Web Transformations LLC

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q. What does it cost to set up a Web site?

A. You generally need to consider costs for three different components when you are ready to build a Web site. These are:

  1. Web server to host the site (a physical hardware location where the Web files and images can be stored and then "served" to the Web visitor's browser). The Web service provider will generally give you an FTP account that allows you to transfer your Web files and images to their server using Web development software or an FTP software program. Web Transformations can set up a Web server for you if you choose to have us develop or update your Web site. Web server prices will differ depending upon the types of services provided. Make sure you understand all the services you will need before locking yourself into a Web server purchase agreement (e.g., will you need to use a database on your Web site)?

  2. Domain Name—the URL address that users will enter in their browser in order to reach your web site; e.g., www.webtransformations.com. You can purchase your own domain name for anywhere from $19.95 to $35.00, and it must be renewed annually for a similar price; or you can accept a free URL address from a web service provider. The benefit of a free URL address is that it is free; the down side is that the URL address will contain the name of the Web service provider—which may or may not detract from the credibility of your business. The main caveat is that if you accept a free URL and later decide to change your Web service provider because they do not provide all the services you need, you will then have to change the Web address that customers use to access your Web site. If you purchase your own domain name, it can be transferred for use with a Web service provider of your choosing, and it will never have to change (unless you let the annual registration lapse). Web Transformations can set up a domain name for you if you choose to have us develop or update your Web site.

  3. A software program to develop and edit your Web page content in the HTML format that Web browsers can interpret and display.

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Q. What content and images should I include on my Web site?

A. If you have been in business for awhile, you have probably developed a logo and some basic business forms, such as business cards and flyers. If not, we can help you develop those. We generally start with a high quality image such as your business logo, and then develop a color scheme and page layout for your Web site that is consistent with your logo.

We would ask you the following questions to help you decide how best to proceed with Web site development:

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Q. How do I know if I need a dynamic (database-driven) Web site?

A. Whenever you have:

  1. a lot of information that needs to be updated on a regular basis, or

  2. similar information or graphics that should be portrayed on individual pages,

your development costs will be lower if you set up your Web site to pull page information from a database. An example of item 2 is the detail view for product samples on the Artistic Metals Forge Web site at http://www.artisticmetalsforge.net/fireplace.php. We only needed to develop one "detail page" to be used for all large photo views on this dynamic database-driven site. If we had instead created a static Web site, we would have needed to develop 124 pages for the large views of these work sample photos.

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Q. Can I change the content of the Web site myself?

A. Yes, if you understand HTML programming and CSS, and you have an FTP connection to the Web server that hosts your Web files, you can update a Web page using a simple text editor. You would then transfer the files to your Web site using an FTP software program. The process of laying out text and graphics on a Web page is greatly facilitated by the use of a professional Web software development tool such as Dreamweaver, but there is a high learning curve involved in using such tools.

You will also need a program such as PhotoShop to resize and prepare images properly for use on a Web site. Photos and other graphic images are not embedded within a Web page in the same way you would add them to a word processing document. Rather, the Web page itself contains only text. This text must include instructions to the Web browser regarding where to obtain the image files, and how to display these images within the flow of the text on your Web page. The browser assembles the text and images "on the fly," which means that the browser looks for a number of different files that may be stored in different directories (folders) on your Web server, and then decides how to combine everything on the page before displaying it in the user's browser. You should be aware that the Web visitor might have configured their browser program to use specific font and color preferences. Thus, browsers can display your pages in an unanticipated fashion because they have a great deal of control over how this content can be formatted. The two most popular browsers—Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox—can display the same information in distinctly different ways.

There are three ways we can help you maintain and update the content on your Web site if you do not have any background in HTML programming, cascading stylesheets, and FTP file transfer:

  1. Update the Web content for you at an hourly rate for Web maintenance.

  2. Develop a dynamic Web site that gathers and displays page content from a database; then create special Web pages in a password-protected area of the Web site to provide an easy way for you to update the content of the database. [View a demo to see how this would work.]

  3. Develop your pages in Dreamweaver using a template that works with the Contribute software program. Contribute is a relatively inexpensive product that was developed to be compatible with Dreamweaver templates, and was designed for use by persons with very little knowledge of HTML and CSS. The program works more like a typical word processing program, allowing you to update the content easily without disturbing the important HTML components on the page. [See the Adobe Web site for more information about the Contribute program]

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Web Transformations LLC