If you build good content, they will come.

You’ve been hired to make a web site for a client. They want something attractive, easy to use and they want good search engine ranking. So you get right to work. You design an amazing graphical layout and add all lots of useful features using Ajax and javascript. Now, for the search engine optimization.

Wait one minute. Back it up Barney Rubble. If you’re going to be efficient in what you do, you need to start thinking about search engines at the very beginning before anything else you do. The single most important aspect of designing web sites is writing good content. I know, I know. You’ve heard this before, but what does it really mean? There is one easy way to figure out if you’ve achieved good content: Read your site as if you were a search engine.


New Category: SEO

I’ve added a new category, that I will start filling with things I’ve learned over the years on the topic of Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is a mysterious subject that seems to baffle a lot of web developers and designers. There are no magic formulas or special code that you can add to your site to make it instantly popular. There are several steps that you can take as a developer, designer and site owner to improve your ranking in search engines. This new category will discuss techniques that will help you and your web site.

More to come soon…


George Street Naturopathic Medicine

I don’t always post when I launch a new site, however I decided that perhaps I would start posting links to new sites when I launch them. I appreciate feedback on the design and coding of the site.

The site was designed for my good friend Joanna Thiessen. George Street Naturopathic Medicine is a naturopathic health centre in Waterloo, Ontario.

I was asked to create a design using the idea of an old house and something traditional rather than flashy and modern. Greens and browns were requested for the main colours of the site.

After coming up with a mock-up design in Photoshop, I sliced it up and created the HTML and CSS. You may want to have a look at the source of this site. A couple things that I’m somewhat proud of:

  • As on most of my sites, I’ve replaced the h1 title with an image, yet ensured that it’s still readable by search engines and screen readers.
  • The pageTop1 div is what I use to display the photo in the top right corner. I’ve designed it this way so that this image is easily substituted, or dropped completely, without any effect on the rest of the design.
  • I used an address tag to display the address under the logo at the top. As more devices are able to browse the web, and with more software like Google Maps I’m sure that address tags will provide more useful information than a p tag or regular div.

I appreciate any comments or suggestions you may have for me regarding this site.