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Mastering Git and IDEs for Optimizing Website SEO

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Recently, I optimized a client's Git/Bitbucket-based, JS-driven, flatfile HTML website using modern tools like GitKraken and Visual Studio Code. This experience highlighted how these tools can significantly boost SEO performance by improving site speed, accessibility, and best practices. My journey reaffirmed the importance of technical excellence in achieving top Google rankings.
Mastering Git and IDEs for  Optimizing Website SEO

GitKraken Bitbucket

I was recently retained by a client to refine their Git/Bitbucket-based, JS-driven, and flatfile HTML website. It's blazing fast. However, it's been years since I last worked with Git or used an IDE to sling code and commit to a master branch. Reacquainting myself with these tools has been fun and fulfilling. The modern tools are beautiful, and after some experimentation with GNU/Linux software on my Linux Mint install, I'm running GitKraken (or is it BitKraken?) and a non-Microsoft version of Visual Studio Code that I prefer.

It's a joy to work in the world of code, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript again. GitKraken, which I ended up purchasing the Pro version of, is incredibly smart, responsive, and user-friendly. Previously, managing complexity without such tools was challenging. It also takes longer to ensure every photo, graphic, and image on the site has accurate alternative text (ALT). I'm often surprised this wasn’t done initially, given the beautiful code structure of each page. The consistency and clarity of the code make it easy for me to navigate and work through the entire site.

Using an IDE and Git for the first time, especially with Bitbucket, has been a positive experience. Despite my usual work with visual tools like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Drupal, and various eCommerce platforms, I find the code-aware and code-completing capabilities of the IDE invaluable. There's also AI integration to explore, though it's not essential for my current SEO campaign.

Having decades of experience with GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Unix, Solaris, and more, the learning curve was negligible for me. The tools have proven to be helpful, especially for someone with ADHD. I look forward to more codebase, text-editing, and hard-coded HTML/CSS/JS work in the future. While flat file, text-based websites might not offer the convenience of WYSIWYG/CMS platforms like WordPress, they significantly enhance site speed and responsiveness, crucial factors for being taken seriously by Google Organic search.

My client's site scores 97/100 on mobile and 100/100 on desktop for site speed, showcasing the value of investing in performance optimization. However, Google also values dynamic, evolving content. Sites perceived as static or "archival" can be penalized. Regular updates, new content, and blog posts are essential to keep Google's attention.

In Git, there are tools that allow for writing blog posts or editing pages in a Rich Text Editor, then rendering them into plain text HTML. My old Typepad site operates this way, with a Perl cgi-bin process converting WYSIWYG blog posts into flat file pages. Thus, hybrid approaches are possible.

Balancing a fast, flat file site with regular updates is crucial. Google Search Console (GSC) and Google prioritize SPEED, ACCESSIBILITY, BEST PRACTICES, and SEO. As a full-stack SEO expert, I focus on these areas to create a holistic and effective SEO strategy. It's no longer about acquiring thousands of backlinks or mass-producing content with AI. My client's priority on 100/100 site performance was the right first step.

Currently, I am assisting them with on-site SEO, including titles, meta descriptions, and image ALTs. They might also want me to work on their site content next. I hope my experiences and insights provide some value. Have a great week!


  1. What is Git? Git is a distributed version control system that tracks changes in source code during software development. It allows multiple developers to work on a project simultaneously.

  2. What is Bitbucket? Bitbucket is a web-based version control repository hosting service that supports Git and Mercurial. It is used for source code and development projects.

  3. What is an IDE? An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development, including a source code editor, build automation tools, and a debugger.

  4. What is a flatfile website? A flatfile website is a website that doesn't rely on a database. Instead, it uses simple files to store content and configurations, resulting in faster loading times.

  5. How does Git improve SEO? Git improves SEO by enabling better version control and collaboration among developers, ensuring consistent and high-quality code that enhances site performance and user experience.

  6. Why is site speed important for SEO? Site speed is crucial for SEO because faster-loading websites provide a better user experience, which is a significant ranking factor for search engines like Google.

