SEO 101: Need an SEO Friendly Site? Think Blog!

When I started out in web development as a website developer and coder way back in the dark ages (1998), I was doing web design for an in-house agency. Primarily, we did sites for the publications that the parent publishing company produced, but we also took on local Palm Springs area clients and built web sites for them.

It went something like this. For a certain amount of money, like $500, we’d build a ten page static web site. We’d do the design work, but the client provided images and text. We’d do the SEO as it existed in those days (title, meta tags, submit to the search engines/directories) and then there would be a monthly hosting/maintenance fee (about $50). Quarterly changes (pictures and text) were part of the fee, anything else cost extra.

Of course, the client was sort of at our mercy as they had no way to make changes themselves. They had to go through us. This could get frustrating for clients who needed frequent changes to their sites, like real estate agents or those with products that needed changing constantly.

Fast forward to today. Yes, if you really need a complicated site with a web designer, programmer and so forth, that option is definitely available more than ever. But, if what you want is a smaller site that you have complete control over and won’t cost a fortune, it can be had quickly and inexpensively. Continue reading

Cool Links

Yet Another SEO WordPress Plugins Post

Yep. That’s exactly what this is. Yet another cool WordPress plugins post pointing out some of the freebie plugins used on The Web Optimist blog. Of course, most of these are used with SEO in mind. Might as well jump right in.

1. BT Active Discussions – This neat utility allows you to give your blog comments a forum-like BT Active Discussions gives your blog comments a forum-like interfaceinterface. This makes it easy for site visitors to zero in on discussions they want to check out and go right to the post to read and submit their own comment. I’ve tried a couple of actual forum plugins for WordPress in the past and never could get them to work properly. This one was a breeze. Check out my search engine optimization discussions.

2. WordPress Link Directory – Create your own directory. This plugin gives you the choice of accepting only reciprocal links or any links. You can create categories and sub-categories and even check for dropped reciprocal links. I recently installed this plugin on my blog as a fledgling resource directory.

3. Spread The Love Link Builder – This plugin tracks pages you link to in your blog and sends an e-mail to the site owner notifying them of the link and encouraging them to link back.

4. Dagon Design Sitemap Generator – Need I say more? This plugin creates a spider and user friendly index of all posts by category with the number of comments for each. You install the plugin, create a page, paste some code and you’re off and running. See it in action at The Web Optimist sitemap.

5. Link To Me Text Box – This plugin will set up a “link to me textbox” with HTML code in your blog posts. Simplicity at its best. You can find examples of this plugin in action at the bottom of any post on this blog. For instance, take a look at Free eBook: 65 Quick S E O Tips Even Your Mother Would Love and you’ll find the link box just above the “Leave A Comment” section.

6. Ask Me – I don’t know if this plugin is even supported currently, but used it for an “Ask Me about SEO” section until I switched hosting companies and couldn’t get it to work again. It basically extends the comment function into a Q&A format perfect for any question and answer oriented page.

7. Khanh’s Quick Feeds – Want to add a page of news feeds to your WordPress blog? This is your plugin and it’s AJAX powered! Take a look at my own Search Engine Optimization News Feeds page for an example. I didn’t just create this page for my users, but for me, too!

8. Random Quotes – This plugin is perfect for randomly displaying any type of text on your blog pages. I use it for my S E O Quick Tip box found on the right navigation of every page on the site. A different tip is displayed each time a page loads. The plugin has a really nice, easy to use interface.

9. Redirection – Makes page redirects simple. Easy to use interface, logging options, tracking of redirects and simple drop down redirect options made this a life saver when my former hosting company imploded and I had to recreate recent posts and redirect the old URLs to the new ones.

10. WP Sticky – Got something you want to stay at the top of your blog for a while like an announcement or notice? WP Sticky is kind of like a yellow sticky. It sticks to the top of the main blog page until you pull it off.

These are just a few of the neat plugins I am currently using. Naturally, there are a zillion out there, which is what makes WordPress so great. If you need something for your blog, chances are there’s already a plugin for it or close enough to work with.

Submit your search marketing, web development or technology site or blog to The Web Optimist’s new S E O Resource Directory.


Rebuilding After Host Company Implosion

What you will see for the next few days (or weeks) is the rebuilding of this blog after my hosting company went MIA overnight. They haven’t been the most stable host I’ve ever had. My blog would be up and down and, after being unavailable for writing or editing most of last week, I took the plunge and moved to a new host.

Unfortunately, the latest backup I have is over a month old, so expect yet more reposts as I try to replace lost content. I don’t even know if the old hosting company will re-emerge. Their site is still unavailable, too.

So, let this be a good lesson. Back up EVERY day! Now, if I can just figure out where some of my stuff went. This new version of WordPress does NOT like some of my plugins and theme.



Catching Up After Down Time

Trying to get back up after blog down time.OK, after several days of chaos with my blog, it appears it’s back up and running. I’m not sure what happened, but last Saturday night I was working on an article, saved it, went to bed, got up the next morning, fired up the WordPress admin and . . . nothing. Several sections of the blog admin, including Write, were just blank pages. I could see drafts, but I couldn’t edit or publish them. I was dead in the water. Pure Hell for a blogger!

No clear explanation ever emerged other than changes the hosting company was making at their end. The blog was up and visible to the world, but was stuck in time. The only option was to try to load a backup of the database. Unfortunately, the newest I had was a month old, so several recent posts are missing. I’ll attempt to reconstruct them.

In the meantime, the post I was working on when the sky fell in was guest posted over at Search Engine Journal as False Prophecy: Onsite S E O Will Be History. Give it a read, a Sphinn, a Digg, you know the drill.

Also, don’t forget my previous guest post at SEJ, 25 Blog Optimization Tips Even Dear Old Dad Could Ace (Plus 10 More Tips for Mom!). It could use some more Sphinns and votes, too.

Now, finding the time to reconstruct the missing content…