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FAQ

Select the first letter of the word(s) you are looking for or scroll through the questions.

a

what is accessibility?

Accessibility means that a web page can be viewed and used by everyone, no matter which browser, platform, computer or disability. Accessibility takes into account people who are blind, have poor vision, are color blind, deaf, language impairments and restricted mobility and aims to make their use of the Internet as easy as possible. It's not just about making pages accessible to people with disabilities -- it's making your pages easier to use for everyone.

This usually means that the coding is clean and makes sense -- e.g. the heading tags <h1> to <h6> are used in hierarchical order so the speech reader in a browser knows the importance of each heading and sub heading.

further resources:

http://www.w3.org/WAI/
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
http://www.cast.org/bobby/
A free service to help web page authors identify and repair significant barriers to access by individuals with disabilities
http://html.about.com/compute/html/msubaccessible.htm
Accessibility and the Web from About.com
http://www.webable.com/htmlcode.html
Writing Accessible HTML Documents

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b

what books are available on web design?

There's a whole list in the resources section.

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what are "breadcrumbs"?

Breadcrumbs are generally a small portion of the site structure as links at the top of a web page, used to both show the user which preceding sections of the site the current page relates to and provide links to these previous sections. Breadcrumbs are also sometimes known as a "location indicator device (or lid)" because it leaves a hierarchical trail back to the home page from the current page.

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what is a browser?

A software application used to find and display web pages. While early versions of browsers could only display text, most browsers in use today are also capable of displaying graphics and multimedia files. The two most popular browsers are Netscape Navigator (available for download from http://home.netscape.com/download/index.html?cp=djuc1) and Microsoft Internet Explorer (available for download from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/search.asp?).

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c

what is a cascading style sheet (css)?

A .css (cascading style sheet) file centrally controls the color, size, style, font, borders, padding etc of HTML elements. This means that the style of a web site can change without any change to the actual content. See the css sections for more details.

Each page in that style will link to the appropriate style sheet with the following HTML:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/web_sites/styles/web.css">

It should be kept in a folder called /styles/. See the usability section for more details.

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what are "web-safe" colors?

Web safe colors are hex values which are coded to show the correct amounts of red, green, blue, black and white quantities so they display accurately in a browser. Only web safe (hex values) should be used in HTML. See the hex colors chart for colors and their corresponding hex code.

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what is compatibility?

Compatibility means that something will work with another device or system without the need for changes. In web design, this refers to cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility. A web site should be viewable and functional on a variety of browsers and operating systems.

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d

what is dhtml?

Dynamic html (or dhtml) is not a separate language, but a combination of static html, css (cascading style sheets) and JavaScript. Html tells the browser what to display, css tells the browser how to display these elements and JavaScript tells the browser when (such as user events or after a set amount of time etc) to display elements.

This dhtml combination provides a useful way to make your web pages interactive. Dhtml provides a means to make web sites dynamic without having to use Java, Flash or databases to create content. Dhtml is a low bandwidth means of providing dynamic, interactive content to web sites because all the interaction happens client-side (on the user's computer).

A dynamic web page is simply one whereby the appearance or content can change after the whole page has been downloaded by the user's browser. Dhtml is supported by any browser that supports JavaScript and css - usually of Netscape 4+ and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4+. As with many aspects of web design, support for dhtml elements in browsers is temperamental.

Further information can be found in the dhtml section.

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what is a domain name?

A domain name is the main web site address (jessett.com is the domain name for the url http://www.jessett.com).

Domain names match up to an IP (Internet Protocol) address. A computer on the Internet is called a host. To locate a host on the Internet, another computer uses the Domain Name System (DNS). The computer looks for a domain name on the Internet (e.g. www.jessett.com) by asking a DNS Server for an Internet Protocol address (IP address) to match to the domain name. IP addresses are made up of 4 sets of 3 numbers.

Having a domain name to refer to is easier than remembering a long number. It also means that companies can use the domain name to enhance their online branding and advertising.

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how do I get a domain name?

Please read the information here.

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e

No FAQs exist in this category yet, please try another.

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f

what is "Flash"?

Flash is animation software, manufactured by http://www.macromedia.com/ which can be used to create animated graphics or complete web sites. Most modern browsers have the Flash plug-in pre-installed, users with older browsers will have to download the Flash plug-in from Macromedia to view Flash-enabled web sites.

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what is ftp?

FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. This is an agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two devices. For example, it provides a standard method for moving files from your desktop computer to a web server. Processes such as error checking and data compression are determined by the protocol.

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g

what is a .gif?

The gif image format uses 8-bit color and compresses solid areas of color while preserving sharp detail, such as that in line art, logos, or illustrations with type. They usually have a reduced amount of colors and are interlaced for quicker download. Gif format is also used to create animated graphics. It is supported by most browsers. See the graphics section for more details.

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h

what is a hex color?

A hex color is the HTML code to tell the browser which color to specify. These are web safe colors, which will not "dither" on the screen. Only web safe colors should be used in HTML. Please see my hex colors chart for colors and their corresponding hex code.

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what is site hosting/how do I choose a hosting provider?

Please read the information here.

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what is a hyperlink?

A hyperlink is text, which is usually underlined, that links to another part of the web site, or a completely different web site.

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i

what is an icon?

An icon is a small graphical symbol which opens a program, document or function.

what is an include (ssi) file?

