Only the most successful companies and individuals take the Internet seriously and develop strategic business plans. Most of them take a more haphazard approach to development and struggle to maximize their returns or engagement with their customers and consumers. Many site owners fail to understand why and often feel frustrated by their lack of knowledge, their team’s lack of knowledge or the overall approach to the website. Quite often the development team lurches from one technology to another with no clear direction. There is a gulf between the business objectives and the website, this is where a strategic plan can help.
As the Internet is still a new business asset and is rapidly changing it’s difficult to keep up, we largely suffer from immaturity in this space. Academia fails spectacularly to instruct students in the ways of the Internet and the world is left with a ragtag group of freelance consultants with a wide variety of technical skills and an even wider array of business skills. When our corporate finances struggle to meet our needs, we know what we need and how to get one; we simply find a Chartered Accountant. When our website fails to meet our needs we mostly struggle. We don’t have the knowledge and we don’t know how to differentiate the good from the bad.
There is some good news; there is still room for growth on the Internet and there are markets yet to be tapped. The bad news is trying to find somebody, a team or a company that can lead you to this Nirvana.
It seems everybody wants a cheap web site these days but you need to understand why you can get one but you may not actually want one. A cheap web site is likely to be a few pages of information with a basic colour scheme or basic design that may match some other branding elements you have. You need to ask yourself why you want a ‘cheap’ web site though so that you understand your real motive. You may then decide you don’t want a cheap web site and that you actually want something more.
Ultimately, you get what you pay for so don’t expect that $100 to make you thousands of dollars every year, it’s just not going to happen.
So why do you really want a cheap web site? Is it because:
- You don’t understand what a web site is?
- You don’t know how much income it will generate and want to limit your losses?
- Everybody else is doing it so you feel that you’re missing out?
My name is Pablo and I’m a Dreamweaver addict.
I’ve worked with Dreamweaver for many years and always developed my PHP applications in it. I find it a nice environment where I can modify my HTML, CSS and write my PHP. I’m used to it and it works for me … mostly.
And then there’s that odd occasion where the PHP code is too complex and peppering the code with var_dumps and echos is too time-consuming to track down some bugs. I then have to shift to an IDE where I can step through the code, adding some watches and breakpoints and really get to the root of my problem.
I’ve reached the same point with my Kohana application. I just can’t understand why one of my related models isn’t accessible. The problem seems to come and go so I must have something wrong somewhere but I want to track it through the internals of Kohana to see where my problem is. And for that I guess I need to step into the ORM::__get method and see why it’s not picking up the related model.
So I posted a message in the forums to find the perfect environment but no replies as yet. I read all the other posts on similar topics but they all talk about editing PHP files, I don’t want a text editor, I want an IDE with debug hooks.
I’ve played with phpDesigner, phpED and Zend Studio already. The first two have no way of understand how to get from a controller to a URL, I just can’t map it, i.e. this file refers to this URL. I also don’t see any method of starting a debugging session by simply entering a URL.
So I figure if I’m going to use an IDE I should also integrate source code management into it so I can track all of my changes. I use XAMPP on Windows as my DEV environment and keep my code in C:\Data\Sites\Project and then upload the final code to the remote PROD server when it’s all done. I’m sure I can improve my environment though and will report back on what I ended up with.
Many years ago I built and operated a large fan site for an ‘A’ list celebrity. I got into it by accident and was drawn by the programming challenge rather than anything related to the celebrity, much to the chagrin of the many members and fans the site drew. It became the most popular site on the Internet and occupied the coveted #1 spot on Google for many years but it drew a lot of flak from script kiddies, obsessed fans and competing sites. We also had our fair share of copyright infringement cases and the number of young kids always made me wary of paedophiles that may have been lurking.
It taught me a lot about web site design, development, security, SEO and brought a lot of my skills and interests together. The only problem is that it was embarassing to tell people what I did and use it as a showcase of what I could do so I wanted out.