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chaos' guide to making a successful site v1

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Faltzer

[Hold ALT+F4 ]
SEO is a good thing, but using mod_rewrite to implement some uber-complex querystring rewriting (though the querystring is still the same stupid page=somestatictext) isn't necessarily the proper thing to do. If you're rewriting the URLs of an application like a blog, a forum or a CMS, then it's all right (getting rid of Joomla's index.php?com_option=blahblahblah&id=6 and transforming it into something more logical) but when you have complete control over how your URLs are going to look, for me it's just a hassle - purposefully damaging your own URLs, and then attempting to "fix" them with a 79-line .htaccess involving regular expressions a mile long.

And generally, not looking from the point of view of the visitor, using one script to serve all content (index/default) isn't a good idea since it gets messy. I don't know what's so good about it.

I don't even use .htaccess, I wrote an email to my server administrators and they tweaked the server configuration globally in a way so that it doesn't matter whether you put the file extension into the URL or not. This way everyone got the same benefit and I didn't have to write any .htaccess files. All my files are still .php, but if I ever wanted to change the technology used (to Perl, Python or anything else) I could do so, and no one would notice.

Some of you people sound like you work for Microsoft: first let's release a badly planned version - it doesn't matter if it makes future maintenance difficult - and then we can issue patches later.



You don't need a 79 line .htaccess file to rewrite all URLs. This shows how much you know. And if you're good for writing PHP code which uses some regex, then you're going to do great with mod_rewrite. Did you look at my topic anyway about mod_rewrite before you jump to any conclusions about it?

*EDIT* :

Whaa...? What are you smoking, Faltzer? Probably because the Smogon Forums aren't the site's main attraction? It's not like chaos has got 3 useless things on his site and a font-size 40px link to the forums, he's just trying to promote a sense of community by encouraging visitors to register and get more personalized info on the matter from "the experts". Seriously, before the move to the new server (when the site became pretty chaotic) I used to visit Smogon pretty frequently whenever I was looking for a good NetBattle moveset for an obscure pokemon, and I have never been a member of the forums.


... Jesus H. Christ. Now I know why chaos doesn't post in this thread any more. Being a webmaster isn't rocket science, but still some people don't see such obvious things.
I was smoking crack with Joe Crack. Promoting a sense of community is alright, though that's why the sites main content is mainly there for. The forum was mainly created for discussions and strategy for people who need help from "the experts'.
 

Magma Leader Maxie

Non caedor caedo
You don't need a 79 line .htaccess file to rewrite all URLs. This shows how much you know. And if you're good for writing PHP code which uses some regex, then you're going to do great with mod_rewrite. Did you look at my topic anyway about mod_rewrite before you jump to any conclusions about it?
No, I did not look at your topic because I perhaps know more about .htaccess then you think. I like many things .htaccess allows me to do (I currently use some features like it's WWW-Authenticate header substitute, which makes locking out admin-only areas of a site very easy), but this one particular feature, mod_rewrite, being used on a site where no dynamic processing (like viewing threads, topics, news comments) is done whatsoever makes no sense to me. Sorry, it just doesn't. Mod_rewrite should be used where some script requires an ID or sometimes another crucial piece of data passed by querystring, and you want to make it cleaner. "page=goldsilver" isn't a crucial querystring unless you have a system in place that allows users to create their own areas on your site.

I was smoking crack with Joe Crack. Promoting a sense of community is alright, though that's why the sites main content is mainly there for. The forum was mainly created for discussions and strategy for people who need help from "the experts'.
I don't see how the smogon forums have ever been much an "attraction" - firstly, there are many, many other forums about Pokemon where people can go. Secondly, you have to swear a lot and have an inflated head to be a member worthy of visiting.

Many sites offer a link to their bulletin board (or ticketing/knowledgebase system, if they're more professional) to get more information for a certain topic.
 

Faltzer

[Hold ALT+F4 ]
Using mod_rewrite is much more secure, as its URL manipulation stops crucial data from being given out to the internet. This is crucial to prevent site hackings and stops the user from knowing what you use for includes.
 

Magma Leader Maxie

Non caedor caedo
Using mod_rewrite is much more secure, as its URL manipulation stops crucial data from being given out to the internet. This is crucial to prevent site hackings and stops the user from knowing what you use for includes.

Assuming of course that you know nothing about security in PHP, and that you use PHP only for including segments of a HTML file (for which you might as well use SSI, it's slightly faster too). Mod_rewrite definitely isn't crucial for preventing "site hackings", and if you already are determining what files to include by the query string, you're already making that public information (assuming of course that there is a reason why the user knowing what files are included is a terrible security threat)
 

Faltzer

[Hold ALT+F4 ]
A hacker can simply view your include files, and view secret PHP data that you might have hiding within. And I'm ****** that you recommend SSI when you were first suggesting to use PHP includes instead of SSI for includes.
 

