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create website

 

 

create website with definition and planning

This initial stage is where your defined your goals and objectives for the Web site and begin to collect and analyze the information you'll need to justify the budget and resources required. This is also the time to define the scope of your website content, the interactive functionality and technology support required, and the depth and breadth of information resources that you will need to fill out the site and meet your reader's expectations. If you are contracting out the production of the Web site, you will also need to interview and select a site design firm. Ideally, your site designers should be involved as soon as possible in the planning discussions.

Site production checklist

Not every site will require consideration of every item below. Developers within corporations or other large enterprises can often count on substantial in-house technology support when creating new Web sites. If you are on your own as an individual or small business, you may need to contract with various technology and design vendors to create website and assemble everything you'll need to create a substantial content site or small e-commerce site.

Production

  • Will your site production team be composed of in-house people, outside contractors, or a mix of the two?
  • Who will manage the process?
  • Who are your primary content experts?
  • Who will be the liaison to any outside contractors?
  • Who will function long-term as the Webmaster or senior site editor?

Technology

  • What browsers and operating systems should your site support?
    • Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, Linux
    • Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer; minimum version supported
  • Network bandwidth of average site visitors
    • Internal audience or largely external audience?
    • Ethernet or high-speed connections typical of corporate offices
    • ISDN, or DSL medium-speed connections typical of suburban homes
    • Modem connections for rural, international, or poorer audiences
  • Dynamic html (HyperText Markup Language) and advanced features?
    • JavaScript or vbscript required
    • Java applets required
    • Style sheets required for web design
    • Third-party browser plug-ins required
    • Special features of the UNIX or NT server environments required
    • Special security or confidentiality create website features required
  • How will readers reach the support personnel?
    • Email messages from readers
    • Chat rooms, forums, help desks, or phone support
  • Database support?
    • User log-ins required to enter any site areas?
    • Questionnaires required?
    • Search and retrieval from databases needed?
  • Audiovisual content
    • Video or audio productions?

Web server support

  • In-house Web server or outsourced to Internet Service Provider (ISP)?
    • Unique domain names available (multihoming)
    • Disk space or site traffic limitations or extra costs
    • Adequate capacity to meet site traffic demands?
    • Twenty-four-hour, seven-days-a-week support and maintenance?
    • Statistics on users and site traffic?
    • Server log analysis: in-house or outsourced?
    • Search engine suitable for your content?
    • CGI (Common Gateway Interface), programming, and database middleware support available?
    • Database support or coordination with in-house staff?

Budgeting with a Free website builder.

  • Salaries and benefits for short-term development staff and long-term editorial and support staff
  • Hardware and software for in-house development team members
  • Staff training in Web use, database, Web marketing, and Web design
  • Outsourcing fees
    • Site design and development
    • Technical consulting
    • Database development
    • Site marketing
  • Ongoing personnel support for site
    • Site editor or Webmaster
  • Ongoing server and technical support
  • Database maintenance and support
  • New content development and updating

Appoint a site editor

A site that is "everyone's responsibility" can quickly become an orphan. A maintenance plan should specify who is responsible for the content of each page in the site. To maintain consistent editorial, graphic design, and management policies you'll also need one person to act as the editor of the overall Web site. The site editor's duties will vary according to how you choose to maintain your site. Some editors do all the work of maintaining site content, relieving their coworkers of the need to deal directly with Web page editing. Other editors coordinate and edit the work of many contributors who work directly to create website. If multiple people contribute to site maintenance, the site editor may choose to edit pages after they are created and posted to avoid becoming a bottleneck in the communications process. However, high-profile public pages or pages that contain very important content should be vetted by the editor before public posting.

In addition to ensuring editorial quality, a site editor must also ensure that the content of the site reflects the policies of the enterprise, is consistent with local appropriate use policies, and does not contain material that violates create website copyright laws. Many people who post pictures, cartoons, music files, or written material copied from other sites on their own sites do not understand copyrights and the legal risks in using copyrighted materials inappropriately. A site editor is often an institution's first line of defense against an expensive lawsuit over the misuse of protected material.

 

Information architecture

At this stage you need to detail the content and organization of the Web site. The team should inventory all existing content, describe what new content is required, and define the organizational structure of the site. Once a content architecture has been sketched out, you should build small prototypes of parts of the site to test what it feels like to move around within the design. Site prototypes are useful for two reasons. First, they are the best way to test site navigation and develop the user interface. The prototypes should incorporate enough pages to assess accurately what it's like to move from menus to content pages. Second, creating a prototype allows the graphic designers to develop relations between how the site looks and how the navigation interface supports the information design. The key to good prototyping is flexibility early on: the site prototypes should not be so complex or elaborate that the team becomes too invested in one design at the expense of exploring better alternatives.

Typical results or contract deliverables at the end of this stage could include:

  • Detailed site design specification
  • Detailed description of site content
  • Site maps, thumbnails, outlines, table of contents
  • Detailed technical support specification
  • Browser technology supported
  • Connection speed supported
  • Web server and server resources for faster graphics
  • Proposals to create programming or technology to support specific features of the site
  • A schedule for implementing the site design and construction
  • One or more site prototypes of multiple pages
  • Multiple graphic design and interface design sketches or roughs
 

Site design

At this stage the project acquires its look and feel, as the page grid, page design, and overall graphic design standards are created and approved. Now the illustrations, photography, and other graphic or audiovisual content for the site need to be commissioned and created. Research, writing, organizing, assembling, and editing the site's text content is also performed at this stage. Any programming, database design and data entry, and search engine design should be well under way by now. The goal is to produce all the content components and functional programming and have them ready for the final production stage: the construction of the actual Web site pages.

