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Checkiday.com – Looking Back After One Year

Checkiday.com Logo

Checkiday.com Logo

A year ago today, I bought the domain name Checkiday.com and started creating a site that would tell you what holidays were being celebrated on a given day, displaying the current day on the home page.

In order to create this site, I needed to build a database of holidays by hand. This took much research on Google, which was a necessary tool for the creation of this site. I not only have a list of holidays, but I also have URLs for each site that cite the source I used. Adding over 1000 holidays by hand was the most time consuming aspect of creating this site.

The design and layout of the site I created from scratch in Adobe Photoshop CS5. I cut up the graphics into slices and saved them. I then started programming the site from the ground up. I used valid XHTML, JavaScript, CSS, PHP, and MySQL to bring this site to life. All of the coding was done by hand using NotePad++. I am not a fan of site builders or anything similar to Adobe DreamWeaver. I prefer to have complete control over every aspect of my source code.

Checkiday.com took a while to gain some momentum. In February of last year, Checkiday.com won the DreamHost Site of the Month for the Originality and Overall categories. This sent quite a few users to the site, but only for about two days. Another source was StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon sent quite a few users to the site, but that was also only on certain days.

The main source of visitors to the site is Google searches. Checkiday.com is now averaging about 150-200 hits per day. I also set up Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds that are updated daily as well. These three feeds reach a total of over 235 users, and are growing fairly quickly.

Checkiday currently only displays holidays that occur on the same day each year, and once popularity increases, I will implement holidays that occur on varying dates.

Not only is Checkiday a website, but there is an Android App and a Widget that I have created and are available for free.

Here are some interesting statistics:

- Over 16,100 people have visited the site in the past year.

- Checkiday now gets about 150-200 visitors each day.

- 60% of them are returning. This is very high user retention.

- Each visitor views just over 3 pages on average.

- Each visitor spends about 2 minutes and 30 seconds on the site.

I would like to thank you all for making Checkiday.com not just another site that I make that goes to waste. I hope to see web traffic increase at the same rate that it currently is, and am excited to see where this site is in another year!




Reading From a MySQL Database Using C++

I Googled it. I could not find an easy example of how to set up an environment to do this, so I decided to research a bunch and write my own tutorial!

First things first. You need:

  • Ubuntu (or other linux distribution)
  • A functioning MySQL database to read from
  • Patience!

The first thing you need to do is to install the MySQL++ library on linux.  Open up Terminal and type "sudo apt-get install libmysql++-dev" and press enter.

It should ask for your password, so type that in and watch it install MySQL++.

Now that that is over, create a new folder and navigate to it in Terminal.  Create two blank files, naming one "main.cpp" and "makefile" for the other.

Inside of "main.cpp", paste the following:

Inside of "makefile", paste the following:

Now, you have the basic template saved. You must fill in your MySQL database information for the variables "db", "server", "user", and "pass" in order for this program to work.

Once you have the database info filled in, where it says "select * from database", you may change that to something more appropriate, such as "select first_name, last_name, user_id, email from users".

Now you may simply save it, run "make" and then run the program.




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