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Posted By Doteasy

author: Kathy

If you've ever wanted to rank higher on the search engines, you’ve likely stumbled on many guides on Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

In general, most of the SEO guides will include a "good SEO" checklist:

  • Links
  • Content is King
  • Sitemaps
  • Keywords in your URL
  • H1 instead of H2

And you're probably wondering what about META tags.

Background Info

The META tag was a way to insert text into an HTML page that is only visible to search engines crawlers. Four of the seven major crawlers in the mid-1990s supported the META tag. Unfortunately, the tag was widely abused and many of the early crawlers dropped the tag from their ranking equation. Many people also believe that newer search engines never even considered meta keyword tags in their ranking logarithm.

So, is META tags really not worth the trouble or time anymore?

What Google has to say

As Google is the dominant search engine, we want to see what Google has to say about META tags.

Here are some articles found on the official Google Blog:

So, now we know Google does consider the Title and META description tags.

<meta name="description" content="A description of the page">

This tag provides a short description of the page. In some situations the META description is used as a part of the snippet shown in the search results.

For more reading:

<title>The title of the page</title>

Although the <Title> tag is not technically a meta tag, it is often used with the description tag. The contents of this tag are generally shown as the title in search results and in the user's browser when visiting the page or viewing bookmarks.

For more reading:

Example:

Doteasy.com Search Result on GoogleDoteasy.com Search Result on Google showing Title tag and Meta Description tag

What about ALT attributes?

ALT tags are "alternative information" source for images on your website. Not all intended audience see the images on your website: people who have chosen to disable images in their browsers, people using text-to-speech browsers, and search engine crawlers. The Google crawler, or Googlebot, does not see your images but rather it looks at the ALT attribute for a text equivalent of the image to determine what it is about. Thus having an ALT attribute is useful especially for Google Images ranking.

For more reading:

Did you know…

The Doteasy Website Creator supports META tags and the Image Utility in your Doteasy Hosted Blog supports ALT attributes.

Even though META tags and ALT attributes do not play a big part in your search engine ranking, it's always better to have proper tags than no tags at all.


 
Posted By Doteasy

author: Kathy

It happens to all of us - you visit a new website, you love the colors but no matter how many times you try, you just can’t seem to replicate the color(s) in Photoshop, etc.

Do you really have to read through the page’s source code and CSS file to get the right color? No. What you need is the ColorZilla extension for Firefox.

The ColorZilla extension helps you get a color reading from any point in your browser.

Love that green in the Doteasy logo?

ColorZilla color grab

With ColorZilla, you can easily get both the RGB and the HEX information.

ColorZilla is just one of the cool FireFox add-ons that we’ve tried and fell in love with. Other ones that we use on a daily basis include:

  • Web Developer Toolbar - adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools
  • FireShot - take and edit screenshots without leaving your browser. Screenshots can be uploaded, saved, copied, emailed or sent to an external editor for further processing
  • MeasureIt - you get the pixel width and height of any elements on a webpage
  • Firebug - edit, debug and monitor CSS, HTML and JavaScript live
  • FireFTP - a free FTP client for FireFox

For more FireFox add-ons, check out: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/


 
Posted By Doteasy

author: Kathy

A hit counter can tell you the number of hits (or visits) to your website, but if you want to learn about your website traffic and what visitors are doing on your website, you will need to use an analytics application or tool.

Clients on our Ultra or Unlimited Hosting plans can use Webalizer, included in their Site Admin Panel. But Webalizer is not included in the Doteasy $0 Hosting plans.

Well, here are some website statistics applications and tools you can try:

1. Crazy Egghttp://crazyegg.com

Crazy Egg is a web traffic visualization tool. By pasting a line of javascript on your webpage, you can learn what visitors are doing on your website. Crazy Egg gives you reports on where visitor click on your website. This helps you figure out your visitors usage pattern and the hotspots on your website.

2. Compete - http://www.compete.com/

Want to see how your website measures up to the competition? Compare competitors’ websites on Compete.com.

3. Google Analytics - http://www.google.com/analytics/

Learn about where your visitors come from and how they interact with your website. All you have to do is copy and paste the Google Analytics tracking code into each of your website pages and tracking begins immediately.

4. SiteCounterhttp://www.statcounter.com/

Similar to Google Analytics, all you need to do is copy and paste a simple code on your web page to get reports on visits, page views, and referring source to your website. 

