Web Development: Understanding How Database Driven Websites Can Help Your Website

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has become a science over the last five years. As Search Engines develop new technologies to try and ensure the sites with the best content rank high, more and more algorithms and techniques are used. For anyone not familiar with SEO, it can seem like a foreign language. Luckily with a few simple changes you can ensure your site and pages are Google friendly. One area where you can make an improvement is your individual product pages. Want to find out more, then read below.

Individual product pages are good for SEO for many reasons. For one you can target a page around very specific keywords rather than vague general keywords. Secondly, you can ensure only very highly qualified traffic comes to your site. Most people new to SEO believe that the more visitors you get to a site the better. But this isn’t necessarily the case. If you have very specific keywords that relate to a very specific topic, chances are you will end up with more sales. In addition, you will also not be competing with a large number of sites who are based around the general keywords.

While individual product pages are good for you and your business they can require a lot of upkeep. This is where database driven websites come in. A database driven website helps to file all of your relevant information in a database. This allows you to easily access information and to even use .htaccess files to help keep, store and develop keyword rich URLs.

While keywords in your content is beneficial (you should have a keyword density of between two to three percent), keywords on each separate page URL address. With a database you can easily keep your keyword rich URL, rather than having a URL that just refers to a page name. This one simple step will put you above a lot of the competition.

As can be seen from above, SEO is a science and requires strong knowledge to ensure that you can compete with other sites within your niche. While it is a science, it is a skill that can be learnt. Ensuring your websites are database driven will help you to save time and optimize your site. This will help your business to increase its sales and become one of the higher ranking sites on the Internet. If you are not already using a database driven website, then it is definitely worth checking out some services today.

Creating a Website Outline For Web Development

Creating a website outline can be a very simple and quick pre-production step that a developer, designer or any type of person can take. An outline can be in all different types of formats. Bullet points, small paragraphs, some even use their sitemaps. It really matters on the type of person and what their work flow. Having a website content outline gives you can idea of where your website is heading after the homepage.

How to Start

There really isn’t a how to outline a website, you can be as creative as you want. If you’ve done your brainstorming you know what niche or idea you want to portray. And if you’ve thought of a site map in your storyboarding process then you have even more information. You have your main category, sub categories and a page structure for you site.

Your Structure Can Be Anything

Most website content outlines start with your main category at the top of the list. Then follow down into the different sub categories and pages from there. Usually you have a bullet point structure for the outline, with indents for the different categories, subcategories and pages. Your website design outline layout can be anyway you want. Just focus on what works for you and what you will understand.

Website Outline Example

  • HomePage
    • Category 1
      • Sub Category 1
        • Page 1
        • Page 2
        • Page 3
      • Sub Category 2
        • Page 1
        • Page 2
        • Page 3
      • Sub Category 3
        • Page 1
        • Page 2
        • Page 3
    • Category 2
      • Page 1
      • Page 2
      • Page 3
    • Category 3
      • Sub Category 1
        • Page 1
        • Page 2
        • Page 3
      • Sub Category 2
        • Page 1
        • Page 2
        • Page 3
    • Site Map
    • Contact Page

Used to Help You Keep Track

There isn’t a set way to do it or a standard way to create an outline. The purpose of a website outline is to keep track as you build your different pages for your website. It also can help you visually see how your categories and subcategories are set up. Maybe you’ll see something that won’t work. Or you find yourself with have extra categories or you could add more categories. Either way it’s a good exercise to do before jumping into development.

Tips and Tricks For Web Development – Some Useful Tools!

We are by-and-large, Mac users but most of these tools are cross platform and available on Windows and Linux with the exception of CSSEdit.

Netbeans. This is a fantastic IDE and when used with Xdebug it provides a superb PHP development environment with line-by-line debugging and all that the competition (Zend Studio) offers but it’s free!. BTW we are fans of Zend Studio just not the price tag!

This brings us onto Xdebug. This is a great php module/addon that when used with Netbeans provided great debugging facilities.

CVSDude. What’s that dude? CVSDude.com! this is a really great SVN hosting solution. We tried running our own SVN we tried other SVN providers and finally started using CVSDude for our Subversion Requirements. Most developers will know how important SVN is for team collaboration and without SVN it’s pretty much impossible to collaborate with a team working on a large project. CVSDude offer a cost effective SVN project hosting solution with many extras such as integrated Trac and Bugzilla. Support is great and it can all be managed via their web-based console.

SyncroSVNClient So this brings us onto Subversion clients, there’s allot out there but our favorite is SyncroSVNClient, easy to use, cost effective and reliable.

Safari and Web Inspector . We have experience of Firefox and Firebug and these are excellent tools but if you are a JS developer and have a Mac take a look at Safari’s JS debugger. On our Macs we found it took much less memory resources than Firebug and offers syntax highlighting in the JS code than makes it easier to ready and instantly see bugs in the code. While Firefox and Firebug do a great job Safari and Web Inspector do a top notch job at JS debugging. To enable the Safari Develop menu and Web Inspector, just close Safari and type (or copy/paste) the following command into Terminal.app (/Applications/Utilities): defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitDeveloperExtras -bool true.

CSSEdit . Unfortunately only available on the Mac CSSEdit is a top notch CSS tool. Firebug for Firefox and Safari Web Inspector do a great job of CSS debugging class inspection and style over-riding so they are great for finding a CSS issue. However a tool we have found priceless on many occasions is CSSEdit by MacRabbit. This CSS editor allows you to browse any styles and override these much the same as FB and Web Inspector but with much more ease. The controls and interface are easy to use. New style attributes can be easily defined by using the GUI without the need to remember the syntax or have to go off hunting for a sample on Google. More information can be found here: http://macrabbit.com/cssedit/.

We hope this information helps!

There are many development tools out there and it’s never a case of one tool does all but our collection of tools certainly seem to be pretty definitive for building a large web-based application.