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Creating Dynamic Website Content with PHP - MySQL

Fresh web site content for your visitors can be of real benefit when attempting to generate repeat traffic. Most webmasters, however, just don't have enough spare time to frequently update or rebuild their pages manually. If your web site hosting company provides free access to PHP and MySQL, this article will show you how to combine those two open source tools and replace a portion of your web sites' static content with frequently changing dynamic content.

Why do you need dynamic content for your web site?

Static pages on a web site eventually become "stale" and visitor traffic can fall significantly over time. The drop in traffic can be attributed to these primary factors:

1) The reluctance of search engines to include and display your potentially "out of date" pages in their search results,

2) The finite number of other subject related web sites that would be willing to link to your information on a specific topic, and

3) Visitors that learn to view your static web site with a "been there, done that" attitude.

Creating and maintaining a web site requires a significant investment in time and resources. Loosing repeat visitors diminishes the value of your investment. Without repeat traffic it is virtually impossible for a web site to be a continuing success.

How can you add dynamic content without having to purchase expensive software?

One proven (and easy to implement) method of creating dynamic content for your web site is by rotating information on key, higher traffic web pages using PHP with a MySQL database. Rotating content can take the form of a series of rotating articles, a rotating group of product listings, or even a simple "thought for the day". What is important is that your clients and visiting search engines find new and interesting information each time they visit your web site.

As an example of dynamic content creation, we will build a system that rotates information about a group of products on the main page of a hypothetical retail sales web site that markets widgets. Our goal is to present information about a different type or model of widget available for purchase whenever a consumer visits the shopping web site.

Step One: Create a content table to hold your widget data.

There are a couple of options for storing the data to be displayed in your dynamic content rotation. The first option would be to create a new database, or perhaps simply add a table in an existing product database that will hold the information that you wish to display.

Let's take five theoretical widget products and design a table as follows:

+------+-----------------------+ | item | product | +------+-----------------------+ | 1 | Plastic Widgets | | 2 | Metal Widgets | | 3 | Wooden Widgets | | 4 | Rubber Widgets | | 5 | Stone Widgets | +------+-----------------------+

1-a) Create your table with the following SQL statement:

CREATE TABLE `content_table` ( `item` int(4) NOT NULL auto_increment, `product` varchar(10) NOT NULL default '', KEY `item` (`item`) ) TYPE=MyISAM AUTO_INCREMENT=6 ;

This table contains two fields. The first is an item number and the second is a description field that will hold the product name and features. Note: You can add fields to your actual table including: an image URL field, shopping cart direct purchase URL field, product page filed, etc.

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1-b) Insert the example data into your new table as follows:

INSERT INTO `content_table ` VALUES (1, ' Plastic Widgets'); INSERT INTO `content_table ` VALUES (2, ' Metal Widgets'); INSERT INTO `content_table ` VALUES (3, ' Wooden Widgets'); INSERT INTO `content_table ` VALUES (4, ' Rubber Widgets'); INSERT INTO `content_table ` VALUES (5, ' Stone Widgets');

Once you have completed these two steps you will have a table compete with data to be shown on your web site.

Another option would be to utilize your existing product table. If there are hundreds of different models and styles of widgets already in one of the tables in your database, you could utilize the same structure we are learning now to connect directly to that table and display the already existing data.

Step two: Working with your new table:

For dynamic content displays to function there must be a mechanism in place that instructs your web page as to which item should be shown to the visitor. These mechanisms vary in complexity from extremely simple commands to the more complicated use of cookies or IP tracking to determine which item should be displayed.

For this tutorial, we will utilize one of the most effective mechanisms and perhaps the easiest to incorporate. This is the use of a random number generator for deciding which item will be shown.

To create a random number generator using PHP you must first calculate the total number of possible items that you want the system to choose from. In this example we had five items so the maximum number of choices will be 5. The reason we need this number is to limit the random numbers being delivered. If we have five items, we want the number generator to only give us a result of between 1 and 5.

We must now create a variable for our PHP code that will hold our new randomly generated item number as follows:

$mynumber = rand(1, 5);

This little snippet of code will act as the mechanism to "select" a widget product item at random from the five provided in the content table that we created.

If we created 100 different items for your dynamic display instead of just five, you would simply change the "rand (1, 5)" part of the code to reflect the different maximum number. In this case we would change it to "rand (1, 100)" so that the random number generator gives us back a number somewhere between one and one hundred.

We are now ready to extract the randomly selected item's information from your table so that it can be displayed on your webpage.

