Choosing a Web Hosting Company
Q. What should I look for in a web hosting company?
Q. Is my data secure?
Q. I have questions not answered
by this FAQ page?
Q. What is a web page?
A. A webpage is an expression of your corporate image that you offer to the world via the internet. A web site can come in many flavors ....personal, business, instructional, entertaining, or e-commerce. You are limited only to your time, imagination and your budget. The great thing about a webpage is that millions of people can read, and utilize this information on the Internet.
Q. What is HTML?
A. HyperText Markup Language is a simple markup language used to create hypertext documents that are portable from one internet platform to another. HTML documents are written in a special language with generic code that are appropriate for representing information from a wide range of applications. HTML markup can represent news, mail, documentation, software media, menus, database query results, graphics and views of existing bodies of information.
Q. How much does a website cost??
A. There are quite a few factors that are going to affect the ultimate cost of your web site. For example, how many pages you are going to have, the amount of graphic work that is required, and don't forget the cost to register your domain name. In addition you will also need an WHSP (Web Hosting Service Provider) that will host your site and domain. We can host your website, register your domain and design a custom tailored web site. Check our Hosting pricing and comparisons.
For instant web site design pricing, please visit our Design page.
Q. What information is needed for a design quote?
A. If you already have a web site but require enhancements or a "makeover" of your existing pages, you will need to provide us with your url (web site address) and some details of the project with your goals and objectives. For example, if you need to add new graphics, or perhaps you would like to give it a full renovation with animation and a complete replacement of content.
If you need a quote for a new site and you have an online business plan, we will generally ask you to forward a copy of the documents and a flowchart you plan to use so that we may provide an accurate quote.
In either case, the more information you can provide the better we will be able to assist in your project. After reviewing your informations or your current web site, we will provide you with a written quote and send it to you by email or fax.
If you would like a web site design quote or if you are not sure what you would like to have done, please Contact us.
Q. How do I get a web site design cost quote?
A. Once all your data is gathered a web design team leader is assigned. The team lead will prepare an online milestone chart and select the appropriate team members. A sample team may consist of graphic designers, web designers, database programmers, server specialists, print designers and most importantly a quality assurance manager.
Q. How long does it take to design a site?
A. Your web site design completion time will be determined by 3 factors; the size of your web site, the amount of graphics and complexity of your site design, and our current client design schedule. When you have gathered together all of your web site information and are ready to begin, we will give you an estimated completion date.
Q. How does the web site design process work?
A. We have found that one of the most commonly asked questions from our clients is, "How do I get from start to finish in the development of my web site?" It is for that reason that we decided to prepare a basic outline of the web design process. You may or may not have started your planning, but in either case, we hope this outline helps to answer any questions that you may have had regarding this subject.
Remember that developing an effective web site takes careful thought and planning. What you put into the planning stages will ultimately be reflected in the end product. Your future web site is your on-line advertisement and careful planning with the creation of great content will aid in the success of your web site.
If you have preferences about your future web site's style or layout, make note of some existing web sites that would make good examples of your preferences. Providing us with the addresses of these web sites along with a description of your likes and/or dislikes will be very helpful during the design of your future web site.
Create a list of categories for subject areas that you wish to cover in your web site.
Using the list of subject categories you created, gather together all the information and any specific photos, logos, etc. you that you would like to use. Remember that all content/information should be written the way that you like it to appear on your web site. Please be aware that Your web designer does not write content for web sites. If you are planning to have a "Links" page, you will need to gather together any links that you think would be interesting to your visitors. Keep in mind that you can always add more links at a later date to expand the page.
Once you have your web site materials together, Your Web Designer can provide you with a project quote and approximate completion date. You may send information to us by email, fax or mail. Please note that all price quotes are given based on you providing written content in electronic format. This means that if your material has been written out on computer, you should copy and paste the information into the body of an email and send it to us. If you have graphics and/or logos that are already in electronic format, they may be sent along as attachments. If your information and/or materials are not in electronic format they may be mailed or faxed to us.
After we have received confirmation that your quote is acceptable, we will send you a package with materials that you will need to fill out, sign and send back to us along with a deposit check in the amount of 30% of the quoted price. In addition, you will also need to send us any specific logos or photos, original artwork, etc., that need to be scanned.
After we receive your materials and deposit, we will start the design and development of your web site.
When your web site structure is completed, we will upload your web site files to a temporary directory on our server. We will furnish you with a web site address that will take you to the temporary location of your web site, upon approval you will send a check for 40% of the project..
