Is Your Web Designer Ripping You Off?

Nobody likes being ripped off – especially if they’re in business.

Yet most businesses are paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to their web designer for shoddy, substandard work. Are you?

Luckily, there’s a quick and easy way to find out.

Go to:http://validator.w3.org, type in your website address and click on the “Check” button.

If the page you see says “failed validation” in red writing, you might need to speak to your web designer – especially if there are more than a handful of errors.

Is your web designer one of the cowboys?

Unless you own a cattle ranch, you probably don’t want to employ cowboys. You certainly wouldn’t put up with substandard work from a builder or electrician, would you? What about an accountant that didn’t understand tax laws, would you want them handing your finances?

Well, most web designers produce websites that are shoddy and substandard – and worst of all they don’t even know it.

How can I tell if my site isn’t up to standard?

Many professions and industries have standards. With some professions, like medicine or law, you need a qualification before you even start doing it. Other industries, like food processing or construction, aren’t so strict about academic qualifications, but they do have standards that have to be met – like health and safety or food hygiene standards.

There’s no academic qualification you need in order to become a web designer. All you need is a computer with internet access and the confidence (or in some cases arrogance) to call yourself a web designer.

However, although many people (and most web designers) don’t know it – there are standards for websites.

What’s more – it’s really easy to test your website to see if it’s up to standard. All you need to do is visit a website (http://validator.w3.org/) and you can test your site.

What are Web Standards?

Websites are programmed using a computer language called HTML. There’s a right way to program HTML and there’s a wrong way. The right way to program HTML is called “Web Standards,” anything else is the wrong way.

The difference between the right and wrong way to program a website is technical – so if you’re a business owner you don’t need to understand the details.

However, you do need to understand that if your web designer hasn’t used Web Standards it means:

Your site will do worse in Search Engines – so you’ll get less visitors
It will take longer to download – so you’ll lose more of the visitors you do get
It could cost you more to maintain the website
It’s harder (and more expensive) to make changes to the website
Up to 40% of people might not be able to see your website properly because they use different type of computer or web browser than your web designer.
Your site is probably not going to be accessible to people with disabilities – which could mean you could fall foul of your local disability discrimination laws

Of course, you might not have all these problems if your web designer hasn’t used Web Standards – but you’ll certainly have some of them.

If my site fails to validate does that mean it doesn’t use Web Standards?

Not necessarily.

The W3C validator (http://validator.w3.org/) is a useful tool for checking if your site uses high-quality HTML. However, it’s not a 100% guarantee.

It’s possible for a site to fail the validation on one or two minor points. If this is the case it’s not a major problem, although you could ask your web designer to correct them.

However, if your site has dozens of hundreds of errors this is bad news.

It’s also possible to for your website to pass the validator and still use out-of-date techniques, however this is much less likely.

Should web designers use Web Standards?

Yes.

To put it bluntly, if you don’t know web standards, you’re really not entitled to call yourself a “professional” web designer.

There are some occasions when it’s acceptable to use non Web Standards techniques for practical reasons, but it has to be an informed decision.

How many web designers program websites the wrong way?

Unfortunately, most web designers program websites the wrong way. The sad thing is that many of them don’t even know about Web Standards.

There are plenty of web designers that do use Web Standards, but they’re in a minority.

Because there are no entry barriers to web design, anybody can set up as a web designer. That means there’s plenty of choice but it also means there are plenty of cowboys producing badly-programmed websites.

What do I do if my website hasn’t been created using Web Standards?

Well, you’ve got a couple of choices.

Firstly, you could contact the web designer that created your site and ask them why they didn’t produce your site with Web Standards.

If your site is more than 1 or 2 years old it isn’t reasonable to expect your site to have been created with Web Standards, as they weren’t a well-known technique then.

You might find that your web designer now uses Web Standards and would be able to redesign your website so that it uses them.

They may be willing to do this for free, as a courtesy, or they may charge you for this.

Can’t I just sue them?

I’m not a lawyer and couldn’t offer legal advice.

However, I suspect that unless you have a written contract with your web designer specifying that the site should be built using Web Standards techniques you would find a legal route difficult.

What are my other options?

If your current web designer is unable or unwilling to change your site so that it uses Web Standards you could find another web designer who is able to redesign your site using Web Standards.

Use Google or Yellow Pages to find web designers in your local area and then contact them to see if they use web standards.

If they say yes, check some of their sites using http://validator.w3.org/.

What if I don’t have a website yet?

If you don’t have a website yet, or are planning a new one, make sure you choose a web designer that uses Web Standards to create their websites.

Resources

http://validator.w3.org/ – HTML Validator

Richard Quick is the author of the forthcoming book “Web Design in easy steps.”

Online Games – Entertainment at Its Best

Man cannot live without entertainment. It’s a way of amusing himself in his leisure time. Entertainment can be passive such as watching a movie or opera, or active such as recreation or sports. Games are an active form of entertainment that provides relaxation and diversion. With the development of computer technologies and internet, online games have become the most popular way of entertainment among people including kids.

