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Thou Shalt Not - v.2002

what not to do as a new webmaster

     
7:19 pm on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Once upon a time, we had a thread called Thou Shalt Not [webmasterworld.com], highlighting techniques and approaches that an SEO should not do. It is a bit outdated, although still some very good stuff there.

Anyway, here is an updated list of what not to do, get suckered by, or be tempted to do as a new webmaster:

Thou Shalt Not:

1) Worry excessively about submitting your site. Submit home page once to the major engines and then forget about it

2) Try to build a site that targets every topic on the planet. Focus, focus, focus! Build additional sites if necessary.

3) Spend money on technology, gizmos, wizbangs, and services that you don't understand how they will help you or what kind of return you will get on your money

4) Pay Looksmart anything

5) Design slow loading websites (unless your target audience is almost exclusively broadband)

6) Design ego centric sites that flout company gibberish that the site user cares nothing about

7) Submit your site to Free for All link farms or any other kind of immediate inbound link gratification service that will only get you bound.

8) Use hidden or ultra small text on your site for ranking purposes that will only get you banned.

9) Have no useful content on your site and expect visitors to buy your products and/or follow your affiliate links

10) Buy expensive WYSIWYG software only later to find out you hate it and switch to a freeware text editor that you now use to design by hand with

11) Believe the SEO tricks and tips you receive in random emails promising you outrageous success without much work. When in doubt, ask here first.

12) Register your domains through Network Solutions without shopping around

13) Pay outrageous hosting fees without shopping around.

14) Hire an SEO company without really knowing what you are getting for your $

15) Believe you will rank well by mentioning a phrase one time in the meta keyword tag or other obscure location on a site. If it were true, WebmasterWorld members would be ruling the world by now.

16) Buy SEO "secrets" books with techniques that worked three years ago. If in doubt, ask here.

17) Spam the ODP (dmoz.org) because your site hasn't been listed and it has been two months

18) Pay Yahoo's outrageous fees unless you are extremely confident of the return on your investment.

19) Make mirror sites and hope to sneak them by the search engines

20) Expect to rank well with a flash site unless you know proven work arounds for the search engines

21) Use frames on the site unless absolutely necessary

22) Only link to sites that you own.

23) Excessively repeat words on a single page with the hopes of ranking better. That worked three years ago.

24) Use 1X1 image links to try to increase link popularity. That worked three years ago.

25) Use doorway domains and redirect pages to funnel traffic to your site (unless you are slick, but if you were slick, you probably wouldn't be reading in this forum)

Any other "what not to do" tips that will help beginners welcome here.

7:28 pm on June 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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26) Make sites that are only viewable in IE. 'Optimized for IE' notices will be shot by the w3c hit squad!

27) Ignore accessability issues because you're not affected. It costs nothing and make the web a better place.

28) Use Front page.

Nick

7:44 pm on June 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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9) Have no useful content on your site and expect visitors to buy your products and/or follow your affiliate links

I think I'd change that to #1 and revised it to:
Have no useful content on your site and expect visitors.

7:51 pm on June 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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"28) use Frontpage"

I disagree. Frontpage 2000 and Frontpage XP, when properly used, are among the best editors on the market. There are certain features of Frontpage (such as themes) that I wouldn't touch, but that same kind of statement can be made about any product.

Richard Lowe

7:55 pm on June 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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hehe, I just threw that in because I knew it would incite a riot ;) Only having fun.....

Nick

7:59 pm on June 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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29) Purchase your domain names from your web host without being sure the domain is registered directly to you.

30) include img tags without alt.

31) Have "under construction" signs.

32) Design your site based upon other's opinions of your audience. Take a look at your audience yourself and then design your site to communicate to them.

33) Use formmail or other similar scripts without being totally aware of the security issues relating to them.

34) Excessively use CGI and similar technologies on shared hosts.

35) Include any email address on publically available web pages.

36) Use email addresses and other data given by your visitors in an unethical manner.

37) Spam anyone.

38) Set PIC and other rating systems which are inaccurate.

39) Create awards programs which are not awards programs. In other words, awards programs must reward something and are not just promotional tricks.

40) Use excessive popups, pop unders and other strange tricks.

Richard Lowe

8:23 pm on June 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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(moved to another forum)

[edited by: dcheney at 8:42 pm (utc) on June 18, 2002]

8:36 pm on June 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I use scripts, both ASP and CGI (perl). The scripts need to be very carefully written with an eye to security (ie, don't allow resubmits more than once a time period to the same IP) as spammers have been very active lately at finding these. Sourceforge got hit recently by a spammer who used their formmail script to send literally MILLIONS of emails per day (as I understand it) and it was days and days before anyone figured it out. The only way they found out was the performance hit - if the spammer had been smarter and put some delays in they may never have found out.

But if you include email address on websites (in web pages) you have to assume the spa harvesters will find them. Period.

Richard Lowe

9:24 pm on July 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>18) Pay Yahoo's outrageous fees unless you are extremely confident of the return on your investment....

