Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Track Visitor Stats
Know More About Your Website Visitors
Your website looks fantastic! You've invested a huge amount of time and a little money getting it up and running! You've had a few visitors, you think. Not many people buying anything, or leaving comments. Just how many people are visiting your site? Where are they coming from? Are they new visitors, or returning visitors? What pages are they going to? What pages are they coming from? What pages are the most popular? What pages are your visitors not even bothering to look at?
That's the kind of questions you ask yourself when you have a website intended to drive traffic and sales. I looked at a few free and paid services out there that are capable of providing this kind of information, and all-in-all, they are pretty good. I also knew if I researched hard enough I could write a script to provide most, if not all, of the information I could get from a paid service.
Since websites first appeared, people have analyzed what was happening with their sites. It started with simple counters on personal pages to track the number of visitors. But now, website owners are looking for more sophisticated statistics. Today, stats are the essential tool to measure and manage a business or a website successfully.
So, you want to know where your visitors are coming from, where they are going on your site, and how many times they have visited. This PHP script will provide all that information and more.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Nice Tips are an easy and cool way to show visitors to your webpage additional information or special reference, which is often displayed with a mouseover or click action, I wanted to create a very lightweight but attractive tooltip for a recent project. This is what I came up with. To see it in action, hold the mouse over the question mark in the line below.
displayed on two lines.
The code is very simple. Here is the HTML part of the tooltip.
Just enclose the trigger (in this case a question mark) in a span with a unique ID and set the class to "tooltipa". I prefer to use a number sequence like a1, a2, a3, etc. Next, enclose the tip in a DIV and append a "t" to the ID used for the trigger. In this case, the ID for the DIV is "a1t". Set this class to "tooltipb".
Saturday, October 15, 2011
FREE SMTP Relay Servers
Do you need an SMTP relay server? Maybe not. For most people the SMTP server that comes with an ISP package works just fine. However, if your ISP blocks port 25, or you have a lot of emails you want to sent (ie: newsletters) then perhaps you could use the services of a relay server. Recently, I was searching online for just such a service for my son. He has a mailing list of about 5,000 but hasn't sent many newsletters lately because GMail will shut him down. Many people don't know it, but most ISP services and hosting services have a limit of about 200 - 250 emails that you can send in one day. Furthermore, it is often broken down in to how many you can send in an hour. Cross the limit and you will be shut down.
While searching for a relatively inexpensive alternative to authSMTP, I cam across two relatively new services ofter a FREE or NEARLY FREE service. And, unlike a service such as MailChimp, which has a free version, you can send newsletters and transactional email through them. A transactional email is really just anything other than a newsletter campaign.A great advantage of using these two services for all your outgoing email, is that you can track when your emails are opened.
The two services I found are: MailJet and Elastic Email. MailJet has a free service of 6,000 emails per month, but not more than 200 emails per day. Elastic Email has a per email charge of $0.001 per email. Great for newsletters if you have a small mailing list. Send a 1,000 emails for a buck.
All in one email solution.An undelivered email is a lost prospect. 20% don't reach their recipient. Send both your transactional (website) and marketing (newsletter) emails with a 3 minutes SMTP set-up. Increase your deliverability and optimize your IP reputation in real time.
Affordable & scalable, our solution doesn't require HTML or other technical skills.
Be sure each email from your website gets maximum chances to reach the Inbox. ISP rules (DKIM signatures, ...) and recommendations change frequently. We manage this for you, and more: we monitor your campaigns and IP address reputation dynamically to ensure maximum deliverability.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Modal Popup Editor for Tables
I've recently been working on a complex project that presented the user with a lot of data from an xml data source in table form. One requirement was that the user would have to be able to edit the data in the table. If you Google 'table editor' or 'modal editor' you will get a quite a few examples which are pretty good and can do much of what I wanted to do. However, I didn't exactly like any of them enough, so I decided to create my own. The following example is a relatively simple example. The modal popup editor I am actually using is a bit more complex and allows the user to edit more than one cell at a time. But for our purposes here, a simple example will suffice.
The HTML code for the editor itself is rather simple.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Simple SMTP Class for PHP
Easily send email via PHP with advanced features
PHP has a very simple mail function which is used very often for very basic text email messages. However, the standard mail function has only limited standard capabilities. When it comes to sending out more complicated emails, or using a more secure server to sent emails, we often fall back to PHPMailer. I use PHPMailer too. But for some requirements it is just too much power and too big. Because my needs fall somewhere in the two, I have created my own KM _Mailer for PHP.
There are a lot of reasons to use your own SMTP transport for sending e-mail messages from a web application. Some of them are:
- Many shared hosting providers doesn’t allow to use the PHP mail() function for security reasons
- Your web application is more flexible if you use SMTP
- Your e-mail function is not limited to the servers port or e-mail configuration anymore
- SMTP is much more powerful and secure (using SSL or TLS)
Just because I like to do this kind of stuff, I created my own simple, lightweight SMTP class to send email messages. It features:
- Relaying message delivery to a pre-defined SMTP server.
