Specific to Dry Creek Digital:
General Web Developer Terminology
In order to get your site up and running as soon as possible this is what I'll need from you:
Generally no, most of my web sites are custom designed. However, I do use templates when working on a Wordpress site but can customize it quite bit depending on the template used. Also, the ecommerce section, if any, of your web site will most likely be made using a template and ecommerce software. I can usually customize these in a limited way (colors, logos, buttons, formatting) depending on the ecommerce software used. ^top
It can really vary. First we have to go through the design process and agree on a final design. Then, it depends on how large the web site is going to be, if there are any extra, more time consuming elements like ecommerce, web forms or Flash animation on it. It also has a great deal to do with if I have the content from you to put into the web site. It can also depend on how quickly and clearly we are able to communicate along the way. If I am busy on a lot of other projects at the same time it can also take longer. I have gotten web sites up and running in under a month when all goes smoothly. It can also take several months for the reasons stated above. Generally the better prepared you are the faster it will get done. (How to prepare) ^top
That's not a question I can answer without knowing what is going to be involved with your web site. I am usually able to give you a better idea after we have gotten together for a discussion of what you'd like. Before I start working on the web site I will write up an estimate using the information I have at that point.
I basically charge per page + my hourly rate for graphics, photo optimization, web programming, Flash animation, typing content (if necessary) and any other extra miscellaneous work beyond putting the pages together. The per page price also can vary. The home page is generally more expensive than the 2nd level pages. The 2nd level pages can vary according to how simple or complicated they are to put together. ^top
Testing a page means looking and checking the pages for correct layout and function. ^top
I can recommend three ways to send files.
When I say copy and paste I mean taking something from one document and copying it into another one. Lots of times I need you to tell me a specific web address (URL). A web address is like "http://www.somedomain.com". It is found in the address box near the top of your browser window. Lots of times I'll need you to email that to me.
Coolest way: This is one of the first things I learned to do on a computer and I use it all the time. First select the text you would like to copy by clicking and dragging your mouse over it. This will "highlight" the text. Then use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl + C (Cmd + C on the Mac) (The Cmd key is also known as the "Apple" key). This will copy the highlighted text. Then click in the new document you want to transfer this to. That will give the "focus" to this document. Then use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl + V (Cmd + V on the Mac) and viola, this will "paste" the copied text into the new document.
Alternative way: If keyboard shortcuts are too confusing for you you can also do this by going to the top of the window and going to the "Edit" menu. (in the bar where it says "File Edit View", etc...) Select the text, go to Edit >Copy. (If you have not made a selection, "Copy" will be "grayed out" because it won't know what you want to copy) Then click in the body of the document you want to transfer the text to. Go to the "Edit" menu in the new document and select Edit >Paste. There you go!
Hint: When copying a web address sometimes if you click once in the browser address bar it will highlight the entire address for you. If it doesn't, try clicking someplace on the page (not on a link!) and then click once in the address bar again.
Some other cool shortcuts are:
There is a great website with short video tutorials for lots of basic stuff that you do on your computer. It's made for techy people to send instructions to their frineds or relatives but you can click on any of the tutorial links to see one.
A browser is the program you use to surf the web. Popular browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. Some other browsers are Google Chrome and Opera. (I will test your website in all of these browsers when I design it, as different browsers can render a web page differently.)
This is different than an email client which checks your email. Popular email clients are Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird. You can also check your email with a browser using webmail. (Popular webmail options are Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc...) Email clients download the email to your computer. Webmail holds your email on a server on the web. ^top
URL is short for "Uniform Resource Locator". It basically just refers to a web address. A web address is like "http://www. google.com". It shows up in the "address bar" of your browser. Also known as URI. >> More information on URLs. ^top
Adobe Flash, formally Macromedia Flash, is an animation program used to create Flash "movies" which consist of primarily vector graphics or video and can be interactive. Flash is often used for fancy motion ads on the web or streaming video like what you see on YouTube. What makes Flash really exciting is how dynamic it can be using actionscript.
You can check if an animation is Flash by right clicking on the animation. If it's Flash the resulting context menu will say things like "Zoom in", "Show All", "Quality", "Settings", "About Adobe Flash Player". >> More information on Flash.