That's a bit hard. A good Yahoo listing always gives a good return on the investment but - we could re-phrase it to..

18) Pay Yahoo's outrageous fees when you are extremely confident of the return on your investment because you know how to always get a listing on the first page (at least for a month) for your most important keyphrase ;)

9:32 pm on July 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

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41) Forget to optimise your graphics to load faster but look the same

42) Spam / Annoy forums like WMW who can help you more than you know it ;)

43) Forget/not care to check your site for validation and through the various mainstream browsers.

44) Forget to perform maintenance on older sites that you KNOW need a re-vamp due to all the things you learn here ;)

1:29 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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45) Forget HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes on all your images.
1:33 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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46) Forget to quote your attributes.

WYSIWYG editors usually do this by default. Old school hand coders tend to leave out the quotes "" around attributes.

47) Don't mix upper and lower case in your html. Use all lower case.

1:47 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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48) Thou shalt not stop learning! Budget your time so that you are ALWAYS picking up something new.
9:17 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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49) use a hit counter - this shows how few visitors you get as well as how many

50) use free hosting (geocities etc) for a professional business site

51) be afraid to employ a professional web designer / developer / SEO / consultant to do the stuff you can't do and which is critical to the success of your business

9:27 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>28) Use Front page.

Change that to 28) Use any WYSIWYG editor. If you are going to be a real webmaster, learn about source code and scripting.

9:30 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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> Change that to 28) Use any WYSIWYG editor. If you are going to be a real webmaster, learn about source code and scripting.

Disagree! It should read...

After you become a real webmaster, then you'll understand the benefits of using a WYSIWYG editor like FrontPage! ;)

9:37 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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it should read....

28) be so narrow minded as to think designing sites with a WYSIWYG and a good webmaster are mutually exclusive.

52) have only one viewpoint on anything but realise there is always more than one way of doing things.

9:46 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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unless you are extremely confident of the return on your investment.

Although I do agree it is foolish to invest in anything without proper research...

18) Pay Yahoo's outrageous fees

Try spending 300 marketing bucks anywhere else and get the same results!

Paid advertisement is a fact of global business.

Offline marketing budget $34,000.00/year.

Online marketing budget $1,200.00/year.

Which one of these is OUTRAGEOUS!

9:47 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>Which one of these is OUTRAGEOUS!

The online marketing one for being so small.

10:02 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Nothing wrong with WYSIWYG to produce the main aspects of a page and then use text editor or toggle to the code to "get in there"

IMHO

10:04 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Nothing wrong apart from the fact WYSIWYG editors tend to mess with you code, which generally produces errors. So you have to use a text editor afterwards anyways.
10:41 am on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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WYSIWYG editors do not mess up your code - you do!

At least in regards to DW anyway, uncheck the option to remove tags etc. and it will not in anyway remove or add code unless you tell it to.

DW is not just a WYSIWYG it is also an extremely useful Text Editor! I always see the code while designing - code on left monitor, layout on main monitor. I see the changes as they happen.

So if I slap in a load of layers and I get a load of code I just cut and paste it all. All done by DW!

12:09 pm on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Okay, must admit I'm not sure about the latest versions of DW. I gave up on it in 1999 (think it was version 2.0) just because it messed with my tags and I couldn't turn it off.
2:04 pm on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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as far as I'm concerned the primary reason not to use a WYSIWYG is the "S"...the web is NOT a purely visual medium...I find it much easier to make mark up that will work in the vast majority of situations and deduce how it is likely to end up looking than I find trying to guess how a page will sound to text to speech by looking at the rendered result
3:11 pm on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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1a) Though shalt not agree/disagree and go off topic about WYSIWYG ;) (end lame sarcasm)

IM humble O, WYSIWYG is immaterial, if you know HTML etc, then you know it, if you don't, you don't. I guess the moral is "don't become dependent" on a program.

3:21 pm on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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53/ Use a Midi as a background sound, or even a Wav-file about a screaming woman :)

*this was just a bad example to get back on topic :p*

3:27 pm on July 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

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54/ Hotlink some pictures from other people's websites. OR stealing content literally.
55/ Advertise stuff like Gator.

wombat

11:17 am on Sept 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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56) rip other people´s sites and say that you coded it.
57) think that ie is the only browser and use cool thingies that ie only support
8:50 am on Sept 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

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58) Use excessive pop ups

59) Use innumerable animated gifs because you think they look cool

60) Mismatch background and foreground colors

61) Not review your site periodically for errors

62) Plagiarize

63) Create a site consisting solely of affiliate banners

64) Make a hate site

65) Try to start a "revolutionary" online business that's already been done to death - do your research!

66) Expect people to pay you for half-witted web design

67) Assume you're doing things right all of the time.

10:04 am on Sept 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

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4) Pay Looksmart anything

I second that.

15) Believe you will rank well by mentioning a phrase one time in the meta keyword tag or other obscure location on a site. If it were true, WebmasterWorld members would be ruling the world by now.

You mean we're not ;).

68) Build a site when you haven't done research on your audience.

69) Send SPAM emails for traffic.

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