October 19, 2017

How to Setup Google+ Brand Page for Your WordPress Site

We wanted to take some time to show you How to Setup Google+ Brand Page for Your WordPress Site.  Since we have many WordPress sites, doing a setup of Google+ Business Pages for your WordPress site is something we wanted to show you now.  Getting your WordPress site out on Google+ Pages, can be important.

On November 7th, 2011 Google+ announced Google+ Pages for Brands and Businesses are finally online.  As it looks, there are thousands of branded pages popping up on Google+ with many brands and businesses setting up their Google Plus Pages. Currently, Google+ does not offer the ability to have “vanity urls” so you will have to just hold off on that for now.  Here is our Google+ Url: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/112859378018893254813/ so make sure you add us to your circles.

Google+ for Business Marketing, wanted to take the time to give you a step by step tutorial on how to setup your Google Plus Brand Page for your WordPress Site.

How to Setup Google+ Brand Page for Your WordPress Site:

Step 1 (Getting Started):

  • To get started, you will need to be logged into your Google Account. If you don’t have one, get one here.
  • Go to Google+ Business. You’ll find a nice multimedia nifty video that you can watch with some info.

 

Step 2 (Pick a Category):

Select a category that best fits your page, business or company. The categories are as follows:

  • Local Business or Place (storefronts, stores, restaurants, places,or services)
  • Product or Brand (electronics, brand names, or individual products)
  • Company, Institution, or Organization (companies, institutions, organizations, non-profit organizations)
  • Arts, Entertainments or Sports (films, TV, music, books, sports, shows)
  • Other (if your business doesn’t fit into another category, use this category)

 

Step 3: Add Your Information

  • Entering your business or brand name and website.
  • Select an additional category that best suits your business.
  • The sub-categories will change if you choose a different main category.
  • Select who can view your Google+ profile. The default is any Google user, or you can restrict this to 18 and older or 21 and older.

Step 4. Add your Tag Line and your Photo

  • Add photo (this could be your company logo)
  • Tagline: Summarize your business in 10 words or less

Step 5: Get the Word Out

  • Great Step here! Google offers you the ability to tell your personal Google+ circles about your new business page.

 

Finished Google+ Business Page(Example):

  • Here’s your Google+ Branded Business Page!

 

Extra Steps: Edit your Profile

  • To further customization, you can edit your profile

Extra Steps: Completed Page with a Customized Banner Image Ribbon

 

How Outdated SEO Tactics Hurt Your Website’s SEO

SEO is one of the most important components of any online success. If you have a website then you know that SEO tactics have changed quickly over time with very large leaps and bounds. Things which might be useful one day are suddenly outdated the next. Understanding a complete guideline to SEO is challenging because the rules are constantly changing. New features ware being added and old features are being removed.

No longer can you simply build a website and get top rankings through metatags and keywords. There are many tactics now which are outdated and will ruin your website’s SEO. The first is keyword stuffing. Stuffing tons of keywords into your keyword metatag is useless. Using keyword metatags at all is an outdated SEO tactic. The algorithms used by search engines have become more complex which means that they search for content rather than just keywords. The keywords need to be tactfully integrated into the header, body, title tags, footer, and sub headings.

The second outdated SEO tactic is blog comment spamming. Webmasters might leave comments in online forums which link to their website but this is now considered spam. Google will see which links are posted in online communities or forums and will not give you credit for that link popularity. It is better to post well written comments and blogs with the links instead of spamming.

The third outdated SEO tactic is search engine submission. Many people used to provide services for submitting things to search engines. Today that service is dead. Create unique content and get links instead. Use social media accounts to link to your website. Search engines are recognizing the usefulness and authority offered by social networks.

The fourth outdated SEO tactic is meta tag optimization. Meta tags once played a large role in determining your page rank but not anymore. Search engines no longer notice them. Google has stated on record that they do not pay attention to meta keywords tag. Therefore, stuffing your content should no longer happen. Instead you can use tag and category systems to label and organize the content on your website. If you actively tag your pages and posts in an effective manner you can enjoy better usability, functionality, and search-ability.

