What is a quality website?
We have now a definition by Google of what is a quality site, it is given by a link at bottom.
In this page, are given the criteria that define a quality site for visitors prior to search engines, we will see from the visitor's point of view what are the components of a quality site.
This become even more essential since efforts to filter these sites in search results, depending on their quality.
Although the quality of a site has always been an issue it took a particular importance in April 2011 with the Panda Update, the change of the Google algorithm to eliminate poor quality pages that even goes far in penalizing an entire site if a portion of its content is not well received by users and get no backlinks.
- Accessibility: The content of the website must be easily found, and usable by all people.
- Stability: The website is trustworthy and all page equal.
- Usability: It is user-friendly.
- Reliability: It always available without downtime.
- Functionality: It offers content, tools and services users value.
- Flexibility: It adapts to needs and wants of users.
The following items detail each paractical aspect of the site, complementing and matching Maslow's criteria. At bottom you will find a link to the list of criteria given by Google.
To be original with respect to search engines, content must include text with keywords that does not appear in similar articles.
The text should be organized with <h2>, <h3>, etc. tags and have a title in a <h1> tag. Do not use those tags as part of layout, CSS style sheets are there for that.
A modern site is made fancy with images and videos. See how to create an image gallery or use a lightbox to display an image, a text or a form.
The title attribute of the <a> tag makes it possible to display a message when the mouse stay on the link but it is also essential for search engines. In the same way the alt attribute provides information on images.
2) Must remain a long time on the site: the pages are linked between them, the contents is interesting. One can use the techniques of the novelist, arouse interest, or even create a suspense.
In the results of the search engines, one must click on your page. For that one needs a title and a description which encourage to choose this page rather than one of the others, even and especially if they are placed before your link.
The title is taken by engines in the <title> tag in the <head> section of the HTML code of the page, or an <h1> tag in the body of the page.
$title="My page"; <title><?php echo $title?></title> <h1><?php echo $title?></h1>
<meta name="description" content="here the description of the page" >
A basic PHP template looks like that:
<?php $title="My page"; include("top.php"); include("sidebar.php"); ?> <body> ... </body> <?php include("footer.php");
See also this document, Why our newspaper is dying, a summary in image of bad practices.
Here is a list of sites offering graphic templates to be adapted to the design of your pages. Note that the interfaces with variable width, also named "responsive", which adapt themselves to the width of the screen (as this site), are preferable because users do not have necessarily the same screen resolution as you.
- OSDW. Graphic kits.
- Open Web Design. List of freely usable templates.
- YUI. Lot of widgets to improve the look.
- Template for a Web application. This model by Scriptol.com does not provide graphics, but an example of page with a style sheet for an adaptable interface suited for a web app.
- Web design essential principles. A more general view.