Brisbane Web Design - Build

Brisbane Web Design - Build (2)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 02:28


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So you own a website, now what?

There is an old adage - "If you're not living you're dying".  This is also true of websites.  Websites require monthly maintenance as a rule, enterprise websites are monitored daily, and almost all websites need to be reactive to security threats and upgrade warnings.

Web Hosting

Web Hosting is commonly talked about as if it was all the same.  The reality is that there are vastly different types of web hosting.

The most common form of hosting is low cost shared web hosting.  This form of hosting typically has several hundred and more commonly several thousand websites all using the same bandwidth, computer processors, hard drives, and RAM.  The cheapest ones are located in the USA and some third world countries. These web hosts allocate a single shared IP address (its like a post office box that everyone uses), a limited amount of hard drive, and a fragment of RAM and processor power.  The servers that host these websites severely restrict the RAM, harddrive, processor threads your website can use..  If your website is expected to be more than a brochure website and you don't want it to be very slow then cheap shared hosting or overseas web hosting is not for you.

Interweaving shares its dedicated servers across a very limited number of clients based on their monitored resource needs.  The servers are optimised to be used with our content management systems with support for database hungry applications.  The specification for the servers we share with our clients is extremely high by industry standards.  These servers are located in Australia. This means that organisations with customers primarily in Australia will have the fastest service possible with virtually no lag.  Your clients wont have long waits to be allocated a processor, struggle with RAM, or bandwidth.  These are new top of the line servers which are over-configured to ensure that websites are served in the optimum conditions.

Having a unique IP address located in Australia is essential to your organisation.  You cannot properly secure your website for e-commerce and privacy unless you have your own unique IP address, and search engines will give you preferential listings on searches coming from Australian residents if your IP is also in Australia.  Interweaving has 60 unique dedicated IP addresses which are available for clients that believe Search Engine Optimised Hosting is important.


Website Maintenance

The Internet is a still quite a wild place.  It has frequent security threats and the working environment changes constantly.  Various web browsers and software companies often change their systems and many of them don't follow established web standards.  Microsoft with the Internet Explorer 6 web browser chose to ignore most of the established web standards in order to try and monopolise the browser market a few years ago.  They failed but this has led to many web applications not showing up properly in Internet Explorer to this day.

Web Hosting is generally well maintained within professional web hosting companies.  However, they are not responsible for keeping your website up to date. Typically, once a web developer turns over a website to a client - that responsibility is up to the client for ongoing maintenance. There is one disadvantage with having access to so much technology within a CMS system and that is that each and every programming component needs to be maintained.  Each program actually has its own security vulnerabilities and upgrade issues which need to be individually monitored to keep up with the changes in the Internet.  This creates quite a burden for most website owners which is why Interweaving believes that website maintenance should be an integrated part of managed hosting.

Interweaving monitors all of the program upgrades and security alerts, and then upgrades, maintains, and repairs as required.  One added benefit is that a single upgrade can potentially disable your whole system if done incorrectly.   Interweaving controls a wide variety of websites that all use the same content management system. As many of the same modules are used between websites we have developed, it is cost effective for us to maintain everyone's system as a service - so they don't have to.  Most maintenance by nature is reactive maintenance and cleaning up system artifacts.


Optimisation comes in many forms.  It is creating proactive change to improve, rather than maintain a website.  It involves search engine optimisation of website content; security optimisation to prevent commerce and privacy breeches; server and database optimisation to improve speed, performance, and reliability; and content editing to groom new content as it is added to the system.  Optimisation also offers the development team a chance to review and recommend installation of new technology or upgrades of technology that are already used on your system.  Most of the time these upgrades, as part of a management program, cost very little to keep up to date.


Once your website is created - then what?  What if you have questions? Something breaks? Ghosts start showing up in the machine?  Even great website administrators need help on a regular basis.  That's ok Interweaving is here to help.  Although generous timed support is part of each web development package eventually you may run out of support time.  That isn't really something to worry about we honestly want to help.  Here is a good tip: if you save a number of queries you have then discuss them all at the same time - your support hours will last much longer than a long series of single queries.

We will call you to see how your going on a regular basis too.  Feel free to ask us any questions you would like for free when we do!

For questions about managed web hosting and professional web maintenance please book a free consultation.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 02:26


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Is it about the business, technology or the design?

Actually it is about the customer!  It doesn't matter if you are a business or a non-profit organisation - it is always about who you serve.  How do they feel and what do they want?  Technology and web design are about serving the end user.  Building the website is about combining all of the factors of development to produce a website quickly with all the technology at a price which offers a great return on investment.

Building websites is a concert of a wide array of elements that need to come together in a very precise way to deliver a prescribed outcome.  Shorthand - it needs to work!  Users need to enjoy your website - even if the source of that enjoyment is just highly usable functionality.  Can you imagine going to a website and actually enjoying paying a parking ticket because it was so hassle free?

There are four major areas of web development to consider:

  • Presentation layer - look, feel, style, assignment of screen real estate, navigation
  • Logic layer -performs calculations, offers technology to present content (slide shows, lists, galleries, forums), user interaction mechanisms, user input
  • Data layer - the database stores almost all the information for a website.  Its only purpose is to serve and store information in most cases.
  • Administration layer - in modern content management systems the administration layer gives instructions to the presentation, logic, and data layers.  This includes adding, editing, and deleting content; configuring technology used; and controlling things like time and administration functions.  It sits between the website presentation and the logic & the data layer.  In essence everything is stored in the database and the administration layer gives all instructions on how it will present and behave.

Build Process

Building a website starts with creating a vision, plan, creative elements, specifications - and then finally building it.  The building part of development is actually one of the least important activities as the majority of work that is preformed has already been defined and carefully thought out.

Standard Technology

  •     The content management system is installed.
  •     A temporary design structure is implemented so that the presentation layer can function
  •     Menu structure schema is implemented
  •     Technology modules and existing components are applied
  •     Sample content is uploaded to the database

Custom Technology

  •     Forms are developed with their business logic validation of fields
  •     Custom applications of modules and extensions are created
  •     Application interfaces are created
  •     Processing technology specific to unique content needs are implemented

Administration Controls

  •     Applications that manipulate content which cannot be managed in the administration back-end are applied and tested
  •     Administration controls based on access levels are assigned
  •     Backup, security, and website optimisations are installed and configured
  •     Back-end configuration of quotations, invoices, project management, customer management, and others are applied
  •     Time controls for automated functions are inserted

Creative Design

  •     Style sheet is created and applied
  •     Custom structures and screen elements are installed
  •     Graphical content are tailored to the website
  •     Client is involved in pre-delivery modifications and approval process
  •     Final graphics are optimised for web

Database Development

  •     Database engineering commences to create custom tables and structures
  •     Database is checked for integrity
  •     Sample data is discarded
  •     Database is optimised for speed

Standards Testing

  •     Website is checked for compliance to the relevant standards
  •     Alterations are made for instances of failure to achieve best fit
  •     Dead link and 404 testing is preformed

Technical Specification

  •     Documents specific to development are written
  •     Code is commented as modifications are made
  •     Database structure is documented if required
  •     Previous documentation is checked against the build

Every web development is unique.  Sometimes even what appears to be simple changes can be very labourious, and things that may seem complex are very simple.  During a development build changes can be very costly.  Interweaving tries diligently to make clients aware of the cost of changes during construction before any work is preformed.  The work performed during a build is very much like the framing of a house.  A lot happens all at once, and it begins to look very much like a house - but there is a lot to be done before you can move in.

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