This blog site is not meant to be any information that is distributed to the general public. It is to serve as shared documentation between the DNSTC developers; however, if you find something useful and would like to use it, go right ahead.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Encoding and Decoding for Ajax


One of the original issues with WSMS is that some special characters where not able to pass through the Ajax requests correctly due to special characters.  For example, if you used the "&" within your text boxes or within a link, everything after the "&" and include the "&" was removed when it would save the information to the database.

To fix this issue, the data must be URL (or URI) encoded before it is passed through the GET request, then it must be decoded before it is saved in the database; however, the problem is that it must be decoded within java script, then decoded within PHP.  This took a little bit of research and testing, but it does work.

Here is how to encode the data:

If you are receiving the data as variable v in java script:

var vout = encodeURIComponent(v);

Then pass the variable v=vout to the request.

On the PHP site, use the following:

$value = rawurldecode($_GET['v']);

This will then decode the data and you can store the variable $value within the database.

To see an example of this in action:

Within the dba section of, look at the files

Encoding in Java Script:  dnstc_ajax.js under the function: saveFieldValue()

Decoding in PHP: location-sae-main-inforamtion-ajax-process.php

Friday, June 28, 2013

Slider Images

I needed some code to use as a standard sliding image rotator.  After testing out several downloads, I came to the conclusion that the following fits the needs for almost any web design project.  I have used it on several design projects already and wanted to document where I got the code from.
The link to the Basic jQuery Slider can be found here:

It is very easy to setup and use.  It also has several options that you can customize.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fixing Buffer Issues

When I started working on SEO for pages, I noticed something strange occurring with errors stating that redirection or sessions could not be started.  Warnings would show up on the top of pages stating that you cannot perform these functions since the headers already started.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Trying to Be Good, although not easy.

headacheThrough several years of researching how to achieve first page placement I have discovered that for every article that explains how to do it one way, there are three others that can contradict the findings of the first article.  Which means 1) Nobody really has a clue or 2) People just like to write catchy titles to catch other’s attention.

I gave up the quest of research the beginning of the year and decided to just try things on my own.  Those tips and tricks I have read about that make sense, why not just weed out the garbage and fall back to the old adage of “keeping it simple stupid”.

With that being said, one of the 3 major things that I have found (and counter found) that is important in having your web pages indexed correctly, is that they meet W3C validation rules.  Makes sense.  You site should be clean of errors and easily read by the search engine bots.

So I embarked on a great campaign - that if nothing else, each website I design is W3C valid.  This should just be something that my clients should be able to count on when they commission me to be their webmaster.

Well this week, I am working on a project where I am going through each page of a website and cleaning up the code.  If you have done this, you know that it can be tricky going back and forth fixing one thing and breaking something else.  Took me a little bit of time, but once I got on a roll it was pretty simple.

In a mater of an hour or so, the entire website was 100% W3C validated and compliant.  I gave myself a pat on the back, and got another cup of coffee. 

When I came back to my desk, I noticed that one of the other simple things on my task list was to add Google Analytic tracking to the website.  Forgot to do this a while back, so hey, another checkmark off the list.

Hopped over to my Google Analytics, grabbed the code and put it in the website template.  Gave a quick upload and done.  Check.  Done this so many times in the past, I didn’t even take an extra second to look at the code.

I had to add a new page to the site, so once I got everything on-line I decided to run another quick validation on the site just to make sure we were still in compliance… at least with the new page.


When I look at the error, it was the code that I had copied from Google.  Are you kidding me?  Google cannot even post code that is compliant…. arrrg!  Well, that’s ok Google, at least I fixed it on my site.

Sorry, just needed to rant a bit.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Creating a New Website Structure Analysis Report


The Website Auditor will provide us with 2 critical items needed for Search Engine Optimization. (1.  Information about the website structure, 2. Information about Keyword SEO per page).  These directions will discuss how to create the structure report.  Once the structure has been address, you can open the project and run an SEO analysis per page based on the keywords provided by the client (click here for those directions)

  1. Make sure we have already setup the client report domain.  (see Installing the Analysis Directory on YWR and Documentation)
  2. Open Website Auditor
  3. Make sure you have already configured the software for DNSTC (see Setting Up the company profile)
  4. Click on New at the top right.
  5. Enter the domain name and click next.
  6. This may take some time depending on the size of the website.
  7. When analysis is done, click on Finish.
  8. It will then ask to collect various ranking information.  Click on Yes.
  9. On the next screen, check all of the options (Select all at the top of the window)
  10. Click Next.
  11. If CAPTHAs pop-up, just click Skip all
  12. Again, this may take time depending on the size of the website.
  13. When done, click Finish
  14. You should now see ranking data, validation errors, etc…
  15. Click on Website Report
  16. Check the option on the top right to “Website Structure Audit Report (Detailed View)”

