Real Estate Technology http://www.netcovered.com Techno Garbage & Stuff! Sat, 22 Jan 2011 02:20:36 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 New Venture For Me http://www.netcovered.com/new-venture-for-me/ http://www.netcovered.com/new-venture-for-me/#comments Fri, 21 Jan 2011 19:13:13 +0000 admin http://netcovered.com/?p=44 Continue reading ]]> I purchased this blog almost one year ago with the intentions of using the blog’sblog’s content theme to discuss related technology but with a real estate bent.

If you had a previous relationship with the past owner, please contact me if there were any commitment made that I should be aware of.

Please stay tuned for my layman’s perspective on Real Estate Technology.

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PageRank Update!!! http://www.netcovered.com/pagerank-update/ http://www.netcovered.com/pagerank-update/#comments Fri, 02 May 2008 20:36:07 +0000 admin http://netcovered.com/?p=56 Continue reading ]]> Hi folks! I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been very busy lately. But today I’m bringing some great news. Google has updated public toolbar PageRank. So everybody go check your websites’ PR and you might be surprised. This blog has jumped from PR0 to PR2 which is pretty good taking in consideration that the domain is only about 2 or 3 months old. Though I’m little bit disappointed about number of backlinks which has dropped to 2,127. The reason is that I have cancelled all payed banners and links at other blogs and I have decided to build the PageRank on my own.

PageRank Update!!!

Of course, this is just a small achievment but it’s a great starting point. My next targer is PR4 so I’m looking forward to writing a similar post in three months.

To celebrate this little “victory” I’ve made a new theme. Hope you like it. This is the first time I’ve tried a combination of dark red and dark grey colors.

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Using Drafts In WordPress http://www.netcovered.com/using-drafts-in-wordpress/ http://www.netcovered.com/using-drafts-in-wordpress/#comments Fri, 25 Apr 2008 21:00:11 +0000 admin http://netcovered.com/?p=41 Continue reading ]]> I really like this feature. It’s extremely useful and saves lot of time. Sometimes I get new ideas for posts while I’m just browsing the net or checking my favorite blogs/forums but the problem is that I usually don’t have enough time to write the post right away or simply I’m just too tired. That’s exactly the situation when this handy feature becomes very helpful. I just log into the wordpress admin panel, open a new post, fill in a title and few sentences containing as much information as possible so I won’t forget the idea. Then I save it as a draft. Once I’m in a mood to write a new post I just open my drafts and choose one of the brainstormed ideas I’ve accumulated. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

So How Does It Work?

It’s pretty intuitive and straightforward. Just open the new post and fill in the tile and few sentences that describes the idea. Now save the post without publishing it. You can access your drafts from the dashboard by clicking the link in the “Right Now” box.

Using Drafts In WordPress

As you can see it’s not difficult and it will save you lot of time. Instead of spending about half an hour trying to come up with an interesting idea you’ll be able to start writing immediately. But remember not to leave unfinished posts for too long because it can easily happen that even from the title and short description you won’t be able to understand what you meant to write about. For example, I have abandoned an unfinished article called “Webdesign And Typography” for too long (almost a month) and when I have actually decided to finish it I couldn’t remember what exactly I meant to write about.

Finally, don’t delete your drafts even though they make no sense at all to you. Just leave them sitting there and maybe you’ll be lucky and the original idea will pop up in your head again.

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How To Make Own WordPress Theme Part V http://www.netcovered.com/how-to-make-own-wordpress-theme-part-5/ http://www.netcovered.com/how-to-make-own-wordpress-theme-part-5/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2008 18:47:46 +0000 admin http://netcovered.com/?p=36 Continue reading ]]> Congratulations! This is the final part fo my guide and by the time you read this you should be able to code your own wordpress theme. This is mainly a recapitulation of previous four parts. I suppose that you have read through all previus chapters – if not, check them out: Part I, Part II Part III Part IV

You can download the working theme here (just in case there were some typos or you are just too lazy to rewrite codes – though I highly recommend you to actually manually rewrite everything… believe me, you will learn lot of useful stuff). This is how it should look like:

Your Own WordPress Theme
Your Own WordPress Theme

As you can see the theme is very simple. But that’s alright. The aim of this tutorial was to teach you how to correctly code the wordpress theme. Now you can start playing with stylesheets and modifying the looks as you wish. You are on a good way to become a successful wordpress theme developer.

