Wordpress by Yoast - General SettingsMeta Tag Settings: As I help my clients write blogs that are search engine friendly,  I thought I would go over some of the general meta tag settings.

I’m using a WordPress plug-in called SEO by Yoast which is considered one of the best SEO plug-ins for WordPress.

When you start a post, write your post as you want it to read.  It is important to find an image for all your posts.  I use fotolia.com for most of my images when I don’t produce it myself.  It is only about a $1.40 per image and well worth it.  It is good to have each post to have at lease 150 words to start.  It is recommended you have approximately 300 words.
Meta Tag general settings Continue reading

Marali's Art - E-commerce - GTL Web DesignMarali’s Art e-commerce website built by GTL Web Design and Hosting in Homer Alaska for on of our talented local artist Marali Sergent-Smith. You can also find her art on display in the Bunnell Street Gallery

Marali’s Art is an e-commerce website using woo-commerce plugin and a couple of woo-commerce add-on plugins for shipping and graphics.  We started with image rollover on the front page, but later changed moved the image changer to a sub page created content and a few images for the front page.  This did a couple of things.  It created more content and faster loading times, both an important part of search engine ranking.

Marali’s Art e-commerce website actually started in December of 2013 and was finished in early February.  It was a joy to work with Marali on her web site, she was always Johnny on the spot with the images and content needed to build her site.

The site is mobile friendly and has a blog and contact page as well.  A right-click plug-in installed to prevent viewers from right-clicking and saving the images,  even though this isn’t a full proof way of preventing image theft, it does slow it down.

Chris Story Radio Show – Another Web Site built in 2014

Chris Story Radio Show built by GTL Web DesignA Radio Show! I was excited when I got an Facebook IM from Chris Story requesting us to build him a new web site for his radio show.  The first one we built was ‘On Top of the World Radio’ (http://ontopoftheworldradio.com).

Since Chris has 3 radio shows, On Top of The World, Radio Realty and Alaska Matters Radio. Chris found he wanted a web site for each of his radio shows, so we decided to build a one web site with 3 distinctive areas of the web site.  Each radio show has it’s own area to posts. The site also has the future ability to give a separate design, one for each radio station! Each radio show has a link in the sidebar of the dashboard that takes the user to it’s own posting area.

In addition, Chris wanted to a membership area which we built into the site.  Presently there is a sign-up area for members to sign up and future plans are for a content area for members only! You can visit Chris’s site at http://chrisstoryradio.com

Alaskaloha – Another Website Design built in 2014

Alaskaloha E-commerce Website DesignAlaskaloha website design was originally built in the spring of 2014 and upgraded to an e-commerce site during the summer. We enjoyed working with Tiffanie. She had a definite vision for her website design for her beautiful line of casual clothing.

The front page has an image slider that displays all the clothing products and the website uses an e-commerce plug-in called woocommerce.  The site also has blog page as well as a newsletter sign up page.

With the grow number of people now using mobile devices, we strive very hard to make all aspect of our website designs are mobile friendly.

New Website: Tilgners Ruby Red Sockeye Salmon – Scottish Style

Ruby-Red-Sockeye-Salmongoogle-alaytics-dashboard2014 has bee a good year for for GTL Web Design with the release of 10 new website this year, almost reaching our goal of a website a month!!  Here’s one of our summer releases of  rubyredsockeye.com for the ‘Tilgner’s Ruby Red Cold Smoked Salmon’ located locally on our own Kenai Peninsula in Nikiski, Alaska.  Tilgner.  Tilgner’s taking 3 top award in the 2014 Symphany Awards for their Scottish style cold smoked sockeye salomon.

We built Tilgner’s a e-commerce website to show showcase their cold smoked salmon product. The Tilgner’s is a family based business with a rich history here in Alaska and were a joy to work with.  The site uses a popular WordPress plugin called wocommerce that connect to their preferred merchant account.  They latter added a SEO package with Included creating a Google Account specifiably for their company which came  with Google Analytics, Local Search,  YouTube and Gmail.  We also installed 2 plugin to help them monitor the traffic coming to their site as well as write better content for their posts(blogs) and pages.  One plugin displays the basic data coming from Google Analytics in a graph of visitors as well as a map of were they were viewed.

jesusWe at GTL Web Design wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!!


