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  • Struggling with Search Engine Optimisation

    Hi

    I've just set up a brand-new website from scratch, and I'm completely clueless about what I need to do in the area of Search-Engine Optimisation.

    So far I've created an XML site-map and uploaded it to my page, but I'm at a loss as to what else I should do in order to be recognised by the major search engines.

    Any constructive advice would be much appreciated. I'm somewhat new to website development for a public audience, although I've been developing internal systems for the last couple of years.

  • #2
    You either need to tell the search engine that your site exists or wait until it finds the site through links to it from other sites.
    Stephen
    Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
    Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

    Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

    Comment


    • #3
      simply you need a campaign for SEO. build some links. I mean you should hire a professional SEO

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Cabeceira View Post
        I mean you should hire a professional SEO
        How do you tell the 1% professionals from the 99% scammers?
        Stephen
        Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
        Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

        Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by felgall View Post
          You either need to tell the search engine that your site exists or wait until it finds the site through links to it from other sites.
          This shows you how little I know about this stuff. How do I tell the search engines of the existence of my site? I'm not linked to other sites, so I would need to be able to tell the search engines.

          Comment


          • #6
            Without other sites linked to you, you r site will not be listed high enough in results for people to find you - there should be a page on each search engine site for telling them your site exists but you may have to search for it - don't expect to find your site in the results though unless you search for the domain name until you have at least a few other sites with links to yours.
            Stephen
            Learn Modern JavaScript - http://javascriptexample.net/
            Helping others to solve their computer problem at http://www.felgall.com/

            Don't forget to start your JavaScript code with "use strict"; which makes it easier to find errors in your code.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by felgall View Post
              Without other sites linked to you, you r site will not be listed high enough in results for people to find you - there should be a page on each search engine site for telling them your site exists but you may have to search for it - don't expect to find your site in the results though unless you search for the domain name until you have at least a few other sites with links to yours.
              I'll have a look on the Google website and see what I can find for telling them about the existence of my site.

              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello Dear,
                As you submitted your XML sitemap then Google must crawled it ASAP.
                You need to more concentrate on the SEO activities to crawler your pages by Google.
                You can submit your website in Search Engine.
                For more detailed information you can contact us at : [email protected]

                Comment


                • #9
                  XML sitemaps are a pointless redundancy -- they serve no real purpose as if you have proper links on your pages and they're all properly cross-linked, meaning you can visit all of the pages from links across the site, the spiders search engines use WILL find those pages.

                  They're a waste of time, waste of bandwidth, waste of effort.

                  In terms of stuff you can do on-site, remember the words of Matt Cutts -- "write your site for user, NOT search engines!" Writing for the users means just two things, accessibility and content. You start doing stuff JUST for the search engines other than the stuff they have set up for us to use (like the keywords meta) or abuse those things with trickery, all you're doing is hoodoo voodoo that even if it works short term, long term it will turn around and bite you -- getting you slapped clear off search listings if you go too far with it!

                  How is your content? Is it well written? Logically organized? On the accessibility front how semantic is your markup? Does it gracefully degrade scripting off? Images off? Are you using image replacement techniques on presentation? Is the site slow thanks to too many separate files, or too much arsty presentational nonsense that just gets in the way of users getting to your content?

                  How much content do you have per page? Too much? So little people go "Where's the beef?". In terms of document structure did you leverage numbered headings to create that structure or use HTML 5's pointless redundant <section> tags with headings? (both are valid, the latter is just extra code for no good reason).

                  What's your code to content ratio on the main page? On a typical sub-page?

                  One thing to remember is Google now uses the speed of your site as a ranking factor... which means code bloat is as much your enemy as anything else if you want to rank well!

                  CONTENT people, CONTENT!!!

                  Off-site you have promotion, and promotion mostly means backlinks. How many places are linking to your content? Are they normal links or nofollow? Are they you pointlessly spamming or is it normal people interested in your content going "hey this is neat?" and sharing links organically?

                  Have you done anything that could actually penalize you in search? Overstuffing your page with keywords? Abusing the keyword meta at title tag with phrases that have zero relevance to the content? Bought into the link-farm scam or done something really stupid like paid for "generated content" or "paid traffic"?

