Web Development, by Splashweb
Splashweb is the web development, design and hosting division of Splash Media Group. Our skilled web development team can help you establish and maintain a professional electronic presence on the World Wide Web.
We create attractive website designs and web-based applications that are carefully aligned with an organization's branding/messages and which effectively promote their products and services to their target audiences.
Splashweb offers complete website design services, hosting packages, domain registration, search engine optimization (SEO), social media integration, e-mail marketing, e-commerce functions and much more. We operate our own white-listed web servers to ensure that you receive maximum flexibility and reliability for any sites we host.
Click any tab below for details on some of Splashweb's specialties!
- Site Types
- Social Media
- E-mail Marketing
- Domains / Hosting
The talented Splashweb team has extensive experience in designing and building compelling and attractive websites. Whether it's a simple, limited-page site for a small enterprise or a massive, constantly changing 'portal' for a large corporation, we'll ensure your site looks good, functions properly and speaks effectively to your audience.
Static sites are the easiest, safest and most inexpensive websites to create. They allow great design flexibility in building a site that completely conforms to your brand and messaging and they work very well with search engines. Essentially the pages of a static site are all pre-built and are then served up to the world.
But it's important to realize that 'static' does not mean 'frozen'! Your website can still change, be expanded on, or be freshened with new content and imagery on a regular basis. 'Static' simply means that your website doesn't invoke or involve a database or specific programs to be run on a server based on a website viewer's inputs. Since static sites don't involve server-side programs, they are the most un-hackable sites that there are.
Using affordable industry-standard content management software like Adobe Contribute, you have the ability to make changes to your 'static' pages and thus update your website's content yourself whenever you want.
It's affordable, secure and you can still have control over content. And it’s a great solution for many businesses looking to utilize the Internet.
'Dynamic' or CMS websites
For those looking to take their website to the next level, consider what a 'dynamic' site might offer you. Dynamic sites can behave like applications - running programs (like event calendars, booking schedules, product browsing/purchasing, etc) that offer 'functions' that your website's viewers can utilize.
In a dynamic website, pages are often assembled 'on the fly' as and when they are requested. Imagine a internet shopping/e-commerce site... where you choose the category of products you want to see, the price range you're considering, the manufacturers you like, etc. Once you make your choices, those inputs are sent to the webserver, which pulls all the relevant information pieces and then dynamically builds (assembles) a page just for you that contains the info as you requested.
This assembly is supported through the use of databases that contain the content of the site and which are stored on the server. The content of the databases are input by various (and often numerous) users through a dedicated CMS (Content Management System) - a web-based application with a front-end interface where users put their information in. CMS' are frequently used for storing, controlling, and publishing information such as news articles, media releases, technical manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures. The content that is actually managed may include images, audio files, video files, and numerous other electronic documents.
A typical dynamic CMS may support the following features:
- Identification of all key users and their content management roles;
- The ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different content categories;
- Definition of workflow tasks for collaborative creation;
- The ability to track and manage multiple versions of content;
- Separation of content's semantic layer from its layout (for example, the CMS may automatically set the colour, fonts, or emphasis of text.)
Dynamic sites that are managed through a CMS can be a bit more rigid than static sites in terms of limiting site design flexibility. However, Splashweb is well versed in adjusting these systems to facilitate a 'look and feel' that reflects your branding.
Splashweb utilizes a network of well supported open-source GPL code, giving you advantages over our competitors because you're not held hostage to some costly, proprietary CMS system. This gives you the freedom to move your website if needed, along with the highest levels of security, updates, and more!
Whatever type and scale of website you choose, Splashweb makes sure it provides the statistical reports that allow you to gauge performance, assess relevance, understand traffic sources, and determine what people are truly interested in within your site.
All Splashweb-generated sites are integrated with Google Analytics, which records valuable stats such as: visitors, new visitors, page views, referring URLs, geographic visits, top search engines and keywords used, top navigational paths, average time spent on site, and much more. Analytics provides comprehensive data that helps you measure and optimize your marketing results!
For our SEO clients, we provide summarized monthly or quarterly analytics reports which show progress and positioning, along with recommendations for improvements or alterations.
The rapid increase in social media usage is a significant marketing opportunity that Splashweb can help you take advantage of!
Creating an effective presence on social media networks is now an important consideration for today's businesses. As social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and LinkedIn are quickly growing and expanding their influence, it is vital that your business (and your voice) can be heard within them.
