WebPageTest: The little known but great webpage benchmarking tool.

When it comes to testing how fast a webpage loads, many of us are familiar with Firebug/Yslow tool (installable as a Firefox browser plug-in). Firebug/Yslow is a fantastic plug-in for Firefox, it gives a wealth of information about any webpage as your browser renders it. This is a must have for any webmaster’s toolbox. Unfortunately, using Firebug/Yslow is very ad-hoc, which is great for troubleshooting, but tedious when you want to export data or take more than 1 snapshot.

After some searching I came across another tool – webpagetest.org. This site tests your url and presents its findings and recommendations on optimizating your webpage, with some nice Firebug/Yslow-like waterfall diagram and charts. Check out the results for this site as tested from Dulles, Virginia in the US. Good stuff right?

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Posted on July 31, 2009 at 11:43 pm by Eldee · Permalink · 3 Comments
In: Website Building/SEO · Tagged with: , ,

PHP Basics: Accessing Remote URLs using cURL

In this post, I’m going back to basics to talk about accessing remote URLs with cURL.

In PHP, there are actually four ways to access a remote URL – fopen() fsockopen(), cURL extensions and HTTP_Request class from the PEAR library. Now, choosing one way over another really depends on your needs for simplicity, control, and portability.
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Posted on June 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm by Eldee · Permalink · 9 Comments
In: PHP Tutorials · Tagged with: , ,

Google Analytics API class for PHP

GA marblesAbout a month back, Google opened the Google Analytics API service to all Analytics users. the API allows developers to integrate the GA reports into their own applications or websites, or even access the reports from a phone!

I’ve been thinking about how I can make use of this API to enhance the sites I’m working on. But before kicking off ideas, I had to find out how to access and use the API. I finally came up with a PHP class that will do all the grunt work of calling the API, you just need to supply your report’s parameter and the PHP class will return you an array of Analytics data.

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Posted on May 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm by Eldee · Permalink · 115 Comments
In: PHP Tutorials · Tagged with: , ,

Google ‘Wonder Wheel’ and new search features

Google has launched a new set of features to their search engine which they call “Search Options”. It bring a collection of tools that lets us slice-and-dice our search results to find what we want faster.

The new features includes the ability to filter a search by types such as Forums, Videos, Reviews, etc. We can also filter the results by time, show more description text, and even show thumbnail images from the page. But the best feature has to be the Wonder Wheel – a diagrammatic way to represent related keywords.

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Posted on May 14, 2009 at 6:57 pm by Eldee · Permalink · One Comment
In: Website Building/SEO · Tagged with: ,

Review: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics

Advanced Web Metrics and Google AnalyticsWhen we first deployed Google Analytics to our websites, it was just a matter of putting in the javascript tagging according to GA’s setup guide. With that, we thought our job was done as “techies”. When the business folks and marketers approached us to get more detail out of GA, we happily put in on our list of to-dos, but at the bottom (of course).

That whole perception changed when I picked up this book “Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics”, written by Brian Clifton. It is a recommended read if you truly care about your organisation and its online presence.

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Posted on April 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm by Eldee · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Book Review · Tagged with: , ,

PHP’s alternative syntax and why it’s useful

PHP offers an alternative way to write their control structures for as long as I’ve remembered. It basically does away with the curly brackets and replaces the opening curly with a colon (:) and the closing with ‘end’-whatever. I have to be honest and say I’ve never really found a need to use the alternative syntax, simply because I’m so used to using the curly braces after so many years of using PHP. Plus, it’s less typing!

But having spend time working on CodeIgniter projects, I have found myself adopting this alternative syntax when it comes to buidling the CI’s views templates. I appreciate that there is place in the PHP universe for this alternative coding style.

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Posted on April 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm by Eldee · Permalink · 16 Comments
In: PHP Tutorials · Tagged with: , ,

Codeigniter: Mixing segment-based URL with querystrings

Codeigniter, by default crafts it’s URL in a search engine friendly format. It uses a segment-based approach and does away with the all familiar querystring format that developers have been using for many years to pass parameters via the URL into their applications.

Codeigniter does allow you to turn on the querystring capability, but that would mean you have to use a pure querystring approach, foregoing the segment-based approached.

So, is it possible to mix segments and querystring?
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Posted on March 9, 2009 at 5:58 pm by Eldee · Permalink · 49 Comments
In: PHP Tutorials · Tagged with: , , ,

OSSPAC: Notes from the Keynotes II

osspac speakerFollowing on from yesterday’s Keynotes at the Open Source Singapore Pacific-Asia Conference (OSSPAC), both Sun and Oracle stepped up to the podium to talk about their efforts in the Open Source world with the message that the global economic crisis will be good for Open Source.

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Posted on February 18, 2009 at 9:54 pm by Eldee · Permalink · Leave a comment
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OSSPAC: Notes from the Keynotes I

OSSPAC conference delegatesI had the pleasure of attending the Open Source Singapore Pacific-Asia COnference (or OSSPAC) held at the Grand Hyatt Singapore from Feb 16-18 2009. This inaugural event brings together the community businesses, developers government officials to experience first hand, the wide range of open systems and to promote the adoption of Open Source technologies across the entire Pacific-Asia region.

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Posted on February 17, 2009 at 9:06 pm by Eldee · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Review: Professional Codeigniter

Professional CodeIgniterThere are currently only two books published about Codeigniter available in the market, one is called CodeIgniter for Rapid PHP Application Development and the other is this one I’m reviewing.

Having being using Codeigniter for a few simple projects, and really consider myself a CI newbie, I scooped up this book when I saw in at my local library, hoping for more insights into this wonderful framework. Instead I was left disappointed.

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Posted on February 13, 2009 at 11:43 am by Eldee · Permalink · 8 Comments
In: Book Review · Tagged with: ,