Tips and tricks for Webs users

This page was originally written in 2011 on address http://teoalida.webs.com/webscomtipsandtricks.htm, containing tricks for users of Webs.com hosting, but later I added some tricks useful for any website owner.

How to choose a good domain name

Domain name is most important element of your website, because it cannot be easily changed as you can change website title or URL of subpages.

You need to decide what domain name to use since first day. I advise you to choose a short and easy to remember domain name. If you choose a bad domain and decide later to change it, you need to start over building your reputation. Although you can redirect traffic from the old domain name, the number of Facebook likes cannot be transferred and you start from 0.

Some beginners may think that choosing a keyword-rich domain name may have some advantages in terms of SEO (example: http://used-cars-for-sale-new-york-city.com). WRONG! Google do not pay much attention to keywords in URL. Is better to use a short domain name containing a name that people can type easily, avoiding hyphens (example http://johnsmithautos.com), so when people talk with their friends, they can easily say “I bought a car from johnsmithautos.com” which is much easier to remember and friends are likely to visit your website. Use “Used cars for sale in New York City” in website title instead of domain name, you can change title anytime.

How to put your website in Google search results

This is valid for ANY website, not limited to Webs.com. I am writing this here in 2013 because numerous Webs.com users asked me if is possible to get their website in Google without upgrading to Premium package.

You DO NOT need Premium package to appear in Google, and Premium package do not guarantee that you will appear. Google cannot know who is paying and who not.

NEVER PAY anyone or anything that promise you to submit your website to search engines and directories. Such “services” are there to fool naive people who do not know that can appear in Google for FREE.

Correct way: You can get indexed by Google by simply posting a link to your website in other websites that are already indexed by Google. Google robots are visiting each website every few days, will follow your link and your website will be indexed as well. Do not post links using comments, because in 90% websites the script add NOFOLLOW tag to all links in comments. Best if you have account on a forum and large number of posts in it, put the link in the signature!

Using Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics do NOT help you appearing in search results, but you are advised to use them to optimize your website.

How to put your website on 1st page in Google search results

Check if Google has indexed your website by searching “site:teoalida.com“, if any results appears, then you are indexed. If you are indexed, but do not get traffic, it may not appear in search results for your keywords or appear but not on first 10 positions, where people are looking. This means that your website is not optimized for Google, you have too little content, non-original content (copying articles from other websites makes Google to downrank you), or website title is too common word.

You should use a descriptive title up to 60 characters, using keywords that people are likely to type in Google search box, for example if you sell cars, use a title like “Buy used cars in New York City” instead of “Great cars” because thousand other websites use “cars” word in their title, and “great” is not a keyword that we type in search. Never use “My family photo blog” or funny spelling “Th3 Kill3rs Gaming Klan“, who would search these words? Personally I am #1 at search “european car database” and within 10 results at “car database xls“.

Watch the bounce ratio: if your website is badly designed, non user-friendly, or content is not relevant for the keywords used in page title, people may click it in search results and press Back button to return in search results in few seconds. Google is able to track how many users bounce back in search results and automatically uprank or downrank your website for respective keywords. See Traffic Stats, my website bounce ratio is about 60% according Clicky. If your website have bounce ratio over 70-80%, then Google thinks that your website is spammy, uninteresting and downrank it. Do note that bounce ratio shown by Webs stats and Clicky stats which counts people who opened only 1 page without navigating in the rest of your website, differently than Google bounce ratio used to determine ranking in search results.

Uninteresting website: along Webs users who asked me various tricks, I noticed that most are children who created a website just to show to friends that they have a website, these websites offer no useful information thus have NO real purpose for the world. Google is trying to show in the search results the most relevant sites, so if you write your diary, write jokes, post photos with friends, or other stupid stuff, do not expect to be on 1st page of Google.

Trick: I noticed that if you have a subpage indexed but not getting traffic, doing yourself a Google search using a full phrase from your page, eventually in quotes (exact phrase), and clicking it in search results, may boost your ranking and get traffic for normal keywords (works only once or few times, don’t think that doing at infinite will boost your website to top position in Google).

