Everything you need to know about websites
Okay, maybe not EVERYTHING. It takes years to learn the balance of code, design and function. What we’ll cover here is the basics that you as a client need to know about how a website is built, what’s required, and what you’ll need moving forward.
1: The Basics
A website all starts with a server. Every website owner hosts a website on a server, usually owned by someone else. You will pay either a monthly or yearly fee to use the memory space on this server to hold the files of your website.
We offer our own hosting plans, or you can use a third-party service. Popular hosting websites at the moment include GoDaddy, Bluehost, Dreamhost and more. What you’ll need for a hosting plan will depend on how large your website is, what is will be used for, and how much traffic you’ll anticipate. We can help you decide on the right hosting plan for you.
A Content Management System or CMS allows a less tech-savvy person to access and edit the files on their website, while still allowing a web developer to write and change code. Two of the most common and popular CMS options are WordPress and Shopify, which we specialize in.
We also build websites purely with code, however we like to allow our clients the option to retain access to their own website, whether they know code or not. Also, by choosing a pre-built base system, this saves the client on the cost of additional development time. This is why we generally choose the CMS option.
You’ve purchased your Hosting and set up your CMS, so now what? A Theme is the visual aspect of your website. It’s a set of code which tells browsers how to display your website, including fonts, colours, graphics, and layout. Your CMS will come with a very basic Theme and structure. There are many free and purchasable pre-built themes on the market, however they are generally very limited if you want to change anything beyond the text and images you place into them.
Our job is to create a custom Theme based on your unique wants and needs. This includes custom graphics/images, page layouts, and advanced features such as image slideshows, animations, online store, payment gateways, appointment bookings, email signups and more. The possibilities are (almost) endless!
Plugins and Add-ons
Most CMS options have a store of Plugins or Add-ons. These are packages of code that specialized teams have created to add features to your website.
Most developers will use Plugins/Add-ons in conjunction with their own systems as they save a client money on development time, and generally come with a strong community of users and technical support.