This Website Submission Guide is for Personal Weblogs

Do Not Submit an empty blog with no content.  Make some pages and write at least a dozen long form posts first.

I have omitted directories that charge a fee for submission.

This guide is for site promotion of non-commercial, personal weblogs.  For static personal homepages use my other guide here.

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Major Search Engines

There are only 4 large English language search engines that have their own crawler and index.  Google, Bing, Yandex and Mojeek.  You cannot submit to them, there is nothing for you to do. But rest assured, they will eventually find you by following links to you from other websites and then crawl your website.

 

Search Engines for Non-Commercial Sites

(Check to see if you are already listed.)

Searchmysite.net

 

Small Search Engines

I’d never heard of these but they have “Add URL” so go ahead and submit if you want.

  1. Bloopish – new to me.  Free submit so might as well.
  2. Crawlson – Ditto.

 

Weblog Directories

There are a blue million blog directories old and new .  Most charge money because they are selling links to commercial blogs for SEO purposes.  Best to stay away from them.  I like these:

  1. Blogarama – They have a free submit. It takes several months before it’s reviewed but it works.  I get some good traffic from this directory.
  2. Blogroll.org – A link back is encouraged.
  3. Blogsurf

 

Larger Non-Commercial Directories

(Check to see if you are already listed first.)

  1. Indieseek.xyz Directory – drill down to the category that best fits your site and add URL from there. Tip: The “Internet >> Weblogs” sub-category fits most non-topical personal blogs.
  2. Yesterweb Directory – submit as per the rules.

Link Back Directories

(These smaller directories all require a link back to them before you submit and you have to stay linked to them to remain in the directory.  See each directory for submission and linking instructions.)

Linklane –

List-Me –

Moonshot –

NerdListings –

Smooth Sailing –

 

Webrings

  • Webring Directory – browse through the webrings, visit, and pick those that you like, seem well managed and that you qualify for and apply. Follow the webring’s rules.  Join 3 – 4.  Webrings bring traffic.

 

Disclaimers

(Ye Olde Fine Print)

  • Resources listed in this guide should not be considered an endorsement.
  • I have not listed resources that charge a fee for listing, no matter how small.
  • If you know of a resource that should be included, please let me know in a comment below.  No promises though.
  • If your resource is listed and you would like it removed, please let me know in a comment.
  • Do Not use this guide for submitting static personal homepages.  I will be making a separate guide for static websites.
  • Do Not Spam these indexes. Submit once and wait to see if you are accepted or rejected.  It may take weeks
  • The directories listed are human reviewed. They each have different standards. Submitting does not guarantee inclusion.

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“Site Promotion” is an old term from the 1990’s Web for getting your website listed in as many search engines and directories as possible so that no matter where a person was searching, they ran across your website.  Back then there were a lot of search engines and directories, both large and small and you had to submit your website’s URL in order to be listed.

Who is This For?

This is basically a URL submission guide to promote your website to a wider audience.  It is intended only for non-commercial, personal HTML type sites.  Think Neocites type sites and the like and you would be right.  It is NOT intended for submitting blogs, those need to be submitted to different resources.  See the guide for blogs.

I have purposely omitted directories that require you to pay a fee when you submit your site for inclusion.

If you have a Neocities site this guide is intended for site promotion in addition to whatever is provided or is customary among Neocities sites.  So, first do what webmasters normally do within the Neocities community and then do this guide.  You may already know about these lisitng places but beginners might not so you can pass this along to them.

 

(All links open in a new tab.)

 

The Big Search Engines

There are only 4 large English language search engines that have their own crawler and index.  Google, Bing, Yandex and Mojeek.  You cannot submit to them, there is nothing for you to do. But rest assured, they will eventually find you by following links to you from other websites and then crawl your website.

 

Search Engines for Non-Commercial Sites

(Check to see if you are already listed.)

  1. Wiby.me – this search engine was built to index HTML type websites.  They need you to submit your URL.  They will then crawl your site.
  2. Searchmysite.net – for non-commercial sites.  They do not crawl the web the way the big search engines do.  The only way they will find you is if you submit your site.

Small Search Engines

I’d never heard of these but they have “Add URL” so go ahead and submit if you want.

  1. Bloopish – new to me.  Free submit so might as well.
  2. Crawlson – Ditto.

Larger Non-Commercial Directories

(Check to see if you are already listed first.)

  1. Indieseek.xyz Directory – drill down to the category that best fits your site and add URL from there. Tip: The “Personal Homepage” category fits most non-topical personal homepages.
  2. Yesterweb Directory – submit as per the rules.

Link Back Directories

(These smaller directories all require a link back to them before you submit and you have to stay linked to them to remain in the directory.  See each directory for submission and linking instructions.)

Linklane

List-Me

Moonshot

NerdListings

Smooth Sailing

Webrings

  • Retroweb Ring – you can apply to join our webring.
  • Webring Directory – browse through the webrings, visit, and pick those that you like, seem well managed and that you qualify for and apply. Follow the webring’s rules.  Join 3 – 4.  Webrings bring traffic.

