New PowerBoard Forum

This week, the Invision Powerboard forum went up. After some careful consideration and research into other PHP applications, I ended coming back to IPB as a solution for my needs.

What I was looking for was a helpdesk, a file download area, and a knowledge base. There are many types of open source helpdesks out there and even a few commercial ones that were very well done, but they were too much for what I needed and I still was not happy with the frontends of most of them. For knowledge bases I did find one that was great, but the price was too high, but I was very impressed. The free knowledge bases tended to be very simple interfaces and not much to look at. Lastly download scripts all looked the same and there was not one that I could choose, and since I never really needed that much of a file area, I kind of let this go.

With IPB, there is proven security and it is quite affordable. Plus there is the comfort level, I am used to IPB since I have used it personally for a couple of years now.

Right now I’m waiting on Invision’s 2.1 version to come out before I mod too much of the new forum, but everyone is welcome to join in the discussion now at: WebKeyDesign Forum.

Sitemap, Forum, Legal Stuff Added

I managed today to tweak things a bit and added a Sitemap, added the legal pages for terms of use, the privacy policy, and redid the hosting agreements so they all format all the same. The sitemap has all the links, and the footer for blog pages also notes them as well.

Just another day editing html I guess. It feels like Friday already!

UrlTrends Tool

If you are monitoring your Pagerank status or just want to know more about how the different search engines are ranking your site, you should try out UrlTrends, which has a simple web-based tool that outputs some nice graphs for the different search engines. There is also a tool for displaying your site’s pagerank, for your blog or site.

What I liked best about UrlTrends is that it shows multiple search engines and the results page is clear and simple.

What is PageRank?

PageRank is something which the search engine Google has made very popular. It is a number score that Google gives to each web site on the internet. This is also the reason why many sites are spammed with links to other sites to increase those sites’ PageRank score. It is why you sometimes get emails from people you don’t know offering to help optimize your site.

Google constantly refines their ranking system and the parameters that determine page rank have never been publicly available.

If you would like to increase your site’s page rank, the first thing to do is go to Google’s Add Url site. Here you can submit your web site to Google.

Yahoo also has their own submission form.

If you are using a blogging system like WordPress, you should research how the system outputs meta descriptions for your pages. For WordPress, adding something like this to the Header Template’s should help:

<meta name="description" content="SiteName is a site for talking about widgets.">

Having a simple and user-friendly permalink structure in WordPress is also important.

For more information on search engine optimization see, and make sure you read their Guide which is helpful when starting a new site.

Favicon.ico, Logos, & Google

I took some of my own advice from ToDo List For New Web Sites and put together a favicon.ico file. If you are using Safari, you might have to clear your Icons folder, which is at Users/YourUserName/Library/Safari/Icons. Mozilla and Firefox should load the favicon fine, while IE won’t show it at all unless you have bookmarked

While working on the favicon, I came up with a new logo too, but since 16×16 pixel limitations of the favicon would not show it very well, I decided to work on the logo later and see what else I can come up with later this weekend.

Some of you might have noticed that some pages have Google Ads and others do not. Essentially anything having to do with support of our customers is free of advertisements. Everything else, like the online tools we have made available, tips, and tutorials have some advertisements. About the most difficult thing I have found with the Google Ads is that they don’t fit into the standard template I have for the site, so I have had to go with smaller ads. Most WordPress sites that use the standard Kubrick template I would think would have some problems using the wider ads in general. Perhaps Google will offer different sizes in the future or will come up with something that can be more customized for the Kubrick template.

Speaking of Google, our site is still showing up with a pagerank of zero and it will not be changing any time soon. It seems Google does not give you a pagerank unless your domain has existed for more than a few months, something like 4-6 months is what the expected delay is. In the mean time WebKeyDesign will be growing.

Our next project in July will be a new forum. We have a test forum up, but I am not really happy with the forum software, so I am waiting on Invision to release their new version, this summer.

Why You Still Need Support?

This is a common question that I see people asking everyday, and one which is pretty easy to answer. It is not that setting up a website or dealing with a technical problem is all that difficult, it is often that you do not have the technical resources to get from point A, which is the problem, to point B which is the solution. And even if you do have the resources available, you can still be overwhelmed by the amount of materials that you have to look through in order to get to point B. But perhaps the most frustrating part of any problem, is when you are presented with the solution, but have no idea how to get there!

This happens so often in the technical world of computers, that undeniably I have come across multiple situations, where I literally gave up and went another route entirely because even though the solution was right there, the amount of steps involved to get there would make the whole solution no longer worth the time and effort spent.

And so Support is important not so much in solving your problem, but in helping you get to that solution.