StormBiz Blog

Everything you need to know about website design, website hosting, graphic design, our website design courses and more...

What Is A Sitebuilder?

web planningWeb PlanningCheap websites are bountiful these days and there are many web design companies, and web hosting companies, offering sitebuilders that allow you to build a website in a relatively short amount of time. Sitebuilders are normally extremely user-friendly, advanced website builders, that let nearly anyone create and handle a successful website quickly, and like I said, extremely affordable.

Sitebuilders are just what they are, a package. There are sitebuilders that allow you to change almost every aspect of your site, and there are sitebuilders that will limit you to only a few modifcations. Pricing ranges from $1.99 (of course you have to buy something else) to $49+ per month. Some have upfront setup fees, while others will allow you to jump right in, and start building without any setup fees. Most good sitebuilder offerings will allow you to try the sitebuilder out for free, build your website and when you are ready to pay, you sign up and then publish your site to your destination.

website builder searchWebsite BuilderThe one thing that people get hung up with in regards to sitebuilders, is that they can never find the right "template" that matches their site or business. Many people forget that they are using a sitebuilder, and start to move to the custom world. One thing to not forget if you choose to go with sitebuilder technology, as opposed to a custom designed system, is that you will be locked in to what the sitebuilder offers. Some builders will allow you to edit the HTML after you have published, while others will not. I recommend that you go with a sitebuilder that will allow you to edit the HTML once you have published, so that you can make your site search engine friendly.

website buildingWebsite BuildingMake sure your builder provider doesn't include those annoying tags, linking back to their site, at the bottom either. They shouldn't stick their link on your site unless you give them permission, so read the terms of service before you sign up.

The bottom line with sitebuilders is, that if you need a quick site put up, they are great. However, if you need special functions, or features on your site, a sitebuilder may not be the best solution for your needs. A custom design will always give you more movement to do what you want, and make your site stand out from the rest.

To find out more, or discuss your requirements, or to request a free quotation, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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What is CPanel?

fantasticocpanelCpanel is an easy to use interface for web maintenance. cPanel is the leading web hosting control panel available today. Even a user completely new to web hosting, can easily manage his/her own website. With the Cpanel hosting interface, you'll have complete control over your website. When looking for a hosting package, CPanel is also a good indicator of the reliability of the hosting provider. The most well-known, and reliable web hosts, would normally provide web hosting plans that are powered by cPanel control panel. cPanel hosting plans that are on the market, predominantly support PHP and MySQL, FrontPage, Fantastico and RVSkins.

With CPanel, you will have access to lots of useful stats, such as disk usage and space, bandwidth usage and sub domains, through cpanel. The current version of CPanel is CPanel 11, or CPanel X, which gives you full control of every aspect of your account. Hosting packages that come with CPanel, are a very cost effective solution, as they allow you to host multiple web sites under the same account.

Another very useful program-Fantastico, can be directly managed from the cPanel control panel. Essentially, what Cpanel does, is that it condenses the dozens of commands needed to complete one task, to a single mouse click. CPanel takes care of tedious and complicated tasks, such as a simple change to the content of your web page, password protecting portions of your web site, or deleting a table in one of your databases. All these can easily be done, just by some minor input from the end users. For webmasters that require assistance on web building, certain hosting companies would also provide cPanel control panel, that comes with a range of powerful online building tools. Customers can use these tools to create, configure, and launch their website.

featuring sideOther available control panels normally restrict your ability to manage your website to just the basic functions, like creating email addresses, managing files, and adding sub domain names. Cpanel provides much more than these basic tasks, allowing access to the more advanced functions, such as MIME types, cron jobs, OpenPGP keys, Apache handlers, addon domains, password protected directories, and a lot more. For the basic users, CPanel still provide the typical programs, such as to add, or remove email accounts, view website statistics, install different PHP / mySql scripts, get access to your online Web Mail, and more. Some other functions of CPanel are to create a POP or default email account, autoresponder, subdomain, and custom error pages. Users can also create a MySQL database PHPMyAdmin to manage databases, install FrontPage extensions, redirect a URL, redirect mail change, create an add-on domain, create a FTP account, and to password-protect a directory. All these vast arrays of programs would normally come with tutorials to assist users, especially newbies, to ensure that using CPanel would be easy.

