How To Choose A Web Designer

A little while back I had a bit of a discussion about a certain profession that I will not mention here in case someone from the industry in question takes it the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, every major profession is there for a reason and adds a tremendous amount of value to society. The fact of the matter is that every industry and profession has good aspects and bad. When you think of a doctor, lawyer, architect, accountant, etc, you tend to have a personal frame of reference, as well as a more widely held stereotype. There are usually some aspects of that profession that irritate you, or that you think could do with some improvement. Perhaps you don’t make use of certain professional services because of these perceptions, whether or not they are commonly held or based on fact.

That got me thinking about my own industry, and what it is about the internet consulting and web design and development industry that drives people nuts, and that if things were different, people would utilize these services more often. What would people change about the industry if they had a magic wand? What would you do differently if you were, for example, a web developer, to differentiate yourself?

These are some of the things I have been told hold people back when discussing this topic with some small businesses:

– Web design and development is too expensive for the average small business

– Apprehension over how qualified an internet professional really is

– There is too much jargon in the industry, which makes it confusing to assess as a non-technical business person

– There is a shortage of internet programming skills relative to visual design skills in the industry

Personally, my big wish is that a certain level of qualification (a degree combining computer science, design and business) was a requirement to practice, the same way that older professions are required to, like accountants, doctors, lawyers, etc. The low barrier to entry makes it difficult for businesses to distinguish experts from hobbyists. Imagine having to choose your doctor based on what he tells you he knows how to do for you!

So, how then does one assess a potential internet partner, who can and should be a long-time partner in the online success of your business? Here are some things to look at carefully when choosing a web designer, web developer, internet business consultant, or related service provider, from my experience:

Technical and business qualifications and experience. Is the business comprised of an inexperienced person with a web design hobby, or has the business got people with tertiary level business, programming and design skills in-house? Make sure they have real-world business experience in developing e-commerce solutions, and look into how far back that goes.

What online business applications has the business developed previously, and how does this match your requirements? Some web design businesses will give you a very nice looking static brochure site, while others will be able to offer advanced functionality, such as a database and content management capabilities, e-commerce functionality, internet business consulting services, site promotion, site management, hosting, domain registration, design, application development, site optimization, newsletter systems, form processing capabilities, logging of user activity, online surveys and polls, user registration and authentication, advertising management, content syndication, and the like. Check how many of these are optional extras an how many are included in the price you are quoted up front. You should always get a detailed proposal up front, and compare apples for apples rather than being too subjective initially. My business, for example, differentiates by bundling over 250 enterprise-level applications into our small business package, at a lower price than most web designers will charge just for the design and some basic functionality.

Long term cost/benefit. What is it going to cost you the next time you need to make a modification? I’ve never yet come across a successful website that was designed and left as it was created on day one. Your site needs to change with your business, so make sure you know how you will be billed for those changes, and what the time frame for them will be. Every site also has hosting, bandwidth and maintenance costs that most people don’t think of when first creating a site. Look into what these will be, and what you get for them, so that you can budget for them when starting your project. Also keep in mind that a cheap solution with one or two features will probably not serve you as well as a slightly more expensive one with extensive built-in capabilities.

Personal style and preference. Different businesses will bring different styles and methodologies to the party. Make sure that the one you go with suits your personal preferences. If your internet specialist loves graphic-intensive Flash-based sites, they will probably develop your informative content-based solution, just not as well as someone who specializes in your preferred style.

Online promotion. Make sure that the business you choose is good at promoting their own online presence. Google, Yahoo, and MSN are the three most popular search engines, so make use of them when choosing a provider. If you are looking for a web developer in your local area, search for the terms you find most important and include the name of your area. For example, I optimize my services for the Joondalup area of Perth, Western Australia, so a search for “web design Joondalup” or “web development Joondalup”, or many other internet-based services, brings me to the top when people are searching for local service providers. An internet business that is no good at promoting itself online will be worse at helping you get yours up to full potential.

Satisfaction guarantees. No website can make a flawed business model work, but an online expert should be able to help you make it everything it can be over time, much the same way a personal trainer can’t make you fit overnight, but they can help you become a top athlete with focused ongoing attention. Find out what guarantees, if any, are provided. This is a real differentiator, because, understandably, many web design businesses won’t do this. Those that do are at least serious and confident in their abilities to ensure that their clients are happy and successful.