Publishing the Reports

Once you see data on the report, then you can publish to the client’s directory on the 

If you are publishing for the first time, you need to setup the company profile.  This is similar to the DNSTC profile, but it is the information pertaining to the client.  Here is how you setup this up, and it only has to be set-up once for the project file.  Skip this step if the client profile is already configured.

  1. From the menu, Preference –> Customer Profile
  2. Enter the information about the customer.
  3. Click OK when done.

Once the client profile has been configure, you can move onto creating the publishing profile and publishing the report.

  1. Click on Publish
  2. Select HTML, and click next
  3. Select Upload Report via FTP, and click next
  4. FTP server would be:
  5. Username and password is the same as cPanel
  6. Click next
  7. Under the folder public_html you should see the client’s directory, select it and click next.
  8. Under the step #5 screen click the following:
    1. Add prefix:  Change this to Website Structure Audit Report
    2. Check Append Customer’s Name
    3. Check Append Customer’s website Address
    4. Check Append Current Date
    5. Click Next
  9. Name the Publishing Profile, [Company Name] - Website Structure.
  10. Click next
  11. Select the publishing profile
  12. Click next
  13. The report will be published to the client’s directory.

Backing Up and Storing the Project Profile

All of the project files for the analysis reports are stored via FTP to in a folder called “a”.  After you have completed procession the web site structure report, you should then upload a copy of the profile into this folder for the other team members to share.

Setting Up The Company Profile


Almost all of the report generators have the same configuration for the company profile.  So you should be able to follow along with these directions on each of the different utilities.  This only has to be done once for the utility after you install the software, but before you PUBLISH a report.

  1. Open the utility.
  2. Click on Preferences –> Company Profile
  3. Enter the following:
    1. Name:  DNS Technology Consultants, Inc.
    2. e-mail:
    3. website:
    4. Address: 1397 Leyton Drive, Youngstown, Ohio  44509
    5. Logo, Download and use:

Again, this should only have to be done once per utility.

Installing the Analysis Directory on YWR and Documentation


consturctionDocumentation for DNSTC Developers

This document will only provide information for DNSTC developer’s and is really of no use to anyone else.

About the Analysis Directory

The Analysis Directory is the directory that will house the data reports and status reports for projects that we are working on for clients.  They will get their own URL and be able to connect to to view those reports.

During the processing of the reports (you will see in other documentation) they can be published via FTP.  To make life simple, we have decided to house all reports under which the bulk of these reports all related to SEO.

In order for the process to work, the directory must first be installed before any of the reports can be viewed by the client.

To Install the Directory:

  1. Add the domain to the developer’s portal.
  2. Connect to the SEO page of the domain in the developer’s portal and add the directory name, and if you know the keyword phrases.
  3. Click on the Install button next to the directory name.
  4. A new window will pop-up installing the directory, creating the config.txt, and copying over the index.php file.  You can test to make sure all is installed by clicking on the connect at the end of the installation screen.

About the Index.php File

A special index file has been created that will not only pull the tasks from the DNSTC developer’s portal, but also provide a directory listing of the reports.  During the installation process above, the index file is copied into the directory.  The source of the index.php file is located at:

If changes need to be made to the client’s directory listing or index file.  All that has to be done is update the source index.php, copy it over to the source directory, and follow the installation procedure again.  This will provide the new version of the index.php file in the client’s directory.

SEO PowerSuite now being incorporated into Internet Marketing services at DNSTC


DNSTC has purchased the SEO PowerSuite software and is using it in various aspects of Internet Marketing for websites, as well as, for client websites.  The software, although very powerful, is at times extremely complex to configure and run.  I will be posting documentation on the blog here that will explain how to configure the software, run the analysis, generate reports, and publish reports.

Two websites, and will be using these reports and clients will be able to view and following along with the results.

To download the software, view documentation, or open a trouble ticket, the main website for the software is:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

DNSTCWSMS is now 100% W3C XHTML and CSS Compliant


Through some diligent efforts of our development team, we now have 100% compliance on the WSMS coding engine.  This also includes the meta tags used for Facebook and other social media sites.