Do not take in serious emails that sounds like this:I am John, SEO consultant at a reputed company. I have analyzed your website, you have errors that damage your ranking in Google, making almost impossible for customers to find you. We can help you to get 1st on Google and up to 500% more visitors“, they are NOT actual visitors of your website, they use software to discover automatically email addresses of web owners and send generic emails, waiting for someone to reply, then run an automatic web analyzer to show you bad points and invite you to let your website in their hands for a monthly fee. I get such emails everyday, mostly from India. Read more: SEO SPAM from India.

Anyone with enough time and experience can do search engine optimization himself. Start reading Beginners guide to SEO on Moz.com.

However, do NOT expect that you can easily put your newborn website above well established websites, as they are optimized as well. Google is able to track activity in social networks, so if you create original and interesting content, people are likely to click the LIKE and TWEET buttons to share to their friends. In 2014 multiple people shared my new website www.teoalida.com (for the very interesting info I provide about Singapore real estate) on Facebook got few hundred LIKES during 1 month, Google has upranked my website and I started getting 10% more visitors from Google, a boost that last even today!

How to sell products via your website – make money online

Webs.com is often praised for being the single FREE hosting service with WebStore e-commerce application, many people choose Webs.com in attempt to make money by sell online, which is a BIG MISTAKE. You risk wasting time, you can get even 1 million visitors without having any sale.

The Webs.com WebStore application do not offer instant automatic download, making it useless to sell digital products. Lots of Webs.com, Blogspot, WordPress websites are abandoned and nobody is replying anymore at their contact info. People may not trust that you WILL email the product, or if you sell physical products, there is even less likely for people to trust that you WILL ship the product. People will not trust your free-hosted website like how they trust BIG online stores Amazon.com or eBay.com, because they cannot sue you if they did not received the product. If you ever managed to sell something using Webs.com WebStore application, then you found a very naive customer!

You can sell digital products with instant automatic download on any free web hosting by putting a PayPal BUY NOW, and as checkout, put the link of your digital product (but there is a risk, who is smart enough to look into page source code, can guess file URL and download it without paying).

My advice: if you want to sell products, you should invest in a top-level domain name, paid hosting, where you can install WordPress plus a shopping cart plugin that feature digital downloads, or Magento or any other kind of CMS that include ecommerce plugins. Regardless you sell digital or physical products, is likely that 99% people who visit your online store to leave without buying anything.

To increase sales volume, you should add a big CONTACT US button, write your phone number, or better, use a LIVE CHAT service, for example Zopim used by me, so customers can speak with website owner, and you can convince them that you are alive and ready to send the products.

Tips and tricks for Webs.com-hosted websites

Note: before asking me questions like “how to make more than 10 pages on Webs.com” or “how to remove banner Webs – Create your own free website today” or other things impossible on Webs.com, and insulting me if I don’t provide you a working solution. You should think what mistake you made by choosing Webs.com. The most limited hosting service, which add new limitations from year to year!

Read these articles: Webs.com WORST hosting ever and choosing a good web-hosting service.

For Webs.com users: How to make 15-20 pages instead of 10 on free accounts (easy way)

You cannot add more normal (blank) pages since you have 10 total pages 5 pages since October 2014, but you can add application pages anytime no matters how many pages you have. So, when you start a Webs.com website, first create 10 text pages, you can hide them for navigation bar if you do not need them, after creating 10 text pages, add applications such as Blog, Calendar, Forum, Guestbook, Photo Album, Web Store, etc… in case you will later need 10 text pages, make them visible back. Together with application pages, you can have up to 20 pages in this way.

For Webs.com users: How to have unlimited pages and add Custom HTML for free (hard way)
(no longer work)

Webs.com is the ONLY free hosting service limited to 10 pages, and if this was not enough, their retardadmins decided in January 2014 to remove the Custom HTML module from free accounts (SiteBuilder3), in attempt to fool naive Webs users to pay a Premium service!

Websites created up to June 2012, can continue using the old SiteBuilder without modules, they are not affected by this decision.
You can fool the retardadmins and don’t pay them a cent! However the procedure takes time and hassle for average Webs users who don’t know HTML. I suggest using another free hosting service that do not limit number of pages.

