SPECIAL SPECIAL NOTE: There is coding in this article that MUST APPEAR as shown or you'll be running this article for nothing. DO triple check yours against this original prior to publishing please! ================================================ MONSTER OR MIGHTY MOUSE? SOLVE THOSE URL PROBLEMS! by Theresa Cahill All Rights Reserved Copyright 2002 You've heard the expression, "The Great American Novel?" If not, a short explanation is in order before I continue. The "Great American Novel" is that "quick email" you start to write that goes on for two screens. Or the short memo that turns into a business letter, or the solo that takes three complete window scrolls to read. Or an article that runs on a tad too long... or... oops, sorry! I guess I've made my point. Anyway, the newest of my own personal expressions is "The Great American URL." If you haven't created your own website yet, and are promoting affiliate programs, you'll have to make do with using one of the "short url" services. http://tinyurl.com is a popular choice lately and free to use. However, everyone's link ends up showing "http:tinyurl.com/whatever" and loses a bit of its own uniqueness in the process. Don't get me wrong, if your url is the size of Brazil and you don't have your own website, run don't walk, to shorten it now! However, if you do have your own website, there is a quick, easy way to hide those long, ugly links and make them appear to come directly from you. And it's not hard to do! Take for example this fictious link: http://www.applesforsale.com/cgi-bin/bananas/waytoobig.html Looks suspiciously like an affiliate link, doesn't it. So, how do you turn the above monster into that mighty mouse? Click on My Computer. Open your C drive. Highlight the folder to your website pages (you do have a backup of your website on your hard drive, right?) Create a new folder within this directory. Give it a short name, like RD (for redirect). Close Windows Explorer. Now, open the HTML Editor of your choice. Begin a NEW webpage. No doubt there's a bit of code already on your page, like a small meta tag of sorts and the area. Now you COULD do a standard redirect in the BODY of your new page, but this type of redirect causes a pause as the system stops either briefly or not so briefly on its way to its final destination. It's like getting from one link to another via a "middleman." We're going to take the middleman out of the equation and let your viewer pass immediately to the page of your choice. You will not enter anything into the BODY of this new webpage. Instead all your redirecting code sits inside the portion of the webpage you are creating. Here's a sample code (do copy and keep it for your own use): [Note: To double check that the code below appears the way it should, you can see a text-only version of this article at: http://www.mywizardads.com/article14.txt] Apples For Sale See where I've filled in the TITLE? And I've copied and pasted the monster of a url from above just after the URL= portion of the coding. That's it. You do not add anything else to your webpage. Now you'll save this page giving it a short name like "apples.htm" inside the RD folder you created on your hard drive. Next you upload it to your website. However, before you FTP it, or publish it if you use FrontPage, you'll need to create a new folder on the server side (the internet). You'll also name this new folder "RD" (without the quotes). You then upload your newly created page called apples.htm to this new server-side folder RD at your website. The final product? The url you'll use to advertise will reflect YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME and will look something like this: http://www.mydomain.com/RD/apples.htm No more worries about broken links when you advertise! Plus, your link now has a more professional appearance. It takes your visitor to where you want him or her to be, but does it with a lot more style. ======================================= About the Author: Theresa Cahill has just released her new ebook, STEP-BY-STEP: A guide to basic marketing tools. It's like having someone there with you while you learn to setup and use several basic, yet effective, marketing resources. http://www.step-by-step-guide.com or mailto:info@step-by-step-guide.com Her other websites include: TheWizWorld MRC Newsletter http://www.thewizworld.com My Wizard Ads http://www.mywizardads.com ===========================================================