Suzuki SV650S

The day I picked up my new Suzuki SV650S it was raining. Of course it was raining. And heavily. Not the best conditions in which to ride the 12 miles back home. ‘Exhilarating’ doesn’t cover it.

Within a mile of the dealership I’d had to ride through a flooded road that had water deep enough to slow cars down. I wasn’t sure what my strategy should be so I slowed down a little and went through it at about 20mph. The drenching I got was shocking. It felt like I’d just waded through a river.

I’ve ridden loads of times in the wet on my old bike, but I’d never experienced an oncoming car hit a deep puddle and chuck a load of water straight at my visor. The impact of the water was ‘exhilarating’ and the lack of vision was panic inducing! The water soon dispersed and I was able to see again pretty quickly. By this point I was laughing merrily, I can tell you.

But I did get home in one piece.

The things I noticed about my new bike on my journey home were:

  • The bike is much bigger than my old one (Ninja 250). The tank is massive!
  • The turning circle is larger, making low speed manoeuvres harder.
  • The bike is a little heavier, making it feel more stable.
  • The unfamiliarity with the bike was the biggest handicap for me riding it back home. This fact, coupled with the horrendous wet conditions made me very cautious when turning and cornering. In a straight line it was a dream!
  • All that power! My word. Who would have thought 69 bhp could make a man smile so much?
  • Its PipeWerx exhaust is loud! My partner heard me coming down the road when she was sat on the sofa inside reading!

Even though I’m dying to spend more time on the bike, I’m in that winter limbo land where it’s dark when I go to work and dark when I return so it’s not exactly fun to use the bike as a commuter. Give it a bout a week and that will change though.

Kawasaki Ninja 250

Having had a 15 year break from biking, I decided to start riding again late last year. It was July, I was on holiday in Zakynthos and I detected a wistful look on my face every time I spotted a biker making his way down the street.

My internal dialogue went something like this.

“Wow, it’d be great to start biking again.”
“Yeah, but you might crash and get a head injury.”
“I’ll be extra careful.”
“Not every accident is your fault.”
“I’ll be extra, super careful and hyper vigilant about other road users.”
“The weather in the UK is notoriously bad, so if you don’t ride in poor weather there’ll only be a few riding days left in the year.”
“What was the point of passing my motorcycle test if I’m not going to make use of the license to ride?”
“Can’t you find some other equally exciting but less dangerous hobby to do?”

With the arguments in my head keeping me in a perpetual state of conflict, I would peruse ebay in the holiday hotel room and get an idea of bikes, sizes and styles that were available and get a rough idea of the price of the bikes I was interested in.

I eventually won the internal debate and when I returned to Blighty I resolved to get a bike! The point that won the argument was basically “I want to”.

Surprisingly, there was no opposition from my partner. It could be that she wants me dead.

There was no messing about. I decided on a small CC bike, found one at a reasonable price and bought it at first viewing. A 2016 Kawasaki Ninja 250 with only 847 miles on the clock. Given that I’d not even sat on a bike for 15 years, my fear levels were quite high. What if I’d forgotten how to do it? Not knowing how to ride the newly purchased machine from the dealer would be… awkward. And maiming myself on the very first ride would be embarrassing to say the least. To prepare myself as much as I could, in my head I would run through the steps involved in setting off on a bike, as that was the closest substitute for physical practice I could get. Turn the engine on (where was the ignition switch these days?), both hands on the bars, right hand holding in the brake, right foot on the back brake, left foot on the floor, left hand pulls the clutch in etc.

The journey home from the dealer was reassuring and easier than I had imagined. My partner kindly drove me up to the dealer, and after giving her instructions to avoid motorways at all costs (the new bike was only a 250, after all), I followed her back home. What a brilliant journey! It all came back. I hadn’t anticipated feeling so confident. The thing I had forgotten, though, was just how much my wrist would ache from all the clutch action. The journey home took a little over an hour and my left wrist was a mess by the end of it.

The Ninja 250 is perfect for a returning biker. It’s fast enough to get me killed if I’m not careful, but the lack of power makes it less likely.

