Top Group Buying Websites in South Africa (Updated May 2011)

Group Buying websites have become very popular in the past few months, so much so that every Tom, Dick and Sipho have decided to create one of their own. With the help from a list compiled over at iGeek, I took the time to analyse which of these group buying websites are actually making an impression on the South Africa internet landscape.

*** 23 May 2011 (Latest)

Rank Website Alexa Rank (ZA) Unique Visitors (AdPlanner)
1 My City Deal 50 420k
2 Ubuntudeal 296 14k
3 WiCount 302 48k
4 CityMob 488
5 Zappon 524 12k
Twangoo 896 11k
VuvuPlaza 943 15k
OneDayOnly 1258 5.3k
Dealio 1701
24 Hours Only 1941
Skoop 2293
AllDeals 2599
UCit 5073
Collective Cow 8360
SaleWine 9636
Justhenga 12 228
Bangoo 14 623
GroupBuying 20 828
DealsOn 21 057

The biggest climber for May was Zappon.

 

*** as at 30 Mar 2011

Rank Website Alexa Rank (ZA) Unique Visitors (AdPlanner)
1 My City Deal 39 350k
2 WiCount 248 44k
3 Twangoo 333 27k
4 Ubuntudeal 655 10k
5 OneDayOnly 868 7.9k
Zappon 295 (* new)
Dealio 1030
Skoop 1826
UCit 1913
24 Hours Only 1944
VuvuPlaza 2559
Collective Cow 3252
Justhenga 7575
Bangoo 7638
AllDeals 8131
SaleWine 11382
DealsOn 13737
GroupBuying 19339

 

Although Zappon was only recently created, Alexa.com believes its already the 295th ranked website in SA. Pretty impressive.

Which one is your favourite?

Cache certain areas of your page using PHP

Sometimes it’s necessary to cache only certain elements or areas of your dynamic website to speed up the load times. I recently needed to cache two DIV’s that were being dynamically generated on one of my websites.

Sometimes it’s necessary to cache only certain elements or areas of your dynamic page to speed up the load times. I recently needed to cache two DIV’s that were being dynamically generated on one of my websites. They were each taking about 10 seconds to load which as you know, can be detrimental to your SEO efforts. Here’s the steps I followed in order to reduce my page load times from 20 seconds to under 1.5 seconds.

Step 1: Separate the areas

First of all, you would need to make the areas you would want to cache separate from the page. You can do this by creating new files for these areas and using the “include (‘page_name.php’);” function. This allows us to better control that specific file for caching purposes.

Code:

<div id="pane_popular">
<? 
      // this is one of the divs we want to cache
      include('div_top_articles.php'); 
?>
</div>

Step 2: Create the cache directory
Create a directory called “cache” on your web server. We will reference this in step 3.

Step 3: Insert the PHP cache code

Insert the following script at the top of the included file (in this case it’s the ‘div_top_articles.php’ file).

Code:

<?
    $cachedir = 'cache/'; // Cache directory
    $cachetime = 600; // Seconds to cache files for
    $cacheext = 'cache'; // Extension to give cached files (usually cache, htm, txt)
 
    // Script
    $page = 'http://' . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'];
    $cachefile = $cachedir.md5($page).'.'.$cacheext; // Cache file to either load or create
 
    $cachefile_created = ((@file_exists($cachefile))) ? @filemtime($cachefile) : 0;
    @clearstatcache();
 
    // Show file from cache if still valid
    if (time() - $cachetime < $cachefile_created) {
 
        //ob_start('ob_gzhandler');
        @readfile($cachefile);
        //ob_end_flush();
 
    }
    else {
    // If we're still here, we need to generate a cache file
 
        ob_start();
 
        // <CONTENT THAT YOU WANT CACHED-->
        // ----------------------------------------------------
        // ----------------------------------------------------
 
        show_latest_articles(10,"latest");
        echo "<small><small>Cached on: ".date("Y-m-d H:i:s")."</small></small>";
 
        // ----------------------------------------------------
        // ----------------------------------------------------
        // 
 
        // Now the script has run, generate a new cache file
        $fp = @fopen($cachefile, 'w'); 
 
        // save the contents of output buffer to the file
        @fwrite($fp, ob_get_contents());
        @fclose($fp); 
 
        ob_end_flush();
    }
 
?>

Code thanks to AddedBytes, modified slightly.

That’s all there is to it.

Redirect all pages of a domain except for one page with .htaccess

I had a really tough time this morning trying to figure out how to redirect all pages of one domain to another domain, but stop one (or two) of the pages on the old domain from redirecting.

The solution is as follows:

 
RewriteEngine on
#Note: do not include a "/" in the beginning of the path, this is automatic
RewriteCond $1 !^enquiry_control/enquiry4.php
RewriteCond $1 !^enquiry_control/capt.php
RewriteRule (.*) http://talooma.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Yup, its as easy as that – typical.

Copy Compass – a South African SEO Plugin

Copy Compass - Content Analysis WordPress PluginIf you dont already know, Copy Compass is the latest project under the wing of the newly branded digital marketing agency, Talooma. Copy Compass is a WordPress plugin that analyses your copy to best search engine optimisation practices. it provides you with in overall score as well as highlights key areas that may need optimising within your copy.

Copy Compass is the ideal plugin for your blog or website. It allows you to optimise your copy in line with generally accepted SEO best practices.

It is ideal for the casual blogger or the more serious blog master or website owner who wants to ensure his content always ranks well within the search engine results pages.

For many months I have been wanting to release a meaningful WordPress plugin that can actually compete with the international big boys and I believe Copy Compass may just be able to do it.  Many hours worth of research, practice and a whole heap of overall brain cell usage has gone into this plugin. Copy Compass was originally developed in my spare time as an in-house tool for Talooma which was meant to increase the quality of copy, in terms of SEO, and to help our customers rank higher in the search engine results pages. Upon using Copy Compass internally, most of our articles and content have climbed the ranks substantially and much progress has been made.

The complete plugin is not available as yet and only a scaled down version of the plugin has been released into the market. This version includes functionality such as the following:

  • Monitor your reading ease score: This is an indication of how easy or difficult your text is to read.
  • Monitor your gunning fog index:  A useful representation of what grade level you need in order to comprehend the text (eg: Grade 7, 8 etc)
  • Keyword Density: All online marketers know the importance of keyword density and how it can affect your rankings.
  • Basic SEO principles: Copy Compass monitors some basic principles needed to do well in the rankings.

If you have any ideas, suggestions and/or comments about Copy Compass, please do not hesitate to make use of the form on the site. All feedback is welcome.