                  Also, indirectly promotion -- getting the word out -- can work in your favor even if they links are nofollow; your objective should be TRAFFIC, and not all good/quality traffic comes from search. In fact search traffic can often be lower quality than what you get from social media or forums becuase the various "groups" or "places" you share to are usually going to be filled with people interested in your topic. Search is something of a craps-shoot... but if you get traffic the odds of someone "organically" linking to your content somewhere else because they like it rises greatly... and those extra links do count.

                  To really say much more I'd have to see the site in question
                  Walk the dark path, sleep with angels, call the past for help.
                  https://cutcodedown.com
                  https://medium.com/@deathshadow

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by deathshadow View Post
                    XML sitemaps are a pointless redundancy -- they serve no real purpose as if you have proper links on your pages and they're all properly cross-linked, meaning you can visit all of the pages from links across the site, the spiders search engines use WILL find those pages.

                    They're a waste of time, waste of bandwidth, waste of effort.

                    In terms of stuff you can do on-site, remember the words of Matt Cutts -- "write your site for user, NOT search engines!" Writing for the users means just two things, accessibility and content. You start doing stuff JUST for the search engines other than the stuff they have set up for us to use (like the keywords meta) or abuse those things with trickery, all you're doing is hoodoo voodoo that even if it works short term, long term it will turn around and bite you -- getting you slapped clear off search listings if you go too far with it!

                    How is your content? Is it well written? Logically organized? On the accessibility front how semantic is your markup? Does it gracefully degrade scripting off? Images off? Are you using image replacement techniques on presentation? Is the site slow thanks to too many separate files, or too much arsty presentational nonsense that just gets in the way of users getting to your content?

                    How much content do you have per page? Too much? So little people go "Where's the beef?". In terms of document structure did you leverage numbered headings to create that structure or use HTML 5's pointless redundant <section> tags with headings? (both are valid, the latter is just extra code for no good reason).

                    What's your code to content ratio on the main page? On a typical sub-page?

                    One thing to remember is Google now uses the speed of your site as a ranking factor... which means code bloat is as much your enemy as anything else if you want to rank well!

                    CONTENT people, CONTENT!!!

                    Off-site you have promotion, and promotion mostly means backlinks. How many places are linking to your content? Are they normal links or nofollow? Are they you pointlessly spamming or is it normal people interested in your content going "hey this is neat?" and sharing links organically?

                    Have you done anything that could actually penalize you in search? Overstuffing your page with keywords? Abusing the keyword meta at title tag with phrases that have zero relevance to the content? Bought into the link-farm scam or done something really stupid like paid for "generated content" or "paid traffic"?

                    Also, indirectly promotion -- getting the word out -- can work in your favor even if they links are nofollow; your objective should be TRAFFIC, and not all good/quality traffic comes from search. In fact search traffic can often be lower quality than what you get from social media or forums becuase the various "groups" or "places" you share to are usually going to be filled with people interested in your topic. Search is something of a craps-shoot... but if you get traffic the odds of someone "organically" linking to your content somewhere else because they like it rises greatly... and those extra links do count.

                    To really say much more I'd have to see the site in question
                    Hi Deathshadow

                    I'm currently working on two websites. The one I'm most interested in at the moment is Hendo Systems which is a site I've built to try and help me with my little cottage business. The second site I'm working on is being built on someone else's behalf and can be found at A Welcome Space Counselling and Psychotherapy Service. Once the site has been fully signed off, it'll be transferred to its own dedicated domain. Please feel free to review both of those sites and let me know your thoughts.