The fifth outdated SEO tactic is link exchange. Exchanging links was once a popular method of building your websites’ links but no longer. Reciprocal link exchange was fine in moderation, but interlinking in order to increase your popularity is. When website owners actively engage in schemes to increase their link exchange and influence their rankings, Google will take notice and the website owner will be punished. Instead of this tactic, try to get active testimonials and reviews from vendors with whom you work. This is a favorable method of getting links to your website. Along the same lines, link buying is another outdated tactic. Link buying is when you buy links from websites in order to improve your search engine rank. This includes paying for reviews and using a link brokering service. Both are now frowned upon and can severely hurt your SEO.

Why Valid HTML (XHTML) is important to SEO

Why Valid HTML (XHTML) is important to SEO

What are do many webmaster write non valid HTML?  HTML or “hypertext Markup Language”, is vastly misused and written poorly Valid HTMLthroughout the web.  HTML is what the world wide web is made of and should be taken much more seriously. The validity of the HTML coding or programming is a very important.  But, you ask why is that important?  Most web pages are written in HTML or HTML is produced once a database query is asking for a page to be built on the fly .  Just like any other language on the planet, HTML has its own syntax, vocabulary, and grammar.  In other words, it needs to be readable by another computer and that very same computer will need to display it properly. Every online document written in HTML is supposed to follow these rules. In the natural progression of today’s internet, programming languages have long been perceived by the mainstream programmers as a “natural art” for designing websites and other web applications.  In the early days of the web, it was all text based and not graphical at all.  Once graphical user interfaces came to light on the web, so did HTML.

What is valid HTML code?

Valid HTML code is simply said programming code that is built in accordance with Web standards, and provides one of the most reliable guarantee that future Web platforms will handle it as designed. Validation is one of the simplest ways to check whether a page is up to snuff to today’s standards.

Why Web professionals choose to validate for Valid HTML?

  • Valid HTML allows for greater accessibility, cross-browser compatibility, and can even possibly help your search engine rankings.
  • When a search engine like Google crawls your site with it’s search bots, it has to parse the HTML code of your web site to find the actual relevant content to what you’re writing about. If your HTML code contains errors and is NOT valid HTML, search engines might not be able to find everything on the page.
  • Search engine crawler programs obey the HTML standard. A non compliant site makes it extremely difficult to crawl or index your site if it the coding or programming is NOT compliant to the HTML standards set today.  While on your site, if the search engine locates an error in HTML, it may simply cease the crawling of your site just because of the error.

Although most major search engines can deal with minor errors in HTML code, a single missing bracket in your HTML code can be the reason if your web page cannot be found in search engines.

There are many uses for coding or programming your website(s) to be HTML valid or HTML compliant.

  • Professional webmasters use validation as a debugging tool
  • Professional webmasters use validation as a future-proof quality check
  • Professional webmasters use validation to cross check their coding or programming skills.  It’s is one of the simplest ways to check whether a page is built in accordance with Web standards, and provides one of the most reliable guarantee that future Web platforms will handle it as designed.
  • Professional webmasters use validation to eases maintenance
  • Professional webmasters use validation to help teach good practices
  • Validation is a sign of professionalism

Imagine telling a friend who has never been to your house and telling them directions on how to come over for a party.  You start to give them some directions based off a map but halfway through you start speaking in nonsense and gibberish. The friends wouldn’t have much luck in finding your house, would they?  The same is true for websites that are broken and have invalid HTML.  Valid HTML is one of the most important aspects of Search engine optimization.

Improving Website Rankings with Search Engines

Improving Website Rankings on Search Engine (s)

Many webmasters are spending a lot of time trying to find a way to improve the rankings of their websites without “gaming” or “tricking” Google. With the number of websites, online businesses blogs, e-shops, articles, and social networks on the web increasing each day, webmasters and content generating people are facing a stiff competition to get their websites to grab some of the market share for their websites, online businesses blogs, e-shops, articles, and social networks.

