Monthly Archives: August 2009

Advantages of running an Affiliate program

There are two ways to run a business – the traditional, ‘go it alone’ way to promote and sell your products and services, or by using the ‘team-power’ way of affiliate marketing. If you count yourself among the traditionalists, you’ll be missing out on one of the most potent and successful online marketing concepts today. Recognizing the tremendous potential to augment their sales, widen customer bases, increase profits, and give them a good handle on things in their businesses, a major number of successful companies, small businesses and even large corporations are increasingly relying on affiliate programs to spear head their overall marketing efforts. Check these advantages.

THE POWER OF ONE – Just as highly successful MLM companies use ‘the power of one’ (individual contributors in a network), so does every successful affiliate. Running an affiliate program, to promote and sell products or services, has several advantages. First of all, in addition to your own efforts, you’ll have an off-payroll team with unlimited scope in terms of numbers, each working hard to promote your business.

BUILDING A LIST – As often the case, most people express some level of skepticism when exposed to affiliate programs promoting various products or services. However, this does not diminish the fact that, if managed and promoted well, an affiliate program can help to build an enormous list of potential customers, while retaining existing ones. However, to achieve this, a lot of hard work will be necessary in the initial stages to build credibility and trust among potential visitors to your site. This will go a long way in building a solid relationship with your potential targets and existing customers. Moreover, you will also be giving merchants the opportunity to add to their own lists for continuous marketing to your potential targets. This will be possible when you refer potential targets to the merchants’ sites directly.

SELLING MULTIPLE PRODUCTS – Perhaps, this is one of the great advantages of running an affiliate program because affiliate marketing allows you to sell multiple products simultaneously and dramatically increase sales. The secondary advantage of selling multiple products is that their individual sales results complement each other. For example, when sales are low for one set of products, profit lines can still be maintained by the sales successes of the others. However, the key here is to select products that have assured, niche market potential, rather than those with mass public appeal. Another advantage of selling multiple products through an affiliate program is that people who are customers of a particular product can be potential targets for another.

‘TARGETED’ AFFILIATE MARKETING – This is perhaps, the most advantageous aspect, and one that is exclusive to an affiliate program. By inviting or influencing visitors to subscribe to your opt-in list, this segment becomes ‘targeted’, potential customers. ‘Conversion’ is what differentiates between ‘untargeted’ and ‘targeted’ site visitors. The former, are least likely to ‘convert’ their visit into a sale, while the latter are most likely to.

Probably, the biggest advantage of an affiliate program is that when it is up and running smoothly and successfully … you’ll have lots of time to attend to other important things.

PHP Debugger

PHP Debugger is a powerful php project development tool which integrated with PHP code editing and debugging. Without any other php server, you can edit and debug an PHP project with the help of PHP server integrated capable of debugging , after you create an PHP project simply.

Advantages of the Software

1. Integrated with PHP server: This software is Integrated with an PHP server which has capable of debugging. Without IIS ,you can run and debug the PHP project after creation .(In fact ,your operation system is completely independent of any PHP server.

2. Edit with code cue function: The edit interface of the software is a editor of source level ,it specially optimizes the PHP programs , which make it competent to list the member functions and their grammar cues of PHP object integrated.

3. Support breakpoints and step to debug: You can start up your PHP project with breakpoints , step and so on . When the server is executing on the breakpoint(or you’re stepping , there are many ways for you to watch the variable values of the current PHP code. We specially optimize the PHP object integrated , which enables it to show more detailed information on the interface.

4. Set Breakpoint: You can set the breakpoint at any line, The PHP code will be break when it run at these Breakpoint lines.

5. Step-In: Execute the following line of PHP code. If the next line of code is a function call, then begin execution at the beginning of the function.

6. Step-Out: Execute program execution until you reach the line of PHP code that called the currently executing function.

7. Step-Over: Execute the current line of PHP code.

8. Watch variables:You can add watches for specific variables or any valid PHP expression.

Key Techniques

1. PHP Debugging Server: The main function of this software is to debug PHP code . It’s well known for all PHP developers , a satisfactory development tool is still absent for the time being , which is different from VC++, VC# and VB. Take DreamWeaver for example ,for which the PHP code edit function is available, but it’s very inconvenient to debug the PHP program ; You can debug your ASP programs at any time.

