Website Designers and Developers in North Wales

        
 

Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the links below to see the answers to the questions.

What is a basic website?
In general, a basic website consists of html pages being delivered to the user from your web site. Most of the information contained on the pages is static (example).
This type of web site does not allow much interaction between the user and your website in terms of data, but is sufficient to display products and contact information for your company/organisation.
Since the web server that contains your web site is only required to deliver static information, and data handling from the user is minimal, this tends to be the cheapest type of web site to develop and host on a web server.
Refer to the Website Packages section if you require a guide to prices.
What is a database website?
Database driven websites allow the storage and quick retrieval of large amounts of data. Static (or basic) websites are unable to do this. A database will enable your website to interact with clients,store new data and expand with no loss of performance.Routine updates involving valuable time and effort can be avoided. Information can be stored and backed up, and optimised searches can return requested data back to the client quickly and efficiently (example).
The most common databases for website development are Access, for simple databases; SQL, for more complex databases and Oracle, for the largest, most complex jobs.
We can plan, design and build advanced database-driven web applications for people who want state-of-the-art solutions at down-to-earth prices.
We give you control over your site's content by building bespoke content management systems that are specifically tailored to your needs. Refer to the Bespoke Cost Calculator section if you require a quote .
What is an ecommerce website?

An ecommerce website allows the transaction of money to take place in exchange for goods or services. No physical money changes hands, all transactions are done electronically via a secure server. Most small businesses or individuals use a third party provider such a Paypal or Nochex.

Trade of goods and services over the internet continues to grow year on year and accounts for a significant proportion of the economy. Any organisation whether it be small or large should include the internet as an integral part of future plans.

Even for small local producers having a website that allows customers to place orders and pay online, can increase trade significantly while cutting overheads at the same time. A site that illustrates how an ecommerce site can help your business is amdro.co.uk

Many small businesses don't consider having a website developed fearing it will be too expensive. Digital Community aims to make it affordable even for the smallest business to get a web presence. Refer to the Website Packages section if you require a guide to prices.
How much do you charge for Hosting?
We charge £40 per year for hosting. All our hosting renewed or bought from September 2007 is carbon neutral with no increase in costs to you.

Each Domain has unlimited webspace, unrestricted number of email addresses as well as unrestricted bandwidth, and up to 20 sub domains. All our hosting also includes database facilities as standard, an advanced feature on most hosting accounts. Furthermore our cost includes:

  • Account Set up
  • Upload of files
  • Email Configuration
  • Search Engine Submission
  • Technical Support

If you choose to use our website design services we also include your URL or website address as part of the price.

Glossary of terms used in our OSCommerce packages description

Please find a glossary of terms used on our OSCommerce packages descriptions.

Term description
Installation of latest Oscommerce Version The latest version is currently osCommerce Online Merchant v2.2 Release Candidate 2a
Transfer of Design or new Custom Design We will either transfer in the design of your current website and adapt it to OSCommerce or we will develop a custom design based on your current marketing and branding.
True Domain Name You can choose the address for your website. For example; www.mydomain.co.uk.
Payment⁄Shipping Modules Payment and shipping modules we install as standard are: Paypal and cash on delivery. However we will substitute these modules with any other payment options available. These are: authorize.net, credit card (offline credit card processing), iPayment, cheque/money order, NOCHEX, 2checkout, PSigate, SECpay, secure credit card payment (eg: world pay, direct from banking system, etc.).
Carbon Neutral Web Hosting – 1 year We arrange for your hosting carbon emissions to be offset at no increased cost to you. This is part of our policy to reduce our environmental impact as a company.
Email Configuration based on your website address Your new email will be based on your domain name and you can have as many as you want! For example, info@mydomainname.com, sales@mydomainname.com, etc. We will then set up an external mailbox for you on your hosting or redirect your mail to an email address you use frequently.
Up to 5 alternative pages of information You may not need to list more information than you will using the OSCommerce system, but if you do, we will supply you with editable pages for extra information on your company and suppliers.
MySQL database MySQL is by far the best known, and most popular Open Source database engine. It ships with most Linux distributions (not to mention commercial Unix incarnations such as Mac OS X) and has become immensely popular over the years because it's an ideal way to run a decent-sized database at minimal cost.
SSL certificate A Secure Socket Layer. This enables the secure passing of information between Paypal and your website as well as between your website and your database.
WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Editor A WYSIWYG Editor allows you to edit content on your site including uploading images, adding links, etc. You access it via your browser. The editor we supply with OSCommerce looks similar to Microsoft Word.
Technical Support Our technical support comes hand in hand with our hosting. However, we are willing to extend this to also cover your OSCommerce installation – this reflects our confidence that you will have no problems with your new OSCommerce website.
Search Engine Optimisation Once your website is online we will submit it to all the major search engines. These include: Google, Yahoo, Dmoz, MSN etc.
Features found on the new OSCommerce stable release

