Firefox 3.0 is Europe's most popular browser | News | TechRadar UK

Firefox 3.0 is officially the most popular web browser in Europe, according to StatCounter’s latest statistics.

Although Mozilla’s browser lags behind Microsoft’s Internet Explorer if you add all of the latter’s different versions together, FireFox has finally pipped IE7 as the most used individual browser version – with 35.05 per cent of the market, according to the data.

Firefox, benefiting from the fact that it doesn’t have the same problem with ‘legacy’ users who stay on older versions of the browser and the arrival of IE8 which is prising people away from IE7.

Not much in it

The gap is currently just over half of a percentage point, and StatCounter CEO Aodhen Cullen believes that it will overtake IE’s complete range shortly.

“The move is partly explained by a small switch from IE 7.0 usage to IE 8.0 but also by growing market share overall by Firefox 3.0,” said Cullen.

“The data shows that Firefox is closing the gap and is now just 10% behind all IE versions in Europe.”

Apparently StatCounter analyse four billion pageloads per month, but it should be pointed out that other major website traffic monitoring companies come up with different figures.

By Patrick Goss

via Firefox 3.0 is Europe’s most popular browser | News | TechRadar UK.

URL Rewriting in Asp.net using URLRewriter

URL Rewriting in asp.net (c#). (Download Example Project for URL Rewriting in asp.net at the end of this article)

One way to get yourselves rated better in the search engines is to get rid of the basic aspx page and replace it with something much more descriptive i.e.:

If I were selling Nokia phones, I may have a page called http://www.mydomain.com/nokia.aspx – not much good if I am trying to target a specific phone though is it? What about this then?

http://www.mydomain.com/Nokia-E71-Mobile-Phone-With-Email-And-Internet-Browser

Much more descriptive and much more likely to get the search engines juices flowing more and hence get you rated higher in the listings.

After searching around for a few solutions, I found this article by Scott GU (Microsoft Guru Extraordinaire) http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/02/26/tip-trick-url-rewriting-with-asp-net.aspx which got me excited.

He mentions a few methods, one of which I use on http://www.simonantony.co.uk which is running IIS7 by using the Rewrite module built into IIS – works a treat and has allowed me to convert a static html site into a more dynamic and search engine friendly version.

The other is to use a library from http://urlrewriter.net/ which is the other route I have taken. I’ve successfully implemented this on a project I am currently working upon and thought it would be nice of me to post some fully working example code that you can actually understand – the examples on the urlrewriter website/demos are very poor and not clear at all – no wonder so many people struggle to get it working.

Some blurb from the URLRewriting website will explain it more:

UrlRewriter.NET is an open-source, light-weight, highly configurable URL rewriting component for ASP.NET 1.1 and 2.0. UrlRewriter.NET provides similar IIS Rewrite capabilities that the Apache web server provides with mod_rewrite and .htaccess. You don’t need to install an ISAPI Rewrite filter to use the component. Best of all, UrlRewriter.NET is free and licensed with a very permissive MIT-style licence.

UrlRewriter.NET is a great Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool. Using UrlRewriter.NET, you can create URL’s containing your target keywords, boosting your rankings.

With UrlRewriter.NET, you can:

* Rewrite URL’s from “user and Search Engine” friendly urls to the actual .aspx pages (also known as URL Masking, IIS Rewrite or ASP Rewrite)
* Redirect from old URL patterns to the new ones, ensuring the Search Engine spiders continue to follow your links (also known as URL Replace)
* Block certain visitors based on the User-Agent – very helpful for blocking crawlers that don’t obey the robots.txt protocol
* Ban users based on IP range (provides the capabilities of mod_rewrite on IIS)
* And much more…

UrlRewriter.NET is a pure .NET component written in C#, and does not require any ISAPI rewrite dll’s to be installed in IIS. You configure rules in a very readable XML format, either in your web.config file or an external rewriter configuration file.

UrlRewriter.NET is in use in many websites large and small such as DotNetKicks, and is embedded in several open source packages, such as the fantastic Yet Another Forum.NET.

Anyway here is how the project is constructed and how to get it working.

  1. Create a new web project – I am using C# but if you really want to you can use VB
  2. Download the urlrewriting library from the official site http://urlrewriter.net
  3. Add a reference to the UrlRewritingNet.UrlRewriter.dll to your project
  4. Open up the web.config file and replace the content with the following code:

<?xml version=”1.0″?>
<configuration>
<configSections>
<section name=”urlrewritingnet” requirePermission=”false”  type=”UrlRewritingNet.Configuration.UrlRewriteSection, UrlRewritingNet.UrlRewriter”  />
</configSections>

