Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

Do You Need a Web Developer to Build Your Website?

September 15th, 2018

The short answer is “No, you do not need a web developer to build a website for you.”

However there are other points to take into consideration. Do you have the expertise or are you willing to learn how to build a website? Will your budget run to hiring a web developer? Building your own website is not too difficult and could save you money so I would suggest you first explore the possibility of doing the job yourself.

What is Involved in Building Your Website?

  • First you must decide what to name your site. Go to a website registrar such as Godaddy.com which is an online company where you buy a domain name. There you will find out if your chosen name is available. If it has already been taken you have to find an alternative title; often it will require a small change only, perhaps substituting a number for a word, eg.’4′ in place of ‘for’. Once the title is decided you buy a domain name which will cost about $10 for a.com name.
  • Next comes hosting for your domain. A Host company connects your computer to the World Wide Web and you will upload your files to the host company where they will be published. All domains require hosting and this can also be purchased at Godaddy.com, but more often a separate host site is selected. The cost this time will be between $10 and $20. There are good hosting sites which charge slightly less than $10 or if you belong to a good membership site they may provide free hosting. This is a good option because you are in effect receiving a $10 discount on the monthly membership fee. If you choose a separate host from the domain registrar, then the Name Servers will need to be changed. Name servers are just the links between the Registrar and the Host.
  • Now you need a Web Page Editor. This is a piece of software which converts your text to computer language in order to create web pages. This you can download from the internet. Some are expensive and some are free. A good free editor is Kompozer which does an excellent job.
  • Having constructed your web page on the web page editor it is then uploaded to the Host and published on the internet. The page or pages require formatting and the colour scheme and illustrations to be developed to make the site appear attractive to visitors. Don’t forget to make the site easy to navigate around or your visitors will become frustrated and leave.

Building your website is not too difficult if you are willing to learn new skills and have the determination to see the job through. A useful option is to use web templates. These are the fully developed framework of a website which you can customize to suit your needs. They are quite suitable for simple or even not so simple sites.

Web Development and Full Integration

September 14th, 2018

‘Fully integrated’ is a term used to describes websites that are progressive enough to include virtually every form of online media in their web presence.

If you look at sites like Yahoo, Forbes and virtually any of the major television network sites you can gain some idea of what I am taking about.

These sites contain either news of blog information. They also contain original video streaming sources and audio streams including podcasts. These sites tend to subscribe to the idea that the web user wants it all and should be able to find it all when they visit the business site.

A fully integrated site will often use flash or other animated or moving text. The interesting dynamic is that the best of these sites understand navigation and ease of use remains a critical concern for guests.

Forbes, for example is highly adept at slideshow type presentations on a multitude of topics. It could be top selling cars, entertainers, vacation hot spots, etc. These slideshows are optimized for search engines and are easy to breeze through.

It seems as if a site like this has the potential to garner some of the same consumers of media that have been courted mostly by network television or traditional newsprint.

Most fully integrated sites did not start off that way. In most cases they worked through issues they could easily address and then added features as their knowledge and confidence grew in relation to the their site development skills.

That’s something I have always suggested. Do the best you can at developing a site with the most comprehensive development techniques at your disposal. That doesn’t mean you have to have a fully integrated site in order to conduct business, but it does mean that you do not simply wipe your brow, release a sigh and suggest to yourself that your work is finished.

The truth is there are more skills in online web development that are being released than ever before. More programs are working with each other allowing a new robust platform for online use. The role of online web development is an ever changing – ever growing function in relation to how you manage your site and in the use of the most effective marketing tools available.

Many sites will develop an internal compass that provides the date they want to upgrade the website to include new functions. In essence they treat their website like software developers treat upgrades. Some will even go so far as to indicate their website has gone from version 1.0 to version 1.1 or 1.5. The idea is to challenge their own thinking in relation to developing a website even after the website has been launched.

This has the potential of keeping visitors interested in finding out what improvements you will come up with next.

Perhaps the greatest development rule of thumb is that you should always strive to be more integrated by attempting to meet the real and perceived expectations of your site visitors. This mentality will always give you a new goal line in your race for the perfect business.

Top Ten Frustrations For the Web Developer

September 13th, 2018

In recent weeks I have met web developers who have just finished the most difficult project of their life. I have met others who have an enthusiastic spring in their step. They have just begun a new project! The former group just finished “surviving” some very large frustration. The latter group may be a little naive (or have forgotten) about the challenges ahead of them.

Here are the Top Ten Frustrations for Web Developers

  1. Lack of Requirements – We have all been there. A client wants you to build the most glamorous website in the world, but can’t put down on paper the specifics. They use generic words like marvelous and stupendous but cannot define for you how they want the drop down menus to look.
  2. Changing Requirements – Everyone changes their mind. But how much is too much? Does your current requirements document resemble anything close to the original? Chasing the wind is the most brutal exercise you can put yourself through.
  3. Designers who do not know what goes into coding – Most people do not realize that designers and developers are different. Designers do an excellent job with color and placement. They offer creativity and spontaneity. But do they realize what they are actually saying when they hand over the design and say those ominous words: “Build This!”. Anything can look great in a PSD. It is quite another to make it functional.
  4. Somersaults trying to make the CSS work – CSS is a wonderful tool for styling websites. Has anyone wanted to put their fist through the monitor over wacky behavior in their CSS file? How bout when that CSS file was written by someone else? Yeah.
  5. Pride in work Overwritten by customer complaint – Just like a little child with a new toy, you come to the user meeting with all enthusiastic thrill over the work you have toiled over the last three weeks. The meeting ends when your clients have spent the last sixty minutes criticizing your beautiful creation.
  6. Unrealistic Timelines – Similar to number three. But add, “Build This, in two weeks.” Yeah. Right. Timelines are legitimate. They help people focus. They help us make decisions. Unrealistic timelines put unfair stress and burden on individuals. Plus the end product will usually look horrible.
  7. Overforgiving Bosses – Ever have a boss so lax that he wouldn’t even hold you to a deadline? Or even hold users accountable for creating all that wonderful content for the snazzy new website? Is that person really a boss?
  8. Overbearing Bosses – On the other hand, having your boss in your cube either wrenching his hands over the status of your work or worse, micromanaging it, just might make you want to quit.
  9. Competing visions – Two super users. One design document. Two competing visions. Not fun. It is funny how two people seem to agree to something on paper but in reality have two incompatible visions of the final product. (hint: mockups help here!)
  10. The wrong tools – Ever spin your wheels trying to resize images or find that one line of code in pages of HTML? Sometimes the problem is not you. It is the tools you are using. Take time to find the right tools to help you accomplish your tasks effectively and efficiently.