Sometimes you eat a bear ... and sometimes a bear eats you. Now, when my personal bear called work is fed up, we can proceed further with our exploration of web development procedures. In the first part of Naked Web Development, we have spoken about general the idea of a website, negotiations and technical documentation. Today we will get our thoughts into software, hardware, programming and graphic templates.
Let us start with an easy part — hosting. People tend to put minimal system requirements for hosting in technical task. In theory, this is where you can save a couple of coins to spend later for hookers and beer. This could be true in case you are planning to open a simple small business website. However, in case if we are talking about something like e-commerce solution to sell stuff, you can lose your profit using a cheap and dumb hosting. People hate to wait, you know. If your site is slow, you are in trouble. Your competitors will be glad to welcome your clients.
Therefore, my advice is to get the best possible hosting solution and wait a bit with entertainment. Best possible choice is managed server — also an expensive one. Second alternative is VPS which means some kind of a server divided by a provider into containers, one of which you will purchase. The problem here is simple: if your neighbor in some moment will eat processing time — you will need to wait a bit. Third option is a simple hosting — worse than VPS, because with VPS you will get 5-10 websites per one machine (no one knows exactly how many, but number is close). With a simple hosting, it will be over 50 or even 100. Less clients for one machine means more stable server and predictable load allocation.
Now, this one is the hardest part. Mostly due to harmonization process between a client and a studio. I have talked about this problem. To simplify matters let us say that web designers are trying to make graphic templates better and more useful. Simultaneously, clients are trying to destroy all designers' efforts.
What can I say? Almost everything you see around the network is a compromise between experiences and self-conceit. Nothing personal — this is reality. In this particular section, I can only advice you to be more confident with your designers’ skills and talents. This job is tricky enough without additional advices. As a developer, you need to implement all technical task ideas in graphics — the best possible, convenient and modern way. The way it benefits your visitors and make them happy.
In most cases, programming starts along with template design, because the foundation of any website is pretty much the same. It could be different from one another in the end of a day, but not in the beginning. We start with installing default modules such as: news and blog engine, content page constructor, photo albums, e-commerce, user registration, media library and feedback system. Nothing fancy about these — all standard functions accompanied with a standard database.
For example. Our e-commerce solution allows you to create an online shop, add categories and products there and even hook it up with PayPal. That is by default and it will work. However, you do not want to have similar product pages for a panties shop and a car store, do you? Those pages should not be the same. This is where we do some additional programming. While basic engine stays the same, we adjust database and product pages the way it best suits your product line. Situation is pretty much the same with all our modules. Overall, website engine could be modified any way you need to.
The last piece here is connecting a graphic template with the website engine. It could be done after all programming part is finished or during programming process — everything depends on a project and a situation.
Finally, some words about software we use during development process.
Along with open source GIMP, for graphic templates, banners, buttons, and fonts and so on, we use popular Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash when it is necessary. Program code is mostly written using Bluefish for Linux. As a server system we install a pretty standard, easy to maintain and yet powerful Debian Linux.
That is all with the basics, I think. Of course, in reality, things could be more complicated, but this is a blog article, not a lecture. It is about what we do here, how we do it and why — for those who is new to Internet and especially for those who is new in website owning business.
Previous part: Naked Web Development, Part One
We will get back to you as soon as possible.