"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. " - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, March 14, 2021

Track Visitor Stats

Know More About Your Website Visitors

Your website looks fantastic! You've invested a huge amount of time and a little money getting it up and running! You've had a few visitors, you think. Not many people buying anything, or leaving comments. Just how many people are visiting your site? Where are they coming from? Are they new visitors, or returning visitors? What pages are they going to? What pages are they coming from? What pages are the most popular? What pages are your visitors not even bothering to look at?

That's the kind of questions you ask yourself when you have a website intended to drive traffic and sales. I looked at a few free and paid services out there that are capable of providing this kind of information, and all-in-all, they are pretty good. I also knew if I researched hard enough I could write a script to provide most, if not all, of the information I could get from a paid service.

Since websites first appeared, people have analyzed what was happening with their sites. It started with simple counters on personal pages to track the number of visitors. But now, website owners are looking for more sophisticated statistics. Today, stats are the essential tool to measure and manage a business or a website successfully.

So, you want to know where your visitors are coming from, where they are going on your site, and how many times they have visited. This PHP script will provide all that information and more.

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Thursday, January 12, 2021

Home Inspection Reporting

Faster, Better Inspection Reports

As inspectors, the inspection report is where we communicate. It's where we shine. But with so much going on in a day, it's often hard to stay on top of things.

We built InspectionREPORT+ to make you better at what you do, by providing for the various (and sometimes unexpected) circumstances you find yourself in every day.

Our newest release is even more intuitive, useful, and integrated with the features and workflows you rely on most. But don't take our word for it, check our our DEMO and try it for yourself!

Click here to view DEMO. Login and password are : DEMO.

Ease of use and reducing clutter were big considerations when designing the user interface for InspectionREPORT+. There are a lot features and a lot of different ways to use software+. Each inspector has his own way of doing things. It was important to account for those different needs, but we also wanted to keep the interface as clean and user-friendly as possible.

The following is a very small sampling of the features that come packed in InspectionREPORT+.

Easily Navigate Through the Inspection
Open any inspection and easily navigate through the report using modules based on the ASHI Standards of Practice, including the new Pool & Spa standards. Edit individual modules as required, or move from one module to another automatically as you finish each section. Organize modules to how you work. Reports are more powerful, actionable, and easy to read.

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Sunday, October 16, 2020

Nice Tips

CSS and Javascript Hint Box

Nice Tips are an easy and cool way to show visitors to your webpage additional information or special reference,  which is often displayed with a mouseover or click action, I wanted to create a very lightweight but attractive tooltip for a recent project. This is what I came up with. To see it in action, hold the mouse over the question mark in the line below.

Nice Tips [?]
This is the an example of a Nice Tip
displayed on two lines.


The code is very simple. Here is the HTML part of the tooltip.

<p>Nice Tips <span id="a1" class="tooltipa">[?]</span></p>
<div id="a1t" class="tooltipb">This is the an example of a Nice Tip<br />
displayed on two lines.</div>

Just enclose the trigger (in this case a question mark) in a span with a unique ID and set the class to "tooltipa". I prefer to use a number sequence like a1, a2, a3, etc. Next, enclose the tip in a DIV and append a "t" to the ID used for the trigger. In this case, the ID for the DIV is "a1t". Set this class to "tooltipb".

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Saturday, October 15, 2020

FREE SMTP Relay Servers

Do you need an SMTP relay server? Maybe not. For most people the SMTP server that comes with an ISP package works just fine. However, if your ISP blocks port 25, or you have a lot of emails you want to sent (ie: newsletters) then perhaps you could use the services of a relay server. Recently, I was searching online for just such a service for my son. He has a mailing list of about 5,000 but hasn't sent many newsletters lately because GMail will shut him down. Many people don't know it, but most ISP services and hosting services have a limit of about 200 - 250 emails that you can send in one day. Furthermore, it is often broken down in to how many you can send in an hour. Cross the limit and you will be shut down.

While searching for a relatively inexpensive alternative to authSMTP, I cam across two relatively new services ofter a FREE or NEARLY FREE service. And, unlike a service such as MailChimp, which has a free version, you can send newsletters and transactional email through them. A transactional email is really just anything other than a newsletter campaign.A great advantage of using these two services for all your outgoing email, is that you can track when your emails are opened.

The two services I found are: MailJet and Elastic Email. MailJet has a free service of 6,000 emails per month, but not more than 200 emails per day. Elastic Email has a per email charge of $0.001 per email. Great for newsletters if you have a small mailing list. Send a 1,000 emails for a buck.

MailJet
All in one email solution.An undelivered email is a lost prospect. 20% don't reach their recipient. Send both your transactional (website) and marketing (newsletter) emails with a 3 minutes SMTP set-up. Increase your deliverability and optimize your IP reputation in real time.

Affordable & scalable, our solution doesn't require HTML or other technical skills.

