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If I learn Expression, can I do this? RRS feed

  • Question

  • The biggest investment that any of us will make is obviously in the time spent on learning curve to become proficient in any one web design software.  I am at the very start of that learning curve in fact I am a complete and total newbie to the world of web design.  I am willing to invest whatever time is necessary to become proficient but the most important thing is that I end up with a web site that will do what I want it to do in the end.  Again being a newbie I lack even the proper terminology to correctly describe what I am looking for, so asking for your patience, allow me to describe what I need the website to do, and then ask for your assistance as to whether Expression Web will take me there and whether it is the right path to invest in over the long term – I will be happy to endure whatever short term learning curve pain.

     

    • My site will be a commercial site where customers will be able to choose criteria, conduct a search of my database (tbd) and end up with a report in tabular form.

     

    • They should be able to sort the table by clicking on any column heading.

     

    • They should be able to assign a preference to any row, and sort according to that preference.

     

    • They should be able to highlight any cell in the table in any one of three different colors.

     

    • Customers will need to sign up for an account with credit card / Paypal transaction

     

    • Before signing up for an account I would like to show my customers how many options fit their search criteria.

     

    I’d be grateful to anyone kind enough to point me in the right direction.

     

    Sunday, June 13, 2010 10:51 PM

Answers

  • Sure EW can do what you want to do.  Even Notepad will do what you want.  The nature of the web, and web technologies, is that all files are just plain text files with different information/instructions with different file extensions.

    For you I would not start with the tool, in this case EW, and start with the technologies. Go to www.w3schools.com and read up on, in this order, HTML, XHTML, CSS, PHP or ASP.NET, MySQL or SQL Server, SQL, Javascript. Then go learn about web security, like SQL Injection, XSS attacks.

    For a commercial website you really need to have a base knowledge of everything.  Without it your site will either be amateurish in nature and not perform well at all or be so insecure that your opening yourself up to federal fines.

    Good luck...


    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Sunday, June 13, 2010 11:20 PM
  • Just adding to Chris's comments:

    "The biggest investment that any of us will make is obviously in the time spent on learning curve to become proficient in any one web design software."

    Not really.  The time will be spent learning HTML/XHTML, CSS, and your choice of a database and of scripting technology.  These are independent of the web design tool.  EW is especially helpful if the scripting technology is asp.net, but you can pick PHP or something else.

     

    Once you know the technology (or, more likely, while you are learning the technology), learning EW is a very small part of your task.

    What you describe in the first part is not difficult.  But what you described at the end will make it more complex: Membership accounts and an exchange of money.  The first adds a layer of a membership database and system (asp.net creates one pretty easily), while the second can add many security concerns and constraints - although doing it with PayPal can minimize that, if you let PayPal's server handle the transaction, not your server.

     

     

    Sunday, June 13, 2010 11:38 PM

All replies

  • Sure EW can do what you want to do.  Even Notepad will do what you want.  The nature of the web, and web technologies, is that all files are just plain text files with different information/instructions with different file extensions.

    For you I would not start with the tool, in this case EW, and start with the technologies. Go to www.w3schools.com and read up on, in this order, HTML, XHTML, CSS, PHP or ASP.NET, MySQL or SQL Server, SQL, Javascript. Then go learn about web security, like SQL Injection, XSS attacks.

    For a commercial website you really need to have a base knowledge of everything.  Without it your site will either be amateurish in nature and not perform well at all or be so insecure that your opening yourself up to federal fines.

    Good luck...


    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Sunday, June 13, 2010 11:20 PM
  • Just adding to Chris's comments:

    "The biggest investment that any of us will make is obviously in the time spent on learning curve to become proficient in any one web design software."

    Not really.  The time will be spent learning HTML/XHTML, CSS, and your choice of a database and of scripting technology.  These are independent of the web design tool.  EW is especially helpful if the scripting technology is asp.net, but you can pick PHP or something else.

     

    Once you know the technology (or, more likely, while you are learning the technology), learning EW is a very small part of your task.

    What you describe in the first part is not difficult.  But what you described at the end will make it more complex: Membership accounts and an exchange of money.  The first adds a layer of a membership database and system (asp.net creates one pretty easily), while the second can add many security concerns and constraints - although doing it with PayPal can minimize that, if you let PayPal's server handle the transaction, not your server.

