Mike Cherim’s Blogging Past

These are older articles. Please bear in mind the further back you go, the more dated the material may be — in some cases.

Message Rules for a Cleaner Email Inbox

Posted November 14th, 2006 by Mike Cherim

Tired of trying to find important email messages in your cluttered Inbox? Establishing a few simple “Message Rules” can help make your wish a reality. If I’ve lost you already and you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about but can relate to the cluttered Inbox syndrome, I’m about to make your day. In this tutorial I will show you how to set up a message rule for a mailing list you may belong to using Microsoft’s “Outlook Express” client-side email software. Specifically in this exercise I will create a rule to capture mailings from the Web Standards Group (WSG) mailing list.

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Directories Set to 777 are Safe/Unsafe?

Posted November 9th, 2006 by Mike Cherim

777 - Safe or Unsafe? I will first say this as a disclaimer: I’m not a hacker, cracker, or a server security expert! This post is more of a question than an answer. Okay, now that that’s said I can get on with this short article. To the best of my knowledge, and after doing some research on the subject, and reading eighteen million conflicting versions of this information, I must tell you that manually setting directory permissions to 777 is not safe! Or at least I don’t think it is? I’m pretty sure if you set directories/folders on your server to 777 you can be cracked and probably will be, eventually — unless said directories were created with a server side scripting language thus taking ownership away from “Apache,” “Nobody,” or whatever the common default owner name on your server is.

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Beast-Blog Reaches 10,000 Downloads

Posted November 8th, 2006 by Mike Cherim

I’m happy to announce the Beast-Blog theme has exceeded the 10,000 downloads mark — and that’s just from my site. There are also download mirrors such as the Themes.WordPress site (where it’s been downloaded over 2200 times), plus it comes in different languages. It’s really nice to see that this thing was/is so well received. It was voted by users the number one two-column theme and the number two of all themes for a long time, but about a week after I found out about it some dude gave it a crappy grade for an include error that really wasn’t even my fault so that shot that all to hell. Oh, well, that’s the way it goes. The download number says a lot more than its current rank anyway… people seem to enjoy it.

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WordPress Titles & Descriptions for SEO

Posted November 5th, 2006 by Mike Cherim

I recently made some modifications to this blog to help get its articles indexed more quickly (for SEO reasons), to help users identify one article or page from the next with greater ease, and to make it easier for people to Digg articles, mark them in Ma.gnolia, etc. If you see your browser’s title bar you’ll now notice that the individual article pages show the name of the article more clearly, and on the “blog pages” the position of the page name is better. You’ll also see I modified the title separators. These modification also apply to the META “description” as I tried to make them more distinctive as well (good article titles help). It was pretty simple. Here’s what I did and how can do it, too.

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ADA’s Applicability Online

Posted October 29th, 2006 by Mike Cherim

ADA Online I need your feedback. On Friday, November 3rd I will be one of the speakers for the “Accessibility in Cyberspace: The ADA’s Applicability Online” conference. There I will be representing web developers. Frankly, I’m a little nervous and could use your help. I’ve given plenty of talks and presentations in my life, but as a representative of web developers this is my first. And since it’s a teleconference I can’t imagine the audience sitting in their underwear to ease the tension. I will be the last presenter, so the audience may be bored to tears at this point, yet for ten minutes I have to try and prevent them from nodding off and offer them value.

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Firefox 2 Spell-Check Custom Dictionary

Posted October 26th, 2006 by Mike Cherim

If you’ve gotten Firefox 2.0 you may have noticed a red dotted line under certain words when, say, posting a comment on someone’s blog. This is a spell-check feature. Very handy indeed — especially for me since I’m a rotten typist. Well, like most spell-check features, Firefox also offers a custom- or user-dictionary.

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WordPress-Ready Contact Form v.2.0WP

Posted October 25th, 2006 by Mike Cherim

On October 3rd I announced that I released my Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form v.2.0. It was also requested at that time that it made available for use with WordPress. Well, now it is. I teamed up with Mike Jolley and together we took my form script and made a WordPress plugin that you can download on the Official v.2.0WP Download Page (see WordPress Version Demo). Check it out. (Also see Mike Jolley’s Official Page.) I think you’re going to be very pleased.

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Preparing a Website for SEO Success

Posted October 20th, 2006 by Mike Cherim

Building a website and wanting it to be found and indexed by search engines, like most things in life, requires a little preparation. In this article I will offer some suggestions on what developers need to consider and do. I’ll also offer some suggestions for the site’s owner/client. Getting to the top of Google, for instance, isn’t as difficult as, say, swimming the English Channel, and is really quite doable, but it won’t happen by itself. The developer needs to make sure the site is designed for this purpose — in addition to its primary roles — and the client needs to give it a little push in the right direction. In case you’re wondering, this doesn’t involve unethical or underhanded practices, nor does it involve magic or a small fortune. Preparation, sound practices, and a little dedication to the cause is all that’s required.

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What Web Design Clients Need to Know

Posted October 14th, 2006 by Mike Cherim

Team Work This article is based on my experiences working with web design clients. It may be subjective in nature and not reflect your experiences. Nevertheless, I wanted to share. I have found that sometimes web design clients don’t realize or understand that building a successful web site doesn’t fall solely on the shoulders of the developer. Rather I find — and they must realize — that the best possible results will come by way of a partnership of sorts. It’s a team effort. The client needs the developer’s help, but the developer needs the client’s help, too.

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