When internet surfers cruise the web, people are unlikely to check the 4th or 5th page of the SERP (search engine result page) on search engines when they are searching for something It is very influential for webmasters to have their websites listed on the top positions in order to get “organic” search engine directed traffic.

There are so many methods that you can utilize online to “Perk Up” your website’s search engine rankings. You can use SEO (search engine optimization) or PPC (Pay per click) ads. However, these methods may not be suitable for every webmaster.

I’ll now list out some examples that will help in some basic ideas on increasing visibility for your websites, online businesses blogs, e-shops, articles, and social networks for search engine ranking increase.

  • SEO (search engine optimization)

    • If you search hard enough, ironically,  you will find 10,000 different ways to improve your SEO (search engine optimization). You will find a ton of ways to get more information about SEO methods on the web, but it is hard to find the ideas that provide the important details on how to really improve rankings. An internet newbie often confused by so many theories that he/she found, and some theories even work against each other. It is important to understand the fact that SEO can actually harm the business if not being done correctly. If you are in the practice of trying to “game” Google, you could be delisted or deranked from their SERP (search engine result pages). One of the solutions that you can do for SEO is to use the service of an SEO specialty company. The problem is, using the service of an SEO company is generally expensive, and you have to make a long term commitment so that you will end up spending even more money before you can get the results you are looking for.
  • PPC (Pay per click) ad Campaign

    • Basically, a Pay per click (PPC) campaign is an Internet advertising model used on website’s around the world, where advertisers pay the advertisement host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. PPC campaigns are displayed within SERPs. You have to pay for every click that somebody do on your ad even if the click does not result in a sale so that you might end up spending a lot of money without getting the expected results. You may get traffic but very few conversions from those clicks.  For example, if you bid 50 cents for each click and your ad get 100 clicks a day, you would have to pay $50 a day.  There is a very relevant chance that you won’t make any sales (conversions from clicks) for that day. The $50 that you spent that day will end up being a total waste. Another huge disadvantage of using PPC is that once you have spent your limit for that day, your advertisement ends up NOT showing up anymore.  It will only keep working if you keep spending the money and if you don’t, the ad disappears. When you are out of money to spend on advertising, the PPC campaign will stop while you haven’t done anything that can improve the value of your brand at all.

    What to Do to Improve Rankings (10 steps)

    • Publish new UNIQUE Articles
    • Try to find competitive keywords that your competition isn’t using
    • Learn from your competitors
    • Make sure each page on your site has cross links to other pages on your site
    • Try to include a few outbound links to high ranking sites
    • Use Google sitemaps to it’s fullest
    • Get invlovlved with communities, get the word out about your sites(s)
    • Spell check your content
    • Have keywords in your head section of  your site
    • Valid XHTML or valid HTML
  • You don’t have to worry because there is a tool that can help you to get your website listed on at least the first three pages of Google’s SERP. You can use the advantage of Web 2.0 to rank well in most search engines. You can also use the power of video in order to boost the search engine ranking of your website. Almost all aspects of SEO (search engine optimization) can be handled using this innovative tool from link building to article marketing.

Optimizing an Individual Webpage for SEO

Optimizing an Individual Webpage for SEO

To be able to make it to the first page of Google and other search engines, you should be able to know how to optimize your webpage. Your webpage should be prepared once search engines look in to your website. The preparation that your website need is termed as Search Engine Optimization or SEO.Search Engine Optimization (seo)

You can easily begin optimizing your website’s SEO with these easy simple steps:

