RJO’s Web Server Notes V
These pages record an assortment of technical information relating to my “Internet Presence,” including notes on domains and on Google indexing, a Psalm of Google, Yahoo and ODP directory listings and profile pages, and page design and site history notes (this page).
Page Design Notes
All pages on rjohara.net and collegiateway.org strive to use valid markup with informative metadata (including
keywords attributes), and to separate structure from presentation using style sheets. They should be accessible from all browsers. A standard
link set is used approximately as follows (adjusted as needed for either rjohara.net or collegiateway.org, as well as for the relationships of each page):
<link rel="start" href="http://rjohara.net/" title="RJO’s Home" />
<link rel="prev" href=[variable] title="Previous Page" />
<link rel="next" href=[variable] title="Next Page" />
<link rel="up" href=[variable] title="Page Up" />
<link rel="author" href="http://rjohara.net/" title="About the Author" />
House style notes (rough and in progress): All pages are encoded according to the Unicode standard so that character entity references can be avoided as much as possible in the source documents. For the benefit of search engines, however, only low-ASCII characters should be used in the
title element and in the
meta description and
meta keywords elements of each page (to be regularized). The
title element should be limited to 65 characters, and the
meta description element should be limited to about 155 characters (both current display limits in the Google SERPs). The
alt attributes of images should be mixed case, enclosed in [brackets], and should not end with a period;
title attributes should be set in normal sentence style, ending with a period. All links in top menus should have
title attributes. Editorial style notes: Ellipses should have no space on either side; initials (as J.F.K.) should not be spaced; certain abbreviations (BC, AD, AH) are unpunctuated and styled small caps (should academic degrees be the same?); need standard for A.M., P.M. (should be l.c. and punctuated); spacing after hours (12:00_noon); standard for spacing of incomplete dates (1925-_). Need standard for application of lang to Latin and other foreign phrases; use of i, b, and u in legacy documents (not all are deprecated). Spacing of equations 1 + 1 = 2. Pages should be usable in 256, 16, and 2 colors.
Server Power Supply
- November 2005 — Consolidated all domain management services into one godaddy.com account and finally got out from under Network Solutions. Moved all website hosting to pair.com, cancelling Yahoo Website Services account (which did indeed serve well for five years). All pages on rjohara.net and collegiateway.org are now Unicode-encoded (including Chinese page), and all draw from only two stylesheets (rjohara.css and rjo-sidebar.css, both on rjohara.net). Opened Google Analytics and Google Sitemaps accounts.
- August 2005 — Removed “basic” stylesheet from rjohara.net and put all pages under “advanced” stylesheet only (with unstyled text fed to older browsers). Began quest to become an authority on demonic possession.
- April 2005 — Created PNG-format “RJO” favicon.ico linked from each page by way of a
<link rel="shortcut icon">element. (Soon did the same with a “CW” favicon for collegiateway.org pages.)
- December 2004 — Began conversion of all rjohara.net pages to Unicode encoding.
- July 2004 — Loaded far more Reunion-generated genealogy pages (about 1500) onto rjohara.net than ever before. Created the new website NewEnglandTowns.org.
- September 2002 — Added accesskey feature throughout rjohara.net.
- August 2002 — Moved Peabody Park pages to rjohara.net.
- July 2002 — Established rjohara.net as a full domain rather than a pointer to rjohara.uncg.edu. Moved all files formerly on rjohara.uncg.edu to rjohara.net.
- March 2002 — Converted all images on rjohara.net to PNG format which will allow them to display on all platforms in all their original glory (or lack thereof). Thorough CSS revision implementing robust fall-backs and elegant typography, thanks mostly to ideas from Todd Fahrner, below. (Fun!)
- August 2001 — Split large Darwin-L message logs into smaller pages (<100K) in order to accommodate the indexing behavior of search engines, and began click-through logging of selected external links on rjohara.net.
- June 2001 — Began click-through logging of most external links on collegiateway.org with the free clickthough.net service of greenspun.com. (Later discontinued.)
- June 2001 — Converted both rjohara.net and collegiateway.org from HTML 4.0 to XHTML 1.0.
- June 2001 — Replaced the free but very unreliable sitestatz.com statistics tracker with the commercial but very effective web-stat.com service.
- August 2000 — Created first Cascading Style Sheets for all of RJO’s websites.
- August 2000 — Created rjohara.net as a permanent address and set it to redirect to rjohara.uncg.edu.
- August 2000 — Created collegiateway.org.
- 11 June 1995 — Created rjohara.uncg.edu as the web server for the Darwin-L discussion group. (There was a short-lived gopher server in existence at that address during 1994.)
Ten (and not more than ten) Essential References on Web Theory and Practice
These are sites I return to again and again for information and inspiration.
- Alan Flavell on web authoring.
- Alan Wood on Unicode and multilingual pages.
- Delorie Software’s web authoring tools (including the Backward Compatibility Viewer).
- Jakob Nielsen on usability.
- Nice web type from Timothy Brown.
- Todd Fahrner on style.
- Usenet’s comp.infosystems.www.authoring.* hierarchy.
- The Web Design Group.
- Webmaster World.
- The World Wide Web Consortium (including the formal (X)HTML and CSS specifications, the HTML tech and CSS tech discussion groups, and the semantic data extractor).
© RJO 1995–2016