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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!




Get a user’s timezone using JavaScript/jQuery and PHP

I wrote script a function using jQuery and PHP. This is tested, and does work!

On the PHP page where you are want to have the timezone as a variable, have this snippet of code somewhere near the top of the page:

This will read the session variable "time", which we are now about to create.

On the same page, in the <head>, you need to first of all include jQuery:

Also in the <head>, below the jQuery, paste this:

You may or may not have noticed, but you need to change the url to your actual domain.

One last thing. You are probably wondering what the heck timezone.php is. Well, it is simply this: (create a new file called **timezone.php** and point to it with the above url)

If this works correctly, it will first load the page, execute the JavaScript, and reload the page. You will then be able to read the $timezone variable and use it to your pleasure! It returns the current UTC/GMT time zone offset (GMT -7) or whatever timezone you are in.



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