How to Build a Quality Website
How to Build a Quality Website
The other day I received an email from a guy asking
whether we could build his eCommerce website. Since Rusbiz is a
company which has a full service web solutions development department,
I sent him our executive brochure by email and asked if I should
send him our website building checklist.
The answer I received was “Can I work directly
with your web programmer and tell me what your hourly rate is?”
I wrote him back that there is no problem in working with the programmer,
but we use a team of experts to build a website and he will be much
better off if he goes by a flat price for his project instead of
going by hourly rate. Apparently he did not like the idea! Too bad!
Web development services fundamentally differ from say an attorney’s
services. If you are working with a professional company, depending
on the size of your web project a team of people will work on it.
Namely: your account manager, lead programmer, web programmer, designer,
Content editor, database programmer, web promotional specialist,
and web administrator.
The tricky thing about website is starting from making your site
by yourself on Geocity or similar free site builders to hiring topnotch
web development companies that charge thousands of dollars the range
is way too broad. Often, people select a company to do their web
development job based on their subjective perception not based on
knowledgeable decisions. Although, price should be a key issue,
you should not go for a company just because it quoted you a cheap
Many fall for nicely designed previous works of the vendor. The
design is also only a part of the whole project, albeit a very important
one but don’t make the mistake of overemphasizing on it! A
beautifully designed website with nice graphics and pictures is
not necessarily a good eCommerce website. It could be even just
Website development is increasingly becoming a sophisticated task
with narrow specialties. Before handing over your job, make sure
that the company does have all the right people in their team. The
team may also consist of other specialists apart from the ones listed
Team Members and Description of their Services
Project or account Manager
This is the person who manages expectations through a project's
lifecycle. Determines project needs, outlines specific deliverables
and oversees the process and team from start to finish. He or she
also maintains ongoing client communication and education throughout
project. Handles budget and scope issues, including weekly status
updates and additional changes.
This person oversees visual design process. Helps transforming
client expectations into the right visual look and feel. Applies
technical and user needs into final UI (User Interface) design.
Works with project manager and the client to establish a clearer
vision of the site.
Defines overall site organization and layout from an informational,
navigational and functional perspective. Works with client and project
manager to determine overall content strategy and site structure,
page layout and interaction through out a site. Participates in
usability testing and works with developers to bridge gap between
design and technology.
This person works on writing and coding programming parts of the
web site. Oversees design and ensures effective translation to HTML.
Also works with other developers of the production team to maintain
standards for coding. Depending on the size of the site, there could
be several programmers involve in a project.
This individual provides a consistent style and tone of the site.
She works closely with client to gather all information and materials
for the Web site. Understands fundamentals of content development,
and has a clear understanding of the overall goals and communication
objectives of the site. She works with the designer to implement
content in an efficient manner. She also works with Web Promotional
Specialist in order to bring the content inline with search engines’
Provides management and direction of the programming team for
back-end projects such as database development or system integration
specialists. She acts as a liaison between front-end and back-end
Depending on the needs of the website, a database specialist may
necessary to handle the development of various catalogs and various
An individual with a background in human factors engineering and/or
cognitive psychology who has a broad understanding of usability
issues on the Web. This individual should have knowledge in information
design, navigation and Web development processes.
Web Promotional Specialist
Helps optimizing web pages for search engines. Understand the
fundamentals of search engine optimizations and aware of the latest
changes in the algorithms of mail search engines. Make recommendations
to the client and help him popularize the website. This individual
works closely with content manager, designer and developer.
Now, for your website you may or may not need a team with all the
members stated above, and in some cases one person may have knowledge
of two fields but it is better to understand that in the ever changing
world of the Internet if you are serious about your web business,
you better build your site with the help of real experts of each
Statistics shows that almost 70 percent of web projects do not
finish on expected time frame with allocated budget. To reduce your
risk while ordering your new website or revamping your existing
one, take the following steps:
Check out the vendor’s site thoroughly.
Do they follow what they preach? How the site looks like? Are
you going to buy a product from the look and feel of the site? Check
out the example sites. Are they good enough?
Find out if the team consists of professionals.
Ask them detail questions. Check out cross reference. Talk to
the team members directly.
Write a clear well-defined technical scope.
Develop a thorough technical scope before starting building your
eCommerce site. This will eliminate confusions before they occur.
You will have a coherent picture of the required time and budget.
You will also understand your own needs better. A scope is like
your business plan and works as your road map. Spend enough time
to make your scope as meticulous as possible. Once you finalized
your scope, no matter what, don’t try to change it at later
stage if you want to finish your project on time.
Work closely with the team.
Ask questions whenever they arise to the individual of the team,
whom they concern most.
An astounding large number of site owners are not happy with their
websites. A little preparation and follow-up will help you avoid
becoming one of them.
About the Author
Nowshade Kabir is the
CEO of Rusbiz.com, a global B2B Portal, which helps companies build
web store, buy and sell products and services using eMarketplace,
eCatalog and other features. Rusbiz also offers website development