                    A few replies to your comments, in no particular order:
                    • Design : Both sites were designed and built using Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Community edition, and were created as ASP.NET projects. If you review the two sites you'll probably see quite a bit of similarity between the styling of the two sites. Over and above the usual ASP and HTML, there's a small amount of VB "code-behind" on some of the pages, but it's only there if it needs to be;
                    • Internal Links : Both sites contain a Site.Master which contains a menu. Therefore on each site, you can get from any given page to any other given page and back again;
                    • Content : I've tried my very hardest to make sure that each page (on both sites) contains as much information as it needs to without overcooking it. There is one page on the Client's site that is extremely thin on the ground and I've flagged this up to her. I'm keen to hear differently, but I hope you'll agree that no one page has too much on it. Where photographs have been used (on the Client's site) I've tried to make these files as small as possible to make things quick for even the most sluggish of smartphones. In answer to your query about HTML 5, that's easy: there ain't any - I'm only now getting to grips with the basics of working with ASP.NET so I think it's going to be a while before I dip my toe in the HTML 5 pool;
                    • External Links : I can't think of very many places that either site is linked to externally. Once my Client's site moves from "Work in Progress" to "In Production", I'll probably be linking to her site from mine as a showcase, and to complement the testimonial that she says she's going to write for me. Besides that, if I get my business off the ground I may well investigate having a presence on both Facebook and Twitter, at which point both of those platforms would feature some sort of link to my site;
                    • Keywords : These are a gigantic grey area for me. I've done quite a bit of reading on this subject and there seems to be a lot of wide-ranging opinion out there as to the relevance of keywords in this day and age. In all honesty I probably will use them, but will do my best to avoid using too many of them on any given page. I'm also not clear at this stage on whether they'd be used on each page, or simply added to the Site.Master. With regard to your comments about link-farming and paid traffic, that isn't something I'm likely to entertain - I'm trying to start a small business so I'm not looking at spending money needlessly. Besides, I'm a Scotsman ;


                    You now have links to both sites. As I said, the Hendo Systems is my own site, so if there's something that you think I've not done, or something I have but shouldn't then I've probably done it on both sites. Feel free to send me a message from the Contact page if you want to come back to me privately.

                    TIA

                    Ian

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Ian,

                      This should give you a good start.

                      1. In Google, search - Search Console. This is a platform/dashboard in which you can manage/view your SEO performance and give lots of great insight. You create an account and then verify ownership of your site, then you can begin. After this have google fetch all for your site (if you cannot figure it out, watch a video).

                      2. Don't worry about building links. This is always overly stated. Worry about the way you content is created and the words within it. If there a certain keywords in which you wish to highlight in, do a Google keywords search and see your competition levels and maybe look more for a niche keyword.

                      3. Be sure to use your keywords in alt's for images.

                      4. Your title tag and use of h1, h2 tags are important.


                      This should give you a good start. Worry about off-site once your on-site (what you can do via coding) is maximized. You may only need on-site to be ranked where you want.

                      Good luck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ianbhenderson73 View Post
                        Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Community edition
                        The moment I saw that, I cringed -- but we all start someplace. Generally that train wreck of how NOT to build a website can quickly fill up a page with unnecessary rubbish... SURPRISINGLY you have very little of that, only the stock form for nothing ASP nonsense, and a slightly broken form.

                        Whilst you certainly have a nasty case of DIV for nothing, you do appear to be trying to use a h1 semi-properly (though I'd suggest image replacement instead of an IMG tag on that logo), anchors where there shouldn't be anchors, and some use of tables for layout -- on the whole I've seen far, far worse from people WAY less green than you.

                        The tables for layout is troublesome, as it's called "non-semantic markup" -- basically it means you have a table around non-tabular data. If you want things in columns that's what we have floats (and to a lesser extent the new flex-box model) for -- tables should only be used around content where the rows and columns have a semantic relationship; a spreadsheet is an example of tabular data.

                        Good rule of thumb? Only one TR? Probably not tabular data. IF it's not a row of related data? Probably not tabular data. If you aren't labeling the columns as they are multiple rows of the same type of content? NOT tabular data.

                        In that way your contact form and your footer could both result in usability issues for some people. The lack of many "essential" tags for a properly formed form isn't helping -- you have no fieldset, no label tags, and again, tables for layout. Labels form a semantic relationship between the text inside them and the input/textarea/or select they are "for". Not having that means that non-visual user-agents -- braille readers, screen readers (software that reads the page aloud to you), and search engines -- cannot properly identify the text inside your tables much less

                        ... and even if it were to be tables, you'd be trying to establish that semantics using <th scope="row"> on that text, not TD. Just as there are more tags that belong inside forms than <input>, <select> and <textarea>, there are more tags that go into a table than just TR and TD.

