Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Basic Principles of Web Design

The Design of a website is just the beginning really, how it's going to look. Although it's a starting point, this is often changed as the project evolves to fit in with the development of the site.

The development of the site, is the nuts and bolts really, making everything work, and building in the functionality required. Most websites now have some kind of interaction with the user, be it e-commerce, social networking or uploading videos. These, and others are all functions that have to be built by the developers.

Development of websites has come a long way since the early days of the internet. Early on most websites were, what is known as 'Static'. This means that they were just made up of pages of information that didn't do anything, and were just readable, like books.

Nowadays the vast majority of Websites are what is called Dynamic. This is where the information on pages is always changeable, depending on what the user is looking for. This has changed the way that websites are now constructed. Where previously all the content on a page was written on the actual page, it is not so any more. Most of the information is now stored in databases, 'behind' the actual web pages. When a user clicks on a button or link to display some information, this then sends a command to the database to fetch the required information, and display it.

To achieve this there are a lot more technologies involved other than HTML, which most people have heard about. The most common programming languages that are used to do this kind of work are PHP and MYSQL. There are others, but these are the most common.

Used in conjunction with HTML, these technologies allow users to fully interact with a website, and can achieve most things that are seen on modern websites.

Content Management Systems

Also known as a CMS, a content Management System is what all good websites now have, that allow their owners to have full control over their own website to change and add content as they need.

Previously static websites just built using 'flat' HTML pages didn't have such facilities, and if a website owner needed to change anything, they would have to pay a web designer to do so, which would be very expensive for a website that needed updating regularly.

There now exists a lot of open source CMS's (basically 'Free') that websites can be built around that allow the website owner full access to the administration of their website. The most popular of these is called 'Joomla', which has thousands of add-ons that can be easily installed at any time.

Don't be fooled into thinking that every website is custom built, they aren't. They may have a custom design, but the workings, and CMS are more often than not done using 'open source' software such as Joomla. To have a website such as this completely custom built would cost in the region of 20,000, due to the complexity of the programming required.

Once you have a site built using Joomla, it is then quite easy to install free add-ons if you need extra functionality to your site. You can just Google Joomla to see whats available. Things such as e-commerce, social networking can be installed. You don't need any programming knowledge, but there can be a lot to read to configure them properly.

Obviously the biggest advantage of having a CMS is that you can edit your content quite easily. This is usually done using what's known as a 'WYSIWYG' editor. This allows you to edit the content, much similar to using Microsoft word.

If you are considering having a website, don't even consider buying one that doesn't include a content management system, even if you don't think you'll need one.

Search Engine Optimisation

You have a website, but what is Search Engine Optimisation?

Basically, this making your website as visible as possible to the search engines, mainly Google.

There are two ways to achieve this.

1. On site optimisation
2. Off Site Optimisation

1. On site Optimisation

This is making your website as Web Friendly as possible, making sure that it complies with Google's policies. This will include.

Creating a Google friendly sitemap. This gives Google a 'map' of your site and tells it what pages have been updated, so it will be ranked better.

Creating page titles, meta tags that are relevant to your sites content.

Creating Search engine freindly URL's that Google can easily read.

Written content that's relevant to your site is important Google, creating articles/ blogs giving useful information about your products services. It's also important that this content is original, and not copied from other websites. Google will know if you do this, and it will be of no benefit to your site.This is an on going process really. Regularly adding written, useful, original content, is one of the best ways of getting your site higher up in the rankings.

2. Off Site Optimisation.

This is basically building links to your site.

As above, the important aspect of building links to your site the important aspect, is that they are relevant links to your site. That means linking from sites that are of a similar type.

Al the aspects of web design and development can be done by separate companies, or by the same company, which is probably a better option. Apollo Designs is a company that does all of the above.

4 komentar:

alian said...

This is what I was really looking for. Thanks very much. Keep up this good work.
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alian said...

I found your post good and informative. I like your article. Thanks for sharing it.
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alian said...

Thanks for the post, This was exactly what I needed to see.Good list, keep up the good work
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Samual James said...

hey that is a very informative post that you have provided, apart from all the tips that you have given i think that a website should contain quality content so as to reduce the bounce rate of the viewers.

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