Google to Notify Webmasters about Outdated Software

There are tons of free CMS available today including , Drupal and Joomla. Though most of these are free, a webmaster who uses them has to constantly keep upgrading the software to make use of new features and plug security holes.

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Upgrading is always a pain, one of the reasons we are coming out with WordPress Remote Manager shortly. In addition to that, Google Webmasters Tools has decided to introduce a new feature where they will alert users whenever their web software is out of date.

One of the ways we identify sites to notify is by parsing source code of web pages that we crawl. For example, WordPress and other CMS applications include a generator meta tag that specifies the version number. This has proven to be tremendously helpful in our efforts to notify webmasters. So if you’re a software developer, and would like us to help you notify your users about newer versions of your software, a great way to start would be to include a generator meta tag that tells the version number of your software. If you’re a plugin or a widget developer, including a version number in the source you provide to your users is a great way to help too.

Google Webmaster Tools basically rely on the version numbers included in the HTML source of a webpage to identify if a website requires and upgrade. However, there have been known cases of people attacking a website because of including the version number in the page. It is always better to rely on your own process to keep your software and plugins up-to-date.

This initiative will definitely help many users who usually do not have time or are unaware about new versions and will complement Google’s role on alerting users whenever their website is hacked or compromised.

New software version’ notifications for your site [Official Google Webmaster Blog]

Optimizing Images for Organic SEO Traffic

Images can speak a thousand words. This quote is so true. However, there is a condition to it, images can only speak a thousand words, if someone can see it. That though, is not the case with Google Image search robots, or for that and other image search engine robot.

Optimizing images for SEO involves adding proper metadata and giving the images proper names. So naming images as 1.jpg or 2.jpg will not earn you any points from these blind robots.

According to Matt Cutts, Google Image Search considers the metadata in images, as well as the URL of the image. However, like always he also advices against using black-hat SEO techniques and spamming the URL with too many keywords.

Watch a short video to see how Google considers the URL of an image to include it in organic image search results.

In addition to that also consider using altparameters in images. Search engines like Google consider the alt tag, to understand and get more information about an image.

Are you optimizing your images for search engines? Do let us know. Don’t forget to check the huge archive of to enhance and optimize your website.

Free Pure CSS Menu Creator/Generator

Have you ever come across websites that have a really nice menu that catches your fancy? Do you want to create a menu for your website, but don’t know how to code using HTML and CSS?

Pure CSS Menu Maker/Creator is a must-have tools for webmasters and designers, which allows users to visually create CSS menus, without having to know any CSS programming.

Also See: Create CSS Dropdown Menus Online

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CSS Menu Maker/Creator allows you to generate both horizontal and vertical menus. Creating a new menu is a piece of cake and takes less than 5 minutes. Using the tool, you can create menus and add sub-menus to it to your heart’s content.

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When you start a new project, some menu items will be pre-defined, you can add and remove items from the existing menu.

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To create sub-menu items, select a menu item and right-click it. From the new menu, select Add  Sub Menu. You can also use the Ctrl + Aor click the sub-menu icon, to add a new sub menu item. You can add as many menu and sub-menu items as you want.

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The middle panel of CSS menu maker is used to customize the menu item text, URL and target frame. You can also control the styles used for each menu element and its text, in addition to changing them for normal and rollover events.

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Once you have finished creating the menu, click the Generate Menu button. It will create the menu as a HTML file in your project directory. You can then copy and paste the code into your website.

Pure CSS Menu Maker is a recommend webmaster and designer tool by Techie Buzz. Having this software on your PC will definitely save you a lot of time.

Download Pure CSS Menu Creator

Create Magazine Style Widgets For Your Blog Using Netvibes

When I redesigned the theme, I added a few magazine style widgets to the blog. Many of you emailed me to ask, how you can add a similar magazine style to your blog. In this post, we will look at how you can create your own magazine style widget using Netvibes.

