Creating a website, the FAQ
Essential questions about the creation and the design of a new website and the problems faced by a webmaster supplemented by a FAQ on how to design a website.
- What is a CMS?
- What is RSS?
- Is the choice of the domain name extension important?
- How do I know if another site steals my pages?
- How to have statistics of visits?
- Can I have a one-letter domain name?
- How do I know if search engine robots find the pages on my site?
- Can we have a brand name in a domain name?
- Should I park in a domain in waiting to put the site online?
- What does Google in case of duplicate content?
- How to know the traffic of a website?
- How to create a website without HTML knowledge?
- Can I redirect my domain name on a free host?
- How can I get my own 404 error page for pages not found?
- Can I point several domain names on the same site?
- Can I put a page on two different sites?
- How to redirect the home page on the domain name without filename?
- How to redirect a domain.
- How to execute PHP 5?
- How to change the extension file that the server must parse for embedded PHP code?
- How to protect a directory by a password?
- How to block aspirators?
- How to prevent a spam site to link to my site?
- Why loading of my pages is so slow?
- How to know the site of an IP address?
- What is Adsense?
- Is it better to use a relative or absolute URL to internal links?
- Should there be a / terminal in URLs?
- Can I hide the source code of a Web page?
- Do I need to separate words with a dash or an underscore?
- For a bilingual site, do I have to create different domains, subdomains or subdirectories?
- Should I use a complete URL for internal links?
- Is it a drawback, pages of big size?
- How can I have a picture in front of my site in the URL bar of browsers?
- What size should have web pages?
- How to find images for a website?
- What are the best font and size for a Web site?
- What is a quality site for a search engine?
What is a CMS?
CMS stands for "Content Management System", and it is a software or a set
of scripts to dynamically create the site from a predefined format and from
text files that are stored into a database.
A CMS delivers the webmaster of most management task, and allows to concentrate on the content. CMS also provide tools as tag cloud, RSS generator and various other tools.
There are general CMS and other specialized blogs, wikis, faqs, and so on.... See the list of CMS.
What is RSS?
Really Simple Syndication is a file format designed to provide a list of
links on the articles of a website.
The main objective is promoting a site, but there are many applications in the RSS format, practice to obtain news and other information by subscribing to a list whose content changes over time.
Is the choice of the domain name extension important?
The extension, or TLD (Top Level Domain) may be related to a language. A
site with the country extension matching the language of the site arrives
in a better position for a search in this language.
For the generic extensions as com, net, org, the advantage is not obvious.
How do I know if another site steals my pages?
You can find out it from a search engine, by typing in a phrase written in
a page of your site, and putting it in quotation marks.
Or even more simply, go to Copyscape and enter the URL of your site or page.
How do I know if search engine robots find the pages on my site?
For this we need
to test the links on your site from the home page. The
best way would be to create a sitemap and compare a list generated with the
list of the site's pages.
Easier yet, the site Spider Simulator can parse your site and provide internal links it finds. Just type in the URL of the site.
How to have statistics of visits?
If your host do not provides good statistics, you have a choice of solutions
PhpMyVisites is a software that you install on the host, which requires PHP and MySQL. It appears to be limited in traffic, around 1500 visitors a day.
Can I have a one-letter domain name?
ICANN banned domain names in one letter. There were, however, some exceptions:
I.NET, Q.COM, Q.NET, X.COM, and Z.COM.
G.COM is the latest registered, by Google.
Can we have a brand name in a domain name?
No because people could think that your site is related to the company that owns the brand, which it would not want to. It could ask you to return them the domain name. The big brands are trying also to register most of the names that could create confusion.
Should I park in a domain in waiting to put the site online?
By parking I means displaying a blank page or a list of ads. In both cases it should be avoided. The page will be seen as undesirable or unnecessary by search engines and it will take a long time before it will be scanned again.
It is best to announce the site with a description of what you want to do.
What does Google in case of duplicate content?
answers on his blog. There are two possible cases, a page is duplicated on
the same site, in this case we must simply tell Google which page to index,
just put the URL in the sitemap. The other will be ignored.
The other case is when a site gets your content for display on its site or through proxies. Google takes care to find out which site is the original and which is a copy, that it is not too difficult because he knows the sites. In all cases your site will not be penalized by a duplicated page.
Note that when a site is accessible by two domain names, Google can not know which is the original! In this case you'll necessarily be penalized.
How to create a website without HTML knowledge?
We can without dealing with the code to create a site using a template to download or simply through a web host offering a free design tool or site generator.
"I acquired a domain name from a registrar. What I would like is that the domain points on my free host and is the domain name that appears in the URL field of browser. "
This is a very common question. Unfortunately this is impossible and we will
explain why. Of course, the registrars can redirect a domain name through
a redirect 301 or 302, or through frames. In the first case it is the target
URL that appears in the bar (thus the address on free host), which is indexed
by search engines, in the second case the domain name is displayed, but search
engines do not follow the link.
Invisible redirection is possible only when the host takes into account the DNS management.
This is not a good idea, for search engines.