Typical products or contract deliverables at the end of this stage could include:

Content components, detailed organization and assembly

  • Text, edited and proofread
  • Graphic design specifications for all page types
    • Finished interface graphics for page templates
    • Header and footer graphics, logos, buttons, backgrounds
  • Detailed page comps or finished examples of key pages
    • Site graphic standards manual for large, complex sites
  • Interface design and master page grid templates completed
    • Finished html template pages
  • Illustrations
  • Photography

Functional and logic components

  • JavaScript scripts, Java applets designed
  • Database tables and programming, interaction prototypes completed
  • Search engine designed and tested

Templates & Software to create website

Whether you create a website on your own or hire a professional Web developer, you should develop page templates for your new Web site. It's much easier to add new pages if you can start from a page that already has the basic navigation and site graphics in place. If you share page development with other people, you will also want to be able to give your team members templates to use, along with instructions, on how to handle page text and content graphics according to your standards. Popular Web site development software ,packages such as Macromedia's Dreamweaver offer powerful templates and standard reusable libraries of site graphics and html that make it easy to create new pages and maintain your site.

Accessibility

For many organizations, providing equal access to Web pages is institutional policy, if not a federal mandate. It is critical, therefore, that you validate your designs and page templates and the content of your site throughout the development process to ensure that your pages are accessible to all users. To check the accessibility of your pages you can use a tool like Bobby. Bobby is a 100% free service provided by the Center for Applied Special Technology. After you supply the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of your page, Bobby checks the page against the Web Accessibility Initiative guidelines and flags potential barriers for users with disabilities. Bobby also recommends changes that will improve the accessibility of your pages. Check your designs at every development milestone to avoid time-consuming and potentially costly revamping efforts.

 
Only at this mature stage of the project are the bulk of the site's Web pages constructed and filled out with content. By waiting until you have a detailed site architecture, mature content components, and a polished page design specification you will minimize the content churning, redundant development efforts, and wasted energy that inevitably result from rushing to create pages too soon. Of course, you will always learn many new things about your overall design as the prototype matures into the full-blown create website. Be prepared to refine your designs as you navigate through the growing Web site and discover both weak spots and opportunities to improve navigation or content.

Once the site has been constructed, with all pages completed and all database and programming components linked, it is ready for beta testing. Testing should be done primarily by readers outside your site development team who are willing to supply informed criticism and report programming bugs, typographic errors, and critique the overall design and effectiveness of the create website. Fresh users will inevitably notice things that you and your development team have overlooked. Only after the site has been thoroughly tested should you begin to publicize the URL address of the site to a larger audience.

Typical products or contract deliverables at the end of this stage should include:

  • Finished html for all Web pages, all page content in place
  • Finished navigation link structure
  • All programming in place and linked to pages, ready for beta testing
  • All database components in place and linked to site pages
  • All graphic design, illustration, and photography in place
  • Final proofreading of all site content
  • Detailed testing of database and programming functionality
  • Testing and verification of database reporting features
  • Testing of site reader support procedures, answering email, etc.
  • Archives of all site content components, html code, programming code, and any other site development materials

Maintainable code in your create website builder

Most business or departments in larger enterprises will contract with a Web development group to create the initial site design and to build all the pages in the first version of the Web site. They then assume responsibility for the site, doing some or all of the day-to-day maintenance and updating content as needed to keep the site current.

Often not until the practicalities of site maintenance come up do customers realize the importance of understanding the details of how the Web developer generated the html and other code that makes up the Web site. Although all html is much the same to Web browsing software, how the html is formatted and what Web authoring tool the developer used can make a huge difference in how the code looks to a human reader. Consider the two code examples below:

Example 1

<! START OF SCHEDULE TABLE ======= >
<table summary="Human Investigations Committee II schedule, FY 2001." border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="1">
<tr valign="top">
<! =============================== >
<td width="50%">
<p class="tabletext">
Deadline for Submissions</p>
</td>
<td width="2%">
&nbsp;
</td>
<td width="48%">
<p class="tabletext">
Meeting Dates 2001</p>
</td></tr>
<! =============================== >

Example 2

<table summary="Human Investigations Committee II schedule, FY 2001." border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="1"><tr valign="top"><td width="50%"><p class="tabletext">Deadline for Submissions</p></td><td width="2%">&nbsp;</td><td width="48%"><p class="tabletext">Meeting Dates 2001</p></td></tr>

Which example do you find easier to understand? These code examples are exactly equivalent to the BlueVoda website builder and other Web browser software, but most people would find Example 1 significantly easier to read and understand. If you contract with a developer to build your site, it is crucial to understand how the developer writes code, what state the code will be in when the site is delivered, and whether the software used by the developer is compatible with what you will be using to maintain the site after delivery. Some Web development software produces html code that is nearly impossible for a human to read without significant (and expensive) reformatting. Other programs (such as Macromedia Dreamweaver) produce create website html code that create website is easy for Web programmers to read, which can make a huge difference if you decide to change Web developers or if you decide to edit html directly in maintaining your site. If you hire someone to create your Web site, be sure to ask what tools he or she will use to write the html and any other code. Ask to see examples of html code written for other clients. Check the code to be sure the developer inserts explanatory comments create website and dividers for legibility in the code. Be sure you understand whether there will be any problems or conflicts in using your favorite Web tools to edit the html code your Web developer produces. Create and Build,

 

 

 

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