What's Wrong With My Website?
I ask myself that question about once a month. My website looks fine to me, but
what are other people seeing? And what are the Search Engines seeing? Here's a
checklist of ten ways to keep your website at peak performance:
1. Browser Compatibility
The first thing is to look at your website through other people's browsers. I do
this regularly and I've sometimes been shocked at what I saw!
2. Broken Links
About 5% of all links on the Internet are broken. A site that contains broken links
gives a bad impression to visitors and is a frequent cause of lost sales. Also, the
major Search Engines and Directories will not list your page if it contains any
broken links or missing images. Here are some free link validators:
Website Garage Deadlink Check
3. Web Safe Colors
Are the colors on your web site displaying properly on other people's browsers?
You may have a beautiful shade of lilac on your index page but it could look
very strange on someone else's computer.
There are only 216 colors that you can safely use on the Web. These colors display
solid and consistent on any computer monitor or web browser that is able to
display at least 8-bit color.
The Web Safe Palette contains six groups of colors with 36 colors per group.
These 216 web safe colors can have any combination of the following RGB (Red
Green Blue) values: 0, 51, 102, 153, 204, 255 (each RGB value must be divisible by 51).
Here's a good palette of web safe colors:
Web-Source Safe Colors
4. ALT Tags
ALT Tags allow you to give an alternative to people who have the 'view images' function
turned off in their browser. Let's say the navigation system on your website is a series
of buttons that link to other pages on your site. If you don't have ALT Tags, people
who have the 'view images' function turned off will be unable to navigate through your
site - in place of your button they will just see an empty space.
But an ALT Tag allows you to tell those people what that button does. For example, if
the button is a link to your 'Site Map' you could insert the following ALT Tag:
<IMG SRC=sitemap.gif BORDER=0 ALT="Click here to view Site Map">
ALT Tags also allow you to raise your keyword density. For every image that is not
hyperlinked you could insert your main keywords. For example:
<IMG SRC=bullet.gif BORDER=0 ALT="airfares cheap discount flights">
5. Meta Tags
Meta Tags are so important they deserve a whole article on their own. The most important
Meta Tags are the Title Tag, the Keywords Tag and the Description Tag. The Title Tag
should be no more than 64 characters (longer than that and it will be cut off in some
The Keyword Tag should contain about 5 to 10 keywords that appear on your page. Never
include words that do not appear on that page - in some Search Engines your website
will be penalized for this. Do not repeat the same keyword - this is called 'keyword
stuffing' and is also frowned upon by the Search Engines. Separate your keywords with
spaces (not commas). This allows the Search Engines to combine your keywords into phrases,
for people who do "phrase searching".