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Re: Website

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Gerard,

Creating a website can be a fun experience.

There are many ways to actually "code" the site.  You can obviously either
do it yourself or hire someone to create the website for you.

If you choose to do it yourself, some web site hosting services offer
"template" sites that you can use to setup your site.  This will typically
mean that your site will be pretty basic and will likely not have your own
unique flavor.

Your other option in doing it yourself is to actually "code" the web pages
yourself.  This can either be done by writting the HTML code manually
(HTML pages are just text files but in HTML code) or but obatining a
WYSIWYG editor.  If you choose the former, then you will need to get a
book(s) on writing HTML.

I would suggestion the latter.  An HTML purist would likely turn their
nose down at me, but who cares.  There are several WYSIWYG editors
available.  There is Dreamweaver, FrontPage, GoLive, PageMill (no longer
supported I believe), and others.  Dreamweaver is one that I have heard
a lot of good things about.  I currently use PageMill (mainly because I am
familiar with it).  All these will allow you to create the HTML code.

You will also likely need to get a program (or a couple of programs) do
edit/create graphics assuming that you wanted to have a more "graphical"
interface on your site (i.e. buttons or menus).  Just about any bitmap
graphical program can do this.  I have used Photoshop for this.  There are
some programs that a "specialized" for this type of application.  They
will allow you to easily create the graphics and even add Javascript to
"animate" them (i.e. change appearance with the mouse cursor goes over
them, etc).  It mainly becomes a function of how easy you want the process
to be.

If you choose to create (and maintain) your own site, then I would suggest
start with the basics.  I would suggest that you at least get some basic
understanding of HTML code even if you are going to use a WYSIWYG editor.
Consider it the sames as why you learned the stiffness method in school,
even though you likely just use a program like RISA to analysis your
structures...it gives you some ability to understand why something may not
be working as expected.

Regarding a webhosting service, I don't have a lot to offer at this point.
I am looking into it myself, so I am still learning as well.  One thing to
consider in addition to price is their "uptime".  Finding a webhosting
service that only costs $5 a month won't do you too much good if they are
"down" half the time.  For the type of website that you or I would setup
it is not really necessary to pay the big $$$ for a service that is up
99.999% of the time.  Instead, something like 99.9% would not be bad for
us.  (This is not true for larger sites that are selling products on their
site...every second that site is down means no money coming in)

Most webhosting services (at least from what I have seen) will also allow
you to have email accounts through their servers.  This would mean that
you could setup your email address with your domain name.  This is the one
likely area were downtime of their servers could be an issue.  While it is
not too terribly big of a deal if your website goes down, losing access to
your email in this day and age could be a big deal.  That is the biggest
reason why I don't like my cable modem provider...their email servers
seem to be down half the time.

Regarding the photos of projects while you were at other companies, I
would say definitely...at a minimum.  You should at a minium list the
company that designed the project (i.e. who you were working for) and I
would also say the "owner" should be listed too.  It might also be wise to
ask permission to post those pictures...but that is a better question for
a lawyer type.

Oh, BTW, many webhosting services will allow you to register your domain
at the same time that you sign up to get service from them.

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI

On Sun, 10 Mar 2002, Gerard Madden, PE wrote:

> I want to make a website for my business. A few questions
>
> I know I need to get a domain name. They are 70 bucks for two years. Then
> what do I do? I need to get a provider/host I think but I am not sure how
> they work and what to look for when selecting one. Then I need to make the
> website - correct? Without learning html, what are most of you doing for
> this, buying a software that lets you design your website or do you hire
> someone. I don't have a lot of stuff currently, but I would like it to be
> expandable and fast so pictures load quickly.
>
> Also, If I want to include photos of projects I have worked on in the past
> when I was employed with other companies, do I need to list the company I
> worked for at the time?
>
> thanks,
> -gerard
>
> Gerard Madden, PE
> Civil Engineer, Owner
>
> MADDEN ENGINEERING
> 540 Monroe Street
> Santa Clara, CA 95050
>
> T: 408.564.5515
> F: 408.564.5530
> E: gmadden(--nospam--at)attbi.com
>
>
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