Since I had a slow day with nothing to do I set out to do some work and repairs to BimmerMania.com and today turned out to be rather successful!
Redirecting incorrect traffic
For a while now I have been tracking incoming links to kyleabaker.com and I have noticed for a long time that several of the incoming links are originating from BMW enthusiast web sites and forums across the Internet.
The reason for so many incoming links from various BMW related web sites is due to the previous content and purpose that I used kyleabaker.com for. In the past I had a small, but very popular, BMW enthusiast web site with rare resources such as car manuals and video clips.
Since those days, I have moved that part of the site to a new domain and did so way back in October 2006. The new domain name of course became BimmerMania.com and all of the content was moved over and preserved.
The traffic is great since it brings new and fairly random users to my blog, however, it isn’t very practical to continue to let these visitors roam around kyleabaker.com randomly looking for BMW content that is no longer here.
Honestly, from the logs it appears that many of them were unable to read and failed to notice the “BimmerMania.com” link at the top of every page on kyleabaker.com, haha.
What I did instead of letting them roam around (on an unsuccessful search for BMW content that they were never going to find) was to redirect any incoming traffic to kyleabaker.com to BimmerMania.com if and only if the referring address matched any one from a list that I compiled.
The list simply contains the domains of various BMW related websites that link to the old BMW content that I hosted. This effectively filters the incoming traffic to kyleabaker.com and points BMW enthusiasts where they are looking for while at the same time helping BimmerMania.com continue to take advantage of these referring addresses that are continually sending me traffic.
If anyone is interested in how exactly I did this then you can find the code samples here for an Apache .htaccess file. I will continue to update the linked forum post as I find more incoming links that need to be redirected and learn new ways to optimize the code for faster parsing.
Cleaning the MySQL database
I took up the task of cleaning the BimmerMania.com database today which basically meant that I had to go through and remove unused tables that had previously been used when I had the phpBB 2.x forum installed.
I actually don’t know of an easy way to do this. Fortunately for me, I have always used a non-default extension for the phpBB tables (default extension is “phpbb_”) so I was able to tell when tables were old and which were new. Cleaning the database should increase performance a little, however, I don’t think it will be noticable for this clean up since it really wasn’t loaded down enough to slow it yet anyways.
BimmerMania.com RSS Feed back online
I spent some time today working to get the RSS feed link back and it is now working again. It still needs just a few tweaks to perfect it and validate it, but it is very close so far.
I would like to get different versions of feeds available and this shouldn’t be too difficult, but no one has written a good modification for the phpBB 3.x forums yet so I will be writing it from scratch or modifying the Simple RSS mod that I used.
I think I should be able to quickly modify that script to produce output for:
- RSS 2.0
- RSS 1.0
- RSS 0.92
- RSS 0.91 (UserLand)
- RSS 0.91 (Netscape)
- RSS 0.90
Hopefully I can manage to get all of these formats into one file that accepts a parameter to specify the type and version so it can be a very simple installation and a very simple file to update.
Attention to detail
I spend some time working through some flaws in the site like placement and erroneous or poor choice of words for various links and descriptions. I also plan to go through and clean up the home page so it updates more often as a Feed subscription would and just show a list of the latest posts and some BMW news that I post.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions or comments!