DotNetExtra Web Tips and Tricks
Web Templates are Great … Right? Well … Maybe.

Web templates - - You know, the instant web sites available for free or almost free. 

The web template usually gives you a few pages of nicely formated web content with a few easy-to-replace graphics.  Sometimes, they give you several complex pages with some really nice interactive features - contact forms, calendars, fancy flash.

But, as a business person you really have to choose your template with care.  I had a client who proudly showed me his fully developed website.  It was beautifully laid out.  He had spent several hours wording the content.  He was very careful to word the front page content in a way that there would be plenty of things for the search engines to pick up. But, when he tested it on a ‘Be the Bot’ site - a site that shows you the way that Google sees your site, he discovered that Google saw NOTHING! -

The problem was with his template.  When he entered all of that carefully worded text, the template turned it all into a graphic!  That means when Google or some other search engine looks for content, it see only a graphic and no text at all.

Another client showed me her site results on the same ‘Be the Bot’ site - Her site was quite complex. She had also used a template, but was very careful to choose one that showed text as text on the page - In this case the text was appearing to the search engines as white text on a white background. 

This will be the subject of the next http://www.meetup.com/dotnetextraMeet-up - How to make the most web templates while avoiding the pitfalls such as those I just mentioned.  Please join us on December 11, 2010 in Gilbert, AZ - If you can’t join us, respond to this blog with your template issues.  On December 11 - maybe before that, we will respond with some possible solutions.