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How To Optimize CMS-based Websites?

July 9, 2015

Instead of using standard HTML-based websites or hiring developers to create dynamic PHP-based engines, it is preferable for us to choose available CMS platforms, such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. These platforms are highly search engine friendly, but it is important for us to further optimize these platforms. Once we have completed the standard installation process, we should consider setting up our CMS platform to better support SEO operations, for example, we could automatically change URL and create the Sitemap component. By far, these are the most important things we should do before we proceed further.

It is important for us set up the URLs, so they can be search engine friendly. As an example, the URL can look quite comprehensible and random like this, index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4&Itemid=5. When optimizing our CMS-based website, it is important to make sure that the title of our article is also included in the URL. Googlebots and other crawlers will have one more element to consider. As an example, our CMS-based webpages could end with something like, /blue-widget-review.html. In this case, bots will know that we are reviewing a software called Blue Widget.

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal provide a way to enable this feature and it could usually be found in the main settings area. For example, in Joomla, we could go to Site> Global Configuration> SEO and then set ‘Search Engine Friendly URL’s’ to yes. Htaccess.txt file must be located in the root directory, but it should already there by default. It is generally not necessary to install new plugins or components to enable this functionality, but we should check the documentation whether it is necessary to place additional modules. In general, it should be very easy to generate friendly URL.

The next step is to make sure that we have a working Sitemap. It is generally a map of our website that can make it much easier for search engine crawlers to find proper pathways. In this case, we may need to install plugins or sitemaps, because the built-in standard version may not output the decent XML-based sitemap. We should be able to find good quality sitemap from the common plugin and component resources. We could just enable the feature and submit the sitemap to specific search engines. The whole process should be quite straightforward.

One big advantage of CMS platforms are full support for Google Sitemaps. These plugins and components can generate our sitemap dynamically, as our websites grow exponentially larger. Whenever Google wants to get a snapshot of our website, it could just download the latest sitemap, so it could find all of our pages very quickly. Without a sitemap, it is possible that a portion of our website will not be indexed. These methods should be very easy to implement and we could find instructions online on how we do them, based on our preferred CMS. In general, all major CMSs are equally effective, but it depends on how we full take advantage of them.

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