Search engine optimization?

Google Logo SepiaDo a Google search for "javadoc api" and amazingly the API Docs page shows up at number 9 (number 10 if you omit the quotes). I somehow doubt that the tweaks last week had this effect. I guess not too many pages have these words in the URL, title and page content. It’s still nice to be in the same list as Sun. Interestingly Sun did not end up in the first place. I found this via the log files when I noticed a referer (not a typo) of the Google search for javadoc api.

Zmanim Pages Updated

The static pages for the Zmanim project have been slightly updated. The main zmanim page has been revamped, an instruction page added and some other minor changes made. One change to the main page has been the addition of the list of types of zmanim that can be calculated. One reason for this change was for search engine optimization. I ran AWStats on the log files for the last month and a half and the following search phrases brought people to the site (listed in order of popularity)
“hebrew date”, “zman krias shema”, “hebrew date php”, “kosher coffee”, “zmanim nassau”, “zman tefilah”, “time of sun in zenith calculate”, “zmanim”, “wordpress hebrew”, “elevation of sun time of day”, “harfenes”, “asia generator”, “date hebrew”, “xsd time format”, “hebrew plugin”, “plag hamincha”, “get calendar java calc”, “zmanim calendar”, “jewish zmanim”, “calendar generator”, “milliseconds xsd time”, “annual calendar generator”, “java calculate start of the day”, “calculating sun zenith angle”, “calendrical spreadsheet”, “calculate mincha gedola”, “milliseconds into minutes”, “sun s zenith”, “javadoc api “, “time formats milliseconds”, “sof zman krias shema”.
The logs also showed that many people who were searching for zmanim related searches never moved beyond the JavaDocs pages that matched their query. The technical nature of the page probably threw them off. The addition of the listing of types of zmanim will hopefully lead many searchers to the main page instead of the JavaDocs page in the future.

WordPress “Site Unavailable” Plugin Tweak

Since I am constantly tweaking things here (will settle down soon), I found myself looking for an easy way to temporarily bring the site offline. I came across the Site Unavailable plugin. It did exactly what I expected it to do, but the simple

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html code that the plugin generated left a lot to be desired in terms of look and feel. I tweaked the file to add the site’s header and footer to make the unavailable message match the look and feel of the site. Being new to WordPress and too lazy to debug the PHP error message, I just suppressed them with an @. It works well with the default theme that I am using but not exactly proper with the Coffee Cup theme that I was testing. Since you will not likely hit the “Unavailable” message, here is a screen shot of the original plugin look, the default theme look and the Coffee Cup look. You can download the modified file here. There is a slight problem with the mod in that the nav bar bgcolor seems to still show. In the Site Unavailable blog, the author mentioned an option that he might include implementing a request to allow an admin to see the site. This should be done with great care, since it is very easy for one to not realize that the site is still offline in this scenario and leave it that way.

The Site Redesign is Now Live

The site is now running WordPress v1.5.1.2 (as opposed to the original hand crafted KosherJava.com site) and seems to be running well. The install was relatively painless and will allow greater flexibility in running the site as well as in receiving feedback. There seems to be a DNS issue when trying to reach https://kosherjava.com, but https://www.kosherjava.com seems to be working fine. A small glitch that has been corrected was the layout of the Zmanim calendar generator. This turned out to be a minor CSS issue.
Enjoy and please let me know of any problems.