OSCommerce features available in the most up to date stable release are:*

Features

General Functionality
  • Compatible with all PHP 4 and PHP 5 versions
  • All features enabled by default for a complete out-of-the-box solution
  • Object oriented backend (3.0)
  • Completely multilingual with English, German, and Spanish provided by default
Setup / Installation
  • Automatic web-browser based installation and upgrade procedure
Design / Layout
  • Template struture implementation to:
    • allow layout changes to be adaptive, easy, and quickly to make (3.0)
    • allow easy integration into an existing site (3.0)
  • Support for dynamic images
Administration / Backend Functionality
  • Supports unlimited products and categories
    • Products-to-categories structure
    • Categories-to-categories structure
  • Add/Edit/Remove categories, products, manufacturers, customers, and reviews
  • Support for physical (shippable) and virtual (downloadable) products
  • Administration area secured with a username and password defined during installation
  • Contact customers directly via email or newsletters
  • Easily backup and restore the database
  • Print invoices and packaging lists from the order screen
  • Statistics for products and customers
  • Multilingual support
  • Multicurrency support
    • Automatically update currency exchange rates
  • Select what to display, and in what order, in the product listing page
  • Support for static and dynamic banners with full statistics
Customer / Frontend Functionality
  • All orders stored in the database for fast and efficient retrieval
  • Customers can view their order history and order statuses
  • Customers can maintain their accounts
    • Addressbook for multiple shipping and billing addresses
  • Temporary shopping cart for guests and permanent shopping cart for customers
  • Fast and friendly quick search and advanced search features
  • Product reviews for an interactive shopping experience
  • Forseen checkout procedure
  • Secure transactions with SSL
  • Number of products in each category can be shown or hidden
  • Global and per-category bestseller lists
  • Display what other customers have ordered with the current product shown
  • Breadcrumb trail for easy site navigation
Product Functionality
  • Dynamic product attributes relationship
  • HTML based product descriptions
  • Automated display of specials
  • Control if out of stock products can still be shown and are available for purchase
  • Customers can subscribe to products to receive related emails/newsletters
Payment Functionality
  • Accept numerous offline payment processing (cheque, money orders, offline credit care processing, ..)
  • Accept numerous online payment processing (PayPal, 2CheckOut, Authorize.net, iPayment, ..)
  • Disable certain payment services based on a zone basis
Shipping Functionality
  • Weight, price, and destination based shipping modules
  • Real-time quotes available (UPS, USPS, FedEx, ..)
  • Free shipping based on amount and destination
  • Disable certain shipping services based on a zone basis
Tax Functionality
  • Flexible tax implementation on a state and country basis
  • Set different tax rates for different products
  • Charge tax on shipping on a per shipping service basis

*taken from the OSCommerce website at time of publication.

Glossary

Don't understand the Web lingo? Here's an abbreviated layman’s glossary of terms used on this site and elsewhere on the Internet.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

ADSL See DSL.

 

B

bandwidth Bandwidth is the carrying capacity of any communications technology, the amount of information (usually measured in bits-per-second) that can be sent through a network connection (like the Internet).

bit The smallest unit of computer data - either a zero or a one. Modem speed, for instance, is measured in bps, or bits per second.

byte Unit of data that usually represents a single character. There are generally eight bits in each byte of information. (Making you hungry?)

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C

cyber Prefix added to many words to refer to the "online," "virtual," or computer version of something: "cyberspace," "cyberculture," and "cyberbabe" are examples of this usage. Used loosely. (Sometimes VERY loosely...)

cyberspace The term coined by novelist William Gibson in Neuromancer, which now refers to the entirety of the "online world" of the Internet. (Cool bit of trivia, eh?)

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D

dial-up connection How most people are connected to the Net - through a modem which dials into A server over a regular phone line.

