This post is a follow up to the first Secrets In Websites. For those who don’t remember the first time, I point out odd, interesting, funny things in other websites’ code. Yes it takes some time to put a post like this together, that’s why it’s just about a year since the last time. Enough with the intro, read on for the code.
You’ll notice a comment sure to make any web developer laugh on WordPress.com’s login page
The guys behind WordPress a while back took the site BrowseHappy under its wing. WordPress has always been a strong believer in web standards, so this isn’t surprising (though still amusing). Did you also know that the guys behind it (Automattic) don’t have job titles? Unless you consider “Chief BBQ Taste Tester” to be a real job title. Matt, I hope your job doesn’t kill you with a heart attack.
The ever so popular popurls has the following comment in the header of the page.
RedHat was one of the earlier corporate sites to redo itself into a standards based design. They have great respect for those who came before them. In their master css file they have the following tribute as well as a little remark about Netscape 4.x:
I hear it’s pretty nice too.
Panic also has a comment in the head of their homepage that reads:
Twitter (who redirects to drop the ‘www’ btw) is a very popular service these days. In their html they mark which server served up the data. You’ll see it in the form:
Copper eh? No fiber in your data center? I won’t judge, as long as your bandwidth is plentiful.
Here’s a bonus from WordPress. While many analytics programs use a 1px transparent “tracker gif” to manage statistics, WordPress did something a little different. At the very bottom on the left hand side, you can see the face of WordPress analytics in all it’s tiny glory.
This technically applies to more than just Firefox. You’d be surprised to see how many times
kungFuDeathGrip is in the code base.
Many Sites using Google Products/Services
Many people have noticed strange Google tags on sites such as:
This isn’t a “SEO” practice, despite some misconception on the web. This is used by the Google Search Appliance, a product made by Google which many websites use to power their own search engines to tell the engine what to read and what to ignore. It wouldn’t be practical for Google to use these “in the wild”. The reason is that spammers could effectively hide an alternate website within those comments. Google’s business is based largely on accurate search results. Spammers have already tried to abuse the css property
display: none;. This would be even better. You can find code like this on Apple.com among many other sites.
Webmasters can however optimize their side for AdSense using a technique recommended by Google:
This tells Google to give weight to a certain part of your page when deciding what ad to display on the page. This is good for cases where you feel other material on your page is influencing the ads and resulting in off-topic ads.
Microsoft‘s offering against Linux and Apache is IIS on Windows. Which one would expect they themselves use. What they don’t tell you is that they also have used Akamai (with over 25,000 servers), which uses Linux. They have used Akamai for many things like DNS, and caching files. Rather than “Powered By Windows Server” maybe they should append “hiding behind Linux”.
Myspace.com was previously Adobe/Macromedia’s model customer because it was written in ColdFusion, and said to be the biggest ColdFusion site on the net (and one of the biggest sites on the net). Many think it still is, but it’s not. While many url’s suggest it might be because they end in
.cfm it’s actually running ASP.net and has been since aprox, 2006. You can confirm this by viewing the headers on some of their pages. You’ll see:
MTV.com‘s site has search powered by a Google Search Appliance. MTV is also owned by Viacom who sued Google, the parent company of YouTube. The folks at MTV awesomely admitted the irony during relaunch on their blog.
Tier 1 networking provider Global Crossing really wants you to know how fast they are. Doing a trace could turn up something like this:
7 15 ms 13 ms 14 ms COMCAST-IP-SERVICES-LLC.tengigabitethernet1-4.ar5.NYC1.gblx.net [22.214.171.124] 8 14 ms 13 ms 13 ms tengigabitethernet1-4.ar5.NYC1.gblx.net [126.96.36.199]
Yes that’s right, they use 10 GigE! Just FYI.
In Firefox 2.0, go to “About Firefox” (under the help menu for Windows, under the Firefox menu for Mac), and click on credits. You’ll notice Stephen Colbert. He wrote it single handedly, but added some other names because he’s a nice guy. Bonus: I’m on the list too. Above him because I’m better than him. That’s right, I said it.
Chase for some reason puts it’s login form in plain text. The submit url is https, but it doesn’t feel right. They do have a SSL enabled login page, but for some reason they hide it. Here it is for those interested:
For some reason, most of Google’s services are insecure by default. By simply going to https, you can use SSL for added security.
Google Calendar: https://www.google.com/calendar
Google Reader: https://www.google.com/reader
On the next page is the 2008 US Presidential Candidate Campaign sites…
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