interactive web sites
- provide information to people who visit them
- gather information from people who visit them
1. Language and Layout
- Since 1998 I have been creating and publishing simple web sites that educate and inform people, as well as help people communicate and share information with each other. Scroll down to see links to samples.
- You may be surprised to see how inexpensive it can be to have a simply formatted, attractive and engaging web site.
- I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your requirements, and we can determine together whether I can create the kind of web site you wish to have. Just send me an email, fill out this form, or see my contact information below. I can contribute as much or as little to the web site as you need.
- Costs: The jobs involved in keeping a web site up can be broken down into two main tasks: (1) the task of creating the web pages, and (2) the task of arranging the web pages on a web server, and of setting up the web server so that it is functional and secure.
- First Task, creating web pages: I charge $30 per hour to create web pages. This is the hourly fee I charge for writing and typing, and also for page layout: laying out the size and position of photographs, drawings, video presentations, and text, on each page. The procedure I use to do page layout is called page markup, and it is performed using a markup language called HyperText Markup Language — HTML. If you have a number of web pages made, and you never change them, this will be a one-time fee. If you type the text yourself, you will not need to pay us for typing, just for markup.
- Second Task, maintaining your web pages on a web server: The cost of maintaining your web pages on a web server is influenced by two things: (1) the size of your web site, that is, the amount of material it contains and how much room it takes up on a computer hard drive, and (2) the bandwidth of the web site, that is, the amount of material, per month, that gets transmitted to and from the people who visit your web site. The bandwidth depends upon the number of visitors per month, and the number and size of the pages that they visit. For most web sites, this cost will be cost less than $20 per month.
- Basic sites contain text, and graphics. The graphics can be photographs or drawings. This may be all you need for many kinds of information or advertising. More advanced web sites may have multimedia presentations, computer programs, and searchable databases.
- A site may have 1 page, or many pages. Pages generally have links to other pages, both within the site, and to pages on other sites.
- People think I have a knack for presenting information and ideas in a way that is readily understandable. For an example, see OurHernias.org.
- I don't claim to be a graphic artist, but I lay out web pages in ways that most people seem to think are attractive and engaging.
- In short, I believe you will find my web presentations to be simple, attractive, organized, and readily understandable.
- Skills and tools: I have a good deal of page-markup skill, and am able to format web pages very precisely, using html (hypertext markup language) and, in addition, css (cascading style sheets). Not even the best WYSIWG editing program can provide as much precise control over page layout as someone with good markup skills.
- In addition to html, I use css page-layout methods. This assures you that if you need to add more pages to your web site in the future — and you want these pages to have a matching style, in terms of margins, fonts, colors, backgrounds, etcetera — this be less time-consuming and less expensive than if html is used alone. Also, with css, I can change the style of a whole set of pages, all at once, instead of needing to make changes paragraph by paragraph, and page by page.
- If your are interested in some of the other tools I use: I use Dreamweaver's html entry system to expedite page markup and page layout. I crop, size, and optimize photos, for quick transmission and clear display, using Photoshop. I make and edit drawings, using Inkscape.
- You should know that inexperienced web site designers often neglect to properly optimize photos and drawings, for display on the computer screen. Pages with properly optimized photos and drawings may download and display on the visitor's screen dramatically faster. I optimize photos and drawings to enable the fastest download speed without visible loss of resolution (generally using Photoshop), or for the best compromise between speed, and resolution.
- I can also optimize pages, and photographs, for printout. Home and office printers usually have greater resolution than video display monitors. We are talking 600 dots per inch or 1200 dots per inch, or more, instead of the roughly 70 to 120 dots per inch of a CRT (tube) or LCD (flat screen) video display. If you want website visitors to be able to print a photo, in the detail that their home or office printer is capable of, you will want to have a separate printer version of the photo, optimized for printout, that the visitor can choose. Inexperienced web site designers may not have the skills to take care of such details. Please note that this is not the same as optimizing color for commercial printing of brochures, magazines, or books, which is not a service we offer.
- I also use Photoshop to touch up photos, and improve contrast and color balance.
- I do some sketching; see my caricature of a piano at the top of this piano pitch page; this drawing of a piano was done with pen and ink. I also have education in mechanical drawing.
- Cutting edge web sites may require contributions from several different kinds of specialists. I can organize and put together the work of specialists such as graphic artists, programmers, musicians, and various multimedia artists.
- The various kinds of specialty media that are available, in addition to basic text and graphics, include: video media, audio media, video animations, and representations of 3-dimensional objects that can appear to be rotated on-screen. Another speciality media is the advanced database that supply up-to-the-minute information on demand via tables of contents, indexes, and searches. This could be anything, including information on wholesale or retail merchandise, or data from scientific studies.