  • Integrate SEO in your web design

    • In the first stages of web creation, you should already implement SEO. This means that you should keep in mind to put keywords in meta tags and titles of your webpage. Your domain is also an important part of SEO. Choose a domain name that include the keyword of your choice and you are sure to get presence in search engine results.
  • Create unique pages
    • Each of your webpage should be unique and different from one another. Search engine loves original and fresh content so make sure that you update your site every so often with new and unique content. Each webpage should also be optimized with keyword rich titles, tags and content body.
  • Create content for users
    • Although you should be aware of search engine algorithm and optimize your website for search engines, keep in mind that you are offering content and information to real individuals. Create a professional and readable content for your visitors. Unprofessional websites with poor content are stricken as bad sites by search engines and may be over passed by search engines.
  • Using keywords
    • Keywords are very vital in search engine optimization. For each of your web page, it will be a good idea to focus on a single keyword. You can go for a different related keyword on the next page and so on. For example, you can use ‘vegetable gardening’ on page one and optimize the keyword ‘Japanese gardening’ on page two. Avoid redundancy and make sure that your content does not in any way look spammy.

Your keywords should be strategically placed in your web page including in the page title, body, meta tags, headings, links, bullets and images.

  • Focus on quality content
    • If you want to have a high page rank, give attention to your content. You should be able to provide high quality articles and content to your visitors. Search engines do not give much credit to a nicely designed website in terms of graphics but they give more consideration to the content you are providing your visitors. Post on a daily basis if you can and make sure that you offer unique content. Duplicate content are not read by search engines and can possibly get your website penalized.

Keeping the above tips in mind will not only keep your readers happy but will also give you visibility by increasing your page rank and SEO. With a high page rank, you can assure more traffic to your site which you can easily monetize in to big profits. You will not reach page one over night but with enough patience and hard work, you are sure to harvest the fruit of your labor regarding SEO.

Five Ways on How to Get Quality Links for your Website

Five Ways on How to Get Quality Links for your Website

Starting a link building campaign for your website will not only increase your website’s traffic but it will also bring site popularity and heighten your page rank. A popular website with a high PR can mean lots of money for you. So if you are prepared for web fame, here are some ways on how you can get quality links for your website.

1. Create a quality website

A website that offers good content and information to its users will naturally get popular and obtain traffic. If you keep the quality of your site, not only will you attract visitors to your page, you can also get webmasters to visit your site and if it has good content, it can be referenced by their website thus increasing your link count.

2. Reciprocal links

You can also increase your links with reciprocal links. In simpler terms, this is a link exchange where a webmaster place a link to your website in his site and you in return will also put a link to his website. Make sure that you choose a high quality website that is at par with yours when you do a link exchange.

3. Inbound links

There are many ways on how you can get inbound links. You can search for people-run directories where you can submit your website link along with a short description of your site. Make sure that you choose the right category for your website in directories to attract targeted visitors to your site.

You can opt to place your links in free web directories or if you have the budget for it, place a link to paid directories that offer link placement for a fee. Paid directories usually have a high page rank.

4. Buy links

If you are serious about link building, you can buy links from websites with a high page rank. Outbound links are sold at a higher price and the higher the PR a website has- the steeper its price. Make sure that you get a related website where you can place your link. Links are sold in webmasters forums at varied prices and conditions.

You can also buy blog posts from websites that have relevance to yours. Webmasters usually allow you to place your own content or be a guest blogger on their blog and allow 1 to 3 links that directs to your website with your chosen keyword.

5. Distribute content

You can buy or write articles related to your website and distribute them to article directories. This will not only increase the relevancy of your site but also increase your link count and improve your page rank. Article directories allow its authors to include a website URL in their author box. You can take advantage of this and place your links here.

Articles in article directories can also be re-used by other webmasters as content. If your article is any good, you are sure to have a website or two put up your article on their site which means another free link for you.

