Paul Boizot - Courses

WEB DESIGN & COMPUTER HELP

WHAT I OFFERCOST - OVERALL APPROACH TO WEB DESIGN  
WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO  - WEBSITE TRAINING AND PROMOTION  
ABOUT THIS WEBSITE - GLOSSARY - CONTACT

Click here for domain name registration and web hosting

 
Web www.paulboizot.co.uk

If you are new to the internet you may well not understand some of the terms used here. Don't worry, some terms are here to answer questions which more experienced people may have - and some are in the short GLOSSARY. You don't need to know what all the acronyms (sets of initials like ASP or PHP) mean.

WHAT I OFFER

I offer;

  • web design help and advice.

  • website promotion and search engine optimisation help and advice.

  • local computer help (Sheffield if easily accessible by public transport from S4, Windows systems).

  • local one-to-one computer training - Windows, MS Office, Internet.

I no longer offer a full web design service to all, but may be willing to design you a simple site if you are local or someone I know already. I do not offer a full website maintenance service, i.e. hosting, uploading site changes.

COST

For local computer/web design help and training, cost if I come to you is 16 for the first hour, 14 per subsequent hour.

For web design, my usual minimum is 60 for a small basic site without special features, including uploading the site to your host, and some basic initial support. Fees have to be negotiable from there, I'm afraid, as it all depends on what you want - e.g. number of pages, any video or sound files, number of photos or other graphics - and what you need doing apart from the design of a site, e.g. help uploading site to host, search engine submission.

I will explain as much as you need about how to maintain the site, i.e. make changes to it later if you want, using appropriate software, and upload the new files to your server; but I will not be responsible for maintaining the site on an ongoing basis. I prefer to design sites for people who will be able to do most or all of the maintenance themselves - I can of course show you how to do this.

OVERALL APPROACH - WEB DESIGN

1. Tell you how it works - if you want to know. I aim to give you as much as possible - and as much as you wish - the tools and knowledge to maintain your own website. 

2. Keep it simple. You can go for more "bells and whistles" if you want, but left to myself I go for simple design, small page sizes, and thus fast page loading times. I do not use frames as they lead to problems with search engines if you want people to be able to enter your site through a variety of pages. I do not use Flash or Java, and try not to use much Javascript (which is different from Java). I use CSS for much design.

Your site will be visited most if it is easy to get into and navigate around, if you publicise it properly, and most of all if the content makes it worth visiting - and then visiting again. The content, of course, will be up to you! Adding more content over time and making the site grow is the best way to attract traffic.

3. Be open about what I can do. As you can see from the rest of my site, I am not a full-time web designer or computer worker. Some things I know, some I can learn in order to use them, some are beyond my current capabilities (e.g. I do not do SSI, PHP, ASP, or databases - but these are not needed for basic small sites).

WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO

You have to provide the content of the site - if your site is about the development of football in the 15th Century, you have to write the football stuff and provide any pictures; I do the layout to make it into a web page, and link the pages together.

If you want, I can help with how to best express your ideas, how to write in a more accessible way, and with editing text - but the basic content has to come from you. So you need to think about what you want on your site - but once the site is up, you can change it and add more. It will help if you can look at a few other sites and decide how many pages you want, and what will go on each page.

If you want to maintain your own site later you will need 1. some web page editing software - if you have MS Office you could use Front Page, which is fairly easy to understand if you are used to using MS Word. OpenOffice.org and Netscape also have web page editors, or you could use something like Amaya if you are more familiar with the concepts - and 2. an FTP program to upload your pages to the net. There are lots of freeware ones, I can provide you with one of these e.g. FTP Explorer.

WEBSITE TRAINING AND PROMOTION

I can provide basic web design training for those who want to create their own sites, and help with promotion to achieve good search engine results for existing sites. You will find this site ranks very well for searches for many relevant terms, e.g. "Circle Dance", "evaporation rates", "bergamot uses" (or use the name of another essential oil), "aromatherapy oils price lists", "secondhand cassettes". As of 30.7.03, I was listed 1 out of 9,780 on Google UK (UK pages only) for the search term "lavender uses".

Those doing their own "search engine optimisation" might find this useful (on another website); Top 10 Website Marketing Mistakes To Avoid. See also the Computer/Website & Webmaster Resources section on my LINKS2 page.

I am also available locally to give basic training in Internet use or Windows, including on a one-to-one basis if required, or to troubleshoot problems in these areas.

