Daily Archives: December 31, 2010

The Web Development Process

 

One topic that I feel gets very little attention or coverage is the issue of the web development process. When I first started out in web development, one nagging issue that was never quite clear to me until I gained more experience was the process of development.

Hopefully this short article will help clarify some of the fundamentals essential to the successful development of a website.

Planning

Every good website begins with a solid plan. You or your client, needs to know in advance what you intend to accomplish from the site. Because the development of a website can quickly become complex, it’s a good idea to know what you want from the site. Divide your site content into logical sections and create a hierarchy. Your main focus during the planning phase should be site structure. Don’t worry too much about the graphical implementation yet. You could use this hierarchy to create global menu links and often it is what should be used to create your main site navigation.

The Design

Most web designers use Photoshop or fireworks to create a design of the site. The designing of the site is the best place to make changes as this is the most flexible and pliable phase. It’s easier to change the position of elements inside of a graphics editor like Photoshop than it is to make those same changes after the html structure of the page has been completed. While designing the graphical elements, pay special attention to how they are constructed and how they relate to each other on the page. Understanding CSS and HTML really help a designer design better and more efficiently.

Slicing and building the structure

A common practice that web designers/developers use is to use take a completed design in Photoshop for example and slice the graphical elements on the design into logical sections. Each section or portion of the graphic is optimized for file size. You’d generally take each image and attempt to find areas that can be duplicated programmatically. For example gradients and areas of solid color, could be reproduced by using CSS. Next you lay out the plain html structure by naming your div tags and maintaining a consistent naming convention. Please don’t use tables for web page layout. This is really 1990′s and should be avoided as much as possible unless you are displaying tabular data. Maintain a separation of style and structure as far as possible. This makes for leaner code, faster loading web pages and also aids with future site maintenance.

Once your structure is complete, you can now begin applying graphics to your skeleton HTML document. Test as you go along so that you will have a better chance of finding bugs in your code when you incrementally test in this fashion.

More on Structure

One very important thing to try and get in a habit of doing is creating a good folder structure. Deciding on which folders you will need in advance will help you plan for sections of the site that are not built yet. There is nothing wrong with having empty folders, as this forces you to thing logically about your site structure throughout the project. For example if you know that you plan to have a dynamic php site then go ahead and create an includes folder even though you may have just started working with getting the HTML and CSS in sync.

Try to also keep your folder names meaningful as well as your file names. Keeping them relevant to the content that they will represent will help your SEO down the road. Always think about the future of this site. Use external style sheets as well as external JavaScript. Using external references to these will make your HTML less bloated and also allow for greater flexibility. Since browsers cache your CSS files for example, it makes rendering your pages much faster after it has been loaded for the first time.

Testing

Test your site in as many browsers as you can. Decide ahead of time which browsers you will support. The rule I generally apply is to test in standards compliant browsers first. For example, I develop in Firefox and then get everything working just how I want it in this browser, after which I check Safari, and then IE7. These browsers will have slight rendering differences and fixing subtle differences later rather than sooner is important because you will usually end up with cleaner code. If you start off coding for IE6 for example you might get your site to look good in IE6 but when you test in more standards compliant browsers you will end up having to fix problems on both ends. So, code and test for newer browsers first, then accommodate older buggier browsers by adding conditional style sheets.

So this is just a basic overview of a much more complex process that deserves greater in-depth study. The net is littered with hundreds of examples on how to properly debug and test as well as how to structure your web pages for better SEO. Always remember to validate your documents as this plays an important role in your SEO too.

Source: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1519390/the_web_

development_process.html?cat=15

Basics of Web Development

 

Over the last few years, I have been doing web development work, and have noticed how some people who say they are into web design really don’t know that much at all. An example of this is my friend who uses Dreamweaver. I’m sorry, but if you use Dreamweaver, I do not consider you to be a web developer. Why? Because it doesn’t teach you anything that will help you. You learn where the buttons are in the toolbars, but that is usually the extent of what it teaches.

