Web Site Development and Hosting

Bonnie and Clyde robbed banks. In "Being There", Peter Sellers liked to watch (T.V.). We build web sites.

Your Approach

There are basically 3 approaches to the development of a web site:

  1. You can use one of the many (mostly free) online services which allow you to build a simple one, two or three page site using predefined templates. You just select a style you like, and fill in the blanks.
  2. If you have the time, energy, background and/or staff, you can build it yourself.
  3. You can hire someone else to build it for you.

We are Internet Development Consultants, and we stand ready to assist you should you decide on Approach Number 3. Which option is best for you? We don't know. Time, money, purpose and a dozen other factors determine this. We can, however, suggest two good books to help you begin to learn what you need to know in order to make an informed decision:

  • "Webonomics: Nine Essential Principals for Growing your Business on the World Wide Web" by Evan I. Schwartz, Broadway Books, ISBN 0-7679-0134-7.
  • "Information Architecture for the World Wide Web" by Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville, O'Reilly, ISBN 1-56592-282-4.

The second book is actually designed for people looking to develop large scale web sites, but it is a very sober treatise on the issues surrounding web site development and will force you to examine the right questions you need to be asking.

Our Approach

A few of the fundamental questions we want to know (and you should want to know) right away are:

  • Who are you, and what does your organization do?
  • Who is your market or intended audience?
  • What do you hope to achieve with a web site?
  • Who do you hope to attract to your web site?
  • What do you intend to offer them when they get there?
  • How do you intend to keep them coming back?
  • How do you intend to let them know the site exists?
  • How do you intend to let everyone else know the site exists?

Once we understand these basic questions, we can then begin to think about what the site should look like, what its overall mission should be, and what specific features it should have. Oh, yes, and how much it'll cost!

An Application, Not a Brochure

Our firm has 20 years experience in the area of software development (hence, the name "Software Creations"). We are very well versed in the entire methodology of software application development:

  • Objectives
  • Specifications
  • Design
  • Code
  • Test
  • Implement

So, we approach the development of your web site like the development of a software application, because that is what it is. It is coded just like a computer program using HTML, JavaScript, Java Servlets and Java Server Pages. It is designed to perform specific functions, the basic one being to deliver information about your organization, but certainly many, many others such as publishing your library of content, describing and selling your product/service, testing your end-user's knowledge with quizzes and games, or providing unique educational content on specific subjects. It is also designed to yield specific results, such as increased awareness of your organization/company/product/service, increased dollars in your bank account, etc... Whatever the application(s) you specify, the site needs to involve it's visitors in a way which makes the experience compelling enough for them to buy whatever you are selling, learn whatever you are teaching, or, at the very least, return again and again.

You don't achieve this level of response by designing your web site to be little more than an electronic version of your company brochure or organization chart. However you finally choose to develop your site, please don't make this mistake! Keep in mind that flashy graphics and catchy titles will stimulate your site visitors -- the FIRST time they visit. After that, if you have no involving content, you can rest assured they won't be back. Think of it this way: The people you are trying to attract to your site have as little time to waste as you. Design your site with this in mind, and you'll be OK.

Self-Administration

At Software Creations, we develop your site with a built in Control Panel that will allow you to update data, links and other information on the site using a standard web browser. What is the advantage of this? For one, it takes your web site designer completely out of the day to day process of running your site and keeping it fresh. Your web master can now allocate site update responsibilities rather than be the sole person able to add content to the site. An Administration/Staff Control Panel lets you update

  • Web Pages
  • Database Items
  • Web Links
  • Graphic / Image Files

and, update them with no technical skills required other than the ability to use a web browser. Now, when a page needs to be changed or a link added or a new "Event Calendar" or "What's New" item published, there is no need to call in the web site developer or open the web development software -- you only need go to the site Control Panel and implement the required update.

There are many Online Hosting Services which allow you to self-administer your site so long as you host with them. Our service is very unique in that we develop (or re-engineer) your web site so that it can be remotely administered online.

Here are some examples of Self-Administered Web Sites we have created (OUTDATED):


Associated Administrators of Los Angeles
This site runs on the main LAUSD WWW servers (IBM AIX OS) utilizing its mainframe DB2 database. It demonstrates how the Self-Administration Web Site can be easily implemented in non-PC, non-Windows environments.

LAUSD Division of Special Education
This site is running on an IBM RS6000 under Linux and clearly demonstrates how the Self-Administration Web Site can be used for web publishing in a large, multi-departmental organization.

LAUSD Procurement Services Group
This site runs on Windows 2000 server utilizing Access 2000 database. It demonstrates how the Self-Administration Web Site can be customized for specific database applications.

Self-Administration Demo Web Site
This is the sample site used to demonstrate the features and capabilities of the Self-Administration Web Site application. It runs on old Linux server and utilizes MS SQL database running on Windows NT 4 machine.

VSB Interest Group
This site was developed to support an Interest Group for the Small Business Administration Very Small Business Set-Aside Pilot Program. It is an other example of the Self-Administration Web Site.

Other Links

We have provided you with a number of links below in the area of web site development. Please feel free to follow any of these links to educate yourself further about the issues surrounding this very complex area. With respect to our capabilities, please visit our Client List to see what we have done for others. If you have questions or wish to speak with us further, you can send e-mail to: sysop@scbbs.com or call us at: 310.324.7032.

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