We released  a new website for the ASAA (Alaska School Activities Association) Region II last month in November and even thought there were many hoops that had to be jumped through,  I am very pleased with the final outcome.  We started this project back in late September. Here a few of the sites attributes:

Events Calendar with added side bar widget.
Directory for the Schools in ASAA Region II
Contact Form
3D Animated Slide Show on the front page
Dynamic Table used for the ‘Tournaments Page’.
Stylized drop downs that open a PDF in a new smaller window.

We are always excited when we have the opportunity to work with programs that help the youth of our community.  We have also  have had the pleasure to build websites for:

Homer Mariner Football Team
Homer Raiders Football Pop Warner Team

Since this was a re-design we paid special attention to create re-directs from all the old pages to the new pages for both the search engines and the convenience of those that had bookmarked special pages on the site. In the early stages of development, we had to make sure that the site was compatible with Internet Explorer 9 so that the site could be viewed on the school computers.

spammingWhat the heck is referral Spam? I was looking a my Google Analytics from my WordPress dashboard today using a great plugin that let you see your analytics right from with the WordPress Dashboard.  I notice one of my top visited pages was ‘Co.lumb’.  Hey wait a minute,  that’s not one of my pages,  what up with that!!

With a little research I found out this is called ‘referrer spam’  and is aimed at search engines.  it repeatedly  makes requests using a fake ‘referrer’ URL that leads to the spammers desired website to spread their ads.

You may also see these url’s show as the ‘Top Referrers’ to your site.  these mostly originate in Russia and some common ones are ‘semalt.com, ‘7makemoneyonline.com’, darodar.com and the list goes on and is growing.

Trying to block such sites ip address is useless since they change it periodically just for that reason.  The best way to block this is to add a simple line of code to your .htaccess files which can be access through your file manager on your server.

Just add the copy (change the .com to the offending .com) and if you have more than one like I do,  just add a new line and specify a new referrer.
SetEnvIfNoCase Referer semalt.com spambot=yes
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
Deny from env=spambot

You can find out more information about ‘Referrer Spam’  from these sites:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referer_spam
  • http://www.sudorank.com/how-to-block-semalt-from-your-website/

 A New Look For GTL Web Design and Hosting! – Another WordPress Web site!!

A new loook for GTL Web Design and HositngYes! Finally we have just finished updating our own web site to WordPress.  This has been a long time coming. We have been working on this site for  few months now but as other projects come our way,  our own site has been placed on the back burner.  We are back to WordPress CMS as we re-commit our focus on the WordPress platform.

WordPress has come a long way since I first started working with this platform back in 2008.  Now, by far, the most popular CMS platform on the internet.  I am amazed as I look back and see all the improvements  the developers have introduced over the years and am excited to see what they have to offer in the coming years.  Just editing this post has become much easier than ever before.  Also, this is a new first for us… We have incorporated our first background image changer.

As most web sites need to be in constant use and change,  we have a few new plans for this one as well.  An image changer will replace the single image changer on the front page in the near future and the ‘Our Work!’ page will have added content below the image changer on that page.

Ptarmigan Arts web site by GTL Web Design
We are excited about our latest release of Ptarmigan Arts web site – http:www.ptarmiganarts.com.

This site needed to exhibit the work of a talented group of artist. We used 2 different slideshows. One for the ‘Back Room Gallery’ that is a simple slider. The other is a a ‘carousel’ slider that shows 3 different images that when selected enlarges into a larger image allowing the artist to dynamically display their work.

With over 40 members we needed a platform to dynamically display each member. We chose a table plugin that allows the user to organize the rows and search for their favorite artist.

Late in the project, the decision was made to add a blog that would help them draw visitors from social marketing platform to their new web site.

Here are a few comments about the new Ptarmigan Arts web site:

  • Good job on the web site!!!!
  • It’s been a long time coming, and it’s worth it!
  • The Ptarmigan Arts site is beautiful!
  • You have been wonderful to work with.  I think the new site is awesome and a gazillion times better.
  • I was just admiring our new site. It all looks great!
  • Thank you again for all your hard work and putting up with me.  Happy Holidays