How to Stop Joomla from Stripping Object, Embed or Iframe HTML Code in Web Editor

How to Stop Joomla from Stripping Object, Embed or Iframe HTML Code in Web Editor

I spent about two hours today trying to re-add some Flash slideshows on a website that is using the Joomla 1.5.23 Content Management System. All I wanted to do was change the Title tag on this page, but when I clicked “Save”, the Flash slideshows disappeared. Turns out Joomla has a lot of ridiculous security measures that strip out certain HTML elements even when you make the changes within the HTML window of the default TinyMCE editor or even when selecting “No Editor”. The account I was using is an “Administrator” account, but turns out you have to have “Super Administrator” access to mess with any of the Parameters settings, which is just stupid.

I scoured the web and the official Joomla help forums for random solutions by changing all kinds of settings, disabling and enabling plugins, user permissions, etc. and tried them all without success, until I found this blog post which explains you need to actually edit the PHP file in “libraries\joomla\filter\filterinput.php” and remove your desired tags from the $tagBlacklist array. I would say take it a step further and remove the tags in the next array, such as codebase for SWF files.

Do me a favor everyone and never use Joomla as a Content Management System. You’ll thank me later.

GMail Manager – Google Changes How They Handle Cookies

GMail Manager – Google Changes How They Handle Cookies

Just yesterday I noticed that I am no longer able to switch from Google Account to another Google Account via the GMail Manager add-on for Firefox. I can log into one account, but then when I try to switch to another account, I am redirected to a Google Accounts page that says I have to clear my cache and cookies before switching accounts. So obviously there has been some kind of change in the way Google handles cookies. Hopefully they’ll either switch it back or the author of the GMail Manager plugin will update it so that it works again, considering it is my favorite Firefox add-on!

Concerts That Will Sell Out – Which Singers, Bands and Venues Have the Most Sold Out Concerts

Concerts That Will Sell Out – Which Singers, Bands and Venues Have the Most Sold Out Concerts

Concerts and concert tickets are obviously a huge business for ticket outlets such as Ticketmaster, but there is also a lot of money to be made by small independent ticket brokers and scalpers who specialize in selling tickets to sold out shows at a higher price than face value. Ticket brokers and scalpers obviously make their money by either buying tickets at face value or somehow acquiring them for free or through some other means. Either way, ticket scalpers typically tend to get a bad reputation for trying to rip off customers by charging more than face value while ticket brokers basically do the same exact thing yet are not as frowned upon.

Personally I think both scalpers and ticket brokers have every right to sell their tickets for whatever price a customer is willing to pay for them. It’s the epitome of supply and demand, the fundamentals of basic economics. If a broker or scalper prices their tickets too high and can’t find a seller, then they are out of luck since they obviously will not be able to sell their tickets after an event or concert has occurred.

I don’t claim to know much at all about ticket brokers and scalpers operate their businesses, but it is definitely something I am very interested in learning more about. Over the past 6 months, I’ve bought tickets to popular concerts that I thought had a good chance to sell out and listed them on StubHub in attempts to make a buck. I’ve done it for about 5 concerts, and I’ve basically broken even. The first time I listed tickets to a sold out Bright Eyes concert, I was certainly not expecting to be able to sell them for as much as I did as quickly as I did. I thought to myself, wow this is the easiest money ever so I became overconfident and bought 8 tickets for a Ben Folds concert which I was sure was going to sell out. Turns out the concert did not sell out and I ended up losing money on those tickets, even when I quickly dropped the prices below face value on Stubhub in attempts to reclaim at least a portion of my money. I tried it for a couple more concerts and it’s definitely a roller coaster of emotions. The concerts I thought were definitely going to sell out and that there would be tons of people lining up to buy my tickets on Stubhub, were the ones that I wasn’t able to sell my tickets to, and the concerts I bought tickets for with the intention of actually using them myself but for whatever reason could not go to so I listed them for sale on Stubhub for the heck of it, ended up being the tickets I’d sell. Now that I’ve broken even, I’ve decided to pause my attempts at ticket brokering until I learned more about how to figure out exactly what to do.

