Category Archives: Web Site Tools

Optimize Webpage Response Time

How fast does your website load? Here is a webpage load speed test from Pingdom Tools that you can use to see about where your site stands and get a good overview of all of the files that are actually being loaded by your visitor’s browser. Click the image on the right to view the screenshot of all the junk I have loading on my homepage.) Google also has a collection of page speed tools.

I am really noticing this more lately because I have been cleaning up darkbluesun.com and struggling with my page loading speeds. GoDaddy.com is a decent host at times. Yet, some days I have had nothing but problems due to how slowly WordPress runs (probably due to how long takes to connect to the Godaddy server “grid” and retrieve info from the MySQL database service needed to run WordPress).

Other than switching web hosting providers, here are 2 ways to test and 3 steps to speed up your web page load speed.

  1. Correct HTML or Other Code Errors

    I went to W3C’s Markup Validation tool online to test my website for errors and discovered I had 37 Errors, 3 warning(s) to sort out for my webpages.

    I fixed a few of these errors. I knocked the number down to 23 Errors, 2 warning(s). This really isn’t much except you can consider the fact that your browser is now going to throw 14 fewer errors when opening my page.

  2. Reorganize (Maybe Even *Gasp!* Delete) Content

    I am a strong believer in this rule: Never Delete Old Content. I always advise bloggers to update the information in a new post and then link to the updated version from the old post.

    Unfortunately there are some things that are simply necessary to get rid of. For example: it is perfectly okay to leave a few of those bells and whistles out of your site. If you never use the chat widgets or java-based plugins that wind up taking up space, bandwidth and precious time… then get rid of them immediately.

    Some of the WordPress plugins I am using for different functions on my website are causing the rest of those errors I was talking about earlier and I am not going to take the time to debug all of that before I post this. However, if I really needed to dramatically, instantly change the page speed of my site, I would uninstall the WP Cumulus and Sociable plugins on my site.

    Break up large posts into separate smaller posts.
    Yep, this tip is self explanatory. If you have lots and lots of data in one post, then that page will obviously take longer to load. If you divide the information into smaller amounts it will help both your readers if they are looking for a quick answer to their question and it will help the search engines index you more efficiently.

  3. Know How to Insert Images

    • Get in the habit of using relative links to your img src’s than absolute links. E.G.:
      instead of:  img src=”http://www.darkbluesun.com/logoDBS.png
      use this:   img src=”/logoDBS.png
      Relative URLs are obviously shorter than absolute URLs, as a result the file size of the web page would be a bit smaller as well.
    • Give images height and width attributes. This way, browsers can load the page completely giving a space for the image without having to wait for the images to load first.
    • Resize larger images to “web-friendly” sizes. Microsoft Office Picture Manager uses 2 defaults for standard website image sizes:
      large: 640 x 480 px
      small: 448 x 336 px
      With modern digital cameras and larger megapixel abled phone cams, the resolution of the pictures you are posting could be huge! Even if you give a large photo a smaller height and width attributes the browser still has to load the entire picture.

Please Note: Some of these changes will only help your pages load a few seconds earlier.

Every little bit counts when according to the September 14, 2009 press release, published by Akamai: users will only wait 2 seconds for a page to load before clicking (or pressing that dreadful back button) out of your webpage… never to return again?

Reveals 2 Seconds as the New Threshold of Acceptability for eCommerce Web Page Response Times
September 14, 2009 – Akamai Reveals 2 Seconds as the New Threshold of Acceptability for eCommerce Web Page Response Times

HTML Color Code Chart

This list is an adaptation with html/hexidecimal #’s of each color as listed on Cooltext.com‘s http://cooltext.com/Color-Picker. It looks like they might be phasing this list out. (They are now using a popup color picker which gives you more control over different shades of the color you are working with.)

In case, I decided to go ahead and save a copy of their list (and add the html code#’s to it) as a quick visual reference. :) And then I decided to share it with you.

WP Redesign Continues

I am still working on my website redesign. However, this week I am having issues with my hosting provider and wordpress running too slowly. (In case you didn’t already notice.)

I’ll get it worked out by next week. I am also going to start using DISQUS a commenting service that will help me weed out a lot of the spam comments I get.

Stay Tuned!

