My desk is near enough cleared, the witnesses buried and the evidence burned. At 13:00 I leave BBC Wales for the last time and embark on a new adventure with some fairly large goals. I'll keep you posted.
I've been learning a bit about location issues to do with web hosting and site domains, regarding local searches. I've been frustrated for a while that searching for simple terms in google.com turn this blog up well. However, despite the fact this blog is a lot about Wales and the UK, it doesn't turn up in the UK only pages search at google.co.uk.
It comes down to the hosting of this site in the US, where hosting is a lot cheaper and feature packed than the UK. If this was a co.uk site, it would show up in the UK only search thanks to the co.uk domain. If this site was a .com, but physically hosted in the UK, then it would show in the UK only search also. As it's a .com, hosted in the US, it doesn't show at all in the local UK only search.
This problem affects a number of my sites, thanks to my initially setting them up on .com domains. So, I realised that I was missing a lot of search traffic with Crazy Frog Fans.com - a strong UK topic. I wanted to try and capture this traffic and keep the big .com site hosted in the US. I picked up Crazy Frog Fans Co Uk and put a mini-site there which scrapes a lot of content from the .com site, as well as having it's own unique content.
This Co.UK site now shows up in the UK only Google search - but notice, the Dot Com still doesn't. It's already showing UK only search traffic, whom will either get what it needs there, or move on to the richer content at the .com site.
I have a few domains that I need to do a similar thing too, because as it stands, comparative UK hosting just is not anywhere near as good or cost effective.
The Crazy Frog Fans UK site is also of note as it's another ground up CSS only design from myself (yes it's very simple - that's the intention though!) Continuing my growing love of CSS and getting to grips with it, I fiddled the Crazy Frog Fans UK template to make two mini online bingo themed sites - one a portal for the UK style 90 ball online bingo and the other for the US style 75 ball online bingo. Both scrape content from a couple of my sources to make new sites with a narrower and more online focused scope than my Playing Bingo site. It will be interesting to see how they perform.
In other news, if you've looked at the archive pages here, you'll notice that a lot of images from 2004 and 2005 are broken. This is down to inconsistent linking practices from my self. I'm working on a fix, as I hope to shortly move this domain to a UK server, to get that UK only traffic that might be interested in this site and not have to lose one of my older domains. It's all fun and games... :)
Carrying on the holiday snaps. It was Elis' third birthday whilst we were away, so we took him on a trip to the Gwili Steam Railway and had a trip on the steam train. He enjoyed it very much. I've never been a rail enthusiast, but I had a few nice shots as you'll see below.
On the way home we stopped at the National Botanic Garden Of Wales, at Llanarthne near Carmarthan. I've never been there before, but I've followed the stories of it nearly closing and remember sorting out live broadcasts from there when it first opened. We didn't really explore most of it as we were a bit rushed, but the big dome was nice and full of photo opportunities, as were the grounds. Here's some shots from there.
So, there we have it. We're now aiming to get down that part of the country soonish - West Wales, but permanently this time - so that's my new big goal, but there's a lot of work to sort out and things to happen before we can make that dream a reality. Touch wood for us.
You may have noticed I've not been around much. Well, that's a fib. I have, just not here. My other sites are getting all my loving. I'm spreading myself way to thinly - but hopefully, once my job finshes, and the business plans start to kick in, I can really crack on with the work.
On a happier note, I'm feeling all fresh and invigorated. We had a whole week away (no internet) in a lovely holiday cottage at the tiny village of St Dogmaels, near Cardigan in West Wales. Lot's of snaps to share, so I'll get the ball rolling rather than waffle on.
Firstly, the local beach was the wonderfully flat and expansive Poppit Sands.
Our cottage was overlooking the ruins of St Dogmaels Abbey. We had a couple of wanders around. Elis loved it and described it as his castle. I took a few shots, weird angles and all - none were very good and this fairly straight shot of Elis turned out the best.
We also went to the beach at Mwnt one day. It's famed for being the place you can see the Cardigan Bay dolphins from. We didn't see them, and nor did I photograph the exceedingly photogenic little church up on the headland. Instread here's some of the cliffs and beach.
A lot of jellyfish were washing up on the beaches, and making going into the sea a paranoid affair. Whilst at Mwnt, this beauty washed up on the shore, a good two to two and a half feet across. I don't know if it was a stinging type, I believe they get Portugese men of war in those waters, and didn't want to test it out!
I'll leave it there for now... Back with the second lot of snaps soon.