Understanding Web Development and Why Some Web Development Companies Fail?

Web development

To keep myself busy these summer holidays, I found myself a job as the Web Consultant (and Project Head) with a premier educational institute in the city. In this kind of job, one has to offer consulting services regarding web hosting, web design and look after the development process such that it best suits the business you’re serving. The web project had already started long before I joined, as my company had already employed a seemingly confident web technology and development company to look after all the work. This project aimed at designing and developing a website that enabled people to know about this mathematics coaching institute and enabled online registration of students for coaching classes and online training programs that included posting online video tutorials, tests and solutions, question banks and self-assessment guides for the registered students.

At the time that I joined, only a few days ago that is, the web hosting had been already chosen, the design completed and all the functionality that we needed, implemented in PHP. But then why did they need me?

The design was good, and as I said above… all the functionality that we needed was implemented (in PHP). Where did the web development company lack?

  • If you know that you’re going to offer PDF’s and videos for downloads would you want the site-design to be heavy? The web company did the most unnecessary things in Flash. Not just at a single page, but across the whole website. If one needed to add a new page and provide a link in the header navigation bar, it would be impossible to do because it was a flash object. Plus, all the textual data went into the embedded Flash thus making the website orthodox anti-SEO.
  • The editor provided for this website (about Mathematics) does not support mathematical symbols! At last we had to make the content available in PDF format. Even though available to only premium users, it can be easily saved and then be shared with anyone which we do not want. But can we do anything now?
    The navigation structure that this company designed and put up was such a mess that 8 out of 10 people that I contacted for feedback got confused while moving from page to page through the website. They just could not understand which part of what page related to the others in the order. Call this development?
  • If they could not provide good navigation, they could have at least provided a sitemap. Rather than getting into hassles with the navigation buttons, one could have just used the
  • There were two images in a sidebar – One, a 250 x 250 banner that linked to a mathematics contest and the other 250 x 50 button that linked to Tips and Tricks section. Only ZERO out of 10 people that I asked for feedback could make out that there were two distinct images because there was absolutely no space between the two images. The two images, together,looked like a single 250 x 300 banner talking about two things but linking to only one page (depending on where the user clicked).

Because of the cost of web development services in the region, it’s revisions are not feasible for small institutions. Nothing but extreme care can save you from trouble that you might later on face. The very basic point that I want to make here is that if you are into the web development business, or if you want to get a website developed for yourself – you should understand that Development means Development. You have to develop an idea of the website before developing it. The same law holds for blogs too.

If you’re thinking about making a new blog or a website, you need to plan everything. One should know already what kind of audience the blog or website is going to target, how do you want the pages to be and what path do you want a general visitor to take through these pages to convert. Development needs thought. The type of website or blog you intend to have also decides how the site is going to be like. If you’re going to have only a little content, you can compromise on the weight (use Flash, etc.) but if you stream videos, offer files for downloads or embed flash objects, then you will have to take care that the design doesn’t get to heavy without negatively affecting the look and feel . There are various other parameters that need to be worked out  well in advance (adding Meta Tags to pages, creating sitemaps, SEO work like using robots.txt, etc.) before you can say that the development of a website is complete.

The intent of web development services is to increase the productivity and usability of any blog or website. The market is competitive. Would you like to sign a contract with a company like the one I described in association with my office? Definitely NO. If a web development firm doesn’t respect this aspect of their job, then it is quite likely that they will never make a mark in their field.

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15 Responses to Understanding Web Development and Why Some Web Development Companies Fail?

  1. Saurabh says:

    The website for your coaching institute can be developed by me. I am currently in queue for admissions in B.Tech….. So got some free time…Have been programming in PHP since class 8th..

    Saurabhs last blog post..CodeIgniter for Rapid PHP Application Development by David Upton

    • Abhinav Sood says:

      Good luck for your admissions. Nice to know that you have been programming since 8th grade.

      I am currently supervising the development work and getting things done to the extent that we can manage, from the same developers. Thanks for your interest, we’ll send you a note if we need you.

  2. I made the mistake early on, of not properly implementing proper website development. That mistake cost me about 6 months in productivity. I also agree that much attention needs to go into development and design. Because I realized I was using too many scripts at once and adding too much media my blogs were slowing down. I think I have a decent mix now though.
    Thanks for a good post again.
    Larry

  3. Louise says:

    Personally, I hate flash except for things that are meant to be pure advertisements.

    One problem you have with web developers is that sometimes they only have a few tools in their toolbox that they are comfortable with so they try to use a hammer to put in a screw.

    Louises last blog post..Red Lobster Recipes: Shrimp Scampi

  4. Pingback: Should you know Programming, if you are Blogging?

  5. James@women fashion dresses says:

    The usability of a website for the user is very important. If 8 out of 10 people got confused, and there was no site map, this site was not friendly. You are right to say that you need to plan everything, including the friendly look and feel of the website.

  6. Tk says:

    A lot of web development companies focus on turn around rather than quality. That is why I think a lot of them fail.

  7. fail says:

    this is wonderful site .Nice Article….about web development.A lot of web development companies focus on turn around rather than quality. That is why I think a lot of

    fails latest published blog-post ………. Parking Fail

  8. Nashville Web Designer says:

    I am a designer developer and SEO guy… so I get to see and hear it all.. The bottom line is each part of building, designing and promoting a website need to be planned and tied together from the beginning,, all parties need to be involved in the process

  9. nice article…keep up a good job….

  10. The first is to have lots of relevant content on your site based round keyword phrases that get alot of daily searches.

    The second often overlooked aspect is to obtain lots of backlinks to you site from many other sites. The higher the page rank of the other sites, the more effect each backlink has on your site page rank.

  11. Great post. I agree with u ,if a site developed properly we can able to do seo and it will be viewed by most visitors. As u told , in many sites there will be no proper links or not designed properly .Thats what lot of them fall.

  12. Benivolent says:

    Since we are SEO company,Web development companies have to concentrate more on market updates to stay on better position in the modern world. It should need smart work rather than hard work in this field for the success.

  13. Read your article, it is well written and what you saw happens most of the time.what matters is the well planned and focused approach.

  14. Development and Design planning are absolutely crucial to a successful website. Like you had mentioned, developing any part (not just menus) in a stagnate form that can’t be updated isn’t smart. Sites need to be able to grow in order to be successful.

    By not coming up with a design and development plan, its like shooting your site in the foot before it even goes live.

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