Website Designers and Webmasters

Dedicated to all the tasks Webmasters, Website Developers and Website Designers find themselves facing.

By: Ashton Sanders

SEO – Where to Host Your Blog?

Nov 13 2007

Filed under: Ashton Sanders,SEO

NOTE: This post is over 2 years old and is no longer totally correct.

I know that a blog can really help to increase your website content. A blog shows the Search Engines that there is actually someone behind this website, and they actually care about their website.

When I started this blog at the beginning of this year, I was trying to research whether it was better to have two medium-content heavy sites that link to each other, or one site with all of the content.

The Setup

My main Website Design Website is Websites in a Flash. This site has 20-30 pages of content, and got approximately 400 unique visitors a month. (This is primarily from Search Engines.)

I knew that this blog would have many pages of website-terms, so I decided to host it on my Ashton Sanders website as a subdomain. The purpose of this was to see if two medium sized sites linking to each other would create an increase in unique visitors for both my Main Website and my Blog.

Results

Obviously, my Blog had an increase in visitors (because it didn’t have any before). Surprisingly, it has totally surpassed my normal website, although I guess it shouldn’t be surprising.

My Websites in a Flash website increased to about 650 Unique visitors. It also finally got back to PR4, but I’m not satisfied with that product. So, I’ve moved my blog to my Websites in a Flash Site, 301 redirects and all. I will now be testing my statistics/results on this new server, and will give you another update after 4 or 5 more months.

My findings, so far, from this test lead me to believe that it is best to have your blog on the same domain as your main website, but a final verdict will come in early 2008.

Note: After this Search Engine Optimization test, the only thing I have to test for myself if whether a blog on your website is better as a subfolder or subdomain.

-Testing the Bounds of the Internet
-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

How to Create XML Sitemaps

Sep 6 2007

Filed under: SEO,Webmaster

The purpose of XML sitemaps are to help tell the search engines about all of the pages on your website. It also helps to tell the search engines which pages you think are most important. (They won’t necessarily listen to you, but you can tell them.)

I recently found a great website that will create XML sitemaps for websites of up to 500 pages! And the best part is, it’s absolutely Free! You can by the program they made as well if your site has more pages, etc.

Check it out:

XML Sitemaps

-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

Ashton Sanders – Interview

Mar 30 2007

Filed under: Ashton Sanders

This is more of a Question and Answer with me, Ashton Sanders. Enjoy.

Q: What caused you to end up working on the Internet?

Ashton Sanders: Computers have always been my forte, and I greatly enjoy working and creating on the Internet. There is no other industry like it, and it will be one that I know I will always be learning new things about. There is no ceiling to how much I can learn and do.

Q: Why did you buy www.AshtonSanders.com?

Ashton Sanders: Ha! I bought www.AshtonSanders.com because I thought it would be a lot of fun to have and create with. I am the only Ashton Sanders who works on the Internet, (from what I could tell from the Google search) and I knew I would never forgive myself if some other Ashton Sanders bought it… or even worse, someone bought it just to spite me.

Q: What do you feel is your greatest strength in regards to Website Design and Development on the Internet?

Ashton Sanders: There are many aspects of the Internet that I am very proficient at: Website Design, PHP programming, ActionScript, Flash Animation, CSS, HTML, XHTML, etc. If I must choose one part of the Internet that I am the most proficient at, I would have to say it is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For the last couple years, I have been under the tutelage of Jere Matlock of www.WordsinaRow.com. He is the greatest SEO resource anyone could ask for, and the things that he has accomplished with his client’s websites is truly amazing. With his help, I have begun to create some equally amazing products in the field of Search Engine Optimization. I look forward to all the SEO accomplishments that I will achieve in the near future.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of Website Design and Development?