Digerati The digital version of literati. Refers to folks allegedly hip, cool, and in the know of all things digital and Internetty

digital certificate Also called a digital ID, an increasingly popular security device, a digital certificate is primarily a means of identifying individuals on the Internet. A digital certificate can also be used to "authenticate" each member in a digital transaction. VeriSign is a leading provider of digital certification.

digital ID Same as a digital certificate.

discussion group A group on Usenet or a website devoted to a certain subject. Also called a newsgroup.

domain name The main part of a URL or Internet address that is its unique identification. The domain is the name associated with a connected group of computers. It consists of at least two parts, separated by dots. (For example, the URL for WebMacster.com(SM) is www.webmacster.com . ) The suffixes at the end of all domain names indicates what kind of site it is: .edu is used for schools, .gov for government agencies, .org for nonprofit organizations, .mil for the military, .net for network organizations, and the most common, .com for commercial business.

download To copy a file from a remote computer to your computer. You can download a whole program which you would then install on your computer, or you may simply download a Web page which displays in your browser temporarily.

DNS (Domain Name System.) DNS is the Internet's standard that turns host names and domain name servers into IP addresses. Other information, such as type of hardware, services supported, and how long to cache the entry can also be stored.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) a method for moving data over POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines. A DSL circuit is much faster than a regular telephone connection, and the wires coming into the subscriber's locale are the same copper wires used for regular voice telephone service. A typical DSL connection requires a dedicated telephone line. The circuit configures connection to two specific locations. Full-rate DSL modems require an external splitter device to separate the data streams. There are a few flavors of DSL: ADSL, SDSL, and HDSL.

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) receives data (download) at speeds faster than sending data (upload). Thus, the "Assymetric" part of the acronym. ADSL modems can deliver as much as 6- and 8 megabits per second. (The telecommunications companies, along with Microsoft, Intel, and Compaq have created a smaller g.lite standard that delivers a more modest 1.5Mbps/384Kbps service.)

SDSL (Single-pair Digital Subscriber Line) Symmetric links offer a broad upstream channel, and they work more reliably over older copper wire lines than ADSL. The upload and download streams have the capacity to travel at the same rates.

HDSL (High-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) Similar to SDSL, but with broader (faster) bit rates.

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E

e-commerce A buzzword referring to buying and selling products and services online.

electronic mail Usually called email.

email Abbreviation for electronic mail. Email (also spelled e-mail) is the most popular use of the Internet, allowing any Internet user to send a nearly instantaneous electronic message to anyone else on the Internet who has an email address. email address An email address tells the world where to send all your electronic mail. You can usually spot an email address because it begins with a username, has an @ sign in the center, and ends with a domain name, like you@yourdomain.net.

encryption A method of providing secure communications by scrambling the message or information file so that it cannot be read by anyone other than its intended recipient. This enables you to perform secure transactions (like sending EarthLink your credit card number).

Ethernet A common protocol used on all kinds of computers for exchanging data across LANs (local area networks). It is the most widely used LAN access method. Ethernet speeds reach almost 10Mbps.

extranet A generally large intranet used by corporations and other organizations that is open to selected individuals outside the organization, such as customers, suppliers, and partners. See also: intranet

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F

FAQ Abbreviation for Frequently Asked Questions, usually pronounced "fack." A FAQ is a document posted to answer common questions and to prevent the same questions being asked over and over.

firewall Hardware and software that provide security to a local-area network (LAN). Computers "outside" a firewall cannot access information on computers "behind" the firewall.

flame An abrasive email or newsgroup posting, usually containing abusive language. Flames often result from spamming. Flames are B-A-D. Don't send them. Count to 10 instead.

frame relay A high-speed switching protocol for wide area networks (WANs). It is also used for remote LAN to LAN connections.

frames An HTML construction which allows two Web pages to be viewed as one page divided into distinct areas or frames. Usually one frame will remain static while the other changes. Often used as a navigational devise. These are best viewed with browser versions 4.0 and above.

freeware Freeware is software which is free to use and distribute. Often grouped with shareware, which is software which you are supposed to pay a small fee to use, usually after a trial period.

Frequently Asked Questions Usually referred to as FAQ.

FTP File Transfer Protocol. Internet standard for transferring files from one computer to another over the Internet. Software can often be downloaded from company Web sites via FTP. Web pages are uploaded to servers with FTP enabled programs.

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H

HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol. the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.

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I

Internet "Net" for short. A computer network connecting tens of thousands of smaller computer networks all around the globe that use the TCP/IP protocol. Any computer can communicate with any other computer on this network. See also: The Web

intranet An internal network used primarily by companies to increase internal communications efficiency. Intranets function much like the Internet as a whole but files and Web pages are only accessible from computers connected within a local network. Intranets that are open to selected partners and clients are called extranets.