2. PHP Source Code editor: There are many static page editors available , however ,an excellent PHP source code editor is scarce . Many developers compile PHP code with EditPlus,Ultraedit and other tools, but the PHP code grammar cue is not applicable for EditPlus , let alone grammar cue for object user-defined.

35 Absolutely Useful Firefox Plugins For Web Designers And Developers

Firefox is a very popular browser especially among web designers. There are more than 70% of WDB’s readers are using Firefox. There are few reasons which make Firefox so popular compare to others and obviously its plugins had contributed a lot for that.

Today, we are going to look into 35 useful Firefox extensions for both web designers and web developers. You are not required to install all extensions, as this will cause your Firefox slow and lag. Without talking much, let’s look into these extensions.

1. Firebug
Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page.
firebug

2. Window Resizer
The Browser Window Resizer is useful for testing different screen sizes. It accurately resizes your browser so you can test to see what a web page looks like in all of the standard resolution sizes. Supports the 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768, 1280×800, 1280×1024, 1600×1200 resolutions.
window-resizer

3. Total Validator
Provides true HTML validation (HTML 2.0 to XHTML 1.1) using the official DTDs, plus added attribute checking. So you no longer have to put up with the limitations of the W3C validator (no type checking) and tools like HTML Tidy which interpret the standards incorrectly (they don’t use the official DTDs).
total-validator

4. Fireshot
FireShot is a Firefox extension that creates screenshots of web pages (entirely or just visible part). Unlike other extensions, this plugin provides a set of editing and annotation tools, which let users quickly modify web captures and insert text annotations and graphical annotations.
fireshot

5. FireRainbow
FireRainbow is a Javascript syntax highlighting for Firebug 1.3+. It requires Firebug 1.3 or higher.
firerainbow

6. HTML Validator
HTML Validator is a Mozilla extension that adds HTML validation inside Firefox and Mozilla. The number of errors of a HTML page is seen on the form of an icon in the status bar when browsing.
html-validator

7. Library Detector
Detects what javascript libraries are being used on the current page and displays the result as icons with detailed tooltips in the statusbar.
libDetector

8. Tamper Data
Use tamperdata to view and modify HTTP/HTTPS headers and post parameters. Trace and time http response/requests.
tamper-data

9. Firefinder for Firebug
Firefinder is an add-on to Firebug, to help find HTML elements matching chosen CSS selector(s) or XPath expression. Type in desired filter and view the results.
firefinder-for-firefox

10. JSONView
With the JSONView extension, JSON documents are shown in the browser similar to how XML documents are shown. The document is formatted, highlighted, and arrays and objects can be collapsed.
jsonview

11. JavaScript Deobfuscator
This add-on will show you what JavaScript gets to run on a web page, even if it is obfuscated and generated on the fly.
javascript-deobfuscator

12. FireFTP
FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.
fireftp

13. HTTPFox
HttpFox monitors and analyzes all incoming and outgoing HTTP traffic between the browser and the web servers. It aims to bring the functionality known from tools like HttpWatch or IEInspector to the Firefox browser.
httpfox

14. Aardvark
Powerful and user-friendly selector utility for selecting elements and doing various actions on them. It can be used for cleaning up a page prior to printing it (by removing and isolating elements), and for web development.
aardvark

15. Firecookie
Firecookie is an extension for Firebug that makes possible to view and manage cookies in your browser. Firebug has to be installed in order to use this extension.
firecookie

16. Dummy Lipsum
Generate “Lorem Ipsum” dummy text (from http://www.lipsum.com). Minimum text length: 5 words. Context menu option on form inputs (”Insert Dummy Lipsum”). This option fills automatically the selected field.
dummy-lipsum

17. Pixel Perfect
Pixel Perfect is a Firefox/Firebug extension that allows web developers and designers to easily overlay a web composition over top of the developed HTML.
pixel-perfect