What I Like About My Kawasaki Ninja 250

  • It’s fast. Not supersport fast, but it will out accelerate most cars.
  • It’s light.
  • It’s nimble.
  • The price was reasonable – £2,600
  • The KRT colour scheme is really nice. This is subjective, of course.

However, the lack of power is starting to niggle. The bike was always going to be a stepping stone to something bigger, and now I want a little bit more. So, I’m looking for a new bike. I don’t want to go down the 600CC supersport route like a lot of people do, though at one point in my life that is definitely what I would have done. Instead, I’m looking at bikes of around 650CC. There are a few on my list:

  • Suzuki SV650S
  • Kawasaki ER6N
  • Yamaha MT07
  • Triumph Street Triple
  • Kawasaki Z650

There are examples of all of these bikes that are at dealers in my vicinity and within my budget, so these are exciting times! I’ll discuss the merits of each bike in a separate post, as this one is supposed to be about the Ninja 250!

Ads Are Disabled On One Or More Of Your Sites

The full text of this Message Of Doom is Ads are disabled on one or more of your sites – no ads are serving on one or more of your sites because of policy violations. Please investigate the reasons for this in the Policy Centre.

The Policy Centre provides a top level summary of how many of your websites are affected at the top, and then a list of the sites themselves. Click on a site to get details of the misdemeanour. I use the word “details” loosely, as, in my case, the “detail” was pretty vague and unhelpful. What on earth is “Valuable inventory: Templated page” supposed to mean??

My confusion was exacerbated when, after attempting to fix my site, I requested a review and within ten minutes I received an email saying they were unable to enable ad serving as my site was still in violation. This prompted a series of panic driven knee jerk tweaks and review requests in quick succession, each resulting in the same frustrating email telling me my site was still in violation and ads wouldn’t be enabled.

Despondent, I scrutinised the text in the Policy Centre one more time and found this snippet: “The review for this site was submitted on 24 Feb 2019 and is currently pending.” So, if the review is still pending, why the f did I receive an email saying my site is still in violation?! They couldn’t know this if the review was still pending… Duh.
G pays ridiculously scant attention to the user experience, as per usual.

The description of the violation did actually change during the course of my panic tweaks, and at one point it said something along the lines of “Ads are pushing content below the fold on mobile devices”. This was pretty easy to both understand and fix. On phones and smaller resolution devices, the initial display of a web page on my site would be of the first ad block on the page, with the content appearing below it. I couldn’t quibble with this complaint and added some CSS rules to not display any ads at all on mobile devices. I don’t get much mobile traffic on the problem site, so the difference this change makes will be negligible.

The changing description of the site violation made me think that a review had been made though. So I’m getting contradictory feedback. On the one hand I received almost immediate email responses to my review request, but on the other, Policy Centre tells me I have a review pending. Is it the case that “Ads push content below the fold” can be detected automatically and doesn’t require a manual review. Hmmm, maybe.

It is now five days since my last review request and I’m still waiting. I think I read somewhere that I may have to wait 10 days for a review, but we’ll see.

Due Diligence On Websites Using SEMRush

This auction for a Power Of Mind Control website caught my eye, mostly because of the decent traffic statistics. 28,345 unique visitors and 870,600 page views / month is quite good in my book. Each visitor is looking at an average of 30 pages!

Is the seller exercising some kind of mind control on his visitors?

The first port of call is SEMRush, where we plug in the URL and get the following:

PowerOf Mind Control

PowerOf Mind Control

Oh my word! Look at those shocking search terms that brought visitors to this site (highlighted, and under the “Keyword” heading). If you can’t speak Francaise, I’ll do a bit of translation for you:

  • zoophilie gratuite – free bestiality. Ye Gods, I swoon!
  • sensitive pornograph ova – no idea but the second word looks like porn, and I don’t care whether it’s sensitive or not!
  • foto scopate – swept photos? What with the earlier porn references, I’m thinking that any kind of photos on this site will be dodgy.
  • adolescentes nues – nude teens. I’m getting the picture. No, I mean figuratively!
  • voyeurfrance – I don’t think we need Google Translate for this one…

SEMRush is good in that it displays the URL that gets returned in the Google SERPs when someone searches for a particular term:

Investigate The URL

I’ll tell you why it’s good that the URLs are reported here. It’s because the owner of the site has actually removed those pages that show up for those search terms, or they are restricted viewing (see later). Whatever the reason, we can’t now see the pages on this site that rank for those terms.

