7 August What the heck is a hard or soft return? August 7, 2012By Kelly O Best Practices, General Editing 0 When you're editing text you may come across situations where the effects you are trying to apply go a bit haywire. Often this is caused by tags in the hidden HTML code that creates your line breaks. In most cases (and on the websites we build) a hard return is when you simply hit the Enter key. A soft return is a little different, you create one of those by hitting Shift+Enter. Okay so whats the big difference you ask? Well a hard return will create a new paragraph, which can be selected/highlighted as a block of content. A soft return creates a line break but stays within the same paragraph. Why is this important? Well it can make editting a lot more pleasant and create nicer hidden code in the background. A good example of this might be when you're creating a bulletted list and want to add some space after each point .. A hard return will messup your bullets, a soft return will not. There are many other cases where the difference between a hard return and soft return can make your work much easier. I hope to add some more examples of this in a later post. Hope this helps a bit for now! Related Posts Smart tips for SEO with DNN A while back I came across a great post regarding how to use some of the meta tags on DNN. This article shares with you the importance of various tags and other settings that will help get your DNN site indexed better by the various search engines. I've highlighted some of the key points below. Page Title (Really Important): The Page Title is another very important aspect of on-page SEO. This represents the title tag found in the head section of a web page. Simply enter your page title in the Page Title text box. The search engines use the title of a web page in their ranking factors to help determine what a page is about. It is very important to use an appropriate and effective page title, ideally using your keywords. In addition, it is the page title that is displayed as the linked text when returned in a search engine result page (SERP). From a user perspective it is the first thing that is generally seen in their search results when skimming the page. For example, if you are trying to rank well for ‘DotNetNuke SEO’ and you name your page ‘SEO Tutorials > My Company Name’, you are not providing the user or the search engine with a page title as optimized as it can be for the phrase ‘DotNetNuke SEO’. Depending on the competition for that search phrase your page is less likely to be returned in the first few items of the search engine result page (SERP), and if it were, the user isn’t provided with targeted link text related to ‘DotNetNuke SEO’ and may just skip over the item. A better page title would be ‘DotNetNuke SEO Tutorials by My Company Name’. The search phrase ‘DotNetNuke SEO’ is used first in the title so the search engines and the user clearly knows what the page is about. In addition the search engines will bold the keywords found in the title matching the search phrase. So your title will be ‘DotNetNuke SEO Tutorials by My Company Name’ thus bringing more attention to the actual search term. Best practice dictates that you should not have blank or duplicate page titles and the title should be roughly 70 characters. Though more can be used and will be seen by the search engines, most of the search engines display only 70 characters. Personally I would rather have my entire page title displayed in the search results rather than the first 70 characters followed by … But again, that’s just my preference and not always feasible. You can add more or less, but be mindful of the SEO aspects when choosing a title for your page. Description (Somewhat important) The Page Description represents the META description tag found in the head section of the web page. Simply enter your page description in the Description text box. Generally speaking a best practice approach is to keep your page descriptions to around 160 characters. Again, this is largely due to the number of characters the search engines usually display on their result pages. Though it has been documented that META descriptions are not relevant to search engine rankings-- at least in Google, Bing and Yahoo-- they are very important in describing the web page to the user. The description is displayed right under your page title. It is best to treat your page description as a short, yet compelling advertisement with appropriate use of your keywords. Creating your page descriptions this way tends to draw a much higher click-through rate. In addition, the search engines bold the keywords used in the description , just like they do in the page title when they match the search queries. Studies show that descriptions that display bold keywords have higher click through rates than those that do not. Consider the following example. If you were searching for ‘DotNetNuke SEO’, when skimming the search engine result page of your search which, result is more enticing? Another quick tip is to not use quotes in your descriptions if it can be avoided. The search engines use quotes as a delimiter and tend to truncate the description. And like the page title it is important to avoid blank page descriptions and be sure they are unique for each page on your site. Keywords (least important ) Under Page Details you will also find the Keywords textbox. This relates to the META keywords tag found in the head section of a web page. As with the page description, the META keywords tag is not relevant to search engine rankings. They also do not provide any real value to the end user. However, it has been said to provide value to your competition, providing them an easy means to identify which keywords are important to your website. If you choose to add keywords, just add a comma separated list in the Keywords textbox. QR Codes fast and easy