Website management tips and best practices

Created by Craig Sumner on 04-06-2015

I know I've communicated with a number of you regarding this change from Google, but in case I haven’t connected with you I wanted to make sure that you were aware that Google will be altering their search ranking algorithms to add additional weight for mobile friendly websites for mobile searches on April 21st of this year.  I’ve included a link to the Google announcement below in case you are interested.

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html

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Created by Craig Sumner on 02-25-2014

Here's the problem.

You just hired a web developer to build a custom application for your Joomla website. The developer underestimated the work by a mile and now you’re so deeply invested in his unique solution that you’re stuck renegotiating the final bill. You finally agree on payment terms knowing that both parties are losing on this deal. You hastily launch the incredibly over-due application only to have the VP later discover that the application will not scale and is missing a few key features. You're sure that some of these features should be easy, but your developer who has now changed employers tells you that you're out of your mind and he no longer has time to work on your project. You soon find that your web developer is not returning your calls and discover he was hit by a bus and is no longer in the programming business. Time to contact another developer.

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Created by Craig Sumner on 02-12-2014

A canonical page is the preferred version of a set of page with highly similar content. For Ittrium websites, this can also indicated the preferred URL for a single page that support multiple URLs.

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You see that SEO spam day after day. We get it too.  Businesses saying that they’ll “take your site to the next level" by seeing to it that your site is “Page One” on Google. It sounds too good to be true. Is it wrong to long for something more? Promises of increased sales, streams of traffic, and the elusive “page one placement”. It'd be like winning the lottery, wouldn't it?

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I was recently reminded that my most recent post to our blog was from 2011.  It looks like it's time to start writing again.  Since my last post, we have finished the integration of our new mobile platform, added charting support from Highcharts, added new table generation features, added new ajax based dashboard technologies and have even implemented a file sharing protocol for communicating directly with fitness devices.

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It's not "The Who", but we're not musicians!

Get ready to Go Mobile with easy mobile websites!  We've started work on integrating the JQuery Mobile Website platform into our content management software which means our clients will be able to easily launch mobile versions of their website that look great and work like an integrated mobile application.

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If I complain about Microsoft copying software ideas then do the same thing does that make me a hypocrite?  I'm guessing the answer is yes, but our search results display for our embedded search engine was due for an upgrade.

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We recently released a new survey feature that you can use to automatically send email replies to the person who fills out a form on your website.  The setup requires a few simple steps to configure your survey with the new auto reply feature.  These steps are outlined in the video below.

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I'm a big fan of using YouTube for streaming videos that we want to include on our website. Storing your videos on a streaming server such as YouTube is important since you don't want those videos chewing up the bandwidth that you're using for serving web pages.  Smaller videos can be stored directly in the website, but larger videos should definitely be stored on a streaming server.

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It's been a long time coming, but today we're proud to officially announce the launch of our new Website Maintenance Service Plans.

These website service plans are designed for companies who want to get more out of there website. Use your service plan to add a new Blog, improve your Google search page rank, launch a new Mobile Website and more.

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What if you could update your blog by simply writing an email? Well now you can. All we need is an email account where you'll send you blog posts and we'll automatically read your email account and update your blog using emails we find. Each email represents one blog posts and you can easily incorporate pictures and other content features by attaching files to your email.

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We've always powered our own website, but we re-launched our website today using one of our standard Blueprint website designs.  The new site going forward will highlight standard Ittrium features that any client can use.  This design features a simple color palette that is easy to change and can be adapted for any website.

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People these days have the attention span of a gnat.  If your web site visitors have to search for what they need, your bounce rate will soar.  Bounce Rate essentially represents the percentage of first time visitors who immediately leave your web site to go somewhere else.

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If you have a web site, you've probably thought about search engine optimization for improving the visibility of your web pages for "organic" unpaid search results which happen to be the search results that are most often clicked.

There is plenty of competition for the first page in Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other search engine.  If you're not on page one, the odds of someone clicking your link drops dramatically.  There's further evidence that you not only need to be on page one of the search results, but you also need to be listed in the first three links.

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WYSIWYG editors are an essential part of all web content management platforms and at first glance, they look like they are really easy to use.  For those unfamiliar with the term, WYSIWYG stands for "What You See Is What You Get".  The editors are designed to hide the complexities of HTML coding so if you're not a web jockey, you can still edit a web site.

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Everyone's done this at least once.  You take a photo with your new digital camera and then you post it to your web site.  You can't wait to see your picture on the site and then it's way to big.

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We've made a few changes to the web content editor that you'll see in the next software upgrade for your web site.  Here are the key points.

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Did you know you can assist Google and other search engines by including a single file named sitemap.xml in your web site that tells search engines:

  1. Which pages to include from your web site
  2. The importance of each page on your site
  3. How frequently each pages changes so that the search engine will know when to check for updates
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Here's a fun idea to help you get a better handle on your web site content.  Generate a Word Cloud using Wordle for your company blog or a specific page on your web site.  The word cloud illustrates the words on your site giving more prominence to the words that occur most frequently.  You can discover this kind of information using various keyword tools that I'll be covering in the coming weeks, but the word cloud gives you a visual that is easy to understand.

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SEO Doctor is a free Firefox plug-in that helps you quickly identify problem areas in your web page that affect search page rank.  If you're not using Firefox, you can download it using the following link.

Download the latest version of Firefox.


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Here are 7 simple changes you can make to any web page to improve your placement in search results.

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There's not much to say here.  If you've read the last two posts on Grids, you already know everything you need to know.

Remember...

  • Grids have a maximum of 24 columns
  • Content elements can be added to a grid to create Grid cells
  • You can set the default size of Grid cells
  • You can adjust the cell size for individual content elements in a Grid
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In my last post, I introduced the concept of a grid for laying out content elements on a page.  If you've coded HTML before, you're familiar with the amount of work it takes to get things to fit perfectly on a web page.  The Grid solves the problem by making it easy for anyone, with or without technical expertise, to layout a web page that looks like it was professionally done.

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Grid based layouts make organizing the information on a web page a snap.  With grid based layouts, you can forget about pixels and points and all those other web based measurements you never understand.  The only thing you need to know is ...

  • Grids can have up to 24 columns
  • Content elements such as text and pictures can be placed in a grid
  • Each content element fits into a certain number of columns in the grid
  • The grid calculates the default cell size, but you can override the cell size for the entire grid or an individual cell
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Vanity URLs are easier to remember and easier to read.  According to some SEO chatter, they are also more likely to get clicked when they are spotted in search results.

This new URL format is very simple and is also very easy to create since the vanity name in the URL is created using the title of your web page.

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Ok... I know this is an old excuse, but it's sort of true.  What really happened is that I was reorganizing some information on the Ittrium web site and temporarily removed the product blog where I had been posting.  I was planning to move it to a new location on the help site.  Then I got busy with other work and forgot about the blog for a couple of weeks.  When I returned to post my next blog entry my blog was gone.

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