6 Things Every Website Developer Should Know

With all of the tools out there to help you build websites these days, it seems that anyone can call themselves a “web developer”. However there is a lot more that goes into making a website than adding some links and images. Websites today usually require thorough planning, development and testing processes to ensure functionality when the site goes live.

Before venturing into the world of professional website development, a developer should have an understanding of the following.

Design of the website: You want the design of the website to positively portray the business. In a global economy most people will never meet you at your office, so having a professional looking website will greatly improve sales. Having a website designed by an amateur shines a poor light on the business making it appear untrustworthy or amateurish. A website should be pleasing to the eye. Using obnoxious colors, extremely tiny or extremely large text (not for design purposes) will make users go elsewhere to fulfill their needs. Take a look at websites in your industry and if your website doesn’t compete with them, you should seriously consider revising your design.

Website Structure and Coding: If you’re still building with table based layouts…stop! Tables are an extremely antiquated way of building sites; they are code heavy and do not allow for design nuances today’s visitors are expecting to see. Using Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)-based layouts will allow you to design and build more complex sites that allow for greater functionality and visual imagery. Your code should also validate to XHTML standards. For example, when you have an opening tag there should also be a closing tag related to it. Tags should not be closed out of order. If you are bolding, italicizing, and underlining you should close with underlining, italicizing and then bolding. This ensures browser and platform compatibility.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): All website developers should have a basic understanding of search engine optimization. All Flash sites are cool and fun to look at but they rarely rank well in search engines. Unless your customer is a household name chances are they need people to find their services and a Flash site will hinder that. You don’t need to be an SEO expert to build a site that is SEO friendly. Be sure to use well formed code (as stated above), adhere to the rules of H tags (using only one H1 tag per page), use H2-H6 tags for headlines not to change font size, and make sure that you leave room for at least a paragraph (50-100) words of text on each page.

Programming Languages: Although this is not mandatory for web designers (people who create the graphics) and the casual website builder, a website developer should know at least one programming language. Knowing one or more languages allows you to create interactive features for users. Think about the sites that you may frequently visit such as Facebook and YouTube. There is considerable programming involved to create the functionality, however it is that functionality which keeps the users coming back. Keep in mind you can always contract out with a more experienced programmer for those jobs that may be above your skill level.

Server Configuration & DNS: If you plan on developing websites for a variety of customers you’ll eventually need to put those websites onto a server. Your client will most likely expect you to know how to get their website onto the web. If you’re not sure how to load the site to a server and where to point the domain name to you really should not be on your own developing websites for customers. Generally when you purchase a hosting package from a hosting provider they will supply you with the domain name, ftp username and password and other related information. However if you have a client who purchased their own domain at some earlier time you’ll have to change the name servers in their domain registrar to the hosting companies server that you are using. This is all fine and dandy with basic hosting, but with more and more spam problems arising the email and website may be split onto multiple servers. This can cause major headaches with your clients if you are not making the correct entries where they are needed.

Customer Service: This should go without saying; treat your customers like you want to be treated. Web developers and programmers sometimes get a bad rap from the multitude of programmers who have a “programmer personality”. If you have ever needed more advanced technical support chances are you have met this type of personality. Being friendly and helpful will go much further toward getting additional business and being respected in your field.

Most Recommended Web Hosting Services

Having the right kind of hosting account for your website is crucial to the success and sustenance of your online business. Making the wrong choice could result in loss of traffic, and several other server mishaps which ultimately decrease the value and reputability of your eCommerce efforts. Poor server management and resource allocation can cause anything from slow page loads to server crashes, and even decreased search engine ranking. Without the right kind of hosting, it is nearly impossible to have your website or blog perform optimally, especially as you begin to receive more daily visitors and update your site with content. If you want to make your website as successful as possible, then you’ll need to have access to the right kind of webhost services.

Most Recommended Web Hosting Services

Below are some of our best and recommended web hosting services according to our own experience on web development:

HostGator

HostGator is a world leading provider of web hosting. Since 2002, company is privately owned and based in Houston, Texas. Since then, HostGator has grown from a small hosting company with just three servers into a world leading and industry recognized hosting provider with more than 12,000 servers under management. The over five million domains hosted by HostGator make up approximately 1% of the world’s Internet traffic. As a technology and product innovator, HostGator is able to provide its more than 400,000 customers with innovative products and services designed to complement their existing businesses. HostGator serves customers ranging from individual freelancers to Fortune 500 companies in more than 200 countries. The company is constantly working to improve and refine their service and support. HostGator has earned a great number of web hosting awards. Their customers range from large sized businesses down to personal bloggers and HostGator supports each of them with care and professionalism. If you are searching for a place to start or grow your own website, Hostgator is what you are looking for. Competitive pricing plans, countless accolades, best technology, and top-notch support are the reasons why go with HostGator. If not ready to settle you can try a month with HostGator just for a penny. All of HostGator’s shared and reseller servers are powered and cooled by wind power generated in state of Texas.

