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99% Of Guest Bloggers Today Can't Write

99% Of Guest Bloggers Today Can't Write


There's been quiet alot of talk going on lately about guest blogging and what's to come of it. Google made a clear stance against the current state of guest blogging; and the recent hits on both MyBlogGuest, and more recently ... read more

SiteGround's 70% Off Easter Sale & A Word of Warning

SiteGround's 70% Off Easter Sale & A Word of Warning


Easter is this Sunday, April 20th, and in celebrating SiteGround has announed their Easter Sale starting this Saturday April 19. The sale will last through Monday April 21st and will offer a huge 70% off discount on SiteGround's hosting packages. 70% off ... read more

20% Off on Yola Gold During April 2014

20% Off on Yola Gold During April 2014


If you build it, they will come! Right? Well not really. Luckily the Yola Gold package gives plenty of awesome SEO and marketing tools which you can utilize to build up the traffic to your website and start growing your ... read more

DynDNS No Longer Free

DynDNS No Longer Free


DynDNS used to be THE free DNS service everyone was always recommending. Unfortunately Dyn has recently announced that it’s free service will cease on May 7th, 2014. This means anyone using their free DNS hosting has to upgrade to a paid ... read more

Some New TLD's to Brighten Up Tax Day

Some New TLD's to Brighten Up Tax Day


In an effort to take your mind off the IRS, here's some new fun TLD options, available for general registration as of 4/15: .gift, .pics, .photo, .guitars, .link. Two more batches of new TLDs arrive later this week, so be ... read more

PlainEdit.NET & Sublime Text Added to Free Webmaster Resources Directory

PlainEdit.NET & Sublime Text Added to Free Webmaster Resources Directory


These days it's rare that a new text/code editor comes out that brings anything remotely new or exciting to the table. There are already plenty of code editors and Notepad replacements out ... read more



Sending Mail with PHP

Posted on by Metalp3n in | Leave a comment
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Mail is extremely easy to send from PHP, unlike using scripting languages which require special setup (like CGI). There is actually just one command, mail() for sending mail. In this tutorial we will discuss how to use PHP’s mail() function. It is used as follows:

mail($to,$subject,$body,$headers);

In this example I have used variables as they have descriptive names but you could also just place text in the mail command. Firstly, $to. This variable (or section of the command) contains the e-mail address to which the mail will be sent. $subject is the section for the subject of the e-mail and $body is the actual text of the e-mail.

The section $headers is used for any additional e-mail headers you may want to add. The most common use of this is for the From field of an e-mai but you can also include other headers like cc and bcc.

Sending An E-mail

Before sending your mail, if you are using variables, you must, of course, set up the variable content beforehand. Here is some simple code for sending a message:

$to = "[email protected]"; 
$subject = "PHP Is Great"; 
$body = "PHP is one of the best scripting languages around"; 
$headers = "From: [email protected]\n"; 
mail($to,$subject,$body,$headers); 
echo "Mail sent to $to";

This code will acutally do two things. Firstly it will send a message to ‘[email protected] with the subject ‘PHP Is Great‘ and the text: PHP is one of the best scripting languages around. The e-mail will be from ‘[email protected]’ and it will also output the following text: ‘Mail sent to [email protected] to the browser.

Formatting E-mail

Something you may have noticed from the example is that the From line ended with \n. This is acutally a very important character when sending e-mail. It is the new line character and tells PHP to take a new line in an e-mail. It is very important that this is put in after each header you add so that your e-mail will follow the international standards and will have no issues in being delivered.

The \n code can also be used in the body section of the e-mail to put line breaks in but should not be used in the subject or the tofield.

Mail Without Variables

The e-mail above could have been sent using different variable names (it is the position of the variables in relation to the commas, not the name of them which decides on their use). It could also have been done on one line using code like this:

mail("[email protected]","PHP Is Great","PHP is one of the best scripting languages around","From: [email protected]\n");

But that would make your code slightly harder to read.

