Category: Web


This year, I was lucky to attend JsConf and CssConf which took place in Berlin. It was the first time I have attended a conference away from Malta. Everything was faultless, the speakers, the venue, the food and the organisation.

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For those interested to watch the talks online, this is possible from their YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/jsconfeu/videos.

To start with, the below is one of my favourites, which can help you think about a smarter way in which as a developer we should load our CSS in order to achieve a better perception of our site being fast, without doing any technical improvements.

An issue which raises concern is cyber bullying and cyber defamation. One way of doing this is to buy a domain in another person’s name and put harmful or defaming content about that person without that person knowing. This has become a serious problem and these are some tips to help recover from such a mishap:

  • Use a WhoIs tool and attempt to contact the domain provider to release that domain due to harmful content against yourself. Legal intervention may also be needed.
  • If the person is using a domain name with your personal name, you may dispute this with ICAAN in an attempt to have that domain released and/or transferred.
  • Consider asking a lawyer to write a letter and use it in order to ask Google to not show that website in search results. This would avoid having the site show up when somebody searches your name.

The above should act as a starting point when attempting to stop such cases since they are some of the least costly and painful procedures.

Scarfish, the game we developed snapped 2nd place and an honourable mention from Vince Briffa, one of the judges during the GameZing 2011 awards ceremony who is the head of department of Digital Art within the University of Malta.   The competition consisted of 13 teams in total from St. Martins Institute of IT, University of Malta, and a competitor from the University of Copenhagen.  After achieving third place when we were competing at the GameDev Challenge 2011 we were quite happy that we improved our position in this competition, with more competing teams.  We were also quite delighted we got an honourable mention from one of the judges for having the best graphics amongst other qualities. 

After this success with Scarfish, an iOS/Android/Web game we have developed during the last 7 months, we would like to improve the game further until we see it is in a position to be placed on the Apple and Android App Stores.  I would like to thank St. Martins for the support and tuition in the area of game development, GameZing for the awards ceremony and prizes, my team mates at Barbagann Games with whom we have worked so hard to achieve this placing and all of our supporters and testers.

GameZing 2011 Trophy

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DNS stands for Domain Name System (DNS).  We use domains to make it easier to remember instead of having to remember the IP of the server for example 212.15.45.128 (IPv4).  Normal users would never need to worry about DNS’s unless you purchase a domain and you would need to set your name servers to point to a particular server, which is your host.  

The name servers are provided by your host, and normally you have two or four name servers you can use.  In today’s world, we usually expect everything to be instant, however, for the new DNS to propagate it might take up to 72 hours until you see your website on your domain.

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One of the weaknesses of the default WordPress Visual Editor is that it lacks some features.  It often happens that a client is used to a particular visual editor and when moving onto WordPress he begins to dislike minor features which he could do before. Some of the main things are changing the font-size , and inserting a table from the visual editor.  

These issues can be easily be resolved by adding the TinyMCE Advanced WordPress Plugin – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tinymce-advanced/. Which can be installed and configured in a few minutes.  You only need to drag and drop the features missing in your current editor, such as the font-size and table for example to include them.

If you are into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) you have definitely heard about Alexa Ranking.  However, I have met a number of people offering SEO Services and they do not really know how they are determined. I have had queries like, “I have a webpage with 300 visitors daily and I have a webpage with 100 visitors daily which has a better Alexa ranking. What is the problem?” . 

In the next part of my post, I will explain two of the most common queries.

How are traffic rankings determined?

Alexa determines rankings based on the traffic provided by the Alexa Toolbar users and data collected from other, diverse sources.  This means that the person visiting your site, which does not have the Alexa Toolbar installed will not affect your Alexa Ranking unless he’s part of the other sources affecting the ranking. 


Why is my site’s traffic rank “No Rank” or “No Data” ?

This means that your website did not register a visitor from any of the sources Alexa use to update their rankings.


With that said, we should only use Alexa as an indication of traffic, but we cannot judge our traffic only by using Alexa.  In my opinion, the best solution to monitor traffic is by using Google Analaytics, this gives you a detailed indication of traffic and where users are coming form.  Another option to value your website, is to check your Google PageRank. This gives you an indication of the reputation of the website, traffic, and backlinks.

