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Help Speed Up Your Website Load Time Using GZIP!

Using GZIP Compression with ColdFusion

As some of you might of heard, Google recently announced they are factoring in site speed as a criteria in their web search ranking. I have about 30 websites being monitored by Google's Web Analytics and over the past month or so I have noticed a significant drop in all their traffic. Now, I'm not 100% sure if this has to do with the new ranking rule or the fact that most US schools are out for summer, but either way this has me a little perplexed and I'm starting to wonder if this has anything to do with my code.

Reading up on a bunch of speed enhancement tips, the one thing I kept coming across is to use HTTP Header Compression. Basically, if the web browser supports it, you can GZIP your Scripts and CSS files and serve them instead of the uncompressed text files. Typically you can save over half the normal file size by doing this. Since I use ColdFusion for most of my sites, I had to find a way to integrate GZIP with ColdFusion. Here's what I came up with.

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Installing Railo 3.1 On Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

A Step-By-Step Guide To Install Railo Server 3.1 On Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

This week I went ahead and purchased a Mac Mini to replace my very old Apple G4 server. One of the first things I had to do was to get Railo 3.1 to run on it. You may recall, I already created a nice blog entry called Installing Railo 3.1 On Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), to help people get Railo running on Mac OS X 1.5. I really didn't think that installing it on 10.6 (Snow Leopard) would be that difficult, but I was wrong.

First of all, the original source of my guide was based off of another blog entry by Luis Majano. But apparently, his website had changed, and as of this writing, was not even working. I remembered he had a nice entry on enabling 64 bit mode when installing, but without his reference, I was SOL and on my own. But fear not my fellow Railo fans, because I spent a better part of a day figuring it out.

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Problem: ColdFusion and MS-SQL NTEXT Returning Empty String

ColdFusion Or MS-SQL Returning [Empty String] Value For NTEXT

Oh MicroSoft, why must you be the bane of my existence? Seriously, if it's not your buggy web browsers, then it's using another one of your products. And this time it's MS-SQL. Ok, in all seriousness, I'm really not 100% sure if this is MicroSoft's fault or perhaps Adobe's ColdFusion. But either way this one through me for a loop. (And on a side note, why does it seem like this crap always happens on a Monday)

If you have been forced to use MS-SQL on one of your projects. And perhaps you've been banging your head up against your computer monitor for the past three hour, because you've been trying to pull data from an NTEXT column and it keeps coming back as an [empty string], then boy do I have a solution for you.

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Table of ASCII Characters and Symbols For ColdFusion

A Single Table Listing All The HTML Entities and ASCII Codes

I needed a simple table that listed out all the ASCII entities and their decimal codes for ColdFusion the other day. Doing a little Googling, it seemed like every single table out there broke the list into different groups and not all of them seemed complete. So I figured I would make my own and share it.

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I Can't Make It Better, If I Don't Know What's Wrong!

I've been slowly making improvements to the website over the past month. Trying to get it to a point where it wont be in the "beta" stage. I know there's still a lot to do, but I was hoping to get a lot more feedback from users than what I've received so far. Which is nothing.

I'm noticing some weird user habits, that I'm not sure if it's my site design or this is just what people tend to do on blogs. But, I'm noticing:

People are using the contact form, instead of posting comments.

Is the comment form to hard to see? Is it to confusing? Are you getting any errors using it?

People are not registering.

This is to be expected, but I'm getting a lot of repeat users, so why are you not registering? Is the registration link to hard to see? Are you getting errors?

People have not subscribed to ANY blog or project post.

For some of the people that have registered and posted a comment, asking a question, they have not subscribed. Not sure why, again is it to hard to see? Not working?

My ultimate goal is to make the website a great experience for everyone, but I can't get to that point unless I get some feedback. If you have something that's bugging you about the site, please let me know. I would appreciate it.

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