Copy Code Next to Color Name

COLOR CODE
Snow #fffafa
GhostWhite #f8f8ff
WhiteSmoke #f5f5f5
Gainsboro #dcdcdc
FloralWhite #fffaf0
OldLace #fdf5e6
Linen #faf0e6
AntiqueWhite #faebd7
PapayaWhip #ffefd5
BlanchedAlmond #ffebcd
Bisque #ffe4c4
PeachPuff #ffdab9
NavajoWhite #ffdead
Moccasin #ffe4b5
Cornsilk #fff8dc
Ivory #fffff0
LemonChiffon #fffacd
Seashell #fff5ee
Honeydew #f0fff0
MintCream #f5fffa
Azure #f0ffff
AliceBlue #f0f8ff
lavender #e6e6fa
LavenderBlush #fff0f5
MistyRose #ffe4e1
White #ffffff
Black #000000
DarkSlateGray #2f4f4f
DimGray #696969
SlateGray #708090
LightSlateGray #778899
Gray #bebebe
LightGray #d3d3d3
MidnightBlue #191970
NavyBlue #000080
CornflowerBlue #6495ed
DarkSlateBlue #483d8b
SlateBlue #6a5acd
MediumSlateBlue #7b68ee
LightSlateBlue #8470ff
MediumBlue #0000cd
RoyalBlue #4169e1
Blue #4169e1
DodgerBlue #1e90ff
DeepSkyBlue #00bfff
SkyBlue #87ceeb
LightSkyBlue #87cefa
SteelBlue #4682b4
LightSteelBlue #b0c4de
LightBlue #add8e6
PowderBlue #b0e0e6
PaleTurquoise #afeeee
DarkTurquoise #00ced1
MediumTurquoise #48d1cc
Turquoise #40e0d0
Cyan #00ffff
LightCyan #e0ffff
CadetBlue #5f9ea0
MediumAquamarine #66cdaa
Aquamarine #7fffd4
DarkGreen #006400
DarkOliveGreen #556b2f
DarkSeaGreen #8fbc8f
SeaGreen #2e8b57
MediumSeaGreen #3cb371
LightSeaGreen #20b2aa
PaleGreen #98fb98
SpringGreen #00ff7f
LawnGreen #7cfc00
Green #00ff00
Chartreuse #7fff00
MedSpringGreen #00fa9a
GreenYellow #adff2f
LimeGreen #32cd32
YellowGreen #9acd32
ForestGreen #228b22
OliveDrab #6b8e23
DarkKhaki #bdb76b
PaleGoldenrod #eee8aa
LtGoldenrodYello #fafad2
LightYellow #ffffe0
Yellow #ffff00
Gold #ffd700
LightGoldenrod #eedd82
goldenrod #daa520
DarkGoldenrod #b8860b
RosyBrown #bc8f8f
IndianRed #cd5c5c
SaddleBrown #8b4513
Sienna #a0522d
Peru #cd853f
Burlywood #deb887
Beige #f5f5dc
Wheat #f5deb3
SandyBrown #f4a460
Tan #d2b48c
Chocolate #d2691e
Firebrick #b22222
Brown #a52a2a
DarkSalmon #e9967a
Salmon #fa8072
LightSalmon #ffa07a
Orange #ffa500
DarkOrange #ff8c00
Coral #ff7f50
LightCoral #f08080
Tomato #ff6347
OrangeRed #ff4500
Red #ff0000
HotPink #ff69b4
DeepPink #ff1493
Pink #ffc0cb
LightPink #ffb6c1
PaleVioletRed #db7093
Maroon #b03060
MediumVioletRed #c71585
VioletRed #d02090
Magenta #ff00ff
Violet #ee82ee
Plum #ee82ee
Orchid #da70d6
MediumOrchid #ba55d3
DarkOrchid #9932cc
DarkViolet #9400d3
BlueViolet #8a2be2
Purple #a020f0
MediumPurple #9370db
Thistle #d8bfd8
Snow1 #fffafa
Snow2 #eee9e9
Snow3 #cdc9c9
Snow4 #8b8989
Seashell1 #fff5ee
Seashell2 #eee5de
Seashell3 #cdc5bf
Seashell4 #8b8682
AntiqueWhite1 #ffefdb
AntiqueWhite2 #eedfcc
AntiqueWhite3 #cdc0b0
AntiqueWhite4 #8b8378
Bisque1 #ffe4c4
Bisque2 #eed5b7
Bisque3 #cdb79e
Bisque4 #8b7d6b
PeachPuff1 #ffdab9
PeachPuff2 #eecbad
PeachPuff3 #cdaf95
PeachPuff4 #8b7765
NavajoWhite1 #ffdead
NavajoWhite2 #eecfa1
NavajoWhite3 #cdb38b
