Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

Easy Web Hosting – How Web Designers Always Make Things 10x Harder For Themselves

August 17th, 2018

All too often it can be tempting to get stuck right into a new project or idea that is fresh in your mind. Many will think they have found an easy web hosting solution before their plan is even on the drawing board!

While it can be advantageous to move quickly on a small project controlled by one person, for anything larger in scale, moving too quickly can increase the “downstream” cost of a project considerably, both in terms of time pointlessly wasted and money blown from the budget.

Development projects tend to follow a certain optimum path. Becoming aware of the appropriate steps in a development project and most importantly, taking a big step back to look at things afresh, can greatly reduce the risk of project failure.

This can of course be counter-intuitive to follow in practice, so lets take a quick look at the phases of a web development project…

Brainstorm It: Coming Up With Your Idea
This is often the easy part. You will be driving along, taking a shower, a walk or whatever, while thinking of nothing in particular then BAM! It will strike out of the blue. The brainstorming part is usually where most of the fun lies, where you can get your creative juices flowing and everything is fluid and evolving.

We all need to brainstorm at times, or we experience creative atrophy. Yet at the same time it is a highly charged emotional experience, and emotionally driven projects that are not thoroughly balanced with rational logic, tend to be the ones that “tank” half way through, or turn into never ending projects of doom!

Write It Down On Paper
Sadly, a step that is often missed. A reasonably large project should have a concept phase where you at least scribble down your ideas and some basic wire frame designs of how you envisage your website will look like.

Even better, a written specification document should be projected and stored in a spreadsheet in a location where every team member has access.

Craft Your Unique Selling Position (USP)
This is perhaps THE most important step of all. OK so you have your brilliant idea, but who will benefit from it? How will you convince people to use your creation? Do they even want it?

The last question can be a tough pill to swallow, but unfortunately the fact that you think your creation is the best thing since sliced bread doesn’t cut it in the real world. You should conduct some basic market research to test the size of the market and potential demand for your site. If it looks like there is some potential in the market, then you will need to somehow convince people to use your site instead of your competitors.

If you can think of a viable marketing angle then you have a green light to go further with your project, if not, than you should stop right here. An oh so hard thing to do once the momentum has started I know!

Build It
Ok, so your project has got the go-ahead. You have two basic options: Develop offline or develop online. Unless you already have a hosting plan, it is usually a better choice to develop offline using a web simulation tool such as XAMPP. You don’t have to pay hosting fees until your site is ready this way.

Register A Domain Name
Your domain name should reflect your Unique Selling Position. The internet is competitive so chances are your preferred domain name will be taken. In this case look for a similar alternative such as a domain with dashes in it, or a .net or .info domain.

Find a Web Host
As you can see this is step number 5 in the process, not step number 1! Unless you have special requirements, finding a web host should be easy.

But searching on Google is probably the worst place to find solid information on the best web host, as it’s littered with “top 10 review” sites which are basically run by biased affiliates who are getting paid a large commission.

In practice, any shared hosting plan should be suitable for your needs, especially when your site is fairly new. If your site starts to get a lot of traffic then you can switch to a VPS or dedicated hosting, but usually it takes some time to gain traction in the search engines.

Publish It
Once your website development is completed (or at least in beta), you can publish your site. If you’re developing in XAMPP then all you probably need to do is to transfer your files to your server using FTP and setup any databases your site requires.

Test It
Your site is now live, but it might not be ready for wider exposure yet. Get a few people to visit it and give you their feedback. If you can’t find anyone to help then you can set up some questionnaires and have your visitors send you feedback. Usually it is hard to make people comply unless you give away free stuff, so keep this in mind.

Optimize It
OK so people have now told you how much they love your site, it is time for greater exposure. This is where the real marketing effort starts. You will have to add new content for a while (it helps if it is keyword optimized) and try and get links into your web pages. If you have a budget for pay-per-click (PPC), then paying for traffic is another way of bringing people in.

Monetize It
Making money from your website might not be your goal. You might be a non-profit organization or a social site, but generally most sites of reasonable size are aiming to generate revenue. If for no other reason than to pay their running costs.

You can monetize your website in many ways, the most popular is Google AdSense, which allows you to place ads on your site. You get paid whenever someone clicks on an ad. Affiliate products are another source of revenue, where you direct people to a merchants website and get paid a percentage commission if someone buys a product.

So there you have it. These steps are not always in this order. Every project is unique and the circumstances of a project might not require every step listed here. If your project is a sizable one, then having a clear, preferably written plan at each milestone of the project if far better in the long run than “just diving right in”. The larger the project the more true this is.

Boring? Yes! Tedious? Yes! Easier? You bet! Your project will probably seem more mundane without the long nights of crunch time, the caffeine, adrenalin and stress! Kind of takes the fun out of it really

Engaging a Web Designer – One Contract You Should Read

August 16th, 2018

It is amazing how naive otherwise sensible business people can be when it comes to commissioning a designer to develop a website for them. Whether it is a lack of knowledge or simple forgetfulness many businesses overlook formalities like having a website development contract. This lax approach can have serious consequences.

