My journey toward being a freelance WordPress designer and developer started eight years ago, designing some quite basic websites with Dreamweaver on a part-time basis. I progressed to using my acquired HTML and CSS hand coding skills for the customization of templates and themes on various platforms including: WordPress, Joomla! and PrestaShop. As time went on, I looked towards areas of more specialized development such as developing my own WordPress templates using Bootstrap as a framework and WordPress Plugins.
Most of my work so far has been sourced through my own efforts with a combination of SEO, AdWords, networking and recommendations. This has brought me in a fair bit of work, but still not consistent enough to earn a decent wage from web design alone, which is why I have started to look at various job board type websites for freelancers. My impression of many of these regarding the way they operate, is that they are kind of parasitic on the freelancers with fees, and run things a bit like a developer’s cattle market. Anyone can apply for anything and there is no proper screening or matching going on; so long as they are making some money from freelancers, its fine with them. This is why I have decided to apply to the Toptal Web Engineers Group, they operate so differently, in the right way that serves everyone.
I am still growing as a designer and developer, but feel that I have something to offer in terms of my experience in certain areas of development, like my HTML and CSS hand coding skills for example. Also, I have some specific skills areas such as Bootstrap, Fabrik and Edge Animate, that may be of help to some. A lot of my past work has been gained and retained because I know how to be good with clients in terms of listening to them properly and explaining more technical things clearly, in non-jargon terms. This is clearly a factor that is taken into consideration in the Toptal screening process, as they understand how important the human element is to successful project collaboration.
The HTML text on a page was once the center of keyword optimisation activities. Metrics such as keyword density and keyword saturation were used to measure the perfect level of keyword usage on a page. To the search engines, however, text in a document, particularly the frequency with which a particular term or phrase is used, has very little impact on how happy a searcher will be with that page.
The incorporation of images on web pages can substantively enrich the user experience. However, the search engines cannot read the images directly. There are two elements that you can control to give the search engines context for images: 1) The filename and 2) Image alt text. This usage of the image filename and of the alt attribute permits you to reinforce the major keyword themes of the page. This is particularly useful if you want to rank in an image search.
The H(x) tags in HTML (H1, H2, H3, etc.) are designed to indicate a headline hierarchy in a document. Thus, a H1 tag might be considered the headline of the page as a whole, whereas H2 tags would serve as subheadings, H3s as tertiary-level headlines, and so forth. The search engines have shown a slight preference for keywords appearing in heading tags, notably the H1 tag (which is the most important of these to employ).
Great meta descriptions, just like great ads, can be tough to write, but for keyword-targeted pages, particularly in competitive search results, they are a critical part of driving traffic from the engines to through to your pages. Their importance is much greater for search terms where the intent of the searcher is unclear or different searchers might have different motivations.