Some web designers still supply only a set of pages and images that comprise your web site. We prefer to implement all new web sites using a content management system (CMS), and on completion of the design we also supply all the information (generally a database) required to create the site in that CMS. We can help you choose the CMS used, according to your needs.
Why use a CMS? Because it separates the individual content of each page from the code that controls the appearance and functions (eg. menus) common to all pages. This allows the content of a page to be edited without the complication of seeing all the HTML code around it, making edits both easier and safer. Conversely, making a change to the appearance involves changing the template - so all pages are updated together.
Most content management systems come complete with a number of standard templates, or skins. Others can often be downloaded free or for minimal cost. If you're happy to use a standard template for your site this will reduce the overall cost, but if you want a unique design we can create a new template to suit your requirements.
Traditional (static) web pages are like the pages of a magazine - you can flick through to the page you want, read the article and look at the pictures but you can't interact in any way. Server-side programming creates dynamic pages that change depending on the action of the visitor (and sometimes other visitors). Typical examples are forums (bulletin boards), shopping carts, calendars etc.
Common applications are often included in content management systems (so the programs you require will influence your choice of CMS) or are available as open-source downloads. Some of the best available can even be installed on your web server automatically (see our list of standard programs). With the ever-increasing range and quality of this free software the programmer's work tends to be moving more towards customising a standard program to the specific needs of a client, but we can also create new applications from scratch if nothing similar is available.
We use perl or PHP (programming languages) and MySQL (database) for server-side programming.
If you need more information or to discuss your own application in confidence, please contact us.