Frequently Asked Questions
How much will it cost?
That depends upon what 'it' is. We don't charge by the hour, we charge by the project. Here's how it works:
- First, we discuss your project with you for up to an hour, so that we fully understand what it is you want to do and what you expect to get upon completion of the project. There is no charge for this hour.
- Second, if we decide we can do what you need, we'll draft a contract for your consideration. The contract will contain all the details about what the project involves and what our price will be. You can review the draft and let us know what to change.
- If we agree with your changes, we'll finalize the contract for your signature. After you sign, we'll sign and get started on the project.
No, we can't even give you a ballpark figure until we know exactly what you want and when you want it. The charge for two identical websites might be quite different depending upon the time frame we have to work with, our other workload and a variety of other considerations.
How do I know if I am getting quality work from my web person?
Just copy the URL of your web page, like www.globalcreations.com, paste it into the form at validator.w3.org and click the "Check" button. You'll immediately get a list of errors in the html code that presents your web page or a statement that the page has "Valid HTML" or "Valid XHTML." The more errors you see, the lower the quality of your web person's work. There is always the possibility of one or two errors, because the validator is always being upgraded to catch more problems. Just tell your web person about the problems and they should fix them promptly. If they don't, or can't, fix them, it's time to change your web person for someone more competent.
Older web pages that incorporate a movie or animation on it, may have 8 to 12 errors not related to the quality of your web work. However, web technology has advanced and there are now ways to incorporate this material without violating web standards. If your website is new, expect it to meet standards in its display of this kind of material. If it is an older site, you may want to have it updated.
These days, most web pages are displayed using instructions provided in something called a "cascading style sheet." You can also check the skill of your web person by checking the quality of these style sheets. Just copy the URL of your web page, like www.globalcreations.com, paste it into the form at jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/ and click the "Check" button. You'll immediately get a list of errors in the CSS code or a statement that says: "Congratulations! No Error Found." Even without errors, you may see a list of warnings. Generally, if your page displays properly, these warnings are not important and don't indicate a problem with your web person's work.
If your web person's HTML and CSS checks out ok after the above tests, you can be confident that they know what they are doing. There are, however, problems these tests won't catch. Most of those problems were caused by Microsoft in their development of Internet Explorer. Only the most recent version of Internet Explorer plays close to the rules and will display web pages that pass the above test properly. Just be sure your pages display properly in the most popular web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape Navigator, Safari and Opera).
Please note that just because your graphics designer isn't a very competent web person, does not mean that they aren't a top quality designer. We say this because many artists and designers now offer web development services. Typically they use one of a variety of tools to help them produce web pages without understanding the details behind web engineering and how their tool of choice works. As a result, you will find lots of errors in the pages they produce and they probably won't be able to fix those errors. We recommend that you let your graphic artist do the art work, but take your web engineering business to someone that can produce quality pages for you.
What browser do you recommend?
What computer do you use?
We use Apple computers (G4, G5 and Intel) for all of our work. We do run Windows on our Apple Intel machine (a MacBook Pro), but only for checking web pages to be sure they work with Windows versions of the various web browsers. After 20-some years of using Macs and Windows/DOS PC's on a daily basis, there is no way we can justify the expense of maintaining Windows machines in a production environment. The OS crashes, the poor software, the never-ending battle with viruses . . . We have none of these issues with our Macs - they just work.
I want to make my own website. What website-making program do you use?
We use a text editor designed for website development. We do not use Dreamweaver or any of the other specialized tools for website development. We find that learning these tools in addition to HTML and XHTML then relearning when revisions arrive is simply not cost effective. Some like to use these tools without an understanding of the HTML/XHTML/CSS and other technologies they try to implement. We liken that to getting a word processor so you can write the great American novel without understanding English syntax. You can make something, but it's quite likely a person - or web browser - won't be able to read it. See "How do I know if I am getting quality work from my web person?" above.
We use BBEdit. It runs only on Macs and you can get a free trial version that will work for a month, so you can try it out. If you insist upon using a Windows machine, you might try NoteTab Lite - it worked well for us when we were coding on a Windows machine and it's free.
Do you have a real engineer on staff?
Yes, our CEO holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a masters degree in management from Oregon State University.
Do people really ask these questions frequently?
Actually, some of them, but mostly this is just a place to put this kind of miscellaneous information.
If you have a question, send it to our CEO, . We'll answer you directly and maybe put it on this page for others to see.