in the articles were all loaded in full size by the browser. This meant that in a large article like "Spot the Commodore" about 100 pictures were loaded, resulting in about 1 MB of data per visit. My maximum bandwidth is 10 GB per month. At the end of July 2009 I went over the limit and the web pages went off-line for a day.

In the beginning of August 2009 I decided to make thumbnails of all my pictures and reduce the amount of data. In August the amount of data was "just" 5 GB, but with even more visitors.
Update: 2009-09-02 22:54:18

CAPTCHA

CAPTCHA Sometimes it seems that all e-mail is SPAM. After making a contact form for my web pages the amount of SPAM was rising. To prevent getting many deals on watches, pills etc. I decided to make a CAPTCHA system. CAPTCHA stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing-test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". What means the system can tell the difference between a human and a machine.

To keep the "Commodore" theme alive I used the original Commodore character-set for my CAPTCHA system. The CAPTCHA picture is made from six random letters and numbers. The height and width of the characters varies. And horizontal and vertical stripes are drawn over the picture.

The amount of SPAM from my web page has reduced to zero by the CAPTCHA system.
Update: 2009-04-16 11:09:00

Browsers and CSS quirks

Browsers and CSS quirks These internet pages are visited with different browsers. The majority of the visitors, about 55%, uses Firefox. After that it's Internet Explorer with about 30%. The rest uses Safari, Opera etc.

I develop these pages on a Linux platform with Firefox as browser. I check the pages also with Safari on my iPod Touch.

Here are a couple of the problems I encountered:

Minimum height of a div.

min-height: 465px; in the css doesn't work with IE6. This is not a surprise because it isn't supported at all in IE6. There were mistakes on some pages. By altering a few divs the problem is solved.

White space between divs.

If you don't specify margin or padding in the css IE will display a white space between divs.
Solution:
* {margin: 0px; padding: 0px;}

Pictures go outside the divs.

With the articles I use a div with each paragraph. In this paragraph is a piece of text and a picture. The picture is at the left or at the right by a float. But if the picture is "higher" than the text the picture goes outside the div. The bottom of the div is also the divider line and makes a mess of the layout.
Solution:
A divider div between each paragraph. This divider makes the divider line and also does a clear: both;. This will force the divider line below the last paragraph independent of the picture.
Update: 2008-12-07 21:46:23

Search-engine friendly

Search-engine friendly For a better indexing in the Google search-engine I made a script that produces a xml Sitemap. This xml Sitemap is added to Google with Googles webmaster tools.

After the introduction of the new version of these web pages the indexing of all images were lost. In a effort to restore this made the following changes:
With all relevant images I have included the height & width attributes.
After that I gave Google the permission, in Gooles webmaster tool, that it may index all the images.

On all web pages the "start page" navigation-link is now in the same position.

I added a robot.txt file to prevent confusion. With the mod_rewrite all non-existing urls are transformed to index.php. The search-engines thought that index.php was robot.txt.
Update: 2008-11-20 10:06:51

Update of the news-letter

The news-letter system is now working. The news-letters is send to it's subscribers on a monthly basis.
In the news-letter the latest news items from the Commodore News Page are presented, the new items from the Commodore Info Page and the upcoming events.

Subscribing is done with a email verification. Ending the subscription is also possible.
Update: 2008-11-13 19:16:29

Update Commodore News Page

Update Commodore News Page Today I checked every link on the news page. Changed a couple of dozen links.

Also replaced the last remaining non UTF-8 characters with UTF-8 characters.
Update: 2008-11-02 04:02:43

Web page update

Web page update Today I made a couple of improvements to the web pages.

If you choose another language you will remain the same page instead of going back to the menu.

Front-page of CIP now displays the most recent news items of CNP.

Layout of the pages works better now if you use Internet Explorer.
Update: 2008-10-26 10:15:47

Passed my master-class PHP exam !!

Passed my master-class PHP exam !! Today I received my certificate for the course master-class PHP.

The end assignment:

The end assignment for the course is this collection of web pages. It was a big job to build my new web pages. In total it took about 6 weeks and more than 150 hours to complete. To make the assignment I made use of the following programs: Kdevelop, Umbrello, kdesvn, GIMP, gFTP, Open Office and Firefox.
Update: 2008-09-30 21:45:45

My first blog

My first blog First I will introduce myself. I'm Richard Lagendijk and the person behind these web pages.
I will tell something about the history of my web pages.

The beginning:

In July 2000 I started to build web pages. The first steps I took with Frontpage from Microsoft. Later I switched to Dreamweaver from Adobe. But PC use got more serious and a switch to Linux was the next step.

Linux:

The switch to Linux went smooth but I had to get used to new web development applications. Mozilla Composer was for a long time my HTML editor. After that I switched to Nvu. In the year 2007 it became clear that HTML was no longer sufficient. The Commodore Info Page had grown to more than 850 static HTML pages. The Commodore News Page was almost 200 pages in size. Changes and updates of the web pages became a nightmare.

The next step:

PHP and MySQL. After reading a book, PHP5 and MySQL Bible, I started to make my first scripts. The content of the news page was transferred to a database. This was a huge task. More than 500 news items had to be copied into the database. The next page into the database was the puzzle page.

The search for perfection:

To reach a next level I decided to follow a PHP course. I took the course master-class PHP from Eduvision. the teacher was Jan-Willem Eshuis.
In this course I learned about Object Orientated Programing, mod_rewrites, (X)HTML, CSS, PHP, XML, MySQL, UML, MVC, Smarty and SVN. To finish the course successfully I had to make an end-assignment.
Update: 2008-09-20 13:00:00