Aug
29
2008
0

PDRater.com – climbing search engine results!

A blogger I respect very much, Roger Dooley, recently posted about “The Power of FREE.” His Neuromarketing blog is mostly about the interplay between marketing and psychology. You should read the article for yourself, but the bottom line is that offering something for free is an incredible incentive – even where someone might get just as as good a deal for “almost free.”

Many people measure their success by their search engine ranking for their “target keywords.” I would wager that most people care about their Google ranking over other search engines. Most search engines alter the search results by placing paid advertisers at the top. Google does not sell search engine rankings. I would say this is one of the biggest reasons it’s considered the gold standard of search engines.

My own target keywords are “permanent disability calculator free.” I discovered a few days ago that this website is the top ranked Google result for these keywords!

Aug
28
2008
0

2003 reasons to delete Vista

Looong story short, after Dell lost my Windows XP laptop they replaced eventually it with a new laptop (hooray!) with Windows Vista (boo!). Sure, I got used to it – but its a constant struggle. Once you strip down Vista, yanking out all the features that make it different from Windows XP, its not that bad. But, then again, there isn’t much good about it either. More than 18 months after the release of Vista, here’s my reason to not use it:

  • User Access Control
  • It requires more resources (hard drive space, RAM, processor speed)[1]
  • It will not work with MS Office 2003

In this day and age, there is exactly one reason to have Windows – Microsoft Office. If you want to play games, you’re better off with an XBox or PlayStation 3. If you want to surf the web, you can use your phone. For anything else, you can use a Mac or Linux.

A friend of mine confided that when her copy of MS Office 2003 didn’t work with Vista she bought MS Office 2007. This exact problem, my copy of MS Office 2003 not being able to run on my laptop running Vista, is why I turned to OpenOffice. Here’s the vicious cycle I perceive:

  1. Your old computer is slow.
  2. Buy a new computer.
  3. New computer comes with newest version of Windows.
  4. You buy all new software to run on the new version of Windows.
  5. Your computer is now loaded down with so much junk you need a faster computer.

I absolutely refuse to believe Microsoft is incapable of figuring out a way for their newest operating system to work with the world’s most popular office productivity software. The only possible explanation I will accept is that Microsoft is using the manufacturer’s theory of LRR.[2]

  1. Compare Windows XP’s requirements to Windows Vista’s for yourself. []
  2. Lather, rinse, repeat. []
Aug
27
2008
0

Technical Difficulties

Panic ensued at 9pm on August 27, 2008.  My website was down after it had been operational all day.  For some reason, my e-mail accounts were not working either.  I hadn’t touched any settings whatsoever.  All the files on the server were fine – the server just wasn’t sending information.  An hour later the website problem resolved all by itself.

My e-mail is still down, but at least the website is back up.

Technical Difficulties

Update: E-mails back too!  Yay!

Aug
27
2008
0

Website upgraded again!

In my never ending quest to build the world’s best workers’ compensation website, I’ve made a few upgrades:

  • Upgraded from WordPress 2.6 to WordPress 2.6.1
  • Infinitesimal changes to the theme
  • Adapted a new plugin for WordPress that redirects you directly to the calculator page as soon as you log in

Why keep upgrading WordPress?

Using open source software can be a two-edged sword. On the down side, anyone with the ability to read the source code can figure out the security vulnerabilities. The plus side is that people are constantly working to improve and eliminate those very same security vulnerabilities.

Since people are working on WordPress all the time, it will need to be upgraded all the time. Doing so allows me to take advantage of the latest features and security updates. So far I’ve used WordPress 2.3.2, 2.5, 2.5.1, 2.6, and now 2.6.1.

Why change the theme?

The theme (the “look” of this website) is completely user configurable. Since this website’s launch I’ve been constantly tweaking the look. Minor changes to the color scheme, menu at the top of the website, and how many posts are shown on the blog page.

I work on the theme in order to (hopefully) make the website more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use.

Why the new plugin?

I’d like to make the free registration process as quick and as painless as possible. I’ve had the opportunity to watch a few people go through the free registration process for this website. What I saw was that people were logging in for the first time and were sent to their user page – which looks totally different from the rest of the website. Unfortunately, this caused no end of confusion.

I modified an existing plugin to override website’s default settings to send users directly to the calculator page as soon as they log in.

Aug
26
2008
0

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