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Clear Input Field Value When Selected? http://www.netcovered.com/clear-input-field-value-when-selected/ http://www.netcovered.com/clear-input-field-value-when-selected/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2008 21:53:34 +0000 admin http://netcovered.com/?p=52 Continue reading ]]> Today’s post will be partially just for my own reference but I’m sure many of you will find it useful and potentionally use it at your websites. There’s a little useful JavaScript function that clears input field once you select it. Imagine you want to have a search input field at your website that says something like “To search type and hit enter” or similar but you want it to clear up once you click at it. It’s pretty simple. Add this to the header:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
function clickclear(thisfield, defaulttext) {
if (thisfield.value == defaulttext) {
thisfield.value = “”;
}
}
function clickrecall(thisfield, defaulttext) {
if (thisfield.value == “”) {
thisfield.value = defaulttext;
}
}
</script>

Ok now move to the form where the input field is located. For example, my search form here at Net Covered looks like this:

<form method=”get” action=”<?php bloginfo(‘home’); ?>/”>
<input type=”text” name=”s” id=”searchform” value=”To search – type and hit enter…” onclick=”clickclear(this, ‘To search – type and hit enter…‘)” onblur=”clickrecall(this,’To search – type and hit enter…‘)” />
</form>

The trick is that all three values (I have bolded them) must be the same or else it won’t work. See? That’s it. Now you can try it at your website.

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Appraising Your Domain Value http://www.netcovered.com/appraising-your-domain-value/ http://www.netcovered.com/appraising-your-domain-value/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2008 13:15:26 +0000 admin http://netcovered.com/?p=50 Continue reading ]]> Domain names have proven their resale value and more and more people are getting involved in domain trading every day. Necessarily the “science” of valuing domains has been becoming a big business. Appraising can be described as the process of evaluating a domain name and determining its market value. There are already dozens of appraisal firms on the scene and many more appearing. But is it really worth your money to get a professional appraisal? I doubt that. Most of the time you’ll need just an approximate value of a domain and you can figure it out on your own with a little research.

Appraising Domain Value

Since the domain name appraisal industry is so young, perhaps we could compare it to some other industries. Real estate maybe? I have heard many people describing domain names as “virtual real estate”. However these two concepts are absolutely different. You can register a new domain for cca 10 bucks in 5 minutes flat so there’s essentially no physical value. Therefor domain names are perfect example of an intellectual property in its purest form.

Important Appraising Factors

When determining a value of domains you should take into considerations various factors including its length, keyword recognition, clarity, range of potential uses and many more. I’m going to divide these factors into three categories: Structure, Impact and Marketability.

Structure

Dot Value is the most important. Domains with .com extension are the most valuable. The problem is that most good .com names are already taken. The second best extension is .net followed by .org. Although .org seems to be somehow connected with non-profit websites so it isn’t very suitable for commercial projects.

Initial i-, e-, or v-. I have come across an opinion from DomainIQ.com. It claims that domains beginning with i-, e- or v- are of lower value. Moreover, names including “the”, “and”, “-est”, or “-ing” are worth less than those without.

Length. This one is quite simple. The fewer letters the better. Names over 15 characters long are less valuable.

Hyphens and Numbers lessen the perceived value of the domain, too.

Impact

Recognition is one of the most significant factors. Domains like Business.com, Monster.com or Baseball.com have high recognition. Google.com or Yahoo.com wouldn’t fetch a high price under normal circumstances. Their value has arised from an extremely clever marketing. The ways words are crunched together also affects recognition. If the domain name consists of more words it has a greater value if the words are in a correct word order.

Industry Relevance. If the domain name would immediately tell a customer what products or services are being offers, it increases in value. For instance, Phone.com, Garden.com or Art.com would score very high on this criterion as they are relevant and very brandable for certain types of industries.

Clarity adds a value, too. Is the domain name completely clear? Can it be spelled in more ways? For example, There.com might be confused with Their.com if you hear it on the radio (though it’s still amazing domain name).

