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FAQ's About Web Design

Over the past 10 years Digital Vision, DVMARK.COM has developed successful relationships with many small and fortune 500 businesses. During that time our clients have asked questions that we felt demanded a response. Digital Vision has developed this FAQ page to answers the most common questions about websites, web design, SEO and other internet marketing.

What is HTML?

HTML - Hypertext Markup Language is the main language for displaying web pages and other documents that can be displayed in a web browser. HTML is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of tags enclosed in angle brackets within the web page content. HTML tags most commonly come in pairs. The first tag in a pair is the start tag, the second tag is the end tag (they are also called opening tags and closing tags). In between these tags web designers can add text, tags, comments and other types of text-based content.

HTML elements form the building blocks of all websites. HTML allows images and objects to be embedded and can be used to create interactive forms. It provides a means to create structured documents by denoting text such as headings, paragraphs, lists, links, quotes and other items. It can also be used to embed scripts in languages such as JavaScript which affect the behavior of HTML web pages.

What is PHP?

PHP - Personal Home Page is a general-purpose server-side scripting language originally designed for Web development to produce dynamic Web pages. The code is interpreted by a Web server with a PHP processor module which generates the resulting Web page. PHP can be used to design dynamic web pages or can be called as a script using HTML and other web coding languages. Database driven applications like Joomla, WordPress and Drupal are PHP based.

What is Dynamic CMS?

Dynamic CMS is a website designed to store page content into tables in a database, aka DB, and then, depending on the page being displayed to the end-user, it pulls the required data for that page from the DB. The most popular CMS platforms are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and others. If you requested making changes to your site make sure you mention the platform to get quailed quotes. Not all designers are specialist in all design platforms. Each design company has a favorite platform and depending on who you choose determines the platform used.

WordPress is the the most popular CMS based platform. CMS platforms, such as WordPress, typically have an easy to manage admin dashboard that you log in to to add, edit or delete content in your website and its database. CMS sites are promoted as a platform that is easy for a site owner to make their own changes allowing them to save on having to pay a designer to maintain the site.

Some Dynamic CMS platforms like WordPress are free to download and install, but out of the box all they do is provide you a skeleton theme to which you are now on your own to make this basic theme look the way you want. All CMS platforms are theme driven. This means that the quality and features you want in your website depends on the quality and features of the theme being used. There are sites on the web that offer both FREE and PAID themes that offer great features and eye-catching layout. Although the Theme developers have very appealing demo's, the words and images being used are not included. What you get is gray place-holders and Latin verbiage where you or your designer will add your own images and verbiage.

Caution: While WordPress is touted as a user-managed system, it requires that you learn about how to access the Admin Dashboard, how images and verbiage is uploaded and some basic knowledge of HTML and page layout to properly maintain the site on your own.

Other DIY CMS platforms such as WIX, WEEBLY and WESITE BUILDER are template driven sites provided by either your hosting company or the the companies themselves. These are typically affordable "pay-as-you-go" platforms  but you don't get to keep them or take them with you if you decide to leave the current provider.

What is a Domain Name?

If you are new to the world wide web, WWW, and want to start an online business, you will need a domain name. A domain name is the name users will type in to their browsers to find your website. You will begin your search by finding a registrar. These companies a feature called a "domain name lookup utility". This utility provides an interface that allows you to find out if the name you want to use is available.

Domain names use what are called suffix's which is the last part of a domain name and is often referred to as a "top-level domain" or TLD. Popular suffixes include ".com," ".net," and ".org," but there are dozens of domain suffixes approved by ICANN. Because there are so many commercial businesses online today, ICANN has added new suffix's to be used including .co, .biz, .info, .us, .us.com and many more.

How to Pick the Right Domain Name?

A domain name is analogous to phone number. It’s merely the name you give to people so when they type it in to a browser they get your website. The mistake of choosing the right domain name begins by spending too much time thinking that your domain name needs to match your company name. You’ve probably already gone to one of the hundreds of domain registrars to start testing your company name availability but before you buy any names the next sentence is very important.

Your domain name does not have to be your company name. That’s right, your company name and domain name do not have to be the same. Domain names are cheap. You should always consider buying at least 2 domain names. First, if you can get a domain name that is an exact match for your company name get it. Such as abcconstructionandremodeling.com. This prevents a competitor from getting it, but your company name is often not the best name you should market your company as.

Now find a name that is much shorter and works for you. Why is shorter better? People hear things wrong. Think of how many times you or someone you are talking to have to repeat names, addresses or numbers because you didn’t hear it right the first time. The longer and more complicated the domain name is, the more you stand the chance or someone typing it in to their browser wrong and either getting the wrong site, no site at all, or worse, a competitor’s site.

No matter how many domain names you buy you will market yourself using what is called the primary domain name. Even though you were able to get abcconstructionandremodeling.com you might find that abccr.com works well for several reasons. This is the name you will tell people to type in to their browsers and your email might be sales@abccr.com. Short and sweet and it limits mistakes. Also, no matter how many domain names you buy you can have all of them point to the same web address. So if they type in abcconstructionandremodeling.com the browser will point them to abccr.com. No matter which domain name they entered when they get to your website they can see your logo says ABC Construction & Remodeling. Using the axiom less is better will pay off in the end.