5. Clicky Web Analyticshttp://getclicky.com

You are given two lines of HTML code to place on your website. The code then lets Clicky monitor all your site traffic, including each individual visitor’s usage and action. You can get your stats via the account dashboard or have Clicky send them to you via RSS feeds.


These are just a few of the website statistic tools and programs out there that I have personally tried. If you have tried other ones and would like to share it with other Doteasy members, please feel free to do so.


 
Posted By Doteasy

Background Info

1. What is a MX record?

An MX record is also called a Mail Exchange Record. It is a record in a domain name system (DNS) specifying how emails for that particular domain should be routed.

Each MX record contains a priority and a host name. Together, they specify which server(s) is to receive emails for a domain and their priority relative to each other (smaller preference number = higher priority).

 

Making Changes

1. Where do I make the changes?

You can make MX record changes using the DNS Panel in your Member Zone.

DNS Panel

**Any changes you make to your MX record or DNS records will interrupt your Doteasy hosting services (email and/or website). If you are not 100% sure, please do not change any of the settings. Instead, contact us and let us further assist you.

 

2. How do I change my MX record?

Once you have logged into your Doteasy Member Zone and selected the DNS Panel option from the Domain menu, scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see the Change MX Records section.

Change MX Record

** You will need to delete the existing Doteasy mail server entry before adding you new MX record.

 

3. How long does it take for the changes to take effect?

MX record changes may take up to 24 hours to propagate throughout the Internet.

 

Common Questions

1. I want to use Google Apps as my domain’s email service.

If you want to use Google Apps as your domain’s email service, you will need to change your MX records to point to Google’s mail servers.

  1. Sign in to your Doteasy Member Zone and go to the DNS record maintenance page.
  2. Delete the existing Doteasy mailserver record using the Delete function.
  3. Click on the Add button and enter the new MX records entries as per Google's instructions. Do not include the trailing dot (.). The Doteasy DNS Control Panel has been setup to handle all record formatting for you. Including the trailing dot as per Google’s instructions will result in entry errors.
  4. Save the changes.

Keep in mind that MX record changes may take up to 24 hours to propagate throughout the Internet.

 

2. Can I point my MX record to an IP?

It is not possible to have an MX record pointing directly to an IP address.

If your new MX record is an IP address, you will first need to create an A record for the IP address before you can setup the MX record.

To do so,

    1. Under Change A and CNAME Records, click on the Add button.
    2. Enter the hostname as the “Source” and an IP address as the “Destination”. When you are ready, click on the Submit button.
    3. Under Change MX Records, delete the existing Doteasy mail server entry.
    4. Then, click on the Add button to setup a new MX record to point to the A record you have just created.

 
Posted By Doteasy

SimpleViewer is a free, customizable Flash image viewing application. SimpleViewer is supported on all Doteasy web hosting plans, including the Doteasy $0 Hosting.

Doteasy Installation Tutorial

A client emailed us the other day asking if there is a way to have SimpleViewer as his website with navigation for the individual photo albums he has uploaded to his website.

Can this be done? Yes.

There are actually a few ways of doing it.

Using a Menu Page Link

One way is to create a menu page link on all albums’ index.html page. Example

This is done by adding the following lines directly before the <div id="flashcontent"> tag on the index.html files:

Note that if you want the menu page link to show up on all your albums, you will need to add the code on all of the index.html files.

This also means that if you add new albums to your website later on, you will need to manually update the links in each and every index.html file.

Using a Menu Gallery

Another way is to create a SimpleViewer menu gallery and insert <A> tags in the caption to link to individual albums. You will get this:

simpleviewer

What did we do?

  1. Create individual albums as you normally would.

  2. Create a menu gallery as you would for a normal photo album. This menu gallery includes one image from each of the individual albums.

  3. Open the gallery.xml file and edit the <caption> lines:


  4. Upload the contents of this menu gallery album directly to the root directory on the server and test the links by visiting your website.

* Caption text can include a limited set of HTML formatting, including hyperlinks, line breaks, font tags, bold, underline and italics. However, you must wrap HTML formatted text inside a CDATA tag, <![CDATA[....]]>, like the one above.

To add more albums later on, all you need to do is update this menu gallery with the new image and caption.

For more SimpleViewer customization how-to’s: http://www.airtightinteractive.com/simpleviewer/faq.html


 


 
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