Brief introduction to the vi Editor

The use of VPS/VDS (Virtual Private Servers or Virtual Dedicated Servers) on the Internet is becoming quite popular, and the large majority of these run Linux distributions.

The normal, day to day administration is done through browser based interfaces, such as Plesk, however, you also can use shell access to administer the server, where you can have total control over the server via a secure SSH connection using a program such as Putty. (available for download free from http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html)

This type of server administration is also very popular, allowing for work to be done remotely across the internet in a safe way.

Putty’s normal use is text based command line administration, although remote graphical interface administration is also possible.

Definitely when you are administering a Linux (or UNIX) server remotely through a command line interface you will need to use a text editor. Linux comes with a wide range of text editors, however, the most popular are vi and emacs. This article gives a very brief introduction to vi.

The vi editor was developed in 1976 by Bill Joy at the University of California. An enormous amount of text based and graphical based editors came out from that time, however, the vi is still very popular amongst the Linux / Unix users.

To open vi there are several ways. The simplest is to type ‘vi’ and press enter. This opens vi and creates a new file. The second way of opening vi is to type ‘vi filename’ where filename is the name of the file that you want to edit. This opens vi, and then opens the file you want to edit in it.

When you open vi, you will have a box at the top, representing the cursor. The line in the bottom will give you useful information regarding what operation you are currently doing. Empty lines are marked with a starting ‘~’ character.

There are two operating modes, command and input. When started, vi will be running in command mode. In command mode, vi will consider your input as commands, and when in input mode, vi will consider what you type as text in the file. Always remember that you are working in a case sensitive environment – heLLo is different from Hello.

Brief introduction to the vi Editor

To start inserting text, you can use the following two commands:

  • ‘a’ – Add command. Text will be inserted to the right of the current cursor position
  • ‘i’ – Insert Command. Text will be inserted starting from the left of the current cursor position.

Pressing the ‘Esc’ key will take you back into the command mode once you are ready inserting/editing the text in the file.

To exit from vi, use the following commands (remember to press the ‘esc’ key first to go back to command mode) :

  • ‘ZQ’ – Exit without saving the changes
  • ‘ZZ’ – Exit and save the changes

To go around in a document, go in insert mode and use the arrow keys. Most versions of vi also support the PgUP and PgDOWN keys to scroll multiple pages.

To delete text, in insert mode use the normal ‘DEL’ and ‘Backspace’ keys. In command mode, you can use the following:

  • ‘x’ – deletes the character under the cursor
  • ‘X’ – deletes the character before the cursor
  • ‘dw’ – deletes from the current character to the end of the current word
  • ‘d$’ – deletes from the current character to the end of the current line

Other useful commands:

  • ‘u’ – Undo previous change
  • Ctrl+R – Redo previously undone change

To search for text:

  • ‘/example’ – Searches forwards from the cursor position for the word ‘example’
  • ‘?example’ – Searches backwards from the cursor position for the word ‘example’

Other resources

http://www.cs.rit.edu/~cslab/vi.html provides a list of commands available for the vi editor.

Why SEO?

We often face a situation, where a person or company decides to build a website, thinking that once online, it will immediately receive thousands of hits per day and sales jump up.

Unfortunately, the situation is not like that. You can have a fantastic website, but if people do not know about it, nobody will come to see it.

When a company decides to build a website, and they reserve a budget for that, few are those who reserve part of that website budget for proper search engine optimisation and On-line marketing. It is far more better to have a smaller website that generates traffic (and revenue) than a big nice website that nobody knows about.

Let’s speak for example regarding Flash only websites. Many people want a Flash based website because it looks nice. Sure it does, but search engines cannot index what is inside a flash animation. That means you will loose most of the search engine traffic.

Why SEO

What I’m trying to say is to basically focus on what is important for your company. If you want people actually come and visit your site, and have a good experience, then these are some basic guidelines that both you, as the owner of the website, and your webmaster, should follow:

1. no big fancy graphics that make it impossible to visitors with a slow internet connection to see.

2. Keep Flash animations only for banners, graphics, or video, where it is replacing a part of the website that could be represented by an image only. Never write content inside a graphic.

3. The website should have a clear linking structure/navigation structure. It should be very easy to find a page on your site, and each page should be accessed with not more than 3 clicks. (i.e. no more than 3 levels in the website structure)

4. validate your work through w3c validator. yes, i know that sometimes it’s almost impossible to validate new work especially when using some new technologies, but the validator may catch simple mistakes in html and css and it’s quite useful

5. your website should provide unique, new, content. and lots of it. The more content you can put online the better it is.

6. updates – the website, like everything else, should be maintained and updated regularly (at least one time a week if possible). Often people get confused regarding what updates should be done, mostly because the information on the website does not change regularly. Try to keep a ‘news’ section maybe, where you can add company news, special offers, etc.

7. Create an HTML sitemap and an XML sitemap, and submit these to search engines.

8. Submit your website to relevant directories in your industry. Do NOT submit to all the directories that you find, but only to relevant directories. (i.e. submit to the major ones – dmoz, yahoo, stpt, botw) and industry specific directories.

9. A company blog/forum keeps the website always updated, and keeps your customers closer.

10. Ensure that your webmaster develops the website according to major search engines guidelines. Use of free tools such as google webmaster tools will help you detect any mistakes.

11. Get incoming links – Get links from your business partners, or from your other websites, in order for search engines to give importance to your new website.

12. New websites tend to stay in a ’sandbox’ for 6 to 12 months. A new website is less trusted than a website which is a couple of years old. So, new websites will have a slight disadvantage in search engine rankings. That means you will have to work more in the first year to get your website to rank good in search engines.