- Supports AUTH login using TLS or SSL
- Send messages a plain text, html or a combination of both
- Use extended email addresses (ie: MyName <email@example.com>)
- Validate that server is connected and logged in
- Validate that email message has been sent
- Automatically generates plain text message when sending multipart messages
- Specify additional headers if needed
- Send multiple messages without losing the server connection
- Enable debugging to monitor server response
New version 1.5 offers the ability to include multiple recipients, CC and BCC, and attachments.
Using the class is very simple. See examples below.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
FREE eCards for the Hoildays
I just created an eCard for the holidays and wanted to share. You can download it for FREE! I also included another more generic Happy Holidays card.
Works perfectly in Outlook 2007. Just follow these instructions to install.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Read Receipt Macro for Outlook
Know when your email is read
One of the annoying things about email today is not knowing when or if your email has been read. This is particularly annoying when sending a very important message that is somewhat time sensitive. Not everyone responds to the emails sent to them, and with spam filters employed on almost every computer, you just don't know if the message got through.
Most email applications do have a "return-receipt" option, but that requires the receiver of the email to be a participant in the process. Most people, as far as I can figure, turn off this feature. There are services available on the web that will allow you to track your emails. Two such services that come to mind are SpyPig and ReadNotify. SpyPig is a free service, whereas ReadNotify is fee based. I tried SpyPig but couldn't get it to work in my Outlook 2007. So, I decided to create my own.
The process to track your email is relatively simply and not new. Email marketeers have been using this "technology" for years. It simply requires inserting an image, whether visible or invisible, into the message in such a way that the image is not displayed on the recipients computer without first connecting to a server where it can be tracked.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Temporary Links Script in PHP
Creating Links That Expire
I've always been uneasy about creating a download page with permanent links for my software products. That just makes it too easy for some individuals out there to publish the link to the page and there goes potential revenue. I used to think that my software was not that amazing that someone would actually want to steal it, but was astonished when one day I did a Google search for some titles and found links to various cracks. For the most part, all these titles are now available free from this website.
Probably the best was to protect your software and encourage sales is by using temporary download links. These are links that "expire" after a certain number of clicks or after a certain time period. These links are also known as expirable links. The true path to the downloaded file is always hidden from view so there is no way for the person downloading the file to know exactly where it is stored. Once the link expires, the user is directed to another page advising them that the link is no longer valid.
I wrote this PHP script for use on this website. The process is relatively simple, requiring the use of PHP and MYSQL. All parameters for the temporary link is kept in a MYSQL table. This is where we track how the link will expire, the current status of the link and the true download path. A unique id is created for each link or record. Instead of being directed to the download file itself. the user is provided with a link to the PHP script with the unique id. When the user clicks the link, the id is checked and if it matches and is still valid, the user is provided the desired file and the status is updated in the database.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
A Home Inspection Checklist For The First-Time Buyer
Are You Ready for That First Step?
You have probably heard it said many, many times before that buying a home is probably the most important purchase you will ever make. Never is this more true than when purchasing your very first home. Its purchase holds the potential to be financially rewarding or degenerate into a nightmare if unexpected problems are discovered after the deal is closed.
The time to find problems is before the check is written, and preferably even before an offer is made. Though most real estate agents want you to sign an Agreement to Purchase and have the home inspection as a condition of sale, it is much harder to walk away from the deal once that agreement is signed, even if the home inspection finds problems. Your best line of defense is always a professional home inspection, whether you have it done before or after you sign the agreement to purchase. However, there are a few observations you can easily make yourself to determine if you want to take that next important step.
Monday, September 27, 2010
MagicJack: Lessons Learned
Still Great In 2010
MagicJack is not new. This little device has been around for a few years now, saving a lot of people lots of money on long distance telephone services. When I first heard about MagicJack a couple of years ago, I figured it was some sort of scam, or if not a scam, a service that just didn't seem quite legal. Well. it's not a scam and it is legal. After much thought, I finally decided to purchase one. Here are a few of the things I discovered about using MagicJack.
Living in Canada, I purchased my MagicJack online from a company in Hamilton, Ontario. The advertised price was $39.95 for the device and first year of service. Each year after the first would cost about 20 bucks. This is a little misleading as by the time you figure in shipping and handling and tax, the cost is a little over $65.00 for the device. I could have purchased the unit at a local tech store for about the same price. My MagicJack arrived in just three days. The confirmation email I received said 3 to 10 business days, so this wasn't bad.
The instructions on how to use the MagicJack are pretty simply. Just plug it in a free USB port on your computer and let it install itself. Takes about 3 minutes. You are warned not to interrupt it was it is loading. Though I'm not sure what would happen if you did, it seems like good advice. So just let it do its thing. It's also recommended that you use a USB port that plugs directly into the computer, not a USB hub. Though some reports indicate that a powered USB hub is okay.