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Hi Jack i am wondering if you can help or give me some advice. I saw your Header Tags Controller and wondered how difficult it would be for a person who knows nothing about OSCOMMERCE other than to get into the admin area to install it. What is involved?
The site I am working on is an OS COMMERCE site so is a data based site which needs specific SEO and which you seem to be an expert on. The site has been in existence for over 20 years with no SEO done to it and then all of a sudden for no reason it started ranking our posts on the first page of Google often in the top spot or top 5. We could almost guarantee to rank your ad on the first page.
Approximately 12-18 months ago our host upgraded his servers and our site was no longer compatible with his server and the site was no longer visible or hosted. About 3 months ago I found hosting company in the USA and we started to set up the site in the exact same format. At this time our SA host managed to get the site live once again but we could not access the admin section and after 10 days our rankings started coming back but not as strong as before. Our SA host then switched the domain across to TMD hosting and the site went live. We are now sitting with 2 identical websites ranking different pages but nowhere near as powerfull as the site was before it was taken down
I am looking at trying to do some SEO to get our original rankings back but because of the data base configuration you cannot do a lot of the normal SEO you would do with a wordpress site. Most people i talk to confuse oscommerce with an ecommerce site. Please find links below to the 2 sites.
ORIGINAL SITE http://www.xpressmedia.co.za/
SECONDARY SITE http://xpressme.sg08.tmd.cloud/
Regarding the installation, from your description I would say it would not be possible for you to install Header Tags. It requires changes to the files. They are too difficult as changes go but do require some experience in editing the code.
Installing the addon, now named Header Tags SEO, can help with ranking and usually will. But it is a tool and what you get out of it depends on how much you put into setting it up. In other words, if you install it and then walk away it will probably help with ranking. But if you spend time setting things up in it, the chances of it helping increase a great deal.
From what you described with your ranking and in looking at your site, I think installing it would help and suggest that you do so. We charge $90 to install it but there is a 10% discount available. Ordering from us has two advantages:
1 - You get the most recent version of the addon. The version I have here has changes to it that are not in the released version.
2 - I offer guidance in its usage. The addon has many options and not setting them correctly can make a big difference in the results.
Another option is to move to our hosting. If you did that, we would install the addon for free. The advantages of hosting with us is that we specialize in oscommerce. So the problems you mention regarding both of your hosts would not happen with us. We also offer free support to our members for questions on how to use or make changes to their sites. Very few, if any, other hosts do this.
As for tutorials, there are none that I know of. There is this page. I'm not sure what version your shops are from looking at them but they are either 2.2 or 2.3. The basic parts of them are the same so most of the files on that page should apply. Of course, if you hosted with us, we would answer the questions about its usage for you.
I hope this answers all of your questions. Please let me know if you have any others.