Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4

with Paul Trani

Video: Making your site search engine-friendly

So once your site is complete and you have it uploaded and it's looking great, the next step is to make sure people who want to find you, can find you through search engines and other media. Let's take Google, for instance. The idea is once your site is uploaded, which it is, we want to be able to go to Google and search on that name. But what you need to do before you can even consider it coming up in Google is submit it. So you need to add a URL to Google.

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Watch the Online Video Course Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4
2h 41m Beginner Sep 16, 2009

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Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4 shows the basics of doing just that—building a first web site. Adobe Certified Instructor Paul Trani walks through the important steps of creating a web site from concept to publishing, using Dreamweaver CS4. He teaches how to create basic web pages, add text and image content, use Cascading Style Sheets for design and layout, create a photo gallery, and even check the final site for browser compatibility. He also demonstrates how to create a contact form to encourage viewer feedback on the site. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the Dreamweaver workspace for first-time users
  • Linking to external web pages and sites
  • Improving the presentation of text and images on the site
  • Building a layout using Cascading Style Sheets
  • Making navigation reusable across multiple pages
  • Displaying content using the Accordion widget
  • Creating a contact form and sending data from it
  • Making the final site search engine-friendly
Subject:
Web
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
Paul Trani

Making your site search engine-friendly

So once your site is complete and you have it uploaded and it's looking great, the next step is to make sure people who want to find you, can find you through search engines and other media. Let's take Google, for instance. The idea is once your site is uploaded, which it is, we want to be able to go to Google and search on that name. But what you need to do before you can even consider it coming up in Google is submit it. So you need to add a URL to Google.

That's what I want to do. I want to add my JaneDoePhotography.com to Google, so it comes up. Add your URL to Google. All I need to do is let them know of my site. Tell them here it is, here's the URL, and here is comments about it. Jane Doe is a travel writer and photographer, living in Denver, Colorado. And you submit that information to Google. Google will eventually recognize that information and index it.

But while Google is doing that, Google also gives you some Webmaster guidelines to keep in mind. These are things we should be keeping in mind and some things we might need to verify, as we have uploaded our site. The first thing is design and content guidelines. We need to make sure some technical guidelines are in place and then quality guidelines. When your site is ready, of course we've submitted it, we might consider making a sitemap using the Google Webmaster tools. We also have to make sure we met the design and content guidelines.

This is everything that I've talked about prior, which is do we have hierarchy and legible text? Is the information useful and rich and appropriate for our pages? We've used text where we need to use text instead of images to display important information. Make sure that your title elements and all attributes are descriptive and accurate. So let's verify some of that information in Dreamweaver. Here I am. In fact, I'll go to Design view on this Index page.

So this is my Home page. And I just want to check my title. In fact, what I can do is I can go to Page Properties, down to Title and Encoding as well. So right here, Jane Doe Photography. I might want to say Jane Doe Photographer and Travel Writer. Click Apply. So I've applied that to that page. In fact, it's listed in the title up here.

So I want to do that across the board. About Jane Doe, Photographer and Travel Writer, for all of these pages. It might look like I'm repeating information and I am, but the more information I have about Jane Doe being a photographer and travel writer, the better chance she'll have of coming up in a search engine.

So that looks pretty good for the most part. All of these pages have a correct title, which it has to be one of the most important things. Like Google's guidelines, we're saying make sure the content is relevant, make sure all of my images have Alt tags, so I can select this image, and down here, the Alt tag is Jane Doe and again, I can do Photographer and Travel Writer. I need to make sure this has some of the same words, because Google will come in and it will start scanning this page and it's able to read all of this information.

So if somebody is looking for Jane Doe, there is a good chance they will find this page, because of the information here and how there is a hierarchy of information. So this line, for instance, the format is Heading 1. Well, Google is going to know it's Heading 1. It's going to know that it's a very sort of prominent line on the page and it's going to count toward this page's advantage, when someone searches on any of this information. Some other things to remember is just to remove any extraneous text such as this homepage text down here, and really just have appropriate content on a page.

