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Two Websites - projects

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#1 Doug


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Posted 14 December 2008 - 10:04 AM

I am presently hoping to assist two local small companies with their proposed Websites. I haven't started yet.
In the past, I have assisted both companies with maintenance of their machines and office networks (sometimes for pay, sometimes not)
Website building is something I have no experience in, except one rudimentary professional news site constructed only with .htm and Notepad back in the mid '90's. I have long since lost any notes I may have had about the use of .htm, which probably wouldn't be of much use now anyway.
This will mostly be a "labor of love". The companies are asking for my assistance because I am their "home-town favorite" and because they have no budget to pay a real Website Developer. I am certain that they could do better with a professional developer.

About the companies...

One has no Website.
The other has had a Website for many years but now wishes to change hosting.

The one with no Website is a Landscape Contractor who is only now emerging as a successful company which can benefit from having sample pictures of their previous work, for new customers to browse as reference.
Here is an example from one of their competitors Sierra Landscape
The home-town company would love to have their site look as professional and appealing as this linked site, but as yet does not have any gorgeous pictures of finished work to match what is displayed in the Sierra link.

The one with an existing website, manufactures durable restroom accessories of toilet tissue, towel, and soap dispenser products and can be seen here: www.vandalstop.com

This site is presently hosted by Network Solutions.
Network Solutions was an early hosting company and maybe even the first site registrar even before ICANN.
Nevertheless, the services that this company has subscribed to are very expensive and no longer serve the companies needs if they ever did.
Network Solutions has a built-in (for a fee) page development and editing tool - ImageCafe - which I suppose is their online proprietary counterpart of utilities like DreamWeaver. I've used ImageCafe several times to update pages, correct typos, etc.

One interesting/annoying feature of ImageCafe as I am coming to understand it, is that the user can "upload" images, graphics and text, but once Uploaded, the files cannot be retrieved by download. This condition would recommend that the Website owner should keep a copy of all images, graphics and text for any off-line work and or future editing. Unfortunately, this company "has not" kept the images, graphics and text. So now that they wish to move to a less expensive host, they are at least somewhat held hostage by not being able to retrieve their content.

It has been recommended that I use a "website-copier" call httrack.
I have read all the legal issues posted about using such a copier on a self-owned Website and it appears that the company would be within their legal rights to copy their own Website for publication elsewhere.

It seems that "website copying" is used for portable off-line viewing, for academic purposes, for owner construction activities and probably for less honorable activities that may even relate to plagiarism.

What are your thoughts about what I could do to help this second company to retrieve their Website for relocation? (stainless steel)

What tools will be useful to me in constructing a fresh website for the first company (landscape)

Note: As a "labor of love" I am not prepared to purchase expensive website construction tools (the only one I think of is Dreamweaver) and I have not heard good things about using Frontline from MS. I do have an early addition of Dreamweaver (late '90's, but never became familiar with it.)

Note: I have seen some "Content Driven" (I think that is the term) hosting options, where the host has a format used by any/all of its hosted sites. The results are actually quite presentable, though somewhat formulaic.

Some of you may groan and recommend that I get a pro to do the work.
I'm not likely to do that, and at this point wish to struggle through doing it myself.
Though gambling would be frowned on by WTT, I imagine some would want to place bets on just how long I'll last with this project. :P
Your recommendations to this newbie will be appreciated.

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#2 southerns


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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:25 AM

HI Doug. I will happily help with both sites. Has the one with hosting got a new host yet, if not if they take a hosting option with me as a "whatthetech" special to them I will do their site for free, if they are interested I can send them my websites hosting options. (Not to sure about policey to place it on forum) This applies to both companies. Has the unhosted one got a domain name yet. Even if they dont move to my hosting I will help you with their sites. Give me a day or so and I will post a simple plan for starting a new site. things like layout and planning etc. Cheers shane :wavey:

Edited by southerns, 15 December 2008 - 12:28 AM.

#3 Doug


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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:54 AM

Hi southerns

You are gracious in your offer.

However, I cannot allow myself to benefit financially, nor to transact business as part of our work in the Forums.
That applies even or perhaps especially to offers of free services or subscriptions.
And of course, it applies particularly to me, since in my role here I'm expected to set an example.

I imagine you can appreciate that in light of being an all volunteer help forum of users helping users, that the complications could get out of hand rapidly.

The situation I pose is probably already too conflicted since I appear to be working for commercial interests, even though both are friends who would not be able to accomplish this effort without volunteer assistance.

