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6 more ways to determine your web guy is a tool

There are so many things to be aware of when designing and structuring your website. Also, there is much that you need to know as a website owner to make sure your web presence is being handled properly by yourself or your web guy. Inasmuch, I wrote an article a while back about 7 things that are very important for any website here: https://www.ternstyle.us/blog/7-ways-to-determine-your-web-guy-is-a-tool. The list continues so here goes with 6 more ways.

1. No Index/No Follow (or lack of Index/Follow)

Search engines will eventually find your website (hopefully sooner than later and with frequency). Once a search engine has found your website it needs to be instructed what to do. Many web developers overlook this. In fact, in many of my old projects I did. It’s a common mistake to not properly set up your web pages’ meta tags. If you wish for your website to be indexed and you wish for every page of your website to be indexed make sure your web guy didn’t somehow leave a meta tag in the head of your web pages instructing search engines to not index and not follow your pages. If it’s there remove it. Replace it with an index and follow command.

How do I know if my web pages are set to be indexed or followed?

  1. Go to your homepage in the browser of your choice
  2. Right click on your page or go to your “View” menu at the top of your browser window or tool bar.
  3. Select the option “Source”, “View Source” or “View Page Source”
  4. Now you’re looking at a bunch of code you may not understand.
  5. We’re looking for the meta tags which will fall between the head tags that look like this:
    <meta name="robots" content="index, follow" />
  6. If you don’t see this line in the head of your web pages your web guy is a tool. Furthermore, if you see this meta tag…
    <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow" />

    … fire him.

That was a bit harsh. Maybe don’t fire him (we all make mistakes). Gently ask him to set the meta tag to index/follow.

2. No homepage content

Your homepage is your landing page and your most important page of your site. It’s a page that should be visually pleasing and intuitive for your viewers. This usually means keep the text to a minimum. However, in terms of the weight of your pages, your homepage is probably your most respected page. It should be rich with keyword heavy text. Add text to your homepage but break it up with images. Maybe throw in a slider to place in rotating content that search engines will see but won’t need to be digested all at once by your user base.

3. Inline Styling

Inline styling is the use of styling commands directly on an HTML element in your web pages. Inline styling as a method of styling a document produces unnecessarily bulky HTML and makes the editing of styles across your site difficult and time consuming. If you wish to change the color of your links across your site and you end up getting billed for 2 hours worth of work your web guy is probably using inline styling methods. C’mon people. Stick with stylesheets.

How do I know if my site is using inline styling?

  1. View the source of a page on your website again.
  2. Look for code like this:

If you see this once or twice on your site breathe easy. If code like this exists on numerous pages and numerous times per page, your web guy is a tool.

4. Navigation Before Content

The natural flow of a website is to work top to bottom. Typically a header, horizontal navigation, the body of the page aside a sidebar and then the footer. It is temping to write the HTML for a website in this order as well. However if you place your navigation before your content it will be the first thing a search engine sees. This is a more esoteric point. We are all guilty of it in the web world but it is something that should be addressed. Your navigation should be placed in the footer and positioned (most likely absolutely) wherever you’d like it to reside on your pages. Notice the site your viewing now put the navigation first. However, this site (https://www.ternstyle.us/) does not.

Okay, for this one I won’t call your web guy a tool. For SEO purposes though, have him restructure your HTML.

5. Non-unique Page Titles

This one matters. Each page should have its own unique content. As well, it should have its own unique page titles. Every page on your site should not consist simply of your business or blog name. It should not carry just your tag line. Each page title should be tailored to the content presented on the page it is representing. You wouldn’t name your children George, George and George would you? Well maybe this guy would.

6. Wide Sites and Skinny Sites

The width of your site is very important. If it’s too skinny those of us with high resolution monitors will have to get real close to our desks to view it. If it’s too wide those of you who haven’t upgraded your browsers yet will have to scroll horizontally to view parts of the page. For instance, this site is too wide for monitors set to a resolution of 1024 x 768. Oops! I’m a tool. The optimum site width is 960px. It will suit most modern monitors (modern monitors,modern monitors,modern monitors…say that 10 times fast). 960 is divisible by 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 16. Use it!

How do I know the width of my website?

Well firstly can you see it all without scrolling horizontally? Horizontal scrolling is a big no-no. Vertical is okay because these days most people have mouse wheels. there is no need to move the mouse to get more page. Horizontal scrolling is tedious. If you have to scroll horizontally redesign your site.

Unless you’re using a browser like Firefox with Firebug enabled or Safari with the Develop menu enabled it’ll be hard for you to determine the width of your pages. Each site will be styled differently. You can search through the CSS files for width commands or simply ask your web guy. Maybe he knows. Get creative. Take a screenshot and drop it in photoshop or something. Set your screen resolution to 1024 x 768 and see what happens. I trust you. You’ll figure it out.

More ways to determine if your web guy is a tool to come. For now I have to redo all my old work that taught me what to teach in these silly blog posts.

35 responses to “6 more ways to determine your web guy is a tool”

  1. Kevin says:

    I just recently had my website redesigned and after reading your article I went back to it. Took a look at your pointers mentioned and found a few mistakes but all and all I think he did well.

