I was recently asked a question about when is a website ready to publish, I think what was meant by the question, in part was, what is good practice and what is bad practice? So let’s cover what is bad practice first: –
- What you shouldn’t do is have pages published that say things like ‘under construction’ or ‘site being built’ and that have links going to them. That is bad practice and not recommended.
- Second you should make sure all your header information is completed and filled in on a page by page basis i.e. each page has it’s own relevant title, description and keywords. Also you set up your meta tags to convey a message to the search engines on how you want them to treat the page, ‘child friendly’ versus ‘adult’, ‘global indexing’ versus ‘nofollow,noindex’ etc.
- All pages should have a reasonable amount of relevant content and all links have to work, failure to do this will result in the site being marked down.
What is Good Web Publishing Practice
That said, the sooner a website is live and can be found by the search engines the better. Obviously this means it has to be or appear to be in a state of completion, i.e. no evidence of the bad practice listed above. While it is in the, lets call it the core condition, people will start to bookmark it, link to it and search engines will index it. All that is good and you may even end up with decent page rank for some of the pages even before you start to get serious about promoting the site.
On that basis it is a good idea for each page being published to stand on it’s own two feet. In other words the page provides useful relevant content on the site topic and does not rely on other unpublished pages to make sense.
Even if you only have a single page (it would need to be the home/index page) in the completed stand alone condition it is still worth publishing for the reasons stated. Also as you add more information and live links the search engines will start to pick up the new pages and see the site as a dynamic and buzzing website with fresh content building on the core. Just think about sites like Squidoo and HubPages, their whole premise is based on single pages being added by multiple authors and those sites rank very highly because they carry so much content. Especially as they tend to force their authors down the unique content route.
So in a nutshell, when you have content that can stand on its own you might as well get it published, then you can add to it at will, offer products services, place ads and generally build on the core to your hearts content. In fact its a little like blogging, but with the ultimate objective being a completed static website which will then only require fine tuning and periodic updating as things change.
Hope you made sense of all that.