Website Development

Website development covers the technical aspects of building websites. Beyond the visual design of graphics and layouts, website development comprises a range of technical skills.

The Technology Behind Every Website

There are technologies upon which every website is built. These are:

  • HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

These are front-end technologies as they determine how a website appears to the user. Alongisde HTML and CSS websites also frequently use JavaScript to provide interactive elements.

At Hello Technology we build websites using robust, semantic and concise HTML and CSS. We believe this is the best approach for most smaller websites. There are also many front-end frameworks which provide additional tools for web developers to use. These are generally suited to more complex websites, or those built by larger teams of developers.

While HTML and CSS have been fundamental to the development of websites since the first days of the internet, these technologies continue to develop. New features are introduced regularly. This enables developers to build increasingly creative websites using native functionality. It’s exciting to work in an industry which is constantly evolving – though keeping up with all the changes is a challenge!

PHP Development

At Hello Technology we build many websites using PHP. PHP is a programming language which enables more complex functionality to be built. This might includes things like contact forms and online shops. This side of website development is often called back-end development. This is because it’s mostly hidden away ‘behind the scenes’.

Like HTML and CSS, PHP continues to be developed. Partly this is to ensure its security and reliability. New features are also regularly introduced, making it an increasingly useful and powerful language.

PHP enables us to process data submitted through forms, handle things like images or other file types and connect with databases. Many website content management systems are also built using PHP. It is fundamental to a large proportion of websites and web applications. Even websites like Facebook are built using PHP!

MySQL Database Development

Databases are used to store information in a way which makes it accessible and queryable. Websites which use content management systems generally require a database. MySQL is a popular database platform for websites. It’s often accessed via phpMyAdmin, a user interface which makes database management simpler.

MySQL databases can store vast quantities of data. This could be anything from web page content (like the web page your currently reading), to user information or sales data. For most of the websites we build PHP provides a way of connecting to and interacting with the data in a database. Queries are written in SQL (Structured Query Language) and passed to the database. The database processes the query and then returns packages of information. This information can then be displayed as information on a web page.

Content Management Systems

Many websites use content management systems. These provide a convenient way for non-technical users to keep websites up to date. Content management systems make it easier to manage more complex websites.

WordPress is the most popular content management system. It runs on PHP and MySQL, is well maintained and regularly updated. Alongside WordPress there are many other content management systems. Most developers tend to focus on learning one or two, gaining a thorough understanding of how they work and the distinct benefits they offer.

WordPress Website Development

At Hello Technology we primarily build websites with WordPress. As mentioned, we prefer to build websites from the ground up. WordPress offers a huge number of plugins. These can make it easier to build more complex websites. As PHP developers, we tend to prefer to write as much functionality as we can from scratch. This is because plugins are often bloated with additional code, which isn’t generally required. They can also introduce security risks of not well maintained.

Perch Runway Website Development

Alongside WordPress, we support and continue to develop websites built using Perch and Perch Runway. This pair of content management systems became popular with developers and website owners alike. Perch Runway continues to be maintained and provides a fantastic platform for building websites requiring bespoke functionality. Over the years we’ve built many websites using Perch Runway, including online booking systems, online stores and other complex sites. Like WordPress, Perch runs on PHP and MySQL and a series of add-ons provide functionality such as blogs, forms and galleries.

Shopify Website Development

Shopify development is a little different from other forms of website development. Shopify websites are built within the Shopify platform. There’s no need to consider things like hosting, PHP versions or writing queries for MySQL. However, there are many aspects to Shopify development which require specialists knowledge. Shopify themes may be built from scratch, or adapted to suit particular needs. Shopify also supports apps, which extend the default functionality. Developers may also use the Shopify API to build bespoke systems for their clients, connecting Shopify with other platforms or services.

Ecommerce Website Development

WooCommerce is another popular ecommerce platform. As an add-on for WordPress, WooCommerce is well supported and offers a wide range of options to support ecommerce businesses. While the day to day management of a WooCommerce website is generally straight forward, developing a site can require specialist knowledge. At Hello Technology we develop ecommerce websites using WordPress and WooCommerce, providing our clients with all the support they need to feel confident using the platform.

Progressive Web App Development

Progressive Web Apps are built using standard website technology. Where they differ is that they’re ‘installable’, which makes them appear more like native apps on phones or tablets. The benefits of PWAs is that that can offer a more resilient experience to the user. Things like network issues can be handled better, rather than the user just being shown a ‘page cannot be displayed’ error. Progressive Web Apps make a great option of organisations looking to offer their audience an app-like experience.

Bespoke Web Applications

There’s nothing fundamentally different between a website and a web application. Web applications are simply websites designed to offer a certain combination of functions to support the work of an organisation (or organisations). Web applications can be open for anyone to use, such as platforms like AirBnB or eBay. Or they can be built for a particular organisation, with limited or zero access to others. At Hello Technology we’ve build several web applications over the years, both open and restricted access. Web applications can help organisations improve their workflow, making things more efficient, or connecting systems together to bring additional value.

Talk to us about your website development project.

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