There are a number of steps involved in turning the technical designs into a beautiful, working website.
Server, hosting and CMS specification
The first decision to be made is what kind of webserver setup you require, and what software you want to run. Should it run in the cloud or on dedicated hardware? Based on our knowledge of your online strategy and your target market (location, type of browsers used, size, etc.) we will put together a specification for the servers, hosting and content management system (CMS) that best suits what you are trying to achieve.
Our recommendations here will vary depending on the specifics of your project, but for most of our projects we are able to offer hosting and support on our load-balanced server systems. Hosting with Refined Practice means that you can be sure of getting the support that you need for your web site when you need it, as web site maintenance is carried out by the same team of people who built the site in the first place.
The majority of the sites we build and maintain are built using the WordPress content management system or its recently released fork, the more business-focused ClassicPress. WordPress/ClassicPress is one of the most commonly used CMS platforms in use today, with a large and active developer base. It is extremely stable and flexible system consisting of a relatively simple core which can be extended as required through the use of plugins. This light-weight approach makes for a fast running website with a very simple to use administration system, meaning that you can keep the content of your website up to date without needing to know any HTML code.
Refined Practice’s experts have been creating sites using WordPress since 2007 (when the technology started to come of age as a complete content management system), during which time we have developed a very broad understanding of what the system is capable of and how best to tackle issues around e.g. search engine optimisation and accessibility.
Load balancing and high availability websites using WordPress
Unlike the majority of web developers, Refined Practice have extensive experience of setting up and maintaining WordPress in a load balanced environment. Load balancing simply means that your website runs on more than one web server at a time, so that it can serve more customers at one time. Load balancing also means that we can offer high availability – using many servers for both the website and its underlying database means that in the event of a single server failing your website remains live, serving your customers.
Building your site
Once we have specified what you need to run your new web site effectively it is time to build it. First we put together the server architecture on which the new web site will run, then install the content management system (CMS), build web page structure based on the information architecture and then apply the HTML/CSS templates that we designed.
The result is an empty website ready to be populated with content and launched!
Next: Final Steps to Launch »