idano dot net Web Site Review

screenshot.pngHistory
idano.net was the original Masters Family web site when it was just my wife and I.

The name came from my name – Dan and the fact that I would on occasion call myself Dano. The rest of the inspiration came from a web site called iwalt.com.

I came across the iwalt.com web site while learning the deep and mysterious waters of MovableType. His blog along with gizmodo.com had links as the most recently updated blogs on movabletype.org. I followed the links and have been readers of both blogs since.

It was the iwalt blog that inspired my to have me to have my own web site. At the time I did not want to have posts with text up there because only the most brave people would actually post things about themselves on-line . Because of this I decided to have a photo blog site.

There very first rendition of idano.net was a MovableType driven site. At that time I was running my own web server and went through the daunting task of installing Perl and MySQL on a Windows Box to try and get it running. After about 2 days I had my new site up and running.

I was using MovableType in a way that it was never designed to be run so it was quite cumbersome.

About a year after putting up the site I had a few web projects that were large and so I need a way to be able to update the sites and build the fewest pages possible.

Enter the CMS (Content Management System).

idano.net was the first web site that I implemented my personally developed CMS system based on .ASP. It was quirky but it did the job.

Basically idano.net was a 1 page web site with a picture that was delivered via a query depending on whether you clicked the next or previous button.

This layout worked great until we had kids and the kids actually started doing stuff. This with the fact that we were moving to a different state necessitated that we now have a real blog to update the family around the country about the kids and what not.

Thus idano.net was abandoned and themastersfamily.net was born (see my post here for themastersfamily.net review).

idano.net sat dormant for about 9 months until I finally decided to have my own personal web site outside of the family site.

Initially I was going to talk about every topic under the sun but it quickly got narrowed down to a few specific topics.

Present
Presently the idano.net web site is a place where I talk about the following 3 main topics – Web Design, Blogging, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

These topics seem to be the most appealing to me and I have the most knowledge about them. Currently I am publishing several posts in regards to Blogging Desktop Clients where I review several different companies that are at different developmental stages of their products.

I also post web site reviews (like this one) to give people an inside view of history and the nuts and bolts of web sites that I am involved in.

Finally I share tips and methods for improving Search Engine Rankings that I have done and had good results.

Future
The future of idano.net is not certain or set in stone. One definite goal of idano.net is to be a place for comprehensive information concerning the current topics that we cover (which can/may change).

Technical
idano.net is powered by WordPress and utilizes the following plug-ins –

  • AutoMeta 0.6 – Automatically generate and include HTML Meta Tags and Technorati Tags based on the full text of your post. By Rich Boakes.
  • Akismet 1.14 – Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use this service. You can review the spam it catches under “Manage” and it automatically deletes old spam after 15 days. Hat tip: Michael Hampton and Chris J. Davis for help with the plug-in. By Matt Mullenweg.
  • Dagon Design Form Mailer – 3.2 The WordPress plug-in version of my secure php form mailer script By Aleister.
  • Head META Description R1.1.2 – Insert HTML META description tag: excerpt/content brief for post/Page, description for category, and blog tag-line for everything else. By Kaf Oseo.
  • Optimal Title 1.0 – Mirrors the function of wp_title() exactly, but moves the position of the ‘separator’ to after the title rather than before. By Aaron Schaefer.
  • Google Sitemaps 3.0b1 – This generator will create a Google compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. Configuration Page By Arne Brachhold.
  • WP-ShortStat 1.6 – Track your blog stats. Visit Dashboard|ShortStat. Based on Shaun Inman’s ShortStat and Jeff Minards’s plug-in wp-shortstat 1.2 By Markus Kaemmerer.
  • WordPress Database Backup 1.7 – On-demand backup of your WordPress database. By Scott Merrill.

The majority of these plug-ins are for SEO purposes to move around information so that search engines can pick up on it better.

The theme that is used is rdc0.7 by Jon Roobottom and designed by Paul Lloyd. The mods that I performed via CSS and graphically were the following –

  • Changed overall site color to blue from green
  • Changed font style and size
  • Changed post titles to Red from blue
  • Changed site-wide link colors to blue from green
  • Changes page background color to darker shade of gray
  • Narrowed overall site width
  • Removed the functionality of the time fade titles plug in

SER (Search Engine Ranking)
Currently idano.net has a Google page rank of 3. At one time it was up to 4 but I think the lack of content for such a long time brought it down.

Things that I have done to try and improve SER’s are the following –

  • Used the optimal title plug-in (listed above) to put the post title first in the title tag
  • Changed my permalink structure to have the title with a .htm extension from the root of the site (as opposed to /category/post_title/)
  • Added a meta description that takes the first 35 words of the post and puts them in the meta description tag
  • Added a meta tag for keywords plug-in that pulls the Technorati tags and puts them as keywords
  • Insert Technorati with each post
  • Ping multiple servers each time a post is published

That is it. A long but comprehensive post about the inner workings of the idano.net web site.

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