Magazine Style Widgets

The entire tutorial consists of two processes. The first process involves creating your custom Netvibes widget. The second process involves customizing and adding the widget to your blog.

Creating a Netvibes Widget

Step 1: Sign in to your Netvibes account. You will need to create one if you don’t have an account.

Step 2: Once you have signed in to your account, click on the Create or submit buttonin the navigation bar.

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Step 3: Click on the Create widgetbutton in the overlay that pops up.

Step 4: Choose whether you want to create a Blog/News widget or a Multifeed widget. In this tutorial, we will deal with single blog/news feed widget.

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Step 5: Enter the feed URL into the text box and click on the Next step button.

Step 6: On the next page, enter all the details about the feed and choose whether or not you want to publish the widget to the ecosystem, and click on the next step button.

Step 7: If everything goes fine, a link to your new custom widget will be displayed to you. Please make not of the link as we will be using the link in the future.

Adding a Netvibes Widget to Your Blog

Once you have created the widget, you can now add it to your blog. Follow the steps given below to customize and add the widget to your blog. For this example, we will make use of the Techie Buzz Netvibes widget.

Step 1: Copy and paste the link you got from Step 7 in a new browser tab or window.

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Step 2: Click on the Share link in the widget sidebar, this will take you to a new page where you can customize the widget.

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Step 3: You can customize the widget by adding a title to it, changing the height and modifying its color.

Step 4: Under Widget preferencesselect Magazine from the view dropdown to create a magazine style widget. You can also configure other things such as, number of items to display, whether links should open in new windows.You can also choose to display the post data and excerpt.

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Step 4: Once you have configured the widget, go to the bottom of the page to get the widget code. You will need to paste the code into your website for the widget to be displayed.

Using the above steps you can build as many magazine style widgets you want and customize them using several options. Of course, Netvibes also providers users with many different styles to choose from.

Looking for more for your website? Don’t forget to visit the section to learn more.

Google Translator Gadget For Translating Your Website

If you write your blog in one language, don’t expect only people who know that language to stop by. Some visitors to your website may not understand the language you write in.

In such cases translation tools help those readers to convert the webpage into a language they understand. This makes reading information much more easy for them.

There are several ways in which you can offer translations to your users. If you are looking for a even better tool, Google has just announced a website translator gadget that is definitely much more smarter than the regular ones right now.

To install the website translator gadget to your blog, visit this page and copy the text to the header of your template.

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After you have copied the text to your template upload the file to your server for the changes to take effect.

Once the code is in place, Google will automatically detect the users language based on the browser settings and display an option to translate the page to their language.

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Once they click on the translate button the webpage will be translated without the user leaving your site. Google Translate currently supports translation between 51 languages making it a good fit for webmasters with traffic from several countries.

Translate your website with Google [Official Google Blog]

Track and Fix Broken Links on Your Website [404 Errors]

Getting a 404 error on a website is not only frustrating for a user but also for a webmaster of a site. Of course you can make your 404 error pages funny but you still lose potential readers.

Many times visitors see the 404 errors the first time they visit your site. Showing them erroneous messages can definitely piss them off and send them on their way to another site.

On this website, I have made use of few things which;

  1. Let me track 404 error hits and URLs, including referrers.
  2. Let me fix the URLs by applying 301 permanent redirects to the proper page.

Continue reading if you are interested in the solutions I use to keep the 404 error hits to a minimum.

404 Error Tracking using Link patch

There are 100s of 404 error tracking plugins and services. My favorite and the one that I use on this site is Link patch.

This service provides you with a single line of JavaScript code that you will need to paste into your custom 404 error page.

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Once you have added the code, Link patch will email you everytime your site hits a 404 error. You can then correct the URL or redirect it to another URL.

In addition to that, it also tells you from which referring page a 404 error was encountered. If that happens to be your own site, you can go in and edit your posts to rectify the problem.

