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July 07, 2020
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Web page redirection via 301 .htaccess, PHP, ASP, Java, CGI, HTML and Javascript Redirects

January 31, 2007

Phew. If the preceding line makes your head hurt, relax. It's much easier than it sounds.

If you've managed a web site long enough, you'll have changed your layout, your pages, maybe your directory structure. You yourself, and others, will have links to your old pages. Search engines may have links to your site as well. You don't want broken links. You don't want to lose search-engine traffic, lose clients, lose credibility. You need to redirect.

Redirection can be as simple as a single line added to the <HEAD> section of your web page - we show you how, though we don't recommend it, and we tell you why. A few lines of Javascript can redirect from the old page to the new: again, we show you how, we recommend against it, and tell you why. Or you can implement proper redirection through a browser- and search engine-friendly 301 Redirect, by editing the .htaccess file on Apache systems, or using server-side PHP, ASP, Java or CGI code.

Again, we show you how.

Idiosyncracies and failures in the use of google_ad_section tags to drive targetted AdSense content

December 2, 2006

Using Google AdSense's google_ad_section tags should help AdSense deliver more precisely targeted content by focusing only on the most pertinent information on your page. It should - but using it such tags can actually cause you to lose targeted content, if you do not also focus it on the page's meta-data, including title, description, and keywords.

We learned the painful way. For example, our article Find that Font! Fantastic font sites should have brought up font-related advertising. No such luck. Title, description and keyword tags went completely ignored. Five months after the article went up - more than time enough for AdSense to correctly index the site - ads came up for 'Full-featured EMR', 'Health', etc.

The google_ad_section tags cause material outside the tags to be excluded. Not weighted less, but totally excluded, including highly relevant stuff, like your page's title and description.

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Contact Form to E-mail script validates e-mails and checks against e-mail header injection

November 23, 2006

Contact forms aren't hard to code, and the PHP mail() function is pretty simple - and yet, implementing such a form, handling the POSTed information, error-checking, and providing basic security, can quickly seem a daunting task.

Many people still provide e-mail addresses directly on their web pages. This is rarely necessary, looks dated, and malicious web-scouring spambots are getting better and better at plucking e-mail addresses from a page. You can munge the e-mail address, you encrypt it via javascript, provide it in image format ...

and still, sometimes, the spambots win.

Ars Informatica provides a very simple, easy-to-modify script to generate your own feedback form. It provides all the functionality mentioned in the opening sentence.

You provide two lines of code, total, and you're off. Though you may wish, and are free, to change this code as much as you like.

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