Ashton Sanders: I love it all! I love taking a blank page, and creating a place that is pleasing to look at, and entertaining to use. I love using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to simplify a website’s infrastructure and HTML Coding. I love the accomplishment of programming an elaborate PHP website that does all sorts of fun things. I love putting together an extensive Flash Movie that is entertaining, but most of all I love having fun, and giving my visitors something they can enjoy.

Q: Do you have any company policies that are different from other Website Design Companies?

Ashton Sanders: Yes, definitely! First and foremost, I always answer my cell phone. I am probably the easiest-to-reach web master on the planet. Even if I am behind on a project (not likely), I am not afraid to tell my client. I will never avoid a client for any reason. That brings up another company policy: “If you ever do anything, do it ‘In a Flash!’”

Q: Any Closing Thoughts?

Ashton Sanders: The mind can never be full. No matter how much you learn, there will always be space for more. It my personal policy to never stop learning. It doesn’t matter if I’ve never heard about the subject before, I know what everyone has to start somewhere. Why not here and now? I love expand my information on any subject!

-”Never Stop Learning… Ever!”
-Ashton Sanders”

By: Ashton Sanders

Google Webmaster Tools

Mar 13 2007

Filed under: SEO,Webmaster

Yet another reason why Google is awesome: Webmaster Tools

Webmaster tools is the greatest tool for anyone wanting to get their sites up in the search engines. Search Engine Optimizers who don’t know about this tool, aren’t really search engine optimizers.

You prove to them that you own your website in one of two ways: 1) uploading an .html document to the server with a certain name like Google2903ncvd90nk30.html or 2) add a meta tag to your home page with a similar random name. After that, Google will get you all the information that they have about your site!

The program will tell you all of the crawl errors that the Google bot has while crawling your site! So if your site has gone through a couple redesigns or upgrades, I guarantee there are pages that used to exist that Google can’t find. And everyone of those pages create a 404 error for the Google bot – which, by the way, is not good. But you’ll never know unless you get this tool and find out!

Its got endless tools like that. It has a robot.txt analysis page that will tell you if you have any problems with your robot.txt.

It will tell you how your pages are ranked by Google. It will tell you like 50% of your pages have medium page rank and the other 50% has low page rank. It will also tell you how many links you have directed to your website, and where they are coming from.

Google Webtools also has a place for you to submit your website’s site maps! (Get gsite crawler to create your sitemaps… It makes it as easy as pie.)

And I barely scratched the surface on all of the different tools available to you through webmaster tools.

Check it out
-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

Web Hosting for Websites

Mar 6 2007

Filed under: Review,Web Hosting

This is always an interesting topic because there are at least a million web hosts out there. If you do a search on Google for “web hosting,” it brings up 208,000,000 sites. (Granted, not all of those sites do web hosting, but that is still a lot of sites.) In this mess of web hosting sites, it’s actually very easy to end up with an expensive provider who provides less than others. Here are some web hosting providers that I’ve had a lot of success with:

GoDaddy: These guys have a very comprehensive website, and they are always updating it. Their website makes it very easy to do just about anything to your site. You won’t have to call tech support ever, as long as you know how to use a FAQ. Everything is there, and if you do have to call tech support, they will quickly handle your problem. They are also very cheap: Web hosting $4/month and domains $10/year. I have used Godaddy for a very long time, and have not had any major problem with them.

1and1.com: I was just introduced to this company, and they seem to have the sweetest deal on the internet. Their web hosting program allows you to host many (25 for the beginner) websites on the same hosting account. Which is amazing if you are a web designer and you have a lot of websites. To top it off that beginner account is only $3/month!! Domains are also the cheapest I’ve seen at $6/year.

It really seems too good to be true. And if it is, I’ll update this post very soon.

-Until then,
-Ashton Sanders

Click for an Updated Service Review on 1and1.com

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You have found the semi-coherent ramblings of Ashton Sanders: a website designer, developer and webmaster. This is primarily Ashton's place to save notes about techniques and things that he learns in his never-ending conquest of the internet. Hopefully it's coherent enough to be useful to you too.

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