Vocabulary Exercise App: A Name, SEO and another React App


My domain got a new name: vocabup.com. Why vocabup? It is way better than phpapp-olivers.rhcloud.com It has only three syllables and since I will be going to rely heavily on search engines it has two keywords in it, vocab and up. Vocab is another word for Vocabulary. Up in this context means to pick up new words or to lift or increase or enhance your vocabulary. The name does not sound very good for me as a german. But since it is an international app to get to know the world language english better there will always be visitors who will find the name sounding strange. And I already researched for the perfect name for one and a half day. So, pragmatically, it is a good name.

Praising the architecture

Now my app can be used. It has a comprehensive thesaurus to be browsed and a limited but working vocabulary exercise. You can compare my website with a new building that has a basement floor. Many things can be build on top of it. And I can react quickly! Thanks to React! I like the architecture very much, which enables me to write complex JavaScript code that is not only a behavior layer but also renders content. Without serverside JavaScript generating the page structure and content via JavaScript would cleary violate the Progressive Enhancement concept. But thanks to Node.js I can do the page rendering with the same code as on the client on the server too and go the Progressive Enhancement way with success. Look at the exercise page or at my new page to browse the thesaurus by domain. Although the whole view is written in Javascript, there is still a fully functional app if you disable JavaScript in your browser. Thats because the Javascript is executed on the server. I made a Node.js REST service that takes Json and returns a webpage from React consisting of good old HTML and CSS and enhancing JavaScript. Thanks to Node.js and React Progressive Enhancement is no pain since no code has to be repeated. I do not have to write an additional view Layer in PHP to do the serverside rendering.


If I have the ground floor now and a good architecture to be able to react to requests quickly it would be nice to integrate the users into the development. Do you know these iterative software development processes like Scrum or Kanban, where customers are presented with a result each end of an iteration and give valuable feedback to the developers. Some people think, their plan is fixed and will not change but they are wrong. The feedback of users and customers makes you think of a better way to satisfy real users need. Do you really know your customer so well like yourself to fully understand what he wants/wanted? So communicate with them so often as you can! The first step to engage users into interaction in my case is to have users, that means having a large population of them. The last time I got involved into SEO was 10 years ago. What has changed? It is really interesting! In that time the offpage optimization was to get links from anywhere. But it was also discussed to gather links from context relevant web sites. Google always spoke against unnatural activities to get links. Natural means for Google to let others link to your website. That seems unrealistic. How can anybody link to my site voluntarily??? Links were bought for much money. Nowadays they pay money that their links get removed! Since Google more and more penalizes unnatural links SEO means today the opposite than it meant in the past, namely to link to other sites in order to recognize the authorities in your domain and deliver quality content that communicates your niche and your product very cleary. Onpage SEO has not changed. It is more important than ever to use all instruments HTML provides.

When I looked upon my website in the Google index and by this way realizing how Google sees I saw alphabetically sorted chaos. Instead of sorting my thesaurus by letters which has no semantic meaning I decided to show Google the definitions that WordNet provides semantically ordered by domain. And I write meaningful titles and HTML header tags with relevant keywords. Next I will have to write a detailed text about my website with many links to the other authorities in my field in order to let Google know what my website offers and what is does not offer and what the other websites are offering. Maybe a blog?