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Real Estate Photographer Directory Space is Limited

Published: 22/09/2009
By: larry

The outage that the real estate photographer directory had last week (the page wasn't down, I just couldn't add entries for a few days) confirmed my fears that the size of this kind of static directory page is limited. The size is limited by the maximum available memory on the PFRE blog's WordPress server. I increased the size of the memory available to WordPress the server but as the directory grows I'll run into this problem again.

I could get around this problem by converting to a database and having the directory page created each time the page is displayed. This is the way many directories like this are done. However, this solution would eliminate the positive "Google effect" that those in the directory get by having the top ranking site for real estate photography pointing to their site. So, rather than hiding the directory from Google spiders, I've decided to keep the directory page the way it is and eventually limit it's size. I won't know where the maximum size will be until I run out of server memory again. When that happens, I'll only accept as many directory registrations as there are people that don't renew each month and depending on the demand there may be an increase in the price of directory registration at some time in the future.

In the mean time, I'm going to manage the directory more closely than I have to date. This means I'm not going to allow directory entries for either parked domains or sites that are not clearly real estate photography related. I'm going through the directory now and removing all the old directory entries (the ones before 6/15/2008) that are parked (have no website ) and the ones that don't have anything to do with real estate photography.  I'm also sending one renewal notice to the e-mail you used to register your directory entry with. So be sure you have control of your SPAM filter. If you don't renew, I'll immediately be deleting your directory entry so it can be used by someone else. I think this approach will best pass on the benefits that the PFRE blog has of having top Google authority for the search terms "real estate photographer" and "real estate photography".

7 comments on “Real Estate Photographer Directory Space is Limited”

  1. @Nick- Yes, I'm accepting registrations. Just click on the bright pink image on the left side-bar to sign up.

  2. Why does converting the directory to a database "eliminate the positive “Google effect”". To a search spider the page that the spider gets and reads should be the same regardless of how the page is created on the server. Shouldn't it? I have a database driven page on my site that gets plenty of hits from search sites.

  3. @Scott, It depends on how the HTML page accesses the database. If just hitting the page causes the whole database to be displayed then yes, you are right. But that's not the way most DB access pages work. The user selects the state or city or a country and only part of the DB is accessed and displayed... this kind of approach keeps spiders out. There are basically practical limits to how big you want to make one page.

  4. @Larry, Would defaulting to showing the US listings (the majority currently) and then at the top of the page have links that would display the page filtered for the other major areas provide the "google effect" you are looking for? The links would be static spider friendly links that can be crawled and allow it to see all the links that could potentially be displayed on the page. You of course could put dropdowns for easy filtering by users too. Seems a shame to limit the size of the directory to a WordPress memory limit.

  5. @Scott- I have a web designer doing some work on researching alternatives. He came up with some alternatives but I haven't liked any the alternatives so far. Since the current directory has 313 entries as of yesterday and I don't think I'll hit the current memory limit for 6 to 8 months so I have time to find a better design. The main thing is I want it to look and work good as well as keep all the benefits the current design give the directory participants. I expect I'll find a way redesign the current directory before I run into the memory limit but I can't guarantee it for sure.

    I'm looking for good examples of directory designs to copy. If you, or anyone else, sees one you think are a good design for this application let me know. I'm not anxious to limit the size in the long run.

  6. for $15k+/yr that you make off that page, you can afford a server or VPS w/ more memory... just saying 😉

  7. @Scott- Yes, I understand that is an option. I don't make $15k/year on the directory page. Over half of the current directory entries are lifetime listings that were free and a another large percentage are lifetime entries from before Jan 31, 2008 before I started charging yearly.

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