While it may be impracticable to scour every contract that you come across in business, let alone get legal advice on them all, some contracts are just too important to take lightly. A website is one of them, and even more so if it is for an e-commerce site.

Securing rights in your website

Businesses that don’t secure rights in their own name can run into problems if they want to engage someone else to maintain or redesign or host their site. Worse still many a business enters into sale negotiations only to discover that they don’t have the rights in their own site, and can’t sell it. Yet the website can be the most important asset an internet business owns. Securing the necessary rights from the web developer at that stage could prove expensive.

So before engaging the services of a web designer, every business should consider the contractual position. The only exception is if the business is using its own employees to do the job of developing the website.

What to watch out for

Many developers will have their own terms and conditions which, of course, will be biased in their favour. Have a look at their terms and conditions so you can decide whether you want to carry on talking to them. Here are some of the issues you should be watching out for:

o Under the general law if there is no written contract, the website developer will be the owner of the copyright in your website. However, you are free to provide otherwise in your contract commissioning the work.

o Ideally you should try to get copyright in everything including any underlying software. However, there are very real reasons why the web developer may be reluctant to give you copyright in everything. If they are happy to do so then make sure the contract has a clause agreeing to assign the copyright and other intellectual property in the website and its contents to you.

o The reason the website developer will be unlikely to agree to this, is that they will want to be free to reuse the code, or there may be third party software used which they are not in a position to assign to you. In that case make sure the developer grants you an irrevocable non-exclusive worldwide license to use any intellectual property rights that they won’t be assigning to you.

o If at all possible ask for a warranty to the effect that all the intellectual property in the website is the developer’s own work and has not been copied. This should be supported with an indemnity in case the rights of third parties are breached by the website through no fault of yours and you are sued. It is important that this indemnity extends to other copyright elements that the web designer is providing, such as copyrighting services, photographs and any video or other features.

o On the other hand if you are providing material like photographs don’t be surprised if you have to give a similar warranty and indemnity to the designer.

o Most disputes arise because of false expectations. It is too easy to assume the web developer knows what you mean. So, make sure there is a specification setting out what you expect to get and by when.

o Another obvious cause of dispute involves payment. What will the estimate or quote cover and what further fees might you be asked to pay? It is all too easy when you don’t understand the extent of the work involved in any requests you make for additional bits and pieces, to get a shock when you find out how much it is going to cost you. Good practice is to ask the developer to signal in advance everything that will attract an extra charge so you can choose not to go ahead if it will be too expensive. Another good idea is to pay in stages and only once you sign off each stage.

Having managed to find a reliable designer the next step is to sort out the hosting, support and maintenance contract for your site, which will be the subject of a separate article.

Thinking of the contract terms BEFORE formally commissioning the designer is vital. Under the law a contract comes into being once the 3 Ps are known – that is the parties, the price and the project. So, businesses should take care to discuss the terms at the outset so the web designer knows they are not formally being engaged to do the work until terms have been sorted out. What is not so well known by the public is that it is not necessary to sign a contract to be subject to it.

What is surprising is that some businesses will ask their web designers to register domain names for them. Clearly, they are unaware of possible problems. Domain names are based in contract, so the user of the name should be the owner in whose name the domain is held. If the web designer runs off to France and takes control of the website, there would be real difficulties for the business whose domain was owned by that designer. By registering the domain name in the business owner’s own name the owner would be in a position to take any necessary legal and other steps in relation to its own website domain.

Use Open Source and Hire PHP Developers to Have a Cost Effective Web Solution

August 15th, 2018

Offering professional and customized solution in web development, the PHP developers are all experts to handle all the needs related to Open Source applications in the most smooth and efficient manner. With a much reduced development time and cost these Open Source applications when got accomplished by PHP developers that can be very easily hired from the market can be a great way to ensure cost efficacy and reap benefits that are many and not just few.

With an enhanced probability and better results that will sure be seen in the figures, the PHP programmers can be your ideal escort to offer all the business and website owners out there the most apt web solutions, whether the same belongs to Open web source applications or any other. Working closely with the needs and requirements of the clients, the Developers ensure that they offer the most customized solution and after careful and through analysis.

Offering the design, management, building, and maintenance of the high quality solutions for a range of businesses and even individual website owners in PHP development, the PHP programmers if chosen carefully can help you in enjoying a great cost cutting altogether. Ensuring that the solutions these developers provide will be profitable and beneficial for the owners in the long run, with PHP web developer you can look forward to finding an apt answer to all your web solutions need in a very budget friendly manner.

With a number of benefits behind it Open Source applications when got done with PHP developers can help you in getting indulged in a cost effective web solution that can be a great step you can take towards a secured, scalable and profitable future income.

So, enjoy cost-efficiency and benefits together with PHP developers offering Open web source solutions.