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Host Location And Ridding A Site Of Cms


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Jakub

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 03:18 PM

Hi all !

I'm a beginner in the realm of SEO and this is my first post here... please be merciful...
I'm currently working on very young site (4mths old) made by some other people. It is a CMS driven site. Since its creation the customer realized that he won't be able to maintain it himself . Firstly the murkup is one big mess. Secondly, it's a site with .co.uk domain (UK based company targeting UK market only) but the host is physically located in another country.
The site is showing up in Google SERP's on 4th page for certain phrases at the moment.
Questions I have:
as CMS is not needed any more, from SEO perspective would you get rid of it? Let me stress that major changes are needed to the markup and content in general;
second of all, what influence the physical host location has on local searches (I've been looking for an answer to that for a while, and a lot of different opinions are floating out there)...

Any help on those issues, I will greatly appreciate. Thank you.

Above all, let me say one thing:
Jill, thank you. You have really inspired me.
Without experience in this field, I find it difficult sometimes to sift out the good advice from... well, say not so good advice smile.gif

Again, thank you all.
Jakub

#2 bobmeetin

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 06:07 PM

So I'm wondering, why is the markup a mess? Was SEO misunderstood or other? If the guts is any of the common open sources CMS's such as Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal they all have their methodology in setting up pages including title, meta information etc and they should work quite well. There are also lesser well-knowns that should do fine as well. With any decent CMS this should be fixable.

Aside from the content what may separate the good boys from the bad boys is template/theme selection and how well or poorly custom components and modules have been implemented, or perhaps component overload which may lead into slow loading web pages. Cheap hosting also comes with a price, especially apparent with database-driven as opposed to html based web sites.

There are a great many advantages to using any of the major CMS systems as opposed to building a site yourself. The open source and inexpensive commercial addons which can be had for pennies on the dollar as opposed to writing code yourself can represent excellent cost-savings to your client. The fact that he/she "can" assume control of content management if the future changes or the relationship evaporates is a factor.

I can't talk to hosting in another country. There are so many hosting options available here that I don't have the need to consider hosting outside the country. What I can talk to is the importance of living on servers that are not packed to the max. Half a year back I switched from shared hosting to VPS because of this reason. Things were fine on a good night, commonly Saturday or Sunday at about 3am, but during the week coffee breaks were common and terminable. If you or your client consider your website an important part of the business, then pay the extra $10 or so per month for a solution, not a nightmare.

#3 Jakub

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:46 AM

Firstly, thanks a lot for your response.

>>So I'm wondering, why is the markup a mess?

That is a good question... The implemented CMS is not one of those three major ones we all know. I've actually contacted the people that created the website in the first place, and did not get a lot of clarification. I was told that it will be difficult to understand the php there 'coz its quite complex and there is no documentation...

Just look at that:

<p></font><font face="Times New Roman"><font size="3"></font></font></p> <p align="justify"><font face="Times New Roman"><font size="3"></font></font></p> <p align="justify"><font face="Times New Roman"><font size="3"></font></font></p> <p align="justify"><font face="Times New Roman"><font size="3">...some text...,&nbsp;...some text...,&nbsp;...some text...&nbsp;...some text....&nbsp;</font></font><font face="Times New Roman"><font size="3">...some text...&nbsp;...some text......some text...&nbsp;...some text......some text...</font></font></p> <p align="justify"><font face="Times New Roman"><font size="3"></font></font>&nbsp;</p>

I don't believe all that junk is necessary to render a single paragraph of text... That's what it is meant to do...

So, if it was Drupal, Wordpress, Joomla I would not be asking the question.

>>Was SEO misunderstood or other?

There is no such thing as SEO in case of the site I'm talking about. No keyword phrases related to the business, no meta description, each product category page (that could have been optimized and used as a landing page), has hardly any text on them, not one image across entire site has alternate text, and so on...

So there is a lot to improve there. In terms of SEO it's just like starting from scratch. Not to mention that structure and navigation leaves much to desire...

Good Luck all!
Jakub

#4 Jill

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 12:32 PM

QUOTE
I don't believe all that junk is necessary to render a single paragraph of text... That's what it is meant to do...


It's definitely not necessary and it does add to the load time, but it's also not going to hurt your SEO efforts.

#5 bobmeetin

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 02:33 PM

With true CMS's like Joomla you have the option to install various WYSIWYG editors. Some of the ones from the dark side will dump in lots of extraneous markup if enabled. Just think of it as using anything MS specific to create your website. The common administrator never looks into HTML/code view so lives happily unaware of the monster. However, like Jill said, the markup will probably have no or little impact on the site unless something totally breaks.

