A simple marketing website, portfolio, or blog may be fine for awhile, but eventually (sooner rather than later) the need arises to begin managing your data online. In one place. Whether it relates to your customers (CRM), inventory, accounting, or other concepts that are unique to your core business domain, it just needs to work together.
This is the point where content management systems (CMSs) break down, and custom application development becomes a necessity. Content management systems (i.e. WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal) are just that: content managers. They were never designed to accommodate complex, relational data structures or unique business requirements (no matter how much some would like for you to believe it). Fortunately, that is where we shine! Let’s talk about your pain points and the things that make your situation unique, and devise a plan to get your business online.
With the proliferation of tablets and smartphones in recent years, more people than ever are using devices with smaller screens to surf the Web, and it is no longer acceptable to assume a given screen size when designing a site. The goal of a “responsive” website is to provide an optimal experience for all site visitors, whether they are using a phone, a gigantic display, or anything in between. The site’s content will auto-format (”respond“) to various screen sizes and capabilities, eliminating the need for mobile users to “pinch and zoom” or scroll excessively, while maintaining a rich experience for those on larger devices.
Responsive web design has become imperative as the amount of mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of total internet traffic. Additionally, Google has recently announced that they are now using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results (effectively penalizing sites that are not mobile friendly), providing even more reason to switch to responsive design.
From a technical standpoint, this involves:
- Writing the core HTML code (which governs the site’s structure) and stylesheets (“rules”) in a manner which allows content to adapt to various devices.
- Performing functional analysis on individual elements that may potentially be useful only to certain devices, and selectively showing/hiding based on those criteria (i.e. a “click to call” button makes sense on a phone, but probably not on a desktop computer.)
- Exporting images so they can be dynamically resized as appropriate.
Of course, this is also a great opportunity to make any other desired changes to the site (colors, typography, photos, graphics, etc.), since everything will need to be re-defined in the new stylesheets.
Mobile App Data Services
Are you planning to launch an iPhone or Android app, either as a standalone product, or as a complement to your website? Most people don’t think too much about it, but these apps often need access to a central, remote data source (which is quite likely the same data source that powers your web application). This is typically accomplished via a REST API: The device makes a secure connection over HTTP (just like a web browser would), and data is transmitted back and forth in a standardized (JSON) format. Tell us your plans, and we can work in conjunction with your app developer to provide the exact data they will require.