Philip Goddard
www.philipgoddard.com
Personal Website
 
 

Philip Goddard's Websites - Site Notes

The design of these sites - and why NOT neptunethemystic.co.uk!

These sites have grown in piecemeal fashion since late 1997 from a very small and crude beginning as a very basic 'shop window' for my literary works (only). All along, because I was presenting significant content, I wanted to sidestep all temptation to emulate others who create 'professional'-looking websites full of frames (slow loading, often a cluttered screen, and impossible for most search engines to index), distracting logos, images and animations, and taking an age to load into one's browser.

I seek in my sites to put priority on clarity, directness and fast loading. Any graphic or picture here has to have strong justification for its inclusion; it must point to or enhance the content and 'message' without adding distraction or unduly lengthening page loading time. I totally exclude animations, for they are a great distraction from the contents of a serious site such as this. For this reason too I use plain colours and for the most part not images as backgrounds for text, and keep them to light colours for maximum readability.

Light pastel colours in this sort of context are in any case generally more harmonious to our non-physical aspects, and thus are particularly appropriate for sites whose content promotes true self-actualization / self-realization.

Why not neptunethemystic.co.uk?

As for the domain names that I have used, one thing is worth explaining here. Originally I had just one website, and that had just the default name of (username).force9.co.uk. Eventually I took advantage of the single free .co.uk domain offered by my ISP and took up what seemed to me at the time to be an absolutely wonderful domain name: neptunethemystic.co.uk. As the site became several, so I simply made each supposedly separate site to be just a subfolder of neptunethemystic.co.uk, so I had that supposedly wonderful domain name hovering over my whole set of websites, and appearing to make some sort of 'statement' about me personally as well as about the sites' contents.

At the time, I was getting seriously side-tracked into the 'spirituality' phenomenon, and was seeing myself then as a 'mystic'. Also, I strongly resonated with Gustav Holst's music in his Planets suite - particularly the rarefied music of the last movement of that work, which was actually entitled Neptune the Mystic. But then, as a result of the various 'healing' methods that I took on (actually very harmful, as I explain in My Own Self-Actualization 'Path' - Part 1 and "Am I a Healer?"), and then my starting to 'channel' in late 2003, I dropped myself deep in the brown stuff by opening myself to serious and disruptive interferences and attacks from a very troublesome 'universal' influence that, for want of a better term, I call the garbage (aka the 'dark force').

By late 2004, when I was still in the thick of those tribulations, I had come to recognise that the very notion of 'Neptune the Mystic' was actually 'of the dark side'. In other words, it had strong 'resonance' connections with outlooks and imagery that cultivated openness and vulnerability to the astral non-reality and what it contained - the garbage and all its means of interference and attack. It was not till 2007 that I finally started getting a really comprehensive understanding of just how much the garbage permeates and distorts and limits ALL people's life experience. At least in recognising, back then in 2004, that 'Neptune the Mystic' was a notion or image that I needed to keep well clear of, I had had a quite remarkable flash of clarity considering the general confusion that the garbage was inflicting upon me at that pretty desperate time then.

It was thus in December 2004 that I transferred my website complex to the much more prosaic but at least usefully informative philipgoddard.com. Some time subsequently I split off the different sites to each have their own respective domain names, for that is much better practice for a variety of reasons. However, having discarded the neptunethemystic.co.uk domain, I subsequently found that it had been grabbed by an unscrupulous domain parking / squatting business with a particular interest in gambling, so that for quite a number of years people seeking my website(s) got landed where they most certainly did not want to go. Thankfully, however, I now find that the domain does appear to have vanished.

That is still not completely the end of the story, though, because if you do a Web search for neptunethemystic(.co.uk) you will find many (very) obsolete references to me and my websites at that old address. They are something of an embarrassment to me nowadays, as some of them pronounce me to be a 'Dzogchen Master' and 'founder of Divine Consciousness Reiki' and other things that I got clear of as soon as I hauled myself out of the confusions and convoluted fictions that the garbage had been getting me to engage with. It is amazing how so many site owners do not bother to check links on their sites and remove ones that are broken or no longer pointing to the right place. I gave up trying to get site owners to change or remove such obsolete links. Many of them appear not to have updated their sites since the sites were originally set up - which makes one wonder why the hell they do not just delete the sites if they are no longer interested in them.

Redesign of this site's pages in 2003

In the spring of 2003, I redesigned most of this site's pages to give a more consistent approach to layout, for the first time using the now-fashionable CSS (cascading style sheets). This will unfortunately cause problems for some (mostly old) browsers that don't handle CSS well or even don't recognise that system at all. In such cases some of the page formatting will be awry, and some style effects will not appear.