                        Probably the biggest pile on the page -- and I briefly mentioned it at the start, is this:
                        Code:
                        <form method="post" action="./Contact.aspx" onsubmit="javascript:return WebForm_OnSubmit();" id="ctl01">
                        <div class="aspNetHidden">
                        <input type="hidden" name="__EVENTTARGET" id="__EVENTTARGET" value="" />
                        <input type="hidden" name="__EVENTARGUMENT" id="__EVENTARGUMENT" value="" />
                        <input type="hidden" name="__LASTFOCUS" id="__LASTFOCUS" value="" />
                        <input type="hidden" name="__VIEWSTATE" id="__VIEWSTATE" value="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" />
                        </div>
                        
                        <script type="text/javascript">
                        //<![CDATA[
                        var theForm = document.forms['ctl01'];
                        if (!theForm) {
                            theForm = document.ctl01;
                        }
                        function __doPostBack(eventTarget, eventArgument) {
                            if (!theForm.onsubmit || (theForm.onsubmit() != false)) {
                                theForm.__EVENTTARGET.value = eventTarget;
                                theForm.__EVENTARGUMENT.value = eventArgument;
                                theForm.submit();
                            }
                        }
                        //]]>
                        </script>
                        That's idiotic code-bloat nonsense that garbage like Visual Studio saddles you with for NO legitimate purpose; that's not on you, it's on the tool you've chosen. It's why tools like Visual Studio are ridiculously unsuited for work on websites in the first place -- they add all sorts of pointless scripttard bloat that just makes pages slower, less accessible, and in general reek of not knowing enough HTML to be building websites.

                        Which is why honestly, I'm a bit surprised to see you using H1, H2, UL, and P properly!

                        As lean as the sites are -- and they are very lean (4.7k of markup for 695 bytes of content? not bad!) -- they could be trimmed down a bit more. Had I written that same home-page as your personal site, it's VERY unlikely the HMTL would have varied a whole lot from:

                        Code:
                        <!DOCTYPE html<html lang="en"><head><meta charset="utf-8">
                        <meta
                        	name="viewport"
                        	content="width=device-width,height=device-height,initial-scale=1"
                        >
                        <link
                        	rel="stylesheet"
                        	href="screen.css"
                        	media="screen,projection,tv"
                        >
                        <title>
                        	Hendo Systems
                        </title>
                        </head><body>
                        
                        <div class="heightWrapper">
                        
                        	<h1>
                        		<a href="/">
                        			Hendo Systems
                        			<span><!-- image sandbag --></span>
                        		</a>
                        	</h1>
                        
                        	<ul id="mainMenu">
                        		<li><a href="Default.aspx">Home</a></li>
                        		<li><a href="About.aspx">About</a></li>
                        		<li><a href="Location.aspx">Location</a></li>
                        		<li><a href="Pricing.aspx">Pricing</a></li>
                        		<li><a href="Contact.aspx">Contact</a></li>
                        	</ul>
                        	
                        	<div id="disclaimer">
                        		&copy; Ian Henderson 2016
                        	<!-- #disclaimer --></div>
                        
                        	<div id="content">
                        		<h2>About Me</h2>
                        		<p>
                        			I class myself as one of a fairly rare breed of software developers, for a number of reasons:
                        		</p>
                        		<ul>
                        			<li>
                        					Although I've been working in the computer industry for a little over 20 years, I have virtually no formal qualifications - most of what I know has been learned on-the-job. I feel I bring a fresh approach to problem-solving and am not constrained by traditional "break/fix" methodologies.
                        			</li><li>
                        					Although I'm now employed solely as a software developer, I entered the IT industry through the call-centre sector as a desktop and network support engineer. Because of this, I'm as comfortable with servicing computers and laptops as I am with programming.
                        			</li><li>
                        					I'm acutely aware that a great many IT professionals are unable to communicate with non-IT people in a way that's easily understood.<br />
                        					I pride myself on being able to communicate effectively with both IT and non-IT people.<br />
                        					If I start using terms that you don't understand, stop me and tell me.
                        			</li>
                        		</ul>
                        		<p>
                        			So in all of this, there's something to bear in mind: I AM employed full-time.  Therefore if you need someone that can be ready to respond to your issue very quickly then I'm afraid to say that I'm not the person for you. However, subject to work and family commitments I'll do my utmost to work on your requirements to a timescale that's mutually agreed and accepted.
                        		</p>
                        		