BlueHost

BlueHost has been has been providing quality hosting solutions to thousands of business and personal web sites since 1996. Today, BlueHost has become one of the most recognizable names in the web hosting industry with over 1,000,000 domain names hosted. BlueHost has become well known for providing some excellent features and benefits at the low cost. Their technical support is ranked as one of the best on the market. BlueHost has placed themselves among the leaders of the web hosting world by offering unlimited disk space and monthly transfer on top of package that includes a free domain and site builder. Their professional Web Hosting plan includes all the features you are looking for at the best possible price. Great customer service and excellent products is what really sets BlueHost apart from other web hosting companies. Let’s not forget their latest technologies that help businesses and individuals get high-powered service at a fraction of the cost. If you look around you might be able to find cheaper web hosting companies but with BlueHost you will get the best value for money. All of their packages are backed up by a 30-Day Money Back guarantee, so you can give BlueHost a try without losing a dime. At last, BlueHost is highly recommended and reliable when it comes in choosing a web host.

JustHost

JustHost are dedicated to providing their customers with the most reliable web hosting service possible at the best possible price. Only $3.50 per month! JustHost is number one when it comes to web hosting, and it’s no surprise that it has grown into one of the most recognizable brands today. When it comes to the extra features that you get when you sign up, JustHost is unbeatable. Each plan comes with unlimited monthly transfer (bandwidth) and unlimited disk space, and you can host as many domains as you like with a single account. There are many additional benefits, such as a fantastic site builder, Fantastico and Google advertising credits. JustHost focus heavily on customer service and the quality and level of technical support is top-notch. On top of this, the pricing and value for money is excellent, which make JustHost the number one choice for many people. Affordable price plans, secure servers, first class 24/7 technical support and a wide range of extra features make hosting your website with JustHost the logic choice. JustHost offers top quality product at great price. In terms of reliability, the load-balancing technology means that downtime is almost eliminated. The cpanel is easy to use and contains some great features which will keep all customers happy, whether they are new to web designing or an experienced professional. Customer support is excellent, and really sets the mark for other companies to aim for, and overall value for money is fantastic. By having unlimited amounts of bandwidth and disk space, you do not have to worry about changing your package every few months as your site expands. At last, JustHost offers 30-Day money back guarantee demonstrating the confidence in its products.

InMotion

Inmotion Hosting is one of the best web hosts around and is the most popular among businesses for a secure and reliable experience. Established in 2001, Inmotion Hosting can be considered a veteran in the web hosting industry. Backed by a team of experts with diverse technical backgrounds, Inmotion Hosting focuses on the latest technology to provide the best reliability for a smooth experience.

HostMonster

HostMonster has been providing reliable hosting solutions to thousands of businesses and individuals since 1996. Their web hosting plan helps businesses and individuals get high-powered service at an extremely affordable price with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space and an unlimited number of add-on domains. All of the above makes your website ready to use as soon as you have signed up. HostMonster offers a great web hosting product that is second to none. Their web hosting is reliable and secure. When it comes to the control panel it is easy to use and contains some great features. Nevertheless, their customer support and value for money are some of the best in the industry. HostMonster makes customer satisfaction a big deal. Therefore, they offer a 24/7 technical support with average hold times less than 3 minutes. Choosing HostMonster as your web hosting company means you will be making a good decision.

Choosing a web host requires that you take an appraisal of your website, the technology used to create it, your web page elements and your future growth. You will also have to make room for emerging technologies and web trends. All of these scenarios require that you choose a web hosting provider with utmost care.

You will have to first compile all the above lists of hosts that meet your need and then sift them down to the one that best meets your need at the least price. In determining your ultimate choice, you are considering several factors, such as customer response time, reputation, server uptime guarantee, security and reliability. You are going to choose a host that will give you value for money and at the same time make you retain your hard won customers.

Eight Solid Reasons to Develop Your Own Website

The mystery of developing your own website has been removed with web building technology, but there are some who do not see the value in assuming the responsibility of personal web design. You may find it’s not remarkably different than setting up a social media page.

Here are some reasons to consider the personal development of your own site.

No one knows your vision better than you. You can explain what you have in mind to a Webmaster, but it will still be tainted with their personal vision of what you are seeking to accomplish. You might just be paying them significant cash to misunderstand.

You like to save money. The cost of personal web design may be 10% of the cost of hiring an outside firm to provide a site for you. You can probably find something better to do with the 90% you save.

You are willing to try new technology. If you don’t have a significant fear of technology you may find that developing the site can actually be a fun experience and the access to multiple tools can create a site that is more comprehensive than you ever expected.

You don’t like waiting for a Webmaster to update your site. Face it many webmasters are there for you until the site is finished then they venture off to assist new clients develop their dream. The difficulty you might experience is making future changes in a timely manner once you say the words, “It’s perfect, you did a great job.”

Radical alterations can take place quickly. If you make a decision to start a sale today you can adjust your site to reflect the immediacy of that decision. If you want to ad new content there is no waiting. You simply enter the user panel and revise as needed.

You like your site to be as current as possible. Customers like sites that are kept up to date so unless you have an in-house developer that can make those changes it might make sense to pursue options that allow you to take responsibility for how current your site is.

You hate waiting days, weeks or even months for a complete design. Some people who use this technology have a fully functional ecommerce site available within 24 hours of the first time they look at the software. Some have reported a website to their liking within 2 hours. How much money can be made in those days, weeks of months that you would have waited?

The satisfaction and pride of a job well done. There is a boost of confidence in those who personally complete the design. It can create an interest in developing secondary money making opportunities when the consumer knows they can create the platform for cash creation on their own. This provides the best sense of personal empowerment.

Web building is not the only method you can use to create a website, but it can be one that makes the most sense from a financial standpoint. It is less expensive to develop and maintain – and it is allows you to begin selling your product and service faster.