Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Choosing A Web Development Company Through References

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Finding a web development company to create a website for you may seem daunting, but it isn’t. It’s all in the references and prior work that these companies have done!

The biggest reason you are creating a website is to get traffic and therefore, more new customers–correct? There is an easy way to figure out whether a potential web developer will get you these big numbers. First, visit some websites that this developer has created for other people. Figure out what the company that particular website is for does and, in a separate browser window, do a general search pertaining to what that company does (be sure to omit the exact name of the company or their slogan, if they have one). Does the company come up in the first handful of search results? If you have gotten to page three or four of the search results and yet to find that company, then something is wrong.

Once you’ve done your research on all these potential web development companies, have then come in for a visit. Discuss what you have in mind for your own website and see what these companies have to say. Do they offer constructive feedback on what will work and what may not? Do they agree to do every single thing you lay out? Do they disagree with everything? You want a company that is willing to take your idea and run with it by improving it and creating something beyond your expectations, and this cannot be done with a developer that agrees (or disagrees) with everything you suggest.

Lastly, discuss pricing. If a particular company seems like a brilliant fit for you, both through your private research and the interview, but they give you a price that seems a little high, then don’t dismiss them immediately. “You get what you pay for” is true in this case, and keep in mind that the extra costs may be quickly paid for by increased search engine hits and new customers.

Web Development De-Mystified

Friday, September 28th, 2018

You know you need a site, or maybe that the one created in 2002 isn’t serving your purposes anymore. Now it’s 2010, we’re steadily approaching Web 3.0 (even though no one is exactly sure what that is) and suddenly there are literally gazillions of options available. Really. That’s the technical term. Gazillions.

Where to start?

The answer to that question might be where not to start. As a web developer with 12 years experience building and maintaining so many sites I’ve lost count, I feel fairly qualified to give advice. My first word of advice is don’t use your web hosting company’s free site builder tool. While I can’t honestly speak for ALL of them, I can speak for MOST of them and they’re usually poopy. (Again, that’s the technical term.)

Why? Because they’re cookie cutter technologies that usually don’t have decent SEO (search engine optimization) functions built in, the templates are often straight out of the 90’s and when it comes time to build a REAL website, you will likely have to scrap everything you’ve done. That’s because these proprietary systems are often quite unfriendly when it comes to how they write code — they don’t play well with others. I’ve had to rebuild quite a few sites from clients who started out with one of these free template sites and let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty.

The second major piece of advice is don’t use Flash. Unless you want a site that’s like a big fancy store that people can peer through the windows but no one can enter, don’t use this Google-prohibitive technology. While Google claims to be able to read the content inside Flash movies, they simply cannot be optimized for search results in any meaningful way.

Finally, the third and final suggestion for today (carpal tunnel is setting in)… find a human being to work with. Yes, there are other types of free awesome wow that’s totally amazing site building thingies online, but chances are, if you find someone to actually talk to, you’ll get a lot more out of it, for what should be, but are not always, obvious reasons. Simply put, web designers are humans with real experience. They can recommend new technologies to you faster than you can find them on your own, they have tons of experience working with other clients and will often see hidden opportunities available to your business than you’d ever dream of.

So the conclusion is, robotic free template site junk = bad. Real human beings that might cost more but deliver beyond your expectations = good.

Web Development and Reverse Engineering

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Web developers are always trying to create attractive and functional websites. If you are using a content management system you need no special knowledge of web technologies to create basic pages. But sooner or later you need to modify layout or some part of the website for which there are no settings in the user interface. Modifying code means knowing basics of HTML, CSS, JavaScipt, PHP and other languages used for websites. If you are new to this world you will need some tutorials and introductory texts to learn basics of web technologies.

However, there is another way of learning with possibility to experiment and test various modifications of the code or layout. It is called reverse engineering and means examining code of an existing page. Every web browser has a function to display the source code of displayed page. By examining it you can see what elements are needed to construct the web page. This is a great way to learn HTML and CSS language. Of course, examining and understanding how it works is one thing, creating your own project is another. The easiest way to start writing code is to make small modifications on your website. For this purpose you need a development installation on your home server, because experimenting with a live website is not a good idea. Depending on the system used for your site you will have to find files which contain the code for the page under examination. There is no general rule, but the main core of the page layout is probably in some template file.

This approach of examining the source code is also useful when you find a page with some fancy design or cool menu. To understand how it is done you need to find appropriate part of the code. Firefox, for example, has a nice feature to display only the source code of a small part of the website. You simply select the page elements you are interested in, click the right mouse button to display a menu and select View Selection Source. Once you find source lines responsible for the wanted page element, you can study them and try to implement something similar on your website. This doesn’t mean that you can copy the code directly, you will have to modify it to be compatible with your existing website. But the basic principle is that you examine existing code and experiment with small modifications. If you combine this approach with web resources explaining theoretical background of web technologies, you will be able to quickly understand and learn new languages and technologies.