                        	<!-- #content --></div>
                        		
                        <!-- #heightWrapper --></div>
                        
                        <div id="footer">
                        	<a href="../Contact.aspx">
                        		Contact me for a free consultation.
                        	</a>
                        <!-- #footer --></div>
                        			
                        </body></html>
                        Which despite the inclusion of closure comments and a more modern document <head>, the inclusion of media targets on the stylesheet, and so forth, at 2.39k is basically half the code.

                        But that's what happens when you write HTML instead of letting a tool try and do it for you. Some advice, ditch Visual Studio... and whilst at it, I'd suggest ditching ASP as well. Most of the tools for making pages with ASP will just screw you over on the code like they did on that one page I rewrote and your form, and you really have to spend a lot more time "riding herd" on what you allow it to vomit up than you would just plain simple HTML.

                        Much less it ties you to Windows hosting, which hosting on Winblows is a bit like trying to use Linsux as a desktop OS... it's just not well suited to it. A more commonly used language like PHP has the benefit of being platform neutral; meaning you will be hard pressed to find a host who can't support it. You build ASP, that list of places you can host the site dwindles precipitously, ESPECIALLY on a budget.

                        Even if that means your toolset ends up reduced to a flat text editor -- that's usually for the better anyways as "Visual tools" when it comes to web technology is the antithesis of sane and rational development. They are completely and utterly unsuited to the task.

                        On the way to the doctors in a bit, but if I have time later I might dive into that form of yours to show you what I mean in terms of what the "proper" markup should be so it is accessible to users -- because what you have right now isn't!
                        Last edited by deathshadow; Sep 16, 2016, 12:16 AM.
                        Walk the dark path, sleep with angels, call the past for help.
                        https://cutcodedown.com
                        https://medium.com/@deathshadow

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Do on page and off page optimization. You can give these tasks to seo specialists.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Deathshadow

                            You see, this was precisely the type of feedback I was looking for. It's all well and good people telling me that I should pass the job on to professional SEO providers but I'm trying to get my brain around how it works, and subcontracting the job out to someone else won't help me do that. Also, I'm not 100% convinced that SEO providers can give me a better ROI than my own time spent.

                            The comment about Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition is a fair one, but I feel that I should explain. I'm a software developer by trade, mostly of desktop-based applications. I've done some websites at work but they've been for company-internal use and not for consumption by the general public. At work we use VS2010 (don't ask), but for me the advantage to VS2015 is that it's free.

                            The site probably is a DIV-fest, and I'm sure there's stuff I can do to reduce their use.

                            For me, tables are a quick win. Yes, I know that nowadays they're frowned upon in much the same way as iFrames are, but until I can get to grips with CSS properly I'm afraid they're here to stay. I'm also hoping to get to grips with HTML5 which should hopefully help with the site-bloat that you've mentioned.

                            In regard to your comment about Windows hosting, you make a fair point. However it might interest you to know that my hosting provider charges the same for Windows hosting as they do for Linux hosting, which is one of the reasons I decided to go with them.

                            Finally, I'm in the process of trying to teach myself MVC. Yes it's another Microsoft technology and Yes, it helps to have Visual Studio as the development tool. However I'm hoping that by grasping that, I can build a site that's properly mobile/tablet-responsive.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ianbhenderson73 View Post
                              Finally, I'm in the process of trying to teach myself MVC. Yes it's another Microsoft technology and Yes, it helps to have Visual Studio as the development tool. However I'm hoping that by grasping that, I can build a site that's properly mobile/tablet-responsive.
                              Model-view-controller is NOT a Microsoft technology, it's a programming "paradigm" meant for event driven programming. Sadly, websites are NOT event driven programming in that sense, which means using MVC for building sites is a bit of a "shoehorning" of the wrong programming model into the wrong environment... and no, Visual Studio is NOT helping you do anything except make mistakes.

