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Old 17th July 2008, 20:11   #16
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
The first thing I would tell a web developer is that I never use IE, and expect everything to function perfectly for all the FF, Opera, etc etc users in the world. Too many developers (especially in this country, it seems) wear Microsoft blinkers.

The second thing I would tell them is not to use Flash on a large scale. Excellent sites can, I'm sure, be built entirely in flash, but I don't think I've seen them. It is more often used to develop stuff that would look good as a TV advert, but does not, in my humble view (and hey, I might be the prospective customer, so perhaps I shouldn't be so humble about it) suit the net.

Third thing: they are to test on a slow, dialup connection, right from the start of development. It amazes me how many sites, in this country where even the broadband is not very broad, seem to require huge bandwidth.

Fourth: the intrusive stuff that nobody but web developers wants should be absolutely out.

--- No flash intros that take ages to load and have no big skip button, and if they do have a skip buttin, everybody will use it, so don't waste your money on the page!

--- No useless "This is XYZ site, press here to enter the site" pages.

--- No music (at least not without a prominent 'music off' button)

--- No useless animations (Flash again) especially those that take ages to load.
Fantastic advise Thad.


Marriedtospeed

Try NVU [google it]. Its a nivce freeware for website designing and is prtetty easy to use. You can even [hey guys dont hammer me here] use Frontpage [a most hated MS product] but it does websites easily and the render well with FF and Opera too. Of course as so many will quickly point out 'real designers' dont use Frontpage - BUT OTOH we are NOT 'real designers are we?

You can use ICDSoft for hosting. I have had a fabulous experience with it and the help there is an online chat and they really help out newbies to upload.

FF has a FTP upload add on which works great.
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Old 17th July 2008, 20:23   #17
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OT:Hi Doctor ji, do you post reviews on mouthshut ? During my search for a chimney and water heater for home, I remember reading some reviews in a similar username. If its you, it helped me a lot in chosing what I wanted.
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Old 17th July 2008, 22:26   #18
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You are not the only person who is going to see your site. The other guy is not going to use the same computer, operating system, or browser that you have. Heck!!! there may be blind people visiting your site. That is why we have standards for the world wide web. Please see World Wide Web Consortium - Web Standards. Specifically, (AFTER you create a couple of pages, else, you may get discouraged) have a good look at their html and CSS standards, in that order. But remember, first start creating your site.

You need a computer which is always connected to the net to enable others access your site. This is usually "outsourced" to a hosting company - yahoo, rediff, netduniya, net4india, etc. provide I personally suggest you use services symonds.net. Why? Coz. they have very high uptime. And good support. You can talk to mark at symonds dot net. But they are about 1/3 more expensive than what you get in India. And there are hundred other sites too.

You need contend to put on the site / server. This of course, the trickiest and most complicated part. THere are a zillion ways to do this. Tricks like php, asp, xhtml, dhtml, shtml, etc. finally spew out pure html code. So, start with plain, simple, html.

Keep your pages "modular". Have common, re-usable contents for the initial part, sidebar, footer, etc.

I learnt to create web pages by simply reading the w3c's html standards. (now, imagine learning to design a head lamp reading BIS standards on automobile head lamps!!!).

You will want to keep all your pages look same. That is where the concept of modular design and CSS - cascading style sheets come into the picture.

Mozilla, the browser has a component which helps you create and edit webpages. I strongly suggest that you stay away from any Microsoft product for creating web pages - because the pages created from these products do not render the way you want them to on non-microsoft browsers.

Use the facilities provided by w3c to check whether your pages comply with the web standards. There is a simple tool, walled html tidy - HTML Tidy Project Page - which can be installed on your computer. You can also submit the URL of your pages on some site (sorry, cannot remember that off hand - think it is validator.w3c.org) provided by w3c. w3c iteslf has a free software - called "Amaya" which is both a browser and a html editor.

You can always view the source of good looking pages to learn how somebody is achieving a result you want to (you hit "ctrl + U" on mozilla to view the source code fo a web page). Learn from mistakes / achievements of others; you never live long enough to make them yourselves!!!