Perhaps it would be more sensible for me to ask for help in setting up a simple Website for myself.
I could possibly learn from that, and apply my learning to their more complicated needs.

I suppose your efforts might turn into a sort of Website Building 101, if you were willing to lay out basics in that way.

There are probably some basics that I should be required to study and master, hopefully with help from you and others.
If I am biting off more than I can chew or more than I can be helped with, then that's probably what I need to hear.

I really am as clueless as I have presented myself in the initial post.
But I do study hard and have been able to learn in other situations, though probably slower than most.

Do you perhaps see a way that you could steer me toward what I need to learn?

With much respect and appreciation.
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#4 southerns


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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:48 AM

Hi Doug. That is what I thought, I belong to a few forums where business transactions are not allowed. Thats why I did not give any contact details. Regarding the design of a website there is a lot more involved that just coding. Layout is important, namely the order of your navigation, should follow a logical pattern. Regarding images, if its not related to the sites topic it should not be there as images use up bandwidth quickly. I suggest the first thing you do with a website is work on your meta tag keywords say 10 words and your meta tag description. These are both essential for search engines. the keywords sort of lets the search engine know what your site is about. The description is what it displays for you in the searches results. It also helps to make sure that you use your keywords as often as possible in your pages text as this help with your search engines ranking. But dont just add it repetitively as this will penalise your site, Search engines are very clever now days and use formulas to see how many times a word comes up in relation to standard grammatical words etc. Words such as "the and or it if " etc this lets them pick up if its rubbish on the site just to increase the keyword count. I will post some more a bit later for you. Cheers Shane

#5 david horton

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 03:07 PM

david horton

here just signed up saw you letter / problem? been using Microsoft Expression Web 2 down loaded when a beta (free)
drop and drag or code in code view. you can get a start with new web site linked pages. so easy html /asp/ and the rest.
split view coding. and there web pages on help how to code includes video footage.

only been doing web four 4 months and have web space include as standard with my broadband supplier /no domain as yet as site not finished (emails and database list of members and jobs. i will give you the site address to look at.the end

i use FileZilla Client (frree) to upload to site. but you can do it inside web expression 2 if you set it up. you can look at your site from the program as well. can help you free if you can help me.?

Visit My Website under development need help to get it working

all the codes here and other books not finished

I have in two mins written or not using the above a start for you if you want to use it! feel free to take it from the site above
a garden site for you to pick at! you can email me just to say thanks or just send details of the site and i will do my best to help............................


Edited by david horton, 17 February 2009 - 03:36 PM.

I am in the U.K.

#6 Missouri Mobile

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 10:25 PM

If you use Photoshop or GIMP or even Word or Publisher, possibly even OpenOffice apps...

You could design a website with these applications. If what your friends want is something simple and to the point all of these applications should be fine...

When your using any of these programs look for "Export to Web" or Save As and look for .html as an extension...

Then open up the html file in notepad and take a look at the code...

Here are some basics that every web designer needs to know...

Content is wrapped in code called tags... You can tell a tag as it starts with a < and closes with > and then the tag needs to end with </endtag> but there are some exceptions...

so for example....

a link tag looks like this

<a href="http://link.com">CLICK HERE</a>

to create a basic website there are only a few tags you actually need to know...

to start off every website based on html requires a few tags...
ignore comments in quotes...
<html> "this tag starts every website, if you do not have this your site will not work"
<head> "this is your header information, this is where you would put scripts, css code, and a variety of other information"
</head> "you have to close your header tag!"
<body> "This is where content goes that you actually see on the website"
<h1>I am a Header!</h1> "this tag creates a header"
<p>I am a Paragraph!</p> "this tag creates a paragraph"
<img src="http://pictures.jpg"> "this tag inserts a pictures"
</body> "you have to close the body tag!"
</html> "close the website!"

so if you look for some of those particular tags in your html document you can start seeing how the code all works together...

or if you are looking for something easier and i mean way easier check out this site...


let me know if you got any more questions

missouri mobile
.:BACK:UP:YOUR:DATA:. Missouri Mobile - Online 25/8 - Bridging Imagination and Computing

#7 Doug


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Posted 20 February 2009 - 06:38 PM

Thanks for the suggestions Southerns, david horton and Missouri Mobile. For some reason I did not get email notification when you added your suggestions, even though I am subscribed. Maybe I'd better go clear out my browser cache and reboot. :P Anyway, much appreciated. Thank you. Doug
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