Am I Listed? Getting the News Out About Your New (or newly changed) Web Site and Domain

As you may or may not know. I have been in the process of changing the domain names of my music and technology site. Because many of my readers may not know too much about this type of operation, I thought that I would share much of the process in a written form that, hopefully, will prove useful. The following information are eight of the steps that I went through with the re-listing and securing of the new mustech.net domain and website found here at http://www.mustech.net.

* First things first, register your new domain name

I [tag]register[/tag] all my [tag]domain names[/tag] through http://www.godaddy.com. At [tag]godaddy.com[/tag] you can check to see if the [tag]domain[/tag] you want is already registered or free for the taking. If the site is not available, they will recommend alternate names; usually, the new names the generate are pretty good.

A great benefit of using a premier site such as GoDaddy to register your domains is the ease of use that they provide with the managing your domains. Additionally, these sites provide a whole host of tracking, domain options and informational options that simply are not provided by other smaller registrars.

TIP: For a few dollars more you can register a [tag]private registration[/tag] for your domain. I recommend private registrations as they will protect you from a slew of unsolicited e-mails and also provide a shield against new domain name scavenging spammers. In short, private registration = LESS [tag]SPAM![/tag]

* Second, secure your web hosting provider and transfer the domain name to their DNS servers.

Personally, I have been using ARDENT HOSTING for a number of years. They provide excellent pricing and unparalled technical support. They are constantly updating their APACHE, MYSQL, PHP and CPANEL software to the latest versions so that their customers are able to use the latest and greatest software. Regardless of who you use, make sure they provide daily backups of your site and have multiple connections to their web servers and check their “uptime”. I recommend only sites that have greater than 99% uptime and can actually provide you with the documentation.

TIP: Most web hosts use [tag]DNS[/tag] Name servers that operate in [tag]STEALTH[/tag] mode. This means that they are simply DNS servers that are pointing to a REAL DNS server. This provides one more translation and one more potential breaking point in the DNS lookup. You can find out if your web host provider is using a STEALTH DNS server by visiting http://dnsreport.com. The service is free but the information provided will probably be very advanced for the casual user. In addition, you may simply ask your provider as well. They will usually give you the name of the “true” DNS servers to use.

*Third, Build your new site.

This is quite a nebulous and dense topic. There are many software and techniques for creating a web site. For http://www.mustech.net I use the “WordPress” software found at http://www.wordpress.org as the main page creatation tool for this site.

TIP: If you are looking for a GREAT [tag]freeware[/tag] [tag]ftp[/tag] client for use with uploading your website to your host the following three are probably the best. I use them all.

[tag]FileZilla[/tag]: WINDOWS, Download at http://filezilla.sourceforge.net/

[tag]Core FTP[/tag] LE: Windows, Download at http://www.coreftp.com/

[tag]Cyberduck[/tag]: Mac, Download at http://cyberduck.ch/

*TIP:Before you pay for any software, make sure that there isn’t a FREEWARE version available. There are many good and excellent freeware versions of software available for almost everything. To start finding freeware and saving money, I suggest using http://snapfiles.com. [tag]Snapfiles[/tag] is a great resource for finding software in an easy use to manner. Make sure to check the “FREEWARE ONLY” option.

*Fourth, SEO your site:

[tag]SEO[/tag] means Search Engine Optimization. Before you [tag]list[/tag] your site, you probably should check the contents for optimum compatibility, usability and search friendliness. This is what [tag]seo[/tag] is all about; making sure your web site can be found and is search engine friendly. Some of these tools will actually show you what your website looks like to a [tag]web spider[/tag] such as a [tag]googlebot[/tag] or other web [tag]crawler[/tag]. By using this information you can change your site to more accurately reflect what you want it to…SEO [tag]tools[/tag] include software such as:

  • Website [tag]Speed[/tag] Tests
  • [tag]PageRank[/tag] analyzers
  • [tag]Broken Link[/tag] Tests
  • [tag]Link Popularity[/tag] Checkers
  • [tag]Keyword[/tag] Generators and Tests
  • [tag]Metatag[/tag] analysis
  • [tag]Robots.txt[/tag] tools
  • [tag]Code validation[/tag]

The following list includes sites that I use frequently when looking at information contained within a new site or analyzing an old site for better SEO friendliness.

FREE SEO TOOLS from the SEOCOMANY:
http://www.seocompany.ca/tool/seo-tools.html

FREE SEO TOOLS from SEOBOOK:
http://tools.seobook.com/

FREE SEO TOOLS from the WEBMASTER TOOL KIT:
http://www.webmaster-toolkit.com/search-engine-opt…

FREE SEO TOOLS from AUDIT MY PC:
http://www.auditmypc.com/

At first these tools may seem confusing, but after you use them, you will begin to understand them better. After you understand them, you will know why they are so important!