NavajoWhite4 #8b795e
LemonChiffon1 #fffacd
LemonChiffon2 #eee9bf
LemonChiffon3 #cdc9a5
LemonChiffon4 #8b8970
Cornsilk1 #fff8dc
Cornsilk2 #eee8cd
Cornsilk3 #cdc8b1
Cornsilk4 #8b8878
Ivory1 #fffff0
Ivory2 #eeeee0
Ivory3 #cdcdc1
Ivory4 #8b8b83
Honeydew1 #f0fff0
Honeydew2 #e0eee0
Honeydew3 #c1cdc1
Honeydew4 #838b83
LavenderBlush1 #fff0f5
LavenderBlush2 #eee0e5
LavenderBlush3 #cdc1c5
LavenderBlush4 #8b8386
MistyRose1 #ffe4e1
MistyRose2 #eed5d2
MistyRose3 #cdb7b5
MistyRose4 #8b7d7b
Azure1 #f0ffff
Azure2 #e0eeee
Azure3 #c1cdcd
Azure4 #838b8b
SlateBlue1 #836fff
SlateBlue2 #7a67ee
SlateBlue3 #6959cd
SlateBlue4 #473c8b
RoyalBlue1 #4876ff
RoyalBlue2 #436eee
RoyalBlue3 #3a5fcd
RoyalBlue4 #27408b
Blue1 #0000ff
Blue2 #0000ee
Blue3 #0000cd
Blue4 #00008b
DodgerBlue1 #1e90ff
DodgerBlue2 #1c86ee
DodgerBlue3 #1874cd
DodgerBlue4 #104e8b
SteelBlue1 #63b8ff
SteelBlue2 #5cacee
SteelBlue3 #4f94cd
SteelBlue4 #36648b
DeepSkyBlue1 #00bfff
DeepSkyBlue2 #00b2ee
DeepSkyBlue3 #009acd
DeepSkyBlue4 #00688b
SkyBlue1 #87ceff
SkyBlue2 #7ec0ee
SkyBlue3 #6ca6cd
SkyBlue4 #4a708b
LightSkyBlue1 #b0e2ff
LightSkyBlue2 #a4d3ee
LightSkyBlue3 #8db6cd
LightSkyBlue4 #607b8b
SlateGray1 #c6e2ff
SlateGray2 #b9d3ee
SlateGray3 #9fb6cd
SlateGray4 #6c7b8b
LightSteelBlue1 #cae1ff
LightSteelBlue2 #bcd2ee
LightSteelBlue3 #a2b5cd
LightSteelBlue4 #6e7b8b
LightBlue1 #bfefff
LightBlue2 #b2dfee
LightBlue3 #9ac0cd
LightBlue4 #68838b
LightCyan1 #e0ffff
LightCyan2 #d1eeee
LightCyan3 #b4cdcd
LightCyan4 #7a8b8b
PaleTurquoise1 #bbffff
PaleTurquoise2 #aeeeee
PaleTurquoise3 #96cdcd
PaleTurquoise4 #668b8b
CadetBlue1 #98f5ff
CadetBlue2 #8ee5ee
CadetBlue3 #7ac5cd
CadetBlue4 #53868b
Turquoise1 #00f5ff
Turquoise2 #00e5ee
Turquoise3 #00c5cd
Turquoise4 #00868b
Cyan1 #00ffff
Cyan2 #00eeee
Cyan3 #00cdcd
Cyan4 #008b8b
DarkSlateGray1 #97ffff
DarkSlateGray2 #8deeee
DarkSlateGray3 #79cdcd
DarkSlateGray4 #528b8b
Aquamarine1 #7fffd4
Aquamarine2 #76eec6
Aquamarine3 #66cdaa
Aquamarine4 #458b74
DarkSeaGreen1 #c1ffc1
DarkSeaGreen2 #b4eeb4
DarkSeaGreen3 #9bcd9b
DarkSeaGreen4 #698b69
SeaGreen1 #54ff9f
SeaGreen2 #4eee94
SeaGreen3 #43cd80
SeaGreen4 #2e8b57
PaleGreen1 #9aff9a
PaleGreen2 #90ee90
PaleGreen3 #7ccd7c
PaleGreen4 #548b54
SpringGreen1 #00ff7f
SpringGreen2 #00ee76
SpringGreen3 #00cd66
SpringGreen4 #008b45
Green1 #00ff00
Green2 #00ee00
Green3 #00cd00
Green4 #008b00
Chartreuse1 #7fff00
Chartreuse2 #76ee00
Chartreuse3 #66cd00
Chartreuse4 #458b00
OliveDrab1 #c0ff3e
OliveDrab2 #b3ee3a
OliveDrab3 #9acd32
OliveDrab4 #698b22
DarkOliveGreen1 #caff70
DarkOliveGreen2 #bcee68
DarkOliveGreen3 #a2cd5a
DarkOliveGreen4 #6e8b3d
Khaki1 #fff68f
Khaki2 #eee685
Khaki3 #cdc673
Khaki4 #8b864e
LightGoldenrod1 #ffec8b
LightGoldenrod2 #eedc82
LightGoldenrod3 #cdbe70
LightGoldenrod4 #8b814c
LightYellow1 #ffffe0
LightYellow2 #eeeed1
LightYellow3 #cdcdb4