  7. What are SEO titles? SEO titles are the titles that appear in search engine results. They are optimized to include relevant keywords and accurately describe the page content to attract clicks.

  8. What are meta descriptions? Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide brief summaries of web pages. They appear under the title in search engine results and influence click-through rates.

  9. What is alternative text (ALT)? Alternative text (ALT) is a description of an image in the HTML code of a web page. It helps search engines understand the content of the image and improves accessibility for visually impaired users.

  10. How do IDEs enhance website development? IDEs enhance website development by providing tools for code editing, debugging, and version control, leading to more efficient and error-free coding processes.

  11. What is JavaScript (JS)? JavaScript (JS) is a programming language commonly used in web development to create interactive effects within web browsers.

  12. How can alternative text (ALT) improve SEO? Alternative text (ALT) improves SEO by making images understandable to search engines, which can then include them in image search results, driving more traffic to the site.

  13. What is Visual Studio Code? Visual Studio Code is a source code editor developed by Microsoft. It includes features such as debugging, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring.

  14. What is GitKraken? GitKraken is a Git client that provides a graphical interface to manage Git repositories, simplifying version control for developers.

  15. What is site accessibility? Site accessibility refers to the practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities, ensuring an inclusive user experience.

  16. How does consistent coding impact SEO? Consistent coding impacts SEO by ensuring that the website's structure is clear and error-free, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index the site.

  17. What are best practices for website optimization? Best practices for website optimization include improving site speed, ensuring mobile responsiveness, optimizing images, using clean code, and maintaining regular content updates.

  18. How can Git help in collaborative website development? Git helps in collaborative website development by allowing multiple developers to work on different parts of a project simultaneously without conflicts, maintaining a comprehensive version history.

  19. What is Google Search Console (GSC)? Google Search Console (GSC) is a web service by Google that allows webmasters to check indexing status, search queries, crawling errors, and optimize the visibility of their websites.

  20. Why is dynamic content important for SEO? Dynamic content is important for SEO because regularly updated and fresh content signals to search engines that the site is active, relevant, and worth ranking higher in search results.


  1. Git: A distributed version control system used for tracking changes in source code during software development.

  2. Bitbucket: A web-based repository hosting service that supports Git and Mercurial version control systems.

  3. IDE (Integrated Development Environment): Software providing comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development, including a source code editor, build automation tools, and a debugger.

  4. Flatfile Website: A website that doesn't use a database, storing content in simple files instead, resulting in faster load times.

  5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through organic search engine results.

  6. Site Speed: The measure of how quickly a website loads and displays content to users, critical for user experience and SEO.

  7. SEO Title: The title of a web page optimized for search engines, designed to attract clicks and improve search rankings.

  8. Meta Description: An HTML attribute that provides a summary of a web page, appearing under the title in search engine results and influencing click-through rates.

  9. Alternative Text (ALT): Text in HTML code that describes images, helping search engines understand image content and improving accessibility.

  10. JavaScript (JS): A programming language used to create interactive effects within web browsers.

  11. Visual Studio Code: A source code editor developed by Microsoft, offering debugging, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, and more.

  12. GitKraken: A graphical Git client that simplifies version control with a user-friendly interface.

  13. Site Accessibility: The practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.

  14. Consistent Coding: Writing code in a uniform and structured manner, making it easier to read, maintain, and optimize for search engines.

  15. Best Practices: Standardized methods or techniques that are generally accepted as superior and effective in achieving desired outcomes.

  16. Google Search Console (GSC): A Google web service that helps webmasters monitor and optimize their websites for better search engine performance.

  17. Dynamic Content: Regularly updated and fresh content on a website, signaling to search engines that the site is active and relevant.

  18. Crawlability: The ability of search engine bots to access and index content on a website.

  19. Backlinks: Inbound links from one website to another, playing a crucial role in SEO by indicating the linked site's credibility and authority.

  20. Code Refactoring: The process of restructuring existing computer code without changing its external behavior, improving its readability and maintainability.