Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to have a website?

  • The Internet if one of the first places a person who had access to a computer will go to get information
  • Not having a website will soon be like not having a listing in your local yellow pages.
  • Because your competitors have a web presence.
  • To obtain new customers and generate new sales leads.
  • You can reach a national and global audience.
  • A well designed website can give you added visibility and credibility.
  • Be accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

What's the difference between free and paid website hosts?

With free hosts such as Geocities and Angelfire anyone visiting your web page will encounter pop-up or banner ads. These ads can cause a slower site load time and may freeze up slower/older computers and browsers. Many search engines frown upon free hosted sites and will usually not rank them well. Many of the free hosts use editing programs to publish and create websites. These programs often have trouble being browser compatible, creating visual and navigational problems with the sites. Many free hosts offer little bandwidth, so when your limit has been reached, they will shut your site down for an extended period of time. As well, many free hosts are converting to minimal space, high cost web hosting. You never know when your site's host will make these changes. It is difficult and inconvenient to move an already established site, not to mention, bad for business. For these reasons and more, I do not like free web hosts.

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What's a domain name?

This is the "address" of your website - the name that visitors type in to the location window of their browser to get to your homepage.

All computers that are connected to the Internet have a numeric IP address such as 654.22.34.897. Since mnemonic addresses like are much easier to remember, we use the Domain Name System (DNS) to translate from the numeric IP address to a mnemonic domain name.

For more information about domain names and DNS, check out these sites:

A concise, slightly technical explanation

An easy-to-understand presentation for the general reader.

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What's a hosting service?

When you hear the term "host" in the Internet world, it refers to an Internet company that has the necessary servers and software to connect domain names to (IP) Internet Protocol numbers so that your site can be viewed by the public when they type your domain in their browser window. Your site is stored on one of their servers in its own space. Think of it like an apartment. An apartment provides the the space you rent to live in. A host provides the space your domain name needs work. Without a host, your domain name is useless.

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Why Do I need my site listed in the major search engines?

The public must know that your site exists. And without advertising or being listed in the top 10% of search engines, no one will ever see your site. This is very important, not only for e-commerce sites, but for the small sites as well. Recognition is also achieved by a link exchange program or by advertising to a targeted audience at a web site that is similar to yours but that is not in direct competition with yours.

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What does "search engine friendly" mean?

Search engine friendly means that your site is optimized for the best search engine placement possible using META keywords. This is important if you want to drive traffic to your site and increase your search engine placement for better web exposure. Search engines are an important part of the information super-highway and are essential in your popularity online.

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What is browser compatibility?

It is very important that everyone can view all content of your site correctly, no matter what browser they are using.

The software used to view Internet content is called a browser. The most popular browsers are Internet Explorer by Microsoft Corporation and Netscape Navigator by Netscape. While all browsers are created for the same function, there are differences in the way they interpret web pages causing differences in the way the pages are displayed. Complicating the matter further, there are subtle differences in the way pages display in the same browser on the two most popular consumer computer platforms: Windows and Macintosh.

An experienced website developer knows how to design web pages for consistency across both browsers. When a developer "designs" a page, they create the artistic look and function of the site and then code the pages in the language of web pages, Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML. It is this language that is interpreted by a browser and then rendered to your computer screen.

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What is a 404 Error page and why do I need one?

People do type URLS in that are incorrect, and pages or files are sometimes deleted or moved during updating/renovation. A 404 error page is a default page that your site visitors will be directed to if the page they are looking for is unavailable. This allows visitors to remain on the site and for you to direct them where you want them to go.

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Easy navigations?

It needs to be as easy as possible for your visitors to find everything on your website without getting totally lost. By having a constant layout for the entire website, users will know where they are at all times. Good organization requires planning and it is the key to keep your visitors from getting frustrated.

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Fast loading time...optimization of graphics?

Remember not everyone has a high speed internet connection. So we develop towards the low connection speeds. We make sure your graphics are optimized; this way your visitors do not have to wait 30 seconds for your page to load up.

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What is the W3C?

The World Wide Web Consortium was created in October 1994 to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. W3C has around 400 Member organizations from all over the world and has earned international recognition for its contributions to the growth of the Web.

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

W3C's commitment to lead the Web to its full potential includes promoting a high degree of usability for people with disabilities. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), is pursuing accessibility of the Web through five primary areas of work: technology, guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development.

W3C's long term goals for the Web are:

Universal Access: To make the Web accessible to all by promoting technologies that take into account the vast differences in culture, languages, education, ability, material resources, access devices, and physical limitations of users on all continents;

Semantic Web: To develop a software environment that permits each user to make the best use of the resources available on the Web;

Web of Trust: To guide the Web's development with careful consideration for the novel legal, commercial, and social issues raised by this technology.

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What is 508?

"508" is a section of the amended Rehabilitation Act of 1998 pertaining to regulations set forth on accessibility standards for information technology, including websites. The Access Board (or 'Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board') oversees these regulations, which were published on December 21, 2000. The standards will be effective for federal contracts signed on or after June 21, 2001 - contractors supplying IT products and services will need to comply with these standards.

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What is accessibility?

It is important to keep in mind that we don't all access the Internet or process information in the same way.

Some web users:

  • May not be able to see, hear or move
  • May have difficulty reading or comprehending text
  • May not be able to use a mouse or keyboard
  • May have a text-only screen or a slow Internet connection
  • May have a different operating system, an old browser, or a speech-based browser
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Who does accessibility impact?

Accessibility issues impact everyone and every organization. Currently in the U.S. alone, there are more than 50 million disabled Americans and this number will only grow as the population ages. According to Judy Heim of PC World, "Accessibility also makes sense legally: The Justice Department has ruled that the Americans With Disabilities Act applies to the Web, not just to places that can be accessed physically. A retailer whose Web site doesn't meet ADA standards can be sued under the act, just as a brick-and-mortar store can." Providing accessibility for everyone makes good legal sense and good public relations sense.

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