IP number Every computer on the Internet has a unique IP number, which consists of four parts separated by dots. The number identifies the computer on the Internet. Domain names are the much-easier-to-remember alternative to IP numbers.

IRC Internet Relay Chat. A protocol used to enable real-time chatting on the Internet. Those new to IRC might want to start exploring at the NewIRCusers Start Page.

ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network. A special kind of high-speed phone service that allows simultaneous voice and data transmission over the same phone line. ISDN lines provide transmission speeds of around 128Kbps, or double the fastest modems. EarthLink offers ISDN service to homes and businesses.

ISP Internet Service Provider. A company that provides access to the Internet, as well as other types of services, such as content, gaming, and Web page development. An ISP owns or rents the equipment required to have POPs on the Internet.

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J

Java A general-purpose programming language developed by Sun Microsystems that can be used on computers using any kind of operating system. Java is used to develop small applications for Web pages called applets. Java applets are sent over the Internet and run on your computer immediately, and are often used to create dynamic Web page features like stock tickers, animations, and calculators.

JavaScript JavaScript was developed by Netscape and is NOT technically Java. Rather, it is a "scripting" language which, like Java, is used to create dynamic content on Web pages. JavaScript is often used to create "rollover" effects which change page content when the mouse cursor runs over a specified image or link.

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L

Link Farming A link farm is a website that has little or no original content and is created for the sole purpose of exchanging links with other websites. Like free-for-all (FFA) pages, link farms have nothing but links to other websites. Link farming has flourished in response to the growing emphasis on link popularity for search placement by many search engines. Link farms are not the same as directories. See Web Directories for information on these.

Never exchange links with a link farm. Many search engines will penalize or even ban your site for linking to link farms. Obviously, you have no control over who links to you, so you cannot be penalized when link farms link to you. But linking back to them is another story.

Free-for-all (FFA) sites allow anyone to post links on their pages. FFA's generally don't require you to link back to them, so listing your site on FFAs will not hurt your rankings. However, link popularity is not so much as about the sheer number of links to your site as it is about the number of quality links to your site. Search engines are smart enough to tell which links are relevant and which aren't. Securing a handful of inbound links from qualified sites will do you more good than having your site listed on a thousand FFAs.

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N

'Net Short for the Internet.

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P

Pop-up/Pop-under Traffic Schemes Have you seen ads offering "1,000 visitors for $9.95"?

Consider this: many companies are willing to pay up to $10 or more for every visitor Google or Overture sends to their site. Why wouldn't they spend their $10 to get 1,000 visitors from pop-up ad brokers, instead?

Perhaps they're smart enough to realize that the 1,000 "visitors" they would get from having their sites displayed in pop-up and pop-under windows on other sites are worth less than the one legitimate visitor Google or Overture sends them.

While not necessarily unethical, pop-up advertising is no longer as effective as it used to be. Most web surfers find pop-ups annoying and intrusive, and many now use pop-up blockers to avoid them. Even those who don't have blockers installed on their browsers have grown accustomed to instinctively close pop-ups and pop-unders without taking a glance at them.

A pop-up exchange is a program that allows members to show pop-up windows linking to one another's site. As a member of the exchange, your site would display a pop-up linking to another member's site every time someone visits your site. There is usually an exchange ratio involved. A 2:1 exchange ratio means that for every two pop-ups you show on your site, your pop-up would be displayed once on someone else's site.

Pop-up exchanges aren't especially effective for the reasons mentioned above. Furthermore, they are vulnerable to cheaters who use automated means to fraudulently inflate their credits.

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S

secure browser A Web browser that uses a secure protocol, like SSL , to access a secure Web server. Versions of Navigator and Internet Explorer of 3.0 and later are secure browsers. They enable visitors to Web sites to conduct secure transactions, like the transmission of credit card numbers. When a browser connection is secure, you will see a blue band under the browser's location field, or a whole key image (versus the unsecure broken key), or a locked padlock image in the lower left hand corner of your browser window.

server A computer connected to the Internet which stores and provides information of some sort. Your email is kept on a server. So are Web pages. A server is also called a host . site A particular "place" on the Internet. A Web page is often called a Web site, but usually sites are made up of many pages. Also used to refer to a server connected to the Internet.

spam Spam is unsolicited email or newsgroup postings. Oftentimes, it's simply advertising. It's often thought of as the junk mail of the Internet, and is usually considered rude. This is not the same as email you've allowed when registering software via the web, for example. Digital Community does not tolerate spam.

spamming Blatant advertising or the posting of off-topic messages to newsgroups or emailboxes, after which a flame war usually erupts, resulting in more spamming. Spamming disrupts the usefulness of the Internet. Sending spam is B-A-D.