Next you will need to take some time and review your web site thoroughly. While you are reviewing your web site, you will need to make note of any changes, additions, corrections, etc. that you would like to make. Once you have compiled your entire list of changes, etc., you will need to send it to us via email or in writing.
Upon receiving your list, we will make all the changes/additions to your web site.
It's time for the final review, so you may again review your web site and send us a list of any final adjustments you wish to make. After the final adjustments are done (if any) we are ready to move your contecnt to your web hosting provider. WebCanDo offers full service hosting faclities and can transition your content to your own private storage.
At this point, we will prepare your final invoice of 30% of the project price and send it to you. Upon our receipt of your final payment, we will then upload your web site to your hosting server and activate your website.
Should you decide to have WebCanDo promote your site to search engines, and directories we will begin to do so at this time.
Q. Do I need to use a local web designer in my city?
A. We create web sites for both domestic and international clients. We also offer web development in both English and Spanish. We specialize in language translation services and have bilingual programmers.
With the aid of email, it is possible to communicate effectively as well as efficiently across long distances. 99% of all of our communication with our clients is done via email. There are many advantages of communicating via email such as the fact that you as a client will have a written record of all of our communications. In addition, communicating via email also helps us keep our overhead down which results in us being able to charge web site design fees that are reasonable and competitive. We also offer toll-free support for our custom design customers in the domestic USA only.
Not accustomed to using email to communicate? If you are going to have a web site, now is the time to become comfortable using email as a communication tool! Be aware of the fact that your future web site visitors will most likely want to contact you and/or communicate via email.
Q. What's important.. fast loading or a flashy site?
A. They are both important. Your web site is your on-line storefront. It should be attractive to visitors and project a professional, polished image for yourself and your company or organization. Having too many graphics, or slow loading graphics is unnecessary. If your page takes too long to load it doesn't matter how great that 100K graphic looks, many people won't wait and will leave your site before it has time to finish loading. The answer is to have a balance of attractive graphics, good layout, and reasonable load time.
Q. What is FLASH?
A. Flash is a an animation software by Macromedia that creates rich Internet content and applications. Flash offers powerful video, multimedia and application development features that allow the creation of rich user interfaces, online advertising, eLearning courses and enterprise application front-ends.
With Flash you can create fast loading dynamic sites that offer 3D animation and high quality sound and transforms your website from static text web pages.
Q. Animation, movies, and music..Do I need them?
A. The short answer is Yes.
Many users may not have the Flash players or the Shockwave components needed to view these applications and some may have caution to download programs from web sites. In addition, the users may have slowers computers
or internet connections that may not view your animation effectively.
Q. Where do I get text & graphics to put on my site?
A. Making a successful site is synonymous with making it unique and original. It is for that reason, along with copyright infringement issues, that you should develop your own written materials. In addition, you may also wish to supplement your materials by asking your company, organization, suppliers, and/or franchisors if they would allow you to incorporate some of their marketing and/or promotional information into your web site.
Many people think that anything on the web is "fair game" and may be copied. After spending time and money to develop materials, content, and graphics for a web site, would you like someone to come along and take them without asking and use them for their own benefit? Most likely you would not.
When you are gathering together your web site materials, it is more important to remember where you should not obtain your web site information and graphics from. You should never take or copy graphics, information or content from another person or company's web site without first receiving written permission from the owner of the materials.
So where do you get the information and graphics for your site? The answer is clear. Write the content yourself and/or only use information that you have written permission to use. This may not be the easiest way to put your web site information together, but it is the best. The end result will be an original web site that is uniquely you. As far as graphics are concerned, keep them unique by having WebCanDo create original graphics and obtain the proper permissions to use company logos, and graphics.
Q. Should I keep it simple?
A. There are several reasons why you should create simple web pages.
Simple pages download faster, and make an immediate impression on the reader. This is extremely important on the Web, where people will leave your site (click off) if your page doesn't come up fast enough.
Simple pages give a "clean" look, which often makes a nice visual presentation. (If you are trying to create a wild, busy look, please ignore this tip.)
Simple pages are also easier for you to create. Dont try to overdue it, be happy with your simple efforts!
Q. Do I need a professionally designed logo?
A. Your logo gives the first graphical impression of your web site and it plays a key role in how your viewers perceive your site. Here's where you make your boldest statement! Take the time to design a logo that quickly creates that mood of your site. Try different designs, and don't quit until you're satisfied.
Some of the traditional rules for logo design apply to the Web. Your logo should be bold and easy to read. Choose a font that is appropriate for your theme. Try to create a logo that prints clearly, because sometimes people will print copies of your Web pages. Try to create a logo that can be used for all kinds of media; web, stationary and print.
