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More website tips?

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More website tips?
Let's hear them guys!

Any tips you have for web design, web development, coding practices, image creation or manipulation, etc.

What are some things that plague most webmasters that we could help with?

Post you questions or your answers and we will figure it out together.




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Re: [cat_man] More website tips? In reply to
I'm not a webmaster, but I am a graphic designer working in the communication visual arts field and I can tell you straight up the things that turn off an intelligent browser really fast...

1. inconsistency

2. not communicating products and/or services clearly

3. disorganized, making the browser work harder than they should to receive any benefit from your website

4. lack of professionalism

5. too many different type fonts used in text...this makes it tiresome for the reader (that's a proven fact)

6. using the logo in a way that it is overpowering is way worse than using it several times in a tasteful manner

7. good design and good communication makes for better readership/participation in the long run; and conversely, disjointed and poorly designed sites that are difficult to navigate have poor long-term value and readership.


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Re: [fish_a_holic] More website tips? In reply to
Hey fishaholic, thanks for the tips. You make some interesting points.

It's nice to get the perspective of someone in the art and communications fields.

One question: When you say too many types of fonts, do you mean font sizes or font faces/styles, or just any change in font?

Also, do you recommend any font that is generally pleasing to readers (besides the default for web browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox)?




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Re: [cat_man] More website tips? In reply to
When I say "too many fonts" I mean more than 3 different families of type; e.g., helvetica, Times Roman, Fenice, Poster Bodini...too many fonts make your eyes work harder, whether on a conscious level or not your eyes have to adjust to every different font and every different size of the same font.

Rule of thumb in the Advertising Industry is - when you're communicating your product and/or services, and you want your name or logo to be remembered, use your logo at least 3 times AND if there's a type font associated with your logo, then make sure that if it's also a text font that it's used not only in conjunction with the logo, but also as headers, subheads and/or callouts.

hope that's what you were looking for.


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Re: [fish_a_holic] More website tips? In reply to
Thanks for the clarification. Seems like several font families on the same page would really cause it to look unprofessional.

So, which font(s) do you recommend using for most websites? The default browser font seems boring, but for example on my site I am unsure which font I should move to to make it look professional and appealing.

Thanks,

Kevin




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Re: [cat_man] More website tips? In reply to
When dealing with web pages, it's essentially "impossible" to be specific about what font-face is to be used in which circumstance. This is because as web page writers, we don't have any control* over what font-faces the client PC has available.

Tip #1 - if your design depends on using a specific font for some effect than reconsider using that effect.
Tip #2 - if your design must really use a specific font for some effect (see Tip #1 <g>) then consider embedding that effect into a graphic (PNG format, for example).

In the "old days" when I was learning graphics, the rule of thumb was even more limiting than FISH_A_HOLIC's suggestions: 2 faces. An they were typically a "sans-serif" font for the titles and headers and a "serif" font for the "content", or the other way around. I like to think in 35 years, that we've progressed a bit, but it's still important to keep that tied down.
Personally, I try to stick with one font face only. I set it in the common stylesheet for all my pages: "BODY { font-family: sans-serif; }" or "BODY (font-family: Verdana,"Trebuchet MS", Arial, sans-serif; }". The former simply defaults to whatever the user's browser has established as their default for the "sans-serif" font.

Then the variations, to keep the pages from being "too boring" come into play: different sizes and weights for different header levels (<H1>, <H2>, etc.). But again, not too much variation, otherwise the page ends up looking like a patchwork quilt.

*Downloadable Fonts: I made the bold statement that **essentially** we don't have any control over what fonts are installed on the client systems that attach to our site. There is a tool available that works in some browsers, from some servers that allow the site to ATTEMPT to upload a font to a client PC. The idea being that you can be ensured the client has your required font. But this is not universally supported, and even for systems that are capable of such an activity, the user might have font downloading turned OFF. So it has to be considered an unreliable accessory.

HTH
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(This post was edited by eBob on Sep 12, 2006, 6:32 PM)

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Re: [eBob] More website tips? In reply to
Hey eBob, thanks for stopping by our board here, and welcome!!

You provide some good tips.

I know personally I would always steer clear of downloadable fonts because of security concerns. I'll just view a page in my default font if the one the site wants is not installed on my box. I assume most people are the same way.

Do you maintain a website as well?




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Re: [cat_man] More website tips? In reply to
In Reply To:
Quote:
... Do you maintain a website as well?
The link in my SIG is to my own personal fishing website, plus I have my "nerd" site where I try to promote my nerdskills. I also have developed and manage a couple of other sites: The Izaak Walton Flyfishing Club up here in Southern Ontario, Tamsall Kennels and WithaFly Tackle Shop (under construction). I used to be "the guy" developing and maintaining the Intranet site and servers and Internet connection (firewalls, DNS, and so on) for a large international corporation for many years. I have since "moved on", as "they" say.
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Re: [eBob] More website tips? In reply to
Hey Bob, those are some good looking sites ya got there!

I also work for an international corporation (Novell) as a software engineer. Don't do any web stuff at work though, so I have been teaching myself javascript, html, php, etc. by building my website.

