A missing forward slash.

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:34 am by Toby

I’ve been having some trouble again recently with a website I did for a client. This problem had reared its head before, and I could never pin down what was causing it until recently.

The problem is when at a certain point visitors to a site start viewing the non ‘www’ version of your site so

visitor goes to www.mycoolsite.com/shop/buysomething.php

and then later they arrive at


This isnt a huge issue except that it messes up cookies and lots of shopping carts are based on cookies. So the user gets to the check out and finds that there is no longer anything in their cart. Now I noticed this early on and tried to take steps to prevent it, but it has reared its head, and for reasons I wont go into, this time I had to track down the cause. And I finally did. A missing forward slash!

If you make a link to a directory (relative or absolute) without a trailing / it will redirect to the www less version of the url, so

www.mydomain.com/shop will load mydomain.com/shop/index.php
www.mydomain.com/shop/ will load www.mydomain.com/shop/index.php

now usually there is no difference, but in certain circumstances this can mess up things like cookies. So dont let it catch you out.

The origional answer I found is here.


I admit a weather-watch website is rather an obscure place


New Blog

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:29 pm by Toby

I’ve started writing a new blog – Working with finalbuilder
with tips and tricks for this great tool for automating the build process. Check it out.

Getting payment plans right.

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:50 am by Toby

One thing that annoys many of us, is paying for things we dont use. Like a payment plan that gives you a certain number of minutes on your phone, or using a piece of software.

Fogcreek software recently released a piece of software called copilot which allows you to remote control someone elses computer (not much new there, but they provide a service around it that works, and makes it simple to use through firewalls etc). They have a payment plan which allows you to choose a certain number of minutes per month, so if you are a heavy user! you can benefit from cost savings. But Joel (the owner of Fogcreek) is always one to remove barriers to entry, and so has this little bit after his list of payment plans.

“Don’t worry if you’re not sure how many minutes you need: you can change the plan at any time, up until the last day of the month.”

Now you see the great thing here is that he will never loose a customer who is unsure of how many minutes they will need, infact rather than making less money (some traditionalists would say that ever customer who trades down before the end of the month is lost money) he actually gains money because he gets customers he would not necessarily have had otherwise.

I remeber once trying to organise a payment gateway for one of my clients and not going with a particular company because they wanted my client to specify at the begining of each month how many transactions they would be making. Even though the cost is minimal its the perception of wasting money that kills the sale.