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  1. #1
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    Static html versus cms with friendly url's

    I would like to ask the experts here a question.

    I recently posted this:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=440567

    To save you time, I indicated in this thread that I was considering building a large 2000 page site using nothing more than clean html code, css and SSI's for navigation, etc (to make updating common elements easier). My site doesn't require user interaction and I will be the only one updating it. I thought this would be a reaosnable approach as long as I ensured an appropriate file structure was used.

    One of my primary reasons for considering doing this was because I was of the view (and perhaps mistakenly so) that this would achieve better search engine rankings than a site built with a cms such as wordpress or textpattern.

    After all, the original content for my proposed site has taken far longer to put together than what it will take for me to place it into dreamweaver 8 and wrap a few <p> </p> tags around it. So, I'm wanting to maximise the benefit my new site will have from my painstakingly generated content.

    I thought that static html pages were favored over dynamically generated pages. Am I incorrect in this view? Can someone please let me know whether, all else being equal (i.e. two sites having identical content, incoming links, meta tags etc) whether a static html site would win (i.e. appear higher in google rankings for targeted keywords) or whether a dynamically generated wordpress site would win?

    I'm very keen to have some expert opinion on this topic. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    You are incorrect as search engines do not know or care whether the site is "static" or "dynamically generated". It's just HTML to them either way, just like to normal people viewing the site. There's no inherent benefit in either your static pages (which aren't really static if you're using SSI) versus using some CMS.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for clarifying that Dan.

    Is there one particular cms that is better than others in terms of SEO? Is wordpress one of the better ones on the market? Can you suggest other cms's that you consider to be the best from an SEO point of view?

  4. #4
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    One good place to start would be to analyze:
    1) the page urls - how do they look? do they include keywords in the urls?
    2) page titles - are the <title> tags to your liking
    3) metatags - does the cms use unique metatags for description and keywords for each page

  5. #5
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    And how much control do you have? It can be very frustrating if you have a CMS that is tied down really tightly and doesn't give you access to things like alt atts and meta tags (although to be honest, those have very little SEO value these days).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairybob
    Thank you for clarifying that Dan.

    Is there one particular cms that is better than others in terms of SEO? Is wordpress one of the better ones on the market? Can you suggest other cms's that you consider to be the best from an SEO point of view?
    yep..CMS is the way to go nowadays. One good CMS is the free Drupal. Lots of fantastic plugins and SE friendly with addons like nodewords/metatags, gsitemap which auto submits your latest sitemap to Google when yr content is updated, ping service,rss etc.

  7. #7
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    Wordpress

    IMO Wordpress makes an excellent CMS even though that's not originally what its indended for. The sheer number of free plug-ins available also makes it incredibly easy to do just about anything you'd want.

    The other nice thing is that its so easily customised that no one would ever know its not a 'regular' website. Example, I recently built this site for a wedding planner using wordpress: www.fireflyeventdesign.com

    Everything, including the dynamic text replacement page titles, the flash header etc. are from a free plugin. Want to add photos or video? No problem. And the best part is the client can update it themselves.

    Hope that helps!
    Ariana


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