We recommend using GIF and JPG formats for the internet and include the height and width HTML tags:
img src="logo.gif" height=Y width=X
This will allow the browser to layout and draw the outline of the logo immediately, and the whole screen will not shift when the logo is being drawn.
WebCanDo offers three levels of logo design. Simple, Standard and Custom Design.
Q. What is a GIF and a JPG image?
A. Most browsers recognize graphics in GIF and JPEG formats. Just use the .GIF, .JPG, or .JPEG file extension and the browser will know how to handle it. So when should you use GIF and when should you use JPEG?
Both GIF and JPEG files are compressed. GIF uses a lossless compression scheme which is optimized for images with regions of solid color. JPEG uses a compression scheme which is optimized for images with many mixed colors (like photographs).
GIF files only require additional size when the color of horizontally adjacent pixels changes. In other words, a horizontal line of a single color takes the same amount of space no matter how long it is. This makes GIF format ideal for solid color images like logos, cartoons, and text stored as graphics.
JPEG files use a compression technique (slightly adjusting the colors) to give a visually similar image that takes less space. You can choose how much compression (and color change) you want. For natural, photographic, or multi-color images, JPEG does a good job.
Choose GIF file format when you have a solid color image, and choose JPEG when you have a photographic image. When in doubt, try both formats and choose the one that gives the best image quality for the lowest file size.
Q. What makes a page slow down?
A. Speed makes a difference on the Web - the faster your pages load, the more likely you are to keep the attention of your viewer.
There are two ways to significantly increase the speed of your pages: reduce the number of graphic images, and reduce the size of graphic images. Although reducing the number of graphics images can have a dramatic effect on speed, it also diminishes the content of your site and may not be acceptable to you. Reducing the size of your graphic images is often the preferable way to speed up the response of your pages.
Sometimes you can make the same impression with a smaller image. Try decreasing the physical dimensions (height and width) of your image. Since the number of bytes is typically related to the square of these dimensions, reducing height and width can be significant.
Try using solid-color GIF images (like logos, cartoons, and text as graphics). The GIF file format is very efficient with images that have horizontal regions of solid color, so design your images accordingly.
The trick is that GIF and JPEG are indexed color formats, so the fewer colors you use, the less bits are required to store each color index.
As a general rule of thumb, we try to limit the total size of your web pages to between 10K and 50K bytes (less than 10K if possible). This typically consists of about 2K of text and a couple of images which are less than 4K each. Most users have dialup connections with 56K modems at best.
Q. Can I design my own web site?
A. A beginner can easliy publish a web page and get started with an HTML editor. You can make simple web pages or create complex applications using HTML editors.
We highly recommend Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver. These easy-to-use and powerful web site creation programs works like a word processor.
New versions of the Netscape Navigator have an HTML editor built right in, so you can browse, edit, and view HTML all inside of Netscape.
You don't actually need an HTML editor to write HTML. You can just use a regular text editor like Microsoft Notepad, or whatever you have on your system. In fact, you might even benefit from this approach because it forces you to learn the HTML tags. But our suggestion is that you get an HTML editor that streamlines your work.
Also, you need a good graphics package that can handle bitmapped graphics (a paint or photo-editing program). It needs to be able to read in many graphics file formats, and write out GIF and JPEG. Professionals all use Adobe PhotoShop or Illustrator, which runs on Macintosh and PC's and costs several hundred dollars. If you don't want to pay PhotoShop, a good shareware option is PaintShop Pro, for Windows.
Q. Check your work and see the results?
If you're reading this page, you already have a Web browser. But one browser isn't enough! The reason is that different browsers display HTML differently. As an HTML author, you need to know how your pages are going to look on the different browsers.
Why do different browsers display HTML differently? Because HTML is not a layout language and it does not always specify how the browser should lay out the page.
The most practical solution is to get a copy of the two most popular browsers, Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. They should cover about 85% of your viewing audience. Whenever you create a page, view it in both browsers and make sure it looks the way you want before you put it up on the Web.
Q. FTP what is it?
A. File Transfer Protocol is an important tool to run your web site.
If you are creating a Web site on a remote server, you will need an FTP software to transfer your files to the server. We recommend CuteFTP, HTML-KIT, WS_FTP, they all provide simple HTML editing and FTP services like telnet, FTP programs run on top of a PPP or SLIP connection. You have to specify your server's FTP IP address, your user name, and your password (usually a different IP address, but the same user name and password as you used with telnet). Once the FTP is connected, you can transfer files from your local computer to your web server. At that point, your pages are accessible to the internet.
