After spending the last few months learning to ride a motorcycle, I have decided to start a new blog documenting my adventures. I hope to pass on what I’ve learnt and help other out there, thinking of riding, learning to ride or just still quite novice.
A little while ago I completed some development work on a website for a design agency on behalf of a property developer. The job entailed the creation of a brand new website for the property developer, providing them with a CMS for adding details of new housing developments, news and capturing customer registrations for mailing lists etc. WordPress was chosen for the new CMS, with my expertise required to extend it with custom plugins and themes, working from designs provided.
I finally did it. After almost 11 years at Sony, I put my notice in and moved on to pastures new. Bit nerve racking after so long in one company and my first big time job after University. Though I do believe I’ve made the right decision.
I have joined Titian Software, a small software outfit near London Bridge, who sell a very specialised sample management system to the pharmaceutical and bio-science industries. Lots more database work, more GUI work, not a million miles from my work in tools at Sony. But ultimately sold to large firms who rely on it to manage millions of samples, thus much more formal coding practices are in order.
I’ve recently been spending some time looking into Geo-Targeting content and links on my websites. The idea being that you supply specific content or links to visitors in different countries. This can be very useful for affiliate marketing, where it makes more sense to send US visitors to a affiliate store in the US and UK visitors to an affiliate store in the UK. Visitors are more likely to convert on a store in their own country. Even if the store does then redirect them to the more local store, your affiliate tracking cookie may not carry over, thus you lose commission on the click through.
So how do you determine the country a visitor is from? There are numerous databases that map IP addresses to specific countries. The most accurate and up to date ones cost money, but there are still very good databases available for free. The one I used is from MaxMind.
To query this database there is a lovely PEAR module that does all the hard work for you. This is Net_GeoIP. PEAR modules can sometimes be a little bit of faff to install, but the CPanel on Hostgator provide a nice interface for installing PEAR modules quickly and easily.
When it comes to getting your website noticed on Google, it’s all about link building, getting links (especially dofollow links) to your site. I just stumbled upon this great article here, listing a million and one ways to build up back links. Most definitely worth checking out.
Many years ago I went to University in Bournemouth at the NCCA. Over the last few decades they’ve been kicking out some great talent, many of whom have gone to work on Bafta or other award winning projects. Call me biased, because I went there, but then it get me a job a Sony Computer Entertainment where upon I worked on the SingStar team, which won a Bafta in 2004 (for the first ever Interactive New Talent Award).