LightYellow4 #8b8b7a
Yellow1 #ffff00
Yellow2 #eeee00
Yellow3 #cdcd00
Yellow4 #8b8b00
Gold1 #ffd700
Gold2 #eec900
Gold3 #cdad00
Gold4 #8b7500
Goldenrod1 #ffc125
Goldenrod2 #eeb422
Goldenrod3 #cd9b1d
Goldenrod4 #8b6914
DarkGoldenrod1 #ffb90f
DarkGoldenrod2 #eead0e
DarkGoldenrod3 #cd950c
DarkGoldenrod4 #8b6508
RosyBrown1 #ffc1c1
RosyBrown2 #eeb4b4
RosyBrown3 #cd9b9b
RosyBrown4 #8b6969
IndianRed1 #ff6a6a
IndianRed2 #ee6363
IndianRed3 #cd5555
IndianRed4 #8b3a3a
Sienna1 #ff8247
Sienna2 #ee7942
Sienna3 #cd6839
Sienna4 #8b4726
Burlywood1 #ffd39b
Burlywood2 #eec591
Burlywood3 #cdaa7d
Burlywood4 #8b7355
Wheat1 #ffe7ba
Wheat2 #eed8ae
Wheat3 #cdba96
Wheat4 #8b7e66
Tan1 #ffa54f
Tan2 #ee9a49
Tan3 #cd853f
Tan4 #8b5a2b
Chocolate1 #ff7f24
Chocolate2 #ee7621
Chocolate3 #cd661d
Chocolate4 #8b4513
Firebrick1 #ff3030
Firebrick2 #ee2c2c
Firebrick3 #cd2626
Firebrick4 #8b1a1a
Brown1 #ff4040
Brown2 #ee3b3b
Brown3 #cd3333
Brown4 #8b2323
Salmon1 #ff8c69
Salmon2 #ee8262
Salmon3 #cd7054
Salmon4 #8b4c39
LightSalmon1 #ffa07a
LightSalmon2 #ee9572
LightSalmon3 #cd8162
LightSalmon4 #8b5742
Orange1 #ffa500
Orange2 #ee9a00
Orange3 #cd8500
Orange4 #8b5a00
DarkOrange1 #ff7f00
DarkOrange2 #ee7600
DarkOrange3 #cd6600
DarkOrange4 #8b4500
Coral1 #ff7256
Coral2 #ee6a50
Coral3 #cd5b45
Coral4 #8b3e2f
Tomato1 #ff6347
Tomato2 #ee5c42
Tomato3 #cd4f39
Tomato4 #8b3626
OrangeRed1 #ff4500
OrangeRed2 #ee4000
OrangeRed3 #cd3700
OrangeRed4 #8b2500
Red1 #ff0000
Red2 #ee0000
Red3 #cd0000
Red4 #8b0000
DeepPink1 #ff1493
DeepPink2 #ee1289
DeepPink3 #cd1076
DeepPink4 #8b0a50
HotPink1 #ff6eb4
HotPink2 #ee6aa7
HotPink3 #cd6090
HotPink4 #8b3a62
Pink1 #ffb5c5
Pink2 #eea9b8
Pink3 #cd919e
Pink4 #8b636c
LightPink1 #ffaeb9
LightPink2 #eea2ad
LightPink3 #cd8c95
LightPink4 #8b5f65
PaleVioletRed1 #ff82ab
PaleVioletRed2 #ee799f
PaleVioletRed3 #cd6889
PaleVioletRed4 #8b475d
Maroon1 #ff34b3
Maroon2 #ee30a7
Maroon3 #cd2990
Maroon4 #8b1c62
VioletRed1 #ff3e96
VioletRed2 #ee3a8c
VioletRed3 #cd3278
VioletRed4 #8b2252
Magenta1 #ff00ff
Magenta2 #ee00ee
Magenta3 #cd00cd
Magenta4 #8b008b
Orchid1 #ff83fa
Orchid2 #ee7ae9
Orchid3 #cd69c9
Orchid4 #8b4789
Plum1 #ffbbff
Plum2 #eeaeee
Plum3 #cd96cd
Plum4 #8b668b
MediumOrchid1 #e066ff
MediumOrchid2 #d15fee
MediumOrchid3 #b452cd
MediumOrchid4 #7a378b
DarkOrchid1 #bf3eff
DarkOrchid2 #b23aee
DarkOrchid3 #9a32cd
DarkOrchid4 #68228b
Purple1 #9b30ff
Purple2 #912cee
Purple3 #7d26cd
Purple4 #551a8b
MediumPurple1 #ab82ff
MediumPurple2 #9f79ee
MediumPurple3 #8968cd
MediumPurple4 #5d478b
Thistle1 #ffe1ff
Thistle2 #eed2ee
Thistle3 #cdb5cd
Thistle4 #8b7b8b
Gray11 #1c1c1c
Gray21 #363636
Gray31 #4f4f4f
Gray41 #696969
Gray51 #828282
Gray61 #9c9c9c
Gray71 #b5b5b5
Gray81 #cfcfcf
Gray91 #e8e8e8
DarkGray #a9a9a9
DarkBlue #00008b
DarkCyan #008b8b
DarkMagenta #8b008b
DarkRed #8b0000
LightGreen #90ee90

