Category Archives: Websites

New Year’s Resolutions in… November!

While most people in the US make their New Year’s resolutions on New Year’s, we’ve been experimenting with a different way.

We make our resolutions on or before Thanksgiving with the goal to finish old, outstanding, in-house projects before New Year’s. Like many companies, we have projects that we want to do for our company that often get pushed aside because the clients always come first.

This year, we got our new website up and running at

We also do “Follow Wednesday” or “Follow Thursday” instead of “Follow Friday” with the thoughts of helping people find us when they do their social media ritual on Fridays.

What will your company’s resolutions be for 2015?

What does your company do to stay a step ahead?

Send your thoughts and ideas to and have a Happy Thanksgiving in the US!

Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts


1. Search Engines and Search Engine Optimization (Continued)

Meta tags are located in the coding for the webpage near the top, underneath the identification of the type of document and coding that will be used.

Here is a handy list of some of the most often used meta tags:

  • Keywords
  • Description
  • Author
  • Title

To use these meta tags, simply copy the below in their respective format and insert into your website, replacing the *ADD HERE* sections with relevant words for your website and deleting the asterisks as well as the directions.

 <title>*ADD YOUR TITLE HERE*</title>

There is much more to search engine optimization than can be covered here in these two posts. Please contact us at Little Mountain Web Design to learn more about how our company can help you and your website with search engine optimization.

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Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts


1. Search Engines and Search Engine Optimization (Continued)

Now that you understand better how search engines work, we will cover part of search engine optimization, SEO. It is important to use SEO to create better websites and not to use techniques and strategies solely to have your website rank high. Google has written much about this aspect of SEO.

To Meta or Not To Meta

Meta tags are in the coding of your website. With the exception of the title of the webpage, you will not see them when viewing the webpage. To view the code, either click on a website where there is no image or flash and check under the hood, so to speak, to see what is there running the page like an engine for your car. You should see a meta tag for the title. You should also see other meta tags, but they are not present in every website.

Some of the less experienced search engine optimizers and web designers feel and write that it is unnecessary to use meta tags, with the belief that Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engine companies will find their website without this effort. While that can be true, a large part of why a customer wants their website optimized is to have their website rank higher on search engines.

As such, they are not mindful of these three things:

  • Robots as members of your audience
  • Traditional types of information that are collected by search engines
  • Classic elements of a website

As discussed earlier, a website has two audiences: people and robots. The robots collect information including those contained in the meta tags and report back to their respective search engines with these golden nuggets. These data nuggets are, in turn, evaluated in the search engine algorithm and compared with other data, such as the content of your website. This evaluation ranks your website according to that particular algorithm and other criteria. The weight or importance put on the meta tags and comparison with the content can shift, depending on the algorithm or the version. The current search engine algorithm used by Google has been called Panda or Farmer.

The use of meta tags is an important strategy to be incorporated into any web design and is an integral part of search engine optimization. To meta or not to meta should not be the question. It should be a standard practice for those wanting to build good solid websites that are search engine optimized.

Our next segment of our series, “Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts,” will cover the different types of meta tags.

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Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts


1. Search Engines and Search Engine Optimization (Continued)

Meta search engines combine searches for several types of search engines in one location or in one search.

A few of these are as follows:

Different countries and languages may have different search engines that specialize in the language and other needs.

Here are a few:




The next installment of our series, “Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts” will focus on search engine optimization.

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Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts-Search Engine Optimization


1. Search Engines and Search Engine Optimization

In the previous post, we discussed that there is a second audience besides humans that your website should consider–robots!

Robots are the programs that search engines send out to gather and scour information on the Internet and report back to them. These robots are also called spiders and their activity is called “spidering.” Spiders, of course, “crawl” the World Wide Web.

This collected information is then evaluated by criteria set forth in search engine algorithms. Algorithms are a set of procedures created to solve a problem or get to a desired result in a specified manner. The results of the algorithm process determine search engine rankings. This is the order in which websites are displayed when a search is made.

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing and can be different from search engine to search engine. When the algorithm changes, your website’s rankings may fluctuate up and down for a time as your website is affected by the new weighting of different criteria, and so are your competitors’. This fluctuation is called by some the “Google dance.”

