How To Quickly Customize Any Website

By | April 15, 2006

Edition #39 – 4/15/2006

Since the “195 Websites” promotion a couple days ago, I’ve received several questions about using those sites. Questions like…

Can I replace the Google ads with Yahoo ads?

How do I put a picture above or next to each ad?

How do I make the site unique, so it’s not like everyone else’s?

The answer to all three of these questions, and many more, is to use a “find and replace” text editor. After doing some tests, I realized that the two text editors I included in the website package are not as good as the one I use on a day-to-day basis. So I’m going to GIVE you that tool today!

In fact, after thinking about it, I decided this is such an important topic that it warrants an entire edition of Eric’s Tips to cover it!

The reason this topic is SO important is twofold. First, it’s important to customize a website if you’re using any kind of template or site-builder. Second, the free tool I’m going to reveal to you today has saved me dozens (maybe hundreds) of hours of work.

Chances are good that you’ve used the find-replace function in a program like Microsoft Word. It finds every instance of a particular portion of text, and replaces it with another portion of text as specified by you.

It can save you a lot of time, if you need to change the same word or sentence several times throughout a document. But did you know that there are programs that will allow you to find and replace text in MULTIPLE files at the same time?

I don’t mean to insult your intelligence if you’re already aware of it, but I didn’t figure this out until I was five years into my internet marketing career–so I’m guessing there are others out there like me!

I have several websites that have hundreds and even thousands of pages. I used to dread having to make any changes to those sites, because it meant editing every page one-by-one.

I knew there must be an easier way. I searched the web for find-replace text editors, and downloaded several of them. I also tried the built in functions of some HTML editors.

text wizard

This little tool called TextWiz was the best one I found. Since then, I’ve used it to make tens of thousands of changes on thousands of web pages.

The program can find and replace multi-lines of text/code in any number of text or HTML files residing in the same folder. It also has a built-in text-tally tool, a search-only function (great if you’re looking for a line of code and you don’t remember which file it’s in), meta-tag extractor, FTP client and more.

This program was written way back in 2000, and the guy who created it no longer offers it for download (I’m not sure why). Also it’s been pretty much pulled off the web everywhere I can find.

Fortunately for you, the author used a free-distribution clause, which is written within the software itself, which is why I’m able to give it to you today!

(Link removed – no longer available)

Now… how can you use this tool to quickly customize any website?

Let’s look at the 195 sites as an example. The first thing you’ll want to change is the AdSense publisher ID, but you can also make other changes to the ad at the same time.

Hot Tip: Get rid of the borders! As you’ll see in a lot of pre-built sites, there are borders around the ads. Change them to white (or the same color as the background). This makes them blend more with the content and look less like an ad.

So let’s say you wanted to change your publisher ID and remove the borders at the same time. Using TextWiz, you would FIND THIS:

google_ad_client = “change-adsense”;
google_ad_width = 728;
google_ad_height = 90;
google_ad_format = “728x90_as”;
google_ad_type = “text_image”;
google_ad_channel =””;
google_color_border = “336699”;

and REPLACE it with this:

google_ad_client = “pub-3287225244711848”;
google_ad_width = 728;
google_ad_height = 90;
google_ad_format = “728x90_as”;
google_ad_type = “text_image”;
google_ad_channel =””;
google_color_border = “FFFFFF”;

You’ll notice the two things I changed are the client ID (you’ll change it to yours, not mine), and the border color.

So let’s say you wanted to replace the Google ads with Yahoo ads (or something else). In the “Search For” box, you would simply put in the entire code for the Google ad you’re replacing (starting and ending with Google’s “script” tags). In the “Replace With” box, you would put the code for the new ad you want to use.

Let’s say you wanted to put a picture just above your Google ad. In the “Search For” box, put the code of the ad. In the “Replace With” box, you would put that SAME ad code, with your image tag just above it.

You can use this same technique to make any number of changes to make your content unique. Let’s say you wanted to ad an opt-in form to every page of a 100-page site. You would need to find a unique REFERENCE POINT of code which occurs on every page adjacent to the location where you want to put the opt-in form.

This is the code you would search for. In the “Replace With” box, you would put the same code (your reference point), along with your opt-in form either above or beneath it.

Other things you might want to add using this tool could include RSS feeds, content rotators, or other various blocks of content to make your site unique from the template.

You can also use it to change the background or table colors, change fonts, or make any other cosmetic changes to an entire site in one shot (which is nice since most of these sites weren’t built with CSS).

Caution: Before you use a find-replace editor on any files, always back them up! It makes hundreds of changes almost instantly, so you don’t want to mess up without a backup.

I use this tool to make changes to thousands of pages in my day-to-day work. It’s saved me a ton of time, and I hope it can help you too.

2 thoughts on “How To Quickly Customize Any Website

  1. Jim


    Thanks for the cool tool.

    Just thought I’d mention that “Windows Defender” detected the install and labeled it Medium/Low
    risk. I installed it anyway as I’m sure the plus outweighs the minus.

    (FYI: Windows Defender (Beta 2) is a free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software.)


  2. Eric Post author

    I’ve actaully had a few reports about the program installing spyware. I’ve been running it for over a year and I use all the anti-spyware stuff, and never had any problems with it, so I was suprised to hear about it. Sorry about that! So I guess just make sure you delete any spyware if it installs any, and also on the installation process make sure you say NO when it asks if you want to install a program with a different name than TextWiz.

    As I’ve been running this program with no problems, I’m almost positve that any spyware installation would occur during the installation of the program itself, and in my experience it can be avoided if you say NO during the insall process, and if you have a good anti-virus program with spyware protection running.


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