*Fifth, Embed a JavaScript that will analyze your web traffic

If you want to understand the people who are visiting your site better or simply want information on your site demographics and keyword popularity, you will need a site tracker installed. I use a few with http://www.mustech.net.

Probably the best (and most complicated to understand) is [tag]Google Analytics[/tag]. It’s free and will prove invaluable to any serious website owner; Especially, if your are marketing or selling items on your site. It can be obtained for free from Google at:
http://www.google.com/analytics.

A great site tracker is also available for free from the folks at [tag]Stat Counter[/tag]. It can be obtained for free from: http://www.statcounter.com.

If you are a blogger, another great and easy to use site tracker can be found from the folks at [tag]Ice Rocket[/tag]. It can be obtained for free from:
http://www.icerocket.com

TIP: All these trackers can be obtained for free but you will have to register for them. To install these JavaScripts, I recommend pasting them into the footer of your web pages just before the “” tag to obtain the best results.

*Sixth, make a sitemap

Although, technically this item could be listed under the SEO tools found above, It is SO important that I am listing it separately. A sitemap is “road map” to your site for directories such as [tag]Google[/tag], [tag]Yahoo[/tag] and [tag]MSN[/tag]. By using a sitemap, the content of your site will be listed faster and more information will be gleaned from the “spiders”, for listings at the directories, than without it.

Although sitemaps are not hard to make using a simple text editor, the length of today’s websites almost requires the usage of a [tag]sitemap generator[/tag]. There are a number of great online and freeware sitemap generators available to use. There are even great plugins for popular blogging tools, such as WordPress, that can generate sitemaps automatically as you blog. The one I use for WordPress, and recommend, was created by Arne Brachold and can found at: http://www.arnebrachhold.de/cat/seo/googlemap/. He calls this plugin, [tag]Google Sitemap Generator[/tag] 3.

General sitemap generators:

Online:
http://www.auditmypc.com/free-sitemap-generator.as…
http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
http://www.sitemapspal.com/
http://www.freesitemapgenerator.com/

Software:
GY Sitemap Generator: http://www.nexusion.com/sitemapper.html

TIP: The sitemap file should reside in the root directory of your website. This is where your “main” index file resides for your site. If you have sub-domains and or other domains residing in directories on your host, you should make a sitemap for each of them as well.

Google sitemaps and Yahoo sitemaps are compiled into different formats. You will need to make a sitemap for each to obatain optimal results. The goolge sitemap will end in a .xml extension and the yahoo will end in a .rss extension; sitemap.xml and sitemap.rss. The better generators will ask you what type of sitemap (or for what engine) you want to create.

7th, List your new site name with the search engines:

No matter how great your site is, no one will find it unless it is listed with the search engines. There are many ways to “submit your url” to search engines, both for money and for free.

No matter what, get your site listed with the big four listed below. You can submit them manually by clicking on the following links: Google http://www.google.com/addurl/
Yahoo http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html
MSN http://search.msn.com.sg/docs/submit.aspx?FORM=WSDD
DMOZ http://dmoz.org/add.html
Once you are listed with them, your site will eventually be found by real people and picked up by other directories as well.

I am only going to list some of the free automated sites where you can [tag]submit[/tag] your new web url. You will find that the collective wisdom of the Internet world is that manual submissions “hold more weight” than [tag]automatic[/tag] submissions.

To manually list your site with a directory, simply go to the site and search for terms such as “add a url” or “submit a url” and you will find the location and information about how to register your new site with them. That being said, automatic submissions are a great start.

Free sites to automatically list your new website automatically:

Freewebsubmission.com:
http://freewebsubmission.com/
Submit Express:
http://www.submitexpress.com/
Submit Shop:
http://www.submitshop.com/freesubmit/freesubmit.ht…

There are many pay services and also expensive software that will also register your site(s). Make sure you evaluate your need for this type of software before you pay for it. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish- the free submission sites may be all that you need.

If you are creating a blog or site that supports [tag]rss feed[/tag]s, make sure you lookup the various free directory submission sites for them as well. You will find that listing your site with them may actually provide you more visitors than the major search engines do (you can find out who is coming from where my using the tracking JavaScripts talked about above).

TIP: Many domain registration services and web-hosting services will provide you with free registrations to the top directory sites. Make sure you check with them to see if this free service is available to you.

8th, Sit back and relax…

It may take days, weeks or even months for your site to start showing up in the directories and visitors to start being “referred” from them. Be patient! Make sure you don’t submit your site(s) too many times or the directory service may think you are spamming them and the listing of your site may even take longer!

~J. Pisano

Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, a lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Director of Bands in the Calderwood School of Arts at Grove City College in PA. He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award and the PA Citation of Excellence. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators and the current Vice-President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He also writes for DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and is the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.
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