As far as I’m concerned, web developers do not use Dreamweaver. Want to become a web developer? First, get yourself a good IDE, or Integrated Development Environment, such as PHP Designer or Komodo IDE. This is important. If you use Notepad, you will not be able to code as easily as if you are using an IDE. Why? IDEs contain useful tools for when programming, such as code explorers, syntax highlighting, and auto repeat for some aspects of coding. Got an IDE? Good, your ready to start.

1. First thing about web development is HTML. No matter how far you want to delve into the wev design world, you will NEED to know at least some HTML. HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the basis of the web. Everything you see, even this text you are reading now, had been displayed on your screen using HTML. That’s how important it is. Its alright if you have to go to w3schools.com every now and then to check on something, but you should know the basics, such as how to setup a basic page, tables and forms. While you are learning HTML, also take some time to learn hex colors. They may seem hard at first, but after using them a bit, you will be able to pop basic colors out of your head without even thinking.

2. Next thing you should learn is CSS. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. When you see some CSS code, you will see why. CSS basically assigns formatting to your html elements. For example if I had a code that said body { color: #FFFFFF; }, it would assign the body element (the page) a text color of white. Sounds simple enough? That’s because it is. Learning CSS is probably going to be the easiest part of your journey.

3. Next you should try to learn the basics of PHP. Some people will say JavaScript next, but I disagree. Personally, I think a website made with HTML, CSS and PHP will go a lot further than a site with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, because once you learn PHP, JavaScript becomes more of a tool for making dynamic sites.

To learn PHP, I think you should get a local server if you don’t already. Many packages are free to download which offer you Apache, PHP, MySQL, and other services which may come in handy to you. I recommend XAMPP. It can be installed on a USB memory stick, and will work on almost any computer. Now, learn the basics of PHP such as if and else statements, the various loops, echo, and form data variables. With these, you can start to create sites which actually offer something to the user. As you find out more and more about PHP, you will be able to create bigger, and better scripts, and ultimately better sites. If you want, download some simple scripts and have a look at what the author has done to create them.

4. Once you have the hang of PHP, learn some SQL syntax, and how to use MySQL with PHP. You may not know it, but most sites are run from databases. Once you have learnt at least some SQL, you too will be able to create user authentication systems and other systems.

5. Now for JavaScript. The main reason I recommend PHP before JavaScript is because of what you have to remember. If you learn JavaScript first, you will forget most of what you learn due to PHP doing the functions more efficiently on the server. However JavaScript is still useful. It can be used for things such as client side form validation, and dynamic content on websites.

6. While learning JavaScript, you may stumble upon AJAX. Let me just say AJAX is your friend. Its main use is to get data from the server without actually refreshing the page, and when used properly with PHP, it can become a very powerful tool if the user’s browser supports it. This saves tons of time in most cases. Also, AJAX pages look more professional.

That’s basically the end of my guide. If you have done all the above, I shouldn’t need to tell you this, but you are not finished. You have not reached the end of the line. There are almost infinite possibilities for you. Learn advanced concepts such as how to use the PayPal gateways, shell commands, and other ideas. Learn a new language, such as PERL, or ColdFusion. The sky is the limit for you, keep going.

Source: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1281226/basics_of_web_

development.html?cat=15

PHP Web Development for Business Website Development

 

Amongst the lot, wherein the competition is getting stiff day by day and everyone in the web development field seeking out for solutions that can make them stand above the rest. And there is no
doubt that a lot of scripting languages available in the market for quick and safe web development.

There is one called PHP web development that is the most widely used in this kind of development application. Looking at it generally, PHP is a general purpose, server-side scripting language run on a web server that was designed for creating dynamic web pages and applications. A secure, fast and a reliable option to use PHP as a web development offers a lot more advantages that makes it accessible to a lot of people—

1.PHP offers support to databases like MySQL, Oracle, Sybase, etc.

2.It is by far the most compatible with servers kike Apache, IIS, etc.

3.PHP runs on different platforms, such as, Windows, Linux, etc.

4.PHP is successfully been used to develop solutions like e-shopping carts like CMS, CRM, web calenders, etc.