Search Engine Optimization – An Introduction

Once you do a website, and are happy with it, you want that people actually visit your site. There starts the challenge of bringing traffic to your website. Many people think that by simply doing a website sales will boost, everybody on the internet will come to their website, and loads more. Well, that’s not the real life situation. Once you do a website, without any promotion potential visitors will not even know that it exists.

So the first thing that you would want is the search engines to index your website. Focus on three – Google, Yahoo and MSN. The others will index alone as your website grows and starts to get incoming links.

However, even before submitting your site to any directory and search engine, there are some things that need to be done.

  1. The most important thing for a successful website is content. Quality content, related to the subject of your website, and lots of it. Focus on providing your visitors with valuable information. Forget any fancy graphics, as websites trends are going, the era of nice, bulky graphics is slowly diminishing in favour of plain, easy to navigate, websites, which provide the information needed fast. Also, remember that search engine crawlers cannot read what is written on graphics – what they want is text.
  2. Generate a list of keywords and key phrases related to your website (a good tool is located at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/ and another at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/. Do searches for those keywords, and see what websites rank in the first 10 places. Those are your competitors. Analyze those websites, and see why they rank good. (a good tool to do this is at www.zippy.co.uk)You have to do better to get your website to rank on top of them. A good place to check if your keywords are good is https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. This is a free tool by Google, which allows you to see if people actually search for your keywords, and also suggest other possible keywords that you can use.
  3. With your list of keywords in hand, go to the most popular search engines (Google, MSN and Yahoo), and do a search for them. See what websites are in the top 10 positions for each keyword in each search engine. Analyze them, and see why they rank this good. To check how many back-links each website has, select ‘advanced search’ available on every search engines and you will find an option to see how many back-links a website has. A good free tool to help you with this is Webceo, available from www.webceo.com. This company offers a free version that offers some very interesting features available in commercial versions.

So for now you have your list of keywords that you want your website to rank good for, and a list of competitors websites.

Search Engine Optimization

Next come the website optimization. You need to include your keywords as often as possible in your website, however, do not exaggerate. Keep in mind that you must first optimize your website for normal people, not search engines. However, try include some of your keywords in the page <title> tag, and meta description and keywords. H1 to H6 tags are to be used as often as possible, and when you have a chance do include some of your keywords inside these tags as well. Last but not least, you need to include your keywords in the website content. The easy way is to add content relevant to your keywords/website topic. This will provide you with natural content, that includes your keywords, and should be interesting for your website visitors. I do suggest the use of free tools to help you in this task. Webceo, the same tool I mentioned above, will automate most of this work for you and provide you with the analysis results. Commercial tools such as Addweb also help in this task, and are normally worth the small initial investment.

Yahoo and MSN consider website updates as very important, so, take care to update your website regularly and add fresh content at least one time a week (ideally daily). Using a blog or a forum will help you in offering updated content.

Google also gives importance to

Malta SEO

“SEO–short for Search Engine Optimization–is the art, craft, and science of driving web traffic to websites.” – Harold Davis, Search Engine Optimisation, May 2006

You have an excellent website, invested a lot of time, money and resources in it. Good, but what is the use of a website is people cannot find it?

That is why here at ANG Malta we offer full professional SEO services for your website. It’s through proper Search Engine Optimization that you can improve your website ranking in search engine results, and drive more visitors to your website.

The SEO service includes:

Keyword research

Using several sources, and latest databases, we will research keywords and key phrases that are mostly searched for in the most popular search engines, and the competition on each keyword / key phrase found. Together with you, we will select a list of ideal keywords that the SEO campaign will target.

Competitive Analysis

Your ‘competitors’ are all those websites that rank for the choosen keywords and key phrases. We will analyse the top 10 websites, where this process will present you with an enormous amont of information that can show why they their website is successful, from where they are getting the current backlinks, SEO techniques and key phrases targeted. These competitors will be monitored for the rest of the SEO Campaign, presenting you with a clear picture of how your website is performing against your top competitors.

Website re-engineering

How the website is built and structured is one of the most important factors in the SEO process. We will analyse all your pages, check all the code, and ensure it meets all search engine guidelines and built with proper SEO techniques, which are often overlooked by website desginers and developers. The internal linking structure will be analyzed and optimized in order to promote your most important web pages.

Content Analysis

Your website content will be analyzed and optmized for your targeted keywords and key phrases. The website content should be relevant to your industry, and totally original. Extra content will be created if needed

Off-Site SEO and Link Building

The website will be submitted to search engines, directories and social media websites, in order to start getting important backlinks. The list of directories and websites that will be targeted will vary according to your industry, as we keep the links as relevant as possible.

Website Analytics

Website analytics software will be installed, in order to monitor the performance of your website, and the SEO effect on it. This will provide you with a huge amount of data regarding your website performance, including your top content, visitor’s contries, average time on page, number of visitor per day, traffic sources, and a lot more. We can even track off-line advertising mediums, such as newspaper advertising and radio/TV advertising

Website Ranking reporting

Once the targeted key phrases are selected, regular search engine ranking reports will be performed, so that we can monitor the progress of your website in search engine rankings. According to this data, further SEO work can be also carried out in order to fine-tune your website’s SEO.

Conversion Rate analysis and optimization

Through the analytics system, we can monitor the conversion rate for your website. The SEO campaign will bring more traffic to your website, but we must also ensure that these visitors are converted into customers.

Our Guarantee

We guarantee is that we will maitain your website in accordance with the major search engine guidlines, and optimize it using the techniques that we have developed, in order for you to take the full potential possible from your website. After the SEO process, you will see an improvement in your search engine rankings and in traffic to your website.

ANG Malta offers both SEO Consultation, if you would like to carry the work in-house, and hands-on SEO work, where we will directly work on your website to optimize it. There is no pre-set package, since all projects are different.

Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to give you a free, no-obligation website analysis and quotation!