Team Leadership – Basic Guidelines

I had been a good technical developer for a good portion of my career until I became a technical team leader and a senior team member. This transition was not a smooth one for me for the fact that leadership was a new concept to me. It is like the transition that one has to undertake first time he drives a car and he realizes that everything that he took for granted doesn’t exist anymore. He does not know for instance that his decisions on the road determines whether or not he and the rest of the car passengers arrive safely home. This blog entry is based on my experience because when you are a senior team member of team-leader, you need some basic “driving skills” that determines the safety of your team members and sometimes, the future of your company. So, you can imagine what kind of responsibility falls on your shoulders. This is why you have to be more proactive, more alert and I will convey you some basic guidelines that I learned the hard way.

1) Defend your team members. Your team members need your support and protection. Convey a positive image for them in front of the customer and do not fight against them. You want to build a team and you have to lead by example. Otherwise, your team gets broken and once you don’t have a team, you can forget about the success of the project.

2) Be honest in conveying problems to the project manager and the rest of your team. Don’t be brutally honest, but state facts as you are. Don’t convey personal comments and make it a habit to disturb everybody’s sweet dreams. There are so many projects that failed because the team-leader failed raise the red alert. Raise as many red alerts as you want but not to the point as to make people discouraged to work. Give people around you hope that this can work if only we can do this even if you are not so sure!

3) Stay focused on technical problems. Scope issues should be covered by project manager. You do your work, and let the project manager do his work. Don’t try to over-discuss with the customer or with the project manager whether this is in scope or should we do this or not? It reflects that you are not able to do it. As a technical team-leader, you get judged on whether or not you are able to solve technical problems.

4) Take ownership. Be in charge. Don’t try to hide away when it feels like the ship is sinking. If you hide, everybody in your team starts hiding and you lose your fighting edge. Customers like it when they can see that you are in charge and it feels to them that you are able to solve the problem. If they have this hope, they would be willing to extend the deadline and co-operate with you. If you are escaping they start attacking you.

5) Customers are the ones who pay money and they like to feel this way. Customers would like to feel that they are special, do not treat them as if they are a part of your team. Give them this extra respect and show them that you are there to make their wishes come true. Of course, real life is different, but they like to feel this way.

6) Stay focused. Be focused and don’t scatter your and your team’s efforts. Have this laser-focus on whatever you want to accomplish and never leave behind loose ends. Loose ends are going to hunt you later on. Have this determination to get rid of problems and pains.

7) Keep a friendly attitude. Don’t be bossy. Don’t make your team members that you don’t listen to your ideas and that you have the upper hand over them. Be nice to them and accept their ideas and then put your final touches. Don’t make everybody constrained and incapable to put his input in the project. Take two steps back and accept everybody’s faults and never expose their downfalls. Encourage them to talk, speak and have some say in the project.

8) Appreciate the efforts of good team members. Be sure to promote the superior team members, this gives them always the incentive to put more efforts into the project. Don’t be afraid to disturb the team members that are not performing as well. They would be encouraged when they see the rewards.

9) Don’t expect the perfect atmosphere. This is real life, so don’t follow theories. When you are working as a technical team leader, your position is based not just on your technical skills, it is based also on your political skills. Try to be creative in solving the problems without expecting the perfect work environment. Don’t make it a habit to dictate to the customer how they are supposed to think and what they are supposed to do. Don’t criticize the customers because they are not knowledgeable technically.

10) Always, defend your company. You can have so many internal problems with your company, but you are coming to the customer as a company’s representative and your customer is looking at you as if you are the company. Do not convey the internal problems that you have in your company to the customer.

Date Conversion from Arabic to English in IBM WCM

When you display the dates, it get displayed according to the locales. For example, 8/7/2005 06:15:33 will be ٨/٧/٢٠٠٥   ٠٦:١٥:٣٣ for Arabic locale.  This is usually not a problem except when you use the date in a script like an event calendar that only understands English numbers. In this case, it becomes an issue since you want the date to be in English. I ran into this problem several times, so I expect that you could face it too. To counteract this problem in IBM WCM 7.0, 8.0 and 8.5, you can use the below code