Netscape 4 and to a lesser extent Internet Explorer 4 were notorious for their bugginess in coping with CSS. If you are using one of those, I exhort you to upgrade  your browser to a modern one that fully supports modern CSS standards, because that is the system now used almost universally by professional website builders, and the older browsers cannot correctly display many modern web pages, and you cannot reasonably expect website developers forever to limit their design to accommodate old and buggy browser versions.

My sites 'go secure'!

As from 24 November 2016, my Self Realization site has an active SSL certificate, which means that its basic URL starts with https instead of http. Connections using that URL are encrypted (i.e., secure) ones. In practical terms this measure was hardly necessary security-wise, because nobody is being asked for private personal information on this site. Where they are asked for passwords, credit card details and the like, it is on secure pages on the respective PayPal or Createspace site.

Then in January 2017 I changed hosting company for all my sites, from the so-widely known and heavily advertised 1&1 to the much less well-known but highly reputed and really quite outstanding Kualo, who actually provide a much better service in various ways, while not costing materially more for the privilege. Kualo enabled me to have a free, no-hassle, auto-renewing, SSL certificate for each of my sites, so they are all now set up to operate with secure https connections.

None of my sites is an e-commerce one where really sensitive personal information is entered, and so really on the face of it my sites hardly require such a security measure. However, it is now fairly general knowledge that Google is increasingly seeking to encourage and eventually pressure all site owners towards making their sites secure, and is increasingly giving a ranking advantage for those sites that are 'secure' in that way - which of course translates into a small ranking disadvantage to sites that have not done that. And other search engines are assumed to be following suit about this. So really at this time it simply doesn't make sense for any 'serious' site to continue without a properly signed SSL certificate, especially as we have the odd hosting companies who let you have free SSL certificates - and indeed including Kualo, who actively encourage and assist their customers to use them, though still having more prestigious paid-for ones available too.


Warning!

Please note that an SSL certificate, and the https prefix for a website address does NOT guarantee that the site itself is a safe one to visit.

It simply indicates a certain level of safety of connections to and from the site. In other words, you can still have malicious websites using secure connections. Those secure connections would not protect you against whatever is on those websites; they would simply enable you to get your malware or whatever other nasty from them more securely, for whatever good that would do you!

So, ALL website visitors always need to remain on-guard for possible threats from ANY website, including this one, no matter whether or not they have a secure connection to it.

Please let me know if you run into any problems with the site's redirection system, which is supposed to ensure that all requests for pages or other files at the http version of the respective site of mine are all immediately changed to the https version of that URL. Thank you.

Compatibility with mobile phone type devices

It had been clear policy of mine to ignore the requirements of such mobile devices for a site to display properly, apart from doing my best to keep my page design as flexible as reasonably possible. However, in June 2015 I discovered a 'Responsive View' facility in Pale Moon, my regular browser, which enabled me to easily and quickly test pages for compatibility with different display sizes, and it turned out to be much easier than expected to make all my pages reasonably mobile-friendly.

However, there is an exception to that, in that I am deliberately NOT catering for the very smallest mobile displays, which are nowadays in a small minority anyway, and really are unsuitable for viewing any but small and simple web pages. Basically, in order to maintain page display integrity on my sites I have set a minimum width of 600px for all my pages. As far as I can ascertain, that ensures that all tablets and, as I say, the vast majority of smartphones are catered for, at least when used in landscape orientation. At 600px width, in the odd places a photo might just stick out a little off to the right, but to a non-critical extent; some of those I may correct in time, but they are low priority for me. I have already fixed the more pronounced instances of that.

Accessibility Policy

The aforementioned redesign of the site was carried out with no regard to accessibility for the special browsers and screen readers used by visually impaired people. In particular I used tables extensively for various layout purposes, and I didn't give any of the tables 'summary' attributes. Tables are notorious for their incomprehensibility to such screen readers.

In 2006 I reduced this site's reliance on tables for normal layout purposes to the absolute minimum that was practical. My notional aim is eventually to make this whole site fully accessible to all comers, but that is a big task that I cannot realistically be expected to accomplish quickly, and I am doubtful whether it would be really workable to take to completion. I am, however, reviewing accessibility as I update elements of page design on my sites, and this is an ongoing process.

Privacy Policy

Right from the beginning I set up my five websites all to respect visitors' privacy, and not to track them. Indeed, I use no cookies at all, and I have employed no 'spying' techniques such as web bugs.

I do carry out a check of my daily website statistics, but these do not show visitors' personal information apart from certain technical details - their host or IP address, their browser, their operating system, and usually any search text that they have used in order to find the particular page they have requested. That is standard data supplied by any hosting company. I do not share that information with anyone, and unlike various organizations, I do NOT put my website logfiles online for others to see - an incredibly stupid thing for any person or organization ever to do, because of all sorts of problems that are caused by that practice.

