VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 5 POSTED ON: 9/21/2011
Dreamweaver CS4 Level 1 - Session #8 Instructor: Kevin Wind Overview Websites are a combination of multiple pages linked together. Up to this point, we have focused on designing pages and entering their content, but have not linked multiple pages together. This session we will focus on connecting pages, other sites, and files using various types of hyperlinks. Included in this session are: • Review of Session #7 • Selecting a Web Host • Meta Tags and SEO • Connecting to a Remote Server • Usability Tests • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) • Choosing a Domain Name • Alternate Marketing Avenues Review Session #7 Last week we discussed a variety of topics, including: • What are the Benefits of Using Templates • Creating a Page Based on a Template • Creating a Dreamweaver Template • Updating the Template Meta Tags and Search Engine Optimization First of all, don't let me mislead you, meta tags are not the "magic bullet" that will skyrocket your site to the top of all search page listings. They are a tool that will help improve your standings in search engines that use them. Use them with other marketing strategies to garner more page views. Another thing to remember: most search engines look at the body of text on your pages, as well as the page title. They take this information as higher relevance than any meta tags. So, be sure to always have a relevant <TITLE> on your pages, and relevant content in the body of the page. This will improve your rankings more than just meta tags alone. What is a Meta Tag? A meta tag is a hidden tag that lives in the <HEAD> of an HTML document. It is used to supply additional information about the HTML document. The meta tag has three possible attributes content, http-equiv, and name. Meta tags always provide information in a name/value pair. The name and http-equiv attributes provide the name information and the content provides the value information. Meta tags do not have a closing tag. Content: This attribute will always be found in a well formed meta tag. It provides the value information in the name/value pair. It can be any valid string, which you should enclose in quotes. Name: This is the name portion in the name value pair. You can use any name that you would like or that might be useful to you. Some common names are: • keywords - words that identify what the page is about, usually used in search engines <meta name="keywords" content="HTML, HTML help, meta tags, promotion, web sites"> • description - a short description of the page <meta name="description" content="Boost your marketing strategy with meta tags"> • author - the author's name and possibly email address <meta name="author" content="Jennifer Kyrnin"> How to Use a Meta Tag Meta tags are included in the <HEAD> of an HTML document. If you are using meta tags to improve your standing in search engines, then you should focus on your description and keywords. Use the description tag to describe what your page is about. Engines that use it will supply the content of this tag when displaying a list of links. For example, if you do a search on About.com, you will see the description listed on the search results page. Keywords help search engines to categorize your site, and to allow people to find your pages more quickly. However, most search engines have limits as to how many meta keywords are viewed. It is a good idea to review your keywords and make sure that they are as concise and specific as possible. Usability Tests Choosing a Domain Name Prior to publishing any site to the web, testing needs to take place. There are a few things to consider when choosing a domain name You should verify the following items: for your web site. Some items are: • Content of the pages is correct (spelling, grammar, • Your Domain Name should be your web site name formatting, etc.) • Generic Names vs. Brand Name Domain • Verify that all of the site links are working properly • Long or Short Domain • Make sure all areas of your site are accessible • COM, ORG, NET, etc. In addition to checking the functionality of the site, you should also For a complete explanation of these items, refer to try to test the usability of the site. Usability Tests put regular uses http://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/domainname.shtml. on the site, and ask them to perform real-life tasks. For example, if the site is an informational site about American history, you may ask the user to find when the Declaration of Independence was signed. If it is an e-commerce site, ask them to find all items that are currently on sale. Do not interfere with how users progress through the test, wait till the end and gather any feedback they would have. Selecting a Web Host What are some of the things you should look for when choosing a web host? • Advertising - Most free web hosts impose advertising on your website. This is done to cover the costs of providing your site the free web space and associated services. • Amount of Web Space - Does it have enough space for your needs? If you envision that you will expand your site eventually, you might want to cater for future expansion. Most sites use less than 5MB of web space. Thefreecountry.com used less than 5MB of space although it had about 150 pages on the site. Your needs will vary, depending on how many pictures your pages use, whether you need sound files, video clips, etc. • FTP Access - Some free hosting providers only allow you to design your page with their online builder. While this is useful for beginners, do you have the option to expand later when you become experienced and their online page builder does