     

     

    Sunday, June 13, 2010 11:38 PM
  • Yes you can do this with Expression web and related tools.

    While you have two basic choices of direction to go (Microsoft / asp.net or "open" Linux / php technologies) I recommend the asp.net approach for the simple reason that the asp.net controls will do all the heavy lifting code for a membership based, password protected user accounts website.  Read this tutorial on recommendations for what you need:

    http://www.homepagedoctor.com/ExpressionTutorials/CreatingMembershipSite.htm



    ClarkNK, A.K.A. HomePage Doctor
    HomePageDoctor.com -- Expression Web database tutorials
    Ownertrades.com -- Created with FP, Access, Bots and Wizards
    MyNumbersTracker.com -- Created with Expression, VWDExress, SQL Express, and ASP.NET.
    Monday, June 14, 2010 12:06 AM
  • or be so insecure that your opening yourself up to federal fines .
    Is this really possible?
    Monday, June 14, 2010 8:27 AM
  • cleverduck , if you intend to make money with the website and not to work as a professional web developer, then you will probably do better if you hire a competent developer to create the site for you and focus on business development yourself. This will be cheaper (if time = money for you), much faster, and more secure. If you are not a programmer already, I believe it will take you at least several months of intensive studying to be able to do what you described, and there's no guarantee that you will reach that level. Some people who try stop because they find programming too hard even though it can appear fun in the beginning.
    Monday, June 14, 2010 8:35 AM
  • The biggest investment that any of us will make is obviously in the time spent on learning curve to become proficient in any one web design software.

    That is an interesting thought. Like if you studied the manual on the hammer & saw you'd know how to build a house.
    Monday, June 14, 2010 8:52 AM
  • In my FrontPage "travels" I have seen several web sites that are set up to send Credit Card information through unsecured email or store the data in a CSV file. If those are not actual crimes, they are definitely (IMHO) verging on criminal.


    Ron Symonds
    Microsoft MVP (Expression Web)

    www.rxs-enterprises.org/fp
    Monday, June 14, 2010 9:19 AM
  • And I've seen a website that clearly used unencrypted connection to accept payment information despite claims of the owner of the site to the contrary. All my attempts to explain the situation to him were to no avail.
    Monday, June 14, 2010 2:31 PM
  • Yes.  There are federal fines that can be imposed for security breaches.  The laws came into light because of the amount of websites taking sensitive information without properly securing things.

    --
    Chris Hanscom - Microsoft MVP
    On Facebook | On Twitter | Resource Center | Veign's Blog | Web Development Help

    Get a Complete Website Analysis by Veign
    Monday, June 14, 2010 2:36 PM
  • In my FrontPage "travels" I have seen several web sites that are set up to send Credit Card information through unsecured email or store the data in a CSV file. If those are not actual crimes, they are definitely (IMHO) verging on criminal.

    If Visa/Mastercard or any other credit card company finds out your are doing that you will no longer have a merchant account. It violates their terms of use. For online payments they require a secure gateway and using offline processing designed for phone orders after receiving the order over the internet with credit card numbers being transmitted in the manner Ron describes will cost you your account.


    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com
    Monday, June 14, 2010 3:07 PM
  • And I've seen a website that clearly used unencrypted connection to accept payment information despite claims of the owner of the site to the contrary. All my attempts to explain the situation to him were to no avail.

    Contact your credit card company and they should be able to tell you who to report it to in order to get his merchant account cancelled.
    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com
    Monday, June 14, 2010 3:08 PM
  • or be so insecure that your opening yourself up to federal fines .
    Is this really possible?

    Think about it for a moment. Many if not most Internet transactions involve interstate commerce, and all involve wire transmission, both of which are the bailiwick of the feds. So, yeah, I'd say it's possible.

    cheers,
    scott


    C'mon, folks. This isn't rocket science, nor neurosurgery. It's "Expression" (singular) "Web" (singular), in that order, followed by a version numeral if you wish to be specific. It is often abbreviated "EW." It is not "Web Expression," "Expressions Web," "Web Expressions," or plain "Expression" or "Expressions." Not using the correct name indicates either ignorance or laziness. Most folks would rather avoid the appearance of either.
    Monday, June 14, 2010 4:28 PM