We provide a wide range of services for anyone starting out online – from simple brochure-style websites to large web-apps with complex functionality. We appreciate that making choices can be confusing in the initial stages, particularly with the myriad of different tools and technologies which are available. So you’ll find us full of understanding, and great advice – which will save you time, money and headaches!
We are here to provide the expertise you need to… boldly go where noone has gone before in the online world (? Well, they may have done something similar but it won’t be exactly what you are going to do, because it’s definitely going to be uniquely you, right? Ok, ok lets just revise that to “emerge confidently into the online world” – in any case we are programmers who like things to be correct, and so we simply hate split infinitives. And no we don’t all like Star Trek. That’s a myth.)
Using a Content Management System (CMS) is the most straightforward way to keep your website maintained. A CMS automatically gives you a web-based interface allowing you to administer your site from the browser. If you don’t have coding skills, but still want to maintain your website yourself, this is the preferred option. However, please be advised some learning will still be essential.
You should also be aware that there are some general limitations to using a CMS vs. building a site from the ground up:
You can get fair performance with a CMS – ie the page load times will be reasonable – but it’s often difficult to achieve stellar performance without major surgery (often going to ground level and changing the underlying code, which to some extent defeats the point of using a CMS.)
It’s great to have convenient ways to create layout, add content, upload photos etc. – however, because you are restricted to the options the CMS designers decided to provide (or the plugin/module designers) you can often be prevented from getting exactly the layout or functionality you visualised. If you manage your own site you may find yourself needing to compromise and accept designs, layouts or methods of operation that are close to – but not exactly – what you want.
If you ever have a unique requirement, and need to create custom functionality (ie pay a developer to create new code) then you’ll need a developer who not only understands the language the CMS is written in, but also is familiar with how the CMS is put together, and is able to integrate the new code according to the code layout restrictions of the CMS.
There may not be a very good way to test new content prior to it “going live” because CMS systems don’t generally offer much help with release management. That’s not a problem if you are mostly going to be adding informational pages which don’t have much interactivity on board – you should be able to preview pages before publishing them, and there won’t be much difference between the preview and the live version. However, there is a risk of discovering items are not to displaying or functioning correctly some time after publication.
But for new website owners who want to manager their own site, the convenience of CMS’s usually far outweighs the negative aspects.
Custom built sites beat CMS-based sites in terms of efficiency and performance, and leave you with maximum control over your site. With custom built sites you are not chained to the whims of the CMS developers, and will not need to compromise on exact functionality, layout, icons or any other feature of your site.
However, maintaining a custom site does take a higher level of skill – and so is appropriate for website owners who are either comfortable dealing directly with website code, or plan to have at least a part-time developer on hand to make changes when needed.
Custom sites give you great flexibility – and are certainly the best option if you plan to embed web-applications (either from the outset, or at a later date) – but it’s definitely worth considering the full implications of what going completely custom entails: each and every aspect of your site is going to need creating from scratch. If you want logins, these will need to be coded. There will be no convenient click-to-install SEO plugin, and you will be on your own with things like title and keyword optimisation. Everything from page caching to responsiveness will need to be carefully thought out and coded up.
Our standard website setup services focus on the bare basics needed to get you up and running, with the assumption you or your in-house developers will take it from there. But if you have any early goals you’d like to achieve then we are well positioned to help you on your way. (You can of course hire us for pretty much anything web related!) Some suggestions of the more common services you might be interested in are provided in this section. But of course, do get in touch and tell us about your specific situation.
What is the difference between a “web-site” and a “web-app”? We think the answer is pretty much nothing! The word “app” exploded onto the scene alongside the release of the original iPhone in 2007 – but an “app” is nothing more than a good old-fashioned computer program with a slightly sexier name. You don’t fool us Apple.
Since a website essentially already is a computer program then how can there be a difference? Indeed if you define “web-app” as “an interactive web-based software application” then an ordinary website qualifies, because it’s an application where you interact by clicking links, and it responds by serving web pages!
Ok, ok so we are programmers and we like strict definitions, whereas no doubt you live in the fuzzy, subjective world of normal people. We can do fuzzy too, mind you – we are happy with “fuzzy logic” after all. So long as the fuzziness is clearly defined ok?!
Chances are if you are describing what you want as a “web-app” then what you really mean is a website that has enhanced functionality, so that it can perform API calls, searches, analysis and any other general functionality beyond serving plain web pages.
We can certainly help you with this! Take a look at some of our packages below and get in touch to find out more.