- One of the interactive elements that many web sites can benefit from are on-screen forms. In addition to designing forms, I can write programs that (1) grab the information that website visitors put into forms, and (2) drop that information into a database — which can hold large amounts of information from a large number of website visitors.
- I can also retrieve data from website databases. Data that is retrieved can be organized and displayed in an infinite variety of ways. I use the programming languages php (as far as I know it doesn't stand for anything) and SQL (Structured Query Language), to get information into and out of databases, that are contained on MySQL database servers.
- Here is an example of an interactive website feature that utilizes an on-line database to store a large volume of data. It is a discussion board. It uses php and SQL to enable visitors to put information into a MySQL database, and retrieve it.
- I can set up your web site on a shared web server, that is, upload your web site to a web server run by a web site hosting company, or I can set upl a web server on a computer or computers on your own network, at your own company, and place your web site there.
2. Publishing and Publicizing
- I like to view creating your web pages and linking them together into a web site as a project that has 3 aspects:
- Finding or developing content. This includes the selection or creation of the page elements such as text, graphics, multimedia" elements, and databases.
- The construction of your web site, that is, the technical aspects of positioning all these these page elements on various pages, and linking pages together (see creating web pages, above), and
- The publishing of your web site: getting your web site to the public. See maintaining your web pages on a web server, above. I divide publishing into 2 parts:
- technical aspects: selecting web server hardware and software, "uploading" web pages onto the web server, and arranging for the web server to be physically accessible to the internet-using public. This includes registering a domain name, and arranging for the domain name to work with the web server.
- marketing aspects: arranging with various webmasters for them to put links to your website, on their web sites, advertising your web site in other media, such as print media, or broadcast media (including radio and television). Submitting your web site to search engines is only a small part of publicizing your web site, and may not even be necessary; these days, search engines will tend to find your site by themselves. Submitting your site to on-line directories where humans pick and choose which sites to link to and which sites to ignore, is part of the job.
- For many web sites, I may be able to handle all of these four aspects of website creation: content, construction, technology of publishing, marketing aspects of publishing; for larger or relatively complex web sites, labor may be divided among several people or companies. I may, with the help of graphic artists, format web pages with text, graphics, and multimedia elements, link pages together, and then put them on a web server. Individual page elements may be created by writers, photographers, graphic artists, musicians, and videographers; page layouts may be handled by graphic artists; getting information from forms and into and out of databases may be handled by programmers; and publicity may be handled by publicists. I can function as a project manager and supervise all the contributors.
- Publishing: I know how to set up and maintain web servers, as well as how to find dependable hosting companies with reliable web servers.
- Technicalities of publishing: I understand the technicalities of getting the page elements onto pages, and getting the pages onto web servers, and of making sure the pages display as intended, and that they link together as intended.
- I have some talent for persuading people to put links to your web site, on their web site.
- Publicizing: making sure that your site is listed by search engines is an easy job these days. It is no longer necessary to submit your site to search engines as it was a number of years ago; a search engine's crawlers will tend to find your site, and list it, even if you don't submit it to them. Yup. I'm not kidding you. All a search engine needs is a link to your site from any site that it already routinely crawls. Once it finds your site, it will routinely crawl your site. So do not be fooled into paying a company a large fee for what turns out to be simply submitting your site to lots of search engines.
- However it is still very very important to make good choices for the keyword metadata and description metadata, that, among other things, search engines will use when deciding how your site is indexed and listed, when deciding what search words will call up which of your pages, and when deciding how to order your page, relative to all the other pages that are called up by the same search word. I know how to choose keywords and descriptions to get optimal listings from search engines.
3. Personal Persuasion
- I like to persuade people to make personal, political, and social changes. I do this both as a personal hobby, and in behalf of organized groups with worthwhile goals.
- I have persuaded people to make political and social change by writing letters, telephoning, door-to-door canvassing, and speaking to groups, as well as by using the web. In addition to writing letters myself, I have encouraged others to write. See this letter, that I encouraged an acquaintence to send to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, of the New York State Senate, regarding their dental care.
- I have done door-to-door canvassing to get support for a bill to improve public health by regulating certain environmental conditions in indoor public places. I have written legislators, and spoken at legislative hearings, regarding the same issue.
- I have made phone calls to persuade people to vote for political candidates.
- I have sold products and services.
