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  1. #1
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    Newbie to webmastering please help

    Hi,

    I hope you can help a newbie in webmastering, as I have just made a web site and need some help please.

    I finished my site and have uploaded it to my web server (using coreftp lite in sftp mode), and it is on the internet (pardon my not wanting to share yet, but I think it needs some alterations before I would want to show it to experienced people like you).

    Anyway, after uploading my web site and asking google to crawl it, I have realised it needs to get onto google with search terms that are likely to get it to near the first page. I have researched it a bit and originally thought I need to add meta tags to each page, but have been told that this is not required for google ??? I am confused about that, as I thought you input that which you think your client base would type, and then if typed into google, it would look at those meta tags and match them up. I realise it is more complicated than my limited knowledge understands, but I still thought this was pretty much what meta tags are for.

    Secondly, I think I need a site map for google, and have looked at google webmaster tools where they suggested a few third party tools for this, but do not know which is best to use. I made the web site using wysiwyg web builder version 8, and this has a facility to make a site map automatically. Does it make much diffrence which one I use ?

    I should explain at this point that I do not know how to write html, hence the use of a wysiwyg type software.

    Thirdly, I have enabled hotlink protection at the server for my images (as I am on a shared server with a bandwidth limit), and I would like to know if this would preclude google showing those images in the search results, images page ?

    Should I rename all my images to be recognisable names that describe the image (at the moments they are just numbers), again, for google to index them better, or does this not matter.

    My last question is about managing the web site; when I want to make changes, do I just alter the original on my computer then upload the entire web site again, and does that then overwrite the existing web site in the server (obviously presuming that the web site page file names are all the same), just as it would do in windows if you made another file of the same name where it would ask if you want to overwrite it ?

    I am nervous about how to tackle the above alteration when I know what to do, which is why I am asking about site management.

    I tried to ask these questions on the forum for the software as I thought they would know the answers to some of these questions, however, they did not help much, hence my asking here.

    If you could offer any advice at all it would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    1. Meta Tags -Meta tags do not affect search rankings. It's nice to fill out the meta description tag though, if one of your pages appears in the search engine, the description text will appear under your link. For more info about SEO see - http://static.googleusercontent.com/...rter-guide.pdf
    2. Sitemaps - I do not know all the sitemap tools out there, but I've used this one before and it works fine - http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
    3. Hotlinking and Google - Not sure about this one... Anyone else know?
    4. Image naming - Yes you should rename them appropriately. Don't forget to include their 'alt' attributes. (http://www.seoworkers.com/seo-articl...attribute.html)
    5. Website management - Yes you're correct. Usually you will make a change to a file, then you just re-upload that file. You don't need to upload the entire website again, just the files you changed.


    Good luck!

  3. #3
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Hi audionow. Welcome to the forums. Thanks also for your reply, PicNet.

    I hope you can help a newbie in webmastering, as I have just made a web site and need some help please.
    Yep, we are very much here to help with your every need.

    originally thought I need to add meta tags to each page, but have been told that this is not required for google ?
    Meta elements are quite important, especially the description kind. That provides a simple summary that appears in search results and helps Google categorize your site. The keywords element is a little less useful now, as it seems Google gives it little or no weight. always include a description, though, if nothing else.

    But in terms of SEO, it's also important to make sure keywords feature in the page content that the user sees—in headings, of course, as well in the rest of the text.

    I made the web site using wysiwyg web builder version 8, and this has a facility to make a site map automatically. Does it make much diffrence which one I use ?
    Just be aware that there are two kinds of site map—one that is a web page designed for site visitors, and one in code that is really only meant for the eyes of search engines.

    I have enabled hotlink protection at the server for my images (as I am on a shared server with a bandwidth limit), and I would like to know if this would preclude google showing those images in the search results, images page ?
    Hm, yes, good question. I wouldn't think so, because Google search results display a copy of all the content on the web rather than content from a site itself, so I wouldn't think it would be a problem. But don't quote me on it.

    Should I rename all my images to be recognisable names that describe the image (at the moments they are just numbers), again, for google to index them better, or does this not matter.
    Yes, that's really important from an SEO point of view. As PicNet says, also make sure to include alt text (that is, <img src="" alt="description for those who can't see the image">).

    when I want to make changes, do I just alter the original on my computer then upload the entire web site again, and does that then overwrite the existing web site in the server (obviously presuming that the web site page file names are all the same), just as it would do in windows if you made another file of the same name where it would ask if you want to overwrite it ?
    You can do that, yes, although if you just change one page, you might as well just upload the new version of that page, rather than uploading thw whole site again.

  4. #4
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    Mikl's Avatar
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    Hi Audionow,

    The others have given you some very useful information.

    I would just add that you probably don't need to worry about sitemaps (the type you submit to Google, etc) at this stage. A sitemap is useful for a large complex site where the navigation isn't obvious. But if your visitors can reach any page of the site by clicking on internal links, then so can Google. In that case, I'd suggest you give a low priority to sitemaps.

    Also, re meta tags. One of the reason that this confuses many people is that there are different types of meta tags, and they have different uses. You've probably heard that the "keyword tag" is ignored by search engines, which is true. But the "keyword tag" is just one of several meta tags (in fact, it's more accurate to say that it is a meta tag with a keyword attribute).

    The important meta tag for search engine purposes is the description tag (the keyword tag with a description attribute). This is the one that Ralph and PicNic were referring to when they said it can affect the information about the page that appears in the search results (the so-called "snippet").

    Apart from that, I can't add to the advice you've already been given.

    Mike

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot Sogo7's Avatar
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    Bandwidth usage should not be a problem for a while yet with a 'cold' site launch, unless your bringing a couple of thousand forum members over from an existing site. Of course hosts do vary in their generosity and you don't say who you are with, but as even some of the free web hosts have allowances that are over 10 Gig a month you should be fine. If not then there is a service known as 'Cloud Flare' that may be worth a look, not used them myself but it may help you.
    Lovelogic.net Personal Projects Pit - Spammers welcome

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    When it comes to ranking well in terms of serp's for organic searches, it depends for a large part on the popularity of the subject. If it is quite rare, you may stand a chance with wysiwig, but I'd rate your chances for more mainstream subjects extremely slim.
    There are no shortcuts to large amounts of traffic and the only way to get it is to either put a lot of effort into your site, or to spend lots of money on it.
    If you are serious about making money out of your site (if that is what you have in mind), learn about coding and seo.


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