Although I haven’t been using iWeb for that long I have come up with the following 10 top tips that have made my life easier when it comes to designing a good looking site. If you can think of anymore why not share them with us, add a comment!
1. Download MassReplaceIt. This little app is a godsend when it comes to replacing HTML anywhere on your iWeb site and the ability to save your searches makes repeating the process quick and easy.
2. Save all the HTML you use for snippets in a seperate text documents. It’s always handy because you never know when you might need them again and can you find that web-site…….?
3. Create a blank page in your iWeb site to store all your repetative HTML snippets. Copy/paste is so easy to do when you want add that all important bit of code and it gives you somewhere to try things out too. Just remember not to include it in your site navigation!
4. Get yourself a Google webmaster account. The tools you can find that Google has built for webmasters are priceless and if you want to get higher in the search engines you should be using them. They know what they are talking about when it comes to SEO.
5. Get yourself a decent text/HTML editor. Okay TextEditor can do the job but there are apps available that do the job so much better and for free. Try Taco HTML, TextMate or Text Wrangler 2..you have NO excuse.
6. Search engines trawl sites for keywords. If you want your page heading or title read by Google or Yahoo (for example) keep it as plain text. If you apply effects such as shadow iWeb will turn it into an image (and won’t give it alt tags). It’s better for accessibility too.
7. Add ‘alt’ and ‘title’ tags to your images. Following on from number 6, adding relevant tags to your images improves your SEO as well as improving accessiblity for visually impaired users and those with images switched off in their browser.
8. Make sure you use ‘web-safe’ fonts. So you spend hours getting your iWeb site looking just the way you want it only to find that it looks completely different when a user views it in Internet Explorer. If you use your site to promote a business do you really want it mucked up? Stick to one of the fonts that is common to both Mac and Windows, you can find a list here.
9. Test your site in other browsers. Continuing from number 8, if your sites design is critical to how you are perceived by the world (ie a business based site) can you really afford to have it fall apart as soon as someone views it in another browser? You may not be able to install all the others on your Mac or don’t have access to a PC so try BrowserShots. It does all the testing for you and then e-mails you back the results…and it’s FREE.
10. Check out the Apple iWeb discussion site regularly. If you have a question on iWeb you can almost guarentee that it has been asked before and someone will have ansered it.