[Plugin:Matches pattern=”en(.*)” text=”[Plugin:Locale]”][Element context=”autofill” type=”content” key=”End” format=”MM/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss”][/Plugin:Matches][Plugin:Matches pattern=”ar(.*)” text=”[Plugin:Locale]”][Plugin:Matches pattern=”(.)(.)/(.)(.)/(.)(.)(.)(.) (.)(.):(.)(.):(.)(.)” text=”[Element context=’autofill’ type=’content’ key=’End’ format=’MM/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss’]”][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’1′]”]0[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’1′]”]1[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’1′]”]2[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’1′]”]3[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’1′]”]4[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’1′]”]5[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’1′]”]6[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’1′]”]7[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’1′]”]8[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’1′]”]9[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]0/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]1/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]2/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]3/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]4/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]5/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]6/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]7/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]8/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]9/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’3′]”]0[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’3′]”]1[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’3′]”]2[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’3′]”]3[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’3′]”]4[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’3′]”]5[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’3′]”]6[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’3′]”]7[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’3′]”]8[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’3′]”]9[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’4′]”]0/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’4′]”]1/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’4′]”]2/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’4′]”]3/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’4′]”]4/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’4′]”]5/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’4′]”]6/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’4′]”]7/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’4′]”]8/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’4′]”]9/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’5′]”]0[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’5′]”]1[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’5′]”]2[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’5′]”]3[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’5′]”]4[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’5′]”]5[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’5′]”]6[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’5′]”]7[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’5′]”]8[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’5′]”]9[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’6′]”]0[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’6′]”]1[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’6′]”]2[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’6′]”]3[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’6′]”]4[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’6′]”]5[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’6′]”]6[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’6′]”]7[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’6′]”]8[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’6′]”]9[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’7′]”]0[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’7′]”]1[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’7′]”]2[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’7′]”]3[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’7′]”]4[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’7′]”]5[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’7′]”]6[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’7′]”]7[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’7′]”]8[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’7′]”]9[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’8′]”]0 [/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’8′]”]1 [/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’8′]”]2 [/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’8′]”]3 [/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’8′]”]4 [/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’8′]”]5 [/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’8′]”]6 [/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’8′]”]7 [/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’8′]”]8 [/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’8′]”]9 [/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’9′]”]0[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’9′]”]1[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’9′]”]2[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’9′]”]3[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’9′]”]4[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’9′]”]5[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’9′]”]6[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’9′]”]7[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’9′]”]8[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’9′]”]9[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’10’]”]0:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’10’]”]1:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’10’]”]2:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’10’]”]3:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’10’]”]4:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’10’]”]5:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’10’]”]6:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’10’]”]7:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’10’]”]8:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’10’]”]9:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’11’]”]0[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’11’]”]1[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’11’]”]2[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’11’]”]3[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’11’]”]4[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’11’]”]5[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’11’]”]6[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’11’]”]7[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’11’]”]8[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’11’]”]9[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’12’]”]0:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’12’]”]1:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’12’]”]2:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’12’]”]3:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’12’]”]4:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’12’]”]5:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’12’]”]6:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’12’]”]7:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’12’]”]8:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’12’]”]9:[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’13’]”]0[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’13’]”]1[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’13’]”]2[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’13’]”]3[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’13’]”]4[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’13’]”]5[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’13’]”]6[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’13’]”]7[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’13’]”]8[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’13’]”]9[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٠” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’14’]”]0[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’14’]”]1[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’14’]”]2[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’14’]”]3[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’14’]”]4[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’14’]”]5[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’14’]”]6[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’14’]”]7[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’14’]”]8[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’14’]”]9[/Plugin:Equals][/Plugin:Matches]

This code looks complicated, but it is quite easy to understand. Once you follow the logic, it becomes very simple. You take as the input, the date field and you match it against the pattern which is the same pattern as the date field. (.) in a regular expression means a single character. Then, each character you check the number in Arabic and you put it’s equivalent in English.

As this code is painful to look at and painful to rewrite, put it in an HTML component and reuse it when you want.

One thing to note that for certain matched groups, you are going to have to add slashes or spaces or you will get only numbers. Something like: 872005061533 which is not what you want.  This is why if you notice, for example for matchedGroup 2 there is a slash after the number.

[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]0/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”١” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]1/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٢” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]2/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٣” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]3/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٤” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]4/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٥” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]5/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٦” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]6/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٧” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]7/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٨” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]8/[/Plugin:Equals][Plugin:Equals text2=”٩” text1=”[Plugin:MatchedGroup group=’2′]”]9/[/Plugin:Equals]

This will not work for all formats. It would work only for this format: MM/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss.