Another, less sophisticated type of animation is GIF animation. This is just a bunch of still images strung together to create motion. ^top
HTML stands for 'HyperText Markup Language'. Without getting too technical, it is the glue that holds the elements of a web page together. It is the underlying instructions to your browser that tells it how to display the page. To see what HTML looks like go to to the Menu bar of you browser. Go to >View >Source or >Page Source. The the underlying HTML of that page will be displayed. Another markup language used today is XHTML. >> More information on HTML. ^top
CSS means 'Cascading Style Sheets'. CSS is used in conjunction with the web page's markup language to streamline the display properties of the page. It can be used as an external file or embedded into the page itself, or both. It has greatly improved the way a page can be displayed giving global instructions regarding fonts, text layout, colors, page layout and much more.
Before CSS all properties were located in the HTML files themselves, often using redundant code to style say a particular font. If the font needed to be changed the font code would have to be changed in several places on every page. It was very labor intensive. Now a font can be changed by changing one or just a few places in the external CSS file effecting the change globally to the entire web site, saving hours of tedious editing to the HTML pages. >> More information on CSS. ^top
The most simplistic answer to that question would be the name that is used for a web site on the internet, like 'google.com'. The name must be registered through a domain name registrar. Cost for a domain can range from about $6 - $20 per year depending on the registrar. >> More information on Domain Names. ^top
Simply put, a web host is a server that holds your web site. Your web site is just a collection of files and folders that are given a specific location on the server, that can be accessed via FTP, using a username and password. Basically you are paying rent to keep your web site on their server/s. Web hosts offer a variety of services above and beyond just "paying rent". There are usually different tiers of service offering different amounts of space, bandwidth, email addresses, ecommerce, databases and much more.
Web hosting costs vary widely and can cost as little as $5.00 to about $20 per month for basic hosting. Business and ecommerce hosting generally costs extra. There are two main types of web servers, Linux/Unix and Windows. Linux/Unix is typically a little cheaper. The two servers use different database types and web programming languages. You should know what types of things you need from your web host before you buy. Keep in mind that some inexpensive hosting services are overseas. Also many small web designers that offer their own web hosting are re-selling it from a larger company and do not own the servers themselves. Typically most small brochure type web sites can use a basic Linux/Unix hosting package. >> More information on Web Hosting. ^top
FTP or 'File Transfer Protocol' refers to the way in which files are transferred from one computer to another over the internet. This is done using FTP software. This is not the same thing as viewing web pages with your web browser. Files themselves can be downloaded, uploaded or overwritten using FTP to/from a remote location much like you were doing it on your own computer using Windows Explorer or on a network. >> More information on FTP. ^top
Zipping a file means to compress it to make the file size smaller. You do this using file compression software like WinZip (PC) or Stuffit (Mac/PC). The person on the receiving end will also need some type of software to expand the file back to normal. ^top
It can take a month or more to start showing up in Google and other search engines. If you've paid for the search engine submission service I have already submitted your web site into the index at Google, Yahoo! and the Open Directory Project. However, it can still take a month before you actually show up in the index. The Open Directory Project can take many months and I often have to resubmit web sites to it before they will show up.
Even after your web site does show up in Google your ranking can depend on how much competition there is for the same general keywords that are embedded into your web site. One way to improve your ranking is having other web sites linked to your site and how 'important' Google considers those sites. It's a good idea to check your web site's ranking periodically and perhaps tweaking the optimization of the pages from time to time if your ranking is low. >> More info on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ^top
Most likely you are seeing the old version of the web page that has been saved in your Browser's cache. The cache is a collection of files that the browser saves to your computer from the websites you have viewed. When you go back to a previously viewed page they take files from the cache so that the page loads faster. Some browsers are more stubborn about getting the pages off the web than others, like Firefox or Safari.
Try one of these operations: Hold down the shift key while you click on the refresh/reload button. Hit [F5] or [ctrl (PC)/cmd (Mac) + R] or even [ctrl/cmd + F5]. If that does not make a difference you may need to empty your browser's cache, then refresh the page. To clear the cache with Safari on the Mac: Command + Option + E [Command/cmd = Apple key] then refresh the page. With other configurations look under your browser's "Help" menu to find out how to do this.
If these things don't work try looking at the web page in a different browser or from a different computer if you can. If after all of this you are still seeing the old page, contact me. ^top
:: I just got an email/letter saying that I need to renew my domain registration. I've never heard of this company. What should I do, should I pay them?
This happens all the time, even to me. There are some sleazy companies out there that find your domain registration contact information and then try to trick you into using them to register your domain, effectively switching to them. Here are some clues that will help you determine if it is really your registrar.
You can prevent a lot of this type of solicitation by making your domain ownership information private. Most registrars offer this for an extra fee. ^top