Photo Credit: Microsoft Image Stock: Bunch of Color Pencils

Uses: These codes can be used anywhere you can edit font, background, or other content box colors. They can be used for websites, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and even social network profiles like where you are asked for myspace color codes.

4 SEO Rules that Are Here to Stay

Get found SEOThere are some search engine optimizations rules (the rules search engines use to figure out when and where your website is supposed to show up after someone types in relative keywords) that are probably not going to change.

Changes like the new rules for the Google search algorithm are inevitable. Now we have geotagging, search engines boasting that they are decision engines, and are connected to more people (and their opinions) than ever before.

This is the golden opportunity to share your information. However, this also means it will be easier for good content to get lost in the shuffle.

Here are some SEO rules that are foundational and certain to keep your site high in the search results (and easier to navigate for your visitors):

  1. More links to your website from other well-structures websites will equate to a better search result ranking. The 2011 way to get links to your website will largely be done by writing great content and then hoping it is shared virally via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Linked IN, and then whatever other smart social network service they can come up with that will consolidate all if them. :)
  2. The older a website is and the longer a website is registered for is very important. (I registered darkbluesun.com in 2003 and it doesn’t expire until 2015 – So, I won’t have to mess with this one for my redesign.) Why would they want to make a site that is going to expire in less than a year a priority to index?
  3. The links that you have to other websites are also very important. Broken links prove that your site is unkempt. My blog is older, so some of the links that I shared have become obsolete and some of the websites that were posted with visitors comments are also broken.
    • Google’s Webmaster Tools will show you most of your internal and external broken links. However, it does miss some especially the ones included in the comments. So what else can I do?
    • There’s a program called Xenu Link Sleuth that I downloaded a while back. It will run a report for you on your entire website that will show all of the links that are broken, working, or redirected. It does other nifty things too.
      For more info on this detailed (older still) blog post from seomoz.com: Xenu’s Link Sleuth – More Than Just A Broken Links Finder it gives a lot of good detail on what this program can do.
    • More quality content on your website also gets attention. The more quality content, the better chances you’ll have to get the search engines like Bing! and Google to trust your website as a reliable source.