Ask us for any guidance!!!

Edit:- Fully agree with Thad E. Ginathom about flash. In fact, inability to byepass the Indigo ad / preamble on the Indica page is one of factors I took into consideration for not buying Indica. (So many people flamed me for citing this as a reason for deciding on a car!!!)

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 17th July 2008 at 22:36.
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Old 17th July 2008, 22:52   #19
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... If I can't access a supplier's/manufacturer's site within seconds, I am very unlikely to buy the product.

More great (and practical) advice, BSD.

(Try Asian Paints ---unless they've changed it--- for a mind-numbing intro load time; it brings to life the old saying about as interesting as watching paint dry)

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 17th July 2008 at 22:53.
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Old 18th July 2008, 10:50   #20
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married2speed, I'd suggest you use a Content Management System (CMS) like Joomla, Drupal or Wordpress. Once that is properly setup, then a newbie can just add content and it will appear where you want in the site.

I can give you advice on Joomla and Wordpress. I'd also suggest you go for some shared hosting services. They are cheap and reliable. Dont take any Indian hosting though.

ps: I prefer Joomla due to the vast amount of free and paid themes available for it.
This site was done by a friend of mine. I just helped him set it up and he did the content and pictures all by himself. It is a Joomla site, and it took him just a few hours to get the hang of things.

Last edited by srijit : 18th July 2008 at 10:54.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 01:51   #21
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Quote:
srijit;907738]married2speed, I'd suggest you use a Content Management System (CMS) like Joomla, Drupal or Wordpress. Once that is properly setup, then a newbie can just add content and it will appear where you want in the site.
Hi Srijit
Thank you for your support and thank you everyone else too, especially Sudev. Really apprecaite it although I will have tons of questions for you later. I did log on to the link you sent. Still trying to get a hang of things. Honestly speaking, just need to prepare myself mentally that I can do this. It's like learning how to drive a new car
Also, thanks backseatdriver. Your post was quite an eye opener. Also, thank you Thad, shajufx, deepakrao. I did try downloading Nvu, but it kept on saying, page can't be displayed, blah blah blah!! Phamilyman - you do make an interesting point and frankly speaking, I'd rather have the easy way out. Just hire someone and get it over with but if you go to my original post
1. I don't know which company to trust
2. Not knowing much of the jargon would certainly mean a rip off. If nothing else, this exercise, no matter how slow it maybe, would atleast help me learn something new. Got nothing to loose except the mid-night sleep. By then, my only family (read as darling wife) is deep into dreamland, dreaming about her next visit to debenhams and etc etc
For the moment, if an can help me out with using Joomla, that would be very much apprecaited. I've installed wampserver on my system, before I take space for webhosting. Have downloaded the file for joomla as well, but can't install it? Basically, can't reach this step from page How to Install Joomla 1.5

Name:  web_selectlanguage.png
Views: 376
Size:  13.6 KB

Any clues what am I doing wrong or am I just sleepy.

Thanks again guys.
Cheers!
M2S

Last edited by married2speed : 23rd July 2008 at 02:00.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 02:15   #22
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Quote:
Any clues what am I doing wrong or am I just sleepy.
Guess plain simple sleepy. Now I'm on the right track again. Have managed to install it successfully, delete the installation directory and have logged in. Now, need to explore a bit further

Thanks again guys.
Cheers!
M2S[/quote]

Last edited by married2speed : 23rd July 2008 at 02:34.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 03:03   #23
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M2S - Sent you an IP.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 07:12   #24
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Where is the failure? You are not reaching this page? Or what happens when you press Next button?

Personally I would have plugged for WordPress rather than Joomla or Drupal for a first timer. And moved contents to Joomla once conceptually I became clear and ran in to limitations not supported by wordpress.

Alwaya be aware that on a local machines local/improper file links will also work and the system may not be directly portable to a web server.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 10:36   #25
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Joomla uses relative links. So you can trasfer from localhost to web server with minimal effort.

