Design Technology F.A.Q.  

There are three essential web design components: Client Side Applications, Server Side Applications, and Databases.

The Client Side component of a website is data sent by the server in unprocessed form to a web browser on a local machine, which processes and displays the data.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a scripted language that is primarily used for displaying text and images on the Internet. This is the fundamental language of the Internet around which all other applications revolve. Its disadvantage is that it can only display web pages, but not perform more complex functions such as calculations, validation, and content manipulation. There are several variations of this language, such as XML, which allow more flexibility, but none are as widely used and supported as HTML.

DHTML or Dynamic HTML is simply HTML generated by another application, such as a server side script in Perl or PHP, or client side script written in JavaScript. Dynamic HTML's advantage is the ability to add, change or delete HTML text at the time the page is displayed to the web browser, allowing content manipulation and modification each time a page is displayed.

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a uniform protocol which enables sending and receiving complex data over the Internet regardless of the technology or platform being used. Data can be encoded into and decoded from XML protocol using PHP, ASP or Perl.

This is a compiled language that was developed by Sun Microsystems to be able to run on all operating systems. and networks. This made it a natural choice for complex Internet functions, such as streaming stock quotes, live news feeds, picture shows, crossword puzzles, games, and more.

Java Applet:
Most applications written in Java are called Applets, and are embedded into HTML along with a reference to another file containing the source code. The main advantage of Java Applets is that they can perform complex functions, and the ease of implementation on web pages. A disadvantage is that they take much longer to load than standard HTML applications. An example of a Java Applet is the scrolling text at the top of our home page.

This is a variation of Java, except it is a scripted language. JavaScript runs on most web browsers and is used to complement HTML for more dynamic web pages. This is the language of choice for complex functions performed by the browser, as it is much faster and more stable then Java Applets. An example of JavaScript is the rolling image functions (white to yellow when a mouse is passed over it) on the left side of this site. JavaScript is also used for user personalization with cookies, form validation, and special text and image effects. JScript is Microsoft's version of this language.

Frames is a series of web pages linked together by HTML into a single page. The advantage of frames is that only a single portion of a page can be navigated, leaving the rest unchanged. This makes navigation faster and easier. Our website was designed using frames.

Cookies are small data files sent to local computers by web browsers to store user identification data or other information for each visitor to a website. Cookies allow personalization of web pages for each user, tracking of visitors, and other user specific functions.

An file usually in GIF, JPEG or Bitmap format used to display graphics on web browsers.
Free Image Library

Animated Image:
An image that moves or changes using a series of frames grouped together in sequence. Animated images are widely used in ad banners and for special effects. An example of an animated image is the banner on top of this page.

Multidimensional animated image application designed by Macromedia. The advantage of Flash is its quality, movie like graphics. The disadvantage is that most users do not have the required software to use this technology, so an alternate website without Flash must be created.

The Server Side component is an application on the server which first processes the data and then sends it to a web browser for further processing and display.

Unix and its variations, such as Linux, BSD, FreeBSD and Solaris are considered the fastest and most reliable server operating systems used in over 50% of web servers. Unix supports most server side technologies and databases, including Microsoft products.

Windows NT:
Windows® NT, Windows® 2000, and the built in Internet Information Server (IIS) are server operating systems developed by Microsoft® for networking and the Internet. Although not considered as stable as Unix, Windows® NT and its variations are also widely used on web servers.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface) enables the execution of server side applications such as accessing data sources, generating dynamic web pages, server administration, etc.. The most common languages used for CGI are Perl, Python, and C++. CGI scripts can not be embedded into HTML pages, and are generally placed in a separate executable directory called cgi-bin.

SSI (Server Side Includes) enables the web server to execute commands placed into HTML documents. SSI works best for displaying date and time, merging multiple documents and CGI scripts, click counters, last modified date, and other simple server side applications.

This is the latest and most advanced language for server side applications. PHP is superior to CGI, as it can be embedded into HTML, and can be executed from any directory on the server. PHP performs all CGI functions such as accessing databases, sending and receiving e-mail, reading from and writing to files, user authentication, form validation, sever administration, and much more. PHP is a combination of C, Java, and Perl, making it easy to learn for most developers.

