- web apps
HTML/HTML5 These are the basic building blocks of a web page. They are interpreted by your browser. With the new HTML5 specification, the power of HTML is increasing and is beginning to replace or at least rival other technologies such as Flash.
CSS / CSS 3 CSS is a language that works in concert with HTML to layout or format a web page. It also has tools for creating more dynamic pages as well.
PHP This language runs on the server (interpreted by Apache). It is perhaps the most common web programming language for introducing functionality into a web site.
We make use of many tools that exist in the web world today. Our main goal in reusing existing technology is to push our efficiency and therefore our cost effectiveness as well as push the user experience to the highest professional level.
Yii Yii is a PHP framework on which we build our web applications. It supplies a large library of predefined code as well as auto-generating code for database access. It presents a Model, View, Controller design template that we adhere to in creating our web applications. What this means to you is:
Yii Is Robust! Predefined pbraries and auto-generated code means reliable, well tested code.
Cost Effective. Predefined libraries and auto-generated code means less code we have to write and less code we have to maintain.
PhoneGap is a framework for building and deploying Mobile Applications on iPhone, Android, and 5 other major mobile device systems. A single version of the application source and a powerful toolset allows us to rapidly build and deploy applications for you. This means less cost and better applications.
Blueprint CSS CSS is a method of laying out / formatting a web page. Blueprint introduces a standard grid view of a page that means more professional and reliable end product, and more efficient creation of web sites which translates into less money from the customer.
When it comes to managing content, there are two typical solutions we use.
A custom CMS In this case, we build the content management specifically for your needs - allowing simple, easy access to the things you need to change frequently.
A third-party CMS solution - usually WordPress This is a platform that many people are familiar with, and allows broad access to the website.
Wordpress is a powerful CMS shipped with its own web based interface for updating the site content. This CMS has a diverse plugin library, an incredible amount of documentation and support, and a reasonable interface (for the non-web savvy). Here are some pros and cons:Pros
Allows non-web professionals change to everything on the site.
Many functions are pre-built as plugins for Wordpress that can be re-used.Cons
Wordpress creates significant overhead for development which adds cost.
Without adding significant cost, we are limited by existing plug-ins/widgets for Wordpress, so a less custom feel and functionality is more typical. It is possible to custom build these plugins, but that will increase cost.
The admistration of wordpress and its plugins is not trivial. Out of necessity, it is a one-size fits all solution, and has the drawbacks that are associated with the administration that goes along with it.
Our typical site does not use Wordpress or another third party CMS. We use a robust PHP framework that allows us to design a database and generate a custom CMS based on the data in that specific database. Here are the pros and cons:Pros
Allows non-web professionals change the information stored in the database.
Display and maintenance of data is flexible and creates a more customized site and user experience.
Less overhead for development, so less cost.Cons
Does not allow non-web professionals to change everything on the site. So, if you need to fix a typo on the home page in the text, you would need us (or a web design savvy person) to make that change.
In either case, you (the client) will be able to update the commonly changing information. To change the more static information, you would typically send that to us. Over the years, I have found that clients are often busy enough running their own businesses that they end up sending these changes to me even if we build in the capability for them to make the change themselves.
In the end, either method is great with us. We tend to steer clients to the lightweight custom CSM solution because in most cases it is less expensive and more flexible in terms of function and look.