These are generally used when the same element is going to be used on several pages (such as a navigation panel or copyright). This can then simply be linked to in the relevant HTML file. This makes site maintenance easier as you only have to include one line of code and changes only have to be made to one file rather than editing every single page. Call the file filename.html (or .inc if your editor allows you to create files with this extension - Dreamweaver 3 did not, but this has been fixed in Dreamweaver 4). Save it in a folder called something like /includes/ in the web site to also help ease site maintenance.

Use the following HTML (e.g):

<!--#include virtual="/includes/filename.html" -->

or

<!--#include file="/includes/filename.html" -->

Depending on how the server is set up, may have to call the page the ssi is linked to in pagename.shtml which tells the server to pick up the linked to ssi file. In addition, the server may have to be configured to call up the index.shtml as the home page for that directory.

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what is the Internet?

A global network of computers, which are linked via web sites, email etc. See also 'what is the world wide web?'

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what is an Intranet?

An organization'sinternal network of computers which are linked together.

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what is an IP address?

Domain names match up to an IP (Internet Protocol) address. A computer on the Internet is called a host. To locate a host on the Internet, another computer uses the Domain Name System (DNS). The computer looks for a domain name on the Internet (e.g. www.jessett.com) by asking a DNS Server for an Internet Protocol address (IP address) to match to the domain name. IP addresses are made up of 4 sets of numbers, separated by dots (e.g. 213.122.70.250).

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j

what is a .jpg (jpeg)?

A jpeg format supports 24-bit color and preserves the range and subtle variations in brightness and hue found in photographs and other continuous-toned images. It is supported by most browsers. It can be set to high or low quality or you can create a progressive jpeg file, in which a low-resolution version of the image appears in a browser while the full image is downloading. See the graphics section for more details.

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k

why should I keep my content up to date?

Please read the information here.

 

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l

what is the LID (location indicator device)?

The LID is generally a small portion of the site structure as links at the top of a web page, used to both show the user which preceding sections of the site the current page relates to and provide links to these previous sections. The LID is also sometimes known as "breadcrumbs" because it leaves a hierarchical trail back to the home page from the current page.

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what is a link?

A link is text, which is usually underlined, that links to another part of the web site, or a completely different web site.

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m

what are meta tags?

Meta tags are the hidden tags in the head of an html document. They include the <title> of the page, which appears at the top of the browser, the <META NAME="keywords"> and <META NAME="description"> which tell some search engines information about the site. For more details go to the meta tags page in the search engines section of jessett.com.

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n

No FAQs exist in this category yet, please try another.

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o

No FAQs exist in this category yet, please try another.

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p

how do I publish my web site?

Please read the information here.

 

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q

No FAQs exist in this category yet, please try another.

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r

what other resources are there?

There are lots of useful books and web sites listed in the resources section.

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s

what is a server?

A server is a computer that is constantly connected to the Internet. The web site files are stored (hosted) on here for constant access by users.

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what is a server side include (ssi) file?

These are generally used when the same element is going to be used on several pages (such as a navigation panel or copyright). This can then simply be linked to in the relevant HTML file. This makes site maintenance easier as you only have to include one line of code and changes only have to be made to one file rather than editing every single page. Call the file filename.html (or .inc if your editor allows you to create files with this extension - Dreamweaver 3 did not, but this has been fixed in Dreamweaver 4). Save it in a folder called something like /includes/ in the web site to also help ease site maintenance.

Use the following HTML (e.g):

<!--#include virtual="/includes/filename.html" -->

or

<!--#include file="/includes/filename.html" -->

Depending on how the server is set up, may have to call the page the ssi is linked to in pagename.shtml which tells the server to pick up the linked to ssi file. In addition, the server may have to be configured to call up the index.shtml as the home page for that directory.

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what is a style sheet?

A .css (cascading style sheet) file centrally controls the color, size, style, font, borders, padding etc of HTML elements. This means that the style of a web site can change without any change to the actual content. See the css section for more details

Each page in that style will link to the appropriate style sheet with the following HTML:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/web_sites/styles/web.css">

It should ideally be kept in a folder called /styles/ for good site management. See the usability section for more details. Alternatively, a HTML page can have an embedded stylesheet in the head section so the styles only apply to that particular page. I would recommend using a linked stylesheet over an embedded stylesheet, as it can be linked to from any page in the site and therefore, as the site grows, style changes are relatively simple to execute.

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t

No FAQs exist in this category yet, please try another.

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u

what is a url?

The url is the Uniform Resource Locator, or the address, of a web site. eg: www.jessett.com. Lower case is the norm. Keep the url simple so people can remember it easily and users don't get confused. Keep the names of subsequent sections short and simple too - long urls tend to break when sent via email. Don't mix-and-match hyphens (-) and underscores (_). Use one or the other, or users trying to type it in may get it wrong.

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what is usability?

The capability of a web site to be used by everyone. Usability issues include interface and navigation design (can the user easily understand how to find their way around the site), content layout (small blocks of text that are not too wide are easier for reading on the web), and accessibility and compatibility issues.

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what other useful web sites are there?

There's a whole list in the resources section.

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v

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w

what is WAP?

A text-based version of the web accessed on WAP-enabled mobile phones via wireless application protocol - an internationally agreed transmission technology.

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what is the world wide web?

The world wide web (www) is part of the Internet, formed of indexed and linked web pages.

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what is WYSIWYG?

It's an acronym that stands for "what you see is what you get", and refers to web publishing software such as Macromedia Dreamweaver (http://www.macromedia.com/software/dreamweaver/). When you edit the file, it looks like a web page.

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x y z

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