Error Control

As anyone who has been scripting for a while will know, it is extremely easy to make mistakes in your code and it is also very easy to input an invalid e-mail address (especially if you are using your script for form to mail). Because of this, you can (and should) add in a small piece of code which will check if the e-mail is sent:

if(mail($to,$subject,$body,$headers)) { 
echo "An e-mail was sent to $to with the subject: $subject"; 
} else { 
echo "There was a problem sending the mail. Check your code and make sure that the e-mail address $to is valid"; 
}

This code is quite self explanitory. If the mail is sent successfully it will output a message to the browser telling the user, if not, it will display an error message with some suggestions for correcting the problem. Here is a complete mail script:

$to = "[email protected]"; 
$subject = "PHP Is Great"; 
$body = "PHP is one of the best scripting languages around"; 
$headers = "From: [email protected]\n";
if(mail($to,$subject,$body,$headers)) { 
echo "An e-mail was sent to $to with the subject: $subject"; 
} else { 
echo "There was a problem sending the mail. Check your code and make sure that the e-mail address $to is valid"; 
}

PHP Tutorials

Posted on by Metalp3n in | Leave a comment
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Looking to dive into the wonderful world of PHP & MySQL? The following tutorials should help you get started.

The Basics

Echo();

Chances are you’re familiar with the Hello World exercise by now. It’s the starting point for learning almost any programming language. PHP is no different. So let’s dive right into it. How do we display things using PHP?

Variables

If you have ever looked through any programming language – or still remember those algebra classes when you learned what 3+x=5 means. A variable stores something inside of it so that you can recall it later on in your scripting. So let’s take a look at creating variables and storing information in them through PHP.

Escaping Characters & Variable Expansion

Escaping characters is rather basic, however understanding how it functions together with various variables is essential to an error-free PHP script.

How Functions Work

A function is merely a block of code that can be defined once and then reused throughout various other parts of your script/program. Throughout this tutorial we will take a look at exactly how PHP functions are written.

The Ternary Operator

PHP has plenty of different operators, the majority of them being either unary or binary operators. A unary operator, such as !, performs its operations on just one single value. A binary operator, such as =, is used to perform an operation on two operads. So following the naming logic you’ve probably already figured out that a PHP ternary operator performs a single operation on three different values.

Sending Email with PHP

Mail is extremely easy to send from PHP, unlike using scripting languages which require special setup (like CGI). There is actually just one command, mail() for sending mail. In this tutorial we will discuss how to use PHP’s mail() function.

Real World Examples

Connecting to a MySQL Database

None of our previous PHP tutorials have dealt with a database yet, and that is for the sole reason that not everyone has access to a database, however for those who do this tutorial will teach you the basics on how you can connect to your database.

File Upload via PHP/MySQL

As per the request of Spaculus I have decided to put together a tutorial discussing how to upload an image to your server, and store the information about that uploaded image into your MySQL database.

File Upload via PHP/MySQL – Error Checking

This tutorial aims to expand upon the basic file upload functionality that was discussed previously and introduces various error checking features for file size, and file types, etc.

Basic PHP Template System

PHP has many different template solutions, and the beauty of them all is how simple it makes maintaining and changing your website. Back in the day when everything was handled with static HTML files – if you needed to add a new link to your main menu – you found yourself editing dozens if not hundreds of different files.  With PHP you can break up your website into several sections, includes if you will. So the menu code can all be within 1 single file, which you include on other pages.

Display Page Loading Time

Have you ever noticed that lots of websites feature some text towards the very bottom of a page saying “Page took x.xxx seconds to load”? It’s a pretty simple thing to make and gives your site something that we all love … stats!

Linux Server Tutorials

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As a webmaster chances are you will wind up managing a Linux box or two in your time – and when you do you’ll be happy you learned these tricks.

The Bash Shell

Pipelines

Discover how to use pipelines to string together a series of commands. This means that the output from the first command in the pipeline is used as the input for the second command in the pipeline. The output from the second command in the pipeline is used as the input to the third command in the pipeline, and so on, and so on.

Command History & Aliases

Learn how Bash keeps track of a certain number of previous commands that you have entered into the shell via the History; and see how Bash makes life easier for you is by supporting command aliases – commands that the user can specify.

Wildcards & Command Line Completion

Learn how to use wildcards and command line completion to make your life programming within Bash that much easier.

Server Security

Turn Off RWHOD

The rwhod daemon is a process that allows a remote user to see who is logged into your system. The client program is rwho. It has many of the same security problems as the finger daemon. For a cracker use of rwho could allow him to watch for times on your system when nobody is logged in and begin his attacks. Learn how to turn off RWHOD on your server.

Trojan Port List

A detailed list which shows the majority of the more popular known trojans, and the ports they normally use.