Your other domain names must point on different pages, and it may contain a link or 301 redirect which redirects the user to the content hosted. In both cases, search engines are aware of the redirection and this avoids they regard the two domains as attempting to trust results of searches thanks to a double indexing.
Since the canonical attribute is taken into account by search engines, providing the URL of each page is defined by the attribute, you can use several domains for a site.
The "duplicate content", is prohibited by search engines.
You can avoid sandbox applied to duplicated pages, see the SEO FAQ to the question "how exclude a page of indexing".
By placing the following command in .haccess under Apache:
SetEnv PHP_VER 5
On other UNIX servers that can be:
AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
Consult the instructions of your provider to make sure that the environment variable used is the same.
If we put PHP code in a page with the .html extension, how to make the server processing the PHP code? By placing a command as in the next .htaccess:
AddType application/x-httpd-php .htm .html.htm and .html are examples. The command will do that files with these extensions are handled by the server as the files with the .php extension.
By modifying the file .htaccess. This can be done most simply by using a tool that will automatically generate the file.
You can insert the following code in your.htaccess file.
In the .htaccess file, add the following lines:
SetEnvIfNoCase Referer ".*(domain | anotherdomain | etc. ).*" spammer=yes Order allow, deny allow from all deny from env=spammerThe names of the sites, domains with extensions, are placed in a list in parentheses and separated by the vertical bar.
This code combines a code to a range of domains, and the following lines give permission to all sites except the sites designated by the code of sending visitors. For the latter access is denied.
That may depend on various factors: an ill-conceived script, a database whose requests are slow in coming, or any other cause. You can have a diagnosis of your site with this online testing site tool.
The IP address is a number that identifies your computer in the case of a
static address, or your Internet connection in the case of a dynamic address
assigned by a service provider.
It's also a number that identifies an Internet site, but the domain name is associated with that number by the DNS manager (typically the host or the registrar), which allows access to the site.
Typing "my ip" on a search engine, a site will display your IP address on the homepage.
The Ripe site provides access to the database that links the domain names to IP addresses. Simply type the IP for the domain name and know its owner.
The URL of an internal link may take three forms:
- Absolute URL: http://www.scriptol.com/mypage.html
- Relative URL: /mypage.html
- Local URL: mypage.html
Some editors like Dreamweaver promote local roads, but this form of URL is not recommended.
The absolute path must be preferred. It refers to your site when the page is displayed on a news aggregator.
The relative path works only if the server is configured to set "/" as the root of the site (rather than the root account on the server). It is useful only to change the domain.
Local paths must is avoided. Local URL are not taken into account by Analytics for statistical distribution of clicks.
We can write a URL as:
http://www.scriptol.com/forum or http://www.scriptol.com/forum/
In general, if it is a directory the server redirects the first on the second. But the first can be a file, it is often the case with Wordpress.
This is not a problem for Google, when there are two different links indexes the file and the directory. When the server redirects the URL without a trailing slash on a directory, there is no duplicate content but for the crawlers of search engines is a complication to avoid.
Therefore in the case of a directory always add the slash.
More precisely: To slash or not to slash.
Can I hide the source code of a Web page?
You can hide the source code with a frameset. In this case, when the visitor asks to see the source, it just view the frameset. But some browsers allow to see the source of the frames.
A simple trick is to put a lot of blank lines at the top of page to suggest that there is nothing to see! You can disable the right click, but this is easy to circumvent (ctrl+u). More annoying to the reader, remove line breaks so that the source does become a single line. This will discourage the lazy, but not the obstinate that will use a formatting tool.
Whichever method is used (apart from the tip of the blank lines), what is hidden from the visitors is from search engines too. The content will not be indexed.
Do I need to separate words with a dash or an underscore?
It has been announced recently by Google that an underscore is recognized
as a separator in filenames or anchors.
Until now underscore character "_" did not separate words for search engines, so my_site is seen as one word, while my-site contains two words for engines. Using a dash as separator is still recommended.
Should I use a complete URL for internal links?
Search engines are obviously able to index local URL and rebuild the full
URL with the domain name included. But it should be better to facilitate their
task with a full URL.
You can also provide a sitemap, which will contain the complete URL of each page.
Do I have to add meta-tags?
Google makes use at least of the meta "robots" and sometimes it uses the
meta "description". Keywords are rarely used now and not by Google.
Note that you can automatically generate metas with the freeware utility Spider SEO.
Is it a drawback, pages of big size?
Yes for a variety of reasons (search engines, load time, etc.). The recommended size would range 1000 to 20000 characters, and it is often the standard for professionals. Robots give more importance to the first part of the pages and this is a reason to shorten them.
Visitors prefer short pages when they surf for fun, but developed pages to document on a issue, in this case they are more prone to get backlinks.
How can I have a picture in front of my site in the URL bar of browsers?
This image is named a favicon. It also appears in the bookmark panel.
It's a kind of icon from Windows, named favicon.ico, with a size of 16x16 pixels or 32x32 pixels, which must be placed in the root directory.
What size should have web pages?
The size of web pages on average increases from year to year. According to the study published by the site Websiteoptimization, in 2008 the average size of pages was 312 ko.
But there are also tools for knowing the time of loading a page, including Google's Webmaster Tools. And that is what matters most.