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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I'll admit it right up front. I am computer challenged so I need your help with my web site. Go to www.wolfemountainfarms.com Now that you've seen it, help me figure out how to set it up so it stays the same size no matter what the video size. I like those sites where the information appears to be on a sheet of paper and their is a background, say green, on both sides. I have even seen it have edges like torn paper or something. that way it would stay formated and the green background would be the only thing to shrink or stretch depending on the screen.

Please keep it in easy steps for an old gray haired farm lady!
 

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I can't give you any advice on the computer stuff, but I wanted to tell you how impressed I am with what you are doing! We farm with a similar approach and it is heartening to see that others share our concerns for animal and human wellness and the environment.

P.S. Where'd you find the hog-shaped cutting board? My dad made one like that in Jr. High School and I would love to find another one!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My brother made that for me nearly 20 years ago. Never put it in the dish washer!
Thanks for complements. Yes, please, if you know front page, how can I do what I want to do?
 

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Born city, love country
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You have set your tables to percentage of page size and not fixed width.

When you create a table to place your photos into (or whatever), you have two choices. Create it in a size number of pixels or a percentage of the page size. Your HTML from the three photos on your web page is below. Note how the width of the table is in a percentage of the page size. Even though you specified the width of the photos in the Table Data, it does not matter. And in case you were wondering, the %20 is HTML for a space character. That is why many web page designers do not use spaces in their image file names. It makes reading the code a little more difficult.

<table border="0" width="95%" id="table4">
<tr>
<td width="359" align="center">
<img border="0" src="images/ken%20and%20ben%20on%20trac.jpg" width="254" height="194"></td>
<td width="367" align="center">
<img border="0" src="images/Ben%20swim.jpg" width="260" height="200"></td>
<td align="center">
<img border="0" src="images/aj%20AND%20GOAT.jpg" width="258" height="197"></td>
</tr>
</table>
 

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Born city, love country
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Please do not get offended for this as I am only offering a constructive criticism. I am not an artist so I can create the eye candy that you offer but I do know a few best practices. I am a computer geek and my job as a System Administrator is behind the scenes - make it work.

1) you have a sentence at the top asking your viewers to refresh their browser. Never tell people how to operate their computer. This is not what you are trying to emphasize on your site. Let them figure it out.

2) since your home page is rather long, it is a good idea to put the toolbar links in text form also at the bottom of the page as a page footer.

Keep up the good work. For a self proclaimed amateur, you are doing an excellent job.

BTW, the photo of the water makes me soooooo jealous. It is so clear and clean looking and the setting is gorgeous.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Chuck. One quick question. Why is it that some computers don't automatically update the changes. My computer at work will never have the latest version of my site unless I refresh. I never knew you had to refresh. If they don't know that, they will never get the latest version of my site. I guess I have a love hate relationship with computers. I need them but hate that they are so confusing and complicated.
 

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piglady said:
Why is it that some computers don't automatically update the changes.
Computers cache pages locally for faster retrieval. But even a cached page will refresh eventually, when the http header indicates that the page has "expired". The header for your site (as set by your hosting company, not by you) indicates an expiry date of a couple of hours. Therefore anyone visiting your site once a day should have no trouble viewing the updated content, even if they have cached it. They might not see it immediately after you post it, but they will see it every day.

News sites expire their pages every 1 minute, so every minute someone returns to the site they will see the latest headlines. It is impractical and unnecessary for most hosting companies to set the expiration period that low, because it increases bandwidth.

Some computers do not store the cache locally for very long, or delete it after you leave the page (this is set in your browser's settings). If there is no local cache on your computer, it has no choice but to retrieve the latest version from the server, so on computers that do not store a cache, it will always have the latest information. Your home computer probably has a very small cache, and your work computer probably has a larger cache.

There might also be caching at the ISP level, but you can't really control that, even with a browser refresh, and they tend to expire several times a day so that isn't your problem.

1) you have a sentence at the top asking your viewers to refresh their browser. Never tell people how to operate their computer. This is not what you are trying to emphasize on your site. Let them figure it out.
With all due respect, Chuck, you're over-thinking usability. She is not "telling people" how to use their computer. She is informing people what they might want to do to view the latest content of her site. People went to the site to see the content, not to "figure it out" for themselves how to do that. If someone goes to a site and it doesn't look updated, they aren't going to try to figure out anything. They will assume it hasn't been updated and leave.

If you go to YouTube or some video site and don't have the Flash plugin installed, it tells you you need to install Flash to view the content of the page. Does this offend people too? Of course not. They went there to view the content. Anything that helps them do that is beneficial to the user.

Locking people to a specific font size is bad usability. Assuming you know their monitor resolution is bad usability. Telling them to "refresh your browser" is akin to saying "click here to enlarge" on a thumbnail image. No one is going to be offended by that. It might be amateurish, but she's not Citibank. She on a shared server with a delayed expiration period.

That being said, piglady, you don't really need the notice on your site, because it should refresh every few hours, but leaving it there is not "bad form".
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you so much for your explanation. I actually understand it. You explain very well. I appreciate all the help the members here have given me. A small farmer must wear many hats. Some hats I enjoy and others I do because I have to. The computer is the hat I would rather not wear but in this day and time, I must. I wish you lived closer. I could share with you what I do best, raise meat like nothing you've ever experienced.
 

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Hey.

Your website needs updating....html with css would be more appropriate. Tables have been slowly getting phased out due to some browsers having trouble configuring them on the viewers page.

RF
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I know what you are saying but what I'm hearing is "you just planted that 100 acres in beans but you should have planted corn, now plow it up and start over." I don't think so!
 

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piglady said:
I know what you are saying but what I'm hearing is "you just planted that 100 acres in beans but you should have planted corn, now plow it up and start over." I don't think so!
It's actually time well spent though, especially if you plan to ever expand the site, because you can make site wide changes in one place instead of on every page.

So when you change the width on your home page, you then have to manually change it on every other page if you want them to be consistent. With CSS, you can make the change on one external style sheet and it propagates through the entire site. Handy if the site is 250 static pages.

The separation of content from formating was actually the reason CSS took over from tables. Not because tables do not display properly. Tables are actually more consistent across browsers than CSS. They were just never intended to be used for formating web pages and don't do a very good job at it. Tables were for formating tabular data, which they are still used for today even on CSS websites. Trying to float a calendar grid with just CSS is a real PITA.
 

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piglady said:
Thanks Chuck. One quick question. Why is it that some computers don't automatically update the changes. My computer at work will never have the latest version of my site unless I refresh. I never knew you had to refresh. If they don't know that, they will never get the latest version of my site. I guess I have a love hate relationship with computers. I need them but hate that they are so confusing and complicated.
I am assuming that you are using Internet Explorer with this explanation. Your browser settings have a big part in this. You can control how often a web page is updated to your local cached copy.

In the IE toolbar, click on Tools, Internet Options..., and then select the General tab at the top. In the Temporary Internet Files section, select the Settings... button. At the top of this window, you will see four options for setting your cache refresh. If you have a reasonably fast Internet connection, set it to refresh on every visit to a web page or automatically. If you have a dialup, set it to every time you start up Internet Explorer. If you want total control over your connection, then set it to Never so that you are the one that decides the refresh rate (by clicking the refresh button).
 
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