It's been a lot of fun. Glad to have you on board. Hope you hang around and help us build this webmaster forum up!




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Re: [cat_man] More website tips? In reply to
Limit the number of times that you repeat words in your Keyword Meta Tag.
Place your important keywords at the top of the page as text headers.
Your most important page and keywords should be on the first page of a website.
Frames based websites should only be used for Intranet (a site only for company employees) and not for Internet.
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Re: [barbiepurl] More website tips? In reply to
Those are some more great tips. Also, if you make your keyword list too long, you're going to end up looking like a spam site to search engines, so keep it to the most important key words.

What is the best way to promote a site for free, without getting penalized by the search engines?




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Re: [cat_man] More website tips? In reply to
Actually, you can ignore the keywords meta tag entirely these days.. No major search engine bothers with it since it's so easily and often abused.. I still have a few sites that have them, but mostly because I am too lazy to remove them, or the software put them in automatically..

The only suggestion I would make on them if you do have them though is this.. Make them different and unique for every page.. If you copy/paste the same list on every page it will not help you and "may" hurt you..

As for 'best' and 'free' ways to promote your website, those things are generally mutually exclusive.. However, directory submissions are still working and there are still many free ones out there that can help you promote your website, especially in Google..

you can start with a list like the one provided by vilesilencer or a directory of directories site like directoryrecap.com..

If you do chose to submit your website to directories, it's best to come up with 4 or 5 different anchor texts to use and just as many different descriptions to use.. Targeted diversity may be an oxymoron, but in directory submissions it helps..


Steve
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Re: [cat_man] More website tips? In reply to
Try using no follow links to prevent page rank leaching and target specific pages within your site with real links.

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Re: [mkalx] More website tips? In reply to
Really? I've never heard of that technique before. So, how exactly does that work?




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Re: [cat_man] More website tips? In reply to
You add no follow to an html link and google wont follow it!
It probably does but it wont add rank to the link its going to, so you can manipulate page rank!

Check it out on wikipedia:
I am not allowed to link yet but if you type in no follow link and wikipedia you should get where you want to go.

You can make some serious money if you know what you are doing and dont give the game away to google!

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Re: [mkalx] More website tips? In reply to
Look up a competitors website using a piece of spider software and then outrank them by increasing the amount of pages/words/links/keywords/anchor text/etc using just an internal linking strategy - ie you do not have to obtain links from outside your website, although this helps especially when the link contains your keywords.

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Re: [mkalx] More website tips? In reply to
Yes, I know what nofollow links do, however I was just curious as to how you could manipulate pagerank by doing so. I don't see much benefit, unless I'm trying to keep some of my pages from having pagerank (can't see why I'd want that). For links on my site that link to sites on other sites (I have few of those), I could see adding nofollow on those if they were linking to a competing site, otherwise I also don't see the benefit.




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Re: [cat_man] More website tips? In reply to
I purchased some spider software a while back and got this strategy free, however I think they now sell it or you have to subscribe to a newsletter. I believe it is called revenge of the mininet.
I manipulate page rank on my company websites but it is not a good idea to shout about it!
It works very well and very quickly!
Basically - you can set up several websites and get them all to push page rank onto another site and into a specific web page. You can also get your current website setup to push all its rank into a very select few web pages creating a large pagerank.
I think some call it the butterfly affect.
I thought I was OK at programming until I got the spider software and spidered my own site, boy was I wrong there were mistakes everywhere that really affect page rank.
Anyway, I don't want to turn into a SEO guru, I'll leave that for you!

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Re: [mkalx] More website tips? In reply to
Thanks for the extra tips! I'm sure a lot of people will be able to benefit.




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Re: [cat_man] More website tips? In reply to
Page rank leaking is a myth that we tested over a 10 month span across more than 20 websites. It's simply something someone thought happened and once it hit the internet it took hold..

The theory is that if you link to other pages the page you are linking from looses some page rank because it "gives it away".. This simply isn't the case..

Page rank sculpting has become a new tactic that only seems to have success with major websites with a lot of links and a lot of page rank in them.. In a nutshell here is how and why it works..

Let's talk vague numbers.. Assume you have a page with a PR of 5.. Each link on that page is assigned a percentage of that PR to pass based on how many links are on that page.. Assume the total PR passed is .85(5) or 4.25 points.. Then you divide that number by the number of links on the page.. 10 for navigation would mean that you are passing .425 points of PR to each page.. Now, add no follow to half of those links and you are now passing .850 points of PR to each page.. You are simply focusing where you send that PR..

Most commonly you will see this used on pages like your contact us page and your privacy documents and the like.. Things that you should have but aren't things you want to rank for..

And again, these are just easy numbers for conversation, the real formulas are something that no one knows exactly except Google..

As for building link farms.. Building out multiple sites that support a central site.. Done properly, each site being able to stand on it's own, and not being "too" obvious about the tactic, can provide some benefit.. But the amount of work needed can make it easier to simply find a reason for people to want to link to you on their own..

And improperly done link farm can get your website removed from the index.. It's not something we recommend for novices just trying to figure search engine marketing out..


Steve
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