David Herron is a blogger, software engineer, electric vehicle enthusiast, and energy healer.

Search engines and finding your readership

Once you have your web content, organized into the pages of a web site, and hosted on a web server, well, then what?

Web servers and hosting your web site

A "web server" is a computer and the specialized software that responds to web page requests, sending back the web page and any related data. Web servers, well, they service requests made by users with web browsers. When a request arrives at the web server, the server software looks at the request, decides what to do, and sends back a response. Usually the web server sends back an HTML or image file, but the response can be more complicated like making database queries, constructing a chart of data, etc.

URL's, the address for your or any web site

The Uniform Resource Locator, URL for short, is a rather technical sounding name. The resource being located are, essentially, web pages. The URL is the string shown at the Location Bar in web browsers. You know, the ones that start with "http://" and "www.".

Putting pictures on your web pages

There are two ways images are used on web sites. Or maybe it's three ways. The first way is for "ambiance", such as background images or images used to create drop-shadow effects around borders. The second are logos and other "branding" elements. The last are cases where a picture is a primary element on a web page.

To HTML and the web browser, it doesn't matter what the purpose for a specific image is. It is included in the web page using the same method.

HTML, the underlying format for web pages

HTML and is a standard which is the formatting system used in web pages. Perhaps it is unfortunate, but there are many website tasks requiring that you know how to read and edit HTML files. Fortunately HTML is relatively simple if a bit arcane.

The first thing to do is to use the menu choice "VIEW / VIEW PAGE SOURCE" (the exact wording may be different based on your web browser). There, wasn't that confusing? You're probably not going to need to know much about this, but it is the underlying encoding of a web page.

Finding pleasing color combinations

I think one key to having a nice looking web site, is for the color combinations to be pleasing or to otherwise convey what you're wanting to convey. The color choices on a web site are kind of like the soundtrack to a movie. You don't really notice the movie soundtrack, usually, but the soundtrack is vital to conveying the tone of each scene.

Speaking for myself, I really don't have a clue how to pick compatible colors. I've looked but haven't found any books to help me learn about this.

Common HTML design elements

Let's look at the basic HTML design elements. We're not going to look at the HTML coding, but just what are the capabilities of HTML are. It's these basic design elements which you use to put together web pages. Just like learning to play the piano means learning "the scales", so does building web pages mean learning the basics.

Buyers guide to WYSIWYG web editors

One of the preferred ways to build a web site is to use WYSIWYG web editing software. This software provides an experience similar to the typical "word processor", but with features specific to editing web sites. While many word processors today can produce HTML output, they are not suitable for regular web site building tasks. Unfortunately they lack a whole slew of useful features and will make for an unpleasant experience in maintaining your web site. So:

Do not use a word processor (e.g. Star Office, Microsoft Word, etc)

Keyword research tools to help you optimize your page ranking

Getting organic traffic is an excellent way to build traffic to your site. Organic traffic are visitors coming through search engines, where they are querying looking for something, the search engine lists your site as a possible result, and they get to your site. Getting good organic traffic means matching the keywords in your site content, with the phrases your desired visitors are using in their queries. Carefully targeting niche keyword phrases can also pay off, if those phrases are not heavily covered.

Section Targeting (Google)

"Section Targeting" is a feature Google offers which helps with one of the tricky problems in writing web site content. How is the search engine going to know which part of the page is the important content? To a human reading a web page it's obvious, but to the computer software running the search engine it isn't.

There's a rule of thumb people suggest to ensure the important content appears early within the data that makes the web page. But that's not always possible because depending on the way your pages are laid out.

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