Monday, April 22, 2013

DNSTC Launches the Social Media Content Planning Portal

If you are a small business owner, you know that social media is a crucial part of your on-line marketing efforts in order to compete in the global market.  DNSTC has created a social media planning and resources portal that will help small business owners through the entire process.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Every Other Row a Different Color


The following code will allow you to change colors every other row in PHP.

Add the following around the do { loop:

$cnt = 0;
do {
$color = ($cnt & 1)? "#F8F8F8" : "#FFFFFF";

Add the following to the <tr> tag:

<tr style="background-color: <?php echo $color; ?>">


With this example, every other row will be a light grey color and the other row will be white.  The first row starts off being white.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

If You Unfriend on Facebook Do You Unfriend in Real Life?

unfriend2While reading a science teacher magazine, my wife came across an article outlining a scientific study that was performed to see how unfriending someone on Facebook affected real life relationships that she brought to my attention I thought I would share with you.

The study was performed by the University of Colorado in Denver and their findings were quite interesting.  The author of the study, Christopher Sibona, found that 40 percent of people surveyed said they would avoid in real life anyone who unfriended them on Facebook.  Some 50 percent said they would not avoid the person and the remaining 10 percent were unsure.  Women said the would avoid contact more than men.

Furthermore, Sibona did another study in 2010 asking why people unfriended (or un-liked) others and here is what he found out:

  • Frequent, unimportant posts.
  • Polarizing posts usually about politics or religion.
  • Inappropriate posts involving sexist, racist remarks
  • Boring everyday life posts about children, food, spouses etc.

You can read the full article here.

Does social networking affect real life situations?  What have you found out with your social networking efforts?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How You Can Lose Customers by Using Technology Incorrectly

DontsMarianne actually found this one and it was pretty good.  In a recent blog post on one of the sites we follow called “Sparky Firepants,” David Billings wrote about a recent experience he had trying to obtain insurance for his business over the Internet (You can see the full blog post here).

He was shopping around to different web sites and came across one that looked promising, so he decided to fill out their on-line form get more information from the company.

As a business owner, you know your time is stretched all over the place, and in reality the Internet can help you IF other businesses used it correctly.  In his humorous post he explains the nightmare that he went through and basically was turned off over the lack of personal service.

What I have decided to do was take his story, and come up with some tips to keep you from not being the one who is losing customers simply because you are not using the Internet correctly.

1. Follow-up within a few (business) hours – If someone sends you an e-mail, contacts you through your website or even sends you a message on Facebook, it is just proper business etiquette to follow-up with them in a few business hours.  Maybe you are busy, maybe you don’t have the time to deal with it at the moment, but a simple reply back will tell person that a human being got their message and will be dealing with their request soon.

2. Check your e-mail at least 4 times a day and respond – I don’t know how many times I have sent out an e-mail message to a business account, to get no reply back.  IS THIS HOW THEY CONDUCT BUSINESS WITH THEIR CLIENT’S AS WELL?  No wonder they say the Internet doesn’t work.

3. Make it simple – In David’s blog he stated it took him 10 minutes to fill out the on-line request form.  Really?  Do you really need that much information from an initial request?  If you are on top of your communications, you really only need a name, e-mail, maybe a phone number, and what they are requesting.  Anything else is too much and too complicated.

4. Make it personal – Automated responses should only be used to let the person know that the website processed their submission.  That’s it.  You have to remember, Internet technology is a tool to help you do your business, not run your business for you.  People still want to know that there is a person on the other side of the computer screen, so make it more personal.

5. Be professional – Making it simple and personal does not mean you are not to be a professional.  People are coming to your to a product or service, they are not coming to you to be a friend.  Friendship can come later after they are your client.  At first you need to present yourself as a professional who is an expert in the product or service that you are providing.

6. Follow-Through – Once you make a reply back to the initial request, it is now on you to follow-through and see that the request is resolved.  If you don’t hear back from the potential client again, you are the one that lost the customer if you don’t try to contact them again.

Well, this is my philosophy and my opinions.  Maybe you don’t agree with me and that is fine.  But I would like to hear your thoughts about this.  Please place your comments below.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

One for Fun: Create Your Own For Dummies Cover


Ok, well I got bored and took a break.  I was looking for some cheat sheets to link to for a project I am working on so I went to the “For Dummies” website.

They are running a Pinterest contest right now for $10,000 by the way (details here), but in looking through some of their stuff I came across something that was some fun so I thought I would share it with you.