Social media is all about engagment with your customers and building a positive reputation for your business and brand. Social media networks are excellent communications tools - letting you listen to what customers are saying about your business and helping you gain insights into what your customers may want and expect in the future.
Social media participation also correlates with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The more your business can participate and engage with people, the more likely it is that those people will share and discuss you, generating more 'buzz' and driving relevant traffic to your main website. Links to your website generated through social media's 'sharing' functions are a great way to improve your business' visibility with Google and other search engines.
It can be a daunting commitment of time and effort to maintain or expand a social media presence. Splashweb can not only help you design the 'look and feel' of your social media presence, but can also assist you in making your participation reasonable, efficient and effective.
How Social Media can benefit you...
Connect with your customers: If you are able to personally engage people and their interests, they are more likely to purchase from you! If you are thinking of starting a new product or service, you can gain valuable feedback from people in your target markets through social media.
Market comprehension: Improve your understanding of what your current customers like about your business and gain insightful data about new potential customers and what gets their attention.
Steward your brand: View and monitor dialogues about your competition (and yourself) to understand how your business area and your brand is perceived. Engage in conversations with current or potential customers and discover ideas that can strengthen your brand and improve your company's reputation.
Improved search engine rankings: Social media's constant 'sharing' of information can help create a mass of high quality incoming links to your website and subsequently increase its traffic levels and recognition with search engines.
E-mail Marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most effective avenues available for businesses to communicate with their customers and Splashweb can help you take advantage of that opportunity.
Our experience shows that It can be an extremely affordable technique when an e-mail marketing campaign is planned and executed well. Essentially, e-mail marketing is the composition and delivery of HTML-based e-mails that are delivered right to your customers' inboxes. These graphic-rich communications can feature your brand, your messaging and offer live links that go directly to specific areas of your existing website.
Behind the scenes, these types of e-mails contain HTML code, much like a website does. This code needs to be assembled with great care due to the wide variety of e-mail programs that people use. Properly configured, this code allows viewers to click links in the e-mail messages they receive and be directed right to your website. This also allows us to track these 'clicks' to understand what messages or offers are resonating best with your customers.
E-mail Marketing is one of the few truly measurable mediums available in the advertising world!
E-mail Marketing offers some fantastic benefits...
- It's direct - going right to your customers' inboxes;
- It's quick - generating almost immediate responses;
- It's paperless - no printing costs; and
- It's trackable - providing you with complete statistics on who received your message, who actually opened/read it, and what they clicked or showed the most interest in.
But... it's not as easy as just pressing "send"!
The proper setup and execution of an e-mail marketing campaign is vital, because if done improperly, your e-mail communications can easily be flagged as 'spam' - thus not even reaching your intended recipients. Frequent spam flags can eventually result in 'blacklisting' - causing potentially serious harm to your reputation, your website, your e-mail system and quite possibly the many other companies who happen to share the same web server as you. This in turn can cost you thousands to tens of thousands to correct.
Making sure you're communicating with only those people who WANT to hear from you and have AGREED to hear from you can avoid many of the potential difficulties of e-mail marketing. We employ a fully compliant ('white-listed') e-mail delivery system and we'd be pleased to discuss with you what's needed to prepare an e-mail marketing campaign.
For more about E-mail Marketing, please see the document on our "Good Reads" page!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)...
In today's evergrowing market, it is important for any successful company to make their mark with a solid online presence that is easily 'found' by their potential clients.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website through the use of effective keywords and other techniques, both on-page and off-page. These techniques are ultimately used to improve your 'organic' rank position in major search engines like Google and in turn, increase traffic to your site.
By targeting specific audiences, Splashweb can effectively drive individuals who are interested in your products or services to your website and as a result, increase the leads and sales for your business.
It's a fact that about 80% of most website traffic stems from search engines. It's thus easy to conclude that SEO is an important component to be considered in any website design and development process. At Splashweb, we offer expert SEO solutions and strategies that will help give you a competitive advantage.
Sample SEO Strategies include...
Keyword Research - strategic assessment and implementation of keywords throughout your site with an understanding of what potential clients are using as search terms in search engines.
Proper Procedure - tailoring and matching of keywords and various meta tags throughout your site to the actual textual content of your pages helps search engine 'web spiders' crawl (index) your site more effectively. We can address each page of your site specifically according to individual needs.
