We employ state of the art techniques and methods in designing and constructing Web sites. For the most part, sites are "hand-coded", although we do utilize software tools to increase production efficiencies. What follows are descriptions of those technologies and tools.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are the preferred method for separating presentation from document structure. During the evolution of the World Wide Web, HTML code originally intended for structuring documents was also being used to format the presentation or "look" of Web pages. This practice soon led to many inefficiencies in page construction and display. Use of style sheets, rather than formatting tags, creates efficiencies by providing single files that a user downloads once to provide style, layout and presentation 'instructions' for all site pages. Using CSS significantly decreases file size and download times for site pages, because the instructions don't have to be repeated and included in each page file. CSS also allows the developer to make changes to a single file for formatting or styling modifications, rather than having to go to each page's file in the site and make separate changes.
Server Side Includes (SSI) provide another means to greatly improve efficiency in page construction and maintenance. Constructing single files for repetitive elements of site pages, like banners, footers, menus, etc., that can be used and shared by many pages brings economies to page construction and maintenance. For example, if one wants to make a change to the site's banner or header, you can just make the change in the single file, and do not have to touch every page to implement changes.
PHP and CGI are coding languages used to bring yet another set of dynamic features to the site. Form information can be entered and submitted by the user and transmitted to you via e-mail and stored in databases for future uses. Whether taking orders for items, or collecting demographic information, PHP and CGI gets the information to you.
Developer tools and software used to create design and produce pages include:
Adobe Photoshop, a graphic production software for image creation, modification and optimization. Used for creating visual page mockups, photograph touch-up and graphical layout work.
Adobe Illustrator to do digital drawing for original illustration and graphic creation. The software uses vector art for high resolution imaging.
Adobe Dreamweaver, a Web site and page production software. In addition to automating many routine tasks, Dreamweaver provides powerfule site file management tools and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to place files on the Web site's server.