50 Great CSS Articles and Resources

50 Great CSS Articles and Resources

CSS Tips and Techniques

Push Your Web Design Into The Future With CSS3 ( — Smashing Magazine — )

CSS Typography: Contrast Techniques and Best Practices ( — Noupe — )

Powerful CSS Techniques for Effective Coding ( — Smashing Magazine — )

4 Uber Cool CSS Techniques for Links ( — Css Globe — )

10 Principles of the CSS Masters ( — NETTUTS — )

12 Principles For Keeping Your Code Clean ( — Smashing Magazine — )

101 CSS Techniques Of All Time – Part 1 ( — Noupe — )

Resetting Your Styles with CSS Reset ( — Six Revisions — )

53 CSS Techniques You Couldn’t Live Without ( — Smashing Magazine — )

101 CSS Techniques Of All Time – Part 2 ( — Noupe — )

Structural Naming Convention in CSS ( — Six Revisions — )

10 Challenging but Awesome CSS Techniques ( — NETTUTS — )

Improving Code Readability With CSS Styleguides ( — Smashing Magazine — )

8 Premium One Line Css Tips ( — Css Globe — )

20+ Common CSS Bugs and Fixes ( — Noupe — )

30+ CSS Cheat Sheets and Guides ( — All Web Design Resources — )

5 Techniques to Acquaint You With CSS 3 ( — NETTUTS — )

70 Expert Ideas for Better CSS Coding ( — Smashing Magazine — )

CSS Templates and Layouts

Free CSS Layouts and Templates ( — Smashing Magazine — )

CSS Layouts: 40+ Tutorials, Tips, Demos and Best Practices ( — Noupe — )

CSS Float Theory: Things You Should Know ( — Smashing Magazine — )

CSS Navigation Techniques (37 entries)

38 Free Elegant XHTML/CSS Website Templates ( — Hongkiat — )

Top 10 CSS Table Designs ( — Smashing Magazine — )

50+ Nice Clean CSS Tab-Based Navigation Scripts ( — Hongkiat — )

CSS-Based Forms: Modern Solutions ( — Smashing Magazine — )

CSS Tutorials

CSS Tutorials by W3Schools

How to: CSS Large Background ( — Web Designer Wall — )

Cascading Style Sheets Basics

Learn CSS Positioning in Ten Steps ( — BarelyFitz — )

Complete CSS Guide

The Highly Extensible CSS Interface ( — Cameron Moll — )

Guide to Cascading Style Sheets

Creating a CSS Layout from Scratch ( — Subcide — )

CSS Tutorials by HTML.net

CSS Showcases and Galleries

24 CSS Design Showcase Websites ( — Toxel — )

120 Excellent Examples of CSS Horizantal Menu ( — CSS Tea — )

The CSS Gallery List

40 Beautiful Dark CSS Website Designs ( — Toxel — )

Best of CSS Design 2008 ( — Web Designer Wall — )

CSS Resources

Web Developer’s Handbook

Dynamic Drive CSS Library

SitePoint CSS Reference

101 CSS Resources ( — Jason Bartholme — )

100 Freebie CSS Resources ( — Software Developer — )

CSS Tools

50 Extremely Useful and Powerful CSS Tools ( — Smashing Magazine — )

CSS Validation Service

40+ CSS Generators, Creators, and Makers ( — All Web Design Resources — )

List of CSS Tools ( — Smashing Magazine — )

CSS Layout Generator ( — CSS Creator — )

CSS Editors Reviewed ( — Smashing Magazine — )

10 WordPress Plugins That Will Help your Search Engine Optimization

Organic website traffic on your website is what you want. If you don’t know that, get it through your thick skull!   If you are writing blogs today or maintaining a website that runs on WordPress, you are probably wondering what you can do to help in your website (or blogs) search engine optimization.  Search engine ranking (or Page Rank mentioned here) is something that most webmasters are constantly thinking about since most organic traffic will come from one or more search engines.   If you are using WordPress as your Content Management System, the software has already did the hard part for you. But, there are some SEO features that aren’t implemented in WordPress core. You can easily achieve these features by installing some of the most excellent SEO plugins that are around.  Here I talk about the 11 Best Search Engine Optimization Tips.