Let’s click on the first URL in the list. This is the page that visitors find when they search for “zoophilie gratuite”. SEMRush helpfully inserts the URL into the search box at the top, where we can copy it and paste it into our browser’s address bar. We can see straight away that the URL is for a page on a forum.

URL Is A Forum

When I try and load this page into my browser, I discover that I need to register on the forum to view the page. So I do.

However, the thread I requested is off limits.

Off Limits

This could be because it’s protected within a restricted area of the forum, or the owner simply removed the thread. Either way, there used to be several threads on this forum that attracted traffic from people searching for porn terms. In France. Those pervy frogs are at it again. I can’t see anything on the forum other than the usual paid to post threads that website sellers usually splash out on, and the inevitable spam.

SEMRush displays at the top of their keyword list the search terms that bring the most traffic. If all the top search terms are porn related, then the danger is that there won’t be much traffic left when the new owner gets rid of the dodgy pages. The new owner would have to get rid of those pages, because they are not “money pages”. No products get sold on them, they don’t lead to signups and there probably isn’t much ad revenue. The only benefit they give is to artificially inflate traffic stats. Which is good when you are trying to sell a site.

Flippa’s Crappy “Due Diligence Data”

Oddly, the SEMRush data that Flippa displays for this site is incomplete, and misleading. Here are the keywords that Flippa reports via SEMRush:

No Rude Words

Where is the porn?

This is really weird. When I click on the More detailed information at SEMRush link, the porn keywords are presented, but Flippa is not showing them in their mistitled Due Diligence Statistics.

That’s piss poor, if you ask me.

Where are those watered down keywords that Flippa displays coming from? Ah, I see: Flippa only gathers SEMRush data at time of listing. Like I say, that’s piss poor. And why would the keywords change so much in the space of 24 hours, anyway?

My Favourite Search Term

My favourite search term that SEMRush reports is “mind control lesbian”. I just have this weird image of an army of lesbians surrendering their minds to a powerful hypnotic figure.

Come, disturbing army of lesbians, and do my bidding. There is much evil to be done. You can click on these ads for a start. Mwuhahah

The seller is a real gem. After seeing this post, he threatened to steal all the traffic from all the sites in the world to prove his mind control power. “Behold the loss of traffic in all Google Analytics accounts for November 2 2010, for it shall be mine! It’ll be a piece of cake using my zombie lesbians.”, he says. What a loser.

The Importance Of Checking Inbound Links

High PR Site, All Search Engine Traffic

Skip to auction details.

I came across this auction on Sitepoint today. The site receives a decent amount of traffic and revenue is $900/month, though no information about costs/work commitment are given. But here is the red flag:

all website traffic is the result of organic search engine results.

That’s good isn’t it? Organic search traffic means no nasty PPC expenses, right? The domain is being advertised as being PR5 too, so that’s a bonus. I’ve already checked the cache of the page for any sneaky redirect jiggery pokery to fake the PR and everything looks ok. So, why don’t we delve a little deeper and have a look at the inbound links to this site, as links mean PR and search engine traffic.

Our trusty tool, Yahoo Site Explorer shows us that there aren’t many inbound links. This means that the alleged PR5 is due to one or two particularly powerful links. Spider senses tingling. The site is only 3 months old, so the high PR smells fishy.

Incestuous Linking

The first link I find in Site Explorer is one from and looky here, it’s on a PR6 page (according to my toolbar, anyway). There aren’t too many links on the page, so this link is mighty strong. If anything should happen to this link, the site being sold would suffer. I know, let’s see who owns both domains.

The whois doesn’t show anything telling for (it’s the usual Domains by Proxy protection). However, the owner of is LLC. So the two domains are owned by the same person. They are using an existing high PR site to jump start their new site. The danger here is that the potential buyer doesn’t know this.

