web design & development : web development

Development stage of a website is where we really get our hands dirty and build the actual website. Many designers use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) products such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression Web (FrontPage replacement) to build the structure of a website. Our experience shows these products can, and normally do create bloated code making your website pages larger and slower to download. At cornerpiece, all our websites are lovingly crafted by hand using only the relevant elements to do the job and so creating lean and fast pages.

Generally web development can be split into two sections, front end development and back end development.

Front End Development

This is where the web design from our first stage is converted from a graphical mock-up into a basic but functional website, a 'front end'. (At this stage your website may or may not contain text and data depending on whether you wish to be able to update your website content yourself via a content management system). This stage is achieved through a variety of methods but normally begins with HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) both of which are used together to describe and position your content on the page. Other techniques such as JavaScript, Ajax and jQuery may also be used to add extra functionality.

All of our HTML and CSS coding is done to a very high standard and is validated via W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) validation tools. Our websites are also designed with accessibility in mind and we follow the WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) guidelines.

Back End Development

If your new website requires more than just a few static pages of text and images, chances are some bank end development will be required. Whether this is storing your content in a database or xml files so you can manually update content yourself via a content management system (CMS), creating a fully functional e-commerce website to sell your products and / or services and integrated with your chosen payment gateway, or adding RSS feeds to help your customers keep up to date with the latest content on your website.

This stage of web development is achieved through a host of different languages and protocols. For the most part we program with PHP and build MySQL databases. We pride ourselves on writing modular, object-oriented and extensible code that can be re-used and have our own framework from which we build most of our websites. This saves time and effort and allows us to offer our clients powerful features without a jaw dropping price.

In addition to writing totally bespoke websites and web applications, we do also work with some third party software such as Zen Cart for our e-commerce websites and WordPress for our blogs.

For a full list of the various languages and protocols we use, see our skills & technologies.

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