The number of available plugins in the SEO category is large, but I have been working with these below and I can say that they are top notch.   However, sometimes the huge number of plugins can become confusing and frustrating. There are several very good plugins that have been developed to enhance the search engine optimization of your website orblog.

Right now, I’ll give you a list of 10 WordPress plugins that I feel are  first class and will definitly help in increasing your search engine ranking of your website or blog

(these are NOT in order)

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1. All in One SEO Pack

This plugin enables certain modifications to your WordPress blog to achieve Search Engine Optimization. For example, you can customize your post title, post description and post tags for individual post. Furthermore, this plugin also has features such as auto generates Cononical URLS for your entire WordPress site and select index/noindex for various archives pages.

2. Broken Link Checker

This plugin will monitors links in your site and list out links that don’t work or any missing images. The reason why this plugin is essential is because you may write an article and link to www.domain.com. This link may goes down in future and become dead ends for search engine. By using this plugin, you can get notifications immediately and remove these dead ends.

3. Google XML Sitemaps Generator

This plugin will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. A sitemap will help search engine spiders to crawl your content. The generated sitemap also supported by other search engine such as Yahoo, MSN and Ask.com.

4. SEO Friendly Images

SEO Friendly Images is a WordPress optimization plugin which automatically updates all images with proper alt and title attributes. By having a proper alt and title tag for your images, you can get more traffic from Google Image Search. This blog had gain quite a large number of traffic from Google Image Search by doing so.

5. No Self Pings

Although internal linking in your own site help navigate user to your posts, but it actually decrease your page rank because of the self pings effect. This plugin will eliminate this effect by removing all pingbacks from own site and only receive back links from other sites.

6. Enforce www. Preference

One of the important search engine fact is that search engines will treat www.domain.com and domain.com as two different site. You can easily overcome this issue by enforcing this plugin. Note: All in One SEO Pack will overcome this issue for you. Make sure you check the Canonical option.

7. Platinum SEO Pack

This plugin covers all the features of All in One SEO Pack, but it does include more options compare to All in One SEO Pack. For example, it adds index, noindex, follow or nofollow, noodp, noydir, noarchive, and nosnippet meta tags to any post/page. But, most of my clients prefer All in One SEO Pack as they are used to it and reluctant to change.

8. SEO Smart Links

SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your posts. This will help navigating your visitors to other posts. The interlinking process happens automatically and what you need to do is configure it through the administration settings panel.

9. SEO Slugs

Long URL may have a better ranking in search engines because it will contain more keywords. But search engines like Google tends to ignore some common keywords such as “you”, “a”, “the”, and “what”. Removing these keywords will improve your search engine ranking. This plugin will automatically remove these unused common keywords for you.

10. Robots Meta

Robots Meta enables users to control which pages/posts can be indexed and which can’t. For example, you may want to prevent indexing of your search results or your category pages. It is because some search engines will see them as duplicate content and decrease your page rank.

How to Pick a Good Website Designer (page2)

How to Pick a Good Website Designer? (page 2 of 2)

You would like to find a good website designer?  We all wish to earn huge amount of money without making much effort. If done correctly, the “e-business” or “online” world has provided most of us this opportunity to put forth a generous effort and work from home or from an office with an online portal that can potentially bring us a revenue stream. One of the most popular and rewarding businesses online is to earn revenue through websites that utilize a business idea and bring it to life online.

A website is an important part of any business today. An online presence is an important factor for many companies.  Plain and simply put, if you are a “state of the art” company in ANY industry, you  need a website! But, what kind of website?  The size and kind of business doesn’t matter at all. The Internet isn’t a fad and should be taken seriously for any business and also, in turn, when getting a company online for the first time, should also be taken seriously by the person or company who is conveying your message through a website.

But, let me ask, is it good enough to just have a regular static website? A properly developed website is going to add to the growth of your business. It can be a safe haven for  your customer and potential future customers to become aware of your business and your products, whatever they may be. Your website design is where you boast your business.  So, without a doubt, have an impressive website is extremely important.

