To some folks, the process of creating a website might seem a little esoteric; the stuff of graphic designers, coders and geeks. When you use a website, whether it's the skilfully crafted design of the frontend, or the nuts and bolts of the content management system in the backend, what you're seeing is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the work and complexity that goes into building a modern site. This post will talk a little about what goes on behind the scenes, and why you really do get what you pay for in terms of web development.
More Than a Pretty Face
Your website is a digital representation of your business, available to your existing and potential customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Gone are the days of "we probably should have a website", in fact, today, having a good website is often considered to be THE number one priority for new businesses. Your website will be integral to your core business strategies, and will even affect decisions such as the naming of your business. If you can't find a domain name available to match your clever business name, you had better think of another one.
As your digital representative, you will want your website to look as polished as possible. People do judge books by their cover, it's human nature. So obviously having an attractive graphic design is a high priority for your site. But your site is more than a pretty face. Just like a Ferrari, under that glossy exterior is a highly refined and complicated engine, one that has taken many, many hours worth of work to perfect.
But isn't it all just HTML?
When you type up a document in Word, you may have noticed that you can save it in HTML format. HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the language of the web. Every website you browse uses HTML behind the scenes to render itself in your browser. So if you can write your content in Word and save it as HTML, then that's all there is to it, right? Your website is finished!
We all know that it's more complicated than this, but it can be surprising just how much more complicated it really is. Back in the old days of the web, people would sometimes write their content in a program like Word, save it as HTML, and manually upload this file to a web server. Voila! Your painstakingly crafted content is live on the web! You could actually still manage your website in this fashion today, it's cheap and it looks terrible, but it would indeed work.
However, most websites these days have become vastly more complicated beasts, consisting of much, much more than a few manually-uploaded HTML documents. In fact, the default installation of our very own Praxis CMS consists of around 4,150 files and 150,000 lines of code. A modern site is a complex software application, designed to provide you with more advanced features for your site, and assist with the management of those features.
Many long and difficult hours of development and testing are spent on fine-tuning this engine that drives your website. Computers are imperfect machines created by imperfect beings. Whenever you see a complicated computer system that works well, you can be sure that an incredible amount of effort has gone into perfecting that system.
The Value of Quality
We see the development of a new website as an investment for our clients, as this money is spent on buying a quality, professional product that works as your digital representative all day, every day, 365 days a year. That's why getting it right is so important. That's why investing in a quality site is crucial for your image, gaining more customers, and holding on to those loyal existing customers.
It is often said that you "get what you pay for", and we think this largely holds true in the web development industry as well. We take pride in our work and when we quote on a project for a client, we examine all aspects of the work to be performed, and calculate a fair and competitive price that we feel accurately reflects the quality of the end product.
You could take the same project to ten different companies, and you will receive ten different quotes, sometimes radically different in price. It's critical to examine the track record of the developer in terms of their portfolio, their services and experience, and the product that will be delivering for you. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Be wary of "bargain basement" prices, as you could end up with a shoddy product. Likewise, if the quote is high, examine the portfolio of the developer to verify that you will truly receive your money's worth.
At Praxis Interactive, we aim to provide a quality service and product with value for money. You can rest assured that when we quote, we are offering our fair assessment of the cost involved in making your project a reality, with no embellishments. You can feel confident in the fact that you will receive a highly polished product, running on a tried and tested system, that combines ease-of-use, advanced functionality, and smart design. There is value in quality, and we deliver value and quality every time.