Competition Analysis - by researching your competitors, we examine who is currently in the top rankings and the potential reasons that contribute to that success. Perhaps it's simply high traffic that gets them 'up there', but more often than not it's the intelligent application and implementation of specific SEO strategies.
Content Management - Search engines are like content-eating monsters. The more you give them by freshening your site's content on a regular basis, the better you'll do in the rankings.
Link Exchange & Enhancement - the number and quality of objective, third-party links pointing directly to a URL or existing website helps search engines determine the importance of your site. But linking to other sites doesn't really help your rankings - it helps theirs. You want to arrange for other sites to establish links to yours in order to improve your visibility in the search engines.
Directory Submission - we have enlisted the help of various business directories and can submit your site's 'map' in order to facilitate the links and file locations that the web spiders will crawl.
Compliant Site Architectures - we pride ourselves on building websites with clean code and valid structure. Malformed (sloppy) website coding often results in decreased rankings as the spiders cannot easily resolve the actual content on your pages - they may simply 'give up' when confronted by ugly code.
E-commerce, more commonly known as online shopping or internet marketing, is one of the most effective advertising and business strategies available today. It gives you a customizable online store front that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
In today's web-savvy world, consumers expect more when they shop online. With this in mind, Splashweb has implemented ways for your customers to quickly find and buy your products, driving more sales and loyal repeating customers, all the while maintaining a safe and secure online atmosphere.
We will build a strategic e-commerce plan focusing on your strengths, while minimizing any risks and capitalizing on your competitor's voids. By combining our expertise with your company's needs and budget, the end product is a custom, easy-to-operate e-commerce website with an effective content management process that makes updating your product offerings inexpensive and fast.
Advantages of E-commerce solutions...
Conduct Business 24/7 - E-commerce sites can operate all day, every day. A great looking and authoritative e-commerce website can encourage consumers to buy - reinforcing that they are dealing with a reputable company.
Access a Global Market - The internet reaches all areas of the world. It is possible to do business with anyone who has Internet access.
Easy Point-of-Purchase - customers can easily purchase items with an easy-to-follow purchasing procedure and fully secure check-out environment from the comfort of their home.
You Can Do It - all product lists/shopping carts are run via a content management system, so no web coding knowledge is required to add or delete product pages or listings.
Keep Organized - Automated order tracking, billing systems, monthly reports, etc. are available and protected by a secure login.
Cut Costs - no bricks-and-mortar building, staffing or maintenance of a physical location.
Provides 'Trackability' - allows vendors to better track business and product popularity in today's competitive market.
Any Place, Any Time - a password protected administration area allows the vendor to login from any computer anywhere to make up-to-the-minute changes.
Please note: for e-commerce websites, a dedicated IP number is often required to facilitate secure online transactions. As such, your hosting plan may need to support that requirement - Splashweb's SHARK and WHALE hosting packages do.
Domains / Hosting...
At Splashweb we understand the importance of your website being secure, fast and available to the world 24/7. This is why we use only high-powered servers which feature the best available software, coupled with rigorous security, continuous service monitoring, nightly off-server backups and more.
Domain Names / Registration
Web Hosting Packages
Splashweb offers four (4) core hosting packages:
GUPPY: Our starter package is designed for small businesses with compact websites and the need for no more than five (5) e-mail accounts.
GOLDFISH: For slightly larger firms that require more e-mail accounts (up to 10) and greater monthly bandwidth due to content amounts, this package is ideal for small to medium sized businesses.
SHARK: For medium size companies with significant web content/traffic, or for companies looking to engage in e-commerce activities.
WHALE: For large firms with high web demands. This package is loaded and designed for speed.
All hosting packages are annual purchases and are due at the start of the hosting term. All prices do not include any applicable taxes and are subject to change without notice.
Spam Protection: Splashweb offers server-level spam protection free of charge as part of any Splashweb hosting package. You can reclaim your overrun e-mail accounts and quit sifting out your valid e-mail from all the junk.
Web Hosting Package Details
Mailman is software for managing electronic mail discussion and e-newsletter lists. Mailman is integrated with the web, making it easy for users to manage their accounts and for list owners to administer their lists. Mailman supports built-in archiving, automatic bounce processing, content filtering, digest delivery, spam filters, and more.
Secure POP3/IMAP/SMTP are private and secure (128-bit encrypted) methods to login, send & receive e-mail via third party e-mail programs such as Outlook Express, MacMail, Eudora and Thunderbird.