5.Using PHP to be able to create a website is very simple because of the easy functions, methods, and syntax of this language

6.PHP also supports relational database management system and open source databases that helps in reducing the web development cost.

7.PHP is responsible in improving the performance of the website and decreasing the loading time because it does not compile the source code each and every time.

8.Not only this, PHP has also been used for open source software integration, such as, Drupal, Joomla, Typo3, osCommerce, etc.

Since the outbreak of web development, PHP has flared its dominance and has come up as a highly interactive allowing the creation of applications and websites that are on a high demand these days. And, if you are pretty serious in developing a business website then, opting for a good PHP based web designing and development company is not at all bad. Moreover, looking at the advantages this PHP language offers and its fast growing rate, the deal would be actually quite profitable if we put it this way. Custom Website Development is easiar with PHP, than other programming languages like java, .net. PHP is available with number of open sources and support ecommerce web development.

Source: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5535640/php_web_

development_for_business_website.html?cat=15

How CMS Based Website is a Good Web Development Solution

 

There is no denying to the fact that the main objective of an online business man is to bring in constant updates to his virtual business venture and to be able to bait more and more potential customers. And, if you feel the need to constantly update your website, then, a good content management solution is the key.

There is no scope that you can actually contract the advantages the content management systems offer. They are as follows:

1.A CMS is a computer application that incorporate the facility to be able to create, edit, control and publish the content of a website. The content can be in any form, files, images, audio files, e-documents and website’s content.

2.A CMS based website can be accessed from anywhere in and around the world. You don’t have to be sitting on your personal systems to be able to make changes in your site.

3.Even the non-technical users can make changes without even a single hint of what technical stuff is all about. That means, you don’t have to be ware of the HTML language, or how it works like

4.Multi-tasking is the key feature that separates the functionality without any intervention. The editor is able to create/edit and add content, images and multimedia files to the site. Without any intervention in the functionality of the website, you can amend changes in the design and structure of the site. You just need to drag and drop certain items.

5.All you need to think upon is how to make your website informative and attractive so that it can bait more and more customers. Because there are number of free web hosts available for your website.

Obviously, as the competition is growing day by day, and the web industry is loaded with a variety of content management systems available in the market, say Drupal, Joomla!, Typo3, WordPress, and many more. Even though they are basically meant for the same purpose, but one excels the other in one way or the other. You need to make a choice what is good for you, and which suits your requirements the best. These days, the web industry has a lot web designing and Web development companies that provide you with easy CMS solutions as per your needs and requirements.

Source: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5548276/how_cms_based

_website_is_a_good_web.html?cat=15

Web Development Company Makes Your Online Business More Successful

 

As the web world is growing day by day, and you can find numerable number of websites, e-commerce shops, various platforms. The competition is growing stiff and so as to maintain a recognition and stand in the market,
it becomes really important that you keep in touch with the latest updates and maintain your websites at a regular interval.

In this cut-throat competition, where each and everyone is busy and it would be really impossible
to do it all alone. What if you need a unique application ion your site and it need an expert to do the same. To cater all the needs of your dynamic website, these web development companies have come in the picture and are growing at a fast rate.

Any web development company offers the following advantages:

1.Understand your needs:
Any web development companies understand your needs and objectives and then, try and build the whole project around your venture. They work according to what you intend to focus on.

2.Cost-effective:
Since, the competition is high and the market is flooded with the web development service providers, therefore, these companies face high competition. To be able to cater to your needs and bait more and more long-term customers, these companies provide the best possible services at affordable prices. So, take the maximum you can.

3.Better SEO practices:
These companies have their expertise in the marketing strategies. They provide you and your website with the strategies that help you to get the best possible search engine ranking so that your web business does not get lost in the sheer crowd of online businesses.

4.Complete web solutions:
Not only this, but these web development companies offer you a complete solution including a web design service, SEO, and constant updates of new tools and applications.

5.Every Latest Trend:
The main advantage of all, is that you are equipped and aware of all the latest trends, web application and software available in the market. Neither your website, nor you feel laid back in any sense.

