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Web Site Development

Web Site Development Job Roles

The task of developing a major Web site is rarely undertaken by a single individual. In most cases, development teams are established and work is divided among experts or individuals with certain job roles. The following are some job roles that are typically necessary for the successful development of a large scale Web development project. In smaller projects, a single individual may take on multiple roles.

Project Manager
Manages the Web site development project and coordinates all team activities. The project manager creates the project schedule and plan. The project manager must ensure that all project milestones are met and that all outcomes are met.
Information Architect
The information architect clarifies the mission and goals of the Web site, determines the functionality of the site, helps define site organization, layout, and navigation.
Marketing or Public Relations Representative
The PR representative works with the Web developers to help define the look and feel for the Web site that aligns with the organization's marketing goals. PR representatives may also assist with editing the Web site content.
Multimedia Designer
Assists with determining the appropriate graphics, colors, and layout for the site. Creates page layout and designs graphics and other multimedia content.
Database Administrator
Creates databases, tables, stored procedures, writes SQL statements, and maintains control and access to databases.
Network or Systems Administrator
Configures, maintains, and secures the Web server. Installs and maintains hardware and systems level software.
Web Developer
Writes the HTML code and client or server-side scripts.

Like any significant technology development, Web sites are developed by following a project development methodology or step-by-step plan that encompasses the life cycle of a project from start to finish. Web sites are often developed using a variation of the traditional Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The Web Systems Development Life Cycle consists of the following phases:

  • Conceptualization - Identify Opportunity, What is the motivation for the site, Identify audience, Determine purpose and goals of the site
  • Analysis - Determine functional requirements, determine environmental requirements, determine content requirements, estimate costs, review competitors' sites
  • Design - choose site organization, storyborad the design, create page layout, document each page
  • Production - select Web authoring tool, organize site files, develop and test components
  • Testing - test site on different browsers, test with different screen resolutions, test from different locations, test using mobile devices, accessibility testing, site validation
  • Launch - Publish site to live production Web server
  • Maintenance - enhancements, modifications, additions to the site over time
  • Evaluation - review site to ensure that it meets goals

Web Site Hosting

A Web site hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own Web site accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center.There are various types of web hosting solutions. Depending on your needs, you could choose from one of several web hosting solutions and therefore it is important to research and evaluate the services to select the most appropriate option. Some of the most common types of web hosting services available include:

  • Shared Hosting -Shared web hosting (also called virtual hosting) is the most common type of hosting service used. Under this hosting, the Web site is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands.The Hosting company manages the server to ensure uptime, upgrading hardware and software.
  • Dedicated Hosting - dedicated web hosting solutions allow a client to lease the complete computer and have access to all its resources to host one or multiple websites. The user gets his or her own Web server and gains full control over it, however, the user typically does not own the server.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting - divides server resources into virtual servers, where resources can be allocated in a way that does not directly reflect the underlying hardware. Each server looks and acts like a dedicated server.
  • Managed Web Hosting - the user gets his or her own Web server but is not allowed full control over it, however, they are allowed to manage their data via FTP or other remote management tools
  • Free Web Hosting - offered by different companies with limited services, sometimes supported by advertisements, and often limited to basic Web Hosting services

A number of issues should be considered when choosing a Web host, including bandwidth, disk storage space, technical support, availability of server-side scripting languages (ASP.NET, PHP, Java, Coldfusion), database server availability (MySQL, MS SQL Server), type of Web server (IIS, Apache), and the server operating system (Windows, Linux). The host may also provide an interface or control panel for managing the Web server and installing scripts as well as other services like e-mail. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce). They are commonly used by larger companies to outsource network infrastructure to a hosting company.

Domain Name Selection

A domain name is an identification label that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control on the Internet, based on the Domain Name System (DNS). An important purpose of domain names is to provide easily recognizable and memorizable names to numerically addressed Internet resources (i.e., www.maconstateit.net instead of 74.208.73.193). The right to use a domain name is delegated by domain name registrars which are accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization charged with overseeing the name and number systems of the Internet. After determining the availablity of a domain name, you can register the domain name through a domain name registrar or through your Internet Hosting Company. The best way to determine whether a domain name is available is to use the Domain Name Look up Tool provide by Whois.

The following are basic guidelines to following when selecting a domain name:

  • Select a domain name that is as short as possible
  • Select a domain name that is as generic as possible, but related (resale value, trademarks etc.)
  • Avoid using hyphens, numbers or misspellings in the domain name
  • A domain name that is easy to remember
  • A domain name that is easy to spell
  • A .com domain is universally recognized and remembered. The newer extensions such as .biz, .lastname etc will take a few years to be accepted.
  • Avoid doubling up of letters - e.g. www.websiteengine.com. Instead use www.websitengine.com.

Web Site Marketing

After your Web site is hosted and accessible via the World Wide Web, various marketing techniques can be incorporated to help promote and increase access to your site. Some common and easy to implement Web marketing techniques are listed below:

  • Keyword Rich Page Titles
  • META Description and Keywords Tags
  • Include ATL attribute with the <img/> tag
  • Create a Site Map
  • Submit Site to Directories and Search Engines
  • Use Social Networking to Promote Web Site
  • Use Online Forums

An example of a keyword rich page tile and meta description and keyword tags is shown below:

<head>

    <title> Web Development Tutorials - XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, ASP.NET, PHP </title>

    <meta name="description" content="Web Development tutorials for ASP.NET, XHTML, JavaScript,"
	DHTML, and XML"/> 	    
	 	
    <meta name="keywords" content="ASP.NET 2.0, XHTML, ASP, Xml, HTML, JavaScript, DHTML, 
	Tutorial, Web Development, Active Server Pages" /> "	    

</head>

Listing 11-5. Title element with keywords.


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