Source: http://www.alexa.com/faqs/?p=134 and http://www.alexa.com/faqs/?p=761

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Google+

Google Plus or Google+ is the latest application which Google are currently working on. They are trying to integrate Social Media into Google’s Products.

Does Google have what it takes to compete with Facebook? I doubt it, I hope they learnt their lesson from Google Wave and Buzz. However, they have 75% of the Search Engine market share, so they can integrate it with their Search Engine to give it that extra advantage.

We’ll have to wait and see if Google keeps failing when it comes to Social Media or they will nail this one.

Google Plus

Hi Guys,

Recently I switched my web hosting to Host Gator, I had some small issues at first but their great customer support helped me out in no time. Their support is great, it’s there 24 hours and they also have a great knowledge repository for common questions, and common how to’s. For example to install Google Aps on my domain I followed one of their articles to change the MX Records.

They have a great range of products ranging from cheap shared web hosting, to dedicated servers. In my case I am trying for 1 month, to see how all goes. After about a week everything is great, I have now migrated most of my websites on this host already.

If you are interested in trying out HostGator.com‘s services, do like I did and just buy 1 month at first. You can use this COUPON CODE: ” 994OFFORDER “ and you get $9.94 of your order, so basically you can get your first month for free. Then see how it goes from there. Or else you can use the link below, and get your first month of shared hosting just for 1c for the first month instead of $7.96 / month.

Nowadays most of the coffee shops, hotels and restaurants around Malta all offer free WiFi to their clients. For us developers, it is very important to be able to find a free WiFi location, especially if you do not have 3G on your Mobile Phone or Laptop. Thanks to Wi-Fi we can easily show some example, or some websites on our portfolio to our clients while we are having a chat. Sometimes it is also useful to find a free Wi-Fi location in between meetings, so you can still keep doing your work.

These are some of the free WiFi locations I have managed to find:

Valletta

  • British Hotel
  • Burger King
  • Jubilee Cafe’
  • Marks & Spencer Cafe’
  • McDonalds – Republic Street
  • Piazza Regina
  • Upper Barrakka Gardens
  • St. Anne Square
  • St. George Square
  • Valletta Hotel

Sliema

  • McCafe at Plaza Centre
  • McDonalds (near Ferries)
  • Fortizza
  • Independance Gardens
  • Plevna Hotel
  • St James Capua Hospital
  • Cafe’ La Rive
  • Misto

Paceville

  • Bay Street Shopping Centre
  • Cafe Nero
  • EC/EF schools
  • Eden Superbowl
  • Portomaso
  • Westin Dragonara Hotel

St. Julians

  • Balluta Bay Gardens
  • Bianco’s Cafe
  • Hotel Juliani
  • Le Meridien Hotel
  • McDonalds

Mdina

  • Trattoria 1530
  • Carmelite Priory Museum Cafe
  • Xara Palace hotel

Gozo

  • McDonalds
  • Cafe’ Jubilee, Rabat
  • Gidi’s House, Nadur

Ta’ Xbiex

  • Irrera

Other Localities

  • BOV Adventure Park
  • Del Bogo Wine Bar, Vittoriosa/Birgu
  • Limestone Heritage,Siggiewi
  • Malta International Airport
  • Mater Dei Hospital
  • Melita Cafe and Restaurant, Attard
  • Mezzanotte Wine Bar, Attard
  • Saracino Cafe & Restaurant, Attard
  • South East Cafe’, Marsaxlokk
  • Reflections Bar & Diner, Mellieha
  • Pasha, Outside University of Malta
  • Mgarr Ferry Terminal

I hope this helps, let me know if you find any great locations which you often use, I will include them in the list.

 

Free WiFi in Malta

I wanted to share the importance of make sure your sites SEO is as it should. If Google doesn’t know about your website, you will not get much hits most probably.

In the last couple of weeks, I made some SEO Optimizations in my website, and the results are great so far.

The Alexa Rank for my website is now about 2,700,000 now, a while ago it was about 6,000,000. Alexa gives a good indication of your sites hits. I also used Google Analytics to track my performance, and so far I have an increase of over 100% of traffic this month, compared with the previous month.

At the moment I am also working on improving my Google PageRank, but unfortunately this takes a lot of time, as Google only updates it’s PageRank every 3-4 months, so I’ll have to wait a couple of months to get the results.

alexa traffic rank

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