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Albuquerque, New Mexico USA    ·    505-243-4728

Frequently Asked Questions About Web Sites

How much does a web site cost?

There is no straight answer for this question. It really depends on what you need or want. The price is relative. The more bells and whistles on your pages, the higher the cost. It is much like buying an automobile. What will it be used for? What do you want your visitors to do when they arrive at your site. Handywerks has built sites for as little as $600 for personal exposure, and up into the double digits per year for continuous maintenance commercial sites. Figure out what your needs and goals are, and we can then discuss the various options and the requirements that will be needed. From there we can size it to fit your budget.

How do I get a web site name (domain name)?

There are many places to reserve your domain name, whether you are ready to build a site or not. If you know the name you want, you will need to see if that name is available. Have several variations of the name or names that you want to use in case some of the names you want are not available. Handywerks can help with that process, or you can do some exploring for yourself at Whois Source. If you find a name that is available, you can reserve it immediatly. If you reserve a name without buying a web site package from an ISP (hosting company), it is called Parking. By "parking" the name, you can be sure that domain name is registered for your use when you purchase a web site package.

Do I have to buy a domain name to have a web site?

Yes, and no. Yes, if you want your own web site on its own domain. However, many wish to "test" the waters of the web before making a commitment of a domain name. Handywerks has storage space for rent on the Handywerks domain if this is your case. Your site name would look something like this: "www.handwerks.com/mysitename" and it would be fully functional and accessible as any other web site. The down side to this is that you would have Handywerks.com in front of your site name.

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What is an ISP?

ISP stands for Internet Service Provider. It is not the same as AOL, MSN or Prodigy. These are Internet Services, and should be viewed as a club of users. An ISP provides its clients with full internet access via several types of connection services, storage space, personal and private standard email services, security options, hosting packages, and a myriad of services and options that are NOT available to "club members" of the other services. People have said that an ISP gives you the real internet. If you are serious about opening a web site, find an ISP. Here is an ISP finder.

What is a browser?

A browser is a computer application that allows you to view HTML (HyperText Markup Language) coded pages found on the Internet, or on other media such as CD's. Currently, the most popular are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox and Opera. At the time of this writing, the most secure browser to use in a Windows platform is: Netscape 7.2, or Mozilla's (and Firefox) latest version , and Opera. Please note that the previous statement is my opinion, and that it is based upon information obtained from security and software companies and industry "watchdog" newsletters.

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What are plug-ins and where do I get them?

Plugins are small programs that work with and within the browser that expand the range and types of content that the user is able to receive from the internet. Other sources may include such media such as CD's and DVD's that require a browser for viewing their content. The content can range from secure documents with fixed format such as Adobe's PDF (Portable Document Format), to music, video, animation and multimedia files, to image manipulation and special image viewing applications. The various plugins can be downloaded from the browser's company site, and / or the site of the company that makes the plugin. A good site design will check your browser and if a plugin is needed, will automatically offer to guide you to the site where the plugin may be downloaded. In most cases, the plugins are free, but if not, will usually allow you to download and use the plugin for a limited time.

What is an email client?

The software, such as Microsoft Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, Opera's G-mail, Eudora, or Mozilla's Thunderbird used to compose, send, receive and view email messages on your computer. They may be stand-alone applications (Eudora and Thunderbird) or integrated with your browser. Contrary to popular consensus, you do not have to use the email client that was provided with your browser or computer, just as long as it is compatible with your system.

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What is a POP or a POP3 account?

Post Office Protocol. POP3 is a standard protocol (set of rules) for receiving email. POP3 is a client / server protocol in which email is received and held for you by your mail server (ISP, AOL, MSN, etc.). Periodically, you (or your client email receiver) check your mailbox on the server and download any mail. POP3 is built into the Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers (Netscape Messenger and Outlook express). To receive email from your POP account, you will need your username, password and the name of your ISP's POP3 server.

What is an alias mailbox?

An alias is an alternative name for something. In this case, it is an alternative name for an email account. To enhance your company's image, you can have different names such as info@yourdomain.com, sales@yourdomain.com, or yourrealname@yourdomain.com, all which conveniently may be forwarded to one name, such as anyname@anydomain.com. This forwarding is automatic and is not seen by the sender of the email. Many times it is easier to give someone the alias address than your real email address (ie. info@yourdomain.com vs. joeblow16624@aol.com).

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How many email accounts can I have?

You can have as many as you think you can keep up with, but remember you will need to create a configuration account in your email client for each POP3 account you have. This can get rather complicated and confusing. That is why aliases were created. However, depending upon what type of web hosting package you may have for your domain, the number of POP3 accounts included will vary. Some provide 10 POP3 accounts while others give you up to 30. If more POP3 accounts are needed, your ISP will create more for you at an additional monthly fee. POP3 accounts can also forward unseen by the sender.

Can I create a web page on my word processor?

Not really. Some processors will attempt to convert your text document into HTML, but it is not reliable. There are special editors available that allow you to create and save your HTML files in the proper format. You can use MS Windows Notepad application also as it will save the files in the proper format. HTML files must be saved as "plain text" files, also known as ASCII files.

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Why are some web pages skinnier than the screen is wide? -or- Why is there so much wasted space on the screen?

