Web Site Help and Information--e-Classifieds

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Welcome!

Welcome to the Help section of the e-Classifieds web site. We feel that this web site is one of the most advanced in the world due to its leading edge standards support, sophisticated features, and fluid design. We also realize, however, that many of our more advanced features may be unfamiliar to you, as you may have never seen them on a web site before.

Therefore, we have put together this help section in order to help you navigate the site and make the most of these features. We have also included documentation regarding the accessibility features that we have built into this site, as well as some notes regarding web browser support. Finally, we have also tried to provide some background information on what makes this web site so advanced, what some of the advantages of these features are, and how you can adopt and deploy these techniques if you are a web developer.

To learn more, please click on any of the topics that interest you in the folder tree that you see on the left hand side of this page.


Navigating This Web Site

Overview

Our web site is divided into eight primary areas. The first area is the top, which generally contains the logo and/or background for the particular theme that you have selected. The second area is the Primary Navigation Menu, which lists all of the main sections of the web site. When you hover your mouse over this menu, a dropdown menu will appear that contains links to the pages within that section. The third area is the "Order Now!" area in the upper right hand corner of every page. Any time that you decide to purchase e-Classifieds products or services, you can do so by clicking on the "Order Now!" link or the credit card icons. The fourth area is the Guidebar that appears just below the Primary Navigation Menu. The Guidebar always tells you where you are located within the web site, by starting with our home page on the left and then displaying the sections and subpages, if any, that you have traversed to get to the current page. The fifth area is the Options Menu that is located just under the "Order Now!" area in the upper right hand corner of the page. This is a series of buttons that contain navigation links to our home page, to a sitemap, for contacting us, and for this help page. It also contains several dropdown menus that you can activate by hovering over certain buttons. These dropdown menus allow you to change the size of the text on the pages, to change the font face that is displayed, to change the look and feel of the pages by changing the template (also known as "themes" or "skins"), and to perform various functions such as bookmarking the page, e-mailing it, printing it, or making us your home page. The sixth area is the Section Links area contained along the left hand side of the page. This area contains links to the other pages contained within the section of the web site that you are currently in. The seventh area is the main body area, which displays the content of whatever page you are on. Finally, the last area is the footer at the bottom that contains links to our privacy policy, access agreement, and other legal information.

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Primary Navigation Menu

The Primary Navigation Menu is located near the top of the page, just under the logo area. It lists all of the main sections of the web site. When you hover your mouse over this menu, a dropdown menu will appear that contains links to the pages within that section.

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"Order Now!" area

The "Order Now!" area is located in the upper right hand corner of every page and consists of the "Order Now!" link and the credit card icons. Any time that you decide to purchase e-Classifieds products or services, you can do so by clicking on the "Order Now!" link or the credit card icons.

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Guidebar

The Guidebar is located just below the Primary Navigation Menu on the upper left hand side of the page. The Guidebar always tells you where you are located within the web site, by starting with our home page on the left and then displaying the sections and subpages, if any, that you have traversed to get to the current page.

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Options Menu

If your web browser supports cookies, any changes to the font or template settings that are made via the Options menus are saved in a cookie and applied globally to all pages on this web site. They are also used when you come back to our site again in the future.


Home button Home

Click on this button to go to our home page.


Site map button Sitemap

Click on this button to view a site map that displays the layout of all sections and pages within our web site.


Contact Us button Contact Us

Click on this button to find out how to contact us.


Fonts icon Text Size

The above image is a picture of the text size slider control found within the text size dropdown menu. Click your mouse on the slider button and then hold it down while dragging the slider to the left or the right. Drag the slider to the left to decrease the text size. Drag it to the right to increase the text size. The current value is displayed in the box below the slider. You can also manually type a value (between 6 and 26) in this box and click outside the box to set the text size to that value in pixels. The recommended value is 13 pixels.


Fonts icon Fonts

You can choose from 19 different font types that will be used to display all text on the page. To use a font, it must be present on your local computer system and accessible by your web browser. Therefore, not all fonts may be available to you, but regardless of whether you are on a Windows, Macintosh, or Unix system, a number of these fonts should work on your computer. Moreover, even if a particular font is not available on your system, clicking on it won't hurt anything, because the system will simply fall back to either the generic font family (e.g., serif, sans-serif, monospace, cursive, or fantasy) or to the default system font.


Tools icon Tools


Templates icon Templates


Help button Help

Click on this button to bring up this help page.


Section Links

The Section Links area is located along the left hand side of the page. This area contains links to the other pages that are located within the section of the web site that you are currently in.

