Finding the Best Web Design Solution

Web design has become much easier than it was back when I first began building websites. There were a few programs that offered some WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interfaces, but you still had to do a good deal of the HTML coding by hand to get pages just how I wanted them. Javascript coding was done almost entirely by hand. Add to this all the new technologies that have emerged. CSS, PHP, ASP.NET, AJAX, and Web 2.0. Fortunately new technologies have come along to make things easier as well. You can either install software to build your own site, or use an online site builder.

Webpage creating software.

Web Design Software
Programs like Dreamweaver and Visual Studios now remove any need to do any HTML coding, but there is still the occasional need to modify code, but for the most part all the basic coding is done for you. If you are building a simple static site, this might be all you need. If you need to access information from a database, provide and dynamic and interactive site, or develop an e-commerce site; there is no way around having to know some coding.

Build It Yourself Web Design
Another alternative is to use a one of the online build-it-yourself services. Google lets you build free pages, and you can build an ecommerce site (for a fee) using Yahoo! or Big Commerce. These are just a couple options; there are literally hundreds of options. Having used several of these programs, I can say you can build a very nice website, with a lot of great features quite easily. The problem with these options arises when you need your website to do something unique that is not a feature of the site builder. There are a couple of other disadvantages with these types of sites. First, you are tied to services provider for your site. If for any reason, they go out of business or just decide to stop offering the service, you have to start over. This has happened with Lycos, Angelfire and many others. If you have a site built on HTML / Web programming languages, you can host your site where ever you wish without having to redo anything. Second, with these online site-builders, you are normally charged a monthly fee considerably higher than it would cost to simply have the site hosted on your own. The initial cost of hiring a web designer will be much higher, but if you plan to keep your site several years, you will not only save money in the long run, but you will have a much more flexible and customizable design that you own and do with as you please.

Web Design using Content Management Systems
A third option is called a Content Management System. These are like a hybrid between web building software and online site builders. CMSs are pieces of software that you install on a web server. Some of the best and most popular CMSs are free to use. Once installed they assist you in building your own site much like the online site-builders. CMS software is usually has a steeper learning curve than online site-builders, but can create incredibly robust, well featured websites. In the hands of a seasoned web developer, a CMS can be customized to provide almost anything you wish. One strategy I would recommend is to have a professional web designer build a site for you using a CMS, and let you do your own updates and changes. With a CMS making these changes is very simple and about as complex and using a word processor. With this strategy you’ll have a website that can still be upgraded and customized if needed, but you still control it and can have it hosted anywhere you wish without an additional cost for using the software. A web developer that has experience in building CMS websites will normally charge less to build a CMS based site as opposed to building and coding one from scratch.

Choose the Best Web Designer to Developed Your Site

It’s hard to make a choice between a freelance web designer and a web designing company for preparing a customized website for your business. Generally, it seems easier to deal with an individual rather than firm with a number of experts. However, it depends on the size of your company that the website is going to serve.

You will able to identify numerous positive and negative points if you make a comparative study between the two options. However, the selection depends on your perception and objective of your website.

Sometimes people prefer freelancers over companies with the idea that it’s easier to maintain understanding with an individual rather than a firm with a number of staffs dealing with the same job. However, you should remember that as an online business operator you have to get ready to handle lots of professionals for your website’s sake.

Since, web designing is a specialized job; you need specialists for developing various aspects of your website successfully. You can face some problems by appointing a freelance web designer for the simple reason that a single person may not have similar expertise in all sections of web development. It’s a fact that your chances of getting a better service from a web designing company are always higher than an individual. A company is expected to serve you better with its multidimensional resources.

A freelancer generally designs websites in cheaper cost than a company. For obvious reasons clients get attracted to them instantly but this can be suicidal. Keep in mind that compromising your website’s quality for expenses is not advisable. You have to select the one who can serve you in the best possible way in an affordable price. Here your own market survey and research can prove useful.

Most of the companies offer post-launch modification and maintenance services. You may not get that from an individual web designer. Not only that making last minute adjustments can be easier with a team of experts who can give you multiple suggestions. But a lone freelancer may not able to do this.

However, an experienced freelancer can serve you convincingly in a very low production cost if he has a professional outlook towards his work. Another advantage of appointing a freelancer is that he will concentrate more on the project in hand rather than finding ways of profit making. He alone gets the scope to organize the whole web building process as per the client’s choice. No other expert can interfere in it. On the other hand interference of multiple people is very common in web designing companies. The client should give the web designer a free-hand so that he can produce his best work for you.

Essential Web Hosting Tools and Technologies

Even if you’re not a web developer, webmaster, or system administrator, you still ought to consider developer tools when buying web space. It’s better to prepare now rather than discover later that your web host doesn’t support a feature you need. There are a lot of developer tools out there, but these are the most essential.

PHP

PHP is a commonly used server-side scripting language. This means that scripts coded in PHP are executed on your web server, as opposed to your visitor’s computer. PHP will provide your website’s functionality. In fact, most popular web applications, blogging platforms, and content management systems are written in PHP. Make sure your web host supports the latest version of PHP. It’s also an advantage if they support older versions, since some web applications may still use them.

MySQL

MySQL is a relational database management system, which is used to store your website data. A scripting language like PHP is responsible for writing and reading the information stored in MySQL databases. It’s best to sign up with a web host that allows unlimited databases. Some web hosts provide a limited number, which will be inconvenient if you plan to build multiple websites.

Cron

Cron is a job scheduler. It allows users to run scripts or commands at a scheduled date and time, whether it’s a one-time task or a periodic one. Cron jobs are commonly used for system maintenance, such as automatic backups. They can also be used for other purposes, like sending email to mailing lists. A web host that provides an integrated control panel makes setting up cron jobs much easier by allowing you to use a visual interface.

CGI

CGI, or Common Gateway Interface, is a standard protocol for external gateway programs to interface with information servers. Basically, it’s a way for servers to interact with users. For example, web forms use CGI to process submitted form data.

.htaccess

Htaccess enables directory-level configuration. When you place an.htaccess file in a directory, you can override and fine-tune your web server’s configuration for that directory and its subdirectories.

Bonus: Ruby on Rails

While it may not be considered essential, Ruby on Rails support is a good thing to have. RoR is a web application framework used to build websites. It’s said to be simpler than PHP; it has more readable syntax, and allows applications to be developed with less code. Since it’s a new framework, some web hosts don’t support it just yet. It’s a good idea to find a web host that does, since RoR is becoming more and more popular.