 

Disclaimers

 

  • Resources listed in this guide should not be considered an endorsement.
  • I have not listed resources that charge a fee for listing, no matter how small.
  • If you know of a resource that should be included, please let me know in a comment below.  No promises though.
  • If your resource is listed and you would like it removed, please let me know in a comment.
  • Do Not use this guide for submitting blogs.  I will be making a separate guide for blogs.
  • Do Not Spam these indexes. Submit once and wait to see if you are accepted or rejected.  It may take weeks
  • The directories listed are human reviewed. They each have different standards. Submitting does not guarantee inclusion.

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I can tell when I add a genuine Old 1990’s website to the Indieseek.xyz directory.  See, when I’m adding a URL the directory script tries to fetch the Title tag and the Description meta tag.  If it actually shows me a filled in Description, then odds are the website is Real Old.

So fair warning, I’m writing this for a selfish purpose because a well written Description meta tag saves me a lot of time trying to write a directory description of what your page is about.

 

This post is primarily for personal static websites like those being built at Neocities.

 

The big search engines pretty much quit using the Description meta long ago, so everybody lost interest and soon forgot about the practice.  After all is was from the early days of Web 1.0,  it didn’t fit in with the corporate advertising platform of Web 2.0.  Well, we are building a retro web revival so screw the Big Tech search engine silos.  I don’t care what they use or don’t use.

 

Who Should Use a Description Meta Tag?

 

  1. Personal static HTML sites, like Neocities sites, especially on pages that have little or no text on them, like a blank welcome/doorway/splash page.  The big search engines might still ignore it but new small search engines devoted to HTML sites are being developed now and they might take description metas into account.  And, of course, many directory scripts like mine look for Description metas when adding non-submitted URL’s.
  2. Personal blogs.  You know better what broad subject themes you constantly blog about better than any directory editor will be able to figure out in a 3 minute review.

This becomes more important for the future because more directories are being built and more niche HTML site search engines are being developed that might use them.

Like I say, it’s a shameless self serving suggestion on my part, but I think it has some merit for the use cases above.

Does this make sense?  What do you think?

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I started this directory in 2018.  Human edited directories were dead.  There were a few around but not a lot.  Discovery was all about search engines, namely Google and Bing, to the exclusion of everybody else.  Webrings were dead, blogrolls had fallen out of favor, ditto RSS.  It seemed like everything had gone commercial and all corporate suit slick and tricky and that maybe the fun part of the Web had died.

But there were pockets of webmasters building a web revival.  Webmasters at Neocities, bloggers at Indieweb.org were not willing to give ground and let Web 1.0 die out.  They started reviving old practices like using RSS, blogrolls, static sites – the fun stuff.

But we lost a lot of Web 1.0.  A lot of the infrastructure built to support the independent web 1.0 had fallen into ruin or was just gone.  We need to replace the best of this Web 1.0 infrastructure to continue.

Things have changed, mainly for the better, since 2018 so I thought I would give you my opinion on where we stand now in 2022.

 

