Sunday November 29, 2009, by Paul Blair
Umbraco 4.0+ introduced the ability to inherit document types.
This is a great feature for keeping document types consistent
between pages and even between sites.
I find that 95% of my document types share the same properties.
Once you have discovered what these properties are create a new
document type that contains these properties. For my sites this
* Page header
* Body text
* Page title
* meta description
* and the Umbraco hidden page switch (umbracoNaviHide)
Now when you go to create a new document type set its master
document type to be Page.
Most of you are probably already using this feature. My simple
tip is once you have created a Page document type, right click on
it and export it to file.
Now whenever you start a new Umbraco project, right click on
document types and import the file into your new project. This will
keep your document properties consistent between projects.
Tuesday October 13, 2009, by Paul Blair
In this article (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/09/google-does-not-use-keywords-meta-tag.html)
dated 21st September 2009, Google confirms once and for all
that the Keyword meta tag has no influence on search rankings.
The reason is that the keyword meta tag was so widely abused by
webmasters that Google no longer use it in their ranking
The comments left by readers show a polarity between those that
believe this already, and many who want to keep hold of their
keywords 'just in case'. I wonder if its a comfort to some
people to believe that keywords help search rankings - and thus it
is a shortcut to actual proper SEO.
Of course, there are other search engines and other algorithms,
but from what I have read, they too don't give the keyword meta tag
much weight in their rankings.
For us, we leave it out - if there's no value, then we won't
waste our time on it.
Sunday August 30, 2009, by Paul Blair
Meta data is information embedded in the code
of the website that is not visible on the screen. However it plays
a huge role in Google's algorithm for website rankings.
There are two very important components in the metadata that
should always be completed - Title and
Description. The third component of meta data -
Keywords is not as important as this does not make much difference
in the rankings.
Titles are incredibly important. This is the
first indicator to Google's 'crawlers' about what your website is
all about. A short (50 - 66 characters) title should be entered
against every page in your website. Google truncates after 66
characters. The title displays in the top corner of your browser
AND in the Google search results - so is also useful to customers
who are looking for the most appropriate site to select.
Image 1: Title at the top of the browser
Image 2: Google search results for keyword "Skiing"
A meta description is the information about
your site that Google displays in the search results (In Image 2
this is the smaller black font). It should be around 150 characters
long, and be informative about what you are offering and compelling
to attract customers to your site.
To update your metadata in umbraco go to each page in turn and
select the 'Meta' Data' tab (see below). Make your changes and save
and publish in the normal way. It's that easy. It will take longer
to read this blog than to actually do it!
The next step is to be very patient. It will take some time for
the updates to show up on Google.
Sunday May 24, 2009, by Paul Blair
When setting up a new project I have the following
- I want the project to sit in a project folder on my D drive. I
don't want to work on projects in the inetpub folders.
- I want to use flat/directory URL's.
- be able to run multiple sites on one instillation.
- Running on Vista with IIS7 locally. Deployed to server running
- If the site is to include a blog then I want it set up as a
subdomain (e.g. blog.fairlieagile.co.nz)
- Using .NET 3.5
This is a little bit more manual the default installtion
procedure. These are the steps I go though (Takes about 10
1. Get the latest version of Umbraco and copy to a folder
2. Create a new database and setup in
<projectname>/DB. Add my development umbraco user to the
3. Setup IIS:
- Add entries to the hosts file for URL's i am using
during development e.g:
- In IIS I have an application pool setup that uses .NET
2.0 and integrated pipelines
- Right click on Sites and add a new website. In the
hostname give it the hostname you have entered into the hosts
- Save and start the website
- if you are using additional host names e.g. for a blog
subdomain then click on your site, go to bindings and add the
4. Go to http://umbraco.codeplex.com/ and get the
web.config file to use with .NET 3.5 (It's also woth havign a
read of "Install guide for Umbraco on asp.net 3.5 and integrated
5. Edit web.config
enter in the connection string details for your DB
<add key="umbracoUseDirectoryUrls" value="true" />
under <system.webserver> all umbaco's httpmodules are
listed. Due to the way IIS process extensionless urls, you need to
add: runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests="True" to the modules
element, so it looks like this: <modules
6. Edit Config/UmbracoSettings.config
7. Browse to your site and run throught he isntallation
8. Install the excellent multiple file upload package from
- Download package from http://noerd.dk. Latest version
- Do to developer -> packages -> Install local package
- Follow the steps in the installer
- Add the following to your web.config:
<add verb="*" name="MultipleFileUploadHandler"
- Apply the quick fix discussed
Other things you might like to do:
Increase the uplaod size:
<httpRuntime maxRequestLength="10240" />
For umbraco 4.1.1 there was an encoding problem. This might
Change enity encoding to "named". This resolves a problem with a
strange hex value (FFFD) being inserted into empty paragraphs since
moving to 4.1.1.
Friday October 31, 2008, by Maria Prince
The website was originally built using a content management
system that required the users to have html programming knowledge
to maintain web page content. In order to deliver a website that
was useful and usable, the project manager turned to us to provide
a content management system that would be easy to use and would not
require specialist training.
We rebuilt the website using the original design, replacing the
content management system with the umbraco CMS. We delivered the
new website within budget and to schedule. CTS now maintain their
product catalogue online with minimal training and no fuss.
Computer and Telephone