You’ve heard of IBM haven’t you? Imagine how much more frustrating it would be if every time you went to their website or sent a salesman an email you had to type in www.internationalbusinessmachines.com to get there. Going to www.ibm.com or typing in an email address of sales@ibm.com is short, easy to remember and quicker.

Not only do people hear things wrong, they have low frustration levels. It only takes as few as 2 attempts at getting either the wrong website or a bounced-back email for potential customers to look elsewhere.

  • A short domain name has several benefits:
  • Short domain names lessen the potential for fat-fingered mistakes
  • Short domain names and email names fit easily on business cards
  • Short domain names are easier to remember
  • Short domain names eliminate the typing or grammar errors
What is a Registrar?

A registrar is a company that has been authorized by ICANN to maintain the records of your approved domain name for the period of time you have paid for. To continue using your approved name you have to renew your name when the paid intervals are up.

These records include the name, the contact information for the domain name administrator, billing contact, Support contact and others, the ip number that resolves your domain name with its associated name server and others. When you purchase a domain name it has an associated IP number that the name points to on the Registrars servers.

These servers are known to the internet world as NAME SERVERS. If your registrar will also act as your hosting company then these numbers will remain unchanged and your website is located on their Name Servers. There are companies that act only as registrars and companies that act solely as hosting companies and there are some that offer both services.

It is very common to have your domain name registered with one company while another hosts your website. If you are in this category then the unique ip numbers that your registrar maintain must be pointed to the name servers of your hosting company.

What is Hosting?

In order to have your website be visible to the world you will need to have it hosted. A website hosting company will provide several services to you including the kind of design platform to be used such as Linux or Microsoft (usually your designer’s preference), your email addresses and the space you will need to hold the web pages that make up your website.

When you buy a domain name and have it registered with the registrar it is not a commitment or expected that you also want a website using that domain name. People buy domain names all the time and park them. The intent is merely to stop competitors from getting that name. In fact, there far more domain names registered than are websites to go to. If you used Godaddy to register your domain name, then during the signup process they also asked you to let them be your website hosting company by presenting you with many attractive plans that would fit your budget.

If you said yes to any of their hosting plans this now means that Godaddy is both your registrar and your website hosting company. We are NOT making any pitch for using Godaddy, just using them as a name that most people have heard of. There are many companies like Godaddy that offer both services and many more companies that offer either one or the other.

Whoever you use, you will need both a registrar and hosting company, to have a web presence. DVMARK offers both services: registrar and hosting. DVMARK also offers support for both hosting platforms: Linux and Microsoft. One advantage that our clients have benefitted from is the FREE web page edits that offer to every hosted account. Related Articles Hosting Packages Server Statistics

Do I Need a Website?

If you own a business that sells a product or service that you can ship outside your local service area, then yes, you would benefit from having a web site. Even if you only service a local area such as your city or county a website can be beneficial. A properly designed web site for your business if like having an employee who works 24 hours a day 365 days a year without paying wages, taxes or insurance. In short your website can conduct business even when you are off work or on vacation.

A website can be valuable business tool by allowing new and existing customers to read about product usage or product specifications, general contact information, office locations and store hours. Important Note: Having a website can be a very profitable sales tool and the ROI is achieved amazingly fast, but just having a website is only half the battle if you want your website to generate income. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization should be the final and ongoing step to a successful web presence. Related Articles What is Search Engine Optimization Why Social Networking Helps Page Ranking

What is Search Engine Optimization - SEO?

SEO - Search Engine Optimization is a series of procedures that includes content writing “keyword Rich” content or modification to existing content to include keywords that are pertinent to the page, CSS enhancements to improve readability and decrease page load times, implementing page design standards, creation of social networking accounts, site analytics and others, than when successfully implemented, can place your site alongside your most successful competitors.

The above sentence is an over simplified encapsulation of what SEO is about. In reality it is a never-ending process of staying one-step ahead of Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines as well as your competition in order to get and keep a page one ranking. If what you offer is in a market that is over-crowded with competition then it may not be possible to ever achieve a page one ranking.

In this case you will need to develop either a more narrowed niche market or find other marketing strategies that drive traffic to your website Related Articles Search Engine Optimization SEO Client Report

Do I need to Search Optimize my website?

No you don’t. But ask yourself this question “Do I want my website to generate income?” If the answer to this question is “yes” then Yes you need to have your website optimized. Even if you had your website optimized several years ago you need to do it again. The major search providers have adopted newer indexing techniques and web design itself has changed to incorporate more SEO friendly design.

What is Offline Marketing?

Offline marketing is any attempt at exposing new potential customers to your products and services using a variety of mediums including: Internet, Print and media marketing tools and material. In the internet world as it relates to your website offline marketing is determining what kinds of material or techniques will drive traffic to your website. The basic form of driving traffic is merely putting your domain name on all correspondence and printed material that leaves your office.

Your website is your virtual office and sales team that is open for business 24 hours a day 365 days a year, so any strategy you can employ to drive traffic to your site will increases sales, brand awareness and market share. The major search providers’ base a large percentage of how your site gets ranked by determining what pages are worth indexing, how often to reindex them and how popular certain pages are by your recorded page hits.

One method of achieving pages hits is to develop marketing material that you can put online that answer any questions about your products, how they are used, specification sheets, material data sheets as well as how to conduct business with you, etc. Every time a customer calls asking questions you can kindly point them to pages on your website that will answer all their concerns.

There are unlimited ways to drive traffic to your website that are only limited by how much money and time you are willing to spend.

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