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PHP Tutorial Site


olie122333

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Hi,

I launched a new tutorial site on March 20th which focuses on PHP & MySQL. It has some tutorials and some code examples, could anyone suggest any improvements for the site in general or any new tutorials / code examples they would like to see on the site?

The site has had 107 visitors, of which 65 are unique, who have viewed 331 pages. (Statistics accurate as of midnight last night)

 

The site's address is http://www.w3php.co.cc.

 

Comments / constructive critisicm welcome!

Thanks,

Oliver.

 

 

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Start with improving quality of your tutorials. Your SQL injection tutorial for example:

1. You don't provide an example of what an SQL injection is. You describe it in very vague terms, that could apply to several other attack methods.

2. Your solution is buggy: what if magic_quotes_gpc is disabled and I actually want to insert text containing backslashes?

3. Your solution does not protect against many quite simple injections like

$var = '1 OR 1';
$query = "SELECT * FROM users WHERE ID = $var";

imagine this is is for authorising admin privileges...

 

All your MySQL examples base on ext/mysql, which while not officially deprecated, is quite obsolote (albeit popular). For MySQL server newer than 4.1, ext/mysqli is recommended.

 

In your 'Block IP Addresses (PHP & MySQL)' you use VARCHAR(255) to store IPs.... ever heard of INET_ATON and INET_NTOA? Remember: IP is just a number, usually written as values of four bytes divided by dots.

 

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Also, while you may feel proud about how many visits your site has garnered, your users most likely won't care, and they certainly won't want to see a bright blue box displaying that info at the top of every page.

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  • 2 weeks later...

not trying to kick him, sorry if it seemed rude, however if i was looking for php tutorials and saw that they only had 100 visits in the last two weeks, i would begin to question the integrity of the site.

 

Not in the last two weeks, in the first two weeks.

 

Sorry for bumping an old thread, I just felt I needed to respond to this.

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I'm sorry.. but the layout is good, but the colours is .. horrendous. Black.. I dont believe is a neutral colour.. it didn't even attract my attention.. just made me click X, alot of sites are blue, so maybe try perhaps come up with a blue colour scheme, but not making it look like other sites. I'm glad you took an interest in helping other users, though you may want to learn a bit more about a topic before posting a tutorial on it.

 

Keep it up though. 100 users in the first 2 weeks isn't bad really.. but you may want to keep them coming back, as I'm sure most of them 100 users.. could of just gone.. "urgh.. CLICK X"

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not sure if you updated the site, but i am surprise no one else mention the bright blue lists against the dark background.... the colors dont put me in a good mood to read more lol. i like the sitepoint.com website. its kinda the direction you was going. its just a typical site i guess

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Good point, I didn't look in the tutorials section.

It blinds me. Its' good colours, but please.. not with the black.

 

If you don't feel the need to increase your tutorials... perhaps you don't have the knowledge. You could alteast change a function name needed to a link. eg: Here

"NOTE: TO USE THE "mysql_real_escape_string" FUNCTION, YOU MUST ALREADY BE CONNECTED TO A MYSQL DATABASE."

You'd change mysql_real_escape_string to a link. So that users can click on it and view more about it.

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On Tuesday the site is exactly one month old, and has currently achieved over 1,100 pageviews from over 300 visitors, of which 200 are unique.

 

Also, I have added many more tutorials since posting it here. To quote myself: "Comments / constructive critisicm welcome!" - most of these comments aren't exactly constructive...

 

But thanks for mentioning the color scheme, I am working on this now ;)

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Yes, the colours are really doing my head in. And in your random link tutorial:

// Generate a random number

srand(time());

$random = (rand()%3);

 

A) That is not very 'random' for this purpose.Why not use a weighted mt_rand or.. Should I be so daunted to say, array_rand!

B) A multidimensional array instead of two arrays for each name is preferred and more efficient.

C) ---v

"Display a Random Link (PHP) - W3PHP In this tutorial you will learn how to create a simple bad words filter in PHP. A bad words filter is useful if you run a blog system or a comments system, and you do not want people to post bad words."

 

What on earth does displaying a random address have to do with a "Bad word filter" ?

 

EDIT: If you're so happy about your traffic, Then work on putting out quality content, then it should be justified.

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"Display a Random Link (PHP) - W3PHP In this tutorial you will learn how to create a simple bad words filter in PHP. A bad words filter is useful if you run a blog system or a comments system, and you do not want people to post bad words."

 

What on earth does displaying a random address have to do with a "Bad word filter" ?

Sorry about that, will edit it in a second...

 

And the new design is now online, but it is not completely working yet...