You can now connect to your database and query your table to find the data for the item that matches the random number you created, as follows:

$query_content = "SELECT * FROM content_table WHERE item = $mynumber ";

Step three: Displaying your data:

When displaying your data it is important to maintain consistency in presentation size. It is preferable to create a table of specified dimensions (such as "width=400") and display your results within this table. In this way the page proportions do not have to change with each new item (which can be very confusing for visitors).

Simply display the results just as if these where any other MySQL query using the echo command:

echo $query_content['product'];

Every time your page is loaded a different widget product will be selected at random for display on that page.

What else can you do with your dynamic content?

The only limits are within your imagination. By adding a title and meta description tags to your content table, you can alternate the title and search engine description for that page. You can also utilize this system to promote affiliate programs or sponsorship opportunities by rotating affiliate links and banners.

The proper use of dynamic content can bring your web site back into favor with search engines and encourage your visitors to return frequently to see what is new.

About the Writer of this Article

Don Beavers lives in Bryan, Texas and is an enterprise level PHP-MySQL programmer at the Datavor Web Directory and at the Shopping Elf directory Shopping Guide

"I Finally Discovered The Secret To FREE Content No One Else Has!"

There are many tips and techniques to increase your search engine ranking. One of the most powerful, yet simple method is sharing content, as in, writing articles that you then feed to article directories. Done right, this technique will improve link popularity, and drive an enormous amount of targeted traffic to your offer.

Article writing can become a tedious, mind-numbing experience, for a number of reasons. One of the biggest hurdles is gathering content that is fresh, valuable, and not easily accessible. Yet, it is tremendously compelling to your target market. Where do you find this kind of information?

Corporate web sites!

I've used this technique for several niches, and it's fairly simple to do. This also works well for product creation, which I'll explain in a moment.

You are going to do a little digging at first, but once you repeat this process, it becomes fairly simple. Find the corporate web site for the companies that make the products your target market is buying or have an interest in. You might have to do a little 'link dancing' to find them.

Once at their site, look for the "press room or media center." There, you will find current and past press releases or white paper releases full of fresh, valuable, and not easily accessible content. (because your competition doesn't know where to look for it)

What is a white paper? ..Here, let me give you the corporate answer to that question: .White papers are documents released by companies, organizations, and government agencies to authoritatively describe products, technologies, and policy. Though a white paper is not necessarily an unbiased report, it will typically provide a more detailed overview than press releases and many other forms of documentation.

White papers CAN be book length long...with nuggets of great content you can use for article writing, your e-zine, or to create an information product geared toward your specific niche. Just dive in and look around. Each press release or white paper, always has contact information included.

Most will mention a person in the corporation to contact for additional information.. (are you getting any ideas?)...teleseminar?....an ebook?...a special report?...which you can use as a lead generator, or as a bonus to compliment an existing product you are already marketing (affiliate products). Their credentials will establish even more credibility for you in your customer's eyes.

I'm confident, you can think of numerous ways to utilize this FREE information... found in corporate web sites... to write articles or many other uses...in your quest for improving link popularity and driving targeted traffic to your site.

About the Writer of this Article

Mark Kessler is the author of "Search Engine Tantra - The Path To Heightened Rankings!" His web site, http://www.toptenoptimizer.com provides a wealth of information and resources to increase link popularity and improve search engine rankings.

How Google Indexes Content From Your Web Directory

How Google Indexes Content From Your Web Directory By: Martin Lemieux

In a fluke, I was able to notice something about the way Google indexes content from web directories. Excluding your template, the most important line of code is the first title you add to your main body.

Search through Google and see for yourself!

Try searching for "something" in "yourcity","province/state" and look for a web business directory that you recognize. Once you find a directory, take a good look at the description of that particular listing (not the title). It may be a good idea to write it down. Once complete, click on the "cache" of that page within Google to highlight the content and view the web directory page.

9 out of 10 times the description of your web site listing within Google is partly taken from the first line of code you have within your main body of content (excluding your header, footer, & sidebar). You will notice that this only applies for a web directory. Any personal or business related web site gets indexed differently. If you take a look at the Google directory, we find the same thing: Take a look here: http://www.google.com/dirhp?hl=en

Browse to any sub-category and look at the first line of text. You will find that the title within the main body of content before anything else, is within an H1 tag.

H1 tags & H2 tags are nothing new to the development community but, there may still be many directories online that can increase their search engine rankings by changing a few things.

Here's an example we see very often online; (I am also guilty of this)

You have just developed an impressive web directory and you are very proud of your creation. In the process of organizing your massive directory you were faced with a problem on how to allow people to browse your web site and how to let search engines browse through your categories with ease. So with that in mind, you create the "alphabetical solution".

