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 website.

First, update the copyright date on your website. 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 Engine 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 website instead of your generic "Gmail", "yahoo" or "mac" account. For example, my address is harriete[at]harrieteestelberman [dot]com. 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 website 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.

Most of us are now using a template site like Squarespace. These sites all provide tutorials for their subscribers. Use them. One of my goals this year is to take a few minutes to update myself with these tutorials.

An important option is the 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 website offers search engines nothing, nada, 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 Identity Chair 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.

Every page on my website is always ready for review and improvement. When I set up my new website (a couple of years ago) ....I didn't have time to make new pages for every artwork...but as time goes by....each page has been developed more extensively.  This page is ready for a redo with a separate page for each artwork and more descriptive text. for both SEO and viewer information. 

On my website, the ALT tags are essential because my website 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 websites may make different decisions.

Harriete

  This post was updated on February 5 , 2022.
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