Posts Tagged ‘HTML’

Is aspx or php better for SEO?

Friday, March 25th, 2011

There is a long standing debate in the world of SEO which tries to get to grips with the myth that aspx websites will not index as well as a html or php site does. There are arguments in favour of both camps; but which one is actually right?!

What is aspx?

ASP.NET is a web application framework developed and marketed by Microsoft to allow programmers to build dynamic web sites, web applications and web services.

What is php?

PHP is a programming language used for populating dynamic web pages. It is mainly used in web development and can be embedded into HTML by using PHP code as its input and HTML as the output. PHP is also a part of the popular LAMP environment, but has many other useful applications as well.

We can already see where a lot of the problem stems from. In the aspx definition, the mother of all swear words when it comes toweb development, “Microsoft” is responsible for the aspx language. Many web developers are not firm favourites of anything Microsoft due to the expensive licencing costs as well as the business methodology of keeping all their cards close to their chest rather than following an opensource route like php.

But this really doesn’t get to the heart of the problem as there are many aspx developers out there who DO swear by the platform; so what is it about the platform that causes so many headaches for SEO professionals?

aspx vs php code wars

So what’s the answer?

Truth be told; it comes down to personal preference… Yip, that’s the answer. There is no definitive answer which points in either direction. In the old days of search, when SEO was but a babe, search engines wouldn’t (read couldn’t) crawl dynamic pages – the heart and soul of aspx. Today though, the major three (Google, Yahoo and Bing) all crawl and index dynamic pages without too much hassle.

The real lesson here is that basic SEO best practices still mean the most :

1. Ensure relevancy between your content, heading, tile and URL

2. ensure that your URL’s are clean – use a rewrite mod to change your URL

3. Ensure that you keep the 3 spheres on SEO in mind : on site; off site and server side.

To sum up in short; if you are an aspx developer; then stick with aspx. If you are a php developer, then stick with php. If you have beef with Microsoft, then so be it – truth be told though, aspx is a very powerful and beautiful language once you get to know it and understand it………. Much like Flemish!

Does your mobile site validate?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

I have recently been developing mobi sites for some of our customers and after an immense number of hours researching, I have yet to find a South African mobi website that validates. Can someone point me in the right direction please?

Before we go any further, let’s define the term “Validation“:

1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. To establish the soundness of; corroborate.

After some time, I managed to validate the 2 mobi websites I have been busy with and to be honest, it was somewhat of a challenge. Rules and guidelines have been laid out by the W3C to ensure (or try to ensure) that websites (including mobi sites) keep to the best standards of practice. This ensures search engines can actually crawl your webpages and it maintains universal understanding between browsers and users. For more information on understanding the phrase “Validating a website” please refer to the first half of this wordpress post.

With mobile validation, your validation score is represented by a number, with the maximum being 100 at the top of the scale, and the opposite side can go into negatives. I have taken a look into some of the most well known SA mobi sites and can say that they do not score well at all, they range between -13 and 77.

Some common errors included the following:

  • Extraneous characters (whitespaces or comments),
  • The document does not validate against XHTML Basic 1.1 or MP 1.2,
  • The Table contains less than 2 tr elements,
  • Page weight errors,
  • Embedded external resources,
  • Nested tables,
  • Cache control,
  • Incorrect character encoding,
  • Incorrect Doctypes,
  • Broken links,
  • and the list goes on…

It is imperitive to source a web design/mobi design company that complies with the W3C standards. This will ultimately save you thousands in the long-run when you decide to hire a SEO company to market your site online.

For those of you that don’t know how to validate your site, visit the W3C Mobile Validator page to try yourself, but once you have pulled enough of your hair out, consider JD Consulting.

If anyone knows of any valid mobi sites, please send me the details.

How HTML 5 will simplify web development

Friday, July 31st, 2009

With the official release HTML 5  in 2022 around the corner, it’s still a good idea to keep up to date with what is happening in the world of W3C, and with the working draft sitting at around 773 pages, you can only imagine the amount of work that has been done and still needs to be done. October 2009 is the last call for the HTML 5 working draft, so with all that in mind, lets take a look at a simplified overview of whats going on in HTML 5.

HTML 5 will be fully backwards-compatible as well as having the ability of a javascript-accessible built in SQL database which will render the current cookie method laughable in terms of the amount of information that could be stored. Also, in an effort to make website source more “legible”, a heap of new elements are being developed, some of which are <nav>, <article>, <header>, <canvas>, <video>, <audio>, <command> and <figure>. New input types are also being developed to ease the ever-fustrated web developer. Inputs such as ‘Date’ will become a common tool which replaces the old javascript calenders and another new feature will include browser supported form validation which will make web application development a walk in the park.

With the last HTML update being in September 1999 (4.01 Specification), it is evident that HTML 5 is definately long overdue.

Keep in mind that “HTML 5″ refers to the W3C specification name, while “HTML5″ refers to the document type.

You may have already noticed that some websites are using HTML 5. Firefox 3.5 includes the <audio>, <video> and <canvas> tags while Chrome and Safari are already supporting key features of HTML 5.

Here is a simple HTML 5 blog example:

<body>

 <header>
  <h1>My Blog!</h1>

 <nav>
   <h1>Navigation Links</h1>
   <ul>
    <li><a href="articles.html">All articles</a></li>
    <li><a href="latest.html">Latest Articles</a></li>
   </ul>
  </nav>

 </header>

 <article>
  <p> Article Goes Here</p>
 </article>

 <footer>
  <p>Copyright © 2022 My Blog</p>
 </footer>

</body>

To clarify the strikeout of 2022 above, there seems to be quite a bit of confusion going around on the web with regards to this topic.
2022 will be the final proposed recommendation of HTML 5 and October 2009 is the last call for the HTML 5 working draft. The final proposed recommendation requires complete compatibility of at least 2 browsers, and with that in mind, CSS 2.1 also remains in development until 2 browsers fully support all of it’s features.