    Thanks for this read and the design of your website. I find so many blogs now days that are covered with advertisements all over them. It makes it very hard to follow.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for your kind words Kevin. Make sure you get #1 implemented. It should be an easy fix for your web guy.

  2. i thinks the 6 ways is the truth…. so when i going to make a blog, i have to see this ways…. thanks for info….

  3. Nick says:

    I got another one, though it’s more than simple ignorance of best practices – putting a robots.txt file on your website that blocks all search engine spiders from indexing your content (oh you’re not being found in Google? You need SEO! I can do that for you…)

    • admin says:

      Nick, you’re suggesting that a website owner may be dealing with a web master that is intentionally sabotaging his client’s web presence in order to force his client to spend more money?

  4. SEO is well important for any website, if your web designer is not doing any seo compatible work for you then fire him immediately.

    I loved this article well put specially that meta tags index firing bit.

    We’ll check again for more articles

    Aurora Designs

  5. SEO should be integrated within the foundation of a website, from using Semantic HTML, using key phrases in filenames and naming structure of a website. Now adays if you want your website to have a presence on the Internet then SEO and eMarketing is a must.

    • Yes, I agree with you. If your website does not SEO friendly, you have not done seo for your website then nobody will know about you and your business. You will not get more traffic to your website and will not get business from internet.

  6. SEO, specifically backlinks, is the most important element of SEO. Remember the ‘miserable failure’ George Bush ‘Google Bomb’? Thousands of bloggers linked to Bush’s profile page with that anchor of the keyword as miserable failure and it quickly ranked number one for that term.

    You can’t do this anymore now but it is still partially relevent.

    Great post by the way. I laughed about the inline styles bit. I tend to do that some times due to lazyness!

  7. Jill says:

    “fire him!” love that! i’ll definitely keep this in mind. thanks!

  8. Jimmy says:

    View Source on a site = that dreaded “noindex,nofollow” meta tag!

    So I went to fix it in the WordPress header.php file (where all the other meta tags are), and the BAD tag is not there!

    Now, I can see the bad tag when I hit View Source, but it is not present when I go into the header file… any suggestions?? I was able to add an “index,follow” tag, but the other one is still there, too, and I’m unable to see it to remove it.


    • admin says:


      You probably have your blog configured to not allow search engines to index it. Go through your WordPress settings. You’ll be able to make it searchable by search engines there.

    • Jimmy says:

      Admin – thanks. Your solution was right on the money. Through the WordPress dashboard, I changed the privacy settings to allow the site to be searchable.

  9. For a good and functional web design all the above mentioned points must be cared of in advance. The site navigation, page width, page indexing, page title, etc issues must be dealt intelligently in advance.

  10. I think this is a good good ideas and nice tips. Almost known by every professional web designer, but easily forgotten. For SEO, I think is very critical to get a different page title on every page, but for web design the navigation and the width of website are really important. People don’t like scrolling too much.

  11. aion code says:

    Agree with all the points mentioned. But the best way to know wheter a blog is dofollow or nofollow is to install nodofollow addon on firefox if the use is using firefox browser.

  12. “fire him” — haha, that made me giggle.

  13. Giochi says:

    Nice list
    point 5 is very important.
    It’s necessary to have different titles on pages

  14. sash says:

    It’s really hard to find the right web guy. Lucky for those who already found the right one.

  15. This post need a Trump “you’re fired” graphic under the meta tag bit.

  16. Dissent says:

    Really good article, point 2 is especially true. Getting the right amount of content on a homepage can be very tricky.

  17. I think this is a good good ideas and nice tips. Almost known by every professional web designer, but easily forgotten

    • Anonymous says:

      Cazare, it has been my experience that many professional web designers often become so swamped with work they forget to learn!

  18. Lex says:

    Great article. Just one hair to split… 🙂 On a static HTML web page, it defaults to follow, so you don’t need a meta robots tag. On a WordPress blog, it defaults to nofollow, and you need a plugin or some other way to set it to follow.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lex, true that it does default to follow. Hopefully, things stay that way (I imagine they will). I feel it is good practice and good measure to spend time with meta and title tags. Always best to leave no rock unturned.

  19. tuscany says:

    Thank you for such lovely suggestions to all the web designers. Web designing is a difficult task and designers often advocate the most common mistakes when developing a site according to their customers need. keeping in mind your suggestions, I am sure they are going to improve their work.

  20. been reading ur website around several days. really love your posts. btw i will be doing report about this area. do you happen to know any other websites or maybe forums that I can learn more? thanks a ton.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gennie, I’ll leave this to your Googling abilities. There is nothing more documented on the web than the “web”.

  21. Agree with all the points mentioned. But the best way to know wheter a blog is dofollow or nofollow is to install nodofollow addon on firefox if the use is using firefox browser.

  22. I agree with you. website should have unique content and all pages of website should have unique meta title and meta description tags. It will affect on search engine ranking position.

  23. Bill Marks says:

    Matthew, Great suggestions and wonderful content.

    I appreciate your sharing of these insights with us, now I need to take some action.

    First, I am incorporating these ideas into my checklist, then I’m going to see if my stuff passes the test… hope that I’m not a tool… better yet, hope that I shouldn’t be fired.

    All the best and “Thanks!”


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