In fact, not only do I need appropriate content on all these pages, I need to make sure other people are linking to these pages. The more people that are linking to my site, that brings up my page ranking, when somebody searches on Jane Doe. So that looks pretty good. In fact, I'll save this page. I'll go to the About page and again it's just a matter of going through and double-checking everything and making sure everything looks good, make sure I have heading tags, whether it's Heading 1 or additional headings, I want to make sure those are in place, make sure the title is appropriate for all of these pages.

Once you've done that, you've done the basics as far as content and then imagery. Now, another thing I want to do is I want to insert HTML, something more descriptive. In fact, I want to insert a description, because now that I have all this data on this page and search engines might potentially find this page, I want to make sure the description that's listed is appropriate and we'll hopefully encourage the user to click on this link. So the page description is the description that appears in Google when you do a search.

For this page, I went to HTML > Head Tags down to Description and this is where I want to type in the description. Jane Doe is a photographer and travel writer that has been published in major publications for the past 15 years, something like that. So again, I want to make sure I have her name in here.

It's also in the Heading tag here as well as the Title of the page. I want her name to come up if anybody does a search. And really, it's the relevance. Obviously, there is going to be more people or more sites fighting over the word photographer than there is Jane Doe. So I'm being more reasonable thinking that this site might come up when somebody searches on Jane Doe, especially Jane Doe photographer. With that being said, there is that information and I can just make sure to copy that information and then I'll save this page, but I want to make sure a description is on every single one of these pages.

I don't really want to copy the same thing. Google is going to think that I'm trying to trick it to hopefully help my page ranking, when really Google wants you to be honest and it wants you to just put in a correct description of each page. We need to fix this. I'm going to still say she is a photographer and travel writer, living in Denver, Colorado with her husband and the two dogs. And again, on down the line, Portfolio page, Insert > HTML > Head Tags > Description. Jane Doe has an extensive travel portfolio of over 60 countries.

Last page, I'll save this one. Insert > HTML > Head Tags, down to Description, Jane Doe can be reached for any project. So I've repeated a couple of words here and this is okay. I don't want to really trick Google, but in general, I want this page to be descriptive still of her and that she can be reached or contacted.

So, really it's all about being honest with your pages and taking all these pages, saving them and then uploading them. Once that's done and I can just come over here and select these multiple pages that I've just changed and upload them. Again, since I have registered my site with Google already and have adhered to some of these Webmaster guidelines, my site should come up or at least have a better chance of coming up in a search engine.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4 .


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Q: After creating the website as instructed in the tutorial, and uploading the site to the internet, the website does not seem to work for every browser. How can one make sure that the website will work for all browsers?
A: An important step when creating a website is to check for browser compatibility. To do so in Dreamweaver, go to Window > Results > Browser Compatibility. Click the Play icon in the left corner then go to Settings and target the browsers you¹re after. Then hit the Play button to run it and check the page that’s open. If there’s an issue, best-case scenario, it should show you what the issue is and link out to a solution. Worst case is that it’s a pretty unique issue, in which case further troubleshooting would be needed.

Q: The background image is tiling, instead of being one large image. How is this corrected in Dreamweaver?
A: This can be corrected by using a larger image, something around 1024x768 that will fill up most of the monitor space. The issue is that the background image is just too small. Note that tiling of the background image can be turned off in the CSS Panel, but that would only result in a single small image. So it’s better to just use a larger image for the background.
Q: When trying to import SWF content, I get a message: “This file is outside the root folder of site ‘xxxxx’ and may not be accessible when you publish the site.” What is causing this?
A: Make sure your SWF file (and all files you put on a page) are located in your local site. Basically make sure you set up a local site in the site panel. It will ask where to put your local site on your computer. Just make sure you SWF is in that folder and you won’t get that error.
 
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