Sitemaps: The Spider Webs of Organization

sitemapAs if creating, designing and editing content isn’t enough to worry about, there’s also the important task of organizing it. That’s where sitemaps come into play.

A sitemap is a page where you keep a list of all the important pages on your site. Much like a table of contents page, it’s a place where users can find a comprehensive list of all your content and find what they’re looking for. Depending on the size of your site, it’s acceptable to have multiple sitemaps for the sake of simplicity and ease. Remember, adding new pages to your site means that your sitemap should also be updated.

Some myths to keep in mind: Adding a link on your sitemap doesn’t guarantee that Google will crawl it. Adding links to a sitemap is not an easy fix to get your content crawled and indexed. Instead of waiting for it to happen, you have to actually have to go out there and create or earn it. This is where link building comes into play. The more relevant links that are pointing to your web page, the more likely it is to get indexed.

Google also likes it if you have a sitemap.xml file. In here, you’ll keep track of your pages along with a note of how often you update the page (monthly, weekly, daily, never). This is all fine for record keeping but like so many other things they’re so cryptic about, Google doesn’t explicitly say that having an updated sitemap.xml file will help your rankings in any way. Go figure…

There are many tools and free resources you can use to automatically generate a sitemap file for your site. Remember to use them with caution and review before updating. You can use a free broken link checker like Link Sleuth to make sure that every link works before making it live!

The Difference Between Web Development and Web Design

Emarketed web design and developmentYour clients have a misunderstanding between web development and web design – ever had this problem? It’s important to explain the difference between these two services because the terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

What do you think is the best way to explain web development and web design?

An Eye for Website Design
When people talk about “web design”, they often refer to the look and feel of a site. This means all the creative and visual elements of a website. In (very) broad terms, web design can be like planning out something in print. This means arranging the layout of the site and other graphic elements. To what degree that designers should know how to code is highly debatable…

Web Development Is…

Web development usually refers to the programming of a site to ensure that everything is working. This occurs in the “back end” of the site where all the content is added. Developers use script languages like PHP to make this all happen. When it comes to coding and programming, web developers take it to another level to make sure that these designs are functional. Without efficient development, the vision of your web design can’t fully be realized.

Finding Balance with Search Engine Friendly Web Design
So now that you know that web development and design have to work together, what do you get? Search engine friendly web design is when your site is fully optimized for search engines, as well as human visitors. Customers will take interest in your appealing web design while developers make sure that they find what they are looking for and that it’s working. If you think that websites have to be one or the other, you’re wrong. Read our previous post on bad website design. Some people may consider the design aspect more of an art and the development part to be more technical. What’s wrong with having both sets of skills or wearing two different “hats”? Finding a balance can be a good thing.

Check out some more discussion on what designers and developers should know about their respective fields.