November 21, 2016

How to Datayze Soft Launch

I’m delighted to share that I’m soft launching (How to) Datayze, the tutorial and tip side of Datayze.

I’ve been thinking about writing up some tutorials as a complement to the website apps for some time now. I’ve shared some of my ideas here, but wordpress has a tendency to mangle the formatting. I tried to force the formatting with CSS, but even that has proven to only be a partial solution. A blog format that incorporates the notion of freshness/staleness based on post age isn’t really the right place for tutorials, anyway. The tutorials were getting buried and hard to find. Besides, if it’s one thing I’ve learned, more traffic on one part of your site can give a collateral boost to the rest.

I liked the idea of having (how to) on it’s own subdomain, like https://howto.datayze.com, so that the URL reads as “howto datayze” but some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) gurus advised against it. For now, both addresses are accessible, but the primary address I’m linking to is https://datayze.com/howto.

For a first past I wrote four articles:
How to Minimize CSS
How to Minimize Javascript
How to Convert a URL to a Query String
How to Add Spell Correction to 404 (based on a past blog post)

I’m keeping it as a soft launch soft launch because the technical writing isn’t where I want it to be. I’m hoping Google will Index the pages while I’m working on polishing up the text. (I’ve quickly become a SEO convert.)

My biggest fear in launching a tutorial section of datayze has been the technical writing aspect, and that the dyslexic mistakes I’m bound to make will make datayze look less professional overall. In a typical month I’ll get an email or two pointing out some of my misspellings and grammatical mistakes. I appreciate it, but also a bit embarrassed each time.

I’m really proud of the automation behind (how to) I wrote. I can copy and paste my php/javascript code and though the magic of javascript/css it’s nicely formatted with line numbers that aren’t selectable during a copy and paste. My first incarnation of a tutorial website required me to format the code myself. Pain. in. the. butt. Not to mention slow and error prone. The auto formatting script should get my tutorials up faster. The fact that line numbers aren’t selectable will make it easier for readers to just copy and paste the code snippets. Now if only I could automated the technical writing part, I’d be all set. (I think the desire to write this code is part of the reason I got over my fear of creating (how to) in the first place. I love creative solutions!)

Articles that are coming, once I figure out how to sufficiently generalize them so they’re useful for others.
– How to get around ad blockers
– How to automatically format code

Back to work for me.

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