The biggest, and costliest mistake people make when getting a new website, is trusting their eyes. If it looks swish, and fancy, it must be expensive and good. Right?
Sadly how a website looks is only half the story. It is the code 'behind' the pretty images and fancy effects that matters most. This code matters so much, because it's what search engines like Google and Yahoo look at to catalogue your site. And so far, the computer programmes they use aren't clever enough to know the difference between a pretty site and an ugly one, but how your underlying code is written, really impacts how they perceive your website. Your website is the doughnut, your code is the jam filling. And search engines rank you on taste alone!
So what's is code? And what makes it deliciously tasty?
On any website you visit, in any browser, you should be able to right click on a page, and select "View Source". This displays a new window showing you the actual source code of your website. It may look like an alien language, but it's actually quite simple.
Website code is written in a language called Hyper Text Markup-Language, or HTML. Why computer geeks use so many long names and confusing acronyms is a mystery, but they do, and I hope this and other articles helps simplify some of them for the unenlightened masses.
It is your browser's job to read this HTML code, and display it as human readable text and images on your screen. Sadly some unscrupulous or sometimes just unaware, web designers, spend so much effort perfecting the glaze and sprinkles on your website doughnut, that they don't care about what filling it has. They use the equivalent of cod liver oil, ear wax and saw dust to stuff it out. (cod liver oil is Table based Design, ear wax is site wizards and the saw dust is Flash!)
What you want for your website is good high quality jam!
And the absolute best of high quality perfectly pure preserves is clean semantic HTML, that follows strict guidelines set by industry experts, that separates content from design, so as not to convolute the taste.