Click here to see the latest top 10 list, which changes daily but the main ones that I have used are always in the top 10.
I prefer HostGator right now, due to ease in setting up database and shopping cart functions
Search Engine Optimization: It's not about paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to a company that will "get you to number one on Google". Good organization of your website from the start will go a long way towards creating an effective, visible site that is ranked high in the Google search engine results. We don't want to go through all of the work to build a site, only to have it virtually invisible to those you are trying to target. The golden rule is this: Make sure that your text, images and keywords match exactly what it is you are trying to "sell" with your website. Be relevant, in other words, to what you are.
S.E.O. covers a wide range of subjects, from the basic common-sense of having good writing on your page, to the more technical such as key-word research. I think of S.E.O. as a mind-set: to get the people who want what you have to FIND what you have.
I'll set up your free Google Analytics account so that you can get valuable information about traffic to your site, and get a better idea of what marketing strategies are working the best for you.
There are tons of tech sites out there; I've found Mashable to have a good blend of helpful information while also being interesting. They seem to be specializing in Facebook applications these days. (who isn't??)
Get keyword ideas and help to find the popularity of your keywords with Google Adwords and Wordtracker. Wordtracker costs money but does include some free tools and has a 30-day trial that you can use to get started. When we talk about key-words, we're more often speaking of "key phrases", as most users enter phrases into the search box than single words. (ex. "gifts" vs. "unique mother's day gifts").
New January 2013!
Shopp e-commerce shopping cart for your Wordpress site. Click for details. These work especially well for artists who want some control over the look and feel of their site, and there's no monthly fee!
The problem with banners and text-as-images
With the number of web-safe fonts being somewhat limited, we often use our own text in the form of an image, writing words on to an image as for a banner, and then inserting it. Remember to label this image with the words you have inserted. Search engines cannot read text on images. This is also an accessibility issue, where readers who have images turned off will obviously miss the point.
This article pertains to Bluehost, but the general procedure would be similar with other good hosting companies.
Refresh your web page!
Create small changes on your site and upload it once a month to maintain good positioning. Search robots pay attention to web sites that are well-maintained. It's an easy and effective habit to develop.
I'll be adding sections for advertising with Google Ad Words, as well as some tips for how to get started with Google Analytics, if you are not familiar with that amazing free service.
Much of the information that I use comes from an organization called World Wide Web Consortium (WC3).
"The World Wide Web Consortium is an international community where member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. Led by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and CEO Jeffrey Jaffe, W3C's mission is to lead the Web to its full potential. Contact W3C for more information."
The articles on this site are somewhat dry, but at the very least, it's a good place to go to check out the latest standards from the folks who know more about the web than just about anyone.
Following is a link to their accessibility standards list, an important component of web site development that often gets over-looked but is just as important as having working hyperlinks on your page.