Web Programming

Make sure you have backup of your website files

Posted on October 11, 2021 at 1:01 pm

Security is not just for your home it is also for your computer. You need to ensure that you take regular backups of your computer files and also your web files in case you fall victim to a cyber attack or your hard drive / server gets corrupt.

If you have a website then it is important that you know how often it is backed up. If you pay for hosting, the chances are the hosting company will be backing up your site for you. It is not only important to check how often this happens but how and where they are backed up and what files are included.

A website usually has front end files and also a database which stores all the information such as the content on the pages and image references. If you only have one of these and not the other you will struggle to make a complete site from the back up should you need to.

Lots of hosting companies now use cloud hosting so your files are not just saved on one server. This can help if there is an issue with the server as your website files will be called from on a different one meaning no downtime.

Posted in Web Programming

Quotation for web development work

Posted on August 4, 2021 at 1:35 pm

It can be hard to know what to charge as a freelance web developer. You often need to have a good discussion with your client about what it is exactly they are looking for and ensure that you fully understand what is required. If you are not aware of a functionality that they want to include, you could vastly underquote the project and then have to break the news to them later that it was not included in the quote. Website projects vary so much in costs from a few hundred pounds upwards of tens of thousands of pounds. There is no way to give someone a quote for designing and programming a website until you have a detailed brief off them. If you are a relatively small start up business that wants a five page brochure site then you can expect to pay from about £500 up to £3000 depending on if graphics need to be purchased and copy written etc. For an ecommerce site you might expect a range of £2000 up £10000 for a small to medium business.

Be sure to show your client examples of other websites you have done and what sort of thing they can get for their money. Also be sure to clearly explain upfront what they need to do such as provide the content and images.

Posted in Web Programming

Looking after your own website as a developer

Posted on July 6, 2021 at 2:45 pm

If you are a freelance developer then you should have your own website. Your website is very important in helping you promote your business and get in additional clients. IT may be that you advertise your website through paid for campaigns such as Google Adwords or Facebook Ads. It is vital that your website is up to date and not only looks as it should but also works as it should.

If a customer is looking for a new web designer or developer then they are likely to search on one of the search engines such as Google. If you do not have a website then you are very likely to miss out on some enquiries to businesses that do have a site. IF your website is dated or contains information that is no longer correct then it is vital that you update it as soon as possible. Some clients will be put off and will not use you if your website isn’t up to scratch as it may give them the opinion that their website will not be up to standard.

Set aside a bit of time every week to update your site. Schedule it is like you would other client work because even though you are not getting paid for it, it will help draw in new business.

Posted in Web Programming

Ensuring a website is fully working before it goes live

Posted on August 6, 2020 at 3:25 pm

It is vital that every website is tested thoroughly before it goes live to a wider audience. Setting a website live that has problems, doesn’t work properly or broken links can be detrimental to a new business and not only lose you instant custom but future business.

Once your website has been built, the programmer or company that built it for you should do much of the testing but they may also ask you and other staff members to test it to also confirm. Be sure to test all links and pages are loading correctly and importantly that then checkout process (if applicable) and any contact / enquiry forms submit. You also need to check that emails are being received if sent from the website as it is easy to not realise that there is an issue until a few weeks down the line.

If you are the client and you start to test the website but find issues then be sure to note them down. Once you have a complete list, then pass them on to the programmer to fix. Ideally you want to try and give them all the issues in one go as it will be quicker for them to fix them all in one go.

Posted in Web Programming

Does your website offer the latest functionality?

Posted on December 6, 2019 at 4:05 pm

When you first have a website made, it is usually done using the most up to date programming techniques. Over time this can very quickly become outdated and you may find that you are falling behind your competitors in terms of what your website can offer your visitors.

When this happens, it is likely that you site will start to drop down the search engine rankings and it can be hard to recover from this.

Not only should you be adding fresh, relevant content to the site you should also be adding new functionality to give your visitors the best experience. This may be creating a mobile app for your site, adding in calculators or improving the way customers view your products such as adding videos or view in room options.