Be sure each email from your website gets maximum chances to reach the Inbox. ISP rules (DKIM signatures, ...) and recommendations change frequently. We manage this for you, and more: we monitor your campaigns and IP address reputation dynamically to ensure maximum deliverability.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2021

Modal Popup Editor for Tables

I've recently been working on a complex project that presented the user with a lot of data from an xml data source in table form. One requirement was that the user would have to be able to edit the data in the table. If you Google 'table editor' or 'modal editor' you will get a quite a few examples which are pretty good and can do much of what I wanted to do. However, I didn't exactly like any of them enough, so I decided to create my own. The following example is a relatively simple example. The modal popup editor I am actually using is a bit more complex and allows the user to edit more than one cell at a time. But for our purposes here, a simple example will suffice.

Modal Popup Editor Example

The HTML code for the editor itself is rather simple.

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Sunday, February 27, 2021

Simple SMTP Class for PHP

Easily send email via PHP with advanced features

PHP has a very simple mail function which is used very often for very basic text email messages. However, the standard mail function has only limited standard capabilities.  When it  comes to sending out more complicated emails, or using a more secure server to sent emails, we often fall back to PHPMailer. I use PHPMailer too. But for some requirements it is just too much power and too big. Because my needs fall somewhere in the two, I have created my own KM _Mailer for PHP.

There are a lot of reasons to use your own SMTP transport for sending e-mail messages from a web application. Some of them are:

  • Many shared hosting providers doesn’t allow to use the PHP mail() function for security reasons
  • Your web application is more flexible if you use SMTP
  • Your e-mail function is not limited to the servers port or e-mail configuration anymore
  • SMTP is much more powerful and secure (using SSL or TLS)

Just because I like to do this kind of stuff, I created my own simple, lightweight SMTP class to send email messages. It features:

  • Relaying message delivery to a pre-defined SMTP server.
  • Supports AUTH login using TLS or SSL
  • Send messages a plain text, html or a combination of both
  • Use extended email addresses (ie: MyName <myname@mydomain.com>)
  • Validate that server is connected and logged in
  • Validate that email message has been sent
  • Automatically generates plain text message when sending multipart messages
  • Specify additional headers if needed
  • Send multiple messages without losing the server connection
  • Enable debugging to monitor server response

New version 1.5 offers the ability to include multiple recipients, CC and BCC, and attachments.

Using the class is very simple. See examples below.

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Thursday, December 23, 2020

FREE eCards for the Hoildays

I just created an eCard for the holidays and wanted to share. You can download it for FREE! I also included another more generic Happy Holidays card.

Works perfectly in Outlook 2007. Just follow these instructions to install.

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Thursday, December 16, 2020

Read Receipt Macro for Outlook

Know when your email is read

One of the annoying things about email today is not knowing when or if your email has been read. This is particularly annoying when sending a very important message that is somewhat time sensitive. Not everyone responds to the emails sent to them, and with spam filters employed on almost every computer, you just don't know if the message got through.

Most email applications do have a "return-receipt" option, but that requires the receiver of the email to be a participant in the process. Most people, as far as I can figure, turn off this feature. There are services available on the web that will allow you to track your emails. Two such services that come to mind are SpyPig and ReadNotify. SpyPig is a free service, whereas ReadNotify is fee based. I tried SpyPig but couldn't get it to work in my Outlook 2007. So, I decided to create my own.

The process to track your email is relatively simply and not new. Email marketeers have been using this "technology" for years. It simply requires inserting an image, whether visible or invisible, into the message in such a way that the image is not displayed on the recipients computer without first connecting to a server where it can be tracked.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2020

Temporary Links Script in PHP

Creating Links That Expire

I've always been uneasy about creating a download page with permanent  links for my software products. That just makes it too easy for some individuals out there to publish the link to the page and there goes potential revenue. I used to think that my software was not that amazing that someone would actually want to steal it, but was astonished when one day I did a Google search for some titles and found links to various cracks. For the most part, all these titles are now available free from this website.

Probably the best was to protect your software and encourage sales is by using temporary download links. These are links that "expire" after a certain number of clicks or after a certain time period. These links are also known as expirable links. The true path to the downloaded file is always hidden from view so there is no way for the person downloading the file to know exactly where it is stored. Once the link expires, the user is directed to another page advising them that the link is no longer valid.

Temporary Links Demo

I wrote this PHP script for use on this website. The process is relatively simple, requiring the use of PHP and MYSQL. All parameters for the temporary link is kept in a MYSQL table. This is where we track how the link will expire, the current status of the link and the true download path. A unique id is created for each link or record. Instead of being directed to the download file itself. the user is provided with a link to the PHP script with the unique id. When the user clicks the link, the id is checked and if it matches and is still valid, the user is provided the desired file and the status is updated in the database.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2020

A Home Inspection Checklist For The First-Time Buyer

Are You Ready for That First Step?

First Time Home Buyers House. You have probably heard it said many, many times before that buying a home is probably the most important purchase you will ever make. Never is this more true than when purchasing your very first home. Its purchase holds the potential to be financially rewarding or degenerate into a nightmare if unexpected problems are discovered after the deal is closed.

The time to find problems is before the check is written, and preferably even before an offer is made. Though most real estate agents want you to sign an Agreement to Purchase and have the home inspection as a condition of sale, it is much harder to walk away from the deal once that agreement is signed, even if the home inspection finds problems. Your best line of defense is always a professional home inspection, whether you have it done before or after you sign the agreement to purchase. However, there are a few observations you can easily make yourself to determine if you want to take that next important step.

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