Sunday, September 7, 2008

DotNetNuke Search Engine Optimizing - Step 7 Good HTML

I found an interesting post in a blog written about a year ago from Tom Kraak, owner of Seablick Consulting. The post gives a good list of SEO tips to consider when using the DotNetNuke framework which I think is helpful for all the people involved in creating a web site. Your modern day web developer simply has to be cognizant about the SEO ramifications of their implementation details.

The one that comes to mind first when thinking about my role, as developer (see previous post about "Three D's", I'm the one with the halo ), is number 7.

Write well-formed, standard compliant HTML to improve accessibility and "crawlability." Consider excessive in-page JavaScript, HTML layout tables and frames junk food for search engines spiders. I'm well aware that strict XHTML remains a challenge with DNN, but let's make an effort to move away from quirks mode by adhering at least to XHTML transitional.

Number 7 is one of several good reasons why I am an advocate of DIV's over Tables. Regardless of the fact that all the cool kids seem to be using div's these days, I still like to be able to answer the question "Why do people use div's over tables?" when occasionally asked by the seasoned developer (aka Old Fogey) and ordinary Dreamweaver adept (aka Graphic Designer). Here is my basic response: Tables were meant for tabular data, that is what they should be used for. Now to add to that, tables are incredibly helpful in some situations; I'm not an advocate of throwing them completely under the bus for all layout handling.

The problem with using tables for layouts (that I personally have found) is that they are very frequently rendered differently in every browser. As a corollary (albeit slightly contrived) to this problem, I like to also point out that it often takes more HTML to do the same layout with tables. One single 120 x 120 block of glorious green background is done in one div tag and some CSS, whereas if it were done with tables it becomes 3 tags and some CSS. The increase in the number of tags means an increased surface area for rendering problems with the browser, not to mention the increase in the amount of code to maintain.

Glorious Green

Now Playing: T.I. - Swagger Like Us

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