Simply put, all computer screens are not the same, and some web users don't use a computer monitor - they use a television screen. It boils down to what is referred to as screen resolution. Many computers come preset to 800x600 resolution, and others use a higher resolution. The numbers indicate how many "dots" can be placed on the screen horizontally and vertically, respectfully. If you have an image that is 800x600, it will fill your screen when set to a resolution of 800x600. However, if your screen is set to a higher resolution, such as 1024x768, the 800x600 image would appear small in relation to the available screen size or resolution. When we create web pages, we have to set the size of the width of the page so that the largest number of people can view it without sliding the browser window left and right while reading or viewing it. Sliding left and right is not kind to the viewer, so a compromise is made. The content is set into a limited width table or column so those with low resolution screens can view the page as well as those with higher resolution screens. That is why there appears to be "wasted space" on your screen. In reality, there is no wasted space - the screen is not like a piece of paper where if the area is not used it literally can become wasted material. In fact, it could be viewed as just the opposite - a less full screen is usually easier on the viewer, and uses less resources.

How do I keep viruses and worms and other nasty things out of my computer?

Find, install and continually update a virus checker application on your machine. There are several free ones on the internet that work and are reputable. Use Google and search for free antivirus software. Not to disrespect the big companies such as Norton (Symantec) or McAfee, but these applications tend to get in the way of other applications, are memory hogs, and you cannot easily remove them should you ever need to. Plus, now, there are viruses and "malware" that seek out and disable these big antivirus applications. Another thing to consider while shopping for an anti-virus software is the ease and cost of updating the virus definition information. Some companies require you to purchase an additional subscription in order to download current virus definitions. Downloading new virus definitions 2 to 3 times per week is not too many times to update considering that an estimated 1500 new viruses or modifications to existing viruses are discovered daily. Read software reviews on store bought and the free downloadable antivirus programs before you invest or install.

Obtain, install, and run a firewall at all times while connected to the internet. If the firewall does not run all the time, then start the firewall software before ever dialing out or connecting to the network. If you have DSL or cable internet access that is continually connected to the network, you should have your firewall up the entire time that the machine is on. A firewall attempts to block access from unauthorized internet or networked machines to your machine (and vice versa). One of the easiest to install and configure is Zone Labs' ZoneAlarm. Many DSL connections go through what is called a router which can have or act as a firewall. Talk to your service provider for your DSL or your cable company about this, and whether you should install additional software. Also, Windows XP has a built in firewall. I cannot vouch for its performance or ease of setup.

Get an email previewer application like MailWasher (free personal version) to help you decide what email you want downloaded to your Inbox. These add a minute or two to your email process, but they pay off in the long run - by preventing the heartache that comes from getting infected. This is a true case for the adage; "A stitch in time, saves nine". I used MailWasher for less than a month before realizing its real value and purchased MailWasher Pro. I highly recommend this product (and I don't make a habit of endorsing products!). Also see this question.

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Can you make me a web site on AOL?

The answer to that is a resounding maybe. Truth is, I am not familiar with all the changes that AOL has made to their servers, so I would have to do some research in that area beforehand. Call me and we can discuss it. For a business or e-commerce site, I recommend using a full service ISP/Hosting company such as Earthlink. Their packages are reasonable and most of the resources needed for a robust site are included. Earthlink also provides 24-7 technical phone help with thier packages, which is extremely important.

I want to make my own web page but I don't know how. Can you teach me?

I am not a teacher, and I don't make my living by showing others how to do my work. However, if you are earnest in your endeavors, I would be glad to point you in the right directions. I have, in the past, contracted to produce templates for persons that were not HTML savvy. Also, to put things in perspective, I can create a site for much less money than I could instruct someone on the nuances of web design. In other words, if you want a professional site, hire a professional designer.

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How big a web site package do I need?

There is not a standard answer for this question, except possibly -- What do you want to do with it? You can always start small and upgrade to a bigger package or web host provider. Be prepared to deal with many questions when you are ready to begin your project. Also see this question.

Can you make some text blink in big red letters so everyone sees it?

Yes, but it is no longer considered to be good design, nor is it considerate to your visitors. If you wish to have return visits to your site, please do not insist on this down-graded feature. There are much better methods of grabbing the attention of your visitors, and most of them are much better than slapping them in the face with blinking words or super sized text. Think about what you like to see and what it is that gets your attention, especially when you didn't realize that it did.

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What is SPAM? How do I get rid of it?

SPAM is email that you don't want, didn't ask for, and don't particularly wish to receive again. It is different for each person, and that is why it is so difficult to filter out. There is now a link that has been established between spam, virus writers and organized crime. Spam has become a very big business, and there are currently several companies attempting to eliminate it by various methods, but to no avail at present. NOTE: DO NOT click on any links provided in the spam that indicate they will remove your address. It is a lie, and the least it will do is validate the fact that your email is in fact real, and then add you to another list or lists. To reduce it, see this paragraph...

Is there a way to keep from getting SPAM?

See above paragraph, and here.

This may be a stupid question, but.....

The only stupid question is usually the one that didn't get asked. I have my clients because they never ask stupid questions - if they didn't have questions, I wouldn't have this business, and they might not have a web site. So, go ahead, send your questions

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Wednesday, 27-Feb-2019 14:18:28 EST