Next week I will share SEO rules for all of your written content keeping good anchor text for links, tags, labels, and categories. For now, I am going to continue cleaning up broken links and minor fixes on the site this week.

Update 4/17/2012 – I found another very good article about SEO from the site “Say Notes” called What Web Designers Need to Know About SEO

Website New Layout: Step Two

The advice I am sharing here is geared toward personal and startup blogs. Anyone with a professional or ecommerce blog: Hire a professional developer or purchase a theme geared for professional use.

I had to get a new theme.

I started this website using the old “default” theme that was based on the Kubrick WordPress theme. It was about as basic as I could get it while I was working on my PHP and CSS development skills.

This is my screenshot for step 2:

This still needs QUITE a bit of work, but the menus, and some of the errors I left until “later” have been cleaned up a bit. The layout is improving from step 1.

Why it’s good to go with a theme that is close to what you want:

The trouble with basic though, is that I am constantly having to sort of “re-invent the wheel” just to add special features to my site. This definitely helped me learn a LOT, but because I ran out of time to do all of the coding, as you can see my site got neglected! :(

I went to the WordPress.org Free Themes Page and decided to go with a sort of veteran theme called: Mystique.

I really like Mystique because it has the menus with drop-downs and some really decent social media integration. (Some integration that you would have to massively dissect current widgets to reproduce. Believe me, I’ve had clients who have seen options like ones on other Mystique blogs that were only available because they were hardwired into this theme. – I had to reinvent the wheel again for those)

Why it’s bad for professional websites to go with a theme that is free and used on other websites:

As of this morning, Mystique has been downloaded more than 7,000 times! (That is from wordpress.org alone, it isn’t counting all of those that have been downloaded at Digital Nature’s Website – the author of Mystique!)

That means there are thousands of copycat websites out there that look exactly like this ->

Don’t let yours be one of them!

Now comes the fun part.

Customization

Remember this if this is the first time you’ve heard it:

Changing your WP site layout is NOT just as easy as changing your theme!

WordPress is tricky, something that sounds so easy can turn out to be untangling a web of code to find the code that you need to be moved with you when you move to a new theme! If you aren’t sure about what you are doing…

BACK UP EVERY SINGLE FILE IN YOUR ORIGINAL THEME FOLDER!!!

Do NOT attempt to change your website template unless you know how to make sure you will still have the custom code to watch your traffic, update your rss feed if you use a service like feedburner, or even just keep track of your branding items like: favicons and logos. Next week I plan to edit my layout colors and add my logo back in. :)

Fixes, Adds, and Re-Adds:

☑ My favicon

☑ Google Analytics code

☑ Nav menus: I love navigation menus… They aren’t the easiest thing to write from scratch, so that’s one of the main reasons I was pleased with Mystique for my personal blog.

☑ New (more generalized) categories: I added some better “parent categories” including: “Business, Entertainment, and Technology” I left “Life in General” as a main category for my nav menu.

There is still MUCH to do, but I am finished for tonight. See you next week!

Website Makeover: Step One

1. Get “Before” Pictures and Write a List

My website has been so neglected this year.

Between work and school, I haven’t had much time for blogging.

Now that I am finished with school, I am turning over a new leaf!

I think it’s time this website did as well. . .

The List:

  • Choose a new layout to work with.
  • Build in better navigation (like a menu bar and I am going to use breadcrumb navigation).
  • Completely redo the homepage content.
  • Import my unposted content. There are lots of articles I have written that I haven’t had a good place to post because I have been planning to redo my personal site for awhile.
  • Fix the SEO!<- There are so many fixes to this I will share with you!
  • Share tips with you to help you build better blog sites.

I created this screenshot of my full web pages, with the basic version (free) of a very easy to use Firefox Plugin called:  Pearl Crescent Page Saver.

It sure beats taking windows screen shots. Dealing with the pressing “crtl, Fn, and prt sc” and cropping and pasting gets tedious and messy!!