ASP (Active Server Pages) is a server side application platform developed by Microsoft utilizing its VB Script programming language. Its advantage is that the code is easier to implement for those who know VB Script. ASP is similar to PHP as it can be embedded into HTML.

Cold Fusion:
Cold Fusion is another server side application platform developed by Allaire Corp. utilizing its proprietary scripting technology. Cold Fusion is another alternative to PHP and ASP, as it too can be embedded into HTML.

A plug-in designed by Microsoft which allows applications, usually written in VB Script, to be embedded in web pages (similar to Java Applets).

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a method of encrypting data on the internet. Each website must obtain a digital certificate to prove its true identity to end users. This technology is used on almost all eCommerce sites to provide a secure environment for exchanging personal and financial information.

The Database is a necessary component of dynamic, data driven websites, as it stores and retrieves data in real time. The primary method of communicating with databases on the Internet is through server side scripts.

A database especially designed for light to medium size applications on the Internet. MySQL is preferred by many developers for its speed and ease of implementation, and its ability to import data from other databases such as Microsoft Access.

A database developed by Microsoft for lightweight Intranet and Internet use. Access is also widely used on the Internet because of its popularity on personal computers.

Visual FoxPro:
Another Microsoft database for lightweight to medium size Intranet and Internet applications. FoxPro was one of the first databases used on the Internet.

An industrial strength database designed primarily for large corporations and government agencies. Oracle is known for its ability to handle very large volumes and variety of data.

Another industrial strength database used mainly by large corporations and government agencies.

Authoring Tools
To reduce the time it takes to learn the various web programming languages and design components, there are commercial products available that incorporate the most essential web authoring tools.

Text Editor:
If you are familiar with HTML, JavaScript, PHP, and other web programming languages, you can use a simple text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad to build your website. This is the most basic web authoring tool, and is free.

FrontPage® by Microsoft® is a web authoring program with a word processor-like feel, enabling web page design without having to learn HTML. When you enter text or insert images onto a plain text page, FrontPage® automatically generates the HTML code necessary to turn the text into a web page. You can also create special effects, use frames, edit, and upload your website. The Image Composer and GIF Animator components can create and edit static and animated images. FrontPage® is the most popular and easy to use solution for basic web page design.

Dream Weaver:
A web authoring software package by Macromedia similar to FrontPage®, but perhaps not as easy to learn for some.

Cold Fusion:
Cold Fusion by Allaire is a software package that provides web development tools for both client side and server side applications. It is designed for those who do not know the individual programming languages involved, such as HTML, JavaScript, or PHP, as it generates the code dynamically.

Visual InterDev:
Microsoft's Visual InterDev® is a software package that provides web development tools for both client side and server side applications using Microsoft's ASP platform.

Lotus Domino:
Lotus Notes Domino is IBM's proprietary server software which incorporates a database, server side, and client side programming functions into a single package. This platform is mostly used for industrial strength applications which allow local database functions to operate on the Internet without extensive modifications.

Photo Shop:
Photo Shop by Adobe is a professional web graphic design application package. Photo Shop allows more flexibility and provides more features than Front Page's Image Composer, but it is also much more costly. Nevertheless, Photo Shop is an industry leader for professional graphics design.

Important Factors
When designing your website, it is very important to consider the following factors:

Browser Type:
All websites should be tested in both the Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator to ensure full compatibility with both browsers. Sometimes a site may look one way in the Explorer, but completely different in the Navigator.

Screen Resolution:
Each web page should be designed to fit in the smallest screen resolution (640 x 480 pixels). Doing so will ensure that your entire page can be seen in all types of monitors, regardless of their screen resolution settings. Also, using tables to define page boundaries allows you to control the overall layout and appearance of your site.

Please keep in mind that not all users have the same fonts available on their computers as you do. If your site uses a font that is not available to a user, his or her browser will automatically substitute a default font, usually Times New Roman, making your site appear completely different from the way you intended. Therefore, whenever possible, you should use either: Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, or Sans Serif, the most widely available fonts. Font size can also play an important part in the appearance of your site. Since users can specify a default font size, there is no way to guarantee that your text will line up the way you intended. The best solution is using cascading style sheets to define the fonts for your entire website.

Home Design Hosting Register Contact
 Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2001-2010 All rights reserved