Archive for January, 2006

What can we do to minimize costs?

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Make sure we get things right the first time. We need a single person in your organization to be our point of contact. Carefully proof read all information that you want us to include in the web site. Ensure that everyone who needs to review the design or content has done so before you ask us to start work. It is much more efficient if you provide all written content for the web site as electronic files (e.g. Microsoft Word, ASCII text, or Excel spreadsheets).

What browsers do you test against?

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

We test newly developed websites using the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (currently 6.x) for Windows, Mozilla Firefox 1.x for Windows and Macintosh OS X, and Apple Safari for Macintosh OS X. We no longer test against Internet Explorer for Macintosh OS X since Microsoft is no longer developing IE for the Mac. We also validate our XHTML and CSS code using the W3C organization validation tools.

This does mean that newly developed sites may not work well with older browser versions. But almost all of the major browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, Safari) can be upgraded to the latest version for free. In fact, if you are properly keeping up with your Windows XP or Windows 2000 OS updates, you are automatically being updated to the latest and greatest Internet Explorer.

What do you mean by “Modern Standards”?

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Basically it means we use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and XHTML as the underlying technology for all our new website development work.

The World Wide Web and the Internet are always undergoing technological change but, in particular, the web is currently undergoing a major transition from an older web technology (loosely called “tables and frames”) to a new technology generally known as Cascading Style Sheets. This change is being driven by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C.org) which is the web standards organization based at MIT and we are following their recommendations. The new technology provides additional capabilities and makes it easier to design and maintain websites. The downside is that websites developed using the new technology may “break” when viewed using older browsers (e.g. any version of Netscape, Internet Explorer, etc. more than 3 years old). However, it is possible to install or upgrade to the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari for free.

XHTML is, in simple terms, the latest version of HTML. The last version of HTML was version 4.01. The W3C organization decided to call the next version of HTML “XHTML 1.0” rather than “HTML 5.0.” The X prefix is to reflect the fact that this latest version is compatible with another standard called XML which governs the automatic exchange of information between organizations. The new XHTML standard is also a bit stricter in its syntax which should, in the long run, make it more likely that website written using XHTML will “look” the same in different browsers.