Change robots.txt file dynamically by domain name.

28. July 2009 02:49 by Sasha in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

There are times when websites have different domain names but point to the same code base. The most common is a CMS system that hosts multiple sites.

As the robots.txt file sits in the root of a website it will apply to all domains running from that codebase.

A easy way around this issue is to use the free ISAPI rewrite DLL from Helicontech for IIS.

First create 2 files in the root of your site

robots.block.txt – to block acess

robots.allow.txt – to allow access

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Once you install the DLL and go into the editor just add the following

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Depending on the domain name of the visitor, this will either read in the content of the block file or the allow one into a robots.txt file.

Note: Your files need to have a .txt extension and the robots.txt file should not actually exist otherwise.

Getting the most out of your software

17. July 2009 04:04 by Sasha in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

How many software products do you use everyday and how well do you know those products?

Being in IT I probably use more than most but accordingly I would be expected to understand these tools better than most.

If we take the attitude that most features are built into a product for a reason then it is safe to assume that we could probably improve our productivity or processes by doing a little study of those hidden capabilities.

Start small – get a list of keyboard shortcuts for software you use all the time.

I use Firefox all the time and here is the list of short cuts - http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Keyboard+shortcuts – I have just looked at it for the first time.

Here are a few shortcuts that I never knew existed

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The last one here is one I have always wanted and never knew was possible. 1 min research for a lifetime of knowledge.

Imagine if you just spent a minute learning something new about the tools you use very day.

My only tip is to limit that time to a minute. There is always something to learn and our poor little brains can only handle so much.

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Syncing Gmail, Outlook and the iPhone for free (almost)

4. July 2009 23:49 by Sasha in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

It’s almost free because you need to be using the premier edition of Google Apps which is $50 per user per year- http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/index.html

If you use Google Apps Premier, Outlook 2003 or 2007 and have an iPhone and would like to sync your email, contacts and calendar then this article is for you. The rest of you will just have to imagine what it would be like.

Just to be clear here when I say Sync, I mean true 2 way sync. If I delete a contact on my phone I want that contact deleted in my Gmail and in my Outlook. Same if I delete from Outlook or Gmail.

Google is the hub. We sync iPhone to Google and Outlook to Google.

Syncing iPhone to Google

Overview here

Email

You probably already have email set up – Instructions here. This works fine and there is nothing to change.

Calendar and Contacts

Although there are third party tools out there such as Neuvasync and Soocial which are pretty good, they didn’t seem to offer anything that Google wasn’t offering out of the box.

To configure iPhone Cal and Contacts follow these instructions. - http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=138740

The only extra thing worth noting is that if you have multiple calendars or share calendars with other people in Google,

(i.e I can see my wife's google calendar and she can see mine.) you can choose which calendars to sync on the iPhone by following instructions here -

http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?answer=139206&ctx=sibling

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If you are not sharing calendars then you are missing a great feature of gmail.

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Syncing Outlook to Google

Google has just released Apps Sync for Outlook.

All the info you need is here

Note that this will set up a new Outlook profile for you. The old profile will remain intact.

My biggest gripe is that I can’t see my shared calendars in Outlook. I hope they change this.

Second biggest is that filters in gmail don’t affect Outlook. So you have to set up rules in Outlook if you want mail to go into specific folders.

The problem with this of course is that if you change your pc you lose your rules and will need to migrate them manually.

 

Tips

Make sure you have everything backed up before you sync anything. The iPhone deletes all your contacts when you set up a new sync account.

What I did was get all my contacts on Gmail first and back gmail contacts up. This is your master list.

You can back up your contacts to gmail by using iTunes – Instructions here

The Google Apps sync lets you import your contacts/calendar from your old profile. When you do your first sync they will be copied up to gmail.

You will most likely end up with duplicates (we did). Fortunately gmail has merge function. I couldn’t see a way around this.

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When you update an event on your iPhone it can take up to an hr to display in Gmail so be patient.