4. Giving and Taking: Sites that Gather, Store, and Organize Information as well as Provide It
- Through a simple screen presentation, huge amounts of information can be moved into, and out of, on-line databases. Being able to easily manipulate huge amounts of information is one of the things that makes computers so astonishingly useful, isn't it?
- Information can be gathered by (1) asking website visitors to enter information into forms, and (2) automatically, from the computers of website visitors.
- Here is an example of a form that we might ask a website visitor to fill out. A Perl program extracts information from the form, and acts on it. See the link to find out how.
- Automatically gathered information can include (1) what web site, and what web page, any visitor was at when he or she clicked on a link to your site, (2) what pages at your site a particular visitor visited, and when, (3) what links on your site they clicked on, that took them to another site, (4) what browser they used to view your site, and (5) what ISP they used, and in what state or country their ISP was located.
5. Summarization: some of the tools we can use to create or contribute to your web site:
- For page layout we, of course, use HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). We also use Macromedia Dreamweaver.
- We are familiar with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Adobe Photoshop, Inkscape, and Microsoft Access.
- If you include your email address when you fill out this form (and take the time to answer some silly questions) — you will be able to see a little of what we can do in regard to arranging automatic email responses to whatever people put in an on-line form. The same techniques apply, whether the questions and responses are silly or serious.
- Whatever you enter into the form can be read and responded to by a human, as well as by a computer — so you can also use the form to request a personal response from us. Just put any questions you have for the human, in the box entitled "how can we help you?
6. Special Offers
Discussion boards. I can provide complete setup and full support for message boards, discussion forums — with all the programming and data located right on your web site — where you have full control.
We can help you select which program meets your needs, and then we can set it up for you, and customize the appearance and operation of the program. We can coax it into stylistic harmony with the rest of your web site.
I think many people will agree that, for a number of reasons, it is generally far better to have an discussion board right on your web site, than to use an outsourced board. For starters, keeping backups of the messages on an outsourced board is often not practical. Also, the operator of the outside site where the outsourced message board is, can load up every message board page with lots of advertising; however if the board is on your own site, you can set the board up without advertising, or you can set up a system for controlling advertising yourself, and for receiving revenues from advertisers — yourself. To see a basic board that we set up, click here.
DropDown Menus. There is a sample here, and another here. These are small menus, with text only. We can make very elaborate menus; we can easily make fancy-looking buttons to depress. These just require more time.
Such menus can be made from graphic elements, as well as text elements. These include custom-designed "buttons" to press, and buttons with advanced "hover" attributes. It is just a matter of a little more time. Graphics, probably millions of them, can be found in "clip-art" catalogues, or you can have a graphic designer create custom graphics for us to include in the menu.
see some examples of past and present websites or pages we have created or contributed to
- Hernia Surgery
- dentist web site under construction
- Scotty's Car Service
- Earthly Origin of Commercial Materials Educational Organization
- Leafy Green Lawn Care
demonstration of precise layout
- Piano Pitch
demonstrates php program to calculate the fundamental frequency of every note on a piano where user can input whatever value they like, for reference tone of A(4), from which all the other tones are calculated.
- TJG Tile
sample web page for tile company.
- precise layout
- Message Board
archive. Powered by php and MySQL database
8. Other WebSite Notes
9. Other Services
- Plain old fast typing. Tested at over 60 words per minute. Familiarity with a number of word processing software packages.
- Electrical wiring. I am familiar with electrical fundamentals and tools of the trade, and can do telephone wiring, network wiring, cable TV wiring, and other low-voltage wiring. We can do residential and commercial power wiring under the supervision of an electrician.
- Accounting and bookkeeping tasks. I can record transactions, prepare financial statements, and do all the tasks that are part of the accounting cycle. I am fully conversant with double-entry bookkeeping concepts. I have experience with QuickBooks and Peachtree. I am a certified QuickBooks user; I have been certified by Intuit (the publisher).
- Secretarial tasks. Filing, spreadsheets, word processing.
- Custom help files. We can use Microsoft HTML Help Workshop to create custom help files for applications software that you create, and we can explain how to use your software in clear language that users can easily understand.
- Vegan gardening to grow food, using cover crops, green manures, and compost. Scientific knowledge of soil quality, plant nutrition.
10. In Brief
- Expert communication of information and ideas.
- Attractive and engaging designs.
- Originality, and avoidance of cliché.
- Effective use of interactive design elements.
- Creation and maintenance of databases.
11. Contact Us
|Leafy Green Web Publishing|
|547 Eliada Home Road, Unit 203
Asheville, NC 28806 United States
|telephone: 828 348 8088
fill out the form
page last updated 2013 Feb 07