The technical problem was that all of the text of the site was hidden as images. Without “alt” attributes an image is invisible to Google and other search engines. Google has advice about using images and alt text.
I also added a robots.txt file and an XML sitemap. I had to modify my usual PHP sitemap code as the site is running PHP with some extra security settings (particularly, the
file() function is disabled.
I got the XHTML and CSS to validate, always a good thing. I like how speedy the site is compared to previously.