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1 March 2011

Marketing

Technicalities to Consider When Building Your Website - Part One

Are you looking to build a new website, but don't know what to take into consideration technically?

Sure, you know what you want it to look like, but you're not a tech geek. What really goes on behind the scenes: have you thought about hosting and e-commerce? What is CMS?

Do you really know what a web developer does?

At FDC we have a team of specially trained web developers who spend their days coding websites, amongst many other things.

Clients come to FDC with their specifications, but what they do not usually realise are the technical difficulties that creating a website involves. So I've talked to Chris Emerson and Kevin Rivers, FDC's web developers, to get the inside scoop.

First, who should I consider when building my website?

"In the cold light of day your website is there to please your customers. Remember who they are, and what they need. If your customers are clear cut business men, then links to Twitter and fancy moving icons on your website are unnecessary. It is imperative that you know what they want.

"Don't sacrifice your customers because of your need to over-indulge. This is important because throughout design and development phases clients are always getting a little carried away with what, they want or more importantly what they need."

Do websites need to be managed by a content management system (CMS) - which allows for a large number of people to upload and edit website content?

"When you're in the process of having a new website you have to decide whether it would be beneficial to have a content management system, as this will make it easier for clients to upload their own content and manage it in the future.

"Clients need to make it clear whether they need a CMS, as it increases the price of the website when compared to a generic HTML [HyperText Markup Language - the predominant code for web pages] design but the future gains of having a website CMS system can make it worthwhile for three main reasons: it allows for a larger number of people to contribute and share data, it will allow control access to data and it will be easier to handle storage and retrieval of data."

What kind of hosting package should people look at buying?

"A web hosting service allows companies to make their website accessible via the web.

"Hosting is a subject that needs to be talked about and considered because it's essential to enable the website to go live and if it isn't implemented correctly there will be mix ups later on in the project.

"The hosting package consists of where your website is stored so it can it can remain live, and usually if it's a new website the process of sorting out a hosting package is straightforward.

"However, it gets tricky when there is an existing website to contend with. If there is an existing host then in the specification there needs to be an outline of the future of the original host. Will the website be hosted elsewhere and will the old host be deleted?

"Secondly, email hosting needs to be considered. Will the emails be transferred across to the new website hosting or will they be left with the original host and kept separated?"

E-commerce. What is it, and what should people consider?

"An e-commerce website is like an online shop which enables customers to purchase products online via a secure network.

"E-commerce is a complex idea, and something that cannot be rushed. Setting up a website that is capable of selling products is one thing, but there is much more to mull over.

"Firstly the legalities of an e-commerce website need to be adhered to, and you need to answer questions such as; are you going to enable payment from debit cards or PayPal, or both? Are your terms and conditions set up and available for customers to see?"

What should I budget for?

"Clients come to us all the time with a new specification, but our job is to give realistic advice and point them in the right direction.

"Often, people assume that their website will do a job that other websites do. You can't create a website similar to eBay without spending thousands of pounds in the process. In terms of technical specifications, if you cut corners from the start the gaps will be obvious at the end."


Watch this space for Technicalities to Consider When Building Your Website - Part Two

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