Responsive Web Design by folks in Minneapolis, MN

2637 27th Ave S. #230 Minneapolis, MN 55406

612-284-7311 | hello@space2burn.com

Technologies

Space2Burn websites incorporate current Internet technologies including PHP, MySQL, CSS, jQuery AJAX and sometimes third-party APIs. These key tools — combined with our ignite content management framework — create flexible online experiences for visitors and site administrators alike. What are these things and why are they wonderful? 

PHP

In a very basic sense, a programming script is a series of “if-then” statements. For example: “If you click on the blue box, then remove the red circle. If the red circle is removed, then rotate the green triangle.” One action triggers another action and another and another … until the script stops. Scripts are useful because they simplify our interaction with websites. In the example you only needed to click on the blue box to remove the red circle and rotate the green triangle. 

Website scripts either run on the server before content is sent over the Internet or on your local Internet device after it receives content from the server. Therefore there are two main types of script: server-side and client-side. Server-side scripts are usually faster. And a collection of rules that tell scripts how to work is a scripting language. 

PHP is a server-side scripting language. It’s the stuff that allows us to create beautifully designed websites with lots of dynamic content. PHP was originally “Personal Home Page” because its inventor wrote a few scripts to automate the workflow of updates to his … wait for it … personal homepage. It’s now a standard. 

MySQL

Website scripts are only useful if they have content to serve to users. MySQL is the relational database that stores content before a PHP script calls it into action. A relational database gets its label from the way it stores information, which allows developers to create relationships between database tables. Here’s an extremely simplified example of how it works. 

Table A contains the following information:

User_ID

Name

1

Trevor

2

Andrea

3

Jon

To show the names of users and their flavor preferences a developer can write a script that calls information out of a relational database. A human might read the script like this: “If the User ID is 1, then show Trevor. If the Flavor ID is 1, then show vanilla.” 

The developer can also write more advanced scripts. Another example in human English: “User_ID likes Flavor_ID, repeat the script until User_ID equals 3.”

The result that appears on the webpage:

  • Trevor likes Vanilla
  • Andrea likes Chocolate
  • Jon likes Vanilla

The advantages are tremendous. Once content is included in a flexible MySQL relational database, only a developers’ skill and creativity limit ways in which it can be called through PHP. As a result we nearly always recommend investing time to produce a quality database infrastructure out of which a lasting web presence can develop over time.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets have been around for as long as most people have known the Internet to exist. CSS tells browsers like Internet Explorer, Safari and FireFox how content is intended to look on a website. Different browsers interpret CSS differently, so there will always be very small inconsistencies in how people experience the Internet. Fortunately we’ve been speaking that language since the 20th Century and can ensure that everyone experiences you website with equal beauty.

jQuery

What’s hot? jQuery. What’s not? Flash. jQuery is an ever-growing library of  client-side scripts. All the coolest items in our development gallery use jQuery to animate objects, create fades, power cool search features and more. In many instances jQuery has taken the place of Flash, the memory hungry, time-consuming, mobile browser unfriendly, animation application-plugin of Internet yore. Flash is still advantageous for many uses and was a great “inbetweener” from turn of the Century websites to our modern standards. And while developers will debate it for years to come, we hold that Flash’s general purpose for every-day websites is passed given jQuery’s strengths as an alternative.

First of all, it’s open-source technology, so a far larger pool of developers work to add new types of tools and options to the library. Run a Google search for “best jQuery examples” and check out what other people are building with the tools to get some great ideas for your next website overhaul. We can build all that and more. Second, it’s light so users don’t need to wait for a huge Flash file to load before they can interact with the content. Third, search engines can index content, which means improved SEO. Lastly, iPads and other mobile devices can read jQuery, which isn’t the case with all mobile devices.

AJAX

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), allows us to call information from and send information to a server without interrupting a user’s experience. Before technologies like AJAX, think of the relationship between your computer and a website’s host server as a one-lane street. A car at your computer drove to the server, picked up the information and returned to your computer. That was the information super highway we used to impress friends with. With AJAX the single lane street now more closely resembles an actual super highway with many calls and 

APIs

Application Programming Interfaces allow different types of technology to integrate with one another to create efficiencies in workflow, better engage users and visitors, reduce development cost and time, and many other very cool things. For example, you might use a point of sale system (POS) in your small brick-and-mortar retail business. If you decide to take your sales online, chances are good your POS has an API that would allow us to integrate your offline business and online sales. For another example, Facebook has an API that allows you to quickly and easily “Like” website content without having to leave the page you were looking at. We use this API in our blog tool.

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