Skills

When you look for a web designer you want to make sure you find one that is versatile. All web pages are built with HTML, but just knowing HTML alone won't get you very far. A good web designer will be well versed in a vareity of coding languages and other programs. At Digital Vision Media we use XHTML, CSS, Flash, PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, AJAX and XML and more to provide you with the most robust, user friendly, interactive websites possible. But it's not enough to simply know about and use these "skills." How they are used is even more important. We spend countless hours developing, refining and expanding our skills to provide our clients with websites that fit their needs. Not every client requires the same technologies or coding methods. Part of building great websites is knowing what to use when and how to use it most effectively. Here's a little information about each of the main technologies we use. If you would like more information please don't hesitate to ask. The "geek" in us just loves to talk about this stuff. In fact, Steve Wilkison teaches two college courses in web design and development that cover XHTML, CSS, Flash more.

HTML

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

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.

Flash

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

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

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.

JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the most versatile and common languages for providing interactivity and dynamic behavior on a web page. When you "roll over" a button or link and it changes in some way, chances are that change is being controlled via JavaScript. JavaScript is also responsible for opening "popup windows" which we might use to display a video or a particular tour date. Almost every single web page we build incorporates JavaScript in one way or another.

AJAX

Ajax is a fairly recent development in the web world. It's not really a language per se, it's a combination of dynamic HTML, JavaScript and XML that has become enormously popular for building "rich Internet applications, making web pages more interactive, easier to use and much more responsive. AJAX allows us to load content onto a page without having to wait for the server to provide that information, therefore making the process much faster. The web page doesn't need to "reload" the information appears immediately. We use AJAX on all sorts of projects, just one example being a portfolio page for a photographer. When you click on a small thumbnail image at the bottom of the page the large version of the photograph loads immediately instead of waiting to get the information from the web server.

XML

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.

Recent Work

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for more information

Anthony Smith Website
Blue Mile Design Website
David McClister Website
Tamara Reynolds Photography Website
Eilen Jewell eCard
One Revolution Website
Sometymes Why eCard
Averitt Cares For Kids Enhanced CD
Michelle Wright Website
Jenny Kerr Website
redpepperland
Michelle Wright Christmas Journal
Elizabeth Cook Website
Dan Colehour Website
RW Hampton Website
The Wrights Website
Kyle Matthews Website
Pam Tillis Website

Want To Talk?

Having trouble sorting everything out? Don't know the difference between HTML, PHP and CSS (and not sure why you should even care)? Just need someone to talk to about it all? Give us a call at 615-810-9545 or drop us an .

Have A Question?

Check out our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) for answers to a lot of common website related questions. You'll find a lot of information here about website design and technologies in general, as well as specific information about how we work.

Need A Quote?

Have a project in mind and need to know what it might cost? Give us the scoop and we'll put together a detailed proposal and estimate. Take a look at our process.

Partners

We do lots of things here at DVM. Mostly we design, code and build websites, but sometimes we partner with others and handle just the design or just the coding. Take at look at some of the projects we've done with our partners.


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