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Month: April 2010

A Proposal for a Stack Overflow site dedicated to SEO

Having been on the hunt lately for good SEO advice I have found that so much information out there is conjecture, as a developer I like quantitive  measurable rules, not qualitative suggestions. Therefore I have proposed a new Stack Overflow site dedicated to SEO. I feel that the Stack Overflow model would be fantastic for helping webmasters filter the wheat from the chaff.

So, If you like the idea, please read the proposal and give it an up vote.

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Getting a Muse site up and running check list

This page serves as a brain dump of all the resources I used to get our first Muse site up and running
The below checklist is in no particular order

*** This list will be continually updated ****

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My first attempt at a Muse

I have always been a person with to0 many ideas and not enough time, but after reading Tim Ferris’s Book “4 hour work week”, it inspired me to get the ball rolling.

So the first idea is a site called Traditional Irish Fare, it builds on “what we know” and is a website to promote and sell recipes that my wife has been working really hard to perfect, as you can tell by the name they are Traditional Irish recipes and there is enough there to cover a full Irish meal.

The major drive to get the website up and running was for St. Patrick’s day, as during the run up to the celebration “Irish Soda Bread” becomes one of the top internet search terms in Google.

We built the site in a single day. That included all the cookery and photography. We promoted the site with Google Adwords.

I was not to concerned about making a sale as we put the website live about 1 week before St. Patrick’s day, and the real purpose was to gauge interest.

What did we learn.

  1. Google Adwords are expensive
  2. SEO is so important for sustained traffic
  3. When pricing your product don’t forget the payment provider charges
  4. iPhone style pricing does not work (i.e. the barrier to purchase is to high, checkout drop out etc)
  5. Product photography is really important

Next Steps

Although we did not get that much traffic, we now have a full year to get the site ready for next St. Patrick’s day, and there is a lot we can do to improve the site offering and the final product.

  1. Get a section on the home page with more “About Us” information
  2. Add pictures for each step of each recipe
  3. Add You Tube videos of the cookery process
  4. Create an iPhone/iPad app
  5. Work really bloody hard on SEO


One of the things that I did for our first Muse was to create a site using an HTML template from Dream Templates, the template was excellent, and served its purpose for our experiment. However next time I think I would start using a blog engine similar to this one instead of building a site from scratch. Modern blogging software is so sophisticated that they can be used as complete publishing platforms. Plus if you choose a well established platform like word press the number of templates out there is just incredible. Plus, blogging about your Muse is a great way to generate marketing buzz.

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I love Redgate!!!!

I have just spent the day debugging the ASP.Net Membership provider as I had an issue where users could not log into the my test server.

Redgate have added a new addin to the ever excellent Reflector, that enables you to debug third party assemblies from within Visual Studio. How amazing is that!!

I was able to debug through the membership provider and find out where things were going wrong.

As it goes the error was due to my own stupidity, aren’t they all, but it saved me hours.

Another Red Gate tool  that has become  a permanent part of my development tool kit.

I have to mention that SQL Compare is also excellent.

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