ABOUT THIS WEBSITE

TECHNICAL STUFF "Newbies" note again - you do not have to understand all this guff now in order to run a basic website!...

This website is best viewed at a screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels - at 640 x 480 everything will look bigger, at 1024 x 768 you may need a magnifying glass. I have tested it on Opera 7.11, Netscape 6.2 and Internet Explorer 6. It may not display properly in older browsers that do not support CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) -  it will lack text formatting, background colours, etc.

The original website was created and designed for me by Scott Pilkington at South Yorkshire Community Information, though to my suggestions for layout and general organisation. The site started with around 9 pages, but has expanded drastically. I have added all the later pages and the extra links, and also reduced the file sizes by using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for most aspects - a technique which involves specifying a lot of the appearance of each page in one file (a style sheet) which each page then links to. So if you change the background colour in the style sheet, every page will change too without you having to edit each one separately.

I later converted the source code to XHTML 1.0 Transitional, except for a couple of table attributes.

The navigation bar on the left originally consisted of a number of images in .gif format, with some javascript in the source code to help load them quickly. This was created with Fireworks, a graphics programme. I have replaced the images with a design using CSS, which has eliminated the javascript - as well as the need to use a graphics programme! - and cut the file size by reducing the amount of HTML code. The colour gradient is created by using a single image file as the background for the buttons.

I did aim to replace all tables used for layout with CSS....but it does not seem possible to get a navbar like the one on the left which displays in all browsers with "100% height", i.e. which will extend the whole height of the page however high the right-hand pane is.

This site is hosted by 34SP.com. Domain name is supplied by 123-reg.co.uk.

I am an affiliate of NamesCo - my broadband supplier. They also do web hosting, domain names, etc.

Click here for domain name registration and web hosting

GLOSSARY

These are not exact technical definitions, but a guide for those new to all this...

If you would like some serious e-commerce gobbledegook to put in your website, then try the Web Economy Bullshit Generator.

Browser The software programme that lets you view web pages. e.g. Opera, Firefox, Netscape, Internet Explorer. It follows the commands in the page's HTML. Different browsers interpret some commands differently, so a web page may not look the same in all browsers.

CSS Cascading Style Sheets - a system in which you can specify properties, e.g. font type and size, colour or border of paragraphs, in a separate file or in the head of a webpage, instead of specifying them separately for each paragraph, header, etc. There is usually less code, so pages load faster, and if you want to change the size of all the text on your site, you only have to do it in one file - the style sheet - instead of changing every instance in every page.

Flash A programme for making animations and other displays on a web page. Can look fancy, but people have to have the Flash plug-in installed on their computer to see the results.

FTP File Transfer Protocol. A system for transferring files between computers.

Host The organisation that keeps your website on their computer; this may be your existing ISP (Internet Service Provider), or you may choose another company for this service.

HTML  Hypertext Mark-up Language. This is what a web page is composed in, and is basically text with a series of commands inside "tags" - e.g.<table> means start a table here, </table> means end the table. If you have never seen what this looks like, click on View/Source in the menu bar at the top of your browser - it will show you the HTML (the source code) for this page. You do not have to understand all this to create a web page, as there are web page editors that work like glorified word-processors and convert your text and formatting into HTML for you.

Java   A programming language which can produce good visual effects, but the viewer has to have the "Java Runtime Environment" installed on their computer in order to see the results.

Javascript  A scripting language that can be used within HTML to create various effects - not the same as Java.

Server The computer at your Host that serves up your web pages when someone visits your site.

Paul Boizot. Page updated 13.08.06

WHAT I OFFERCOST - OVERALL APPROACH TO WEB DESIGN  
WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO  - WEBSITE TRAINING AND PROMOTION  
ABOUT THIS WEBSITE - GLOSSARY - CONTACT

All content on this site COPYRIGHT Paul Boizot 2002-2009 unless otherwise stated, either on the visible webpage or in HTML. 


Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0!

I HAVE RELOCATED TO YORK. Post and phone messages are no longer being forwarded from my former Sheffield address. I will continue to be available to teach in Sheffield and Chesterfield at certain times.

contact me on: 01904 621510

info@paulboizot.co.uk
This website is best viewed at a screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels - at 640 x 480 everything will look bigger, at 1024 x 768 you may need a magnifying glass. I have tested it on Opera 7.11, Netscape 6.2 and Internet Explorer 6. It may not display properly in older browsers that do not support CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) -  it will lack text formatting, background colours, etc.