Make sure that your code is in a single line. Multiple lines will cause you a problem in your output as dates are expected to be a single line.

SEO – Technical Details

How do you raise your search ranking? This question often is very important to all businesses as more clicks means more publicity means more money. There are number of factors to consider like the quality of your output which is out of the scope of this blog. This blog focuses mainly on the Technical Aspects of the Search Engine Optimization:-

1) Use a descriptive page title

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A descriptive title is very important as user is more inclined to click on a descriptive title rather than a non-descriptive one. This would not increase page ranking directly, but it would help increase the click rate which in turn can increase the page ranking as more users decide to visit and share your website.

2) Use description meta tag:-

<meta name=”descriptioncontent=”A very good description that would show in the search engines”/>

If we don’t have a description, the SEO would take snippets from the page as the description. The user is unlikely to click on it. This would not increase the page ranking directly, but it would help increase the click rate which in turn can increase the page ranking if more users decide to visit and share your website.

3) Use canonical url’s:-

<link rel=”canonicalhref=”http://[your domain name]/page/canonical/url” />

The advantage of canonical urls’ is to make sure that as search engines crawl over the internet, your page ranking is going to increase rather than be divided. Suppose, for example, the search crawler finds http://[your domain name] and in another http://[your domain name]/1. Even if they point to the same page, for the search engines, these are two separate pages and the page ranking is going to be divided and the search engine is going to have multiple copies of the same page. However, if you use canonical urls’, the page ranking is going to go up rather than be divided across multiple urls. So, canonical url’s in this case is very important.

4) Do not use javascript or ajax to write contents to pages. Search Engines are not able to execute these, so, if you use ajax or javascript to write contents to pages, the Search Engines would not be able to read them when they are crawling over the internet.

5) Have a facility to share your contents to social media pages. The more your contents are shared to social media pages. Although there is no evidence that the number of comments and likes increase page rankings, but they help increase publicity and the more your site becomes public, the more likely that your page ranking is going to increase.

6) Make social media pages to advertise your website. Pay special attention to Google Plus.

7) Use Open Graph meta tags. Open Graph meta tags are good tools to customize your social media experience. It tells the social media pages which picture, description and title to use and therefore, makes sharing content to social media pages, better and offer a better publicity. Which translates in turn to a higher pages ranking.

8) If you can afford it, use paid advertisements. Paid advertisements clicks do not increase the page ranking, but they can help make your website in top of the search results. This increases the number of visitors which in turn leads to higher page ranking as more users decide to share your website.

From a technical perspective, these are the most important factors to increase your page ranking.

IBM WCM – when to use what

More Often than not, WCM designer is faced with the choice of when should he use: Out of the Box components, Custom Components, Workflow actions, Rendering Plugins, JSP components and so forth. This choice means the success or failure of his design. This article’s purpose is to provide some basic guidelines for the designer to be able to make the right choices at the right time and come up with a successful, maintainable design.

1) Rely on Out of the box components as much as possible. Usually, if the designer has some development skills, he is inclined to demonstrate it by injecting more and more custom components. The disadvantage of that being:-

a) Will not receive support from IBM. IBM wouldn’t claim responsibility for  custom-made code.

b) Would not receive updates from IBM. As new fix packs come from IBM, it wouldn’t benefit the custom-made components.

c) It would less maintainable by the client as the client would have less of the expertise of the designer. So, they would not be able to maintain the custom-made code.

2) If Out of the Box components fail, try to rely on custom rendering plugins. Custom rendering plugins are easier to maintain and they are reusable across multiple components.

3) If rendering plugins fail, use JSP components. JSP’s are harder to maintain. Try to delay this choice as much as possible.

4) JSP validations are good and they are recommended. Make javascript validations for components by making custom jsp for fields in the authoring templates. They are usually effective and they are good features that impress the business. However, try to separate the JSP validations from the field elements themselves. Making an extra text element that validates the elements using javascript means that the author does not have to save to know that something is wrong with his input. Also, not all validations are covered in the authoring templates. Making the authoring templates smart is one of the key factors for a successful WCM design. However, if one adds the validation inside the same element that renders the authoring template element is only good if the designer wants to change the behavior of the element. It must be thoroughly tested if this is the case to handle all possible conditions.

5) Use Workflow custom actions only if the need arises. Do not over-use the feature, and do not over-complicate the design with workflow custom actions. Custom actions usually come as a response to the requirement of the customer rather than at the will of the designer to come up with a superb design.