  • Directories – This has been a pleasant surprise.   While directories never quite died off, since 2018 quite a few new small directories have been built. I think Kicks Condor got people thinking about small directories again.  On the big directory front Curlie has refreshed itself and come alive.  The thing is, we need more.  Directories come in so many styles, sizes, each with different features, categories, niches and collections of links.  Some are geographical, some are topical, some are general and some are personal collections of cool links so there is no limit to how many directories there can be.  For individuals who want to start a directory I recommend you find a niche that is under served. The best directory niche I see right now is for the non-commercial retro static html type sites. (Example.) The second niche would be a directory for non-commercial personal blogs.  Or you can do a bit of both. (Example.)
  • Search Engines – Actually, great progress has been made on the search engine front.  For the Slow Web we have Wiby.me, Marginalia and Searchmysite.  On the privacy search engine front we have Mojeek, Brave Search, each with their own index gaining ground.  Gigablast seems to have improved their algo and expanded their index.  And other search engines with their own indexes are going through beta testing.
  • Blog Hostsfree and low cost blog hosting is an important part of the underlying infrastructure of the independent web.  Unfortunately, we have sort of a mixed bag to report. The Negatives: WordPress.com and Blogger used to be the free gateway sites for those wanting to start a personal blog.  The first seems to be focusing on expensive premium addons while limiting the free service.  The latter has stagnated and nobody is really sure if Google will continue the Blogger service which puts a damper on using them.  The price of domains and full WordPress script self hosting have risen a lot over the last few years which creates a bar to entry.  The Positives: There is some good news in that quite a few new blog hosting platforms have started up, Micro.blog and others come to mind, and are helping to fill the gap.
  • Blogrolls and Link pages – Bloggers and retro webmasters have really stepped up on this front.  Bloggers are once again creating blogrolls, a practice that many had abandoned.  The resurgent surf-the-web movement among retro/yesterweb static site webmasters means nearly every personal homepage has a links page in addition to linked buttons to their friends homepages.  It’s a fantastic thing.
  • RSS – just a few years ago RSS seemed dead.  Even many bloggers has turned off their RSS feeds and feed reading software and services were slowly dying.  Yet RSS is a way to by-pass the search engine duopoly of Google and Bing. But something has happened.  RSS is making a slow comeback along with the underlying infrastructure.  Even Neocities lets webmasters put an RSS feed on static websites somehow.  Anyway, both webmasters and users are rediscovering RSS which is a good thing.
  • Static Hosting – Neocities, Neocities, Neocities.  Neocities is really where the action is for hosting static sites for free or freemium.  They offer a lot without ads and have created a community of webmasters.  I’m not sure what the retroweb would do without them.  We could use a few more hosts like them just so we don’t put all our eggs in one basket.  I found little Vistaserv.net which sort of helps.  If you know of others please tell me in the comments below.
  • Static Websites – (see Static Hosting above).  This is going good and growing.  To me it seems like an explosion of static sites but the reality is this has been growing since the launch of Neocities in 2015.
  • Forums – Forums are sort of the original social networks of the Web.  They were great because you could start a forum on almost any topic large or small.  They were decentralized before decentralization was cool.  Forums fell out of favor after Web 2.0 social networks like Twitter and Facebook started.  Yet somehow, forums never quite died and just about anyone with a C-panel type hosting account can start one.  I’m seeing a younger generation starting forums because forums lend themselves to long form posts better than many other platforms.
  • Hosted Toolsremotely hosted tools used to be everywhere back in the 1990’s when almost all personal websites were static.  Things like guestbooks, reply forms were desired and provided by third parties.  Most were “free” meaning ad supported and when Geocities died they started dying too.  I recently went hunting for these and the news is not good.  Some companies are still around but with reduced offerings.  Some old hosts seem to be operating but have not been updated for years.  Some seem to be offering a fairly modern product but those are very few.  Not a lot of health in this part of the infrastructure.
  • Webrings – I’m delighted to say I was completely wrong when I said webrings would not make a comeback.  They have.  Lots of coders have come up with scripts on how to start your own webring.  Mind you I’m not sure how easy it is to manage a webring using these scripts but new webrings serving the non-commercial web are coming along all the time.  Martha, there really is a webring revival.
  • Webring Hosting – I’m talking about centralized hosts here.  Webring is dead.  Ringsuf is on life support and closed to new signups. Bravenet pulled the plug on webring hosting years ago. (I wish Bravenet would dust off the old scripts and and lead the revival and bring webrings back.)  That leaves only Webringo.  They are still around and still function but the Web could use some new blood in this sector.  See the old webring hosts had a lot of tools behind the scenes, back in the Ringmaster’s admin panel, that really helped the Ringmaster manage the continuity of the webring (ie. checkers for ring codes, dead site checkers and an email system to contact individual members.)  Because when you get 200 or more members in a webring it becomes a lot of work to manage.  I’m not sure the various new individual scripts people are using have this sort of back-end management features.  UPDATE 23 June 2022:  There is a new webring host webri.ng.  It’s new and a bit spartan but you can host a webring there.
  • Banner Exchanges – Dead.  It’s a pity.  My first commercial venture, prior to the burst of the First Web Bubble, was a niche Science Fiction and Fantasy banner exchange.  In fact, I built my first niche web directory to help find members for that banner exchange.  Oh well.

 

So am I right, wrong, way off and if so how?  Also what did I miss?  Leave a comment below to tell me about it.

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So you want to start a new blog but you want to keep it simple and the costs low.  Here are a couple of blog hosts that I’ve recently come across that let you spend more time writing and less time fussing with features.  Both of these are text-forward blogs which means they are about blogging in words and not pictures, videos or audio.

 

Mataroa – I like this one the best of the two.  1. Free or $9 per year for Pro, 2. No ads, 3. No tracking, 4. Export anytime, 5. Option to export as ePub ebook, 6. Comments, 7. your own domain (Pro), more.  What I’m not clear on is if you can make static pages.  I don’t see it mentioned.  I do like the export as ePub feature good for a journal or diary.

 

Bear Blog – this one is sort of a work in progress.  Right now it’s free.  Paid features are talked about but not listed.  It does have pages which I consider important.  Also has RSS, an email newsletter, discovery feed etc.  Missing is an export feature although one is planned, but beware.  Also no comments.

Both only use simple Markdown for editing posts.

 

More Blogging Platforms are listed in the directory.  I’ve not tried to list every single one only the ones I consider the most interesting for different levels of blogging.

My goal here is to encourage more people to to start their own website be that a weblog or a static HTML site and provide links to the Webmaster Resources people need.

 

That’s it.  Have fun on the Web.

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