The forms that I use for contact or visitors' book entry do ask for your e-mail address, but I guarantee that those addresses and any other personal information that you may supply (such as postal address, required for some purposes) will not be passed on to any third parties, nor placed in public view - except in the very unlikely event of it being required in the course of a criminal investigation or legal proceedings or serious misconduct of a particular site visitor.

I also give assurance that I am very proactive with regard to security on my computer and websites, and I have still not had one instance of my computer or any of my websites being infected or compromised by any 'virus' or hacking attempt, since starting with my first computer (1986 or 87); I first went online in late 1997. Thus so far I have a spotless track record with regard to keeping my data and sites secure. Also, through daily examination of very detailed activity statistics of all my websites, I would know at least within a day if any of the sites had been hacked, and, because I keep my master copy of all the sites on my own computer (with a multi-prong backup strategy), I could at once simply re-upload the whole of the affected site, while also wiping out any files / folders / configurations that hackers had put there. One notable security feature of my sites is that, apart from a particularly secure form-mail script, they do not use any server-side software such as FCKEditor, Wordpress or the multitude of other server-side systems people use to run or edit their pages. Thus my sites lack the great security hazards that so many have. I am reminded of that great advantage every day when I examine my website statistics and see the long lists of attempts to locate Wordpress, FCKEditor and all manner of server-side scripts (which fortunately are not there to be found), clearly for the purpose of hacking the respective site.

- At least the latter is how it was until in January 2017 I transferred my sites from 1&1 to the much less widely known hosting company Kualo, who are hugely better than 1&1 in various ways (yet costing me much the same), and provide much more effective protection of all the sites they host. Nowadays only the odd few bad bots / hackers make it at all to my sites each day, to be summarily dumped into my sites' bot trap system.

So, while 100% safety is more of an ideal than a reality anywhere in our life experience, my sites must be very high in the safety stakes as compared with sites generally.

Having said all that, however, one little privacy compromise is that I eventually had to 'move with the times' and 'facebooked' all my pages that have content that I regard as worth public sharing. That is, they each now have Facebook 'Like' and 'Share' buttons. Unfortunately, because of the way they work, they are something of a privacy issue because they allow Facebook to track anyone who himself has a Facebook account. One way to avoid such tracking, I understand, is first to log yourself out of Facebook, because that would result in deletion of the cookie on your device, which is actually the means by which Facebook could track you - but then if you do that the Like and Share buttons would not work properly for you, so 'you pays your money and makes your choice'.

The Facebook 'Like' and 'Share' buttons don't appear in Firefox [/ other browser]

Generally this will NOT be because I haven't allowed properly for different browsers when installing the Facebook buttons, but will be an indication that you have an issue to fix with the browser that you're using. At least in the case of Firefox and Firefox-based browsers such as Pale Moon, the normal and maybe only cause of the buttons failing to show is a social media sites blocking list being used in the Adblock Plus add-on. If you want to use social media, then really you need to disable or remove that list from ABP, and accept the somewhat compromised privacy that you actually accept in using social media in the first place.

When images fail to appear and there are just 'broken image reference' icons

Occasionally new images may not be correctly referenced, so that I then need to correct the image link on the appropriate page (usually a matter of capitalization in the filename). In fact when this happens I become aware of the problem within a day or two because it shows on my detailed website traffic statistics, and I then correct the problem.

Deep linking is antisocial

Image blocked - find out why from site notes page at www.philipgoddard.com

Most or all of your visitors are liable to see this or a very similar image
if you try deep linking to an image on one of my sites.

To use an image or a sound file on a website of yours or in, say, a forum, which is sourced from a file on somebody else's website, without the site-owner's or webmaster's permission, is antisocial as well as extremely discourteous and usually a copyright infringement. Most websites, including this one, have a limit upon the amount of bandwidth they can use (i.e., their volume of traffic), and it is a type of THEFT to use somebody else's bandwidth for your own site or in a forum - quite apart from the copyright infringement that is involved.

This site has a block upon deep linking to sound files and zip files. This block is not 100% effective, and so a minority of people would still find deep links to this site working. However, that is not the end of the story, because I have a daily inspection of the previous day's statistics and, when necessary, the raw logfile for this site, and I can tell generally when a deep link is being used, what file the link is to and where the link itself is situated.

Where necessary I can change a filename and this site's references to it so that a particular deep link completely ceases to operate.

In the case of images, in order to ensure that no bona-fide site visitors find that images are blocked on my sites, I do not have any block on images by default, BUT when I notice from my website traffic statistics that another site (usually a forum) has deep-linked to an image, I then block access to all requests for that image from that site. Warning: I give no guarantee that I won't replace blocked images with highly unsuitable material to teach the deep-linkers a lesson!

I therefore ask that people who want to use files from this site write to me to seek my permission to use them, and then, if that is granted (which it usually would be), to host copies of the particular images on another site so that they are not stealing any of this site's bandwidth. Where permission has been granted and files from this site are used, they should in all cases be credited to me, with a link to this site. Fair's fair.