We already know that the search engine rankings for this site are a critical factor. The auction holder freely admits that this is the source of all traffic. That high PR link is really helping those rankings. If that link mysteriously disappears after the sale of the site, the new owner is goosed. What should the potential bidder do? Personally I would walk away. But if you have your heart set on the site, you could always ask the seller to sign a contract saying that the link will stay. But then you have all the problems of enforcing the contract if the seller lives a thousand miles away in a country that has different laws. It could be that when the new owner takes over the site, the previous owner removes the link, rankings, traffic and therefore revenue plummet and there is nothing the new owner can do about it.

Sellers are are largely a crooked, deceptive bunch…

So you can see the importance of doing your due diligence properly when thinking about buying a site. An exploration into a site’s inbound links is especially important if the selling points of the site are PR and rankings, as in this case. If this site gets sold, I have a feeling the new owner is in for a nasty surprise.

Auction Details

Sitepoint Listing
**Organics** Niche Organic Farming Supply website w/traffic and sales is a PR5 site built using the Website Management system.


  • Established: Thu Feb 05 2009
  • Page views/month: 18,000
  • Monthly Revenue (USD): 900
  • Google Pagerank: 5
  • Uniques/Month: 3,683
  • Listed: Yesterday 22:01


This site is only a couple of months old and already has over 30 orders. The solid PR5 has allowed many of the pages to be indexed and I just added 20+ descriptions to the organic soil amendments products which will help improve results even further. Buy this organics related niche website and domain name while it is still available. is waiting to become a brand name that people recognize. a brand people associate with. Think t-shirts, hats, branded gardening tools, etc. Do you think organic?
Revenue Details:

the gross sales for April 2009 were over $900 earned from sales of organic soil amendments and fertilizers.
Traffic Details:

all website traffic is the result of organic search engine results. Contact me for most recent result as we expect teh latest content additions to increase the traffic even more.

Joomla Tutorial

I’ve created sites based on Joomla a few times now, but the huge amount of time between each implementation means that I forget all that I learn in the process and have to embark on the same fact gathering mission each time. This beginner’s Joomla tutorial is for people who forget!

I’m going to assume that you know how to install Joomla and start the proceedings at the point where you are trying to do something with it. This guide will list the common problems faced by Joe Average and will detail solutions that you can use to resolve them.

Welcome To The Frontpage

The default title for your homepage is welcome to the frontpage, which is no good to anyone. You want something meaningful in there, but where can you change the title? Here:

In your admin panel, click Menus > Main Menu.
Click on the Home link.
Open up the Parameters (System) section on the right.
Change the Page Title to the text you want displayed there.
Click Save and then see your gleaming new home page title on your spangly Joomla powered site.

SEF Joomla

SEF simply means Search Engine Friendly and refers to how URLs are constructed for maximum search engine benefit. This is the bane of all webmasters wanting to SEO their Joomla sites. There are a number of steps to perform, but believe me – it’s a piece of cake. If I can do this, then you certainly can.

Click Site > Global Configuration.
Look at the SEO Settings on the right. It’s not important to understand them, just follow the instructions.
Make sure everything is set to “Yes” – Search Engine Friendly URLs, Use Apache mod_rewrite, Add suffix to URLs – turn them all on.
Make sure you have a .htaccess file. Whenever I’ve installed Joomla, there has always been a htaccess.txt file that I’ve renamed to .htaccess to make everything work. You won’t get SEF URLs unless you do this.
Change the $live_site setting in configuration.php to / or or Whenever I’ve done this, I’ve used successfully.

Important: you may have to trial and error each combination of the above settings to get this to work. Always make a note of the value you are changing from so you can revert if necessary. With that warning out of the way, let me reassure you that following the above steps worked perfectly on the three implementations I’ve completed in the past.

Remove Article Id From URLs In Joomla

This is also related to making your URLs search engine friendly. Unless you do something about it, each link and article page will include a pesky article id, which is both unsightly and which potentially dilutes your keywords (if you believe that sort of thing). Let’s get shot of them.

I haven’t found a way to do this by changing Joomla settings, but I have found Joomla extensions that do the trick. This year, I am mostly using HP Router For Joomla. It really is a doddle to use:

Save the extension to your hard drive. Leave it in its zipped form.
Install the extension by clicking Extensions > Install/Uninstall. Browse to where you saved the extension, and click Upload File & Install.
Activate the plugin by clicking Extensions > Plugin Manager, and click in the Enabled column against it. It’s as simple as that.
Take a break. Have a kit kat.