Obviously, the big question for every ticket buyer is to determine which tickets and concerts are going to sell out and which tickets have the best chance of generating a profit in the ticket resale market. And that’s exactly the question I want the answers to! Does anybody have any suggestions for how ticket brokers can find out which are the best tickets to buy?

If there isn’t one already, there needs to be a website that lists the following:

- Entertainer’s name (singer, band, event, sports teams, etc.) or Concert Venue
- How often they sell out concerts
- How quickly they sell out concerts
- Average price of ticket at face value
- Average price of ticket at resale value

As of right now, I haven’t seen any kind of website or service that lists sold out concerts and which upcoming concerts tend to sell out. Somebody should get on this!

Ecommerce Pay Per Click Strategy with Google AdWords for Online Retail Websites

Ecommerce Pay Per Click Strategy with Google AdWords for Online Retail Websites

We recently picked up a large ecommerce client who needed help with search engine optimization, pay per click management in Google AdWords, and conversion rate optimization. We have worked on other ecommerce websites in the past and have had success, but this new client is a nationally known retail company so the pressure is on us to produce results quickly. We’ve already seen some results in the little time we’ve worked on their site thus far, but we obviously want to kick ass right out of the gate.

One of their biggest challenges was running a Google AdWords Pay Per Click campaign. They previously had been running it in house and were essentially flying blind. So I went in and immediately created new AdWords campaigns specifically targeting only the keywords that are most relevant to their products.

Here are some tips for managing a large Google AdWords pay per click account for an ecommerce client:

1. Create new campaigns for each specific product category - If your website sells musical instruments, create a campaign for electric guitars and then another campaign for harmonicas. Do not just create one campaign and then create a new Ad Group for each product category. This is critical because Google AdWords allows you to add Ad Extensions at the campaign level. This means if your ad for electric guitars has the ad extensions for harmonicas, then the relevancy is completely out of whack. If you set up a new campaign for each product category, then you’re good to go.

2. Use [exact match] keywords at the beginning of a new campaign – This allows you to have complete control over the keywords your ad shows up for. If you find the search volume is not there, then you can also add “phrase match” keywords BUT YOU MUST KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE ACTUAL QUERIES and then add the irrelevant keywords as negative keywords. Never, ever use broad match unless you want to waste your money.

3. Use negative match keywords if you are using “phrase match” keywords – This is absolutely critical. If I found that a client that sells yachts was getting a ton of clicks for the phrase match keyword “50 foot yacht”, then I would I would immediately make sure to add the negative keywords such as “renting” or “leasing” since those visits are obviously not looking to buy.

4. Use Ad Extensions - I mentioned this above, but Google AdWords now allows you to add product links under your AdWords ad. These are highly effective and increase the real estate of your ad. Here’s how we would set up an ad extension for electric guitars:

“$599 White Electric Guitar” – destination URL goes specifically to that product’s landing page
“$785 Diamond Electric Guitar” – destination URL goes specifically to that product’s landing page

5. Send visitors directly to landing page that is relevant to their search - oftentimes, ecommerce websites are broken out into product category pages and individual product pages. If somebody is searching for electric guitars, make sure the destination URL is the category page for electric guitars, not just all guitars, or all musical instruments, or god forbid, the homepage!

6. Use Google Analytics and Google AdWords conversion tracking – if you are running an ecommerce website and using Google AdWords or other pay per click network, then you are probably already aware of what conversion tracking is. Google Analytics can automatically track ecommerce transactions and capture the value of each completed sale, which is extremely helpful. If you are not using any kind of analytics or conversion tracking, then you are likely missing out on tons of valuable data.

Gotta run now but I’ll add onto this list later!