Issues

I did have some issues with this. The worst being that my Outlook mail stopped syncing and I had to reset up another profile and re-download all my mail again. It’s worked properly for a couple of days now so I’ll update if something more happens.

Webcoda CMS – Create new page

2. July 2009 08:28 by Oleg in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

This post explains how to create new page in Webcoda CMS system

Overview

  1. Open the site in edit mode
  2. Pick new page location
  3. Set new page properties
  4. Edit new page content
  5. Publish

Open the site in edit mode

Logon on to the administration and select “Edit Pages” link on the left hand site menu.
This will take you to your website in in authoring mode thus allowing you to create, edit and move pages.

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When viewing the website in authoring mode you’ll see an authoring console which lets you:

  • Switch between live and edit modes
  • Go back to central administration site
  • Pin and unpin the console, move it and save it’s preferred location
  • Logout from authoring mode

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When site is in live mode, only published content is displayed so you are viewing the site as the end user. The first link on the console says “Edit mode” and console itself is minimised.

Clicking the “Edit mode” link will switch the site into edit mode. This will change the link title to “Live mode” and will expand the console to display the CMS tools and page information.
Note that tools and the page information apply to currently selected page so if you want to edit a page you need to navigate to this page first, the click on “Edit” link on the authoring console.

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Pick new page location

When creating the new page, the first thing you need to do is to specify where this new page should appear in the website hierarchy. You start by clicking the “New Page” link which will launch the “Page location” window showing the websites hierarchy. Pick the new page location by selecting any of the existing site page nodes. If you want to create the top level page just click the “Select” button without selecting any of the page nodes.

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Set new page properties

Next step is to provide the properties for the new page.

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Field Description
Page Name Name of the page. Will be used to auto generate the Page Url field below.
Page Url User/Google friendly Url.
Page Title An alternative page name that is used in navigation links to this page auto generated by the CMS system e.g. top navigation.
Link Title A link title that is used when generating links above.
Keywords Used to fill the “keywords” metadata tag.
Description Used to fill the “description” metadata tag.
Template Layout template to be used by this page.
Homepage Indicates if this page is the site’s homepage. Only one page should be tagged the homepage.
Footer Page Indicates if link to this page should appear on the site’s footer.
Hidden Setting this field will hide the page from auto generated navigation controls such as top navigation. Note that page will still be accessible by the users if thy know the url and can be manually linked to from any page content.
Access Rules The page can be set as: Public, Members Only or Roles.
”Public” means that the page is accessible by all site users.
”Members Only” means that the page is accessible by logged on users only, regardless of the user’s role.
Selecting ”Roles” option will allow to restrict the access to this page to specific user roles only.
Start and End Publishing Automatically show / hides published pages based on start / end date selection.
Sort Order Allows sibling pages to be sorted. This sorting order is used when displaying page on auto generated navigation controls such as top navigation.

Edit new page content

To edit the pages content, click “Edit” link on the authoring console. This will switch the page to authoring mode allowing administrator to edit the content.
Once in authoring mode, all links except “Save” and “Save and Preview” are disabled.

Saving the page creates the draft version of this page which is only visible to administrator when the site is viewed in edit mode. Switching the site to live mode will show currently published version of the page.

Publish

To publish the draft content click the “Publish” link. This will update the current published version of the page thus immediately making the changes visible to site users .

Webcoda, Web Development & Design, Sydney

Webcoda, Web Developers & Designers Sydney is a Sydney based Web Development company comprising a team of consultants who are experts in all aspects of Microsoft web technology from ASP.Net development to Kentico CMS & SharePoint.

Webcoda has a long history of producing outstanding results for clients large and small. We have helped companies grow from humble beginnings to multi-million dollar enterprises through technology.

We love what we do and this blog is our way of sharing info that we find interesting with the world at large. Please feel free to comment or drop us a line on +612 9370 3636

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