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CMSimple_XH Plugins

Last update:
August 10, 2016, 02:14


Search Engine Optimization

If you want to be found by Google & Co, there are a few points to consider:

Page structure

Pages that are clearly structured with a well defined subject are easiest to index for search engines.

For the structure of a page the important points are

The typical CMSimple_XH website

How is it structured? Usually a page starts with <h1><?php echo sitename();?></h1> followed by the menu and the content starting with a <h1> <h2> or <h3> headline depending on the menu level. Then comes text divided by <h4>, <h5> and <h6> headlines. This is not the structure Google expects.

Can we change this?

Yes, we could reassign the headlines in the content. Normally the content call is:

 <?php echo content();?>

With the php command str_replace we can reassign the headlines in the content call:

<?php echo str_replace(array(
), array(
), content());?>

Now all h1, h2, h3, h4 in the content are reassigned: All first lines of a page are now <h2>, and the h4 headlines, which are standard in CMSimple_XH but overlooked by Google, have become search engine friendly h3 headlines. Lesser headlines h5 and h6 are left unchanged.

Our page still starts with an <h1> headline, which is provided by <h1><?php echo sitename();?></h1>, however there is now only one <h1>. It is followed by a menu, which Google doesn't mind, and then comes an <h2> headline, followed by content consisting of text and eventually some <h3> headlines, just as search engines like to see it.

Too easy to be true? There is a little catch to it: You better format h1, h2, h3, h4 the same. Otherwise the WYSIWYG in the editor doesn't work any more.

With a little trick is is possible to style h4 differently, provided your content is placed in something like a <div class="content">. In this case you can define in your stylesheet.css h4 and .content h3 the same, i.e. something like:

h4, .content h3 {
    font: 20px/1.4 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, sans-serif:

Now the h4 changed to h3 in view mode will look the same as your h4 in edit mode.

Thinking about possible search phrases

Ask yourself, what would people, who should find you, type into Google's search field? These possible search phrases should appear in your sitename and your page headlines. Making your site search engine friendly means in a way giving added clarity to your site. Make sure that those, who want to find you, do find you, and that those looking for something else, will not be directed to your site.

Some other aspects are also to be considered

Page loading speed

Google likes your pages to load fast and it provides help to find out where the bottlenecks are. Go to and test your pages. It is better when your starting page doesn't contain too many images, as usually every image means an extra http request.  

Another speed test can be found at

Get fitting links to your site

If there are different websites promoting the same subject, country and link popularity determine who's listed first. Here again it seems best to try to get links that really serve the searching public. Visitors of which pages would want to go to your site? Links to your site should have a wording that indicates what your site is about, i.e. they should contain a relevant search phrase. If the link to your site is an image, make sure the alt-tag of the image is such a relevant search phrase.