Spell it out with IPv6

Calculator showing b00b7e55Today is World IPv6 day –  a day for websites around the world to test their IPv6 readiness. One unexpected consequence is that IPv6 address are hex – and therefore contain the letters a-f. This hasn’t been lost on the network boffins at the big sites that are taking part in todays experiment.

  • 2020Media has gone for the simple: [2a00:19e8:20:20::20]

SysAdmins everywhere will enjoy inserting their favourite beverage into addresses: :c0:ffee

For more tips on spelling in IPv6, see Pingdom

And Finally…

Lancaster University Network Services have gone for the schoolboy favourite: [2a01:8900:0:1::b00b:1e5]

VirtueMart 2 almost ready

VirtueMart, the popular opensource shopping cart extension for Joomla, have announced the availability of the release candidate of version 2 of the package.

VirtueMart Log0The long awaited release of VirtueMart 2 means there will be one final bugfix and then the software will be ready to use in production. Also in the announcement was news that Joomla 1.6 is not being supported in this release after all. The developers say that as Joomla 1.6 is only being supported by Joomla for 6 months, and 1.7 will be out in around 2 months time – therefore they have not had enough time to develop VirtueMart around Joomla 1.6.

No doubt this news will disappoint some developers who have been eagerly awaiting a fully featured ecommerce add-on compatible with Joomla 1.6, but VirtueMart 2 is a complete rewrite from scratch and will fix many of the outstanding gripes people have with the extension.

The Release Candidate contains a lot new features:

– Media Handler (multiple images)

– Custom Fields (replacing the old attributes, producttypes, variants,…)

– True Child Products in the sense of OOP (unpublished parents can be used as linked product pattern)

– Mail template system

– New Currency Formatting possibilities

– More Modules and Plugins

– New Admin Menu Layout

– Meta Tags

– More Filters and Search Options

– Completely Anonymous Checkout

– Revenue Report

– New Templates

2020Media can provide a completely free installation of VirtueMart with any of our Joomla hosting plans – seee www.2020media.com/plans for further details.

Search Engine Optimisation – Part 2

a signpost
Optimise your website

Our previous article, Search Engine Optimisation Part 1, looked at the initial steps to make sure your website is listed in the search engines. In Part 2, we’ll look at some techniques to improve your website ranking.

URL Breadcrumb Trails

Breadcrumb trails help users orientate themselves within the site. A typical breadcrumb trails is a list of pages, which are higher up in heirarchy than the current page. Using parent categories in URL’s provides a logical structure to base the breadcrumb trail around which will not only benefit the site users, but search engines love keywords in web addresses too.

An example would be:

http://www.2020media.com/hosting/wordpress/light-user

You can almost work out from the url what the content of the page is going to be.

Keyword Research

google-keyword-tool
Google Keyword Tool

Although you may have a pretty good idea what the relavant keywords for your site are, it can be useful to do some research and find out what other people think.

  1. What keywords are your customers/visitors actually typing into Google?
    • Use the Google Keywork Tool to find out!
    • If appropriate, set location and language and Match Type to Exact. Choose Global only if your audience is the whole world.
    • Keyword and Monthly Searches are the relevant columns here. If keywords with high monthly searches seem relevant to your site, you probably want to check your site is optimised with these in mind.
  2. Word Tracker
    • The wordtracker.com website contains keyword research tools for SEO, PPC (pay per click), link building and blogging.
  3. Word Stream
    • This free keyword tool has a database of a billion of the worlds most popular keywords.

Links from other sites

Optimising your own site is only part of the battle. SEO is also about getting other websites to link back to you. One of the ways to do this is by writing informative articles or comments on relevant, authoratitive websites. You need to maintain a good balance between content and links. Here are some tips.

  • One or two keywords per article.
  • Make sure all links are relevant.
  • Maximum of 5 links per article.
  • Link to each page on your site only once each time.
  • Create an relevant and engaging title/subject for your article or comment.

Search engines assume a page is about the anchor text used to link to a page, so use keywords as the link text – many webmasters are lazy about this and use text like: Click here. Search for ‘click here’ in Google and guess what – one of the most linked to site’s on the internet comes up – Adobe PDF reader. Make your link text contain the keyword and you’ll be telling the search engine useful information that will benefit your website.

More tools

Search Engine Optimisation – Part 1

Boy with Binoculars
Make sure your website is visible

This article is an introduction to basic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). SEO is the practice of making your website as attractive as possible to the major search engines in the hopes of getting a top result for keywords and phrases that are relevent to your site.

How are you listed now?

Checking to see if you are listed by the search engines is simple – just enter your full domain name into their search box and you should come up top of the results. If you’re not listed, you need to add your site. Here are links for the main 3 search engines: Continue reading Search Engine Optimisation – Part 1

Ease of Upgrade – Joomla, WordPress, Drupal

Comparison of the upgrade methods used in Joomla, WordPress and Drupal

the logo's of Joomla, WordPress and DrupalPopular content management systems require updating from time to time. Sometimes this is for new features, often because a security loophole needs patching. In this article we’re not going to look at which CMS most often requires updates, but at the upgrade procedure itself. How easy is it, are the instructions clear and easy to follow, what the potential problems, and what can you do if something goes wrong? At the time of writing new major versions of Drupal (7.0) and Joomla (1.6) have been released and no updates have yet been produced for these releases. We therefore concentrate on the older versions, which run the vast majority of existing sites. Continue reading Ease of Upgrade – Joomla, WordPress, Drupal