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5 Simple Web Rules

Web development has evolved from the early years when you could build and post a web page, list it in a search engine, and have it appear instantly in the search results. We have moved from html text only sites, to sites built entirely with graphics, to a combination of html text and graphics. Following these 5 simple web development rules will give your site an edge over your competition.

Rule #1: Avoid using HTML Frames

Search engine crawlers typically crawl web pages through hyperlinks. The first page of a website built using frames has no hyperlinks, only references to other web pages.

<frameset cols="80,*">
<frame name="home" noresize src="links.html">
<frameset rows="80,*">
<frame name="top" noresize src="top.html">
<frame name="content" noresize src="content.html">

Also, if someone in cyberspace happens to link directly to one of your "content" web pages, the navigation (left and/or top frame) will be missing, leaving the user unable to find the other pages of your Web site.

Rule #2: Include a DOCTYPE

Web coding has evolved along with the web browsers which translate the coding. DOCTYPE's tell the browser which coding scheme was used to build the web pages i.e. HTML or XHTML, Transitional or Strict. DOCTYPE's are typically place at the top of the coding. A sample DOCTYPE looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">

More information about DOCTYPES's can be found at

Rule #3: Incorporate Meta Tags, H1, H2, H3, Alt, and Hyperlink Title Tags

The TITLE and META Description tags are the two most important meta tags. Create unique tags for each page of the website and coordinated the keywords in these tags with the page's H1 heading, the photograph's alt tags, and the web content. Add title tags to hyperlinks where appropriate.

Rule #4: Use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to Format your Pages

Use a separate file for the CSS coding and attach it to your web pages in the <head></head> section. Using CSS and placing it is separate files reduces the size of your web files, giving  the  search engine spiders  less coding to crawl and enabling them to find your content faster.

<link href="home.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">

There are many websites offering tutorials on using CSS. Use the search function above to find the best ones, then spend  time understanding the system. Below is a simplified CSS file. Notice that tags can be grouped together on one line or placed on separate lines. Find a structure that works for you...

/* --------- BODY ------------ */
body {
margin:40px 0px 0px 0px; padding:0px;;
font-family:Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;color:#00334d;
a:link      { color:#ff0000;text-decoration:underline; }
a:visited     { color:#ff0000;text-decoration:underline; }
a:hover     { color:#ffff00;text-decoration:underline; }
/* --------- CONTENT ------------ */
.container {
border:10px solid #ffffff;width:900px;background-color:white; margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;
h1 {
font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;margin:0px 0px 16px 0px;
h2 {
font-size:16px;font-weight:bold;margin:4px 0px 8px 0px;text-align:left;
.txt {

Rule #5: Include a Site Map

A hyperlink from your home page to a site map gives search engine crawlers an easy way to find all of your web pages. Place a maximum of 100 hyperlinks in your site map. Have more than 100 pages? Setup more site map(s).

Posted on July 3, 2009 | Permalink | Join email list

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