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Hints & Tips For Running A Website

Introduction

This website will give you a series of hints and tips for running your website, it will cover many different areas from basic html to a little php and much more.

Organised Directories

If you have A large website, with many different sections its always best to use directories to keep yourself organised.

The best thing to do is to start off by creating a folder called lib or something and in that folder putting files such as your css files, images, config files and things like that.

And then If you just have a non dynamic website and you update it manually say you have have a tutorials section, create a directory called tutorials This makes life much more easier for yourself when it comes to updating your site. Also don't be afraid to have a directory within a directory.

Using Includes

What this does is it includes a single file into a webpage once, make your your website page has a .php extension, You select the area of code you want to include on every page and replace it with the code below changing thee name of you php file.

I find using includes a life saver, The best thing to do is to use includes for your navigation areas and your copyrights, this makes it so much faster when it comes to updating a link or your copyright. Also its simple to do, put the your navigation in a file and save it as navigation.php then put this in a folder such as your lib folder and then in your page where the navigation was add this code:
PHP Code
1
<? include ("lib/navigation.php"?>


User Accessability

One of the main things to consider when making a website should be user accesability, your user needs to be able to find their way around your site easily and quickly without getting lost, So a good idea is to have a breadcrumb this is a bar at the top of your page which displays the links a user has been on to get to that page so is they are viewing a tutorial on PHP includes your breadcrumb might look like this:
Home Tutorials PHP PHP Includes
And make sure each title links back to its original page.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Everyone who has a website wants to have their website listed on search engines, but it wont just list itself you have to do a little bit of work. To start of you have to place some things called meta tags in the <head> sections of your webpages. Meta tags are basically information about your website that search engines use to pick up your website and list it in search engines.

Below is a template for meta tags for you to use:

Code

<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Your website keywords go here separated with commas">
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Your website description goes here">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Language" CONTENT="EN">
<META NAME="author" CONTENT="you@yourdomain.com">
<META NAME="revisit-after" CONTENT="3 days">
<META NAME="copyright" CONTENT="Copyright To Your Website">
<META NAME="robots" CONTENT="FOLLOW,INDEX">


The keywords tell the search engines wha your sites about, try not to repeat words in this and make sure you seperate them with commas.

The language is simple, just enter the language of your website.

The authour is self explained, just enter your domain in it.

The revisit tells the searh engine to revisit to check for content updates, change this on how often you update your website.

Then enter your websites copyright.

Then the last bit tells the search engine to follow the links in your website and index the content on them.

Once you have inserted meta tags into your pages you then have to submit your site to search engines, below are a list of direct links to submit your site directly to major search engines:
Google
MSN
Ditto
Yahoo

Use Of Images

Try to keep the ammount of images that you use on your website to a minimum, this is because they take a long time to load and use large amounts of bandwidth, its ok to use a couple of images for logos etc but Its not a good idea to have a graphic rich website.

User Interaction

User interaction is very important, some of the best ways are to have a guestbook, shoutbox, forum or blog, this is where you can post things and users can post things back, this is a great way to make your website seem more active and to get feedback

Use Of Forms

This is a great way for people to contact you and give you feedback, i visit many websites and when i click on contact outlook express opens and it inserts their email address. This puts many people off, these days a large percentage of people use webmail and it is so much easier if people can just fill out a form, by using a form you will get lots more feedback than just leaving an email address.

Valid Code

Valid code is always a good thing to have, this makes your site look more professional, it makes your site load faster and it creates less errors websites that have un-valid code often tend to lots slower.
For help with valid code visit W3 Schools

Increasing Load Speed

Its very easy to increase the speed of your website, increase it by:
Having Valid code
Using few images
Use little coding (XHTML & CSS Minimizes amounts of code)
Dont use java applets or other scripts which will take time to load.

Anyway That concludes this tutorial, keep looking out for more.
Oliver
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Posted on Saturday 1st September 2007 at 06:00 AM
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