In case you haven’t noticed, recently we launched our new website. In the upcoming series of How we did it articles I will give you a glance under the hood and tell you how we built our site. In this first part I will tell you how we did the branding of our new website.
Proper usage of headings is very important on the web. It helps you structure your content making it more readable, it makes it easier for visually challenged readers to navigate through the content and helps you optimize your content for search engines. And while it’s so important, it’s quite surprising that there is no standard mechanism available within SharePoint that would allow you to quickly verify that your page has a valid headings structure. However thanks to the great extensibility of SharePoint it’s history: proudly presenting Mavention Scan Page Headings!
Yesterday we had a great evening here at Mavention talking about web standards and accessibility on the SharePoint platform.
One of the things that matter when optimizing an Internet-facing website for search engines is the page title. Next to the level one header (H1) and the URL, the page title is one of the most important elements of your page that allows search engine to find your page. A good page title consists of at least the title of the current page and the title of the website. Additionally, if the site is quite large you can add the name of the section. And although it doesn’t sound like rocket science it is quite inconvenient to do it right in SharePoint.
One of the challenges while developing Internet-facing websites built on the SharePoint platform was rendering semantic breadcrumbs. Out of the box Office SharePoint Server 2007 was using for that purpose the ASP.NET SiteMapPath control. And while it looked okay visually, internally the whole control was rendered as non-semantic spans. SharePoint 2010 ships with a new control for rendering breadcrumbs called ListSiteMapPath. And while this control uses semantic markup and renders the breadcrumbs as an unordered list, the markup is too complex if all that you need is a simple list with some links. In such situation the Mavention Simple SiteMapPath can become very useful.