An explanation of our services and the terms we use

Every industry has its own jargon that looks pretty impenetrable to an outsider, and web design is no exception. Here we will try to explain what we do, how we do it, and why.

HTML5 and CSS3

Ever since its inception by Tim Berners-Lee in about 1990, HTML has been the foundation of every webpage in existence. Every few years the standard is revised and improved, and HTML5 is the latest iteration.
Similarly, CSS is an adjunct to HTML that gives layout, colour and style to a webpage. In the same way as HTML, it is occasionally revised and updated, and CSS3 is the latest.

PHP and MySQL

These are the magic parts that make a database-driven website work. MySQL is the database itself and PHP is a language running on the web server that writes the necessary HTML to send to the client computer.

jQuery

Javascript is a language that runs on the user's own computer, and jQuery is a refinement of that. It enables lots of elegant screen effects, validation of forms and many other things.

Responsive Website

This is one set of code that displays differently according to the size of the screen. In our view this is the only viable way to design a website today, ensuring that it looks good on a computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Database-driven Website

If you have a lot of similar information to include on a website (information about products, places or services, for example) a database is essential. A single page layout can repeat tens or hundreds of times with different data taken from the database. This will also require a password-protected admin page to enable data to be added or changed.

Hosting

Every website has to be stored on a server connected to the internet, so that it can feed content to users elsewhere on the internet. This server is a computer that has to be super-fast in order to do all the necessary processing. The computer also has to hold a lot of specialised programs in order to function as a server. The websites we host are stored in a UK data centre near London. For the security of all the thousands of websites held there, it has comprehensive precautionary features like fire suppression, emergency generators, physical security and frequequent back-up procedures. The technical specifications are overwhelmingly comprehensive. It's too much to list here but we are happy to explain more to anyone who needs it.
Each website we host is provided with a control panel where you can tailor everything to suit your requirements. (But please don't break it! If you're unsure, we recommend our web management service.)

Our Hosting Package

Our main hosting package is sufficient for most purposes but we can provide bigger packages for websites that require more disk space on the server, more email addresses or more bandwidth (the total quantity of data served in a given time).

HTTPS

An https prefix on your domain name (https://yourwebsite.com instead of http://yourwebsite.com) provides additional security by preventing data being intercepted between the client and the server. It's essential for any website that deals in any personal data. It can also be considered desirable for any other website as Google is believed to favour https in search results. To use https you need an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate. There are many different sorts at widely varying costs. We can obtain one and get it installed on your domain.

FTP Enforcer

FTP is the protocol used to upload files to your website. FTP Enforcer is a package that provides additional security by limiting FTP access to specific IP addresses. This prevents anyone else interfering with your website.

EU Cookie Page

You've seen those annoying little pop-ups that tell you "We use cookies". Unfortunately they are mandatory for any website that uses cookies. Normally our designs don't, unless you use Google Analytics.

Google Analytics

By obtaining an account with Google and placing a small amount of code on your web pages you can gather a lot of information about who your site visitors are, where they come from, which pages they are interested and what causes them to leave.

Sitemap

A sitemap helps Google and other search engines understand your website and thus index your pages better.

Optimising Images

An ordinary camera (or even a mobile phone) takes photos that are about 5MB each, far too big to use on a website. Photos like that will be slow for your users to download (especially on a slow connection) and will take up a lot of disk space on your server. When we optimise, we reduce large photos to just the size they will be needed on the page and then use compression algorithms to further reduce the filesize without losing quality. Typically our photos are about 100kB each.
If a photo is over- or under-exposed, has poor contrast or areas of deep shadow or excessive brightness, we can usually retouch them before optimising to make a more attractive image for your website.

Web Management

Just spend your time doing what you do best and leave it to us to do what we do best. Our management package will keep your domain registation and SSL certificate up-to-date and covers any troubleshooting, which is generally caused by hackers attempting to attack your website, spoof your emails or use your account to send spam. The package also includes a monthly update to change text and photos as you require.


If you want to know more, feel free to phone us on 01275-261007, email us or use our contact form.