18. EditCSS
Stylesheet modifier in the Sidebar.
editcss

19. Firediff
Firediff implements a change monitor that records all of the changes made by firebug and the application itself to CSS and the DOM.
firediff

20. FirePHP
FirePHP enables you to log to your Firebug Console using a simple PHP method call. FirePHP is ideally suited for AJAX development where clean JSON or XML responses are required.
firephp

21. OperaView
Open pages in Opera from Firefox and Mozilla context menus. Very useful for web developers.
operaview

22. DOM Inspector
DOM Inspector is a tool that can be used to inspect and edit the live DOM of any web document or XUL application. The DOM hierarchy can be navigated using a two-paned window that allows for a variety of different views on the document and all nodes within.
dom-inspector

23. YSlow
YSlow analyzes web pages and why they’re slow based on Yahoo!’s rules for high performance web sites.
yslow

24. CodeBurner for Firebug
CodeBurner is a Firefox add-on that integrates with Firebug, to extend it with reference material for HTML and CSS.
codeburner

25. IE Tab
This is a great tool for web developers, since you can easily see how your web page displayed in IE with just one click and then switch back to Firefox.
ie-tab

26. CSS Viewer
A simple CSS property viewer.
css-viewer

27. ColorZilla
Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies.
colorzilla

28. MeasureIT
Draw out a ruler to get the pixel width and height of any elements on a webpage.
measureit

29. Web Developer
Web Developer adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.
web-developer

30. ViewSourceWith
The main goal consists to view page source with external applications but you can also open page source as DOM document, open CSS and JS files, open images with your image viewer and a lot of other features.
viewsourcewith

31. GridFox
GridFox is a Firefox extension that overlays a grid on any website. If you can open it in Firefox, you can put a grid on top of it. It’s easy to customize, allowing you to create the exact grid you designed your layout around.
gridfox

32. Screengrab
It will capture what you can see in the window, the entire page, just a selection, a particular frame. Basically it saves web pages as images – either to a file, or to the clipboard.
screengrab

33. Pencil
Pencil is a free and open source tool for making diagrams and GUI prototyping that everyone can use.
pencil

34. Palette Grabber
Palette Grabber creates a color palette for Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, GIMP, Flash, Fireworks, Paint.NET, or OS X based on the current page.
palette-grabber

35. Dust-Me Selectors
Dust-Me Selectors is a Firefox extension (for v1.5 or later) that finds unused CSS selectors.
dust-me-selectors

The best free open source software for Windows

To many, free open source software and Microsoft Windows seem to be mutually exclusive. After all, the open source development model is most closely associated with the Linux OS and, to a lesser degree, various Unix derivatives. So when you mention the two together, you often get some rather strange looks. This is a shame because there exists a growing landscape of compelling free and open source solutions just waiting for the intrepid Windows user.

Here’s the list of the best open source software for Windows.

Get well-connected with FileZilla
FileZilla is one of those essential Internet tools that you just can’t live without. A full-featured Windows FTP client, FileZilla makes interacting with FTP sites an efficient, productive process.

FileZilla’s main UI window is also a throwback, with a confusing four-panel directory tree and contents layout that’s reminiscent of the old Windows File Manager application. In fact, everything about the FileZilla UI feels a bit dated, possibly a side effect of its cross-platform heritage.

Bottom line: FileZilla isn’t going to win any Windows UI beauty contests. But if you can look past the ancient exterior, you’ll discover one of the most powerful FTP clients available on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.

Double your OS pleasure with VirtualBox
VirtualBox has grown from a scrappy unknown wallowing in obscurity to a serious contender in the classic desktop virtualization space. Much of the credit goes to Sun Microsystems, which plucked VirtualBox from its underfunded developer, InnoTek GmbH, and gave it the technical resources and attention needed to reach its full potential.

The UI is just window dressing, after all. VirtualBox covers the basics well and, as of version 3.0, outshines VMware Worsktation in terms of CPU and memory scalability per VM. It will be interesting to see how VMware responds to this potent threat to its desktop virtualization hegemony.

Bottom line: Unless you need the very developer-specific features of VMware Workstation (IDE integration, Easy Install, robust snapshots with real-time playback), there really is no reason ever to pay for desktop virtualization software again. VirtualBox 3.0 is that good.