Redirect Non-WWW URLs To WWW URLs

You might not need to do this. You can check for a redirect’s presence by navigating to both and If one doesn’t get redirected to the other, read on…

Note that I always use 301 redirects in my htaccess file to do this, so that is the method described here. Download the current live version of the .htaccess file from your site to ensure that you’re modifying the right file. Yes, I know I’m stating the obvious, but you won’t thank me if you overwrite all your settings simply because I didn’t remind you. Remember what happened with Aunti Cath and that trumpet.

Add this code to your .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomain\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]

I always put this at the top of the file.


If performing any of the above modifications causes your site to melt, please let me know. I shall keep adding useful bits and bobs and amendments to this article so that it can be of use to fellow Joomla fearfuls.

Due Diligence On Website Buyers

I’m currently selling one of my domains on Flippa. I have the luxury of knowing 2 of the bidders, who I feel I can trust. A new bidder has entered the scene, though, and I don’t know him. The question arises: what due diligence can you do on a website buyer?

In my case, all the only information I have about him is his Flippa user name. Let’s see what we can do to allay our fears about non paying bidders.

The first port of call must be the bidder’s past activity on Flippa. Unfortunately for me, although this bidder registered in 2005, he has no activity recorded in Flippa.

I did a search on Google for his user name and found a listing he’d created on The listing advertised a site he was promoting and gave the URL. At this point I didn’t know whether my bidder owned that site, but I did a search for the site on anyway.

From that search I found the owner of the domain. The owner had only given their first name – and it matched the name the bidder signed his PM with! It’s looking good, but it’s not concrete.

The domaintools listing also gave the address of the registrant so I performed the following search on Google to try and find other sites owned by the same registrant:

“address line 1” site:

This search returned one other site.

I PMed the bidder and asked if he could tell me any other sites he owned. He gave me the first one I’d found in domaintools. Bingo! Now I have a reference point. I know the name (OK first name!) of the bidder, two sites he owns and also his address.

Of course, this isn’t enough information for me to feel confident that I’m not about to get scammed, but at least I know the bidder is being honest and also isn’t some schoolkid tyre kicker. Through the PM conversation I had with him I know at least he has a brain in his head and he seems to have his wits about him. Again, that’s no gurantee that he won’t rip me off, but it does allay my fears a little.

I will be, after all, performing the transaction through, and it’s only the domain that will get transferred here (not a full website), so I think I’ve got myself covered. Read more about the reasons why you shouldn’t feel secure about transferring a website using

When selling on Flippa, or any other website marketplace for that matter, you need to take into account the time zones that bidders operate in. I’m in the UK and it’s 23:38 when I write this, but the bidders on my auction live in the US. It’s my bedtime now, but for my bidders it’s the middle of the day. That means that they will be bidding while I’m asleep and won’t have my fatherly hand to guide them. And each time a new bid comes in, the auction end time extends by 3 hours! Bugger! With any luck, a bidding war will start and it will still be raging when I wake up tomorrow :)

Google Adsense Competitive Ad Filter

Inappropriate Adsense On Your Pages

So you’re sick of the Muslim dating site advert that Google Adsense, in its wisdom, keeps displaying on certain pages of your “make money easy” blog and finally decide to do something about it. You have two options:

  1. Change your content to give the very clear message to Google that your site is as far away from the Muslim singles dating game as you can get. You can do this by using more “keywords” in your content and emphasizing them with the appropriate markup (<strong>, <em>, headings – you know the drill).
  2. Use the competitive ad filter in adsense.

Actually, the dating site ads are a bad example because there is obviously something wrong with your content if completely irrelevant adsense like this is being displayed. Unless of course, your site is about Muslim singles, and then these ads are fine! Moving on…

Using The Adsense Competitive Ad Filter To Avoid Giving Money Away

Let’s suppose instead that your site is in the money making ideas niche and adverts for your competitors in the same niche keep appearing on your pages. The last thing you want to do is advertise your competition and send your visitors over to your arch enemy’s site. Changing the content is not an option as it is already laser targeted on your carefully chosen money making keywords. The elegant solution is to use the Google Adsense Competitive Ad Filter to filter out ads you don’t want to display.

