The success of rev.iew.me‘s launch has opened my eyes to a multitude of websites I never knew existed. Unfortunately, it has also made me realise that the age of the dodgy tutorial is not over, and now more than ever younger webmasters are “educating” each other with terrible code for the sake of scraping in a few extra visitors.
If you have a tutorial section, you could be one of many hundreds of people negatively affecting the websites of those who don’t know any better!
How do I know if my tutorials are bad?
Open up your tutorials page, look for “Basic HTML”. Is it there? Does it contain instructions on how to code “
<b>” and “
<textarea>s to display the code? Your tutorials are bad.
Now look for “Changing font colour”, or “Changing text colour” tutorials. Are you recommending the
<font> tag — a tag that was deprecated in HTML 4.01 no less — or the color attribute? Your tutorials are bad.
If you have a tutorial on “Bulleted lists” that tells people to use
<li> without an
<ul>; if you have a “CSS beginner’s guide” that doesn’t explain the different between a selector, property and value; if you have a PHP includes tutorial but don’t know the difference between
require_once(): your tutorials are bad!
How do I fix them?
Unless you plan on spending precious time learning about deprecated tags, semantics, why you shouldn’t use presentational tags, and the value of validation and optimised code, there is only one answer: get rid of your bad tutorials. Delete them, remove them, eradicate them. They offer no meaningful value! They’re useless to your visitors, Google doesn’t care enough about your site to rank you higher than real tutorial sites, and you’re only damaging other people’s chances at learning proper code by keeping them. Stick to a subject on which you clearly know best, preferably one that isn’t HTML or PHP.