Q. What are frames?
Frames allow multiple scrollable windows in a document. You can have a fixed frame with multiple sub-frames of dynamic content, and you can assign a unique URL to each frame.
Frames have numerous uses and can make a static web site dynamic.
Web creation tools like Microsoft FrontPage can save you a lot of time and effort in making frames.
Remember that not all browsers support frames. You might want to provide framed and non-framed versions of your pages as a convenience to your viewers.
Q. What is CGI?
CGI (or Common Gateway Interface) is an interface between a browser and your Web server.
Excepting Java, browsers do not have any way to execute programs. In other words, browsers just access text and graphics information and display them to the user. CGI allows you to execute programs (or scripts) on your Web server.
A CGI transaction consists of:
HTML form input from a browser to your server
Software execution on your server
HTML output from your server back to the browser
Setting up forms in HTML is relatively easy. Sending HTML output from your server back to the browser is also easy. WebCanDo offers pre-confiured scripts on all of our Hosting plans.
The challenge of CGI is the software that runs on your Web server. Depending on your server operating system, you have to write a UNIX shell script, or a PERL script, or a C program. You also have to locate the program in a directory (usually called "cgi-bin") that is executable by the server software.
CGI is a powerful tool when you integrate its features to a professionally designed web site.
Q. Choose your layout!
Layout and design are a very subjective topic, but the important thing is to make sure that there is a layout...as opposed to just putting information up, make an effort to display it aesthetically.
The web makes it possible to control how your information is presented, there's no reason not to do it. If two companies are selling the same product, and one puts a photocopied flyer under your windshield, while the other hands you a full-color brochure while wearing a business suit...which one are you likely to remember? Keep it professional.
Some general guidelines you can follow are:
Split your information into logical sections
Make sure your home page is attractive and well laid out
Create a consistent theme throughout the site
Use colors, styles and fonts that complement each other
Q. Should I buy graphics software?
A. A good graphics software is a must for
professional web development. Whether you are a talented or an amateur artist, you need to master your graphics tools. If you're like most people, you probably don't want to spend a lot of time learning your software tools. Too bad, you have to take the time to master your graphics tools.
You will find that many graphics techniques are easy if you learn a few tricks. Once you know the trick, you can crank out lots of interesting art. Check out Photoshop's website Adobe for information on Adobe Photoshop.
Best of all, spend time playing around with and learning your graphics tools. Your web sites will benefit from every minute you spent learning your tools!
Q. Should I try something new?
A. To start off, keep in mind that web development, like any other 'craft', is a subjective process, and that any one opinion may differ from the next. The idea is not to establish what is right or wrong, but to try to lay down some ground rules and to give you a place to start. Everything has its place, but try to use tools when they enhance what you're trying to get across, instead of just downloading things and throwing them in because they look neat.
Try to avoid things that have been done a million times before, and are getting a little tired. These might include:
excessive animated .GIF's
under construction signs
page fade-ins, etc.
So be innovative and try something new.
Q. What should I look for in a web hosting company?
A. You get what you pay for!
When shopping for a host, you'll find that they vary widely in terms of target and pricing. Some hosts skew their servers to accommodate many small sites, while others prefer to take on fewer, high-volume sites. If you choose a host based on price you may find that the quality of the service is de-graded. Many web hosts will have thousands of small sites that may slow your connection. You should always read the "fine print" as your monthly fees make a significant jump. Be sure to strike a good balance between price and flexibility.
Look for the following from your web hosting company:
Speed - Fast Internet Access Connections
Servers - Name Brand Equipment.. Cisco, Sun, Compaq, Etc.
Security - Firewalls and Security Systems
Service - Knowledgable Support Team
Software - Licensed Unix and Windows Software with the latest Revisions
See our Data Center page Here
Q. Is my data secure?
A. Ask for a detailed description of the hosting company's security protocols. They should provide adequate protection from everyday denial-of-service attacks and the various hacks and cracks that will be attempted on your server. Make sure that your host is responsible for upgrading and maintaining these measures - do you really have hours to spend hours reviewing server logs and updating software? The only thing worse than having no security is thinking you have some.
Q. I have questions not answered
by this FAQ page. How can I contact someone at WebCanDo.com
be happy to answer any questions you have about WebCanDo Inc.
and our services.
If you are new to WebCanDo.com just fill out our Contact Us form, describing
the question you have, and we'll contact you shortly.
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