A decision made

I have been reading WordPress blogs

like crazy for several weeks; fishing has been poor around here recently, and work is in the pre-shutdown slump. Mainly I have been looking for tips and information about web technology and such – and which has been written for those who like myself are computer users rather than technicians. I need to decide on several things before I get a web site built – what it should look like, things that need to be included, and above all who I will get to build the site.

One thing that has concerned me is junk mail and rubbish comments, which I have been told are often used to promote other websites – I really hate the never-ending junk e-mail I get and really don’t want more from a website, so I would not want my upcoming web site to be used for this purpose… I have been discussing options with a web designer, who has tried hard to explain all the nuances of web site things to me, and has also encouraged me to look further afield, and see what others have to say.

Anyway, I can across a discussion on those text messages found on web forms, called captcha challenges. The discussion I found was about one of these, recaptcha, which is free and seems to be very common. Anyway, one of the debaters (debater 1 – I don’t want to mention the person’s site or blogs by name) was very anti recaptcha. But I got the impression this was not because it doesn’t work, rather the default message displayed. I ended up adding a comment to the discussion, mentioning that this was one of the options that had been suggested.

The reply I got back was I should look for another web designer!

Another of the debaters (debater 2 and also a web designer) stated that the default message could be changed, at least in some instances, and referred us to an example. To which the detractor replied both he and my adviser were wrong, and the text could not be changed… and presented a picture purporting to come from the same sample showing some text.

Now I had gone to have a look at the sample, and the text message I saw was exactly as the referer had stated, and not the default message. But now I was confused. How come I had seen one thing, and someone else had seen another?

Then some time later I got an e-mail of another update to the debate – apparently the person anti recaptcha had disabled some browser functionality (java), and because the browser could not display the actual captcha box, another message was displayed, telling the viewer to enable java, and why the device was used – to ensure the form was being completed by a human and not a machine… The detractor’s big objection seemed to be about this word ‘human’ – hey, I’m a human!

Mentioning this to my colleague (the web adviser) he said I should look into the parties involved, and draw my own conclusions. So first I had a look at the person – debater 1 – (who disliked human and recaptcha) personal website, and business website (Site 1 and 2 and blog 1). Then I had a look at the other person’s – debater 2– sites and blog (Sites 3, 4 and blog 2)

Debater 1: The personal site looked like it was the work of an elementary school child. The business site – (for a web design business!), was not much better… extremely basic and boring.

Debater 2: The personal site was both attractive, and had quite a bit of interesting information about the owner. This person’s business site was really extensive, and portrayed several different ways of presenting information, and looked really professional, in spite of several notices that the site was still being built… and the blog – GraphiclineWeb (I just worked out how to add a link) – I found was really great – looked really good and with a lot of useful information. I ended up spending most of the evening looking at these last 3 sites.

And the decision

Well, I am really glad I came across and participated in this discussion. I have been able to make up my mind about several things. I have a better idea what I want my web site to look like – definitely not basic and boring! And I now know who is going to build my site for me as well – and it won’t be debater 1 that is for certain.

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