not have the facility you need? FTP access, or at the very least, the ability to upload your pages by email or browser, is needed. • Reliability and Speed - Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime (the time when it is functional). Look for a minimum uptime of 99%. In fact, even 99% is actually too low - it really should be 99.5% or higher. • Data transfer - Data transfer (sometimes loosely referred to as "traffic" or "bandwidth") is the amount of bytes transferred from your site to visitors when they browse your site. To give you a rough idea of the typical traffic requirements of a website, most new sites use less than 3GB of bandwidth per month. Your traffic requirements will grow over time, as your site becomes more well- known (and well-linked), so you will need to also check their policy for overages: is there a published charge per GB over the allowed bandwidth? Is the charge made according to actual usage or are you expected to pre-pay for a potential overage? • Price and Payment Plans - Most web hosts allow you to select an annual payment plan that gives you a cheaper rate than if you were to pay monthly. My current personal preference is to pay monthly with all new web hosts until I'm assured of their reliability and honesty. Paying monthly allows me to switch web hosts quickly when I find that the current host does not meet my requirements: this way, I'm not tied down to a bad web host because I have prepaid for an entire year. I do this even if the new web host guarantees that they will refund the balance if I'm dissatisfied, since at the point I sign up, I have no assurance that they will honor their guarantee. Task: Navigate to GoDaddy.com and look at their pricing plans. Notice the different options and how they change from one price plan to the next. Connecting to a Remote Site You’ve now created a small but functional website. The next step is to publish it by uploading the files to a remote web server. Before you can proceed, you must have access to a remote web server (such as your ISP’s server, or a server owned by the client you’re working for, or an intranet server within your company, or an IIS or PWS server on a Windows computer). If you don’t already have access to such a server, contact your ISP, your client, or your system administrator. To connect to a remote site: • Choose Site ð Edit Sites. • Select a site (such as Global Car Rental) and click Edit. • You’ve already filled in the first few steps in the Basic tab, when you set up your local site, so click Next a few times, until the Sharing Files step is highlighted at the top of the wizard. • In the pop-up menu labeled “How do you connect to your remote server?” choose a method for connecting to the remote site. The most common method for connecting to a server on the Internet is FTP; the most common method for connecting a server on your intranet is Local/Network. If you aren’t sure what to choose here, ask the server’s system administrator. • If you choose FTP, enter the following options: o Enter the hostname of the server (such as ftp.macromedia.com). o In the text box that asks what folder contains your files, enter the path on the server from the ftp root folder to the remote site’s root folder. If you’re not sure, consult your system administrator. In many cases, this text box should be left blank. o Enter your user name and password in the appropriate text boxes and click Test Connection. o If the connection is unsuccessful, consult your system administrator. • If you choose Local/Network, then click the folder icon next to the text box and browse to the remote site’s root folder. • Click Next. • Don’t enable check-in and check-out for this site. If you and your co-workers are working together on a larger site, check-in and check-out help to prevent you from overwriting each others’ files. For this site, though, you don’t need this feature. Click Next. • Click Done to finish setting up the remote site. • Click Done again to finish editing the site. Uploading Pages to a Remote Site Once a connection to the remote site on the web server is established, you can send files to the web server, or retrieve files from the server. • In the Site panel, select the site’s local root folder and click the Put button to upload all of the site’s files and folders • You may upload individual files that contain changes by selecting those specific files and clicking the Put button • Open your remote site in a browser to make sure everything uploaded correctly Note: You may also use the Expanded Site Files window to manage your files on the web server. Once you have established the connection to the web server, click the Expand button within the Site panel to see both Local and Remote files at the same time. At this point, you can drag files back and forth to upload/download them. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Just how important is content to the search engines? We all know that well written content is paramount to maintaining repeat traffic to a web site but just what qualities pique the ‘interest' of the major search engines? This can be a convoluted topic where the unique characteristics of each search engine are considered to create highly appealing content. In most cases, however, the general concepts are all that you will need to know to attain a positive search engine placement, especially when you are focusing on less competitive goals. After all, accuracy is not always required when your target is as big as a barn and you are only a few feet away. For maximum effectiveness, content should be: • Unique - Content should be written uniquely for each page of your web site. Why? Well, when a search engine spider