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Are you ready to start your own website? If so, there are a few things that you may want to know. We can show you how to completely design and publish your website. We love spending time creating new sites and think you will once you give it a try. We will provide all of the resources you will ever need.

Design & Publishing

by James E. Clemens II

When it comes to designing a website, HTML is probably the easiest. You can use the basic Notepad or WordPad included with Windows or one of the dozens of tools available elsewhere. For someone new to web pages, the biggest drawback of Notepad/WordPad is the “HTML tags” not being in color. But after you get used to writing HTML, will not need the color coding. One of the advantages of using these tools would be the smaller footprint of your code. Many of the aftermarket programs add bloat (hundreds of unnecessarily lines of code) to your code. This can have a negative effect on your website, when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). When you write raw HTML code, you control everything.

If you are not ready to tackle HTML, there are some tools to help you. Microsoft FrontPage 2002 or 2003 are perfect choices. I do not recommend the use of earlier versions FrontPage, as it will add a lot of bloat to your page. After testing the 2002 version against Notepad (cleanest form of raw code), there were very few differences. FrontPage will cost around $100.00, but it is worth the money. I prefer FrontPage over Fusion, but then again, I prefer Microsoft’s programs over most of the other stuff out there.

If you do not want to invest that amount of money at this time, try NetObject’s Fusion 7. As a freeware program, it will work much the same way as FrontPage. You can use pre-built templates or start from scratch with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) format. You can add Java or Flash with a click of your mouse. Both FrontPage & Fusion will create high quality, professional websites with ease. Once you have designed your site, you will need to publish it and upload the contents to your server. Both programs include FTP as well as other ways to upload your content.

The internet has thousands of sites dedicated to helping you build a perfect website. The only problem is finding respected resources that are there to help you and not themselves, through unethical practices. After considering this fact, we compiled a Resource Room to guide you to some places we feel will take care of your needs.

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Search Engine Optimization

by James E. Clemens II

Most of your traffic will come from search engines. The performance of your site will affect your relationship with the major search engines. You will want to create a site that the search engines like.

There are dozens of companies that ask for payment, promising to give your site a high page ranking. This is something that they truly cannot do. It will cost you time, money and worse yet, possibly very low page rankings. When you pay, they will auto-submit your site to dozens of search engines. This will affect you in a negative way because the search engines consider this a spamming technique. It can get you blocked from being listed at all.

Another trick they will use to try and boost your status is to list your site on several link page sites or harvest sites. This will give you very low status with the search engines. When you are listed on a page with lots of other websites, without quality content written about your site, search engines ignore you or give you an un-credible status. This type of marketing will hurt you in a big way.

If you market wall clocks, your site would not really “fit” on a site about auto parts, as far as search engines are concerned. So they give this link a very low score. If, however, your site is listed on the “official wall clock union” site that only lists other clock makers, you will get a higher score. The higher the score, the higher the rank your site will have. So, link exchanging could be good for your site or it could cause you a lot of problems.

Without paying for listings and advertisements, getting a high ranking with search engines can take awhile. Still, paying for a high ranking is not advisable unless you have lots of money. When you stop paying, your site will lose all of the ranking score and you will be back to square one.

I recommend that you submit your site yourself. Do not submit it until you have it complete. Only submit it once to the same engine in any three day period. Never submit a site that is ‘under construction’ or has lots of errors. After it is submitted, it will be indexed, or crawled, by the search engine. The time it takes depends on the engine.

Once your site has been indexed by a search engine, it will be listed on their directory/search page. When they index/crawl your site, they read your code, without looking at your actual site. They do not see images, Flash or your fancy graphics; they only read the content and links. The higher the quality of links you have, the better. And the more links that are attached to larger articles, the better. If you have twenty links listed down a page with no words, you will not get a preferable rating from the engine.

This is where “Meta Tags” and clean code comes into play. Do not add Java or Flash at the top or bottom of your site, as this can cause problems for the search engines. But do give them the keywords, site description, and title Meta Tags. Put these at the top of your page away from Java scripts and Flash. If you must use Java, build yourself a site map from raw code only.

Your “keywords” Meta Tag will be one of the big things to consider. When someone goes to MSN or Google and types your exact site name and it shows up, it simply means that you have been indexed or crawled. This is great news but not the only thing you want to achieve. If you are a clock maker, you will want your site to be listed when someone types in “quality wall clocks” or something to that effect. This is where new traffic will come from and this is what your “Keywords” Meta Tag will do for you. You will want your keywords to come from the content that is on that page. And do not repeat them over and over. All of the information that is put into your Meta Tags should come from the content that is written on that particular page of your website. When you have “Tags" that have no relation to your content, they are considered un-credible by the engines. Sometimes they can get you flagged as a bogus or scam site.

After talking about these basic things to consider, I want to mention the fact that the most important thing for you to do is write quality, original, credible content that is grammatically correct and in a professional writing style. This is the only way to boost traffic and rankings with the search engines and your visitors. Educate and inform them, without focusing too much on entertaining them. Make sure the search engines know about you and then focus on your content.

Good luck with your site; check back with us from time to time to pick up more tips about website development, computer maintenance, and the big bad malware that is trying to get us all!

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