The Pittsburgh Web Design Meetup Group Message Board › Website Refresh

Website Refresh

Steve K.
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 2
Hi all,

It's been a long time since I have been to a meeting but I do follow the list. My name is Steve Kalfut and I am now webmaster at Woodlands World in Uniontown. It was a little easier to get to meeting when I worked in the city. I have alot to update and am hoping to get some advice here. I have started by mostly doing data entry adding merchandise to the site. I have also added some basic meta tags - it had none. I will eventually be looking at a refresh of the front end but before I get to that I want to make sure I am organized and not missing anything important.

Summary: I have been handed an old website. What needs to be on my to-do list.
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 1
Hi Steve,

I actually work around the corner from you at NuRelm on Iowa street. From a glance, it's using tables and could use a major overhaul; probably best to switch platforms if that's even an option. I can't identify what it is exactly, or if it's home brewed with asp but, I do like that it appears to be faster than Magento. biggrin Are you able share this info with us?

A former member
Post #: 3
With commerce, your focus should be on seo as the more natural traffic you can generate, the less dependent you become on search marketing. Design practices (tables vs divs) have no impact on serps.

Before you change anything, you need to review the sites analytics data and conduct an in depth seo/serp evaluation. Be cautious if changing any page urls as you're essentially hitting the reset button on that content (google will see them as new content). With commerce involved you absolutely must regard any seo implications that changes may have. Changing urls, even with 301s in place, will diminish (at best, temporarily) any natural search traffic the site receives.

Running a commerce site, you really need to get involved with both the seo and sem communities: follow current trends, not the advice/practices of 2, 5, 10 years ago as several aged practices can actually be harmful (thanks to those that abused them). Example: those meta tags have essentially no value any more in seo, and their over use, inaccurate, or stuffing actually come off as spammy to the crawlers. Using them properly will not harm you, but it won't help your serps either. Attention to meta descriptions and meta keywords has been a wasted effort for a few years now.

Get to know seomoz, search engine land, etc..

Advice is 'imho', but 'mho' carries some weight on this subject: with my previous employer, I helped secure and maintain googles top positions for several highly competitive keywords. Organic traffic from those positions generated the company a 7 figure profit margin. I have more than 'a little' seo experience.
Steve K.
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 3
Ok, response to the first two replies:

Site uses nested tables for layout. I plan on changing that fairly soon.

SEO - One of the things I have done is add some basic meta tags. Since that might not be as useful as I had hoped I will have to dig into the SEO stuff you suggested.


There are some management changes here so I am going slowly which means I have time to do some reading on SEO and whatever anyone else can suggest.

Because of management changes my budget is $0 and will probably be minimal even after they figure out what they want to do. Advice about free/open source software would be useful.

Thanks, SK
Robin D.
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 4
Which CMS you want to use depends on what you want to do with their site and just how technical you are in certain areas. There's always WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal as the "big three" imho. Joomla! and Drupal both have steep learning curves as well. Drupal is making strides in improving this though if you're interested in it. There is a Drupal group in Pittsburgh now with a good 30 people at the last couple of meetings I was able to attend. They have an online forum/group on with meeting info, etc. There's a lot of people under the #joomla hashtag on Twitter. I can't think what forums I've been to for it as it has been a while myself.

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