indexes each page, it constantly searches for any patterns that match known spam practices. For example, an old (and unfortunately still used by less knowledgeable ‘optimizers') spam tactic is to create numerous pages with basically the same content to get multiple placements under a single phrase. • Fresh - Search engines are always on the lookout for web sites that offer information useful to their users. If Google found new content every time it indexed your web site, your site would instantly gain credibility because this would indicate that your site is constantly evolving. Following the logic of a search engine (and they are all essentially logical), an evolving web site is likely to be more interesting to searchers since the content is up-to-date. • Relevant - Relevance can not be emphasized enough! It is important that when you create the copy write for a web page you try to maintain the overall relevance of the topic. In other words, if your web page has been created to describe the process of “varnishing teak” then maintain that focus throughout the copy. Do not skip to a totally unrelated topic such as (an extreme example) how to change tires… this will dilute the keywords on the page and it will make it more difficult for a visiting search engine to determine the placement that the page should achieve. • Visible - Seems simple right? Well, there are many ways to unwittingly damage the visibility of a beautifully written web site. Many of the following elements are straight out of search engine placement 101 but they must be noted: o Do Not Use Frames: There are few worse blocks to search engine indexing than framesets. If your site is using frames and all of your content is found within a frameset then you may need to reconsider a redesign. The “why” of this is simple; the home page actually has no content on it other than meta tags and a title because the page is only there to ‘call' the framesets (which are the pages with the content). o Do Not Create a Site Totally in Flash - Flash is a beautiful medium for advanced and often engaging multimedia BUT, it should not be the sole medium for your web site because the content within flash is not viewable by a search engine. If you wish to use Flash then we recommend interspersing it throughout a web site much like images are. This way you can include the same impressive interaction capabilities and you can still write your content in html; the sole medium that search engines can index. o Image ALT tags do the job somewhat by providing an ALTernative copy of the text shown in the image, however, this is a poor substitution for true visible text. o Provide Alternative Navigation Options - Most sites employ a graphical navigation method which provides a very attractive and often functional method of navigating a web site. By ALT tagging each of the menu buttons with a topical summary of the destination page, graphical menus can even be effective for search engines. The reason behind the text menu becomes clearer when you understand that hyperlinked text is more credible than a linked graphic. This is because the text within the link can be read and, as with any properly designed navigation, the menu's text link defines the topic of the destined page. Also, since this text is visible to visitors (unlike less visible ALT tags) there is less likelihood that you are trying to fool the search engines. This adds further credibility to the overall topic of the destined page which, in combination with the correctly written content, creates an even better atmosphere for top placements. o The sitemap is useful because of a certain well-known characteristic of search engines; they often take a long time to index pages that are located deep within a web site. So by creating a sitemap (preferably with text links) that is accessible from any page, you provide the search engines with a direct route to every page within your site. Not only do you facilitate a faster crawl of your web site but you provide the search engines with more text links which may further increase the credibility of your content. Alternate Marketing Avenues In addition to the various search engines, there are also other routes you can take to increase the traffic at your web site: • Build Incoming Links –refer to http://www.howipromotemywebsite.com/get-people-to-link-to-your-web-site.html • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Search Engines –refer to http://www.howipromotemywebsite.com/bid-at-pay-per-click-search-engines.html • Write a Newsletter or E-zine – for more information, refer to http://www.howipromotemywebsite.com/publish-a-newsletter.html • Viral Marketing – for more information, refer to http://www.howipromotemywebsite.com/spread-word-of-mouth.html • Use Newsgroups - There are newsgroups, bulletin boards or forums on just about every subject imaginable. A good place to start is http://groups.google.com which allows you to search all of the Usenet newsgroups for a particular term or phrase. It *is* okay to mention your website in a 2-line signature, though. • Affiliate Programs offer an incentive to drive people to your site. This simple mechanism will be sure to increase traffic by rewarding the site which sends you the visitors. Question and Answer Period We have covered a broad spectrum of topics over the past 8 sessions, if you have any remaining questions that were not discussed during the course please let me know. Course Evaluations Please include any comments regarding the course structure, topics, or exercise files – whether they are favorable or something that you feel needs to be modified.
Pages to are hidden for
"Dreamweaver CS4"Please download to view full document