Search engine optimization hints

Web-lay-out suggestions, functionality, reporting dead links etc
halfgaar
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 23 Feb 2008 19:48
Location: The Netherlands

Postby halfgaar » Wed 13 Aug 2008 19:43

Well:
Oscar wrote:RRM can give you access to the working directories.
User avatar
RRM
Administrator
Posts: 8153
Joined: Sat 16 Jul 2005 00:01
Contact:

Postby RRM » Wed 13 Aug 2008 19:53

Ahhhh, yes.
ok, i will pm you.
halfgaar
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 23 Feb 2008 19:48
Location: The Netherlands

Postby halfgaar » Wed 13 Aug 2008 19:57

I think me and havas need to make a plan. Havas, do you have MSN, Jabber or AIM? If so, could you give it to me, if you're willing? (pm will be fine).
Havas
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon 14 Jul 2008 03:59

Postby Havas » Thu 14 Aug 2008 00:20

PM'd the details to you.

To be honest, I'm happy if you make the plans and I'll help implement them. The idea of generating static HTML is fine. It lacks the dynamic flexibility inherent in templates, but I can't see actually see why that's important.

My personal preference would be PHP, as it's available on pretty much all web hosts. Following that a language like C++ would be nice, or even ruby. (Although, I can't say I've had much ruby experience).

My two favorite ideas would be update the forum, and extend it's session and templating engine over the entire site. (phpBB is a pretty decent templating engine, and session management). But that might be overkill.

So, I think template (either with smarty, or just straight php embedded templates) would be fine. I personally like smarty, as you can have complex templates logic, and it will cached completely. But I doubt we'll have too much load problems on this site.

As for the actual site, I think we should aim at a very search engine friendly (as you said) site, all on a single domain like waidiet.com (of course we'd develop it separately until everyone is 100% happy). Then close the forum for an hour or so, while we migrate all data.

Pretty much just chuck everything on that domain. And make the idea a little more palpable to the 99% of the population that are skeptics.

Testimonials, before and after pics, the emphasis that it's all free. Should be enough to get anyone with stubborn acne to give it ago.

Once we do that, I'm sure we'll pass the Wikipedia notability guidelines:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:N

All should help to get some momentum, and hopefully change peoples lives. (Like I hope it will do for me)
halfgaar
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 23 Feb 2008 19:48
Location: The Netherlands

Postby halfgaar » Thu 14 Aug 2008 13:32

Haha, you do realize that if I were a social engineer, I would have obtained login credentials :)

Anyway, I will be working with Havas on a prototype.
halfgaar
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 23 Feb 2008 19:48
Location: The Netherlands

Postby halfgaar » Thu 14 Aug 2008 13:39

Question: does DDS support .htaccess files?
halfgaar
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 23 Feb 2008 19:48
Location: The Netherlands

Postby halfgaar » Thu 14 Aug 2008 23:58

Another question. Who exactly maintains the site? Is this person, or people, capable of editing HTML code? We were thinking of setting up a basic template system in which pages contain a few directives to include common stuff like headers, footers and menu's.

When editing such a page, making use of graphic HTML editing software can be somewhat difficult. But if the maintainer has no problem editing HTML code, there is no problem.

If the current site is maintained this way, there is practically no difference.
User avatar
Oscar
Administrator
Posts: 4347
Joined: Mon 15 Aug 2005 00:01

Postby Oscar » Wed 20 Aug 2008 11:21

I guess that'll be RRM and me. For me HTML/CSS isn't a problem, and I think RRM can handle HTML (if I'm not mistaken).

How would you want to upgrade the forum? I do have another version ready, based on the WaiWorld/WaiDiet/WaiSays division, but I wanted to implement it only when we'd have articles in all three.

I don't know if DDS supports .htaccess files. :?
halfgaar
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 23 Feb 2008 19:48
Location: The Netherlands

Postby halfgaar » Wed 20 Aug 2008 11:48

How would you want to upgrade the forum? I do have another version ready, based on the WaiWorld/WaiDiet/WaiSays division, but I wanted to implement it only when we'd have articles in all three.
Based on the WaiWorld/WaiDiet/WaiSays division? What do you mean? I don't think I'm following you here.

My suggestion is to turn all the different Wai sites into one. This is more clear to the visitors and better for search engine optimization and maintenance. The forum would be on a sub-domain, something like forum.waisays.com.

When I log into the DDS panel, I can see the following active Wai related domains: This first can be doubted, but the others really should be merged into one, with redirects all pointing to one domain (need the .htaccess files for that). That includes redirects for waisays.com to www.waisays.com, etc.

Now, I guess my question is, do you agree with merging all these sites into one, and on which domain do you want to host it?
User avatar
RRM
Administrator
Posts: 8153
Joined: Sat 16 Jul 2005 00:01
Contact:

Postby RRM » Wed 20 Aug 2008 16:23

halfgaar wrote:the others really should be merged into one, with redirects all pointing to one domain
Can one still keep the other domain names then? That when you type "www.waidiet.com", you enter the site at a different page then when typing "www.waicure.com", for example
(need the .htaccess files for that)
huh? whats that?
Now, I guess my question is, do you agree with merging all these sites into one, and on which domain do you want to host it?
If we can keep all the domain names, yes.
What do you think Oscar?
Anybody else?
halfgaar
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 23 Feb 2008 19:48
Location: The Netherlands

Postby halfgaar » Wed 20 Aug 2008 17:54

Yes, you can maintain all the other domains. When doing a website move or change, a good webmaster always makes sure there are enough redirect rules to keep incoming links working. At the very least, they should be given a good error-page, explaining the error, and other places to start looking.