They have a utility where you can create your own “For Dummies” cover.  The first one I made I didn’t find appropriate, so I created the one you see above. 

You can create your own at:

Have fun!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Using an Electronic Calendar to Stay on Task

Calendar_0I get asked all the time how do I keep track of everything I need to do with working a full time job, managing an Internet marketing company, managing Internet marketing for clients, as well as, the Internet and social marketing for the main company. Well, today’s tip will provide you with my secret.

What is the one thing that is constantly changing and that we can count on always being there; thus is able to keep track of everything we do? The answer is time. Time is always moving forward and the best way to manage your time is with your electronic calendar.

What I do is schedule my time around appointments, work hours, and time off on my calendar so that I block out my days accordingly. I put every task I need to do on the calendar and the electronic reminders beep as well reminding me to do something.

With some e-mail clients you can even drag-drop an e-mail message onto your calendar. For example, maybe you get an important e-mail message that you have to perform a task, return a call, or return an e-mail and you are in the middle of a project. What I do is schedule that in my calendar so that I don’t forget to take care of the issue.

So here are some tips that I can provide on how to use Technology to Stay on Task.

1. Get yourself an electronic calendar that you can carry with you. I use Google Calendar since it works with my cell phone, desktop, laptop, iPad, whatever.

2. If you go electronic, don’t revert back to paper. You can really get messed up and confused if you keep multiple calendars.

3. On Sunday (or any day you choose), block out your work times on your calendar. What times do you want to spend working with clients, what times to you want to spend researching…etc.

4. Don’t be afraid to reschedule if you have to reschedule. Life happens; there is nothing wrong with rescheduling something. Just let people know if you have to reschedule.

5. Don’t forget to block off down time (family time). All work and no play will make Shawn a dull boy.

6. Periodically check to make sure that items have synced. I had this problem in the past, I was posting items to the wrong calendar… almost missed an appointment.

So in closing, your calendar can be more than just keeping track of appointments. You can also use it to keep track of tasks you have to do. Just move those tasks into your calendar and schedule them for when you have the time.

How do you use technology to stay on task?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

5 Reasons you should consider an e-mail marketing database

emailWe all have hectic business schedules and spending time at the computer is one of the last things a business owner wants to do. So, I say, why not take a few extra moments and make the technology work for you. Clean up your listings of clients, those sticky notes, those business cards, and place all of that information in once central database that you can use to contact your customers (or potential customers) in a moment’s notice.

Let’s go one step further. What if we use that database to send out periodic e-mails to keep in touch with our clients? Now we are talking about an e-mail marketing database. With an e-mail marketing database, you get several advantages.

1. You can manage your customers and contacts in one single on-line location

Let’s face it. Having a database with a listing of all of your customers is just a dream to most people. You hear about something new you can offer, wouldn’t it be great to send that out to everyone you know in a matter of minutes? Keeping your existing client’s informed about your business is the key to renewed sales. When you have information to provide, there is really no reason you cannot just send it out to new contact and past customers.

2. Track who is opening your e-mail and clicking on your links.

If you send out a message from your e-mail client, do you know if everyone has even opened it? Not really. With an e-mail marketing service, when you send out a message, you are able to get tracking information. Some services even send you a mail message with the statistics about your mailing within a few days.

3. You can schedule e-mails in advance.

This is one of the items that I like. If I have a few extra hours on the weekend, I can perform a kind of “set it and forget it” type writing and my e-mail will go out in the future. In fact, there have been times where I have queued up a few to go out at different times.

4. Use Technology to help expand your list.

Most services have the ability to place widgets on your social marketing pages or your main website to ask people to sign-up. Some services have even got more modernized with the ability to sign people up to your list via text messaging or QR code scanning.

5. An e-mail marketing database provides a purpose to your Internet Marketing efforts.

What is the purpose of all of this anyways? Why do we have a Facebook Page, a Twitter Account, Pinterest Boards, Google+, LinkedIn, and your website, whatever? Why do we do all of this and spend all of our time and money on these items? TO GET MORE SALES! Are you getting more sales? By having a nice database with the ability to convert your social networking fans and friends to contacts in your database, or even convert visitors from your website to your database, you now have a captive audience. This should be your goal to Internet Marketing. Building your on-line community, but you need to have a way to manage that community. And this is where an on-line email marketing database comes into play.

