Reasons to let Google Host your JQuery Files

It’s often the case that I see busy sites hosting copies of the JQuery library locally. E.g

<script src="/js/jQuery.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

The preferred and better way is to host your JQuery through Google E.g.

<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>

So, why is this better? Well there are several valid reasons:

CDN (Content Delivery Network) – Google’s datacenters are located over a range of locations and when a user requests content the closest location is automatically chosen. This is better because it does not force users to download from a single server location (E.g your server) and the chances are Google will be able to serve content faster than your webhost. A similar theory is used for the popularweb based game called quakelive. Usually CDN‘s are a service you pay for, but you’re getting this free through Google!

Less server load – When all your website’s files are located on a single server, downloading them simulainiously increases server load and some users will recieve delays while files download. By having an external location for your JQuery library the latter is not an issue.

Improved caching – This is the biggest benefit as users will not have to re-download content. Hosting JQuery on your own server will cause a first time visitor to download the whole file, even if they have several copies of the same file from other sites. Through Google’s CDN, re-requests for the same file will result in a response to cache the file for up to one year, as it understands that it is a repeat request for a duplicate file.

Local Bandwidth savings – by letting Google host the file for you, you are in essence saving bandwidth. For personal sites this may not be an issue, but busy sites will notice significant bandwidth savings.

Google actually suggests using a .load() function to load the library (see below), but this not only interrupts JQuery’s killer feature (document.ready), but also causes an extra HTTP request. Personally I prfer the old fashioned script method, even though there are several other valid reasons to use the .load() method.

<script type="text/javascript" 
<script type="text/javascript">
  google.load("jquery", "1.3.2");
  google.setOnLoadCallback(function() {

Adding Unlimited Form Fields With JQuery and Saving to a Database

In this article I’ll discuss how to add an unlimited number of additional form elements to a form and then save to a database. The latter part is the key here as a variety of tutorials exist on adding form elements, but I have yet to see anywhere that actually explains how to manipulate these added form fields. For example, how to get values to store them in a MySQL datbase. In the example we’ll have a simple user signup form where the user can add multiple fields to describe their favourite websites.  The basic Form HTML is as follows (nothing amazing, just a simple html form):

<script src="js/jquery.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<h1>New User Signup</h1>
<form action="index.php" method="post">

  <label for="name">Username:</label>
  <input id="name" name="name" type="text" />
  <label for="name">Password:</label>
  <input id="password" name="password" type="text" />

   <div id="container">
      <a href="#"><span>» Add your favourite links.....</span></a>

   <input id="go" class="btn" name="btnSubmit" type="submit" value="Signup" />

The only part that isn’t standard is highlighted above. This is simply the link users click to add additional form fields on the fly. To make that happen we’ll need some JQuery:

var count = 0;
		count += 1;
		$('#container').append('<strong>Link #' + count + '</strong>'+ '<input id="field_' + count + '" name="fields[]' + '" type="text" />' );

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Simple Ajax Content Loading With JQuery Logo
JQuery - JavaScript Framework

Occasionally it is useful to silently load content into an area on a webpage. For example, you may have a list of recent comments that you want to refresh every minute. Using a meta refresh is one option, but this would cause the whole page to refresh, which could annoy the user. The solution is Ajax, where I’ll reload the content silently without a single page refresh. Even writing the simplist of Ajax functions is quite painful and requires a fair few lines of code to get things done. To make things simpler we’ll use my favourite JavaScript Framework,  JQuery.

The plan is to have dynamic content loaded via Ajax and refresh every x seconds. We’ll also have a loading image to show the user something is actually happening behind the scenes, as having nothing while the content is loading could make the user leave. The latter is especially important when querying large sets of data, where a delay is possible. You can get your own loading images from the ajax loading image site.Now we have a plan, we’ll get right into it.

First course of action is to setup our basic html page. It’s nothing amazing, simply a centered divider with a seperate divider for the loading graphic. Here’s the code we’ll be using (for simplicity I’ve used the style tag for the css, as opposed to having a seperate css file:

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301 Redirects for SEO Using htaccess

301 Redirects Prevent 404 Errors
301 Redirects Prevent 404 Errors

Google treats and as two totally different websites. This is very bad for your (or even a client’s) website as it may lead to duplicate content and different pageranks to those sites.  This is how Google “canonicalizes” the url and is very bad from an SEO standpoint.

In essence, a web server could return totally different results for each of those pages. I have also encountered the situation where clients have set their preferred domain in Google webmaster tools, have given out the opposite version for SEM and wonder why they don’t see results :)You can easily check the above by using the “site:” operator in Google search. E.g. and

You can use “mod rewrite” rules as a powerful method for redirecting many URLs from one location to another.  This is a simple server level technique for handling redirects. The way people handle this canonicalization issue is purely a personal choice, although the below method can be altered for directing to the none www version of the url.

The .htaccess file is simply an ASCII file created with any normal text editor. You need to save the file as ‘.htaccess’ (no filename, .htaccess is the extension!). Open you newly created .htaccess file in your favoured text editor and add the following lines of code, replacing with your domain:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]

Upload the .htaccess file to the root folder of your website and you’re done. All your traffic will be permanently redirected from a non-www version of your website to a www version of your website. To do the opposite (direct all traffic to the non www version use the below code in the .htaccess file):

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]