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  1. #1
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    Hi There,

    I would really appreciate some guidance from people who are in the know, hence why I have joined this forum.

    I own a small BnB and am thinking of having my website redesigned as it looks a little dated and hopefully to attract more customers.

    My site is currently in HTML with a small amount of FLASH. My web hosts and web designer are one and the same. They will not allow others to design the website and host it for me. For various reasons changing my web host is not an option at all.

    My dilemma is that, they have made a few suggestions in terms of redesigning my website showing me other websites they have recently produced. The only one which has any appeal to me at all is one they have done completely in FLASH. They are not giving me an option to have the same design in HTML.

    From what I gather if my website is completely in FLASH it is going to have an adverse effect in relation to being searchable by google, yahoo etc etc. I apologize as this is really not a subject I have any knowledge of, only from what I have read online. Please could I have your opinions of using a FLASH website and the possible implications in terms of it effecting how my website is likely to rank in search engines and anything else I should take into consideration.

    I really appreciate any feedback about this.

    Look forward to hearing your replies and thank you again.

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    There are a couple of issues to address here. First of all, I would not stay with a host who does not give me control over who I use and how I design my site.

    Secondly. Flash is not nearly as popular as it used to be; javascript will do almost anything Flash can, is more search-engine friendly (and gives more return for time invested, in my opinion).

    If I were in your shoes, I'd quietly shop around for quotes on a new design, and if you find one you like, switch hosts and go for it.

    Since you say you can't switch hosts, I would say in that case you'll be settling for second best any way you look at it - either a Flash site you like, or an HTML site that will probably get you more exposure on the search engines.

    In this case the choice is simple. While you may be the owner of the site, it should be designed with the potential viewer in mind - so pick an HTML design you can live with, as this will be accessible to more viewers than a Flash site.
    PonchoHuasi likes this.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  4. #3
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    AlphaMare, Thank you for the speedy response.
    My hands are completely tied in terms of changing the hosts, you have given me some good advice. I don't know if I should just stick with the current design and update the text and images.

    Sorry to be a pain, can I ask another question. I read somewhere that search engines especially google do not search meta tags for keywords but instead uses the words within "title" , is that true?

    I am doing all I can at the moment to research all possible ways of raising my online presence.

    There seems to be quite a lot of conflicting information online.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    #1. Who's name is on the domain name registration as administrative contact ? If its not you, and you've paid for the domain, you need to get that fixed. If you are not in control of your own domain name then there are bigger problems.

    #2. Not only do search engines not index flash based sites, any apple device ( iPhone, iPad, iPod ) do not display flaw at all, so anyone visiting the site on say an iPhone are not going to see anything. Why does that matter ? There are millions of iPhones out there, and you can be guaranteed that many potential visitors have them. If they can't see your site, then the designers are doing your business a dis-service by even considering using a flash based site for your business.

    3. Been disproven numerous times that search engines don't look at "meta-descriptions"... Search engines look at "all content", that includes title tags, keyword tags, description tags, actual content, alt tags for images as well as title tags for whatever. What they don't read is flash and text in images.

    Content is king when it comes to search engines.

    Once you have control of your domain name, you can move your domain to any hosting provider and use any designer of your choosing.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    I might add, and I would be suspicious of these guys, if they host and design your site, if they are running the site on "their server", chances are its probably not being seen as it should. Many guys to do this will run numerous sites on a server on a DSL or CABLE connection, those types of servers used for hosting generally are not given a whole lot of attention by search engines, or worse yet, they do something to the server or host a site that search engines black list which will affect how they see your site.

    You've made the move in the right direction though, you've come to a site where there is a wealth of good information and you're asking questions.

  7. #6
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    Webzarus,

    Thank you the information you have given, is very helpful in assisting me with how to move forward.

    From what you and Alphamare say it seems to me that sticking with HTML is the thing to do. No point in having a website that looks great, if it is going to be ignored by search engines and ultimately not do its intended function.

    Besides this current barrier I am very happy with my web host and we receive alot of traffic from their parent website. Moving away from them I do not feel will benefit me.

    Cheers

  8. #7
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Parent web site ?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webzarus, post: 242802
    Parent web site ?
    The hosts also have a tourism website that links to our website.

    Their website has a link to many hotels and BnB's in the province, including ours.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks for the explanation.

    I had a client once that had done something similar... They didn't think they were getting the traffic they should be ( they weren't ), so we setup a new site, ( no one says you can only have one web site for your business ), started tracking and monitoring.

    The new site got about 40 times the traffic, and more importantly about 20 times the conversions.

    You may be getting what you think is OK traffic, but you also have to consider, because they recommend and provide traffic to your competitors ( people offering the same service as you ), they are actually degrading potential visitors.

    Not what you want to hear, I know, but these "portals" should not be your only marketing effort. At best is should only be a small part of it.

  11. #10
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    I'd be interested to know which hosting company it is. I have often had clients come to me saying something similar to what you've said, and it turns out that it's not such a dire situation. Alternatively, for one of my clients took 6 months of hassling and emailing back and forth with the host/registrar, before they (the client) got control back of their domain and site.

    As for the metatag question - use metatags, use keywords in content text (be careful to keep the language reasonable and relevant) and title your pages with descriptive titles - "About Us" is extremely generic, but something like "about our B&B in the Muskokas with canoe rentals" has information the search engines can use.

    Also, Webz has a very good point -
    Quote Originally Posted by Webzarus, post: 242810
    You may be getting what you think is OK traffic, but you also have to consider, because they recommend and provide traffic to your competitors ( people offering the same service as you ), they are actually degrading potential visitors.
    PonchoHuasi likes this.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!


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