For advanced users who bear the hassle: you can create HTML pages in your computer with any other software and upload them via File Manager or code yourself the HTML code in File Manager using WebzEdit. To mimic the existing website theme, create the page as you normally do in SiteBuilder, view it in browser as normal visitors do, right click > Save page as HTML and upload in file Manager, then delete the page from SiteBuilder and repeat the procedure. You can also have unlimited pages in this way (works for both SiteBuilder3 and older SiteBuilders).

Note 1: in the first 7 days since you created website, you cannot upload in File Manager certain file types including .htm. Be patient 1 week.

Note 2: every time you add a page, you may want to make it appearing in the navigation bar, for this you need to edit in File Manager each page individually, copy-pasting HTML code of navigation bar. A bit difficult for typical Webs users who don’t know a shit of HTML.

Note 3: the trick no longer work. in May 2015 a visitor reported that cannot upload HTML files without upgrading to premium. Last time I checked was in 2013. Does anyone know when the restriction was put in place? Fuck the Webs retardadmins… they realized that some people use this trick and decided to ban HTML uploading for free accounts!

How to have unlimited pages for life
(no longer work)

Accumulate 800 credits and buy “Unlimited pages”, which will be active for one year. Create several hundred empty pages and hide them from navigation bar, such pages will not be deleted when Unlimited pages will expire. If in the future you need more pages, make them visible and add content! This is what I did myself in 2011 to exceed the limit of 20 pages.

Note: Credit Shop is not available for websites created after 2013, and since 2014 is no longer available for old websites too. Now Webs.com free users are stuck in the fucking 5-page limit.

How to remove the banner “Webs – Create your own free website today”

There’s NO WAY to remove it. All sites made since 2012 using SiteBuilder3 have the banner hard-coded by Webs.com. My website, being created in 2009, gets a simple button “Create a free website” visible only when you scroll down, instead of the fucking screen-wide banner which eats precious vertical screen real estate.

How to have HTML website without downgrading to HTML
(no longer work)

Some experienced webdesigners choose to start a website using SiteBuilder then downgrade account to HTML for advanced edits. This is irreversible, meaning that after downgrading you will not have SiteBuilder anymore.
Webs SiteBuilder3 even removed the option of downgrade account to HTML. But we not need the option to downgrade. Just open your website in browser, save each page in your computer as HTML, then upload each HTML page via File Manager. Delete or rename the pages in SiteBuilder to prevent page name conflicts.

Note: trick no longer work since 2014 or 2015 when Webs.com banned uploading HTML files for free accounts.

How to have custom page titles and meta tags on Webs free accounts
(no longer work)

Webs tell you that you need to upgrade to Premium in order to do this, but you CAN DO without upgrading. Pages created via SiteBuilder does not appear in File Manager, so here is the trick: open any HTML file in the File Manger with WebzEdit (if there is no HTML file, upload one), in the WebzEdit click File > Open, and you can see hidden files like the pages created via SiteBuilder, open them and feel free to edit the page title, meta tags and everything in <HEAD>!

Note: trick no longer work since 2014 or 2015 when Webs banned uploading HTML files for free accounts (unless you have already uploaded at least one HTML files before the ban took place = still works for my website, but cannot upload new HTML files).

How to put AdSense on Webs free accounts (added August 2012)

Webs.com Terms of Service say that you cannot put AdSense unless you upgrade to Premium. Probably this is just one of the many ways to encourage you to pay them!

I saw numerous Webs.com websites having AdSense without problems, on free account. So is nothing impossible, but Webs may suspend you for violating TOS, although never heard cases of being suspended for adding AdSense (the general rule: if you do not pay for something, they have no guarantee to offer you the free service).

Note: no longer possible on SiteBuilder3 since January 2014 due to removal of Custom HTML module for free accounts. Still possible for sites created before June 2012 using older SiteBuilder.

How to see how many people visit your website (and what pages they open)

Webs.com is partner with Clicky, but the SiteBuilder3 launched in 2012 does not include the button to Clicky, as Webs made their own stats (which is less-detailed compared with Clicky stats). But the partnership with Clicky still remains and you can activate it from http://members.webs.com/Members/Clicky/dashboard.jsp. This is what you can see about each visitor: IP, country, operating system, screen resolution, and each page they access: Example Clicky.