Processes & How To Terminate Them

Learn how to be able to view all the running processes, or stop a program if it hits a bug or a flaw.

Getting Started with HTML

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HTML is the basic language used to create web pages. In fact the majority of what you see right now, on your screen, was created through the use of HTML. The tutorials listed within this section will help you get a grasp on some of the key basics of HTML programming; and then continue on to touch upon some more advanced topics that tie in the use of CSS and Javascript with HTML to create more dynamic content types.

Text Formatting

Learn how to manipulate your websites text content by controlling the text size, color, and font type. Furthermore learn how to place emphasis on certain parts through the help of <b>, <i>, and <u> tags.

HTML Entities

Some characters have a special meaning in HTML, like the less than sign (<) that defines the start of an HTML tag. If we want the browser to actually display these characters we must insert character entities in the HTML source.

Creating Links

HTML uses the <a> (anchor) tag to create a link to another document. An anchor can point to any resource on the Web: an HTML page, an image, a sound file, a movie, etc. Learn how to make the most of links in HTML.

HTML Image Maps

An image map is a graphic that has more than one hyperlink attached to it. They hyperlink that the viewer will follow when clicking on the image depends on which part of they click on. This tutorial will discuss in depth how to create your own HTML image maps.

Proper Use of Heading, ALT & Title Tags

This HTML tutorial covers 3 extremely useful tags and attributes that most people overlook, or do not take advantage of properly. These are the alt tags, title attributes in links and heading tags.

Night & Day Detection

If we assume that people’s interests vary according to the time of day, your website might be well served by promoting different kinds of content depending on whether its day or night. For example lets say we have two articles, one about the sun eventually burning out, and one about the Hale-Bopp comet. We can make the main article be the sun in daytime, and the comet at nighttime. In this tutorial we are going to use javascript to achieve this effect.

Square CSS Badges

I was playing around with CSS earlier today and came up with something rather interesting, I call them CSS badges since I’m really not sure what else to call them.The code behind these buttons is actually extremely simple and I have commented it along the way so you could easily see what controls what.

PHP/MySQL File Upload – Error Checking

Posted on by Metalp3n in | 2 Comments
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A while back I had written a PHP/MySQL tutorial discussing how to upload an image to your server, and store the information about that uploaded image into your MySQL database. That tutorial covered really only the basics, and I knew that eventually someone would post a comment asking about some more advanced features – such as limiting the file size of uploaded images, as requested by Evaleen Tan. So this tutorial aims to expand upon the basic file upload functionality that was discussed previously and introduce various error checking features for file size, and file types, etc.

Now, let’s quickly recap where we left off in the last tutorial. We have built our basic HTML form, which requests for the users username, password, and provides an avatar upload field. This information then gets stored into a MySQL directory. So here is our final submit.php file:

 $dbuser = "mysql_username";
 $dbpass = "mysql_password";
 $dbhost = "localhost";
 $db = "db_name";
 mysql_connect($dbhost, $dbuser, $dbpass);
 mysql_select_db($db);
 $username= trim($_POST['username']);
 $password= trim($_POST['password']);
 $avatar=($_FILES['avatar']['name']);
 $target = "avatars/";
 $target = $target . basename( $_FILES['avatar']['name']);
$results = mysql_query("INSERT INTO `users` VALUES ('','$username', '$password', '$avatar')");
if(move_uploaded_file($_FILES['avatar']['tmp_name'], $target))
 {
  echo "The image ". basename( $_FILES['uploadedfile']['name']). " has been uploaded.";
  echo "<center><img alt="" src="avatars/$avatar" /></center>"
 } 
else 
 { 
echo "Sorry, there was a problem uploading your venue photo file."; 
 } 
if ($results) { 
echo "New User Has Been Added!"; 
} 
mysql_close();

So the first thing we want to add to our submit.php file are a few setting options to limit what types of files we want uploaded, and how large we want them to be. We do this by an array of extensions for our file types, and a variable  that stores the maximum allowed size of any uploaded file (in bytes).

  
$allowed_filetypes = array('.jpg','.gif','.bmp','.png'); // These will be the types of file that will pass the validation.
$max_filesize = 524288; // Maximum filesize in BYTES (currently 0.5MB).