Purposing web design is a complex, but essential ongoing activity. Before creating and uploading a website, it is important to take the time to plan exactly what is needed in the website. Thoroughly considering the audience or target market, as well as defining the purpose and deciding what content will be developed, are extremely important.

DEFINITION OF WEBDESIGN: Web design is the skill of creating presentations of content (usually hypertext or hypermedia) that is delivered to an end-user through the World Wide Web, by way of a Web browser or other Web-enabled software like Internet television clients, microblogging clients and RSS readers.

DEFINITION OF A WEBSITE DEVELOPER: A Web developer uses his/her skills to build and maintains websites. People who conceptualize and plan out the website are actually Web designers. Developers are the people who use some form of HTML to build the actual pages. A Web developer’s other responsibilities could include, writing the code, optimizing the site for search engines(SEO), creating and optimizing graphics for the Web and producing rich media such as Flash, streaming media, or online audio.

Finding a good web designer for your needs can be a challenging task.

Some website developers have been very successful in creating websites that have delivered thousands of dollars off of a few lonely pages.  This is rare, but has been done.  Some developers have taken 5k pages and designed sites that just “sit there” and do nothing. Word of warning, there are some designers that work at “cut” rates can make for you a website that probably won’t meet your requirements or expectations.

Here are some basic steps that you can follow to make sure a website designer is suitable and OK for you to hire for the needs of your website.

  1. Visit his/her Sites: Make sure you visit his/her portfolio website. If they don’t have one, do not hire them. You should like the site itself. If should be easy to navigate.  If a designer cannot produce a quality website for him/herself, how will s/he make your pages look good?
  2. Clients: In the online portfolio of the prospective website designer, visit websites s/he has created for some of his other clients. Contact his old clients for recommendations. Each designer has his/her own style. Whether it will match your needs can be seen from his/her previous projects.
  3. Cross Browser Compatible: Visit his client’s websites the prospective website designer has created with different browsers(Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc). A quality designer will make a website look equally good on different browsers. This is something very important since nowadays people use many different browsers to view the web.
  4. Search Engine Optimization: Visit Google and plug them into the search engine.  Check how the sites of your prospective website designer rank in Google and Yahoo.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an absolute and cannot be overlooked when picking a prospective website designer.  A good website designer should be able to write and produce pages with clear structure that are easy for the search engines to crawl.
  5. Flash Only: Our recommendation is to avoid using designers that produce Flash-only websites. Websites that utilize “flash only” implementation usually have terrible Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and do not rank high in the search engines which will affect the popularity of your pages. This is important
  6. Hard Coded or Program Generated: Ask your prospective website designer if they use a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) program as in FrontPage or Dreamweaver to create websites or makes websites with a Content Management System (CMS) applications. Today’s Content Management System (CMS) are very good and should be used for all website development.  Having a “dynamically” generated website will have a huge benefit in the future and should be considered
  7. Communication: Your prospective website designer should be easy to communicate with.  Communication between emails shouldn’t go more than a few hours repetitively.  If your prospective website designer takes over a day to communicate with you regularly, then you should not hire them.  Your prospective website designer should be easily accessible via messenger, email or by phone calls.

You may find a number of designers who pretend to be good website designers but their work speaks for themselves. So, rather than giving the work of developing your website to just anyone, you must spend some time educating yourself on website designers. There are some website designers who charge $300 for a 10 page website and there are designers, as well, who charge over $3000 for the same number of pages in a website.

You can also seek recommendations from your coworkers and others who are doing business online. Sources like yellow pages include web designers which are working in big companies. So if you find potential web designers from such sources then be ready to pay a good amount.

Finding and locating a good website designer, shouldn’t be a huge task.  Just do your homework and you will be well educated in the subject.  Hopefully my article has given you some tips and some ideas on what to look for when trying to locate and choosing prospective website designer.

About the Author: Tony Eden is the president of AR WebSolutions, Inc.  He runs the design company of www.3MultiMedia.com and www.SurfCityHosting.com.  He has created over 300 websites in his 10+ years of designing websites.