How to get a .com domain (get rid of “.webs” in URL) (added April 2015)

A top-level domain (.com, .net, .org, and others) is NOT FREE, but not expensive either. Just $10 per year, at name.com or godaddy.com. However you will not be able to attach the domain to your Webs.com site unless you pay an additional fee of $15 or buy a Premium account (starting from $50 per year). A dilemma: if premium plan expires, will the domain still work? On Blogger.com or on 000webhost.com you can attach domain without extra fees, while on WordPress.com the fee is $5. Buying a domain from Webs.com will cost you triple, $30 per year. Professional hosting services starts at $24 per year, example Hosting24.com with coupon code “discount$2” and include a FREE domain name.

So here is my advice: if you can spend money for a .com domain, DO NOT host your website on Webs.com! If you do not want to spend money, stay on subdomain.webs.com. Google do not make difference between subdomains and top-level domains, my website reached over 200 daily visitors in 2012 while running on subdomain. AVOID using the FREE top-level domains .tk and .co.cc, Google banned all .tk and .co.cc websites from appearing in search results.

How to reduce website bandwidth usage (added April 2013)

Webs.com have the lowest bandwidth limit along all free hosting services: just 500 MB per month! Exceeding it display a warning message, and the suspension occurs only if you reach double (1000 MB) bandwidth.

Personally I exceeded 500 MB bandwidth only when I reached over 100 daily visitors, in early 2012. However I was asked for help from people who exceeded their bandwidth only with 20 daily visitors, they committed a BIG mistake: uploaded all images on Webs.com account. There’s NO requirement to have images uploaded in your Webs.com account in order to display them in your Webs.com site. You can save bandwidth by using a third-party image hosting, Imageshack, Photobucket, Flickr, etc.

You can also reduce the size of each page by switching from Paragraph Editor to Raw HTML Paragraph and delete unnecessary HTML codes (SiteBuilder 1/2).

How to move sidebar on left side (added September 2012 – for SiteBuilder 1/2)

My current Webs.com website theme (Air) had sidebar on right side, so I added this CSS code:
#fw-bigcontain {float: right !important; padding-left: 8px;}

Note: Webs.com praise SiteBuilder3 for having customizable templates able to swap sidebar, but SiteBuilder3 removed Custom CSS feature, so customization is limited, while on SiteBuilder 1/2 with the Custom CSS box you can customize up to limit of imagination!

Anytime you need a CSS code, do a Google search, for example CSS remove link underline.

How to have navigation bar links different than actual page names

See this sidebar, full with colors and even country flags?
When I originally made the website, I choose page titles to provide best user experience on sidebar. But this is anti-SEO. So I renamed pages to have the best-describing title, and I added on sidebar a text box where I wrote manually all the links.

How to transfer credits between Webs.com accounts

Webs.com say that is not possible to transfer credits between accounts. But an idea came in my mind: buy the domain name coupon with Webs Credits and use the domain name for another website. This is not really transfer of credits, but may be useful. The coupon once purchased from Webs is valid 1 month to purchase a domain for 1 year. I never tried and don’t know if works. DO AT YOUR OWN RISK!

How to export / transfer website from Webs to other hosting services

Fuck Webs! A must-have automatic export feature is missing! My fans were asking how I transferred most of Webs-based teoalida.webs.com to WordPress-based teoalida.com. I used copy-paste, manually, 50 pages, hundreds of paragraphs, one by one, took me FEW HOURS.

Warning: how to rename pages on Webs – the CORRECT way to not lose visitors

Webs do not allow you making a custom 404 page displaying website navigation bar or a redirect to home page. If you simply rename a page, all people who click the link in searches, on Facebook, bookmark, will get a generic 404 Not Found page which do not display links to your website. People will be not able to find the new page and will think that entire website does not exists. Also, as long as the old page is still in Google index, Google bots may see the new page as duplicate content and will NOT index it.