Our online documentation section provides detailed instructions on how to setup and use secure POP3, IMAP and SMTP e-mail.
Allow your users to connect to a web-based mail interface, enabling them to send and receive e-mail without the need to configure a local e-mail client.
Splashweb utilizes the infamous SpamAssassin™ spam filtering software to accurately identify spam. Using a highly refined rule base, it uses a wide range of heuristic tests on mail headers and body text to identify "spam", also known as unsolicited commercial e-mail. The spam-identification tactics used include:
- Header Analysis: spammers use a number of tricks to mask their identities, fool you into thinking they've sent a valid mail, or fool you into thinking you must have subscribed at some stage. SpamAssassin tries to spot these.
- Text Analysis: again, spam mails often have a characteristic style (to put it politely), and some characteristic disclaimers and CYA text. SpamAssassin can spot these, too.
- Razor: Vipul's Razor is a collaborative spam-tracking database, which works by taking a signature of spam messages. Since spam typically operates by sending an identical message to hundreds of people, Razor short-circuits this by allowing the first person to receive a spam to add it to the database - at which point everyone else will automatically block it.
- Blacklists: SpamAssassin supports many useful existing blacklists.
Vacation / Out of Office Messages
Vacation or out-of-office messages tell others that you are away. A common type of message may sound like: "I have received your e-mail message but I am away on vacation until June 21st. I will respond to it then."
An auto responder is a pre-determined message with information you want automatically sent to anyone who e-mails a designated e-mail address/mailbox at your domain. When an e-mail is sent to a mailbox that you have assigned an auto respond message to, the auto responder automatically sends a reply. You can easily create auto responders through your manager control panel provided with your account.
A catch-all e-mail account receives e-mails addressed to former users or non-existent users. For example, if an e-mail is addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org but the user name "mary" does not exist on that domain, the e-mail is routed to the catchall account.
E-mail forwards enable you to have e-mail messages redirected to a specific e-mail account. For example, you can set up the e-mail account email@example.com to forward all messages to any e-mail account, for example firstname.lastname@example.org. These forwards can be added or deleted at any time.
POP3/IMAP are traditional methods to access the storage locations for your e-mail accounts, which must be accessed through a third party e-mail program such as Outlook, MacMail, Eudora and Thunderbird.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
Secure Socket Layer allows you to equip your website with secure Internet transaction capability. SSL is a protocol that enables encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet via a secure certificate and a dedicated IP address.
Example: https://secure.yourdomain.com/ Note the "s" after the "http" - this indicates an SSL enabled site.
NOTE: Customers must have a dedicated IP address and purchase an SSL certificate to securely transfer data over the Internet.
E-Commerce ready hosting plans include all necessary hosting elements for accepting orders or transferring data securely. All that's left to do is add your SSL certificate.
NOTE: Customers must have a dedicated IP address and purchase an SSL certificate to securely transfer data over the Internet.
Cron tab Support
A cron tab (cron job) is an automated process which is set up to run automatically at a scheduled time of day, week, month, or hour (Similar to the Windows Task Scheduler). Cron jobs can be used to perform basic operation such as backups, updates to cgi scripts, etc.
A "server-side include" is a function performed by a web server that embeds ("includes") information into the middle of an HTML file as it's being sent to the web client. This is convenient for inserting the current time or a file's size into your HTML document without resorting to writing a CGI. It is also useful for placing common headers and footers (such as copyright notices, addresses, and other boilerplate items) on a set of pages.
Perl (Practical Extraction Recursive Language) is a popular scripting language of choice for many web developers. Libraries for Perl exist for several platforms and Perl's speed and flexibility make it well-suited for form processing and on-the-fly web page creation.
PHP5 w/Zend Optimizer
PHP is a relatively easy-to-use and powerful scripting language which can be used to create web-based applications and dynamic websites. It combines PHP scripts and the Apache HTTP server, so you can insert PHP code directly with HTML and is browser-independent because it is processed on the server and output as HTML.
The Zend Optimizer is a free application that runs the files encoded by the Zend Guard, while enhancing the performance of PHP applications.
Perl DB MySQL Support
Perl libraries needed to connect to the MySQL database server, which improves interaction between MySQL and the Perl programming language.
Manage your MySQL database with a simple web-based interface. PhpMyAdmin is a user-friendly alternative to administering a MySQL database from the command line. The GUI interface allows you to create, delete, and edit databases, tables, columns, and records.