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Main Body

The main body area displays the content of whatever page you are on.

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Footer

The footer stretches along the bottom of the page and contains links to our site access agreement, privacy policy, copyright information, and other legal information.

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Accessibility

We have included a number of accessibility features in our web site, including the following.

Access Keys

Many web browsers support jumping to specific links by typing special access keys (actually, combinations of keys) that are defined on the web site. To activate an access key on Windows, you would press ALT + the access key. To activate an access key on a Macintosh, press Control + the access key. If you are using Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape, or Safari, this key combination is sufficient to take you to the desired page. If you are using Internet Explorer, you need to hit the "Enter" or "Return" key afterwards in order to go to the desired page. These access keys are not available in other browsers such as Opera or Konqueror.

We have defined the following access keys for all pages on this site (other than this popup window).

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Navigation Aids

  1. All pages make extensive use of the "link rel" method of providing links to the home page, table of contents, major site sections, copyright information, and more. These links aid navigation in text-only browsers. Users of Netscape 6.x, Netscape 7.x, and Mozilla can also take advantage of this feature by selecting the View menu-->Show/Hide-->Site Navigation Bar-->Show Only As Needed (or Show Always). Opera 7 has this feature enabled by default, although it does not support the "chapters" method of labeling major site sections. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer does not yet include this feature, even in version 6.
  2. All pages include our primary navigation menu at the top of the page. Even for web browsers and devices that either do not support javascript or have it disabled, you can still use the menu bar to navigate to the main sections of our web site.
  3. The guidebar located just underneath the primary navigation menu always show you exactly where you are located within our site, starting with our home page on the left, and then displaying the sections and subpages that you have traversed to reach the current page.
  4. The button menu located in the upper right corner of the page contains additional links to our home page, a site map, a contact information page, and this help window.
  5. The left hand side of every page lists all of the subpages contained within the primary section of our site that you are currently located in.
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Visual Design

  1. This site uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for its layout. This allows us to separate our content from its presentation, decrease page load times, increase readability on all browsers and devices (such as PDAs, mobile phones, etc.) and make the site easier to maintain.
  2. Even if your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets, the content of each page is still readable.
  3. Font size customization: In the upper right corner of each page is a series of buttons that we call the "Options Menu". The fourth button from the left contains the "A" symbol. Hovering your mouse over this button will cause a dropdown menu to appear that allows you to increase or decrease the text size up to a maximum of 26 pixels or a minimum of 6 pixels. You can "grab" the slider by hovering your mouse over it, clicking on it, and continuing to hold the mouse button down. While continuing to hold the mouse button, you can move the slider to the left to decrease the font size, or to the right to increase the font size. Let go of the mouse button when you have reached your desired font size. The currently selected value is displayed in the "Value" box located beneath the slider. The recommended default size is 13 px (pixels). For your convenience, your settings are stored in a cookie on your web browser so that they are remembered as you navigate throughout our site, and even when you come back to our site again in the future.
  4. Font style customization: In the upper right corner of each page is a series of buttons that we call the "Options Menu". The fifth button from the left contains the "T" symbol. Hovering your mouse over this button will cause a dropdown menu to appear that allows you to choose from among 17 different fonts. Even though your system may not support all of these fonts, it very likely will support many of them, and the fonts have been chosen to include a number of popular fonts from Windows, Macintosh, and Unix systems. Each font in this menu is displayed in that particular font face, so that you can see how it would be displayed on your system. Even if a particular font is not supported on your system, clicking on it won't hurt anything, as the system will fall back to a generic font family type that is supported on all systems, such as "serif", "sans-serif", or "monospace", or to your default system font. The last item on the menu allows you to restore the defaults. These have also been chosen to include a number of fallbacks that work on all major computer platforms. For your convenience, your settings are stored in a cookie on your web browser so that they are remembered as you navigate throughout our site, and even when you come back to our site again in the future.
  5. Themes: In the upper right corner of each page is a series of buttons that we call the "Options Menu". The seventh button from the left (which is also the second from the right) contains a template symbol. Hovering your mouse over this button will cause a dropdown menu to appear that allows you to choose from a number of different themes (also known as "templates" or "skins"). These themes employ differing color schemes. That way, if a particular theme is more visually appealing or easier to read on your system, you can use that theme instead of the default. For your convenience, your settings are stored in a cookie on your web browser so that they are remembered as you navigate throughout our site, and even when you come back to our site again in the future.
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RSS News Feed

We provide the latest news from e-Classifieds through an RSS feed. RSS is a standard, XML-based syndication format that is becoming a popular way of providing news and updates.

