Category: General

Using Google’s Data Highlighter Tool

For a while now in Google webmaster tools there has been an option under the ‘optimization’ tab called ‘Data Highlighter’. This is their new attempt at an alternative to structured data (or another way to add it without changing the structure of your pages).

It is essentially a wizard interface to get Google to understand your pages better than they do right now.

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A New Solution to FOUT (Flash of unformatted text)

Adobe recently released their ‘blank font’. It is essentially a font which contains no glyphs and is basically a css hack to stop the flash of unformatted text when using webfonts.

I wrote a long time ago about how to cache the font files when using @fontface. That method can be used in conjunction with this to create the best user experiance for your site.

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Protecting Email Address Links from Website Scrapers

Spam mail is an unfortunate fact of life. The more things we sign up for, the more our addresses get sold as marketing lists. There is one area where we can try and minimise the collection of email addresses though and that is when pasting them on a website.

These days, content management systems such as Joomla automatically protect email addresses by obfuscation (or – making something harder to understand). They do this by breaking up the email address into parts and then putting it back together using javascript. This generally works on the assumption that scrapers do not have javascript enabled. Unfortunately spammers tend to be quite savvy coders and usually find a work around for most things. So how can we protect a standard website?

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Adding Twitter Meta Tags

Last month (April 2013) Twitter announced the introduction of a new set of meta tags known as ‘Twitter Cards’. Adding these tags to your site allows extra information such as an image and description to be attached to any tweet which contains a url of a page on your website.

You can read the twitter article on the subject here.

As twitter falls back to opengraph tags, not all of the tags are needed if you already have Facebook opengraph tags on your website.

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Intelligent Contact Forms and HTML5 Local Storage

Contact forms are supposed to make it easy for users to ask a question or just get in touch.

These days, with all the captcha and anti-spam methods attached, the chances of a form being filled in incorrectly and not being sent is highly likely. The number of people using mobile devices who might loose a connection and thus, information already entered is also rising. Hell, even clicking the wrong button and going to a different page will usually wipe all the information that has been entered into a form and make you have to re-enter it, or worse, not bother and give up.

So what can we do to make forms more user friendly? Localstrorage to the rescue!

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Website Internationalization and Alternative Language Links

I was recently asked a couple of times about international SEO and targeting websites with similar content at the correct people without just serving up a duplicate site.

The most obvious example of this is a .com website which is meant for American audiences and which is meant for England, but it could also be a ‘uk’ sub-domain of the .com and potentially a completely different website using a different brand name as the domain name. The content of these websites might be practically the same apart from an address and contact number. So how do we make sure that the correct site gets sent to the right users?

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What Does Google See When You Move Domains?

Ok, so I moved my site. I used to have a domain called, I moved all that stuff to here because I thought that the information I gave was benifical to other people and I should retain the pages. So basically, if anyone goes to an old page they will get to see what they are looking for.

So how does moving a site look to Google? First of all I should point out I have no commercial gain from this website apart from people hiring me for me services.

OK, so lets look at what happened.

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Run Facebook Messenger on Windows Vista

NOTE: This post is old and not relevant anymore. I have removed the link as it no longer works!

Facebook has just released its new messenger for windows but it only runs on Windows 7.

Prior to this there was a leaked version whilst in beta phase that ran on Windows Vista.

The new version may also run on Windows Vista but I haven’t bothered to try it out by downloading on a Windows 7 computer and installing it on another, I do know however that this version runs fine and there is no difference that I see from the latest version.

So if you would like to run Facebook Messenger on Windows Vista then download it from this link.

Enable Incompatible Addons in Firefox

If you have the beta test version of firefox then it can be quite annoying when you upgrade to find that most of your addons don’t work anymore.

I used to scour the internet for working versions that people had managed to pull from google trunk, but last night I discovered a must have extention which makes all addons work (I never said compatible!) with the latest version of firefox.

The reason addons stop working is the configuration file of the addon stating which version it is compatible upto. So how do they know if it is compatible with the latest version if it stops working as soon as the new version is released? The community of course! but how do they find out if it works?……

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The Facebook Like Button Never Picks Up The Right Url

Well, the google +1 works fine, the tweet this button is cool, but really…..FHTML is rubbish. Basically facebook never picks up the current url through fhtml, unless I’m even more stupid than I think I am. Here’s how to get facebook to take the right url for each page.

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