Early in the process of developing a website, decisions need to be made regarding the technical requirements of the project. Such decisions will affect the budget, time frame and in some cases the overall feel of the site. One of the primary decisions is what the underlying structure of the site should be, which will determine what software is used and what system makes the site “work.” Options include:
- Basic HTML: A standard HTML site in which each page is edited manually. This may be relatively quick to develop but leaves little flexibility and a lot of ongoing maintenance.
- Use a Content Management System: Using a CMS generally allows a client to perform regular content updates, while the designer controls the overall look and feel of the site. Some systems may be developed from scratch, others purchased and tailored to the client’s needs, and others available as online systems (sites such as Blogger and WordPress are free and include a basic CMS).
- Flash: Flash sites are developed within Adobe Flash and can offer a rich, animated, multimedia experience. While layout work in Flash is often easier than coding a site, Flash development (making the site operate) can be time-consuming and complicated, but rewarding.