Get down to work with OpenOffice.org
OpenOffice.org is one of the tools most closely associated with the free open source movement. Encompassing word processing, spreadsheet, presentation graphics, drawing, and database functions, OpenOffice.org is a full-featured office productivity suite designed to compete with commercial solutions from Microsoft and SoftMaker, as well as SaaS offerings from Google and Zoho. It also serves as the basis for a variety of derivative productivity suites, including IBM’s Symphony and the Novell inspired Go-OO.org.

Unfortunately, OpenOffice.org’s high profile has also made it a lightning rod for criticisms of open source development practices. A sprawling, sometimes top-heavy product, OpenOffice.org has been accused of succumbing to a kind of featuritis, with each new release trying to match or surpass Microsoft’s market-dominating commercial Office suite. Meanwhile, core deficiencies — like the lack of a reliable import/export capability for Microsoft-formatted files — has caused many IT organizations to take a pass on this free, yet fundamentally flawed, Office alternative.

But for users who don’t need to exchange data regularly with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org provides a capable set of tools for accomplishing just about anything a typical business user would require. The OpenOffice.org Writer application is comparable to Microsoft Word in terms of core features, and the Calc and Presentations applications are more than adequate for all but the most demanding usage scenarios.

Bottom line: OpenOffice.org provides a powerful business productivity solution for IT sh

Expand your horizons with Mozilla Firefox
Like OpenOffice.org, Firefox is another tool that’s almost synonymous with free open source. It’s also the movement’s greatest success story, with more than 30 percent of Web surfers running some version of the Firefox browser. The story is all the more remarkable when you consider that Microsoft effectively owned this category just a few short years ago, having captured 90 percent of Internet users by bundling the Internet Explorer browser with the Windows operating system.

Although Firefox is free, unlike Internet Explorer it doesn’t just fall into your lap; you need to consciously seek out, download, and install it — all tasks that have traditionally been beyond the pale for average users. That Mozilla.org has been able to reach past this kind of inertia and convince such a wide audience to try Firefox is testimony both to the product’s quality and to the power of public perception: All the cool, savvy users seem to run Firefox, while Internet Explorer is now considered the choice of newbies and the unsophisticated.

It also helps that Firefox is a darn good browser, chock-full of useful features and thoughtful touches, like one-touch bookmarking and an integrated search and address field. And if there’s something you don’t like about Firefox or a feature you think is missing, chances are the need has already been addressed by one of the program’s 6,000 or more add-ons.

In fact, it’s this active add-on community that makes Firefox so attractive to the tuners and tweakers of the global IT audience. Firefox truly is whatever you make it, and for many users, this is just the kind of customizability that’s worth seeking out.

Bottom line: Firefox is the standard bearer of the free open source movement and a shining example of what a community-oriented development process can achieve.

Show your creative side with Paint.net
Paint.net has a checkered past as a free open source solution. Originally released as a completely open source project, its developers were forced to scale back to a more restrictive Creative Commons License (still freely available, but without source code) after unscrupulous parties decided to rename the original and try to resell it for profit.

As currently constituted, Paint.net qualifies for only the “free” part of the FOSS acronym, which is a shame since the program itself is a hidden gem. Designed by a bunch of Washington State University students as a replacement for Windows’ anemic Paint accessory, Paint.net has evolved to incorporate a growing list of sophisticated image editing capabilities, including layers and a complete plug-in system for adding image effects and support for various file types.

The program’s fans like to think of Paint.net as a functional alternative to commercial tools, like Adobe Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. However, limitations in key areas (brush selection, text manipulation) coupled with a lack of TWAIN scanner support, continue to relegate Paint.net to the amateur leagues. Furthermore, the program’s reliance on the .Net framework means that you need to factor that additional layer of complexity into your cost/benefit calculations (not to mention download time, considering .Net Framework 3.5 with SP1 weighs in at more than 200MB).

Bottom line: If your image editing needs are modest — and you don’t mind going outside of your image editing environment to fill the occasional features gap with another tool (such as scanning) — then Paint.net may be just the solution you’ve been looking for.

