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  • I have a WordPress blog that is self hosted – I moved it from It is a blog that I do with my dad; we write back and forth. Together, we have 428 posts. This should be a sizable database that attracts readers, and when we were still on we had several hundred visitors a day and lots of search engine traffic. Since making the switch, though, readership has dropped off. We have very little traffic.

    We are writers, not programmers. I am a competent WordPress user and can do almost all of the functions to get where I need to go, but I did a website validation through w3c recently for xhtml and found 316 errors. I am concerned that we are working hard on content and not getting a strong ranking because we have trouble with our code. Is this result from our validation test bad? Is it time to take a college course in programming to begin fixing all of the broken stuff about our site?

    We want to have a successful online magazine that allows us to write and collaborate and connect, but I am feeling overwhelmed with the administration of the blog.

    Can anyone help? Can you look at the site and tell me what needs to happen? Am I just in over my head?

    Thanks in advance.

    here are the results from the validation:

    this is our site:

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Many of those errors are minor, but many are serious.

    You don’t need a college course in programming. I’d wager that few people on this forum have taken a course in HTML. Just google for an HTML tutorial. Some basics:

    * Ignore the warnings about <embed> tags.
    * If you’ve got a & somewhere, including in a URL, it must be written as &amp; to validate.
    * Be sure to nest properly. You can’t put a “big” element, like h1, h2, div, etc., inside a <p>. (That’s the first error that comes up.)
    * Things like this are serious problems:

    <p <object height="355" width="425">
    <param name="movie" value=";rel=1"></param>
    <param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src=";rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" height="355" width="425"></embed>
    <object height="355" width="425"></object>

    First, you’ve got two opening <object> tags, but only one closing </object>. Second, you start with <p instead of <p>, and several other little things.

    Again, you don’t need a college course, but you probably would profit from spending a few hours on something like this:

    As to your broader question about Google. Validation errors may or may not be the problem. When you move a site, you have to wait for google to re-index it and update its directory. If you want to speed this process up, then be sure that anybody who may have linked to your old URL updates their links. Google can take months to index a site that doesn’t have many other sites linking to it, but if lots of (good) sites link to you, you’ll be indexed quickly.

    Thanks so much for responding and for your advice.

    I will be checking out the xhtml link and learning my way around.

    It may just be taking some time for Google to re-index the site, since our switch only happened about two months ago. The new posts are getting indexed to some degree.

    Well, I better get to work. I have a lot of code to fix.

    Another way of speeding up google indexing is to install the google sitemap generator plugin which you can find by searching the plugin section here. Then sign up for a google webmaster tools account if you have a google account already you just need to add it to your existing account, then you submit your sitemap that the plugin generates and it helps google out and makes indexing much faster.

    I have a webmaster tools account already and have signed up for analytics, but I will give the sitemap a try. Thanks Jeremy.

    Ignore the warnings about <embed> tags.

    I’m going to have to disagree with that one. What I’d recommend is to determine just what it is you’re doing that requires embed tags, and then get plugins to do that for you instead.

    YouTube is a good example. There’s some really good YouTube plugins for WordPress, and one of them should generate valid XHTML code and make it simpler for you to embed YouTube videos instead of copying and pasting YouTube’s own code.

    Anything where you’re pasting chunks of code is subject to causing errors. Try to find a way to eliminate the need to actually use the code in the first place. Things are easier when you’re not pasting hunks of code around.

    For what it’s worth, I take Otto42’s route and use plugins to place youtube videos. But for making a first pass at cleaning up validation, the <embed> tags are by far the least of your concerns.

    So yes, Otto is correct, but fixing the <embed> tags is probably a lower priority than fixing the other validation errors.

    Wow, thanks.

    I found WP youtube for embedding video, so i will go through and replace my videos using that as I learn some more about fixing the other stuff.

    I recommend this plugin for the specific case of YouTube videos:

    Why? Well, it’s easy to use and if you use YouTube itself to send videos directly to your blog, it uses the exact same format as this plugin. So this plugin enables that functionality to work.


    I do not think your html is actually effecting your rank that much, unless you have some major problems such as unclosed tags.

    Google takes a while to index your site. If your URL has changed, than google can’t tell your website is the same as your old one. Thusly the rank does not transfer. Since the google rank depends on links pointing to your site, and your url has changed, your rank has been wiped clean.

    You will probably have to wait a few months before people start linking to your new url. I thinks it’s only natural that your rank has started off at zero for the new url. I would recommend putting a “This site has moved: please update your bookmarks” link onto your old blog.

    You might want to sign up for google webmaster tools to check your site’s status if you haven’t already too:

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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