How The Competitive Ad Filter Works

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Get offended by an adsense advert that you would like to zap.
  2. Determine either the display URL or the destination URL of the advert.
  3. Access the Competitive Ad Filter section of your Adsense Setup.
  4. List the URLs whose adverts you don’t want to display.
  5. Take a break. Eat a kit kat.

If you’re like me and get offended by everything, step 1 is a doddle. Determining the display/destination URL of the advert’s, however, can be a little tricky because the display URL is not always present. You can’t click on the adsense to find out where it goes as this violates Google’s programme policies.

To find the destination URL you can go the convoluted route, where you right click on the adsense, copy the link location, paste it into notepad and extract the actual destination URL from the humungous googleads string of text.

Or you can go the slick and professional route by using a snappy little tool called the AdSense Preview Tool.

AdSense Preview Tool

The AdSense Preview Tool adds an extra option to the right-click menu in your web browser. To get it:

  1. Save the AdSense Preview Tool to your desktop. When I did this it mysteriously developed a .txt extension, so you may have to rename the file to remove it.
  2. Run the .reg file. This will add arcane information to your registry that will change your world as you know it.
  3. In Internet Explorer 6.x browsers (I couldn’t get this to work in Firefox), right click on an Adsense advert and select Google Adsense Preview Tool.
  4. Select the adverts that you want to remove and then click Show Selected URLs.
  5. A window pops up with the destination URLs. Copy these and add them to your Competitive Ad Filter list.

Website Development Process

Suppose you’ve just bought the website that’s going to make you an internet millionaire. Maybe you bought an expired domain with plans to start from scratch, or maybe you stalked the owner of an already established website and bought that. Now what? How do you get the best out of your new acquisition and make it successful?

This guide to the website development process outlines a method I’ve found to be useful when developing websites of my own. The process is split into three stages:

  1. analysis
  2. planning
  3. implementation

Developing Websites – Analysis

During the analysis stage of the website development process, we collect data over a period of time about the traffic that our site receives. Only when we have that data can we assess how the website is currently performing before we roll our sleeves up, get the bonnet up and tune up the site.

We analyse the traffic data to discover where our visitors are coming from, and to try to understand their behaviour on our site. Only when we understand that behaviour can we optimise their user experience by changing the site appropriately. These changes may include enhancing existing content (perhaps the internal navigation needs improving, or maybe it’s hard to find important material on the site), and writing new content (maybe visitors arrive looking for something in particular but leave disappointed because that content just doesn’t exist – yet).

We will also do some keyword research in the analysis stage to determine how we can expand our content to satisfy our visitors.

The analysis stage usually gives us the following information:

How much traffic the site gets.
Where it comes from: search engines, referrals from other sites, bookmarks.
What search phrases people are using to find the site.
Whether people are satisfied with the pages they visit (yes, we can determine that!).
Whether visitors feel inclined to explore other areas of the site after they’ve finished with the current page.

Exactly how we will determine the above from some dry looking traffic statistics will be discussed in Website Development – Analysis. That discussion will also explore how we can interpret that data. It’s all very well knowing what key phrases bring traffic to our site – but how can we use that information to get more traffic? Only when we have interpreted the data can we draw some meaningful conclusions from it, and then create a plan of action.

broke-the-websiteThe performance data we collect also provides a useful benchmark against which we can measure our improvements. At some stage we need to know whether we have optimised our site or have in fact broken it.

It’s difficult, but if you want to get the best out of your site, you must be patient and collect data over a long enough period of time. I’m currently a week into recording traffic stats for a new website acquisition and I’m determined to accumulate a month’s worth of data. Part of the process involves hand wringing and clock watching.

