Articles Pertaining to Website Design

What is an Open Source Project?

What is Open Source?

Wikipedia defines open source by stating it “describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product’s source materials.” In other words, once the project is completed the source code will be made available to the public at no charge. Though free, the use of most open source projects are still bound by some type of agreement, or license.

Common Open Source Public Licenses

Some of the most common public licenses (out of a list of many found here, provided by

GNU General Public License version 3.0 (GPL-3.0)

GNU Library or “Lesser” General Public License version 3.0 (LGPL-3.0)

PHP License 3.0 (PHP-3.0)

Simple Public License 2.0 (Simple-2.0)

Popular Open Source Projects

Below is a list of current open source projects, each with a brief description:

Open Source Web Browser SoftwareMozilla Firefox

Category: Web Browser

From Website: “The common thread that runs throughout Mozilla is our belief that, as the most significant social and technological development of our time, the Internet is a public resource that must remain open and accessible to all.”
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Open Source Blog Website PlatformWordPress

Category: Blog/Website Platform

From Website: “WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog… The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and … there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine.”
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Apache HTTP Server

MySQL Community Server

What is WordPress?

What is WordPress?

WordPress blogs are a great way for you and/or your business to get a web presence quickly.When it comes to blogs, content is by far the most important aspect. Blog writers should take time and care to publish article and posts that are relevant to their site. Using a platform that allows for easy social network sharing is also very important for a successful blog. Smith-Digital uses WordPress for all of blogs that we develop. Being that WordPress is an open source platform, blogs can be setup quickly and are very cost effective. Plugins for social media sharing, as well as RSS feeds, can enable a site to get their information out quickly. Blogs are also very helpful for search engine optimization. Content that is relevant to the rest of the website will help increase the size of your site, and can help to quickly increase your search engine rankings. If you are looking to get your message out, or would like to use a blog to increase the amount of content and frequency that your site is updated, Contact Smith-Digital today for more information.

HTTP Status Code, Web Page Error Codes

HTTP Status Code Definitions – Web Page Error Codes

We will discuss the common error codes associated with your website and web hosting account. The definitions for these status codes have been excerpted from the World Wide Web Consortium’s webpage; “HTTP/1.1: Status Code Definitions“. All credit for quoted information is assumed given to W3C. They are an excellent group. Visit the previously listed page for all HTTP status code definitions.

404 Not Found Error

404 Not Found Error Code10.4.5 404 Not Found

The server has not found anything matching the Request-URI. No indication is given of whether the condition is temporary or permanent. The 410 (Gone) status code SHOULD be used if the server knows, through some internally configurable mechanism, that an old resource is permanently unavailable and has no forwarding address. This status code is commonly used when the server does not wish to reveal exactly why the request has been refused, or when no other response is applicable.”

You are used to seeing this in Internet Explorer and FireFox as “Server not found” or “Web page not found”. This status code means the filename or folder is not found; it does not (currently) exist. Depending on your server and hosting account, you may be able to modify or replace the templates used for these pages. Adding your company’s logo or a brief contact form or phone number is a great idea.




Should I use follow or nofollow for my internal links?

To follow, or not to follow… Links have several options that can be specified for search engines. One of those options is rel=”nofollow”, which instructs a search engine not to follow the link, but to continue on the current page. The questions has been asked “should I use follow or nofollow for internal links“? The quick answer is NO, you should not use rel=”nofollow”. Who says so, you may ask? See this video about Matt Cutts (from Google); he gives you an excellent answer in about 2 minutes. It is well worth the time to watch it about FOLLOW and NOFOLLOW links.

Why do some people suggest to use nofollow for internal links?

What is the reasoning behind using rel=”nofollow”? Some believe that using FOLLOW on internal links creates excessive searching and/or indexing for search engines. If this were the case, precious resources could be wasted having bots follow links that eventually all bring themselves back to the same pages. How would this benefit the website? It would seem that excessive searching within the same site would ensure a thorough indexing of it. This may not be the case, though. If there are flaws within the internal structure of your website, pages or entire sections of your website could be missed.

How important is a sitemap.xml for search engines to index my site properly?

Missing data is the last problem you want when it comes to your website. The best way to ensure that your site is indexed properly in Google, and other search engines, is to use a sitemap file–“sitemap.xml”, “page-sitemap.xml”, “post-sitemap.xml” and so on. The larger the website, the larger (or at least more thorough) the sitemap should be. One of the advantages of using a content management system (CMS) is that these files can be automatically generated and updated by the system.

What is HTML?

The acronym HTML stands for “Hyper Text Markup Language”. HTML has been the publicly known standard web programming language since the early 1990’s. HTML has had many different versions, and the language as a whole continues to be developed and improved upon. HTML5 includes abilities now to do things that used to only be able to be done by using a cascading style sheet (CSS) file.

What is a CMS?

The acronym “CMS” in web design talk stands for “Content Management System”; the name implies the ability to manage the content on your website without much knowledge or understanding of HTML, CSS and other web programming languages. A CMS is useful for companies or individuals looking to regularly update their website on their own, without the assistance of a web designer or programmer. There are a number of open-source content management systems, including WordPress ®, Drupal® and Joomla!®