<urlrewritingnet
rewriteOnlyVirtualUrls=”true”
contextItemsPrefix=”QueryString”
defaultPage=”default.aspx”
defaultProvider=”RegEx”
xmlns=”http://www.urlrewriting.net/schemas/config/2006/07″ >
<rewrites>
<add name=”this-is-a-long-page-name”  virtualUrl=”^~/this-is-a-long-page-name”
rewriteUrlParameter=”ExcludeFromClientQueryString”
destinationUrl=”~/longpage.aspx”
ignoreCase=”true” />

<add name=”Product-Search-uk”  virtualUrl=”^~/Product-Search-uk”
rewriteUrlParameter=”ExcludeFromClientQueryString”
destinationUrl=”~/search.aspx”
ignoreCase=”true” />

<add name=”submit-your-company”  virtualUrl=”^~/submit-your-company”
rewriteUrlParameter=”ExcludeFromClientQueryString”
destinationUrl=”~/submit_company.aspx”
ignoreCase=”true” />

<add name=”this-is-my-site-blog”  virtualUrl=”^~/this-is-my-site-blog”
rewriteUrlParameter=”ExcludeFromClientQueryString”
destinationUrl=”~/blog.aspx”
ignoreCase=”true” />

<add name=”contact-my-company”  virtualUrl=”^~/contact-my-company”
rewriteUrlParameter=”ExcludeFromClientQueryString”
destinationUrl=”~/contact.aspx”
ignoreCase=”true” />

<add name=”Product-Search-uk-partnumber”  virtualUrl=”^~/product(.*).aspx”
rewriteUrlParameter=”ExcludeFromClientQueryString”
destinationUrl=”~/search.aspx?id=$1″
ignoreCase=”true” />

<!–<add name=”Rewrite”  virtualUrl=”^~/(.*)/Detail(.*).aspx”
rewriteUrlParameter=”ExcludeFromClientQueryString”
destinationUrl=”~/Default.aspx?language=$1&amp;id=$2″
ignoreCase=”true” />

<add name=”RedirectInApplication”  virtualUrl=”^~/(.*)/Default.aspx”
rewriteUrlParameter=”ExcludeFromClientQueryString”
destinationUrl=”~/$1/Detail_Redirected.aspx”
redirect=”Application”
redirectMode=”Permanent”
ignoreCase=”true” />

<add name=”KickBrowserToDomain”  virtualUrl=”^http://(.*)/SampleWeb/kickto/(.*).aspx”
rewriteUrlParameter=”ExcludeFromClientQueryString”
destinationUrl=”http://$2?source=$1″
redirect=”Domain”
redirectMode=”Permanent”
ignoreCase=”true” />–>
</rewrites>
</urlrewritingnet>

<appSettings/>
<system.web>
<customErrors mode=”Off”>
</customErrors>
<httpModules>
<add name=”UrlRewriteModule” type=”UrlRewritingNet.Web.UrlRewriteModule, UrlRewritingNet.UrlRewriter” />
</httpModules>
<compilation debug=”true” />
</system.web>
</configuration>

    • Create the aspx pages
      1. blog.aspx
      2. contact.aspx
      3. default.aspx (this should already exist)
      4. longpage.aspx
      5. search.aspx
      6. submit_company.aspx
        • In Default.aspx add the following code:

          <div id=”nav”>
          <div id=”navcontainer”>
          <ul id=”navlist”>
          <li><a href=”default.aspx”>Home</a></li>
          <li><a href=”this-is-a-long-page-name”>this-is-a-long-page-name</a></li>
          <li><a href=”Product-Search-uk”>Product Search</a></li>
          <li><a href=”submit-your-company”>Submit your company</a></li>
          <li><a href=”this-is-my-site-blog”>Blog</a></li>
          <li><a href=”contact-my-company”>Contact</a></li>
          <li><a href=”product123.aspx”>Note that this aspx page does not actually exist – click it and see what happens</a></li>

          </ul>
          </div>
          </div>

          You will notice that the href links are defined in the web.config file.

            • In search.aspx, add the following html code:

              <div>
              This is the region page – if you click on <a href=”product12345.aspx”>product12345.aspx</a>, you will be redirected here but the code will show the arguments of the page i.e. 12345 – confused? You will be!

              </div>

                • Now open up the code behind file for search.aspx and add in the Page_Load event:

                  if(Request.QueryString[“id”] != null)
                  Response.Write(“querystring passed in: ” + Request.QueryString[“id”]);
                  else
                  Response.Write(“No query string passed in”);

                    • Run the project. If you click on the search link, you will be taken to the search page but notice the URL in the browser window as it should be reading Product-Search-UK. Same for the other url’s as well except for the last one, if you click on that, a product id will be passed into the page as a querystring that you can use to display specific products on a single page – clever eh!

                      Anyway I hope this has helped you understand how to get a basic implementation of URL Rewriting in your site – i’d love to hear of any more examples you have used, if you want to post them here let me know.

                      Si

                      Download Example Project for URL Rewriting in asp.net