What Exactly is a Web Application, Anyway?

When I tell people my business is building and maintaining Web sites and Web applications and providing WordPress support services, I get interesting reactions.

Pretty much everyone knows what a Web site is.

Fellow WordPress developers/designers and WordPress Do-It-Yourselfers (people who build and manage their own WordPress Web sites) know what WordPress support means.

But many people don’t understand what I mean by “Web application“.

In this article, I attempt to explain.
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Hayes Shutters Online Ordering System

Word-of-mouth referrals are still our favorite source of new business. One day no so long ago, I called a fellow (actually lady) Web developer after reading her humorous and all-too-familiar account of a “sales call from hell” on her Facebook timeline. After some commiserating, we shared highlights of recent projects and agreed to think of each other if and when opportunities to collaborate arise. Before we hung up (a soon-to-be-obsolete metaphor, I imagine), I had contact information for two prospects who might need my services. A little more than a month later, one of those prospects became a client. This article describes my first project with that client.
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Custom Web Form: Contract Generator in PHP & MySQL

Custom Web Form

Forms are the engine that drive user interactivity on the Web. We see them everywhere — they are the meat of eCommerce Web sites and online surveys, and simple versions of forms are common on “Contact Us” pages. Some forms are easy to make, using basic HTML, online form builders, or plugins for platforms like WordPress. But there are other applications for Web forms — including some applications for which you might not initially think a form is the answer — that require a custom solution with custom programming. This article describes a project in which we created a form-based system for generating contracts for a private school’s Independent Study Program. This system, housed within the existing password-protected Intranet/Administrative area of the school’s Web site, automates and streamlines the process of generating contracts, minimizing the need for manual calculations and eliminating most, if not all, of the opportunities for user error.
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Biting the bullet

Last night, while working on an online order form for a client, I faced the challenge of coding a validation routine for 30 free-form text fields that can only accept values that are measurements in inches and fractions of an inch. If this sounds geeky, I suppose it is. But this story is more about attitude than technology. Finding myself at a familiar crossroads (whether to stay in my comfort zone or step out — that is, whether to venture into the world of regular expressions), I bit the bullet and stepped out. I liked the taste. I don’t think you have to be a developer to find resonance in the moral of this story. At least I hope not.
Ok. I’m hooked… let me read the full article →