15 Easy Free DoFollow Backlinks to Your Website

Remember from the “Website Backlink Popularity Tools” post: “Backlinks are incoming links to a website, web page, or blog post.” And just so you know, I use the words linkback and backlink interchangeably. :) Also please note that these links will help websites or businesses that are still in the startup phase. I don’t think any of these links have a higher Google Pagerank than 2 or 3. ** This means that creating backlinks from these resources are worthless to a site that already has a pagerank of 4 or higher. **

General Places to Get a Listing for Good (Meaning Not the “NoFollow” Kind) Backlinks / Linkbacks:

1. Merchant Circle is a definite must have business listing. Here’s mine: http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Virtual.IT.Assistants.317-670-9977

2. http://www.haiku.com/VirtualAssistants This one isn’t one of my favorites, but it works.

Helpful Internet Business Tools:

3. Outright is a cool accounting service that Jen uses for her business. I’ll bet that when she first setup an account with them she didn’t realize they’d give her a free good backlink! See her profile: http://entrepreneurs.outright.com/virtual-assistance-by-jen

Social Network Profiles:

4. Fast Pitch Networking is an internet business social network site. A profile here is worth setting up for the good linkback to your business site: http://www.fastpitchnetworking.com/profile.cfm?ContactID=52366547

5. YouTube Got videos? Get them on YouTube and be sure to fill in your business site into your profile for yet another good linkback. See my profile: http://www.youtube.com/user/virtualitassistants (Scroll down to my avatar and see my link under there. If you are curious about where it shows up.)

6. Inbound Marketing University If you are into internet marketing of any kind, you should already have heard of this place . Even if you are already an experienced inbound marketer, you should at least have a profile here. See mine: http://inboundmarketing.com/user/3906. It also gives you a good link.

Twitter: (Of course, the master tool for getting backlinks and traffic. )

7. Mashable Twitterlists See Kena’s Lists: http://mashable.com/twitterlists/user/KenaRoth/ She may not have realized this when she shared her lists here, but it gave her a free link back to her site from mashable.com. Bonus!

Add Yourself to Local Twitter Lists:

8. Twitter States

9. Local Tweeps

(P.S. Find twitterers near you and follow them. It’s great to have friends all over the world, but you be surprised at how practical it is to get tweets regarding events closer to home)

Website and Blog Site Tools with Profiles That LinkBack:

10. Sitemeter Do you like sharing your site analytics? Create a profile at sitemeter.com for your domain.

11. MyBlogLog If you have a blog, then you need to signup for a free account at mybloglog anyway. – Never mind the free backlinks! See some of my blogs: http://www.mybloglog.com/buzz/members/darkbluesun/

These next profiles may be a little less practical for brand new businesses, but you should still know that they are available to anyone.

12. Act.ly Twitter petitions at act.ly include your web address that you use in your twitter profile. I created one about cybercrime awareness a long time ago: http://act.ly/uo. When you stop by, you should sign it! It’s been awhile, but all the info is still very relevant.

13. Quibblo is a  free online quiz creator. It links back to your site when you set up a profile. See mine: http://www.quibblo.com/user/virtualitassistant

14. Google Knowledge Profiles (called Knols): If you have a knol, or have some good content to start a knoll, you should definitely link back to your business site where appropriate. (Only create one or two links. That should be sufficient.) See mine? http://knol.google.com/k/darkbluesun/the-abc-s-for-work-at-home-parents/1jq3j1sfpra4f/1# I just happened to link to myself within this old business starter e-book.

15. Squidoo lens Do you have one? Do you know someone who does? If you create a linkback to your site from it, then it does give you a good link as well. http://www.squidoo.com/darkbluesun#module29853702

Who is linking back to you right now? Check it out at Link Diagnosis. Look for the ones where the link type equals good. And let me know if I missed any other easy linkbacks.

Another great way to get linkbacks is to guest post for a great blog like this one! ;) We had to take a break from that little opportunity for a little bit due to the volume of responses and the lack of extra time to find the best ones. There are still so many great guests we will have before the end of this year I promise. However, we still want to fit you into the rotation as well to get your turn in the spotlight! So signup to be a guest blogger today. If you haven’t heard from us and it has been more than 2 business days since you sent your response then please let us know.