There are also other factors that fall into this category but they are not so crucial. Positive tone, memorability and many others.

Marketability

Flexibility. This one is probably the number 1 factor that determines whether you’ll be able to sell the domain for a good price. A really flexible could possibly be used for many different projects. For example Beyond.com is indeed flexible. There are almost endless possibilities for this domain name – it’s suitable for almost any kind of website. On the other hand, flexibility is not always desired. Many people will need a distinct domain that will be closely related to their business or company name. To sum it up, flexibility usually makes the domain more valuable but there are situations where it can lower the overall price.

Trademark Conflicts. Be very careful when pursaching a domain. The name might infringe on trademarks or be involved in trademark conflicts. That would dramatically reduce the value.

Current Traffic and Revenue. If the domain name points to an existing website, how much traffic does it get? How many backlinks? Any revenue? All of these factors are a great plus to the final price.

Similar domains. Look for similar names for sale in various auctions. You can also look at what websites are built around similar domains and whether they are popular and important players in the field. This can give you a better idea about an average value of your domain.

Conclusion

There are certainly many more factors that go into determining a domain name’s value on the open market. Appraisals, even from professional appraisal companies, can fluctuate widely. The true value of any domain is mostly just a matter of opinion and cannot be precisely measured. The real price is always dependant on how much an owner of domain is asking or how much a potential buyer is willing to pay.

There are various tools around the internet that can calculate average value of your domain. Estibot.com is one of them. Dnscoop.com is another useful tool. It calculates average value of the whole website taking into consideration traffic, number of backlinks etc.

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How Many Backlinks to Get Better PageRank (PR)? http://www.netcovered.com/how-many-backlinks-to-get-better-pagerank/ http://www.netcovered.com/how-many-backlinks-to-get-better-pagerank/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2008 19:08:19 +0000 admin http://netcovered.com/?p=48 Continue reading ]]> Google’s PageRank (PR) is one of the most sought after web page attributes. The original idea was that a link from a web page to other site’s web page was basically a vote for that page. Google then used the number of inbound links (IBL or more often called backlinks) to a page to decide its importance. Based on this calculation (however there are many other factors, too) Google ranked the page and decided where it should appear in the search engine results (SERP).

Google uses scale of measurement for PageRank from 1 to 10. The lowest possible PR is PR1, the highest is PR10. The new websites tend to have PR0 which essentially means that they are indexed but they have no PR yet. Here is the official Google’s explanation of the PR.

PR Link Chart

The table above is only for a better imagination of how the the PageRank is calculated. Only Google knows the exact formula though. When building backlinks for your website remember that quality is more important than quantity. Try to get few higher PR links instead of bunch of low ones. In addition, you must be patient. Google updates the PR averagely every two months (the longest documented period of time between two PR updates was 122 days).

I’m working very hard on getting many relevant quality backlinks. Currently, according to dnScoop, there are totally 2,189 pages that contain a link to netcovered.com (Smart PageRank shows only 1664 though…). I will try to improve this number even more and I hope that during next PR update Net Covered will jump to at least PR3.

Factors that can increase your Google PageRank

  • Update Pages Frequently 2/10
  • Add Pages Frequently 4/10
  • Good Neighborhood Directories with high PageRank Levels 7/10
  • Monster Websites 7/10
  • Quality Inbound links 8/10
  • Quality Relevant Links 9/10
  • No Broken Links 5/10
  • Article Submissions (this can increase your PageRank by getting more inbound links)
  • All these put together 10/10

Factors that can decrease your Google PageRank

  • Bad inbound links such as Poker, Porn, Sex, Drugs, or anything to that nature
  • Link spamming
  • Bad Content
  • Lots of broken links
  • SEO Black Hat Techniques

Google PageRank Formula

The thing is that nobody actually knows how the PageRank is calculated (except Google of course) but webmasters have discovered over the time the possible algorhitm that seems to fit into equations:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d(PR(t1)/C(t1) + … + PR(tn)/C(tn))

Variable Explanation
t1 – tn pages linking to A
C the number of outbound links that a page has
d damping factor – usually set to 0.85

More simple way of thinking about it:

a page’s PageRank = 0.15 + 0.85 * (a “share” of the PageRank of every page that links to it)

“Share” is the linking pages’ PageRank divided by the number of outbound links.

