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 Post subject: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
In my never-ending quest to add website to my links directory, I keep exploring the nooks and crannies of the web looking for sites I don't have.

While doing so, I usually find some real gems.
The websites that make you search all over to figure out what state/town they're in.
An operation looking for volunteer "Diesel Engeneers" (Typos happen, proofread your site!)
404's when clicking on links from the main page. Heck, found one on MY page today, some idiot changed a URL and didn't update it. I'd fire the guy but it was me...
An "About" page, that says, in it's entirety "About (Organization name)" and nothing more.
And, today's sign of the Worldwide COBweb "The next phase of restoration will hopefully begin in the summer of 2013..."

When's the last time you checked your content?

Also, check your log files, especially the 404 section, it's how I found my self-made broken link.


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:14 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 429
How about a link to your links ;-)

Question: how do you find dead links?

-Hudson


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
My links directory can be found here:

http://www.railroaddata.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
HudsonL wrote:

Question: how do you find dead links?

-Hudson


I use several methods:

1) "Web Link Validator", a script that goes through a list of links that I give it and checks that they're valid. Being automated, it's not foolproof. It can tell if it hits a 404 error or a 301 re-direct. It cannot tell when the domain is still live but the content has changed, either to something totally different, or to a "this domain is for sale" link. This is the first pass, it finds the obvious ones.

2) Each listing has a "Dead Link? Report it!" button so users can notify me when they find a broken link.

3) Scan the categories, looking at the thumbnail images. Are they there? Do you see one of the "Domain for Sale" images (You get to know what they look like.)

4) Brute force approach: Pick a category, go through and click on each link in turn to see if it still goes where it should. I have nearly 5,000 links, so this approach falls under the "Painting the Golden Gate Bridge", but it also ensure the links are top quality and stay as currently as is reasonably possible.

If you asking for your own website, your log file can give you that info. One of the log file entries should be "File Not Found" errors, with a listing of pages that folks are looking for but can't find. Some are obvious hackers, like the ones looking for wp-login.php (wordpress login) or admin.php. But others will alert you to links that are outdated. Seeing lots of hits on "2014-excursionschedule.html"? Look for the referrer and see if you can figure out where the link comes from. You can also use 301 redirects to automatically send folks the current page seamlessly, as well as telling search engines, "Hey, we moved that, it's over here..."


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5254
Location: southeastern USA
Could you not just click on the damn things and see if they come up?

_________________
"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 426
Location: Floyd, AR
Also, for those of you who are stuck in the dark ages, your website should not only be mobile friendly, but should be optimized for mobile devices. On our facebook page, I can view results by device and mobile devices outnumber computers by at least 2 to 1. An ad I recently ran came up with something more like 15,000 mobile and 300 desktop!

CLAIM your Facebook, Google, and Tripadvisor pages, at the minimum. It's free! Be sure to correct the hours, location, websites, phone numbers, etc on all 3. It really helps if you can be responsive to questions on those sites as well.

Cancel your yellow page ad, it's pointless.

_________________
Robert Longhofer,
Board Member, Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Arkansas Railroad Museum, steam engine SSW819.
Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:27 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Dave wrote:
Could you not just click on the damn things and see if they come up?

Maybe you missed the bit where I mentioned there are nearly 5,000 of them?


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:23 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5254
Location: southeastern USA
It's a long holiday season.....

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"Techies never minded eating bits and jots of their work. They were grit and grease inside and out and could turn a pile of junk into a magical kingdom."

Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:58 pm
Posts: 15
In addition to building ticketing and railroad management systems for tourist railroads, we are also a website development company with 15+ years experience providing website solutions including responsive design to give users an optimal viewing environment across all mobile platforms. Contact us if your site needs an upgrade!
https://www.dynamicticketsolutions.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:49 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Jeff Lisowski wrote:
Also keep in mind of "hidden" pages on your website. Pages that you don't need but "hide" on your site. Sometimes they can still appear in a Google image search.


Also, be wary of putting ticket prices in press releases etc. They can come back to haunt you later.

Here's what happens. You issue a press release about your 2007 season, and say "Tickets are $20 for first class". Bigtown News prints your press release and puts it on the web. 10 years later, a local searches for "Bigtown Railroad" and, since they often read the Bigtown News, google shows hits from that site first. They read the article, not paying attention to the date, and then have a hissy fit when your ticket agent tells them tickets are $47.50.

As the old saying goes, posting something on the web is like peeing in the pool. Once it's out there, it's nearly impossible to get rid of it all.


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:23 am
Posts: 128
Location: willow grove pa
One other little tidbit often "hidden" on many websites is a total e mail directory / phone and sometimes addresses, often in XL / word format. Creative people looking for information can use a simple forced search to gain access to files not meant to be seen.
Your web person should conduct a review with someone on staff of every published / unpublished page, file or directory on the site. At least somebody will know what you have hanging out.

Google and Yahoo use regional "search" response sites as an FYI, your information may look different depending on update and location as an FYI.


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 128
Location: Orrville, OH
I'll throw my two cents in, furthering the comments on email lists.... Unless you enjoy spam, don't expose an email address, hidden or visible, on an active or inactive web page. Use a contact form with a server-side mailer script. For even better protection, incorporate a captcha - one of those dreaded type-the-letters or click-the-pictures to prove you're human before the data is sent to the mailer script. They're one more hurdle spambots usually don't bother with. I can't tell you how many times people have asked "How come we get so much #@&%$ spam?" when the answer is right there on their website.

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Eric Schlentner
ORHS


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 Post subject: Re: Have you checked your website lately?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8358
Location: Baltimore, MD
jayrod wrote:
For even better protection, incorporate a captcha - one of those dreaded type-the-letters or click-the-pictures to prove you're human before the data is sent to the mailer script. They're one more hurdle spambots usually don't bother with. I can't tell you how many times people have asked "How come we get so much #@&%$ spam?" when the answer is right there on their website.

And, of course, THEN you get irate, frustrated contacts back-channel by snail-mail or Facebook from people complaining that they couldn't get past the %*$@#%^?%+^$@$&*!!!! captcha on your website's contact form.......... no matter how much you might emphasize "if you can't read it, click that 'give me another captcha' button right there"...


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