Magma Leader Maxie

Non caedor caedo
A hacker can simply view your include files, and view secret PHP data that you might have hiding within. And I'm ****** that you recommend SSI when you were first suggesting to use PHP includes instead of SSI for includes.

If you save something as .php, the server will never send the contents of the file: it will be executed and any output (worst case scenario: a piece of a table) sent. You always seemed to have problems understanding this, I have no idea why. If you have .inc files, make them .inc.php to overcome this problem (which isn't really a problem).

I recommended PHP in the "which is better" discussion if I remember correctly, because SSI just includes files, php can do so much more. If you're going to use the language for doing stuff like processing contact forms on your site, then there's no point in using SSI at the same time. I didn't really recommend using php include instead of SSI. So if you had some subtlety you would recognise that I didn't say that.
 

chaos on the internet

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
This is a really old thread. I would be willing to remake this guide and maybe include some new information/etc, but I don't know if it would actually be appreciated here. Most of the comments I've seen on this since the very beginning ignored the content and complained about my writing.
 

Faltzer

[Hold ALT+F4 ]
I'm all for a new guide, really. The current one in my opinion could require some organization, and I'd like to see any new things you've learned if possible from a new guide
 

Squall

blergh...!
Yeah, little late reply, I don't know if you've changed your mind but a re-written guide would be useful, this one's kind of old. I enjoyed reading it, though, learned a few things with it.
 

Disgruntled Goat

has his moments
SEO is a good thing, but using mod_rewrite to implement some uber-complex querystring rewriting (though the querystring is still the same stupid page=somestatictext) isn't necessarily the proper thing to do.
I'm tired of this "SEO" buzzword. There are plenty of other reasons for using these techniques. Simpler URLs = easier to type. Using proper HTML tags (headings, etc) and cleaner HTML makes for better browser compatibility. Ultimately, this makes thing easier for the visitors of your site. It just so happens that search engines like this too (which is obvious: they're trying to return the best results for users).

And generally, not looking from the point of view of the visitor, using one script to serve all content (index/default) isn't a good idea since it gets messy. I don't know what's so good about it.
Depends how you structure it. I've recently started using something called "Model-View-Controller", so my index file is just 30 lines of PHP code which calls other files to get and display the content.
 

blueparukia

The Sexy Nerd
I find PHP including/requiring is something very useful and good for structuring your pages, and my index.html file looks like:

PHP:
//Variables declared, and some CMS functions which I don't want made Open source
require('settings.php')

echo $doctype;
echo "<html><head>"
require($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."themes/".$currenttheme."header.php");
echo "</head><body>";
require($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."themes/".$currenttheme."index.php");
echo "</body></html>"

There's 25 lines in that on HTML file (including comments) and I just use those 3 require()s to retrieve all setting and database variables, and the theme's header file and index file.

Cheers,

BP
 

Crepuscular

Surmounting~
RichUncleSekeleton said:
I'm tired of this "SEO" buzzword. There are plenty of other reasons for using these techniques.
Of course there are numerous reasons to have clean HTML and easy URLs, but you can't deny that SEO is an important aspect of having a good (or at least, popular) site; it provides a popular advertising outlet (Google). Acknowledging alternative reasons is one thing; being "tired" of SEO is another.
 

Disgruntled Goat

has his moments
Yeah I understand that, what I meant was it annoys me a little when people keep raving about search engine optimisation, when they're really talking about user optimisation. SEO is really just a marketing buzzword that some people use to sell. Some professional web designers charge a fee for "SEO", like if you don't pay for that part they won't make your site properly. This stuff isn't something you can "tack on" to a site after you've made it.

And your site won't get into Google or get particularly high just from having "SEO'd" pages - you still need links to your site from other popular sites, which generally only come from having good content.
 

Crepuscular

Surmounting~
RichUncleSkeleton said:
Yeah I understand that, what I meant was it annoys me a little when people keep raving about search engine optimisation, when they're really talking about user optimisation. SEO is really just a marketing buzzword that some people use to sell. Some professional web designers charge a fee for "SEO", like if you don't pay for that part they won't make your site properly. This stuff isn't something you can "tack on" to a site after you've made it.
Fair enough.

RichUncleSkeleton said:
And your site won't get into Google or get particularly high just from having "SEO'd" pages - you still need links to your site from other popular sites, which generally only come from having good content.
Yeah, I probably should've said "helps provide". :s My bad.
 

blueparukia

The Sexy Nerd
Yeah I understand that, what I meant was it annoys me a little when people keep raving about search engine optimisation, when they're really talking about user optimisation. SEO is really just a marketing buzzword that some people use to sell. Some professional web designers charge a fee for "SEO", like if you don't pay for that part they won't make your site properly. This stuff isn't something you can "tack on" to a site after you've made it.

And your site won't get into Google or get particularly high just from having "SEO'd" pages - you still need links to your site from other popular sites, which generally only come from having good content.

You are 100% correct, however most people don't realise SEO does not really exist, as Google will index your site content anyway. And while people don't know, I have made about $300 from various clients who paid extra for SEO ;)
 
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