WWW development services
The availability/accessibility of information – specifically, its meaning – is essential; to make content accessible to a diversity of software/devices/people.
- simplicity & versatility
- I aim to make things which are at once simple and versatile; to be sure that simplicity does not ignore potential/possibility, and that possibility does not corrupt/obscure simplicity.
- augmentation & adaptation
- Websites can be augmented in many ways to provide various features, but such features have dependencies. When the necessary environment for such features is unavailable or otherwise broken, adaptation enables the process to continue working with minimal interference. This kind of adaptation – redundancy/failsafe/fallback technique – should be common, but many websites are unnecessarily brittle/fragile.
- management & editing interface
- Naturally, most websites change over time; however, it may be impractical/expensive/troublesome for such ongoing changes to be dependent upon the original developer. It is also impractical to expect everyone to learn to cope with the necessary code. Accordingly, I provide an interface which enables users to manage/edit content directly, from any web browser, using a simple/intuitive/natural format.
- Multiple languages are supported.
Increasingly, content is dynamically generated from multiple sources, which means that the server must assemble each page before it is sent. This is why many popular websites are surprisingly slow to load.
I employ many techniques for optimising dynamic processes, to minimise server load and to make sure page delivery/display remains fast and efficient.
- search engine indexing
- With knowledge, both of the basic indexing process used by search engines, and of the duplicitous trickery used by those seeking to artificially improve ranking, I structure content which can be accurately/efficiently indexed, while avoiding deprecated practice and its penalties.
- e-mail address protection
The problem of spam is partly due to the ease with which e-mail addresses can be «harvested». Just like search engines use programs (often called spiders/crawlers/bots) to index the WWW, spammers use similar programs to collect e-mail addresses.
I use a solution which is transparent to the user (i.e. you can still click on the address to open a new message, and it’s still text yet it remains invisible to the harvesters).
- adaptive layout
- Many websites are fixed (in width, font-size, &c.) which imposes unnecessary limits upon users, who may wish to vary the size of their viewport/window. I use many techniques to make content dynamically adapt to context (e.g. the width of the window, or the scale of magnification) as can be seen on these pages.
- obsolete URL resolution
- Bookmarks/URLs should be reliable – to remain associated with the content which they address – but that association breaks if the content is moved. I give special attention to URLs of an existing website when updating it or creating a new one to replace it. Instead of breaking existing links, I make sure that each link is transparently redirected to the relevant content of the new site.
- custom error pages
- Instead of the generic and unfriendly default error pages, errors are displayed in a styled page (matching that of the site) with more helpful language and other features, like this.
- bad browsers & deviant devices
- Although it has improved in many ways, WWW development remains a mess. Devices don’t always tell the truth, and browsers have a long history of terrible quirks and problems. It’s easy to concentrate on the major targets and ignore the minority, but I remain involved in understanding the mess and working around problems to make content more accessible.
- I examine the ramification of risk, and I practise prudent precaution.
(Even if you decide to have your website work done elsewhere, you may do well to use the above as a checklist for evaluating potential web developers.)
Dissatisfied by existing solutions, I created and continue to develop software for easily managing a website from a browser. It embodies the technique listed above, and provides a content management interface which is both simple and powerful. You’re welcome to contact me for a guided tour.
hosting & technical management
I also provide services related to hosting and technical management (domains, mail servers, &c.). I can create/prepare/manage an account on your behalf as requested (you pay and communicate with the host directly, and pay me for consulting), or I can act as an intermediary (you pay and communicate with me, and I manage all the technical details).