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Well done! Much better, the tutorials look a bit nasty with the colour though. Don't change anything else with it though :)

Your slogan, I know it's the font style, but it'd look better with capital first letters :)

 

Note: Put your own footer on!

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It looks a lot better overall.  Some thoughts -

 

1. I don't get what the fence in your header graphic has to do with anything.  Is it from a pre-made template?

 

2. Your codeblocks are still jarring to look at.  You don't need to make the background electric blue.  Make it light gray and put a 1px black border around it.  That will keep it readable while separating it from the rest of your content.

 

3. Not to be the turd in the punch bowl, but you do need to improve on your tutorials.  Content is what will drive your site, and so far it's lacking.  I think your intent and effort are noble, but the results are lacking.  A couple of examples:

 

In your 'Block IP addresses without a database' tutorial, how would one obtain an IP address?

In your 'PHP email' tutorial, where should one be concerned about security?

 

This isn't intended to make you feel bad, rather I'm saying this to motivate you to do better.  Tutorials should generally have more than 10-15 lines of code total, else what's the point?  Those that don't should highlight a bit of theory, or a really useful trick or tip.

 

Here's a good tutorial for you to write - building a login system from scratch.  Including:

Database table(s)

Proper password handling

Proper security (scrubbing the inputs, escaping them, etc)

Gracefully handling error conditions

Having the site remember a logged in member

 

It'll be a worthwhile topic for you to cover, as it is a topic that crops up here all the time.  Further, it'll give your site truly relevant content.  Something to legitimately think about, IMO.

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alright but i do have to have a little input and let him know:

 

The stats are very often flawed and bloated. Alot of those hits are probably search engines, alot of the other ones are from here. I wouldn't judge all that much by the site statistics. if you want a better way to know how many people are actually visiting your site, use an ajax counter that logs the ip. then search engines dont trigger it. and you can change your log to show how many unique ips there are and how many pages each one visted. Perhaps even allow comments on your tutorials so you can see what kind of reaction people are having to them.

 

Also, while the stats may make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, (i love looking at how high my stats are) most users and other people are going to be annoyed by your telling them.

 

once you get the counter right, You could even write a tutorial about how to create an advanced counter that weeds out search engines and bots.

 

Last one:

the orange link ontop of the dark blue has got to go. I can barely read the titles of the tutorials. (already mentioned i beleive) along with the code background. (already mentioned as well.

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1. I don't get what the fence in your header graphic has to do with anything.  Is it from a pre-made template?

 

I think it's suppose to look like a notepad. I think it is a premade template too.. judging by the footer.

 

Yeah, I'm not sure but I think it is premade.

 

Seems the OP is stuck in a pickle of design, The most gruling part of webmastering.

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that looks alot sharper without the fence. but now there is a bit of a void there. tryin increasing the size of the W3php logo, or creating a w3php logo in photoshop for right there.

 

other than that, that dark orange on dark blue is still terrible to read on the tuts pages. I really highly suggest changing that orange color to something more readable. Other than that, just keep adding/improving content and it might take off a little.

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Fixed all resonable issues so far raised in this thread.

 

So I suppose content quality is not reasonable issue for you :P

 

I see you changed SQL injection tutorial a bit. Thing is, mysql_query does not allow for multiple queries, so the example you provide is moot. ;) And why escaping a $password vatiable if you're not using it in your query?

 

 

As far as design is concerned: you surely made a progress. One thing that doesn't look good to me is orange on blue in list of tutorials.

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Fixed all resonable issues so far raised in this thread.

 

So I suppose content quality is not reasonable issue for you :P

 

I was just about to say the same thing.

 

To the OP, fixing your design issues is akin to putting lipstick on a pig.  Yeah, it may make it more pleasant, but at the end of the day, it's still a pig.  You could make your site as slick as you want it, but the content - what the site actually is - won't change or somehow be improved because of it.  And, a site like yours won't maintain readership with the tutorials at their current level of quality. 

 

Like others have said, your web stats are essentially a myth - between those of us looking at your site because of this thread, the people you've personally told (family, friends, etc.), and the various bots out there that crawl every site, you shouldn't put too much stock in what those numbers are saying.  They are not an indicator of the quality of your content.  Further, some of us in this thread do this kind of thing for a living - we know what we're talking about.

 

The bottom line is this - criticism is part of the gig, and there's no such thing as 'off limits' when you put a site online.  If all neutral 3rd parties are telling you that your content, as it currently stands, is an issue, then what's more logical - that all of us are wrong, or are somehow being unfair, or that we're right and are trying to help you remedy the problem?

 

In terms of design issues, Mchl mentioned one.  I have one more - you need to properly indent your code blocks.  A simple:

 

$code = str_replace(' ', ' ', $code);

 

should do the trick, assuming you use spaces instead of tabs.

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