And yes, you can also make sure that different domains redirect to your single domain, but to a specific landig page.

.htaccess files are server configuration files with which the webmaster can control how the server behaves. If DDS doesn't support that, I strongly recommend a change of host. I'll investigate if DDS supports that.

My suggestion would be to divide the website up in sections, and display that in a horizontal bar at the top. These sections would then be, for example, what is located on the different domains now. However, the different domains contain largely the same info. It's all basically about how to get rid of acne.

Then each section would have a menu at the left, for instance, with all the different pages. I recommend against using sub-levels. Just a one-level menu in which people can get an overview of what that section contains.

If you agree with my sections suggestions, what sections do we make? One about curing acne and cellulite, and the rest? Be careful not to create overlapping sections; pages should fit in one section, not two.
User avatar
Oscar
Administrator
Posts: 4347
Joined: Mon 15 Aug 2005 00:01

Postby Oscar » Thu 21 Aug 2008 21:43

The idea behind the three sites is that there are basically three levels of information contained in the total site. WaiWorld will contain articles about general topics not directly related to diet. WaiDiet contains all articles directly correlated to the Wai Diet. WaiCure will contain all articles related to curing diseases/disorders (like acne).

These levels represent the interest levels of visitors to the site. Do they want to cure their acne, know more about the Wai Diet, or read about our natural behavior? The forum (WaiTalk) would then be similarly divided, corresponding with the site.
The menu structure emphasizes the separation between the sites, while at the same time linking them together.

The problem is that so far only a limited number of articles have been overhauled, let alone rewritten, which means the current state of the site is a transitional one.

I personally think it works to have three (4 in the transitional state, 5 including the new forum) domains where people can be referred towards, and which they can see in their url bar. If that can be maintained then every other simplification is very welcome.
halfgaar
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 23 Feb 2008 19:48
Location: The Netherlands

Postby halfgaar » Sun 24 Aug 2008 16:08

In my opinion, that is not worth having different domains for. For one, your search engine score is a lot higher when you have a lot of content, and also incoming links, to one domain. Second, most people will only be confused by it. I am an IT professional, and it appeared to me as quite a mess.

But we may have a problem. Havas seems to have deleted me from his Gtalk list (The XMPP protocol tells you that). I sent him a PM, which has gone unanswered as of yet. Perhaps it means he can't/won't help after all.
User avatar
Oscar
Administrator
Posts: 4347
Joined: Mon 15 Aug 2005 00:01

Postby Oscar » Thu 28 Aug 2008 17:07

The point is though, that it's not just about getting rid of acne. It's far more than that, but it depends on your point of view and thus on your point of entry in the site. Take a look at WaiDiet.com. None of the pages are about getting rid of acne, which is as it should be, because WaiDiet.com is about the Wai Diet. Curing acne should be under WaiCure.com, because you want to cure yourself of a disease/disorder.

So, to clarify:
WaiCure = all articles/pages which handle about curing a disease/disorder
WaiDiet = everything about the WaiDiet
WaiWorld = articles on a larger scale
The sites basically rank from detailed to general, and it could mean that, ultimately, some articles will appear more than once, but written from a different perspective.

This doesn't mean we cannot simplify the site structure of course, but the distinction should be clear, like RRM mentioned before.
halfgaar
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 23 Feb 2008 19:48
Location: The Netherlands

Postby halfgaar » Fri 29 Aug 2008 23:39

People have this obsession with categories. Over time, I have come to a realization about them: categories are useless. What exactly do you have them for? For people to find information more easily? That is an invalid argument, because most visitors to Wai will be from search engines, and when you do start browsing the site, the first thing a visitor will ask "in what category would they have put it", rendering the entire thing useless, because then it's a quest for both the writer and the reader to decide in what category to put it in/look for it.

Also, categories have the annoying aspect that items can fall under different ones. Why is the waidiet not a waicure, for example?

Then, the domains "waiworld", "waisays", etc are completely non-descriptive. To the average user, and even to me, it will merely result in questioning why certain info is available on site A, while other info is available on site B. And then of course, there are the large number of people who don't even look at the website address, and won't notice when they are redirected away.

When people enter a site, it should be immediately clear what they can find there. Links/sections named "wai world" or "wai says" don't do that.

I would do it like this: make one site, www.wai.net for instance. Then, add a couple of sections (still sections, indeed) with logical names, visible as tabs for example. The names should be like "curing acne and cellulite" and "general information". Perhaps the ability should exist to add articles to more sections, and then write them in a way that they can exist in both; redundant articles are a pain to maintain.

The sections should have a small introduction/summary explaining what you can find there.

I can't give a very specific suggestion as to how to design it and what sections to choose, because I honestly can't make heads or tails of all the articles and sites, and what can be found where. I could make a raw mock-up (pun intended) to illustrate what I'm saying.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest