Not a nobody no more

A long time ago I wrote a post with a question.. how do people find the way to my blog (and why would they want to find my blog as it contains mostly personal stuff)? At that time I had a vague notion about search engine optimisation – SEO – but no real knowlege. I read up on a few things, saw the numerous amount of scams around that promiss top rankings within hours and I also read that in this day and age Google pagerank is less important in terms of search engine visibility than it used to be. So I mothballed my thoughts on SEO.

Then we started with our tutorial site Of course it is no fun to write tutorials if no one ever reads them. So I read up again, found some very useful pages explaining that SEO is no magic but mainly comes down to a good layout, good content and hard work. I just made sure that the template on VSD was as friendly for the human reader as for the search engine bot – I checked the generated XHTML with the text browser Lynx. As the site runs on Joomla! I enabled mod_rewrite on the server and installed the latest GPL version of sh404SEF to create search engine friendly – SEF – links to all pages.

I started to add page specific meta tags – apparently also less important these days – but I figured it takes minimum effort and won’t harm. I did *NOT* write keyword targeted articles. I absolutely see no use in luring people to a site finding a generic 250 word article that appears as a useful site in the search engine results but contains only superficial information. What I did was the otherway around – I wrote an article, a tutorial, and cherry picked a few keywords from that article and put those in the meta fields. I have not optimized my articles and keywords, which is an effort that I should start about now too.

Link building is another effort – and I can tell you that I suck at it. I am in general way to busy to go around and put my name and website in a zillion other blogs. But I do follow quite a few good blogs and where I thought comments were appropriate I added them using full details. I then also learnt about “do follow” and “no follow” links. VSD has “no follow” links by default in the comments section, so has this site. But I am contemplating in changing that. The comments on both sites are moderated and if someone with a website to cheap crap links with an unrelated comment or just “awesome” – I am free not to publish it 😀 – in the mean time it would allow me to link properly to sites that are useful and do contribute to a better web.

Anyways.. there is now a nice daily flow of visitors to This is mainly because of the Spiro Swirls tutorial for Inkscape – which has been visited over 28000 times – the site got noticed and some awesome sites linked to either the homepage or directly to the tutorial page. The Alexa ranking is going up daily, and since this week we have a Google Page Rank of 4 on the Very Simple Designs home page and quite a few tutorial pages. The index page for tutorials and other resource pages such as Photoshop Brushes got a PR of 3. And the funny thing is that this blog receives more visitors too, altho the number is quite modest and it got a PR of 2. I am not a nobody anymore (at least not according to Google’s pagerank algorithm).

Busy busy busy…

Cat update

Our poor kitties have had serious down moments and one night Dax had serious respiration problems. My mate took her into the bathroom, opened the hot water tap to generate steam and ease her breathing. Next morning we both took them back to the RSPCA vet. They checked them out, yups it is the flu. We got some anti-biotics and some eye ointment that should help them a bit. That happened last Saturday.Today, Tuesday they are back to being VERY lively cats and it is clear that they missed the excercise as they are racing through the house and ran us over a couple times already.

Cat vs Man

Moogie had to figure out what we do with the toilet. My mate experienced how she dived into the bowl between the morning visit and the flush. Cat and Bathroom got a wash. It was disgusting but funny nonetheless 😀

Dax does not care how she reaches her favorite sitting spot. She uses our bodies as climbing tree without regards of being fully clothed. My mate got quite some scratches from her climbing along his bare legs. She attacks and jumps from the floor to about thigh level. No fun when you just wear shorts 🙁

Job update

The job is fun – currently I just perform small tasks but there are quite a lot of things ongoing. I have to be careful in my planning as time flies. Currently reviewing website designs and making small modifications to wordpress plugins. I have not coded that much in PHP so I need to look up quite a lot, but I am getting there 🙂

Very Simple Designs

With Easter, sick kitties and a new job I have not had too much time to work on new tutorials for the site. I poked Dakka a bit and he told me he would chip in a bit – so hopefully we see some new additions by him soon.



Poor kitties

As I wrote in my previous post, we went to the RSPCA and picked up the 2 cutest kitties. They are awesome! Moogie is very well adjusted and a bit more reserved but loves to cuddle, gives happy nudges and has a purring engine that would make a Benz jealous. Dax is WILD. She was not properly kitty litter trained so that resulted in a few not so nice surprises, but that was corrected relatively easily. Now she seems only a bit confused in the mornings but there have been no accidents over the last 5 days as I dump her in the litterbox first thing after we get up. She is also a bit confused about her role. She likes to be a lap cat, but is seriously considering a job as parrot cat. For some reason she loves to sit on my shoulders while I work. And as she is still tiny it works – but I am sure that won’t last long.

Cat Flu

Then last week Dax started to sneeze. And as my mate says – she sneezes like me: a few careful whisps and sneezes and then HATSJOE! HATSJOE! HATSJOE! HATSJOE! HATSJOE! 5 or 6 times sneezes that turn you inside out. Afterwards she looks likes she just survived a hurricane and shakes her head to try and put everything back in place. When we were at the RSPCA they informed us that they had cats with cat-flu, and those with symptoms were treated and recovering in an isolated cat house. But they also told us that whilst the kittens we selected were vaccinated, they may have picked up something that is in incubation time.

Well.. the poor kitties have cat-flu. Clogged eyes, sniffing, sneezing, diarhea and low energy. I called the RSPCA-vet early this week, and they told me that as long as they eat and drink and not go in total lethargy that we should let it its run. So it is with ups and downs. Some days they feel not so good, others they seem back to full rascal mode (altho it is only till their energy runs out). We give them their kibbles and they eat wel, and entice them with some tuna as that is very smelly and reaches them even with their blocked noses. Poor sweeties.

Cat versus Man

  • missed the litterbox 5 times
  • destroyed a headset by chewing the cables

My New Job

My new job is seriously cool. This week was a short one, as it is just before the long easter weekend. The first day was quite uneventful as I got some time to set up my new development environment and everyone else was too busy with whatever they were doing. In the following days I had training sessions in the morning and some small development tasks in the afternoon. An easy week – probably the easiest work week I have experienced in the last uhm.. 18 years or so. But a good start. I like the people that work in this place. We only have a virtual office – so I only know them from online interaction – but sofar they all seem to be great and I feel very welcome.

Downside is that I did not do much work on my tutorials site for this week. I am a bit too busy taking in new information and adjusting to a full workday again to sit relaxed at night and write out some tutorial. It was a short week however and now I enjoy already a long weekend – so that will give me some opportunity to work on new things to publish.