                              ... I used the word "paradigm" for a reason, in quotes for a reason... this is because I've even heard some people call MVC a "proactive programming method" and to be frank, well. SIMPSONS DID IT!
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKqhHhLNA7o

                              There are good concepts you can take from MVC -- separating logic control from data handling from output for example, but being server-side languages are not realtime event/input driven are are made with top down executing non-threaded languages it's just not a good match -- and the frameworks that TRY to use it (like codeignitor or laravel) are fat bloated slow train wrecks of how NOT to write back-end code.

                              The same way that front-end frameworks like bootcrap, blueprint, yui, jquery, et-al are laundry lists of how not to write front-end code.

                              Originally posted by ianbhenderson73 View Post
                              For me, tables are a quick win. Yes, I know that nowadays they're frowned upon in much the same way as iFrames are, but until I can get to grips with CSS properly I'm afraid they're here to stay.
                              If by "nowadays" you mean the past 18 years... well, to be fair people really didn't jump on the "hey, let's drag HTML back to what it's SUPPOSED to be for" bandwagon until 2003-2004 when Firefox made people start paying attention to something more than "does it work in IE". Which there was a time when that was the ONLY question that mattered!

                              I don't think it's just going to be about learning to use CSS properly, as it is using HTML properly. I used the term "non-semantic markup" but really that's just a euphemism for "You didn't use HTML for what HTML is for". The core of that is -- and I say this a lot -- "If you choose your HTML tags based on what they look like or do visually, you are choosing all the wrong tags for all the wrong reasons."

                              All the (current) tags have meanings -- Numbered headings indicate the start of subsections of the page, the number indicating what each heading is a subsection of. If you use HTML 5's pointless code-bloat new "structural" tags this changes, but without them the H1 is the heading that everything on every page of the site is a subsection of. This is why the H1 is the best choice for the site title, or logo with an image replacement technique in the CSS. An H2 indicates the start of a subsection of the h1, h3 indicate the start of a subsection of the h2 preceding it, h4 is the start of a subsection of the h3 before that, and so forth. That's why skipping over numbers going down in order (up by value) is gibberish and why if you chose them just to change the font size and/or weight, you screwed up. Similarly a horizontal rule -- <hr> -- does NOT mean "draw a line across the screen", it means a paragraph level change in content or topic where heading text is unwanted or unwarranted. Basically, you treat it like a h2.

                              Even <b>old and <i>talic actually have the semantic meaning "when text would be bold or italic for grammatical reasons in a professionally written document" -- in that way they do NOT actually mean you have to show them in bold or italic, as the device the page is being communicated on may not even be capable of that. When would <b> and <i> be appropriate? Proper names in a legal document, titles of books that are not being quoted, etc... <cite> is for when a document or person is being quoted... and you'll hear some mouth-breathers say "only use EM and STRONG" -- which is taking the actual intent, "Use EM and STRONG when their semantic meaning is more appropriate" and magically transforming it into BS. EM and STRONG mean "with emphasis" and "with MORE emphasis" respectively. You aren't emphasizing the title of a book.

                              Great example a friend wrote long ago:

                              <p><i>GURPS</i>, <b>Steve Jackson Games'</b> flagship roleplaying game, was first released in 1985. Several licensed adaptations of other companies' games exist for the system, such as <i>GURPS Bunnies and Burrows</i>. However, <b>SJ Games</b> has no connection with <b>Wizards of the Coast</b>, producers of the <i>Dungeons and Dragons</i> RPG. <em>No <i>GURPS,</i> content is open-source.</em> <strong>Do not plagiarize <b>SJ Games</b> work!</strong></p>

                              <p> is for paragraph -- aka a GRAMMATICAL paragraph, not just some random text. An image all by it's lonesome is NOT a paragraph; inputs and labels are NOT a paragraph.