Despite of all the things that these web development companies offer, you need to be really careful if the company that you tend to hire is not a spam. Run your research work, follow a detailed approach when you go through companies portfolio and then, make a choice. After all, the success of your online business depends on the company you choose.

Source: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5547882/web_development

_company_makes_your.html?cat=15

How to Choose a Professional Web Development Company?

 

In the current scenario, web designing and development industry has come a long way. Considering the needs of the organisations and the businesses, there is a flooded demand for websites. Since the business owner cannot be individually present there, website work as the communicative element.

There is no denying to the fact that your business gets an opportunity to reach out to the millions of audiences at the same time. And, website then, becomes the soul of your organisation. It becomes the mirror image, and it depends on you, how you want your visitors to perceive it. To be able to survive in this online industry and to meet the ever increasing demands of the visitors, the website owners wants their online venture to be fully laden with the latest trends and applications, in accordance with the demands of the customer.

To be able to meet the requirements, the demand for the web development companies is increasing. As the demand has increased, so as the availability. Therefore, it has become really difficult to make a choice. To make it easy for you, we have come up with these points that ought to be taken in consideration while you are on a hunt for a professional web development company—

1.Get your domain name registered at the first place.

2.Its very important that you have a fair enough idea of how you want your website to be— may be with the design, the functionality, and an input from your end, about how you want your website to be.

3.A good market research would help you have an idea of your main target audience.

4.Then, begins the search for a good web development company. Look out for a company that is well based in the search engines.

5.Start researching and list out a few with whom you tend to negotiate. It may prove tedious but as we all say that "No Pains, No Gains."

6.Look out for the answers to the following—

    * Do the so so web development company shows interest in your project?

    * Look out for their priorities.

    * Are they really experienced?

    * Heave you gone through their work samples and the projects they have handled?

    * Are you satisfied with the meeting?

    * Do they have a frequent telephonic conversation so as to understand the requirements of your project or is it just through mails?

7.Then, don’t just jump onto any conclusion. It good if you consider two options and then, start comparing so as to have a comparative study between the two.

These points would surely help you opting for a professional and well established web design and development agency that caters to all your needs. Creating a level of transparency and professionalism with the work would surely help you find the best one for your project.

Source:http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5622458/how_to_choose_

a_professional_web_development.html?cat=15

Important Steps Before You Hire a PHP Web Development Service

 

There is no doubt that PHP has made a place amongst the popular programming languages, and the with the boom in the web designing and development industry, more and more web development companies are going for the web applications that are based on PHP. Since, the scope and the number of these service providers is increasing day by day, therefore, the competition as well.

In this cut-throat competition, it has simply become a necessity to hire such services. Effective, fast, affordable, and high quality work is what they intend to provide because even these service providers are facing a high competition in this arena.

To make a recognition and live in the virtual market, bifurcating these PHP web developers, and choosing the best one out of the lot becomes really important. Here, we tend to make an attempt to make a list of the points that are important while making a choice. They are as follows—

1.Count on the experience that the PHP development company has in the different web application because professionalism matters a lot in this arena. And, your customers would prefer if your website looks professional. In turn, the experience becomes really important.

2.Take a keen stroll through the portfolio, so that you have an idea of the kind of work the particular PHP developer has handled. Efficiency has always held a relevance in every field and this is what you get to check when you have a look at the projects they have handled.

3.You need to check the daily progress of the PHP developer. This can actually be done with the the help of staging server.

4.Just make sure that the PHP developer is well aware of the codes and conducts of a good coding practice.

5.Runtime, becomes the another factor that should be kept in mind because PHP coding can offer the minimum runtime.

One thing that you need to keep in mind that pricing should be your last priority. Lets say, if a reputed web development company is comparatively costlier, but has a good valuable experience and can add a substantial touch to your business project. I am sure it would be foolish on your part to opt for a cheaper service provider. Therefore, it becomes important for you to opt for a good PHP development service keeping the following points in mind.

Source:http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5561518/important_steps_

before_you_hire_a_php.html?cat=15