As I described in Initial Planning, I started
this site without a clear plan. Since I hadn't yet developed very much
of the content and have deliberately avoided trying to create and stick
to any plans or road maps of where I'm going, there really is no way
that I could plan the site. It remains my intention, as much as time
and money permit, to follow where the problems I encounter lead me.
This has allowed me to spend quite a lot of time investigating
firewalls and network security and considerable but less time on
computer time synchronization. I don't know what professional pay
off this will have but I do know that over a couple month period
I gained a much more thoroughly understanding of the IP and TCP protocols.
Previously I knew enough to do my job but there was
always a certain mystery about what was going on.
In GeodSoft Web Site Redesigned I discussed
how eight standard navigation links were reduced to three.
None were actually eliminated but five were significantly de-emphasized.
One of these sections, About GeodSoft has gotten
most of the sites content. I feel the section name and location
of the content are justified because these are very detailed descriptions
of projects that I am or have worked on. On the other hand I wonder
if site visitors will expect to find this material where it is.
If I could think of a better or more obvious way to categorize the
material I would not be adverse to it.
Prior to the reorganization that's now under discussion, the area that
had been called "Making This Site" had become by far the largest content
rich directory on the site. The Sample section
had more pages but only a few have any significant content. Since
"Making This Site" was organized chronologically, the thirty some pages
were starting to look like a haphazard jumble.
An examination of the titles and content showed two fairly distinct
groups of pages. As the title of the menu page was "Designing and Building
GeodSoft's Web Site" it's hardly surprising that there was a natural
split into Designing GeodSoft's Web Site and
Building GeodSoft's Web Site.
Use of the site maintenance script allowed the "Making This Site" directory
to be split into Designing and Building directories in only about three
hours. This is on the development site and all three public mirrored sites
even though nearly every single page of more than 120 in each site linked to
the directory being split. For those few who may be interested in the
details of the maintenance script and what had to be done, the mechanics of the
split are described in some detail in Splitting a
The "Making This Site" directory split was done in late September 2000.
While splitting this directory, I was pondering a much more difficult
organization question. The largest page in
Building GeodSoft.com was the
Computer Time Synchronization
page. The only thing this had to do with Building GeodSoft.com was
that I'd learned this information in the course of making the web sites.
It was a tutorial page quite unlike the other pages in Building
I also had the Cascading Style Sheet section
as a separate section in the root directory. It was emphasized in the
redesigned navigation aids because I thought that it might be a page that
would draw traffic to the site. It was also largely tutorial in nature.
I thought these two areas might make better sense in a
How-To section. I'd already given considerable
emphasis to these two pages by giving them the top positions on the home
page. Both were tutorial in nature and content rich. Unlike many of my
other pages, the emphasis was not specific to this site and hopefully
contained material of a general nature that would draw visitors to the
site once they are indexed by the major search engines.
Part of the dilemma was that
I'd already submitted both these sections to several search engines and
I didn't want to move pages between the submission and the hoped for
indexing. I was also contemplating pages or sections on connecting a
small business LAN to the Internet and one on Meta Tags. These also
seemed like they would fit better in a How-To section than the Building
After debating what to do for about two weeks, I decided to go ahead
and start a new How-To section. After considerable thought I hadn't
come up with anything better. I decided I could not organize the site
around when a search engine might or might not index the site. Once
I made the decision and started work, the actual mechanics only took
two or three hours even thought the site has grown to over 160 pages
with the new Book section. A number of the mechanical
steps were quite similar to the directory split because most of the
real work is done by modifying the site maintenance script.
To prevent possible broken links and hopefully give the search engines
something to work with, each moved page was replaced by a skeleton
page with only a single link to the new location. These skeleton pages
have little more than the minimum HTML tags. Each has the title "Moved"
and a single line of text reading "Click to see the moved page."
The link is of course to the new location for the skeleton page.
I've included a Robots META Tag in each page as <meta
name="robots" content="noindex,follow">. With some luck, when
the search engines do finally come to index the pages I've moved since
submitting them, they won't index the "Moved" page and will follow the
link to the new location and index that page.
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