About downloading from this site

Where's the best place to go for my music?

I have a publisher - Musik Fabrik - from where you can buy scores and sheet music of a selection of my works, but to listen to recordings of the works, my music site is the place to be. My publisher simply links back to this site for information about the works and the downloadable MP3 files for listening.

Please be aware that my music site is not intended to be a source for mass downloads of free entertainment. Its purpose in providing MP3 files is as a shop window and educational source, so that people can sample my music, and, if they like what they hear from a selection of excerpts, it is then open to them to follow that up by the CD-ROM or (as available) scores of the music. Warning - mass downloaders are liable to be barred from future downloading from this site.

Printing web pages from these sites

My short stories, some of my poetry and all of my articles on self-actualization are provided as web pages, which load directly into your browser. I strongly recommend that before you print any of them out from your browser you ensure that the browser is set to a small text size. In the case of Internet Explorer the smallest text size is ideal, as it prints at about 9 point. Netscape and Mozilla / Firefox reduce text size much more, so clearly users of these browsers would have to experiment to find a suitable size for printing. Beware that if you don't take this measure you may find that the default text size results in your wasting a lot of paper because of unnecessarily large print. Another alternative, which is a good idea if you're prepared to do a little tidying up and reformatting, is to save the pages as HTML files on your own system and then load them into Word or a similar wordprocessor that can read web pages. Then within the wordprocessor you have proper control over formatting, fonts and pagination, and then also you have the option of saving the files in the wordprocessor's own format.

You want to make a page from this site available to others...

Please feel free to link to any page here (but not directly to images or files offered for download), but do not place a copy on any other site, at least without my express written permission. To do so would not only be against my wishes but would also be breach of copyright. As it is, one inconsiderate webmaster placed a copy of a substantial text of mine - On Finding a Path Towards Wholeness - on their site without any reference to me. Although it is fully credited, no link is given to this site, and the text became out of date as I made various major revisions and additions since that copy was stolen, and now the particular page is completely obsolete and I have altogether discarded the genuine original, and I do not want to be associated at all with the antiquated stolen copy. That is in particularly bad taste as that site is supposedly a spirituality site, which itself is asking for financial donations, and when I e-mailed the webmaster about that I got no response whatsoever. The world can do without hypocrites like that.

In case you fall into one of my spambot traps...

Spambots are programs that automatically surf the Web collecting e-mail addresses for the purpose of sending them spam. Many of these deliberately access pages that are forbidden for all robots. For example, one from Poland that showed up in the relevant logfile for my site read the robots exclusion list, evidently saw that the Visitors' Book pages were forbidden, and went straight for those particular pages and no others at all.

I have installed traps for spambots at the very bottom of the five main home pages as part of my ongoing programme of progressively excluding from this site all unwelcome robots that I can detect. Nobody who heeds the clear warnings that I give there would click on one of my spambot traps.

If you do click on one of these spambot trap links and get my 'Access Forbidden!' page, it is important that you use the contact form linked to on that page to enable me to unban you and, if necessary, whitelist you. I could then check through the appropriate logfile to verify that your surfing behaviour was not that of a robot (robots usually give themselves away by doing certain things), and then I would remove the block that I had put on your host address.

Do say 'Hello'!

I know I am by no means the only person to be running a site with significant content that benefits many people and yet who gets extremely few entries in the site's visitors' book. It can be quite disheartening to be putting so much into a site for the benefit of others and to have a whole month pass sometimes with hundreds of visitors but without a single entry in the visitors' book or even one direct e-mail from someone for whom the site has meant something. Please do stop to leave your mark.


Important note: Prohibitions and Access Restrictions:

(This note primarily applies to my Personal and Music Compositions sites, both of which have a lot of MP3 files)

These sites have an access restriction to prevent deep linking and mass downloads, and also to exclude badly behaved robots such as spambots. It is important therefore that if you want to download files from this site you don't use download agents that are capable of mass downloading, because they are or will be on my blacklist (which will be regularly updated) and accesses from them will just get an error page.

The safest way to ensure that you don't get identified as a deep linker or mass downloader when you request a downloadable file is to right-click on the link for it and choose "Save target to disk" (or similar wording, depending on your particular browser).
That ensures that your browser handles the download without any music player intervening and causing trouble. You may also need to disable any download agent such as Go!Zilla, GetRight or Download Acelerator.

Sorry about all this, but I should explain that my sites are not intended as a mass supply of free entertainment but as an educational resource and 'shop window' to my work, so free mass downloads are quite inappropriate, quite apart from the matter of putting a strain on my websites' bandwidth allowance.

If you want to listen to all my music works, then the only way you can do so is by purchasing recordings from me or scores from my publisher and performing them.


 
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