Get Started with a FREE 60 Day Trial on Constant Contact

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Customizing Google Calendar

google-calendar-final1It is well known that you can incorporate your Google Calendar into your website; however, I came across an interesting article that explains how you can customize the CSS so that the calendar will match your website layout.

To create a custom CSS file for your Google Calendar, you will have to create 2 new files and use them instead of the default embedding code.

You’ll need to create 2 new PHP files, the first: custom_calendar.php is the actual calendar file, and custom_calendar.css, a CSS file to style the calendar. The first file is the main one that makes this possible; the second file allows you to change any of the CSS properties. With a little CSS magic, you should be able to customize it further to fit your site perfectly!

The full article can be found here:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do You Know Where Your Web Site Ranks?

On February 20, 2013, Shawn Donley from DNS Technology Consultants, Inc. presented at the Main Street Chamber of Mahoning Valley, Lunch and Learn, at Don Victor’s in Austintown.  At that meeting, Shawn revealed the DNSTC -, 3-5-3 Plan to help any web site owner capture the power of the Internet.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cyber attacks blamed on China–FINALLY!

chinese-hackersAt DNSTC, we are constantly being bombarded with hack attempts from foreign countries.  Every day we get at least 5 failed attempts that has made us turn up security so tight on our servers that sometimes we get calls from clients who have been locked out due to something simple as forgetting a password.    This has been reported to the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as, the Federal Trade Commission, to no avail.  Several hours each week is spent monitoring this, tweaking the server, and putting up road blocks.  Something has to give and we are glad to see reports on the Internet as this:

The New York Times says hackers based in China "persistently" infiltrated its computer network over a period of four months in late 2012 and early 2013.

Repeated cyber attacks on foreign governments, companies and organizations have been traced to China over the past few years and the Chinese government has often been accused of backing them, either directly or by allowing them to go ahead. Analysts say the attacks often appear to be an attempt to gather information and protect China's image.

Beijing routinely denies state-backed hacking and says it is more a victim of hacking than the culprit. Many other countries are also believed to use cyber espionage.

Other attempts go on every day.  The article lists some the following:

  • Lockheed Martine
  • Coca-Cola
  • Google
  • NASA
  • Pentagon

In our opinion, the law community needs some good IT people.  If you have read some of our posts in the past, you know how DNSTC feels about this topic.  How much money is being wasted just because there is nothing that can be done to stop this.

Read the full article for yourself here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DNSTC is going mobile!

mobile-website-comparison-largeWe are currently working on a NEW service to offer mobile websites for our clients.  The mobile website service will have a backend similar to the WSMS system that will allow you to login and modify your “Mobile Ready” website.

More information will be coming soon!

Monday, January 21, 2013

30 Ways to Promote Your Web Site Off-Line

There are many different creative ways to promote your website off-line. Most of which should be done anyways; however, we have compiled a list of different things you should consider to help get the word out about your web site. Before you begin implementing any of these ideas, you should first make sure that you are proud of your web site and that it has information on it for people to contact your or find our more information about your products and/or services.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Should You Have A Search Option?

I get this question sometimes from website owners.  Should our website have a search option?  Well, my answer is this, If your website has enough content to provide a search, then you should have one.  If you site only has a few pages of content, then having a search option is overkill.  That is just common sense.

Having Multiple Websites for Your Business

I was in a meeting last night and an interested topic came up that I never really thought about before.  That is having multiple websites for your business.   Let me elaborate just a little more.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Facebook Open Graph META Tabs

facebook-developers-logoFacebook will be around for a while, and the following META tags are needed on webpages in order to have control over images, text descriptions, and URLS when people share or like web pages on Facebook.



<html xmlns=""
<title>The Rock (1996)</title>
<meta property="og:title" content="The Rock"/>
<meta property="og:type" content="movie"/>
<meta property="og:url" content=""/>
<meta property="og:image" content=""/>
<meta property="og:site_name" content="IMDb"/>
<meta property="fb:admins" content="USER_ID"/>
<meta property="og:description"
content="A group of U.S. Marines, under command of
a renegade general, take over Alcatraz and
threaten San Francisco Bay with biological

You can find out more details here:

Friday, January 4, 2013

7 questions to consider about your website

This article is for business (or website) owners.  Throughout the years, I have created websites for company’s from scratch, redesigned websites that already existed, and with some have just made  a few suggestions.  No matter what project I encounter, I always tell the owner that the primary goal of any website should be that it is your “digital” sales force out there on the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.