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Creating a Dot Matrix World Map

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I’m sure you have seen those dotted world maps that are utilized across dozens of business based websites these days. I was playing around with Photoshop one day and found the following when I was testing out the DingMap font (available free here). If you type “4″ with this font selected, you get the following image:

Creating a Dot Matrix World Map / photoshop tutorials  / Screen Shot 2013 07 05 at 11.49.03 AM

This gives us an interesting looking map of the world; and a great starter image to create our own dotted world map. First off, we need to create a pattern which we will utilize to fill in this map. So go ahead and create a new image. Depending on the font-size that you used to create the original map, you’ll want to either create a 2×2 sized image for anything less than 165px in size, and a 4×4 sized image for anything larger. Fill in one corner of your image, and then go to Edit > Define Pattern and save your new pattern.

Creating a Dot Matrix World Map / photoshop tutorials  / Screen Shot 2013 07 05 at 11.48.10 AM

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Performing A Make-Over Via Photoshop’s Soft Light Blend Mode

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I have previously briefly touched upon working with colors inside a photo in order to change a persons hair color or eye color. This tutorial expands a little bit upon the previous one and helps set some basic procedures for some of the more common functions required for a makeover in Photoshop, such as applying a tan, changing the eye color, and enhancing the lip colors. While there are many different ways to accomplish these tasks, in this tutorial I will focus primarily with using the Brush tool combined with the Soft Light layer blend mode.

First off, our starting image:

Performing A Make Over Via Photoshops Soft Light Blend Mode / photoshop tutorials  / Screen Shot 2013 07 05 at 11.05.42 AM

We’ll start this off by giving her a slightly warmer skin tone. Essentially applying a fake tan, if you will. So, create a new layer above your starting image and fill it with a nice dark brown. I used color code #7A3B22 for this specific image, however you can get fairly flexible with this.

Performing A Make Over Via Photoshops Soft Light Blend Mode / photoshop tutorials  / Screen Shot 2013 07 05 at 11.06.11 AM 1024x653

Once you have this layer created, set the Blend Mode for the layer to Soft Light. This should give you’re model a nice even tan while maintaining the original lighting. I have the following result:

Performing A Make Over Via Photoshops Soft Light Blend Mode / photoshop tutorials  / Screen Shot 2013 07 05 at 11.06.46 AM

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A Simple Night Sky

Posted on by Metalp3n in | 1 Comment
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Throughout this Adobe Photoshop tutorial we will go over how to create a very simple starscape look. Start off by creating a blank canvas at any size you wish to use. For the purposes of this Photoshop tutorial I went ahead and created one that is 800×800 pixels. Next fill the background with black, so you should have something like the following:

A Simple Night Sky / photoshop tutorials  / Screen Shot 2013 06 07 at 11.58.15 AM 1024x759

Now let’s go ahead and add some noise to the image to produce the effect of stars in a night sky. To do this we head on over to Filter->Noise->Add Noise. Utilize roughly 40% noise, with a Gaussian distribution, and make sure to select Monochromatic. Hit enter and you should be left with the following image:

A Simple Night Sky / photoshop tutorials  / Screen Shot 2013 06 07 at 11.58.49 AM 1024x760

Now I don’t know about any skies you have seen, but I have never seen one to have this many stars. So we need to adjust the levels of the image in-order to diminish some of these “stars”. Head on over to Image->Adjustments->Levels and start to get creative. Depending on your settings you will have less or more stars visible. Play around with these until you get your desired effect. Here is what I went with:

A Simple Night Sky / photoshop tutorials  / Screen Shot 2013 06 07 at 12.01.06 PM 1024x761

Now to add a little bit more flare to this image I went ahead and added a Lens Flare by heading over to Filter>Render>Lens Flare. Adjust the brightness to your liking, and position the lens flare wherever you wish. I recommend going with a 105mm Prime lens type to provide a more realistic look since that is the only lens type which offers a cool blue hue rather than a red one.

A Simple Night Sky / photoshop tutorials  / Screen Shot 2013 06 07 at 12.01.53 PM 1024x760

Here is my final product:

A Simple Night Sky / photoshop tutorials  / Screen Shot 2013 06 07 at 12.02.02 PM 1024x758

What is On-Page SEO?

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Most first time webmasters launch their website and immediately start worrying about generating backlinks and increasing their ranking in search engines, however many miss the first and most important step – On-Page SEO. On-Page SEO defines how search engines will view and list your website. This starts from your core meta and open graph tags, down to the keywords you choose to place within your H1 and H2 tags. Through-out this article – we’ll go into some of the core basics that every webmaster should utilize on any website they build.

