Need Online Reputation Tools? Try HTML & CSS | Blog

You know how to fire up Google and run a search. You even know how to log into email! But odds are, you don’t have a clue what Javascript and PHP actually DO. Allow me to explain.

Where The Internet Came From and How It Works

In the beginning there was Al Gore, who created the internet and saw that it was good.  Well, not quite.  The Internet was primarily born as an effort to create a survivable communications network in the event of a nuclear attack.Management Reputation - HTML code

As the name implies, the Internet is a connection of networks.  In simple terms, this is what happens when you click on a link:

1.) Your computer (the client) requests the webpage files from another computer (called a server)

2.) The server receives the request, runs any necessary program to modify the files, then sends them to your computer.

3.) Your computer’s web browser parses (decodes) the files into the pretty image you see before you.

What’s in those files it sends back to you?  Good question.  Below are 6 terms to help you better understand the internet.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) & CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

HTML and CSS are designed to work together to separate presentation and content on the internet.  In an ideal world, this means that HTML should be concerned with the structure of a document by determining what content serves what purpose (titles, paragraphs, pictures, etc).  CSS, on the other hand, is presentation-focused: it determines how that content will look, from font sizes and families to how the document will be laid out on the end-user’s screen.  Basic HTML and CSS are simple to learn: all you need a text editor, a web browser, and a little bit of time on W3Schools to learn the ropes of the language.

If it’s so easy to learn, why hire a professional?  In theory, CSS and HTML are all written to a standard, but in practice there are a number of discrepancies between how each browser will display content.  Professionals have been around the block a few times and know how to get around these problems.  As well, their experience and best practices will ultimately deliver a more well-rounded and smoother experience for your customers, and the last thing you want to do is establish a web page that people leave because it works poorly.

PHP(PHP: Hypertext Processor), Perl, Ruby on Rails

Yes, the first P in PHP stands for PHP. The languages listed above are all server-side scripting.  In short, it’s a way of making your site dynamic.  When your web server receives a page request, it runs a short program to determine what goes on the page (i.e. temperature, time, rotating pictures), writes an HTML page, and sends it back.  Server-side scripting has the advantages of being relatively secure (if correctly written), not needing an special plugin by end users, and the ability to easily access databases (in fact, you will often find books on PHP and MySQL (type of database) together).  However, it is slower than client-side scripting.


Javascript is a client-side scripting language. There are other client-side scripting languages, but Javascript is the default standard in this area.  It can do some pretty amazing things to your webpage (most of the special effects like mouse-overs are done with Javascript).  It also runs on your computer as opposed to the server, which makes it much quicker than server-side languages.  However, it has numerous security vulnerabilities, and not all browsers will run it it or run it well.  It is also the basis for AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) which allows for portions of a webpage to be dynamic without reloading the entire page (think Google’s Search Suggestions that change as you type your search terms).


Flash is an Adobe product that adds considerable flair to the internet.  It’s great for quickly making highly attractive sites, but it has numerous drawbacks.  Not all devices (i.e. iPad) will run it, it has numerous security vulnerabilities, and search engines can’t index pages with Flash.  Try to restrict Flash to movies and games, not to primary site navigation.

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)

WYSIWYG most commonly refers to any web page generator or editor that writes the code for you.  This includes Microsoft Frontpage, Adobe Dreamweaver, and GoDaddy’s Site Builder just to name a few.  They are roughly as easy to use as a word processor, but may cause code bloat (in turn making bigger files and slower-loading pages) and poor adherence to web standards which could affect your search ranking and make the page display improperly on different browsers and mobile devices.  One popular solution to blend the advantages of well-written code and accessibility for less web-savvy users is a  customized CMS (content management system) such as Wordpress.  A professional would design the look and feel of the site, and then you would be able to log-in and update it with an interface reminiscent of e-mail.  There are also a number of free themes and plugin’s that would allow you to get off the ground yourself if you are short of money.

Interested in learning more?  Check out W3Schools for some great tutorials and also stay tuned for future posts on understanding common Wordpress blogging issues.  A smooth website is a key factor in your reputation management.

Posted via web from AndyWergedal