SSL Secure Sockets Layer. SSL is the protocol for Internet security. With both the server (i.e. WebMacster.com) and the client (i.e. your secure browser) implementing SSL, all communications are encrypted to ensure complete security.

Surfing Exchanges Surfing exchanges are programs where you surf other people's web sites to get others to surf yours.

In home page exchanges you set your home page to a special URL on which another member's site will be displayed every time you start your browser. Alternatively, you may simply bookmark the URL and receive credit every time you visit it.

Click exchanges allow you to earn credits by clicking on other people's links. There is usually a 20- or 30-second timer that counts down the required amount of time you must spend on the site. In return your link will be exposed to other members to click on.

Like pop-up exchanges, these schemes will get you traffic just for the sake of getting traffic- little of it be of any use. Most people who join these programs are more interested in accumulating credits rather than looking through your site. Many run several traffic exchange programs simultaneously (in different windows) to gain credits on multiple programs rather than exploring a site that they're supposed to explore.

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U

URL the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use, for instance an executable file could be fetched using the FTP protocol or the HTTP protocol; and the second part specifies the IP address or the domain name where the resource is located.

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W

W3C standardsThe World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C's mission is: To lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines. Since 1994, W3C has published more than ninety such standards, called W3C Recommendations. W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software, and serves as an open forum for discussion about the Web. In order for the Web to reach its full potential, the most fundamental Web technologies must be compatible with one another and allow any hardware and software used to access the Web to work together. W3C refers to this goal as "Web interoperability." By publishing open (non-proprietary) standards for Web languages and protocols, W3C seeks to avoid market fragmentation and thus Web fragmentation.

Web Directories A web directory is a directory on the World Wide Web. It specializes in linking to other web sites and categorizing those links. A web directory is not a search engine, and does not display lists of web pages based on keywords, instead it lists web sites by category and subcategory. The categorization is usually based on the whole web site, rather than one page or a set of keywords, and sites are often limited to inclusion in only one or two categories. Web directories often allow site owners to directly submit their site for inclusion, and have editors review submissions for fitness. RSS directories are similar to web directories, but contain collections of RSS feeds, instead of links to web sites.

webmaster Formal name for the person in charge of maintaining a Web. Other names that describe the same position: Web administrator, Site Administrator, or Content Editor. Personal homepages are not usually said to have webmasters, but rather site authors, site designers, or pagebuilders.

Website A particular "place," or set of pages, on the Web. A homepage is the top page, or main page, of a Web site.

Website Design

Website design is basically about making the website look good. Designing the layout and choosing the colours.

Website Development

Website development is constructing the design using code like HTML. Other code like DHTML, Flash (actionscript), PHP, and ASP add interactivity.

Website Hosting

Website hosting gives the website a home, somewhere that makes it accessible to the people using the internet (ie. a plot of land). Hosting also gives your website an address called an IP (ie. house numbers). Sometimes a website is given a unique IP (ie. like for a house) but most often many websites share the same IP (ie. like apartments).

Website Maintenance

Website maintenance keeps your site current by updating styles and incorporating new forms of interactivity, attractive by adding new content often like updating rates or daily online journal entries, and safe by monitoring the code and potential security issues that sometimes arise.

Website Optimization

Website optimization makes your website load quickly (less than 8 seconds is ideal) and makes the entire website run smoothly and efficiently.

webspace The amount of space, measured in megabytes, allocated to a Web site.

WPP Web Presence Provider. WPPs are Web hosting and Internet services providers who manage the Web server hardware and software required to make your Web site available on the Internet. You essentially rent space on their Web servers. Additionally, WPPs may provide customer technical support, training and consulting services, 24-hour site monitoring, maintenance and traffic reporting, security management and other Web-based services.

World Wide Web Also WWW, or Web for short. The part of the Internet that allows you to navigate through all kinds of graphical information (the stuff with pictures). To view the Web, you'll use a browser such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft's Internet Explorer, for example. Information on the Web is formatted into "pages." Each page might contain some text and possibly pictures, sound or even video. A page is actually a file stored on a remote computer somewhere on the Net. (A Web hosting service or ISP provide the remote computers for you.)

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