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My Favorite Blogs http://www.netcovered.com/my-favorite-blogs/ http://www.netcovered.com/my-favorite-blogs/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2008 10:52:44 +0000 admin http://netcovered.com/?p=47 Continue reading ]]> The best thing you can do to become a more successful blogger is to watch your “enemies”. You should have a list of your favorite blogs and read them regularly or even better subscribe to their feeds. You should choose blogs that are popular and well established. Secondly, you should also watch over blogs that you enjoy reading even though they are not so famous yet (might be your future rivals). By doing this, you will have a greater chance to keep up with the top dogs within your niche and it will drive you to get better and better each day. With this kind of motivation you’ll become a more persistent as well as resolute blogger. OK, enough of the theory – here’s a list of my most favorite blogs and reasons why I like them:

Big Square Dot

Big Square Dot is probably the absolute winner of my list. It’s mostly about modern webdesign and wordpress – that’s why I find it very useful and inspirative. It has helped me with developing my own wordpress themes and I’ve learned tons of useful webdesign lessons there. You should really visit this one, especially if you are a designer.

Cypher Hackz

Cypher Hackz (I always tought it was “Cyber Hacks”… the typo is almost invisible) is one great technology resource for designers and wordpress developers. It’s been around for some time already and there are hundreds of returning visitors and email subscribers. No wonder there because Cypher Hackz publishes only very relevant and informative articles.

Life Is Colourful

Life is Colourful might seem as an ordinary general blog trying to make some money online. But the truth’s it is a place full of great content and interesting posts. It’s updated almost every day and there’s a big community of loyal readers (I’m one of them). Really recommended.

Dosh Dosh

Dosh Dosh blog got pretty unusual and unique name. That’s not the only reason I like it though. It’s full of internet marketing and social media news and articles. It’s updated on a daily basis and every post is very comprehensive an full of useful information. No desperate posts just for the sake of update I tell you.

John Chow Dot Com

Probably the most famous webmaster blog out there. It’s really amazing what John Chow managed to achieve with this blog. In two years it has become one of the most popular “make money online” blogs and it’s probably the most profitable one, too (over $30,000 per month is really amazing). This blog is a great source of inspiration and ideas for all young webmasters and entrepreneurs out there trying to earn some money online.

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101 Ideas to Get More Freelance Work http://www.netcovered.com/101-ideas-to-get-more-freelance-work-and-generate-new-client-leads/ http://www.netcovered.com/101-ideas-to-get-more-freelance-work-and-generate-new-client-leads/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2008 21:00:02 +0000 admin http://netcovered.com/?p=42 Continue reading ]]> Just a shorter post for today… I’ve just came across this really interesting and comprehensive article. It consists of long list of tips and tricks on how to effectively spread the word about your freelance services and generate new client leads. It explains very well how to get more potential work. If you happen to be a freelancer or if you are considering starting a freelance carrier, check it out!

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How to Make Own WordPress Theme Part IV http://www.netcovered.com/how-to-make-own-wordpress-theme-part-4/ http://www.netcovered.com/how-to-make-own-wordpress-theme-part-4/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2008 11:10:31 +0000 admin http://netcovered.com/?p=37 Continue reading ]]> Getting closer to finishing your first wordpress theme. However there’s one important thing left – sidebar. That’s right, every blog needs a well organized and user-friendly navigation. It’s actually pretty simple. We just need to call few wordpress functions, add few lines to the stylesheet and we’re done.

Widgetized Sidebar

Let’s start with an unordered list. Open the sidebar.php and fill in:

<div id=”sidebar”>
<ul>
<?php if ( function_exists(’dynamic_sidebar’) && dynamic_sidebar() ) : else : ?>

// Here we are going to add all other codes…

<?php endif; ?>
</ul>
</div><– close sidebar –>

The two lines between the <ul> and </ul> tags will widgetize your sidebar – enabling you to quickly reorganize the items in your sidebar from within the admin panel. One last thing before we move to categories. Add the following to your stylesheet:

ul,li {list-style:none;}

It will remove the ugly little squares from list items. Anyways you’ll probably add your own little images later.

