Welcome to the Website Development section. This is the place where you can learn more about design and development process that I follow at DigitallyInked. You can also find a list of the websites that I have completed for clients both at DigitallyInked and earlier at Phoenix Nest Enterprise.Click here to go to the Work Showcase Section
Why have a website at all?
Even if you have a very small business, like mine, having an online presence is essential because an increasing number of people prefer to get their information online nowadays. In India, the penetration of wireless/mobile internet primarily and, to a lesser extent, broadband internet is fuelling the demand for more information online. By some estimates from the IAMAI & KPMG ( found here: http://iamai.in/PRelease_Detail.aspx?nid=3604&NMonth=7&NYear=2015 ), India will have roughly 500 million internet users by 2017. Therefore, having a place where people can easily learn about your products & services is ultimately in the best interest of your business.
Technologies I use
What should you use for your site?
The better questions to ask yourself are:
- What's the point of the site?
- What features does the site need?
- How fast does the site need to be developed?
- How frequently will the content be updated?
- What is the budget for the site?
Of all these, I would say that the last one is probably the least important, and if you want quality results, you should really not compromise on the cost (and the timeframe, for that matter). However, I do understand that cost is a very valid and practical concern for some people, and that is why I put it in the list.
Content Management Systems or CMS
Generally speaking, using a CMS for building your website takes less time, however, this also has some constraints imposed upon it by the system used. For most use cases, this is fine though. They also cost less to develop for. I recommend looking at Joomla! or WordPress if you want user-friendly solutions. There are other CMS solutions out there, but these two are the most widely used and the most widely supported in terms of extensions, plugins and developers familiar with it. There is also more information and training readily available about these systems. The one issue you will run into with a CMS is keeping the system regularly updated for security reasons and knowing how to deal with the problems that might arise if the update process does not go smoothly.
Custom Coding or Development From Scratch
If you want the most amount of control over(read: do pretty much anything with) your website, then you will be looking to develop a site from scratch. This process is more time consuming and therefore costs more. However, the level of customization that can be achieved using this is the best. The other advantage is that sites done from scratch are crazy fast to load, since in most use cases they don't have to deal with a database(they CAN use databases, if needed. Which is not a choice with CMS - you HAVE to use a database whether you need one or not). And since these sites do not have to worry about a CMS system as their backend, they need system updates very rarely, if at all.
There is an intermediate solution to these two, called Flat-File CMS. Basically, how these work is that they just read the content from a set of files written in the Markdown format. All the user has to do is to write the files in Markdown format and upload the files to a folder in a server. If you know how to create, edit, save & copy files and create & edit folders, you will find Flat-File systems very easy to use. These do not utilize any traditional databases, and so, like sites developed from scratch, they are also incredibly fast to load. If you have a relatively light and simple site in mind, give these a go. There are many Flat-File CMS available, but the one that I would recommend is Grav.
Just to prove a point, I have developed DigitallyInked's website from scratch. Almost everything on the site is custom coded. The only exceptions to this are the Bootstrap and jQuery Frameworks.