MySQL is a true multi-user, multi-threaded SQL database server that consists of a server daemon, mysqld, and many different client programs and libraries.
This web-based file-manager provides full control to maintain and modify your account's files and subdirectories. This also includes the ability to upload, delete and edit both files and directories directly on the server.
Backup & Restore Tools
Completely backup and restore site files, directories and account settings to a local computer with this easy-to-use utility.
An advanced stats program which is integrated into the control panel produces a nice variety of charts and graphs about who has visited your site. Reports include:
- monthly, daily and hourly breakdowns of site hits
- web page views
- visitor sessions and
- amounts of data transfer (or bandwidth usage)
Other reports include:
- most frequently accessed files
- site entry and exit pages
- hostnames of your visitors
- breakdown of site access by country
- detailed referrer information including the sites sending you your visitors
- full search strings being used to find your site through search engines
Anonymous FTP is a method for giving users the ability to upload and download files without identifying themselves. This means that users can access a restricted area of your website without knowing any information about them, and you have control over the content that they can see. Should anonymous uploads be enabled you will have no control over the content users upload.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the procedure used when you transfer your files from your computer to our web server. This is necessary for your files to be available on the Internet for everyone to see.
Technically called Canonical Domains or c-names for short.
This is an example: http://secure.yourdomain.com/
The "secure." in front of "yourdomain.com" is a subdomain. It works the same as a regular domain name.
Sub domain names can be anything you want. Some examples:
"sales.", "marketing.", "resume.", "mykids.", "products.", "anything."
Host and manage multiple web sites under one hosting account limited only by disk space and bandwidth purchased.
Dedicated IP Address
A dedicated IP address is not shared by other domain names; it is unique to your domain name and your space on the server. If you want to have an e-commerce enabled website or use anonymous ftp, you'll need to purchase a dedicated IP address for your account.
Dedicated IP addresses are available through Splashweb. Contact us for the details. Justification for IPs is required, if you ask for IPs it is required they are going to be used for domain hosting, SSL, nameservers, or specific technical uses.
Data transfer, which is sometimes referred to as bandwidth, is a measurement of how much data travels in and out of your website or account. You can figure out how much data transfer you will require by estimating your average page size (including graphics) and multiplying it by the number of page views you expect to have in a month.
For example, with an average page size of 50 KB and around 5,000 page views per day, over 31 days (one month) you will transfer an average of 7.5 GB.
RAID 10 Disk Space
This is the amount of hard drive space allocated to your account, including the mailbox. Each 100 megabytes represents approximately 5,000 files.
We use 5 or more, 15,000 RPM SAS hard drives to create a level 10 Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID 10). This means your account data is simultaneously written across multiple hard drives and in the unlikely event that a hard drive fails, it will not result in any loss of data or downtime. The bad drive is simply pulled out of its bay and replaced with a new one.
Web-based Control Panel
All web hosting plans feature DirectAdmin; the most powerful, secure, stable and easiest to use web hosting control panel available, period. DirectAdmin gives you the ability to fully control all aspects of your web hosting account.
- E-Mail: You can create POP3 and IMAP accounts, catch-all e-mail addresses, forwarders, mailing lists, autoresponders, and webmail. Filters allow users to block mail by domain, keyword, and size. Adult Filter is also available.
- FTP Manager: You can create FTP accounts and set directory permissions for each account. Anonymous FTP is also supported.
- Statistics: You have available every possible statistic about their account. More advanced options and Webalizer are also included.
- Subdomains: You can list, create, delete, and get statistics on subdomains.
- File Manager: A user-friendly and fast alternative to FTP. Includes every feature needed to build and maintain a web site.
- MySQL Databases: You can easily create, modify, and delete MySQL databases from this menu.
- Site Backup: Using this powerful tool, you can backup and restore only what you want to. For example, account data but not web site files.
- Error Pages: You can create custom messages and outputs for 401, 403, 404, and 500 error codes.
- Password Protection: You can password protect any directory with a username and password.
- Advanced Tools: You can install SSL certificates, view sever information and installed perl modules, set cron jobs, mime types, and apache handlers, and enable site redirection and domain pointers.
One Time Setup Fee
A one time setup fee is charged for each account opened. This fee covers the technical resources necessary to correctly provision your web hosting account and enables us to keep recurring prices as low as possible. Setup fees are non-refundable.
For more details on our domain & hosting services, please see the documents on our "Good Reads" page!