If you are using the Internet to help advertise or increase your Internet presence for your business, organization or area of interest, rankings are very important. This is because many people do not go past the first few results or pages, so what is on top has the best opportunity of having Internet users visit.

Search engine optimization specialists will often research and study many more pages in order to have a more in depth understanding of the competition to help clients rank better. While search engine optimization specialists study many things and employ a variety of techniques to help a website be and rank its best, no one should ever guarantee a high ranking. Ranking high is like doing well in the stock market or a horse winning a race. While much can be done to ensure success, there are so many different and uncontrollable variables and competitors, even the best specialist cannot and should not guarantee results.

Having some basic understanding of these busy spiders is key to encouraging them to visit and report back that your website is indeed worthy, in the minds of those who created the latest algorithms, of a higher ranking than your competitor’s. It is important to create good solid websites that are useful to humans, which is what companies like Google state is their intent for the algorithms.

It is also important to realize that what is considered tasty by a spider, whether it is program or arachnid, is very different from a succulent meal or “eye candy” to humans.

The art, or practice, of making a better website by using and creating tasty morsels for the spiders to feast on and report back favorably to their masters is called search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engine optimization will be covered in a future installment of our series, “Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts.”

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Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts-Web Design


Web design should give cohesion to all your thoughts and ideas for presenting your information to the Internet public in the form of a website. This next chapter will be broken into many parts. Today, we will explore some basic factors to be used for creating a website, some goals and types of audiences.

1. What Factors Should One Consider In Designing a Website?

When you are considering your design, it is important to consider the following factors and strategies:

  • Purpose/Goal of your website
  • Audience for your website
  • Company/Organization name
  • Functions/action verbs associated with your company/organization
  • Branding strategy
  • Colors
  • Themes
  • Text

Choosing the right design and content for your website is very important and depends upon two major factors, your goals and your audience.

Here are some questions to help you get started.

What Are the Goals/Purposes of Your Website?

Websites can have many purposes, as stated earlier. They can introduce/sell a new idea, product, service, business, or organization. They can be used to communicate with, connect with and provide functions to clients. They can also be used to help your team, business, organization, Internet community work or engage more effectively.

The type of goals, whether they are internal, for your employees, or organization members, affects how the website can be designed. For example, your goal could be to increase the level of collaboration among your team, explain new products or services to existing customers, or introduce your business to new customers.

For websites whose purpose is more common, that of reaching the unknown Internet user, different strategies are employed, including more explanatory text and search engine optimization (SEO).

When you begin to create your website, you should start with your specific goals in mind and any other factors that may be important to you and create your own special list of goals. As time passes, you may change this list to better reflect your needs and direction. It is best to set up a time frame to periodically reevaluate your website, its goals and audience as you do your business plan, to make sure your website is working hard for you to do what is needed.

For more details on goals and purposes, please see our earlier article dated 17 January 2011. You can do that by clicking this link,

Who Is the Audience for Your Website?

There are many ways to look at your audience. One is to break it up into three categories: general, intended, and robots.

General refers to anyone that ends up finding your website. This person may or may not have an interest in finding your particular website, but they have located it. It is important when designing the website and creating your text to realize that not everyone may know as much about your area of interest or specialty, so some broad explanations are needed to help fill in some of the gaps, even if your website is only geared towards professionals in your area.

Intended is the specific group of people that you hope to attract. These may be customers, buyers for department stores, government entities, suppliers, volunteers for a non-profit, or just people with a common interest in your field.

The last type of audience you have are robots, programs that collect information from the web. This is important if you want others to find your website when using a search engine.

We will explain more of this in our next installment, “Search Engines and Search Engine Optimization”.

Please return later or read on for the continuation of this series and more on web design, where we will cover an overview of search engine optimization.

All rights reserved. This article and all articles are copyright Little Mountain Web Design.

Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts


After choosing a domain name, you can purchase it either separately or as part of a package with your hosting service. Some hosting services, such as Blue Host*, offer a free domain name with the purchase of their hosting service.