Online games are played using computer network. They are mostly free and enable the players to enjoy their time without any cost. These stuff range from simple text based games to those that include graphics. There are single player and multi-player online games. Single player online games are played by a single person for his own entertainment whereas a multi-player application is played by a lot of people creating an online community. This serves as a platform for social interaction.

Online games are sorted according to classifications based on their platform, publisher, date, character of franchise, feature, region, genre, technology, license, reception and so on. The most popular types of online games come under the classification based on genre. They are:

Action games which include fighting, shooting and platform games that emphasizes on physical challenges such as good hand-eye co-ordination and high reaction speed. There are action-adventure games in which elements of action are included in adventure games. They are more popular than pure action games as it includes both reflex as well as problem-solving.
Casual games which include puzzle, hidden object, word & trivia, card & board game and so on. This can be played online either in a personal computer or in a mobile phone using a one-button mouse or cellphone keypad. These are extremely simple and do not require any special skills. Final stage is reached quickly and so people can play such games during their work break.
Role-playing games which include online text-based role-playing games and massively multi-player online role-playing games. In online text-based role-playing games, there are many players who require some type of text based interface and an internet connection.
Simulation games which include business, city building, space flight simulator, war games and so on. Various activities in real life are replicated in this type of game. There is no special goal in this game; it involves just running around playing as the character.
Sports games which include playing online a variety of sports such as cricket, soccer, volley ball, formula one race, and so on. The player needs to understand the real sport in order to play online sports game. The games allow testing of precision and accuracy of the player. Online sports games are popular and competitive like real world sports. The names and characteristics of real teams and players are featured in most of the online sports games that makes it interesting and demanding like the real world sports.
Strategy games mainly include board puzzles that require the skill of thinking, planning and making decision to win the puzzle. This type of things takes time to play and complete. There are some action, puzzle and simulation games that require strategic thinking but they are different from strategy games. Strategy games do not involve physical challenge, but it involves conflict between the players to out-think their opponent.
Arcade games are played in coin-operated machines placed in public places where people are likely to have free time. Now it can be played online competing with other people to gain a high score. This game is more unrealistic and mainly focuses on experience in playing the game quick.

Most of them are free and it needs only access of internet. It can be played by people of all ages. There are online games for kids as well. This enable in their learning procedure and in their developmental skills.

What is a Home Designer and How to Choose One

A home designer specifies design, materials, stylishness, as well as details for residential building projects. In lots of states in the US home designers aren’t mandated to have an architectural diploma or architectural license. Many people may evaluate these kinds of home designers not having these qualifications to be an undesirable factor. Basically that is definitely not even close to the truth. A professional within the field of non commercial design a “home designer” is the most suitable choice that will lead you through the design and building undertaking.

A great home designer generally possesses years of expertise not only designing and drafting the construction docs in addition will often have put in many years on actual construction sites performing the actual job themselves. Now this isn’t at all times the situation however, these people with this kind of knowledge are usually best to design your home. Not just because of their experience and expertise in the profession but their rates tend to be more affordable when compared to a registered architect’s charges will be.

The rates a home designer, as well as an architect command has proven to be completely different. Architects attain four years or more of college getting an education and studying the particulars on architect home design as well as architectural design of almost everything else all varying from little homes to large high-rise buildings. Architects are registered to approve numerous facets of building not employed for individual houses. Because of these two details architects demand very high service fees to create an architectural design in addition to a set of construction drawings for houses. The majority of architect’s charges vary from 7% to 15% (sometimes greater) for his or her services on a housing project. Almost all home designers’ rates for this exact same service vary from 3% to 8%. This particular large variation in rates combined with the undeniable fact that each commonly possess the identical or the same level of expertise in residential design is actually the reason why the majority will probably select a home designer above an architect for their housing project.

Even though design capacity can virtually, be trained, the most effective jobs are the effect of a mix of skill and knowledge, therefore your choice in who to employ shouldn’t be exclusively selected simply for their reduced rates or education. A home designer needs to be selected as due to their outstanding results of their labor.

Home designers make use of numerous sources and instruments accessible to them to assist in communicating their architectural designs as well as the construction documents into the completed product. Many home designers continue to utilize pencil and paper in addition to numerous types of color goods to symbolize and express their design to their clientele. Even though this can be a great method of communicating a design to a customer it really is outdated and doesn’t consistently accomplish the job the home designer developed it for, to help the customer to fully grasp and picture the design. Nowadays there’s a large amount of computer programs that enable a great house designer to provide their house design to their clientele. These types of graphic tools as I prefer to refer to them include things like 3D colored renderings, walk-a-rounds, as well as walk-throughs.

Therefore, when you’re looking to select a designer it’s also advisable to consider exactly how they show their designs to their clientele. Not everybody can easily figure out a conceptual drawing of a 2D floor plan. In fact ultimately it will come right down to what home designer you sense you might have more suitable connection with and you feel the most confident with.

Building a residence signifies one of the biggest monetary assets the majority of people is likely to make within their lifetime and very few comprehend just how complicated the procedure will be till they’re involved with a lot of restricted covenants, construction requirements, zoning ordinances, design and style choices, material options, suppliers as well as builder options and so forth. Do your family as well as your bank account a favor and locate a home designer to partner with and to who you’re confident with.