It is worth keeping an eye on your competitors on a regular basis and checking that your website still offers them a better experience. If you notice that your competitors is offering a new function on their site then it may be worth you considering if this is something that you want to do. This may be something such as a live chat facility which makes it even easier for your potential customers to interact with you.

Posted in Web Programming

Update or start again with your website?

Posted on September 18, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Over time websites can become outdated and if you have tried to add more and more to it, you may find that it is all a little disjointed and looks a bit messy. It may be that your business have changed over the last few years and you feel that you have outgrown your current site, or that you want to take advantage of the new technology and functionality that can be incorporated in to your site.

Sometimes you have to evaluate whether it is worth updating your current site or actually starting again. This is especially true if you are going to be using a different agency or programmer to develop your site as often it can take them longer to work out how the site has been programmed and update it that way rather than starting again.

If you do decide to start again you can often use the same content you have on your site, just change the layout and update content where needed. This should be much easier than when you first had the site designed as you will have more of an idea of what works and what you need to include in our site this time round.

Posted in Web Programming

Are you being charged a fair price for your website?

Posted on July 18, 2018 at 10:25 am

When it comes to website design and programming, costs can vary drastically from a few hundred pounds upwards of tens of thousands of pounds. The price you pay will often be based on the functionality that is required within your site and who you use to do it.

You can chose to go with a web agency for your website construction. Although this is often the move expensive route you may find that work gets completed quicker and that the company is able to offer a range of services such as design, programing, search engine optimisation and other marketing services.

Using someone who is self-employed my mean you do not have to pay as much but you may find that they are restricted in how many different services they offer you. For example, some programmers are not designers or marketing experts so you will need to find someone else who can work alongside them and you.

It is important to remember then when it comes to web programming, things are not always as straight forward as they may appear and it can be easy to think that you are being over charged for what may appear to be a simple change. This is often not the case but you can always get a second opinion if you feel you need to.


Posted in Web Programming

Working with someone else’s code

Posted on March 27, 2018 at 10:46 am

If you are a programmer it is often hard to be able to work out how another programmed has designed a site to work. Not all programmers work in the same way and you may find that nothing is labelled and so you have to follow a trail of processes to find the bit of code you need to change.

If you are taking over a website project, bear in mind that any work you do may take a little longer to complete than it would on a site you have programmed. Some of this you may have to take on the chin, but other costs you may be able to pass on to the client.

Before starting any work, take a full back up of the site so should anything go wrong you have a copy of it that you can refer back to. Next start to have a good look through the front and back end of the website and try and familiarise yourself with how it all works and what functionality it has. This will make it easier to work on in the future. If you are struggling then you may need to speak to your client and advise them that to change the existing code is going to be a big job so therefore it may be better to build either the site or part of it again.


Posted in Web Programming

What is a website tender?

Posted on October 30, 2017 at 1:47 pm

If you are looking to have a website developed then you may consider putting the project out to tender. This is where you write up a specification for what you want your website to be and to do and then ask for companies or individuals to quote for it based on the information you have given. It is a great way to obtain a number of quotations without having to meet with each company one and one and going over what you require numerous times.

A tender document can be as long or short as you want it to be but obviously the more information you give the prospective web designers / developers, the more accurate their quote will be able to be and the more likely you are to get the website you set out to achieve.

Tender documents usually have a deadline in which your quotation needs to be in by. If you are planning on tendering for work often, then it may be useful to set up a template that you can base your reply on. Be sure to refer back to the specification in your quote and state exactly what is included and also what would be an additional extra in the reply.


Posted in Web Programming

Testing a website before setting it live

Posted on August 29, 2017 at 10:40 pm

Any good website programmer should thoroughly test the website they have built before passing it back over to the client. Although this is the correct procedure, unfortunate this does not always happen or it does but the programmer may have missed something (often they are a little too close to the project). If you are the client having a website created then I would strongly urge you to test the site yourself and if possible also have a few other people test it that maybe have not seen it before.

Setting a website live that has problems, doesn’t work properly or broken links can be detrimental to a new business and not only lose you instant custom but future business. If you do come across any issues note them down. Once you have a complete list, then pass them on to the programmer to fix. Ideally you want to try and give them all the issues in one go as it will be quicker for them to fix them all in one go.

Posted in Web Programming

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