A New Reality for the New Year
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Web site updates for the New Year

With the New Year, it's time to check a few updates regarding your web site.

First, update the Copyright date on your web site. Usually this is at the bottom of your main pages. The purpose is to protect your content. In addition, search engines read a current date as an indication of a well maintained site which improves your SEO (Search Enginge Optimization) rankings. Just update the date on every main page with a copyright date. This is easy to do.

The next task for the new year is to start a new email habit. Start using the email address that refers to your web site instead of your generic "gmail", "yahoo" or "mac" account. For example, my address is bermaid[at]harriete-estel-berman [dot]info. I also have a few other email accounts, but this is the email address that has a clear professional identity for me as an artist. Start now to gradually wean all your email contacts and professional information to your web site email. Next time you print business cards and postcards use the email address for your website. Start now to make the transition as inexpensive and painless as possible.

Finally, I had a question from a reader about ALT image tags discussed in a previous post.

If you are using a template site or web site development software like Dreamweaver, most will prompt you for an ALT Image tag. It is easy to skip over but the reason for your ALT image description (outside of helping the disabled "read" your site) is that the ALT tags also help with SEO. Search engines can't read or interpret images -- they can only read the image descriptions. Every image on your web site offers search engines nothing, nay-da, zip information, unless you add ALT image tags.  With ALT image tags any Internet surfer looking for images can find your work with Google Images.

I love watching video tutorials to help me learn about these Internet nuts and bolts issues in a non-technical way. This video from Google discusses using ALT attributes smartly.  While the video is a few years old the information is still relevant.

Fading Identity a Vanity Seat by Harriete Estel Berman from recycled tin cans.
Fading Identity © 2002
Recycled Tin Cans
Artist:Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Here is an example from my website. Look for the image of this chair on the Sculpture page by CLICKING HERE. Find the image of the Vanity Seat at the top of the right column, in the first row of four images.

This is the HTML code for the image: img src="images/vanity2.gif" alt="Fading Identity Vanity Seat by Harriete Estel Berman constructed from recycled tin cans." width="100" height="150" border="0"

[This is the image name.] img src="images/vanity2.gif" 

[This is the ALT TAG. It describes the image. ]   alt="Fading Identity Vanity Seat by Harriete Estel Berman constructed from recycled tin cans." 

[This is the size of the image. ] width="100" height="150"

CLICK ON THE IMAGE OF THE Vanity Seat on my web site. This takes you to a pop up window with a larger image. It also has an ALT tag. Here is the HTML code.

alt="Fading Identity vanity seat sculpture by Harriete Estel Berman is constructed using recycled tin cans.">

On my web site the ALT tags are essential because myweb site is mostly images and I decided not to clutter up my main pages with tons of text. Bad news for SEO, but at least so far, I have decided to place aesthetics before SEO. Other web sites may make different decisions.