Categories

The first item in the unordered list will contain categories:

/* Function _e(‘Categories’) will print the word “Categories” */
<li><h2><?php _e(’Categories’); ?></h2>
<ul>
/* This function calls for the list of category links and prints it */
<?php wp_list_cats(’sort_column=name&optioncount=1&hierarchical=0?); ?>
</ul>
</li>

The wp_list_cats() function contain few arguments. Let’s explain them:

sort_column=name – category links will be displayed in alphabetical order
optioncount=1 – displays the number of posts after each cateogory link (change “1″ to “0″ in order to hide the numbers)
hierarchial=0 – this turns off displaying sub-categories in sub-list-items (change “0″ to “1″ in order to turn on)

Archives And Blogroll

Type the following code under the categories listing to display monthly archives:

<li><h2><?php _e(’Archives’); ?></h2>
<ul>
<?php wp_get_archives(’type=monthly’); ?>
</ul>
</li>

Now the blogroll links:

<li>
<ul>
<?php get_links(-1, ‘<li>’, ‘</li>’, ‘ – ‘); ?>
</ul>
</li>

Meta Tags

The latter code will diplay the “Register” link, “Login” link (if you have already registered), “Logout” (if logged in) and “Site admin” link:

<li><h2><?php _e(’Meta’); ?></h2>
<ul>
<?php wp_register(); ?>
<li><?php wp_loginout(); ?></li>
<?php wp_meta(); ?>
</ul>
</li>

Remember that you don’t need to have meta section in your sidebar. You can still get to the login page by typing into your browser http://yourblog.com/wp-login.php.

That’s it for the sidebar. I told you it was easy. Let’s summarize how the sidebar.php should look now:

<div id=”sidebar”>
<ul>
<?php if ( function_exists(’dynamic_sidebar’) && dynamic_sidebar() ) : else : ?>
<li><h2><?php _e(’Categories’); ?></h2>
<ul>
<?php wp_list_cats(’sort_column=name&optioncount=1&hierarchical=0?); ?>
</ul><br />
</li>
<li><h2><?php _e(’Archives’); ?></h2>
<ul>
<?php wp_get_archives(’type=monthly’); ?>
</ul>
</li>
<li>
<ul><br />
<li><h2><?php _e(‘Blogroll’); ?></h2></li>
<?php get_links(-1, ‘<li>’, ‘</li>’, ‘ – ‘); ?>
</ul><br />
</li>
<li><h2><?php _e(’Meta’); ?></h2>
<ul>
<?php wp_register(); ?>
<li><?php wp_loginout(); ?></li>
<?php wp_meta(); ?>
</ul>
</li>
<?php endif; ?>
</ul>
</div><!– close sidebar –>

Horizontal Navigation

We will add page links into horizontal navigation div we have in the header template. Open the header.php file and add between <div id=”nav”> and </div><!– close nav –> tags:

<?php wp_list_pages(‘title_li=’); ?>

The only problem is that the pages will be displayed vertically. To make them display horizontally in one row just add to the style.css file:

ul,li {list-style:none;}
#nav ul li {display:inline;padding:2px 10px 2px 10px;}
.entry {margin-bottom:20px;} /* This is just a little addition to visually divide the posts at the main index page */

I have also included some padding so the links won’t be too crowded…

Footer

Usually there is just some copyright information plus maybe a few links in the footer. We will add just copyright. Open the footer.php file and copy and paste:

<div id=”footer”>
Copyright © 2008 <?php bloginfo(’name’); // Function bloginfo(‘name’) will return your blog’s name ?>
</div><!– close footer –>
</div><!– close wrapper –>
</body>
</html>

Your Theme’s Ready For The First Launch!

Alright. Activate the theme in the admin panel and it should be working. There’s still lot of space for improvements but the hardest part has already ended. In the next chapter I’ll show you few very useful tweaks and stylesheet tricks to make your theme look better.

Related articles: Part I, Part II Part III

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