Wales Antiques

This blog will from time to time complement my Wales Antiques Web Site and its printed companion. The guide is a developing listing of general suppliers of antiques and collectables in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Powys and beyond; it now including auctions and in the future specialist heritage related attractions. Over 23 years it has become an essential resource for anyone with an interest in buying and selling antiques and collectables in West Wales and Beyond. If you would like to know more visit the site here.

Famous Welsh

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  • The Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery and Lore of the Persian Carpet

    The Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery and Lore of the Persian Carpet by Brian Murphy

  • Moonraker

    Moonraker by Ian Fleming

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Wordpress SEO Tips for Site Owners

Telephone Wordpress SEO Tips for Site Owners


I’m frequently asked by clients to to help get their web sites a good search engine showing; most people would like to see their site feature at least in the first 10 returns from a search and ideally at the top. As many of my customers are using WordPress to power their sites I have compiled a quick list of tips to get the best out of your self hosted WordPress pages.

WordPress is particularly well designed for search engine optimisation so judicious use of posts, pages, categories and tags will help search engines crawl and gather efficiently the information needed to establish your site in their databases.

Once I have set up the site to make the best of its built in search optimisation tools and installed various 3rd party plugins it’s then up to the site owner to start to make the best of their site content.

Search Engines Read Your Content

Search engines love to read. They are not interested in how ‘pretty’ your site looks. They want content, the interesting and informative ‘stuff’ on your site. Do your best to develop quality written content so search engines can give you a good “score”.

Think About How People Search For Content

If you want your content to be search engine friendly, think about the kind of words and phrases someone would use if they were looking for the content you provide. Use relevant words and phrases more than once as you write, but of course not in every sentence or paragraph.

Key Words, Links, and Titles

Make sure that the words in your posts and pages compare favourably with your metatags , links and titles. The more they match the more search engines will ‘weight’ certain words and phrases.

Content in Links and Images

It may be that your site is not particularly ‘wordy’, maybe relying more on photographs or links to other pages. Make sure then that you use textual content with these elements where you can. Search engines will look for ‘alt’ and ’title’ in image and link attributes. Having good descriptions for your links and images will not only make your site more accessible for people with visual impairment but will provide more ‘juicy’ content for search engines to enjoy.

Incoming Links

Despite your site’s rich content there is another important way in which you can give it a leg-up. Search engines give weight to the quality of the sites that link to your site. So, make sure you add your url to your signature in forum posts on other sites, submit your site relevant to directories and include your url in your profile on any social or business networks you use. In fact, do your best to your web address out there!

Internal Navigation Links

Ensure your site’s internal navigation allows search engines (and visitors) to move through your site categories, archives and pages with ease, so reaching all parts of your site. Clean, clear and simple navigation will help this to happen.


Sites that don’t change are not search engine friendly. Keep your site content fresh.
Set aside time to check out your site. Make sure it’s all working and if not get your web administrator to fix it; that’s what they’re paid for.
Invite feedback either through forms on your site or just ask your friends and colleagues to take a look.
Try to introduce regular new content if you can and if you can’t update old content.
Ask someone in to ‘guest’ or ‘ghost’ write for you.

If your site is interesting to visitors it’ll be interesting to search engines and you will find your ranking improving.

Website: Mind Your Heart Codi Calon

As some of my readers may know I have always had an interest in voluntary sector organisations particularly those which promote better mental health. I was lucky enough to be engaged by Jan Batty to build the web pages for Mind Your Heart earlier this year. The latest development is a Welsh translation of which I daresay there will be an official launch later this year. For those who REALLY can’t wait here’s a sneaky preview…

bc46cd10f8ef2eb663efae86f6e90a20 Website: Mind Your Heart Codi Calon

Mind Your Heart Screenshot

Monique Roffey and Mariella Frostrup: Open Book

Friend and writer Monique Roffey’s new book White Woman on a Green Bicycle is out now and gathers some good reviews. Despite this, she didn’t make the Man-Booker Long List and there’s me thinking it would be a shoe-in. Still there there’s a good chance of getting it on the Not the Booker Prize list that the Guardian is running. Follow the the link and nominate if you are inclined.

49c783d9ac896eee7b6220476a8299e5 Monique Roffey and Mariella Frostrup: Open Book

Of further note you can hear Monique on the BBC Radio 4′s Open Book show hosted by Mariella Frostrup, the thinking man’s pickled herring.

There’s also Fans of Monique Roffey’s New Book ‘The White Woman on The Green Bicycle on Facebook and you might enjoy The Indie’s One Minute with Monique Roffey

If that’s not enough try her Monique’s Web Pages and Blog.

Richard Beard Has a Blog

22aded18de69dd12dd1274bf7c4c35d0 Richard Beard Has a Blog

Richard Beard by Martyn Symons

Handsome devil isn’t he? It’s been a pleasure to re-grout Mr Richard Beard’s new web pages. While we wait for the dust to settle why not take look at It’s full of excellent stuff he’s wriitten for the papers and what not as well as reviews of and introductions to his fabulous books…

World Health Organisation AUDIT alcohol screening tool

As you may know I used to work in Alcohol Services (hopefully) helping people with alcohol problems.  Though many people enjoy a drink without harm using alcohol is not without significant health & social risks. Working with problem drinkers I saw many deaths directly due to alcohol and a lot of serious illness related to alcohol such as liver disease, stomach problems and high blood pressure and many people came to the service seeking help because of social, marital, legal, and employment problems.

I bring this up because I am working with Prism (the Mid and West Wales Alcohol and Drug advisory Service) upgrading their web pages and it will include this AUDIT alcohol screening tool. The tool will enable anyone worried about their drinking to make their own online assessment.

It would help me considerably if anyone completing this questionnaire would give me feedback about its usabilty or otherwise.

No results or personal information are stored by this web site.


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