How to Select a Web Developer for Your Static Website
A static site is a website that does not require any programming. Fixed means that each page must be created and sent to your web server separately. A dynamic website is built with a few template-type pages and programming that pulls information into the pages and makes links. An active site is an example of an online shopping cart. The design on each product page is the same, but the content areas display different products. When a viewer clicks a link, the products are pulled from a database or XML file and displayed on the pages. How do I find the best net development team?
A static website is inefficient if you have more than a few products or require online ordering. However, if you are a new website owner, starting with a static site that only displays a few products until you have thoroughly researched the best software for your online catalog is a good idea.
Static Website Application Software
Choosing the right software to develop your website requires thought and will influence how easy or difficult it is to maintain your site over time. For example, I’ve worked on two websites built in the Microsoft.NET system so that the site owners couldn’t make any changes without consulting the original developer. A different approach would have allowed the site owner to take control of some of the maintenance tasks in both cases. In one case, the developer created the most jumbled backend I’ve ever seen.
Do you pick the software your developer uses, or do you like it and then find a developer who knows how to use it? Either way works if you take the time to consider the consequences of your decision. For example, if you find a competent developer available in the long run, you may want to buy and use the system he uses. However, you may be stuck with a complex procedure if the developer is incompetent or unavailable.
Microsoft.NET works best in a company with an IT department where programmers are always available. The system enables the addition of quick bits of programming to a website. “Quick” often means that the developer doesn’t know how to program, only how to drag bits of code into the pages. If you’re starting with a static site, you don’t need it. NET. Do not hire a.NET developer unless you intend to buy and learn how to use it.
Microsoft FrontPage is an old system that Microsoft no longer supports. Many learned to use FrontPage to create quick sites without knowing good design or structural principles. For many years, FrontPage was the most affordable tool available. If a prospective developer still uses FrontPage, he hasn’t updated his skills since the early 2000s or earlier. Do not hire a developer who has only worked with FrontPage.
For many years, Dreamweaver has been the “industry standard.” Dreamweaver is a versatile piece of software that can create static or dynamic websites. As you progress from a small, static site to a programmed site, the software “grows” with it. I even used Dreamweaver to clean up the NET mess mentioned earlier. However, Dreamweaver has a steep learning curve and is prohibitively expensive for many small businesses.
Dreamweaver has a template system, which makes website development and maintenance much more efficient because changes affect all pages that use the template. Dreamweaver even includes pre-made basic website templates. The template system, however, only works within the Dreamweaver program, even though any pages can be opened in other systems.
If a developer uses Dreamweaver, she is more likely to understand how website structure works than those who only work with online templates,.NET or FrontPage. That doesn’t mean the developer knows how to use Dreamweaver, so look at her work.
Joomla is an increasingly popular web development system. Technically, it is a Content Management System (CMS) because, once a design is created, you can add content via online forms rather than making each page individually. However, when rearranging items on their website, most Joomla site owners still have to return to their developers. Joomla also includes “widgets” like calendars, which are excellent little programmed features for your site.
This is not an exhaustive list. Numerous other systems are available, and more will be added in the future. Please inquire with your business contacts who have websites, what software their developer uses, and whether it fits their needs.
Selecting a Developer
A static website does not require a programmer; it requires someone who can create web pages. However, there is a distinction between knowing how to use web development software and understanding how a website works. If a good developer is available, he can adapt to new software even if he is most comfortable with the systems he has previously used.
It is preferable to put a competent person on the software of your choice rather than someone who can use a specific piece of software but does not understand websites. Unfortunately, it has been my responsibility to repair many sites built incorrectly by someone who had only learned the software piece. In many cases, that person had “taken a class” that only taught how to use the software, not web principles. Even worse, many of those classes are offered at the university level.
You should consider getting a second opinion on a developer’s work if they present you with some work samples (only accept current online models. Inquire with the person performing the second opinion about the effects of the “backend” on your work to maintain the site. The most important thing to remember is that you, as the business owner, must live with the long-term results of the developer and software you select.
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