PHILADELPHIA REFLECTIONS
Musings of a Philadelphia Physician who has served the community for six decades

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Website Development
The website technology supporting Philadelphia Reflections is PHP, MySQL and DHTML. The web hosting service is Internet Planners. The development of this website has provided an opportunity to learn new technology, to try out different techniques for getting noticed by the search engines and the trials and tribulations of dealing with malicious hackers and spammers who range from the annoying to the abusive. This collection of articles documents some of our experiences and we hope that people surfing the web looking for solutions to problems we've encountered will benefit.

Website Statistics

Today's Philadelphia Reflections was born in June 2006. It had a prior incarnation but it was hacked by Nigerian spammers who took it over and turned it into an email factory.

We scrubbed everything down and rebuilt from scratch, implementing as many PHP and MySQL security features as we could find.

We have done all of the standard things to improve our search engine standings but we are really at a loss to explain the inflection points that can be seen in the graphs.

  • We make an effort to produce clean XHTML 1.1 or HTML 4.01 depending on the user's browser, for both the tags and content
  • We have keywords, description and other relevant meta tags for every page
  • The content is rich, varied, relevant and frequently updated
  • The website structure is simple with complete linkages between pages
  • A current Google sitemap is maintained programatically along with robots.txt, RSS, ATOM and a few other more obscure syndication file types
  • Both the sitemaps, etc. and the URLs themselves have been submitted to the search engines
  • We use static URLs, translated by the Apache mod_rewrite function into dynamic
  • These and other techniques we've picked up along the way are described in the topic "Website Development"

Our home page has a Google Page Rank of 5/10 and the pages vary as follows (as of December 2008):

  • No Info 36%
  • 0    2%
  • 1   28%
  • 2   23%
  • 3    9%
  • 4    1%
  • 5    1%

Google Images is by far the largest source of referrals but we also have many visitors who come to us via the search engines and who like what they see and come back; we would like to express our appreciation to all of our visitors.

{website total visitor statistics}

The dips in the Unique Visitors graph were the result of problems with our ISP ... once they were simply off the air and twice they made software changes without notification or testing.


{website returning visitor statistics}

 

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