THE ALPHABETICAL SOLUTION IS THIS:

Search Categories By Alphabetical Order: A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z

The problem with this alphabetical solution (I am also guilty as charged) is that we tend to add this development solution to the top of our page so that our visitors and possibly search engines can find these extra categories easily. << This is probably hurting your results in many ways.

1) Your alphabetical solution is probably necessary but instead, you should add it a little lower below some more important page specific content.

2) No matter where you add your ABC's, search engines will find them anyway.

3) You don't want 10,000 pages to be indexed with a description that goes... abcdefg...

The Solution:

If you own a directory and you are faced with this problem, let's get our development hats on and switch a couple of things around. Try adding the main "topic" description to the top of your main body of content and create this description within one of these tags: H1,H2,H3,H4, etc.

2nd: Once you have your main title description, try adding more related content to that specific page within "bold tags" BEFORE you add your alphabetical solution. At least this way, when search engines browse through your massive web directory, they do not leave thinking that you like singing the alphabets.

One Last Thing:

If you are seriously targeting specific local markets on the web, try adding the city, province/state, & country! Being in Canada, we are faced with many brick walls when it comes to promoting certain cities.

Perfect example of this is my home town of "Hamilton, Ontario, Canada". If you don't promote this city properly, you might actually be targeting people from "Hamilton, Ontario, California" ! ! ! Did you say ouch??? As you can see, this can be easily mistaken by many visitors coming to your web directory and probably won't help your conversion rate whatsoever.

Making sure that you target the right industries and the right locations could be crucial for the success of your web directory.

I hope this article helps you out!

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Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article within your web site or newsletter as long as the entire article remains the same including the resource box.

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Martin Lemieux is the president of the Smartads Advertising Network. Smartads is here to help small to large companies grow online and offline. Visit the Smartads Network today!

International: http://www.smartads.info Canada: http://www.smartads.ca

Content Management: http://www.thingsdigital.ca Canadian Search Engine: http://www.smartadsearch.ca

How to Use Content to Boost Your Traffic and Profits

Are you aware of how vitally important and valuable CONTENT is to your online business? In fact, content can do more to build your business and profits than just about any other resource or service available.

Following is a list of 5 key ways that content can help build your traffic, subscribers, and customers starting today!...

1. Boost your search engine ranking and daily visitor count by posting keyword rich articles and content on your web-site. For example, if your business involves offering products and services related to fitness, posting fitness related articles and content will attract unlimited prospective customers on a regular basis!

2. Generate double or even triple the number of newsletter subscribers you do currently, simply by offering content in the form of "special reports" or manuals as bonuses for subscribing to your publication. People love freebies, so give them what they want and watch as your results increase!

3. Create an automated cashflow by using content to formulate multi-part email training courses with related web-site or affiliate links "sprinkled" throughout each course. Use an autoresponder service to automate the delivery of your training course (such as a 5 part training course delivered over a 5 day period).

Training courses can also serve as excellent bonus offers for your prospective newsletter subscribers.

4. One of the most important keys to a successful online business is not JUST having a list of mailing list or newsletter subscribers... It's about building a trusting relationship with your subscribers (ie, "cultivating" your list)...

By sending informative articles (content) to your list on a regular basis you will establish yourself as an expert on your topic of business, as well as gain the trust of your subscribers over time. As a result, your subscribers will be EAGER to take advantage of your "paid" product and service offers. (Just make sure that you NEVER take advantage of the relationship you develop with your list by offering products or services of poor quality just to make a quick buck!)

If there is one "constant" in Internet marketing, it's this: A cultivated list of subscribers is as good as money in the bank. Write that down and never forget it!

5. Another excellent way to generate no cost traffic is by submitting ready-made articles to "content hungry" web-site and newsletter publishers with your "resource box" attached. A resource box is nothing more than a little 3-6 line "bio" about you and/or your web-site - including a link to your site (or even instructions on how to subscribe to your newsletter)...

When submitting or offering your article(s) for reprint purposes, just make sure to specify that each article is to be reprinted "as is" with your resource box attached.

...Even one article can go a LONG way towards generating no cost traffic and visitors for you. Just imagine your article being sent out to a newsletter subscriber base of 100,000 individuals - many of whom will be reading YOUR included resource box and clicking on your URL to learn more about what you have to offer!

Well there you have it, 5 sure ways to build your online business exponentially with the help of articles and content...

With the declining effectiveness of many of the online advertising methods that we've relied on in past years, content is only strengthening its position as the ultimate KEY to generating unlimited traffic, subscribers, and customers!

David Starr is Registered Search Engine Marketing Specialist and Maintains the popular SEO Website http://www.blog-and-ping-machine.com

Hey, please visit the Internet Marketing web sites:

Keyword Density Tool

Big List Builder

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