3. How Do You Purchase a Domain Name?

Domain names are purchased by domain name registrars that are authorized by ICANN for such purposes. “ICANN” is an acronym that stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

“The mission of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) is to coordinate, at the overall level, the global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers, and in particular to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.” (BYLAWS FOR INTERNET CORPORATION FOR ASSIGNED NAMES AND NUMBERS, Article 1, Section 1, January 25, 2011, according to their website at ).

To learn more about ICANN, visit

To purchase a domain name directly from a domain registrar, you can use the below registrars:

Other registrars may be found at

You can also purchase a domain name from companies that work with a registrar, such as:

If your desired domain name is in use, you may try to work with the owner, hope you get lucky and it drops off quietly when it expires or try one of the following companies to purchase it:

These companies or the owner of the domain name may use a domain name appraiser similar to what appraisers do in real estate for homes. The appraisers evaluate and put the numbers of what they think the “property” is worth.

The domain appraiser estimates the value of a domain name based on certain criteria such as:

  • Easy to remember
  • Good for branding
  • Contains good key words for a company
  • Short, preferably 16 characters or less
  • Purity of the name, no hyphens, deliberate misspellings

If there is a functioning website associated with the domain name, the appraiser may look at the following:

  • Website age
  • Website traffic/followers
  • Existing website revenues (advertisers, sponsors, affiliate members or partners)
  • Website quality
  • Other related developments (related social media, etc.,)

Please note that some of the above links are marked with an asterisk. These are affiliate links and those companies may remunerate Little Mountain Web Design as part of a partner or affiliate referral relationship.

Please return later or read on for the continuation of this series to include information on Part II, Web Design, from our website blog.

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Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts-Domain Names


Choosing a domain name is a starting point for many when beginning their first website or creating a new website. It is important to consider and understand the nature of a domain name, the factors in choosing a domain name, where is best for you to purchase one, and what might be the best domain name for your business or organization to maximize your website’s potential.

1. What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the locational information that appears in the URL* (Uniform Resource Locator) such as “” for this blog at “” and “” for “”. This tells others where to find your website and the exact address location of your directory or file.

TLDs are Top Level Domains. These are domain names with endings such as the following:


Among the most coveted are .com and .org. These were among the first TLDs and are easy to remember.

2. What Factors Should One Consider In Purchasing a Domain Name?

When you are considering your domain name, it is important to consider the following factors and strategies:

  • Company/Organization name
  • Functions/ action verbs associated with your company/organization
  • Nouns related to company/organization
  • Keyword relevance to what you are promoting
  • Distinctive name that is easy to remember
  • Branding strategy
  • Length of the domain name
  • Buying related domain names
  • Secrecy in selecting a domain name until purchase is completed
  • TLDs

Begin your search for that perfect domain name by brainstorming different names and ideas. You can use a thesaurus to help find synonyms to think of different but related names.

It is generally beneficial for your domain name to be short and easily remembered. This helps people find your business or organization quickly, even if they can’t remember it exactly when they look for it via the search engines. Some domain name appraisers will recommend you keep the characters down to sixteen characters or less for your domain name. Long domain names make for long URLs and email addresses. This can be difficult later for business cards, media and sending links.

Define you brand strategy and ask yourself if your domain name enhances or complements it. To help with this, your domain name should have a memorable name that embodies your company/organization and what you are doing. Prepare a list of several choices in case the domain that you want has been taken.

If your choice for a domain name has been taken, you can contact the owners directly or use a third party to contact the owner for you to make a offer. In those cases, it is unlikely that you will be able to purchase the domain name at cost from the owner. Be aware that there are many companies that purchase domain names with the sole intent to profit from selling it to someone like you who wants to own and develop it.

If that happens, you may work with a domain name appraiser. Domain name appraisers calculate how much they think your domain name is worth. Please note that it is their perception, not what your future domain name is actually worth. As mentioned earlier, many people buy domain names with the sole purpose of selling it to someone later. The real estate equivalent of this is “flipping” a house. Now while one does not need to develop the “property” or make repairs, some development can raise the asking price.