This service is definitely pretty useful and a must use service for any webmaster. It does come at a cost of $10 per month for tracking 5 websites. However I must tell you that the service is worth the money you pay and will help convert 404 error hits into regular readers.

If you are not ready to start paying yet, you can try out the service for free for the first 30 days. Signup for Link patch.

Fixing/Redirecting Broken Links/404 Pages on Your Website

Using the above service you can easily track all the 404 error pages. But what about fixing them?

If you are a user you can easily fix broken URLs by using a plugin called redirection.

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This plugin will help you set permanent redirects (301) from one URL to another. In addition to that, you can also use wildcards in the form of regular expressions (regex).

You don’t need to edit the .htaccess file to setup redirects. Redirection is definitely a must have plugin for WordPress.

Download Redirection

That’s it. Using these tricks, you can not only track 404 error hits and fix them but it will also help you get more traffic and increase your regular readers.

Looking for more tips? Don’t forget to visit the Webmasters tips section.

Handy Bookmarklets For Webmasters

Being a webmaster myself I have been using several bookmarklets for managing and tracking things, here is a list of bookmarklets that I use on a day to day basis, many of them have been created by me as they were not available elsewhere.

These bookmarklets are specifically created for webmasters and range from useful Check Technorati Reactions- This bookmarklet will allow you to check the Technorati Rank for any website.

Compete Site Analytics – Check the site analytics for a website in Compete.

Quantcast Analytics – Check the site analytics at Quantcast.

Quarkbase Website Analysis – Know everything about a website at Quarkbase.

Sitonomy Analysis – Find the technologies that are being used by any website.

Social Networking Related Bookmarklets

Backtweets – This bookmarklet will allow you to check mentions of your blog on the popular micro-blogging service , it also deciphers URLs created using URL shortening services.

Is This Page Stumbled? – This bookmarklet will allow you to check whether a page has been stumbled or not.

Share webpage – Allows you to share a webpage on popular social  networking sites and more, powered by Shareaholic.

Hope these bookmarklets come in handy to you, please don’t forget to share your own bookmarklets with others, it might come in handy.

Backup Your MySQL Database To Email With Backup2Mail

Disasters are just around the corner waiting to happen without any intimation, and due to ignorance many of us have lost enormous amounts of data and also spent lots of money to recover things we would have better off keeping of.

A blog or website is no different, you update it regularly and have written 1000s of articles, but what if there is a hardware crash? What if there is a problem with your server? Do you have ample backups to fall back on?

In the past we have written a tutorial on how you can backup your blog in less than 10 seconds and some more options to .

However we came across another interesting script that will allow you to your MySQL DB and email it to you for future use.

Backup2Mail automatically creates regular backups of your database and sends them to your mailbox on a given schedule, the script is PHP based so you can install in on any blog or website.

The author of the script also has a set of instructions to get you started, however you will need to have the ability to setup cron jobs to schedule database backups to be emailed out to you on a regular basis.

Definitely a must have script for webmasters who care about their data and want to be prepared for any unforeseen disasters lurking around the corner.

Download Backup2Mail [via Ghacks Tech News]

Microsoft Expression Web SuperPreview Lets You Test Webpages In IE6, IE7 and IE8

In the past we have told you about several tools that will help you test your webpages in IE5.5, IE6, IE7 and IE8 on Windows XP and , you could also install a software to run IE on Linux boxes.

Microsoft has released a software (250 MB) called Expression Web SuperPreview which will help users to test their websites on different versions of Internet explorer.

Continue reading Microsoft Expression Web SuperPreview Lets You Test Webpages In IE6, IE7 and IE8

Add Your Website To Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing is suddenly sitting pretty much in a really good position, with Bing taking the second position over from Yahoo in both US and global traffic to search engines, this though should bring good news to webmasters since they would now get more traffic to their blogs or websites.

Like Google Webmaster Tools, Bing too has it’s own Webmaster center where users can submit their websites for indexing by Bing.

Continue reading Add Your Website To Bing Webmaster Tools