Importance of a coming soon page for a website

A Coming Soon page is an important if not a necessary step during website development. The coming Soon page usually comes at the end of website development when the website has been developed and is in the testing/quality assurance stage. Depending on the progress at this stage the client can ask the development team to setup this page on his hosting server. Most clients are very eager on the launch of their website especially if it’s their first one and some clients even place ads in the daily newspapers to attract visitors to their website.

A Coming Soon page is a one page HTML which comprises of the website logo, brief introduction of the website, “first to know when the website launches” email input box. If the website is to come up for SEO after its launch then the content is tweaked further to include some content rich keywords and phrases so that if the crawler comes about then it will index the page with those keywords. It does help with future SEO.

People tend to think of the Coming Soon page as just another HTML page however in the light of the above this usually serves as the last step before the website launch and provides good boost to the website upon launch.

Let me know your thoughts. It’s always nice to hear what others have to say.

How to add reCAPTCHA to your website?

If you would like to add CAPTCHA to your website then reCAPTCHA is a nice choice for you. Its very easy to use and the best part is that once you register on their website you can use the same CAPTCHA code across multiple websites thereby saving you the time and effort.

First you will have to register on their website. They don’t ask a lot of questions. Just your email address, username, password and domain. Once you have registered on the website you can view the different plugins provided there. You can also go through the documentation online.

reCAPTCHA provides resources on how you can integrate it with your website. I had to do it in PHP so I downloaded the code from Google Code.

You just have to upload the recaptchalib.php, reference it in your code and away you go. Nothing to it.

Hope the above helped

How to display tweets from Twitter on your website?

If you tweet a lot on Twitter and wish to display them on your website or blog then you can do that easily with the following code

<?php

$ch = curl_init();

curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, “http://twitter.com/statuses/friends_timeline.xml”);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERPWD, “<username>:<password>”);

$str = curl_exec($ch);

curl_close($ch);
echo $str;

?>

Once you get your tweets you can then customize the look and feel accordingly or save them in the database. Please note that you will need to enter the username and password of your Twitter account other wise the above will not work.

Hope the above helped

How to integrate PayPal IPN with your website

After signing up for PayPal IPN with PayPal you have to start integration with your website. If you have worked with PayPal before and integrated PayPal Standard then most of the procedure is similar apart from minor modifications. For those of you who have just started integration with PayPal IPN then no need to panic. Its pretty simple.

First you have to write the <form> code in the file that will be submitting the order information to PayPal from your website. You can use the following code snippet and change it accordingly. Depending on your requirements you may need more fields for integration however the code below fulfills the basic requirements

<form name=”frmPal” action=”https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr” method=”post”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”cmd” value=”_cart”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”business” value=”<merchant_email_address>”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”invoice” value=”<unique_number_to_identify_transaction>”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”currency_code” value=”<3_digit_currency_code>”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”handling_cart” value=”<handling_charges_if_applicable>”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”item_name_1″ value=”<product_name>”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”item_number_1″ value=”<product_number>”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”quantity_1″ value=”<product_quantity>”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”amount_1″ value=”<product_amount>”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”notify_url” value=”<notification_url>”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”return” value=”<success_page_url>”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”cancel_return” value=”<failure_page_url>”>
</form>

You may notice the notify_url field name in the form above. This is the URL which PayPal will call to verify that the information passed to it is correct and genuine. Please note that this URL must be accessible other wise PayPal IPN will not work. You can use the following code snippet as is. The following code receives the information posted by PayPal, saves the information to a text file and then opens a socket to PayPal and notifies it.

<?php
$req = ‘cmd=_notify-validate’;

$path=”;
$timestamp=date(‘y-m-d–H-i-s’);
$strFileName = ‘payapl_ipn_return_’. $timestamp.’.txt’;
$FILE=fopen($strFileName,’a’);
if (is_writable($strFileName)) {
foreach ($_POST as $key=>$value)
{
fwrite($FILE, $key.”: “.$value.”\n”);
}
}
else {
echo “File could not be written”;
exit;
}

// post back to PayPal system to validate
$header .= “POST /cgi-bin/webscr HTTP/1.0\r\n”;
$header .= “Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded\r\n”;
$header .= “Content-Length: ” . strlen($req) . “\r\n\r\n”;
$fp = fsockopen(‘<Secure_PayPal_URL>’, 443, $errno, $errstr, 30);

if (!$fp) {
// HTTP ERROR
} else {
fputs ($fp, $header . $req);
while (!feof($fp)) {
$res = fgets ($fp, 1024);
if (strcmp ($res, “VERIFIED”) == 0) {
// check the payment_status is Completed
// check that txn_id has not been previously processed
// check that receiver_email is your Primary PayPal email
// check that payment_amount/payment_currency are correct
// process payment
}
else if (strcmp ($res, “INVALID”) == 0) {
// log for manual investigation
}
}
fclose ($fp);
}
?>

Once PayPal is notified and all other payment related matters are checked the customer is sent to the success page otherwise to the failure page.

Hope the above helps