Website Basics - Development and Website platforms

Website Basics – Development and Website platforms

By Sadie on September 24, 2011

website development

With lots of different technologies available it can be hard to choose for you website development and with all of these options it can be difficult to choose.

Technology & Platform

Based on these requirements and functionality, a web agency will be able to provide you with recommendations for a web platform and a preference on the technology.  Some companies already have some resources available to them or need to keep all web based sites and applications on a particular system, such as SharePoint. Keeping IT involved from the start can prevent any compatibility or regulation issues down the line.


Ask your IT or web agency to make recommendations for you based on the requirements.

  • Choose hosting that supports the technology you intend to use, including the type of database and scripting you want to use.
  • Can it handle the amount of traffic you are expecting / aiming for?  Do you need a basic hosting package, or does your site require a dedicated server?
  • What security do you need?  Usual requirements include a Firewall, SPAM protection and 128-bit encrypted databases


Website Development

Static or Dynamic?

Nowadays even the smallest sites tend to use a database to hold all the content.  This enables a non programmer to login into an admin section of the site and edit the content (called a content management system).  However, this extra development will increase the costs.  If you’re site is not going to change and you’re on a tight budget, a static site might do the job and you can discuss this with your website developer or agency.

CMS (Content Management System)

If you’re using a CMS, content updates are very quick and easy to do.  These can be done by a member of your team or the web agency (or both!).  Most of the content won’t change that often depending of course on the nature of your site, but adding new pages to the site or adding news posts are the most common updates.  A good CMS will allow multiple users and multiple levels of access.


Opensource Vs Commercial

  • OpenSource platforms are free to use, but there is still a cost to setup and develop your site.  You can edit or manipulate them to work however you wish.
  • Commercial platforms need to be purchased.  They are generally more restrictive in what you can do with them without needing more investment.


Opensource Advantagess & Disadvantages

OpenSource is free to use and manipulate.  It has the benefit of millions of developers working on the system which can’t be said about any other platform.  Additionally, if you want specific functionality, generally someone else has already developed something similar and has it as a downloadable plugin.  This can offer considerable cost savings on development.

Disadvantages are if you need support, there isn’t any other than forums etc.  Also perceived as higher risk in terms of security, because there is a higher risk of hacking attempts etc.

Commercial Advantagess & Disadvantages

Commercial platforms are generally more accessible in terms of integration of existing systems within big organisations.  They offer 24 hour support and tend to be perceived as much lower risk in terms of security.

They can however be very expensive to purchase and maintain, with different licence options for each package.