How to Pick a Good Website Designer?

11 Best WordPress SEO Tips (expanded)

WordPress is one of the best open “opensource” content managed systems around. The main reason that I like WordPress is that WordPress is highly configurable if you know what you’re doing.

What is SEO?

First of all, let’s talk about what SEO is and what it means: Search engine optimization (-SEO-) is the process of improving the volume Orange County Web Site Designeror quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results as opposed to search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion. In layman’s terms: Technically, SEO is done for the two major search engines which are Google and Yahoo! .  However, a site that has good SEO may also find their sites in the first pages of other search engines. Your “SEO” mission is to get to the front pages of these sites… no matter how hard it takes! Getting on the first page = high sales = high profits!

SEO and WordPress

WordPress it’sself  is highly SEO’d and does a pretty good job of keeping it’s search engine optimization together well.  Usually a search engine has to “warm up” to a new website, if it’s SEO is done properly.  If it’s NOT doing properly, then it search engine doesn’t even know it’s online.  WordPress by default has it’s search engine optimization pretty good,  but , if you want true excellent SEO, then we should add some plugins and possibly make some edits to some parts it.  The plugins will make it simpler to adjust it’s SEO and the edits will give us the “one up” on others.

I’ll take the time to list out Below are the tips to create search engine friendly wordpress blog

  1. First thing is to install “All in One SEO Pack” Plugin”. Activate it and make your edits to the settings page.
  2. Add a search engine friendly theme with few images:
    1. Make your choice of an image for your logo, banner and bullets. Try to make them smallest possible.
    2. Add “alt” attribute or tags for your new logo and banners.  This is something I see allot: People not using unique “alt” tags during their wordpress (or blog) implementations.  For those who don’t know how to add “alt” tags to their logos and/or banners, there is a plugin available called “Custom Header plugin“.  This plugin allows you to add tags to the header of an individual page or post such as keywords/descriptions, custom meta tags, external style sheet links, or embedded style tags.
  3. Make adjustments to your “Permalinks”:
    1. Found under Dashboard -> Settings -> Permalinks
    2. Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts, as well as categories and other lists of weblog postings. A permalink is what another weblogger will use to link to your article (or section), or how you might send a link to your story in an e-mail message. The URL to each post should be permanent, and never change
    3. Make adjustments and use “Custom structure”.
    4. Add this tag /%postname%/
  4. Create and configure .htaccess file and add the below code (click here for tutorial on creating .htaccess file):
    1. RewriteEngine OnRewriteBase /RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-fRewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-dRewriteRule . /index.php [L]
    2. Save and FTP upload this file into root directory of your site and confirm that .htaccess file is been enabled in your server
  5. Make sure you that you are utilizing your theme’s “archive” section.  If your theme doesn’t have an archive section: add one. Your visitors that visit your site, may want to read some older dated posts
  6. Install and Utilize “Popular tags”  on your site.  These are one of the most important parts of “SEO” for your site.
    1. Use the Most Popular Tags Plugin and activate it on your site.
  7. Intall and utilize “Recent post” plugin and activate. This plugin helps to retrieve list of the most recent posts for your visitors
  8. Install and utilize “Google Sitemaps. Generator” plugin and activate it . Chmod the root server(how to CHMOD) and then go to options >> Google sitemap and then click “Build sitemap manually” link and this creates site map and as you add new post xml file gets updated automatically with new posts URL.
    1. Your sitemap.xml file will be spidered by Google and Yahoo on a regular basis
  9. Configure and add Google Custom Search and Google Analytics.
  10. Sign up and register to Feedburner and add your RSS feed for posts to Feedburner.  Create an option in the blog for your readers to “subscribe” your posts.  This means, when you create a new post or add to posts,  your uses will be notified by email that you have updated your site with new posts.

I really hope that my tips for optimizing wordpress’ SEO helps your website or blog