Management of expectations. Any internet business that claims excessive short term success rates is probably overselling themselves. Make sure that they (and you) are realistic about the time frames in which your online presence will start producing results.

Consulting skills. Make sure that you are dealing with an internet consultancy, not just a web design house. Experienced internet consultants have the business experience to help you make your business successful online in ways a web designer will probably not.

Find successful web sites online. Many will have the site developer’s details in the footer, or in a credits section of the site.

Tips To Secure Your Php Web Applications

Security is the first and foremost concern of almost every developer on this planet. As we live in the world of high-technology, this has countless benefits and some people use it in a wrong manner. Thousands of websites in all over the world get hacked on the daily basis, some of the hackers do this for fun, some for money but all are not bad because some help to find vulnerabilities.

Developing a site which is 100% secure is an impossible task for any developer no matter how experienced he is. But security is something which you cannot ignore and writing secure PHP code won’t protect your web applications. There are so many other things to consider while developing PHP web applications and some of the following tips will help you to secure it.

Start Hashing Passwords: If you want to secure your PHP web applications so always try to use hashing password. This is because hashing password is one of the best and simple techniques to store unreadable passwords in the database. Most of the developers don’t have any idea that hashes, passwords stored in the database will be useless for a hacker even if they steal them all. It is a very safe technique which is easy to learn and apply. So the next time you choose a password for your web application so always try to use hashing password.

Escape input before using in an SQL statement: Another important tip, which you should remember for securing your PHP web applications, is that you must escape user input to prevent your application from SQL injections. These injections are an attempt made by the hackers to break your security system and if your application allows SQL vulnerability so your site is in danger.

Don’t trust Java script for input validation: Most of the developer’s use Java script for input validation because it is a good idea which helps to improve the user experience but till an extent. You should never really totally on it because it is easy for the hackers to disable it. So never trust Java script complete for input validation.

Do not store unnecessary data: A big mistake done by almost every developer which creates a big risk for PHP web application is that they store unnecessary data which is easy to hack for the hackers. So always try not to store unnecessary data. This helps to prevent hackers from stealing your information and also helps to reduce the size of the database.

All these tips will definitely help you to secure your website from hackers sitting beside you. One more thing you should consider while developing a website always installs software from trusted providers. This will help to secure your web application from the wrong persons.

Reasons to Hire .Net Developers

The demand of offshore application development companies for .Net development processes have increased with every passing week. The companies cutting on workforce and infrastructure are expecting some solutions to expand target market operations without effective profit margins. Outsourcing software development is the most adaptive solution that offer on-time delivery, excellent bug free development, intuitive web application solutions, and minimizes project’s cost. The offshore custom development firms have expert web developers specialized in many different areas in the application development industry.

Clients looking for expert .Net developers will observe robust, scalable and aesthetically wonderful web or software application solutions meeting business needs. Moreover, fresh approach infusing advanced technologies in custom web application development helps increase sustainability in the market. To have bug free, competent and unique solutions in the application development pushes the businesses a stay ahead in the competition. All these features embedded with best performances offering low development costs to the clients.

Today, there are software development companies that offer lucrative paper commitments to get the hold of clients. However, the best custom software development company never needs any commitments to offer. Explaining the years of success stories do not require reading the commitments made on papers, in fact, busy schedules and less availability of the dates for new projects explains everything. Moreover, new clients will find incredible web solutions provided to several known clients in the industry.

Delivering Microsoft .NET technology for customizing business solutions for the clients need expert .Net developers in the projects. The best companies meet desired expectations raised by the clients in the industry. Outstanding business reputation and streaming processes to dip the development cost adds to convincing deal. The applications delivered in the market are full of unique features and makes the other processes rely on the success of the development.

To hire web developers, clients just to contact the offshore application development companies to get marvelous benefits and reduced costs. The clients can prefer to have dedicated team equipped with unique ideas and incredible features that pushed the business growth tremendously in the industry. Quality solution providing bug free deliveries make the services flawless in crucial scenarios.

Moreover, experts handling complexities in the applications and simplifying the development cycle help streamlining the work by reducing development costs. Meeting deadlines before schedule helps clients to discuss if any additions required in the development. So, do let the competitions push you back rather lead the competitors in the development market.