It is best to keep your ideas for a domain name secret and to not search for them online until you are ready to buy, to keep others from buying it first by watching your activities online with various programs. Having more than one choice for a domain name ready in case your desired domain name is not available is a good strategy to prevent persons wanting to buy your potential domain name before you purchase it.

When you purchase your domain name, you may wish to purchase WHOIS privacy. WHOIS privacy, depending on your particular company, can keep more than your email address off the main WHOIS Internet searches. WHOIS searches can tell you who owns a website and how to contact them. Having WHOIS privacy helps reduce spam and scams but can give the impression to some that you are hiding something. The decision to purchase or not purchase this should be considered carefully by a business or organization.

Please return later or read on for the continuation of this series and more on domain names, including registrars, ICANN and how to purchase one from our website blog.

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Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts

The next several blog posts will cover the introduction and sections for our multi-part series, ”Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts.” In this series, we will explain some of the fundamentals in having a website and what is needed to purchase and maintain one. While these articles primarily are aimed at persons who do not have a website and want to learn more about the basics, we hope that if you are familiar with websites that you will learn something new as well. At the end of later posts, there will be a website glossary of terms and website related definitions and link section that everyone may find helpful.


Websites are a valuable component in modern marketing and branding strategies of today’s businesses and organizations and have become an important part of a business’ or organization’s credentials. They can help your business to be found in this highly mobile society where more and more people who relocate turn to the Internet to help them move and find places, news and information. Local residents are doing the same to get more out of their communities. Websites provide many different types of services to both the business/organization and both potential and existing clients. It is important to understand what websites can do, how they work and what is necessary to have them and keep them going and maximize the benefits to both your business/organization and your website visitors.

Websites can have many purposes and fulfill many functions depending on the business/organization and its needs, its clients’ needs and its leadership and management style. These have been grouped into three general categories of purpose and intent:

1. Introduce Your Business or Organization or Ideas to Potential New Clients/Customers and Readers

  • Explain features, products and services of your business or organization
  • Explain ideas, thoughts, concepts and approaches
  • Entertain to increase name recognition and create a positive fun image
  • Educate potential clients, customers, consumers and followers
  • Help your business be found and connect you to your new clients and customers
  • Meet public expectations when researching your company or organization

For example, a list of your company’s or organization’s products and services can be displayed to make them easily found and understood by persons who come to your website. You can help keep your customers returning with new content, games, promotions, social media and more. The website should reflect not just who or what your business or organization is at this snapshot of time but meet expectations of the Internet user when they arrive. If your company produces precision made parts, your website should reflect this in its design, images and texts. If your organization focuses on creative elements such as art for children, your website should reflect that and be enticing not just to the parents but to the children. Press kits and brochures can be made easily available to the media and others.

2. Communicate with and Provide Functions to Existing Clients

  • Report company or organizational news
  • Report global or local news of interest to clients
  • Educate clients on more details of your business
  • Reward clients with special promotions and services
  • Easy access and logins for specialized information, updating accounts and checking results

There are many specific examples for this. Doctors’ offices can provide links to companies that can post test results securely online. Movie theaters can have special membership pages with coupons, discounts and other specials. Financial services can provide access to portfolios and have near real-time access to changes in the stock market. Businesses and organizations can provide their own abstracts and news services on popular, useful and current events. News archives can be kept of important events specific to the company or organization, including articles in the press.

3. Help Your Team Work More Effectively

  • Educate your staff with staff only sections
  • Post schedules and schedule requests in staff only sections
  • Lessen the work load and time demands of your staff and yourself by posting forms, FAQs and other information online
  • Share resources and collaborate on projects

For example, doctors’ offices can post HIPAA privacy notices, intake and other forms for easy download by the patient. This easy availability allows the patient to fill out the forms in the comfort of their own home, saving valuable office staff time and minimizing the patient waits in the doctor’s office. Restaurants can post their menus online so that the customer can review them before coming to eat or to facilitate speedy ordering for take out.

Websites are composed of three main parts which require action:

Domain Name
Web Design
Hosting Service

We will explore each of these in our upcoming posts. Our next topic is domain names and will cover choices for domain names, domain registrars, ICANN and more.

Please return later or read on for the continuation of this series and other new website blog posts. Thank you for your visit.

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