HTML is the basic, underlying code that all web pages are written with. The HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. There are several types of HTML, including XHTML which is the version currently being used to write most websites. Two main features made HTML revolutionary when it was first introduced: 1) the ability to create "links" which lead viewers from one page to another, and; 2) the fact that because HTML is written in plain text it is "universal" and can be read by virtually any computer. Websites have come a very long way in just fifteen short years or so, but the underlying code, HTML, has changed very little. Every website we build begins with HTML.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and it is what primarily allows us to format and design web pages to look the way we want them to. HTML provides the basic "structure" for web sites, but CSS provides their appearance. First introduced in the late 90s, CSS really came into wide acceptance and usage once the browsers began to support it fully. Today it is considered an essential part of building almost any web site. CSS style sheets are created separately from HTML pages and "linked" to them. Because of this it is possible to use one style sheet to define the appearance of multiple web pages, making it possible to change the appearance of an entire site by changing just one style sheet. We use CSS extensively throughout every aspect of building websites.
Developed by Macromedia and later purchased by Adobe, Flash is the primary tool for creating animation, action, movement and interactive elements for websites. Today it is used extensively throughout the web on sites as far ranging as YouTube to CNN. Adobe claims that over 97% of all computers in usage today have a recent version of Flash installed on it, making it a perfect solution for many situations. Flash Video has also become the primary method of deliverying video over the internet. We use Flash throughout our websites to deliver video, build MP3 jukeboxes, create animation and more. We use a Flash component for our Photo Galleries. Our eCards are almost always built in Flash.
PHP is a "server side technology" meaning that when PHP code is placed on a web page the "server" processes the code and sends a response back to the web page. It is used primarily for "dynamic" web pages, pages that contain information which changes frequently. Rather than "hard code" the information right on the web page the page is connected to a database which provides the most current information. We use PHP to update news pages, tour pages, photo galleries and other pages with information that is constantly be updated. PHP can also serve many other purposes. We use it to collect information for mailing lists, to deliver emails from a web page, to build password protected pages and to "skin" blogs. PHP is also used in our "Admin" sections to allow you to update portions of your website on your own.
MySQL works hand in hand with PHP. MySQL is the language that ineracts directly with a database. MySQL is used to build databases and tables, to retrieve information from those databases and tables and to enter information into the same databases and tables. We use MySQL to store all kinds of information: news stories, photos, mailing list submissions, tour dates and much more. Then we use MySQL to retrieve that information and display it on a web page.
XML is a very robust language that was basically created to write other languages. XHTML, the current version of HTML which we use to build all our web pages, incorporates many of the features of XML. RSS, the technology behind "feeds" is written with XML. Podcasts and Vidcasts are written with XML. We use XML to set up tour and/or news feeds, as well as Podcasts for many of our clients.