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What’s under the hood?


So, I’ve been paying more attention to LinkedIn these days because one of my business mentors, Ken Ryan of Professional Business Networks, has been diving head first into LinkedIn lately to build business leads and contacts.  As part of that process of really using LinkedIn to build my own online reputation and make good business connections, I am a member of a few “groups”.  Groups on LinkedIn typically focus on a particular topic of interest.  I use Joomla to build websites and so there are a number of Joomla -related groups that I am a member of and monitor the conversations within.

Recently someone posted that they were looking for Joomla web designers.  As expected a number of business responded with links to sites they had just built.  I often go look to see what others are doing for ideas and inspiration.  What I found today, caused me to post this message.

A couple of the sites were beautiful graphically–very eye-catching, a real sample of “eye-candy”.  Unfortunately that was just it.  How so?   I looked under the hood (so to speak).  Every browser lets you look at the source code of a website.  So, likewise, I looked.  As a Joomla developer (which I use the word specifically DEVELOPER and not DESIGNER), there are a couple things I look for that tell me if the person who built the site really knew what they were doing.  Sites should look good–that’s a given, but a site has to BE good as well.  It has to have some specific things configured in order to be set up for success in any SEO (search-engine-optimization) post go-live.

Example Results:  This is part of what I saw “under the hood” on the first site:

 <meta name="robots" content="index, follow" />
 <meta name="keywords" content="joomla, Joomla" />
 <meta name="title" content="Bem-vindo a Clinart" />
 <meta name="author" content="Administrator" />
 <meta name="description" content="Joomla! - O sistema dinâmico de portais e gerenciador de conteúdo" />
 <meta name="generator" content="Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management" />

So what all this gibberish tells me is that (1) they did set any keywords for this page or site, (2) The title might be a bit short for SEO, (3) the description tag didn’t get set and (4) any hacker who wants to attack a Joomla site will now know this is a Joomla site.  This is SEO 101 stuff.  There are FREE plugins for Joomla that lets one configure this stuff.

So, what’s the lesson in this?  Look under the hood.  Pretty sites are not necessarily GOOD sites.  A good site is configured appropriately and in a way that will grow with your business’ needs over time.  Life Light Creative strives to build GOOD sites that also happen to look good AND save you time, save you hassle, attract leads and make sales.

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