WordPress: Redirect Blog to First Post

I just created a simple WordPress installation. It was only going to be short pages and a simple shopping cart, but at the last minute, they decided to add a blog. Since the area for text was so small, we decided to only have one post for every page. As it would only act as duplicate content, there is no point in using the blog home page at all.

With some help from WP Recipes, I created this code to redirect the blog home template (home.php) to the first post:

<?php
/*
home.php (Blog Home Page):
Redirect To First Post
*/
if (have_posts()) {
while (have_posts()) {
the_post();
wp_redirect(get_permalink());
}
}
?>

It’s actually very simple. It just uses the WordPress Redirect function to redirect to the first permalink that would show up on that page.

Enjoy,
Ashton Sanders

(P.S. If you haven’t heard, Adobe just released the pre-order for CS5… If I were to get one of the packages today, I’d probably get: Adobe Web Premium CS5. It looks ridiculously epic.)

Where’s Ashton Sanders

It has been a crazy year so far, and we barely finished the first quarter. Websites in a Flash has been keeping me very busy, so I have been neglecting all of my blogs.

But at least I do have something to show those who ask “What has Ashton Sanders been up to?” This blog is the first unavailing of the new Websites in a Flash logo and website design branding. It’s been a long process, and it turns out: Ashton Sanders is the pickiest client I’ve ever had to deal with.

They say the cobbler’s children go without shoes, and that has really happened with Websites in a Flash. It has been years since I was able to update it. (Some of the spacing is even mixed up on the Website Clients in Internet Explorer 7.0… that’ll give you an idea of how long it’s been.)

Other things to note: I have joined a group called Montana Programmers which has quickly grown to 12+ “extreme programmers” (of all skill levels). We have monthly meetings where we can connect with and share ideas with other website programmers in the area. I’ve been working on websites for 4 years in Polson Montana, but only knew of 2 other website developers in the area.

Tomorrow will be the second meeting I will attend and will be doing a 45 minute “brain dump” (seminar) on CSS. I’ll be covering the very basics and some more advanced items.

That seems to be a good update for now. I plan to finish the new website design for Websites in a Flash, and then will be back to routine updates on this blog!

Enjoy,
Ashton Sanders

(P.S. I’ve got a great new project in the works for those looking to learn everything there is to know about CSS!)

Simple PHP Blog

I have already done a lot of ranting and raving about Blogger and WordPress.

Although I consider these two to be the leaders of the blogging pack (by a large margin), I did run across a blog using Simple PHP Blog, and was impressed. It doesn’t have all the crazy features like the other two, but it does have a feature which really attracted my attention. On the bottom of every post there are five dots, and you can rate the post 1 to 5. This way, people can interact with your posts and website without actually having to write a comment.

Don’t get me wrong, the comment function is still intact, but the percent of comments compared to visitors is tiny, while the percent of “ratings” to visitors is much higher.

Another note: Simple PHP Blog isn’t database driven. You can run it on a server without needing a database!

If anyone ends up using this system, please let me know how it goes.
-Ashton Sanders

Mordheim Blog – Update

It has been under two months since I have started my Mordheim Blog, and we are seeing lots of good progress in the Search Engine Rankings.

For almost the entirety of the last 7 weeks, my blog has been ranked on the second page for the keyword “Mordheim” at Google. Just this last week, I’ve arrived on the first page! My blog has been sitting in the #10 rank for about 3 or 4 days now.

My blog is very content heavy on the word “Mordheim” and is included in the title of my website and in almost every post title and keywords. Many of my categories also begin with the word Mordheim. I currently have 42 posts in my Mordheim blog. That is almost .9 posts a day!

Merry Christmas,
Ashton Sanders

Blogger vs WordPress – Remote Site

When I first started this blog, I did a little bit of research about blogs, and chose Blogger. Now that I’ve been using Blogger for almost a year, I’ve started another blog, about Mordheim, with WordPress, and here are my thoughts:

Blogger

Overview

Blogger is very simple and user-friendly. There is a reason they are the most popular: it’s extremely easy to set up a blog and write posts. They also have a lot of functionality.

WordPress

Overview

WordPress is a little more complicated, and it seems like you can do more with the additional complication. They also have a very user-friendly interface and simple layout. WordPress has a larger base of fans who have created many blog layouts that are free to download. Because of this, WordPress’s Free Layouts are much nicer, stylish, better.

Blogger

Remote Blog

Unfortunately, if you want to put your website on a remote server (any other website besides “*.blogspot.com”), you lose almost all of your functionality. You don’t even get a Category Roll. The Categories listed on the right side of this blog is done manually. (The post count is also done manually).

WordPress

Remote Blog

Fortunately, WordPress.org supplies you with a free download of WordPress, and easy installation instructions. In 5 minutes, you have a new, stylish and functional blog hosted on your PHP website. They have a lot of functionality, and each free blog layout has different amount of functionality. You could probably spend the rest of your life trying out different blog layouts. If you are a PHP programmer, it is very easy to sink into the code and make lots of changes to the functionality. From making the categories display alphabetically, by ID, etc.

I would definitely recommend WordPress over Blogger for advanced users who are looking to host their blog on their website.

Blogging For Life,
-Ashton Sanders

SEO – Where to Host Your Blog?

NOTE: This post is over 2 years old and is no longer totally correct.

I know that a blog can really help to increase your website content. A blog shows the Search Engines that there is actually someone behind this website, and they actually care about their website.

When I started this blog at the beginning of this year, I was trying to research whether it was better to have two medium-content heavy sites that link to each other, or one site with all of the content.

The Setup

My main Website Design Website is Websites in a Flash. This site has 20-30 pages of content, and got approximately 400 unique visitors a month. (This is primarily from Search Engines.)

I knew that this blog would have many pages of website-terms, so I decided to host it on my Ashton Sanders website as a subdomain. The purpose of this was to see if two medium sized sites linking to each other would create an increase in unique visitors for both my Main Website and my Blog.

Results

Obviously, my Blog had an increase in visitors (because it didn’t have any before). Surprisingly, it has totally surpassed my normal website, although I guess it shouldn’t be surprising.

My Websites in a Flash website increased to about 650 Unique visitors. It also finally got back to PR4, but I’m not satisfied with that product. So, I’ve moved my blog to my Websites in a Flash Site, 301 redirects and all. I will now be testing my statistics/results on this new server, and will give you another update after 4 or 5 more months.

My findings, so far, from this test lead me to believe that it is best to have your blog on the same domain as your main website, but a final verdict will come in early 2008.

Note: After this Search Engine Optimization test, the only thing I have to test for myself if whether a blog on your website is better as a subfolder or subdomain.

-Testing the Bounds of the Internet
-Ashton Sanders

AFB – Away From Blog

Wow! It’s been three days since I posted on my blog. That is horrible. Before three days ago, I had posted 41 posts in 47 days! That leaves only 6 days that i hadn’t posted in a month and a half!

My excuse is a simple one: I’ve moved to a new residence, and I am forced to get CenturyTel…. If you are curious as to why that would cause three days of no internet, read this.

And prepare yourself for yet another service review of Century Tel.

-Ashton Sanders

Longest Blog!

Yes! This blog Signifies my longest blog ever!

(The last one I did was for Camp Cherry Valley, Boy Scout Summer Camp. I got 25 posts before the summer ended, and I had to close the blog.)

This is my 26th blog post. Here’s to the future of this blog!

-Cheers
-Ashton Sanders