Meta Tags

We’ll start off with your meta tags. Meta Tags are code in your HTML that is invisible to the visitors of your web site but are read by some web spiders and search engines. Meta tags used by a large percentage of the top search engines as one of the main guidelines on how they will index your site. Granted Google has announced that they do not use the Keyword meta tag within their ranking algorithm, plenty of other search engines still utilize it - and as such it is still a vital part of your on-page seo optimization.

The main meta-tags I will focus on throughout this post are:

  • the Title tag
  • the Description tag
  • the Keyword tag

As you start thinking about what meta-tags to assign to a page – you want to start off by doing some keyword research. Look through the page you are optimizing and decide upon 3-4 good keywords that outline the purpose and topic of that page. Once you have that settled away, start by setting up your meta-tags. The page title should include ONLY your main keywords. The least amount of words you can place in the title, the more weight Google will give to each of the keywords and the higher you will rank. The title is the most important piece of information search engines use to index web pages. Include the title of your page and 3-5 important keywords. For example – I have had good success with the following format: keyword1, keyword2, keyword3, Site Title

Granted you want your title to make sense – so do try to connect your keywords together somehow. You can also use your websites URL as the Site Title. Get creative, and try a few different options. Just keep a few things in mind:

  • Make sure it specifically describes your product or service.
  • Make proper use of 3 or 4 keywords.
  • Keep your title between 10 and 80 characters long.
  • Try to avoid using alot of conjunctions, such as “and”. See if you can replace the use of “and” with a”|”

From here, we continue onward to the description meta-tag. This tag describes your site’s content, giving search engines’ spiders an accurate summary filled with multiple keywords. Use a descriptive paragraph or sentence that is relevant to your page. If possible, use a sentence or paragraph that is present within the actual content of your page. And try to bring to focus some of your selected keywords within the description as-well. Lastly – try to keep your description shorter than 500 characters – since chances are it will be cut off past that point regardless.

Finally we get to our keywords meta-tag. Here we want to make sure we provide a list of keywords that are relevant to the content of the web page. Use your url as the first key word and separate the keywords with commas. Format the key words as follows: www.rapidpurple.com, keyword1, keyword2, keyword3, keyword4. For best results here – try to keep your keyword meta-tag list between 50 and 250 keywords.

You can always utilize our very own Rapid Purple Meta Tag Generator to help create all the necessary code for you. And subsequently you can make use of the Rapid Purple Meta Tag Analyzer to see what meta tags your competitors are using, and get some ideas for yourself.

What is On Page SEO? / articles seo talk  / trans (more…)

Need a Job? Open Source Coding with Google Summer of Code

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Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers post-secondary student developers ages 18 and older stipends to write code for various open source software projects. Over the past eight years more than 6,000 students have “graduated” from Google’s Summer of Code program, working with almost 400 different open source projects. Students who are accepted into the program will put the skills they have learned in their university to good use by working on an actual software project over the summer, and receive a nice paycheck at the end. Students are paired with mentors to help address technical questions and concerns throughout the course of the project. With the knowledge and hands-on experience students gain during the summer they strengthen their future employment opportunities in fields related to their academic pursuits. Best of all, more source code is created and released for the use and benefit of all.

Google will provide a total stipend of 5500 USD per accepted student developer, of which 5000 USD goes to the student and 500 USD goes to the mentoring organization. Accepted students in good standing with their mentoring organization will receive a 500 USD stipend shortly after coding begins on June 17, 2013. Students who receive passing mid-term evaluations will receive a 2250 USD stipend shortly after the mid-term evaluation deadline, August 2, 2013. Students who receive passing final evaluations and who have submitted their final program evaluations will receive a 2250 USD stipend shortly after the final evaluation deadline, September 27, 2013.

Interested students can submit proposals on the Google Summer of Code website starting now through Friday, May 3 at 12:00pm PDT. Get started by reviewing the ideas pages of the 177 open source projects included in this year’s program, and decide which projects you’re interested in. Because Google Summer of Code has a limited number of spots for students, writing a great project proposal is essential to being selected to the program—be sure to check out the Student Manual for help and advice regarding this matter.

For ongoing information throughout the application period and beyond, see the Google Open Source blog, join our Summer of Code mailing lists.

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