Wordpress might be simpler, but you get fancier themes for Joomla. In the end, that is what attracts visitors.
I found Drupal too complicated, the last time I tried it.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 11:19   #26
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Designing a decent products website where you can edit text easily if you want to, would cost 25- 30k (Plus around 7k per year for hosting + maintenance).

If you are willing to spend that much, then its better to have someone do that job for you.

Since this website is going to represent your products to potential customers

Insist that:

1. Site is not built around a template lifted from web. It should be developed to suite the image you want to create for your company. -- This is most expensive part ---
Usually you and designer would have to go through 4 - 5 iterations of template even before a single page gets created.

2. As others mentioned, site should be based on CMS, so that you can do minor edits yourself. Which you will need to do whenever there is change in product spec / price etc

3. IT company should take care of hosting + software updates etc so that you don't have to spend time later on IT issues.

Things like : A customer sent an inquiry to sales@yourcompany.com but email was missed due to space being full.

Or spam DB was out of date and customer's email ended up in SPAM.

Or site was targeted because CMS software was not updated for two weeks and you can no longer send emails (all your emails will end up in SPAM folders) if IP of site gets known to be source of spam.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 11:45   #27
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Quote:
NetfreakBombay;912836]Designing a decent products website where you can edit text easily if you want to, would cost 25- 30k (Plus around 7k per year for hosting + maintenance).

If you are willing to spend that much, then its better to have someone do that job for you.

Since this website is going to represent your products to potential customers

Insist that:

1. Site is not built around a template lifted from web. It should be developed to suite the image you want to create for your company. -- This is most expensive part ---
Usually you and designer would have to go through 4 - 5 iterations of template even before a single page gets created.

2. As others mentioned, site should be based on CMS, so that you can do minor edits yourself. Which you will need to do whenever there is change in product spec / price etc

3. IT company should take care of hosting + software updates etc so that you don't have to spend time later on IT issues.

Things like : A customer sent an inquiry to sales@yourcompany.com but email was missed due to space being full.

Or spam DB was out of date and customer's email ended up in SPAM.

Or site was targeted because CMS software was not updated for two weeks and you can no longer send emails (all your emails will end up in SPAM folders) if IP of site gets known to be source of spam.
Hey NFB. Thanks for the tips. Spending that kind of amount to get a "professional" touch is not a problem. Heck, even if it's more that's ok but at this juncture, the reason why i've decided to go ahead with the project on my own is
1. The content would be ready and I wouldn't have to pay for content writing charges to the company, something which the "BIG" or Reputed companies charge for
2. I would know exactly how many pages do I have
3. Getting on the other side of the fence would make it possible for me to put forward questions to the IT person to understand things from his perspective as well. It happened to me earlier as well, that I got a bloke to make a website and when the project fell through in between, he stopped making the site and a few days later my e mail also stopped working. The domain was registered in my name but the admin control was with him, as a result of which I couldn't do a damn thing. So, first trying to understand as much as possible and then would move over to a professional

Cheers!
M2S
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Old 23rd July 2008, 12:02   #28
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IMHO thats the correct approach.

Ultimately you need as complete control over the site + email and professional look.

If you know about how things work, it would be easier for you to get things done.

If you trying things out, then try Goople Apps for your email. That ways email is taken care of by Gmail (but you send receive emails from your own domain).

And COMPLETLY block email on hosting account. That will take care of a major headache (email).
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Old 23rd July 2008, 22:05   #29
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married2speed, have you gotten a good webhost yet?
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Old 23rd July 2008, 23:58   #30
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not yet srijit but thinking of goin with godaddy.com
Already have an e mail account with them and so far no troubles. Works fine. However, I plan to create the site first on joomla, get the hang of things etc etc and if the final presentation looks good, then head out to buy hosting space, otherwise, like i said, would pass on my troubles to an IT company.
However, I need your help though. I've managed to put up the joomla or my homepage, whatever it is on the localhost. However, not able to edit the table or add in new stuff. when i try loggin on to the admin tab, it says, password not recogonised blah blah blah. This account was activated on the demo page. If I try to create a new account on the localhost page, then i'm not receiving the activation link on the e mail. Any clues as to what's going wrong?
Cheers!
m2s
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