In summary, CPanel is an integrated program that combines the requirements of basic, to advanced users, in one user-friendly interface. It definitely will save you a lot of time and hassle, in completing your tasks manually. The best fact is that it is directly linked to Fantastico, enabling users access to a multitude of programs that are extremely useful for managing websites.

Contact us at StormBiz if you need more information, or would like a free quotation

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What is SQL?

structured query languageWhat is SQL? SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and is the lingua franca in the database world. SQL is a standard, that is used by all database vendors, and programmers to define, extract, and access the information that is stored in databases. SQL began life as an IBM creation, but was standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as ANSI/ISO SQL in 1988. Since then, ANSI/ISO SQL standard continued to evolve. The ANSI-SQL group has since published three standards over the years:

  1. SQL89 (SQL1)
  2. SQL92 (SQL2)
  3. SQL99 (SQL3)

SQL is a query language. It is English-like and easy to use. However, although there are more than 90 SQL reserved words, most programmers seldom use more than the following handful of commands - SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, FROM, WHERE, HAVING, BETWEEN, LIKE, OR, AND, NOT, IN, ORDER, GROUP and BY.

For example, if you had a database table named "employees", and you wanted to retrieve all records where the employee has the last name "goodman", you would use the following SQL statement:

SELECT * FROM employees WHERE last name = 'goodman';

There are many different categories of SQL statements, but the basic ones, which all programmers should be familiar with, are the SQL statements that:

  1. Create tables, and manipulate their definitions
  2. Query the table data
  3. Manipulate the table data

sql imagesSQL is predominantly used by 2 types of users - programs and humans, (keying in the commands through a database client) - to pass instructions to databases. SQL commands can be keyed into a database client like the MySQL Query Browser, or the SQL Server Enterprise Manager, and executed to either return a result, or modify records in the database. SQL can also be used in conjunction with programming language, or scripting language like Microsoft Visual Basic, or PHP to communicate with the database.

Although SQL is a world standard, it is unfortunate that most database vendors have come up with different dialects, and variations. This is because every database vendor wants to differentiate their database products from the crowd. One good example is Microsoft SQL Server's TRANSACT-SQL. TRANSACT-SQL is a superset of SQL, and is designed for use only with Microsoft SQL Server. Although it does make programming much easier for software developers, it is not compliant with other databases like Oracle or MySQL - making TRANSACT-SQL programs non-database-portable. As such, although many of these features are powerful and robust, it is good practice to exercise caution, and limit your SQL use to be compliant with the ANSI/ISO SQL standards and ODBC-Compliant.

For more information, or to request a free quotation, please feel free to contact us.

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What is Web Analytics and How Does it Help a Website Owner?

analytical reportAnalytical Report"One of My clients was asking how to read an analytical report and what is this and what is that? From these questions, I thought about it, and have written a few notes about the analytical reports which would be beneficial for my clients, as well as the readers of this blog.


Web Analytics is a series of reports of quantitative indicators of the behaviour of the visitors of the website. It tracks the movement of a visitor and the reason of his/her visit. In other words, it provides a clear report of the performance of your website and the trends. From these reports and trends, the website owner creates and implements more effective programs to increase sales.

Web Analytics are based on:

1. Collection of visitor’s data from log files, and
2. by tagging each web page with Javascript.

A third web analytics method is a combination of the two, whereby more relevant data can be produced than what is possible with either of the two methods on their own.

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Why Free Web Hosting May Not Be A Bad Thing

free web hosting vs paid web hostingFree Web Hosting vs Paid Web HostingThere is paid web hosting and there is free web hosting. Most people tend to steer clear of free web hosting as they tend to believe that “there is no free lunch”. Free web hosting must have its catches?

Well, that really depends on your purposes and your position.

Why purpose?

If your web hosting is for your website which is for commercial purposes, such as an ecommerce web-store, you need absolute reliability and uptime. Every second of downtime is lost revenue. While some free web hosting providers guarantee uptime, you cannot hold it against them if their services do not meet expectations and cause your business to lose hundreds of dollars of revenue. Why? Because most free web hosts will have a clause in their terms that state that they do not guarantee uptime at all because they are a free service. Now, most free hosts will not even guarantee any uptime and those free web hosting services are provided on a best effort basis. You cannot risk hosting your crucial business website on such a free hosting plan.

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