Media Player Classic
Media Player Classic is a tool that always causes me to do a double-take. After all, it appears to be almost identical to the original Media Player accessory that shipped with Windows 9x all those years ago. However, looks can be deceiving, and under the hood, MPC is a completely different animal, with built-in support for a wide variety of audio and video formats, an extensible architecture, and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of nifty hidden features.

All nostalgia aside, it’s the integrated playback support that makes MPC so popular. Simply download MPC from its SourceForge.net Web site and run the program (no installer is required). You are immediately able to play a variety of formats, including MPEG/MPEG-2/MPEG-4, DivX, Xvid, and CD/VCD/DVD media — all without installing any external codecs. In fact, many users rely on MPC as a kind of litmus test for media files: If MPC can’t play it, there’s probably something wrong with the file.

Bottom line: MPC is a must-have tool for anyone serious about their media. Even if you don’t use it regularly, just having a copy available to test/verify compatibility is a good idea.

TrueCrypt
TrueCrypt is one of those free open source utilities that fly under the radar of most Windows users. Not as flashy or controversial as Microsoft’s BitLocker, TrueCrypt nevertheless provides many of the same features — full disk encryption with separate key-based recovery — as well as some that BitLocker does not, like true pre-boot encryption of all volumes. (BitLocker requires that you create a separate, unencrypted pre-boot volume.) In fact, TrueCrypt is superior to BitLocker on many counts, with support for more encryption protocols, more varied encryption scenarios (such as hidden volumes), and more flexibility in how and when you can encrypt your data.

Bottom line: TrueCrypt’s flexibility, combined with its broad platform support and active development community, make it a terrific free alternative to Microsoft’s BitLocker.

Stick it to The Man with PDFCreator
For many years, the act of creating an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) file was either more complicated or more expensive than it needed to be. In the old days, you typically had one of two options: Spring for the full Adobe Acrobat product or take your chances with one or more third-party “print to file” solutions, many of which were overpriced or of dubious quality.

All of this changed with the emergence of GhostScript and its subsequent licensing under the GNU GPL. Suddenly, anyone with some programming chops could roll their own PDF creation and editing solution, using the GhostScript interpreter as their framework. Not a programmer? Not a problem — there are several prebuilt solutions that allow you to generate a PDF. And by far the most popular of these is the PDFCreator tool hosted on the SourceForge Web site.

PDFCreator installs as a virtual printer driver under Windows, allowing you to dynamically generate PDF output from virtually any Windows application. It supports a broad range of Adobe PDF options, including password protection (both for users and authors) and 128-bit encryption. In fact, if there’s a downside to PDFCreator, it’s the sheer number of configuration options available. Fortunately, these settings are hidden deep within the program’s Options dialogs. Novice users can simply print to the PDFCreator virtual printer driver and get good results with the default settings.

Bottom line: If you need to generate the occasional PDF file but don’t want to skimp on functionality or configurability, then PDFCreator is an excellent solution and a great alternative to Adobe’s pricey Acrobat product.

Tighten your belt with 7-Zip
7-Zip is another great example of a free open source project that takes over where many commercial solutions stop. Incorporating a wide range of decompression formats (from ARJ to ZIP, and virtually everything in between) and its own advanced LZMA-based compression engine, 7-Zip delivers performance on par with proprietary formats like RAR and ACE while remaining entirely open and extensible.

Bottom line: 7-Zip provides everything you could want in a basic file compression solution. It’s fast and reliable, and it supports a wide range of formats — a real no-brainer.

Thwart those evildoers with ClamWin
ClamWin is a free open source anti-virus solution that provides a (mostly) comprehensive shield against the majority of common malware threats. I say “mostly” because the product lacks real-time execution monitoring, a critical component of any modern anti-virus solution. To scan for a virus with ClamWin, you need to manually initiate the process by selecting a suspect file and choosing the ClamWin option in the pop-up context menu.

Bottom line: ClamWin provides a good basic level of protection, but its lack of real-time execution scanning makes it more appropriate for veteran users than novices.