SOLUTION: make a file in Notepad with the text shown below (including the META redirect at 0 seconds, indicating to Google bot to index new URL – of course change my links with your links), save it under the name of the page which was moved, including .htm extension, and upload it in Webs File Manager.

Note: Chrome users will get a pop-up asking if they wants to be redirected, while Internet Explorer and Firefox users may be redirected automatically, but this may scary them and they may click BACK button, to help this you should put some text in page body, to inform users why are redirected, and allow them to click manually the link to the new page.

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<meta HTTP-EQUIV=”REFRESH” content=”0; url=https://www.teoalida.com/world/northamerica/“>
<TITLE>301 moved permanently</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<P>Since 31 February 2099, the page www.teoalida.webs.com/america.htm has been moved on <A href=”https://www.teoalida.com/world/northamerica/”>www.teoalida.com/world/northamerica</A>. Click it if you are not redirected automatically!</P>
</BODY>
</HTML>

A trick with Webs partner: GetClicky

Webs.com use to track the visitors. Clicky itself offer premium services separate than Webs premium services.

Clicky premium accounts track page views, downloads (image or files clicks), outbound links, etc. also have an useful Spy feature to view visitors in real time.

Clicky free accounts track only page views and you can view only last 31 days, so the visitors spending hours on ONE page of your website, clicking dozens of images, but never opening any other page, may be counted as bouncers.
When you register in Clicky you will get 2 weeks of trial account with all premium features enabled.

See www.teoalida.webs.com/trafficstats.htm, screenshots showing visitors of my website for ENTIRE YEAR, showing all premium features despite that I never paid a single cent to either Webs or Clicky!

Here is the TRICK:
Just opt out from Clicky and then enable Clicky stats again. You will get another 15 days of trial account with all premium features enabled for FREE. This does not work for accounts registered via www.clicky.com, just for the ones registered through www.webs.com. You can use the tracking code from Webs’s Clicky service to track visitors of any website regardless where it is hosted.
Personally I do this every 2 weeks since 2010.

Note: at re-enabling stats, there are about 25% chances to get in the same tracking channel (so you will be able to see the traffic that you had before you opted out), if you see all numbers as 0, opt out and re-enable again. You have 90% chances to find the same tracking channel in max 10 attempts. I never had more than 20 attempts.
Warning: opt out from Clicky ONLY if you had at least one visitor in current day. A friend of mine opted out and in over 100 times, always see 0 numbers, he could to this at infinite without being aware when he found same tracking channel, because had no visitors in current day. He told me that was checking visitors for past month, but in the first day after re-enabling stats you cannot see the traffic of past days. So I warn you!

No longer works since February 2017. Clicky figured out the trick. So currently I am paying Clicky account registered via www.clicky.com (not via Webs.com) and able to track visitors of up to 10 websites.

Ratings & Comments widgets problem – cause and SOLUTION

I posted this message in Webs Support forums and the fucking moderators deleted it saying that SB2 bugs will not be solved, although it is a HELPFUL message for all Webs.com users.

In August 2011 Webs.com had terrible problems, Sign In pages randomly appeared when you tried to view normal pages, and all comments widgets got broken for about one week. Who try to post a comment get a stupid message “Please wait for us to finish processing“, but I can still see the comments from website control panel (Manage Comments Widgets).

After that week, half of the widgets from my website came back to normal, other half remained broken for life. I was tired to wait for Webs employees to solve the problem, so I created new comment widgets, everything was OK again until… one newly-created widget broke again!

Sometimes they broke just temporary and after several days are working again, but also got broken for ever. Also some widgets display comments in wrong order or display wrong comments count.

CAUSE: since August 2011 the widgets are breaking if they contains a comment longer than 640 characters (before that date, anyone could leave comments of any length without problems), the saddest part is that most broken widgets were broken by me, by leaving long replies to visitors questions, via website control panel, without visiting website and see what happens.

SOLUTION: if you are tired of waiting for Webs employees to make them working again with long comments, simply delete yourself the longest comments in order, until the comments will be loading again!

Do not suggest me to use a Guestbook or a Forum. I had a forum, but people were not using it. Having comments widgets at bottom of each page, which do not require any signing in, is most convenient.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the tips and tricks
    Very helpful

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