What's a QR Code? QR Codes are those funny looking square barcodes you see on some products or ads. Scan them with your phone and you''ll get more information about that item. If you're looking to use a QR code to drive traffic to a web page they're easy to make. Check out this website to create high quality QR codes fast and easily .. http://www.qrstuff.com Resizing images fast and easy if you've ever wanted to resize a bunch of images for an online photo gallery and don't want to have to open up PhotoShop or some other image editting software, here's a great tip. Todays digital cameras, even mobile phones can take photos that are really huge in Mega Pixels. Most of the time, these images are 3 to 4 times larger than they need to be for a website gallery, and uploading the full size version is a waste of space and might even slow down your web pages. Try this: If you're using a windows operating system (not sure if Apples have a similar feature), browse to the photos on your computer, highlight the ones you want to resize, then right click and select the "Send to mail Recipient" option. When you do, the system will ask you if you want to resize the images before sending .. say yes and pick your size. For most website gallery photos, 800 x 600 is plenty big. Simply send the email to yourself and you will get an email with nicely resized images. Quick and easy. Hope that helps! Know your Domain Registrar Being a web developer I work with setting up domain names, email, and DNS all the time. It's clear to me that some domain registrars are better than others both in services offered and price. In fact the range is quite extreme. For example, my favorite domain registrar Linkship.com, charges about $15.99 CAD per year for a .com domain registration, while some competitors charge as much $85 CAD per year. That's quite a difference, and the service/support from those expensive registrars is most often a large leap backward. One of the common scams I see regarding domain names, and I do call them scams, is that you may get some official looking "renewal" notifications from some of those "expensive" registrars who are basically trying to fool you into transferring your domain name to them at their outrageously higher prices. Or, a so called "domain protection" or "SEO listing" service may try to imply your renewal with them is due and your domain will be de-listed if you do not submit payment. How they do this is why I consider them scammers, providing a somewhat ambiguous "request to pay notice" based on your domain name expiry date. When you register a domain name, unless you specifically purchase a privacy option, your registration information is public information. The notices look very official, come at the right time, and even occasionally threaten you to act quickly. For many people this may appear to be a legitimate domain registration notice, having your correct name, address, and contact info on it, as well as all the correct information about your domain name. I've seen several customers unintentionally fall for this, and it's easy to see why .. everything looks correct. The fact is you are being steered away from your original domain registrar to a more expensive one, and it's a small nightmare to restore your domain name to the original registrar and pricing, or you're subscribing to an unnecessary service you may never benefit from (or receive). I own about 80 domain names, and they send me these scammer renewal emails all the time and I thought I best share it with you to avoid falling into their trap. I have linked to several graphics showing the scammer style notifications I receive. 2 are by email and 1 is commonly by postal mail. Have a peak at these and be wary if you see them. If I see others, I'll add them here. Scammer Registrar Example #1 "International Whois Domain Protection Agency" Scammer Registrar Example #2 "Domain SEO Services" Scammer Registrar Example #3 "Domain Registry of Canada" comes by mail in a manila envelope. Maybe take a moment and double check who your domain registrar is. Get familiar with their notices, etc. Login to your domain account now and then and make sure your contact info is up to date so you don't miss any legitimate renewal notifications. If you're not sure who your domain registrar is, you can try a "Whois" lookup ... simply input your domain and the registration details will come up. Last but not least, if you need a great domain registrar I encourage you to try LinkShip.com. Compared to other registrars, in the long run LinkShip generally provides the best pricing, best options, and exceptional support. Take a ride ... 14 years ago! We've done some fun things over the years. One of our favorites was our year 2000 Millennium website. We wanted to do something out of this world that might get some interesting attention. The story starts in a space craft hanger on a distant but similar planet. You're guided on board the space craft and after a few system checks, you embark on your quest for intelligence. Millennium website start page In 2000, the web was still fairly new and progressively cool new animated websites were taking the stage for the first time. As a pioneer of digital technology, we thought it might be nice to show our stuff and what better way to do it than at the onset of a new millennium. We worried a bit about the controversial Y2K bug that threatened to shut done technology, and that all the work we put into it might be for not. But optimism prevailed and we tried to put a lot of talents together for this very cool (at the time) flash website and intro. This is the extended version that provides a journey of sorts before you get to the website. Remember, this is year 2000 technology. It may not play correctly on some modern devices (phones, and some tablets) but give it a try anyway. You might enjoy the ride. Comment (0) Comments are closed.