Professional Web Development Process
Professional Web Development Process
We Know Website Development!
Having taken many clients through the process of developing their web sites, Data Koncepts has established a checklist of the things which must be done in order to help us to create an effective web site. If you are unsure of the terms I'm using, please check the "Glossary" at the bottom of this page for definitions.
Your web site creation will always be a joint effort. You need to establish your intentions and preferences and provide your images and text. Data Koncepts will ensure that you are aware of the many options for your website without burdening you with the details of the site's creation. Together, we will create a site that will be effective and that we can both view with pride.
This has been a brief overview of the web site creation process. Obviously, there will be a lot of interaction to ensure that you are happy with the product you are receiving.
Background: A web page can be created with any (solid) colour OR utilising an image – remember that your selected text colour should provide excellent contrast. A background image should be kept simple as it will be the first image to load and, if time consuming, your readers may not have the patience and leave your site! Small images will be "tiled" if they are not large enough to fill the window.
Data Chunking: The technique of limiting a web page to a single purpose - and everything on that page is dedicated to that purpose. Any more than that and your visitors may miss the point of the page.
Description: This "executive summary" is a great way to introduce each page while it is the text that search engines present to potential visitors. Make this the "hook" to bring visitors to your website.
Domain: The address of a web page which utilises the name of the company. For instance, this site for Data Koncepts is datakoncepts.com just the same way that Microsoft's web site is www.microsoft.com. Utilizing a virtual domain goes a long way toward leveling the playing field for you with corporate giants.
Embedded voice and music: A sound clip (.WAV or .MP3 file) can be loaded and run to welcome your readers to your site and you can have music (.MID file) play in the background to enhance the "mood." Use caution, again, these are typically LARGE files and eaders are impatient and will leave your site if they have to wait too long! Movies (video content) is even more data intensive and should only be used sparingly.
Form: Many times, you will wish to collect information from visitors to your website. In providing a "form," you can ask the questions and collect the answers for "processing" (transmission to you or analysis by an online programme). This is a great way to build your own mailing lists!
Images: The bedrock of the web world, images are worth a thousand words - wouldn't it be nice if that's all the memory they required! Setting that digression aside, select a number of good quality images, preferably snapshot sized but not larger than A4, that will support your web pages. I can accept images in electronic format (.JPG or .GIF preferred) or scan them for you and I will adjust their size for the web site (72 dpi). Quite often, I will also crop and enhance the colour, brightness, tint, etc. for optimal effect.
Changing images: If you want "changing images," they will need to be of the same physical size and shape. This is different than animated images which add another dimension to your site. Since they contain additional information (increasing the file size), we ensure that any animated images are "optimized."
Keywords: These are the bread and butter of search engines as they enable them to assess the relevancy of your page to a request. They also help us to use "data chunking" to confine a page's contents to a single goal.
Secure Server: If you're accepting credit card information over the Internet, it's YOUR responsibility to safeguard that data. As the Internet is NOT a safe environment in which to transmit personal information without encryption, you'll have to use a "secure server" to obtain the sensitive data. Don't forget, though that the data is decrypted on reaching the server so you'll have to ensure encryption in the remainder of the transmission stream to you!
Data Koncepts offers the use of our "shared" secure server for encrypted access but this is can only be hosted on one account and the webpage can only be accessed as a subdirectory of datakoncepts.com.
For those recognizing the importance of a secure server, Data Koncepts can obtain a dedicated IP address and secure server certificate for your domain and install it for you.
Spam: Unwanted e-mail selling everything from pharmaceuticals to motor oils to ... er, sexual aids. Once you get on a spammer's list, they will sell the list to other spammers and you'll NEVER get off their lists until you change your e-mail address. If you can "hide" your e-mail address from the "mailbots" that search the internet for e-mail addresses, you'll be be ahead of the game.
Other web pages would include one for each "data chunk" that you wish to include on your website -- as determined by WHAT you want to do on the site. Think of them as a single "chapter" of your website's "book."
Web page size: It is the visitor's browser which uses the commands from your web page and display its contents as instructed. However, users do not all have 17 inch monitors nor will they always have their browsers utilize their full screen. I have to use care to ensure that your web page will properly fit into browser windows of all sizes and you have to understand that text will normally line-wrap but images may require those darned scroll bars - especially if not properly sized.
Web page template: The first thing that I do is to create a template (standard format) from which all pages included in your site are developed. This template will establish your standard look and feel for the entire site so it is essential that you approve the template early in the process.