Developing Websites – Planning

Once the analysis stage is complete, we will understand how our site is currently performing and what we need to do to make it perform better. The planning stage involves making a list of exactly which tasks we’ll need to carry out and will usually include the following:

restructuring existing content. Perhaps there is duplication in categories, perhaps we need more categories in which to file our existing content.
improving navigation. It could be that we’re not giving users an easy way to get to the important content. For example, if we’re trying to sell something on the site, it wouldn’t be a good idea to bury the sales page in the darkest recesses of the site. Instead, it needs to occupy a prominent position.
creation of new content. Our previous analysis may have highlighted material that we should add to satisfy potential visitors.
rewriting existing content.There are a few reasons that we might want to rewriting existing content. Some of it may be badly written, or not well optimised for search engines.
migration to a new platform. If the site is hand coded in html, you may prefer to move it to a content management system that allows you to add new content/amend existing content more easily.
redesign. If you do decide to migrate to a CMS, you should be aware that many CMSs use themes or templates that you can buy to jazz up the look and feel of your site. It’s at this point that you decide what theme or template to use.

Developing Websites – Implementation

Finally, it’s time to actually do something! The website has been operational for a month in its old guise, steadily feeding our traffic statistics package, but now we’re going to put the wheels in motion and update it. I’ll list briefly some tasks you’ll need to perform here, but most will be covered in a later article. These are standard tasks that are independent of the results of the previous analysis stage. You’d need to address them whatever site you were managing.

standard redirects. Make sure that the non-www version of URLs redirects to the www version (or vice versa). Also do the same for index.htm and the root. You’ll be surprised at how many websites don’t do this.
install the CMS if required
copy old content to new CMS
sort out the redirects of the old URLs to the new ones
write, or commission someone else to write, new content

The job is not over once implementation is complete. Now, as well as being able to stand back and admire the view, you must monitor performance and make adjustments to maximise it. Stay tuned for an article on that too.

Traffic Down At Weekends

I’ve seen a lot of people fretting over the fact that their sites receive much less traffic at weekends than during the week. If I turn my attention to my own sites, I find that some of them have a very erratic traffic graph in Google Analytics, and some have that same established pattern of peaking during the week and troughing at the weekends. Here is a very simplistic breakdown for the established sites I own:

Site Type Traffic pattern
Entertainment/gadget erratic
Children’s entertainment fairly consistent with very few peaks and troughs but no pattern
Technical resource very pronounced troughs at the weekend
Musical, very niche fairly uniform graph
Technical resource peaks during the week, troughs at the weekend
Technical resource peaks during the week, troughs at the weekend
Shopping mall just plain random

Why Traffic Varies At The Weekends

Lower Traffic At The Weekends

I can see why traffic might vary at the weekend. Usually, peoples’ behaviour changes drastically at the weekend. I know that I spend a lot more time on the internet during the week than I do at the weekend. A lot of people have jobs that encourage internet use during the week. This might be because they need to do research for their work (programmers looking for technical solutions, brain surgeons in the middle of a tricky op). Alternatively, they might have a job that gives them the liberty of using the internet for entertainment in their breaks. Students do a lot of research on the internet during the week (yeah, right!) and have the weekends off. The list of reasons for high weekday internet use/low weekend use goes on.

On the flip side of that coin are the people whose jobs don’t allow them to access the internet. When they get home, perhaps they need to attend to their responsibilities (cooking, cleaning, house chores) and then chill out. Maybe they don’t feel the urge to use the internet after working a full day and the weekend is a better time for them.

Higher Traffic At The Weekends

Interestingly, not one of my sites gets more traffic at the weekends. Are there any sites that experience this traffic pattern? If there are, I would imagine they would probably be in the entertainment niche, possibly in the NSFW (not safe for work) area.

In my quest for the answer, I thought I would prowl around Sitepoint Marketplace, as kind hearted sellers often display their traffic stats for all to see. This is what I found:

Site Type Traffic pattern
Social voting troughs at weekends
Vector art resources troughs at weekends
Guitar tuition fairly stable traffic with small peaks at the weekend
Search engine fairly stable traffic random peaks

I had to stop there because most traffic statistics provided in the marketplace did not show data at a daily level. The guitar tuition site had a very level graph, but you could just distinguish some peaks at the weekend – but then it could just have been coincidence. It wasn’t a marked trend.

In the interests of research, I’d like to know if any of you have sites that experience an increase in traffic at the weekends. If you have one of those freaks of nature, let me know. We can gather a posse together and burn it at the stake!

Don’t Fret

The bottom line is that no fretting is required. Nosediving weekend traffic is not a sign that the Google demigods are punishing you. It’s just a sign that they love you during the week.