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Web Browser Support

Our web site is designed to work well with any modern web browser or browsing device that properly supports web standards, including the following:

Browsers listed in bold above have been specifically tested. The other browsers have not been specifically tested, but should work based upon their rendering engines.

Our web site also supports Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, and 9 for Windows, despite the fact that these versions of Internet Explorer were released many years ago and have only moderate to poor support for modern web standards such as HTML 5 and CSS 3, resulting in a degraded user experience with this and many other web sites. Altogether, the above browsers are used by more than 99.6% of our visitors, so few people should encounter any significant problems.

It is worth noting that we have included a number of advanced CSS features that work in newer, more standards-compliant web browsers but that also degrade gracefully for older browsers. These include hover effects over form fields and buttons, which work in all supported browsers except for Internet Explorer 6. Unfortunately, the CSS support in versions of Internet Explorer prior to version 7 is not advanced enough to support these. We also use the position:fixed feature of CSS to maintain persistence for certain menus or navigation items. Again, although Internet Explorer 6 does not support this feature, it does allow these navigation items to be viewable, but they will scroll with the rest of the page instead of maintaining their position. We use border-radius for some rounded corners, which is supported by at least the latest version of every browser (Internet Explorer versions 6 through 8 do not support this feature). We also use box-shadow for drop shadow effects, which again is supported by at least the latest version of every browser (Internet Explorer versions 6 through 8 do not support this feature either).

Really old and/or rare web browsers, such as Internet Explorer 5.5 and below, Firefox 3.5 and below, Netscape 9 and below, Safari 4.0 and below, Opera 12.0 and below, or Konqueror 4.4 and below, have not been tested. They may not work very well, if at all, with this web site. Most of those browsers were released many years ago, however, and collectively they make up less than three tenths of one percent of browser usage share nowadays. Moreover, due to their lack of support for modern web design standards, techniques, and languages, they do not work very well or at all with many other current web sites either. They also have major, unpatched security holes and are no longer supported by their makers, so anyone who is still using one of these ancient browsers is strongly advised to upgrade to a modern web browser.

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Advanced Technology

The e-Classifieds web site is one of the most advanced in the world in its usage of leading edge technology. Why do we say this? Well, to the best of our knowledge, this is the only web site in the world that allows the user to customize the font style, the text size, and the theme. There are a handful of web sites that allow users to customize one or more of these items, but we have yet to find another web site that allows the user to customize all of them. In addition, we offer a number of handy tools for printing the page, e-mailing it to someone, bookmarking it, and more. We even offer an XML-based RSS feed of the latest news from our company. For those who are interested in the technology at work behind the scenes, our web site uses the following advanced standards and technologies:

Of course, technology in and of itself doesn't really mean much if it isn't able to make the user's experience easier or more productive. That's why we've deployed the above technologies not just for the sake of deploying them, but in order to give you, our user, more power and flexibility in the way that you use this web site, as well as to make it easier and more pleasant for you to find the information that you are looking for.

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Advantages of the New Design

By developing a modern, standards-based web site, we achieved the following goals and benefits for ourselves and for our customers:

  1. Smaller and lighter pages that use less bandwidth
  2. Liquid design that is flexible across different web browsers, operating systems, screen resolutions, and devices, including PCs, Macs, PDAs, mobile phones, kiosks, TVs, and more
  3. A web site that is easy to maintain and update through stylesheets
  4. A web site that is customizable by end users (theme, font size, font type)
  5. A web site that is more accessible even by those who are disabled in some way
  6. Modern, slick appearance
  7. Faster page loading performance due to clean, modern code that avoids HTML "tag soup" and nested tables that must be disentangled by browsers before they can display the page
  8. Experience with modern design techniques that we can use in our web applications and web hosting interfaces
  9. Better search engine optimization due to less "junk code" and higher content-to-code ratio

We would encourage anyone who is reading this and who develops web sites to learn about and use standards-based web techniques, if you aren't already. You can find out more about building a modern, standards-based web site from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at http://www.w3c.org. The W3C is an international, industry wide group consisting of many different companies and organizations that sets uniform and globally recognized standards for web development. Following these standards ensures that the web will work in a consistent and reliable way for everyone, whether you are trying to design a web site that will work for everyone, trying to create or improve a web browser, or simply viewing web sites, no matter what type of device, operating system, screen size, or web browser you happen to be using.

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