However, no title tag or meta description is another matter. I don't mention meta keywords in the same breath because they are all but ignored by most search engines, but the fact that it is also missing in the head is evidence to the fact that whomever designed the website/CMS should be operating in another profession, perhaps counting doorknobs.

Regardless, I still recommend to implement a CMS as opposed to building a simple site for the reasons I mentioned earlier. It looks better on your resume to have implemented a solution that the customer could manage (if he chooses to delegate) rather than lock him into a product that only you have the secret key to manage and hold him hostage.

Edited by bobmeetin, 02 August 2010 - 04:09 PM.


#6 Jill

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:52 PM

I agree that if you don't like or can't work within the confines of the current CMS that you don't go with static html pages, but do move everything to a decent SEO friendly CMS.

#7 Scottie

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:26 PM

If the site is small and you truly don't need a CMS, sure, dump it. Are you sure there won't be major changes in the future that require non-technical people to add content? That's really what a CMS should excel at- allowing the average person to add content without knowing anything about how websites work.

The details in adding additional menu items to the navigation on all pages and properly updating links throughout the site are really a whole lot easier with a good CMS.

#8 MauriceWalshe

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 03:43 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Aug 2 2010, 09:52 PM) View Post
I agree that if you don't like or can't work within the confines of the current CMS that you don't go with static html pages, but do move everything to a decent SEO friendly CMS.


Yes if a client can't get on with a cms how are they going to work with static html? let me guess they are hosting with 1and1 aren't they - move them to a uk based host.

for smallish sites (up to .5M page impressions a month ) wp is a good lightweight cms I would avoid joomla like the plague. When I worked at an agency I had to do any updates in the Jommla sites we inherited as the rest of the team found the interface to hard and the joomla sites where so fragile that a minor edit would crash the entire thing.

There is a post on slashtdot that compares Wp to Joomla I am afraid sums it up for me as well

[removed because there was no attribution. - Jill]

#9 Jakub

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 07:32 PM

QUOTE(MauriceWalshe @ Aug 3 2010, 03:43 AM) View Post
Yes if a client can't get on with a cms how are they going to work with static html?


What if a client can't quite get on with MS Word, how are they going to manage CMS interface... What if they don't have time...

Anyway... Thank you all for your input much appreciated!

I do accept all the points about keeping CMS.
Has anybody here had any experience with MODx? How does it compare to wp from SEO perspective? I mean things like 301 redirects, custom URL names, custom HTML tags and so on... Does it allow all the necessary tweaks? I know I may sound daft asking questions like that. I've not had much experience with CMS systems and having spent hours googling it has not brought an answer.

Thank you all again.

PS Hopefully one day I'll be able to answer some questions for a change...

Cheers!

#10 Catz

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:43 AM

You should not feel pressured into working with a CMS.

If you are more comfortable working without one and the site is small enough it doesn't actually need one...then there is no need to use one. There is no need for a small website to require a database or to be automated either.

You can SEO a small static website just as easily as an automated one, and you don't even have to do things like rewriting url's.

It seems pretty obvious a WYSIWYG program created all that pointless junk code, that's what they do.

I agree, I would much rather have a page with clean code that is easy to follow over something like that. For developers who do not look at their source code, it wouldn't be a problem because they would not realize there was so much junk in there. Some people can overlook that, others cannot.

A simple site has no need for the "quite complex php" provided without documentation, and it appears having the CMS has caused issues rather than making it easier on the site owner. Sounds like they have no intention of going in and making changes to the site themselves, so there is no actual need for the CMS in that regard.

If the site was originally created as simple hand coded static pages, this would not be an issue. Not every website has to be complicated.

If you have a basic understanding of HTML/XHTML and CSS (it sounds like you might since you were looking into the source and wanting to clean that junk code out of there), you can easily create a simple website with clean code and none of that junk. They are not difficult to maintain and going in to make changes/updates is quite simple for any developer who understands the basics. These are the easiest coding languages to learn too, so anyone can do it.

There are plenty of businesses out there that have no desire to go in and work on their websites on their own...ever! They have no need for a CMS, they need someone who can design a website for them that will do what they need it to and make updates as needed.

Doing SEO on a static site that was hand coded is a breeze, I don't get where people think it is so difficult without a CMS.

I say do what you and the web site owners are most comfortable with. Since they have no intention of working on the site themselves, you really don't need a CMS.






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