                              Just as lists are for selections or short bullet points; bullet point as in the grammatical meaning, not as in "they have bullets before them". Hence if it warrants the presence of headings, it's probably NOT a "list item" <li>.

                              Worst of all though, is "wrong tags for nothing". You're abusing tables for non-tabular data, that's bad... but worse is when you do it for something that has ZERO legitimate reason to even BE a table.

                              Code:
                                  <div class="footer">
                                      <table style="width:100%">
                                          <tr style="width:100%">
                                              <td style="width:100%">
                                                  <span id="lblContactMe"><a href="../Contact.aspx" style="color: #fff7bf;text-decoration: none;font-weight: bold;">Contact me for a free consultation.</a></span>
                                              </td>
                                          </tr>
                                      </table>
                                  </div>
                              Ouch.... if it only has one TD, and every element (for no reason) is being set to full width, why is this in a table? That's one giant honking mess of nothing for what should simply be:

                              Code:
                              	<div id="footer">
                              		<hr>
                              		<a href="/Contact.aspx">
                              			Contact me for a free consultation.
                              		</a>
                              	<!-- #footer --></div>
                              The HR to say that what follows is NOT part of the content area above it. You aren't doing anything you couldn't do from the external stylesheet. If anything it might help get rid of the bizzaro scrollbars when there isn't anything to scroll.

                              ... as to why all this is so important -- using HTML properly? Web design and development is about MORE than just what it looks like. Not all users are sighted. Not all users are on devices capable of showing your designs... AND, well... the reason you started this thread: SEARCH. As I also often say, search engines don't have eyeballs. They could give a flying purple fish about your layout and style. All they have to identify what your content is and why they should care is your markup saying what things are. This is a heading, this is a paragraph, this is a change in section/topic -- they all combine to provide a "logical document structure" that ANY user agent, even non-visual ones, can use to convey that information.

                              You use the wrong tags, you're slapping a hobble skirt and ball gag on the site's ability to do what a website is for -- delivering content!

                              Originally posted by ianbhenderson73 View Post
                              I'm a software developer by trade, mostly of desktop-based applications.
                              I've been programming for what's very quickly closing on four decades, MOST of the concepts for desktop based applications do not translate to the web at all, and that includes dicking around in a IDE and/or WYSIWYG. All it will do is teach you how NOT to build a website; because one can become so obsessed with the looks you forget about structure and the non-visual aspect of what a website IS...

                              It being free is a bit like visiting "Spike's Joint" and getting a free copy of "School Daze" for having walked in the door. "Oh it's free? That's ok, I'll pass." Particularly when there are dozens if not hundreds of perfectly good free flat text editors that when it comes to working with web content will run circles around it -- in a fraction the memory.

                              More so when it just craps on the markup from orbit with gibberish garbage that is a giant middle finger to accessibility and usability; see its ridiculous insistence on slapping a form around EVERYTHING for no legitimate reason other than to piss on accessibility from so on-high you'd think the Almighty just got back from a kegger -- and confuse the Dickens out of anyone using a non-visual UA... Search included.

                              As you seem to be at least at intermediate level in terms of HTML and CSS -- you can open/close tags without screwing it up and know the basics of applying style it seems -- you may find my article on progressive enhancement helpful:
                              Introduction / Article Index - Progressive Enhancement - CUTCODEDOWN

                              It outlines the process by which I build websites, explaining step by step the how/what/why of the choices made in a fictional sample site. Fictional... right... It does so in the process explaining semantic markup and progressive enhancement, so that the page gracefully degrades to any and all possible targets. (or at least as many as it practical and practiceable)

                              Really though, if you care about search and delivering content to users, you need to take a step back and learn the MEANING of HTML tags so you can use them properly; something dicking around in a visual tool/IDE just isn't going to teach you.

                              Again, search engines don't have eyes.
                              Walk the dark path, sleep with angels, call the past for help.
                              https://cutcodedown.com
                              https://medium.com/@deathshadow

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