If you need to advertise your business a website is the best way of reaching clients.
It's important that your website looks good and works well on any device.
Google must find your website when people search for your business or your location.
I can help you achieve all these things at an extremely competitive rate.
Below are some examples of my work:
If you feel I can help you please contact me to discuss, no obligations, on 0410 346 344 or email email@example.com
EXECUTIVE LEVEL 1, Technology Applications for Corporate Services Division,
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2008 – 2012
Appointed to lead a team supporting Corporate Services Division applications and to participate in the introduction of a new Personnel System to the ABS.
Led a team to 3 staff maintaining approximately 100 applications (Lotus Notes/LEI). Ensured all deadlines were met and work was of a high standard.
Maintained the existing Personnel system - Rainbow/PRISM (C++, Centura, SQL, PL/SQL, Oracle) without help. Released updates biannually which were moved into the production environment seamlessly.
Redeveloped over 20 applications to work with the new personnel system – Oracle HR.
Provided technical expertise to create a data migration framework to move data from Rainbow/PRISM to Oracle HR. Wrote a substantial number of programs within this framework.
Introduced an automated testing application for PRISM which allowed clients to quickly compare output from different versions of the product to give them confidence in new releases.
What is Web Development? Website Development is a process for creating a new website or implementing changes to one already in use, e.g. adding a significant new section to a live site. In simple terms, the process represents a framework within which all activities—from inception to review (and eventual demise, if necessary)—can take place. There are 8 steps in the development process. These are: • Planning: Decide why you want a website and what to create. • Content: Create a list of the content you want. • Design: Create a design for displaying the content. • Construction: Write the code and load up your content. • Test: Make sure everything works properly. • Hosting: Choose a domain name & find a place to put your site on the internet. • Publicity: Build traffic via publicity the site. 4 • Review: Review the site at intervals it to make sure it succeeds. Of course, Website Development does not happen just for fun—it must be initiated in some way. Figure 1. The Website Development Cycle. As can be seen above, the development process takes place within the bounds of Business Goals and User Needs. It is these that initiate and guide the course of planning, design, content, etc. Until you explore your goals and users, your website simply has no reason to exist. As such, the first step for creating your website is to decide why you want it and who you are making it for. Before You Begin Although Website Development encompasses a set of quite specialist activities, the processes that underlie it are the same as for any other project. For example, it needs a team to carry out the work, a timescale to operate within and a set of resources to sustain it. As such, when before starting work the following basic elements must be accounted for: 5 • Project objective, e.g. a new website, a new section of content, a new online application. • Project team, i.e. a project leader, a content producer, a designer, a coder & any other specialist skills. • Budget: Refer to The Website Manager’s Handbook for insight on using the concept of Website Scale to plan project budgets. • Timeframe: Refer to The Website Manager’s Handbook for insight on using the concept of Website Scale to plan project timeframes. • Analysis of project risks, dependencies and assumptions, e.g. what could go wrong? What contingencies are in place, etc. • A system for project management & communication, e.g. weekly meetings, email, etc. 6 Website Planning Website Planning is a process for identifying the Business Objectives and User Needs that drive the Development Cycle. Figure 2. Website Planning as a phase of the Website Development Cycle. This is the first step for building a successful website. It allows you to explore some of the most fundamental issues of site development. For example: • Why are we doing this? 7 • What value will our website produce (from the investment we are making)? • Who is our audience? • What do they want? Business Goals Nobody is forcing you to create a website. You do it because you want to. The hope is that you have a convincing and compelling motive in mind before you begin. There are many excellent reasons for developing a website. Some of the most common include: • To earn revenue: A website can attract buyers. • To influence people: Think of the website of Barack Obama in 2008. • To create cost savings: By putting common information online, you can reduce the amount of time staff spend answering phones. One of the most useful ways to identify your goals is to convene a workshop of stakeholders who have a strong interest in the site. These people can then agree the reasons why a website represents good value. A starting point for such discussions could be the mission of your organisation itself. For example, if you are a charity and your mission is “To foster and integrate marginalised communities into society” – a website could assist this by: • Demonstrating the value of the work you do. • Attracting donations from the public.
40 Website Publicity Congratulations! Your website is now live and is hopefully on its way to fulfilling its goals. However, your website is just one of several million vying for the attention of a selective and impatient audience. Standing out from the crowd needs more than just beautiful design—it requires the support of some serious publicity. Figure 13. Website Publicity as a phase of the Website Development Cycle. 41 Below are listed a number of promotional techniques—both online and offline—that can be used to promote your website. Many of these are free of charge, though they can demand a significant investment of time. Others require a monetary investment. Online Publicity Online Publicity encompasses promotional activity that occurs over the internet. #1: Choose a short, easy to remember domain name. #2: Use email to inform customers about a website launch (however, avoid spamming). #3: Create reciprocal linking agreements with other websites. #4: Create a subscription based email newsletter #5: Write clear and concise content The production of clear and concise content helps Search Engines to identify the subject matter of a website. This makes them much more likely to direct traffic to it. #6: Write metadata and keep it up to date Good metadata increases the confidence of a Search Engine that a site is well managed and is therefore a good bet for traffic. #7: Submit the website address to an internet directory An internet directory is an edited list of websites that is sorted by category. The two most popular examples of this type are the Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org) and Yahoo!. 42 #8: Use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services SEO refers to techniques that can move your website up in Google rankings. There are 2 types of SEO: blackhat and whitehat. • Blackhat uses techniques that Google has banned. If your website uses blackhat techniques you could be barred from Google. You must never use such techniques. • Whitehat uses techniques that Google has not yet banned. Such techniques should be used with caution. You should note that a well written website with good metadata and an enthusiastic audience should have little need of professional SEO services. #9: Pay for online advertising This can easily be done on Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising. #10: Set up a Facebook and Twitter account and link back to your website Offline Publicity Offline publicity encompasses promotional activity that does not occur primarily over the internet. #1: Include your web address on all company stationery and literature. #2: Invite the printed media to review a website. #3: Engage a public relations company for standard advertising, e.g. in a printed journal. 43 Publicising an Intranet It is frequently the case that the scope or utility of intranets are not well understood by staff, simply because they are not aware of the extent of services available. A program of publicity can counteract this. Such a campaign could be justified on the basis that it enhances Return-on-Investment in web technology. Some ideas include: • Posters: Colourful communications can be placed on staff noticeboards to highlight aspects of functionality. • Staff newspaper: Regular articles in a staff newsletter can be useful for promoting new applications. • Attended kiosks: The intranet Maintenance Team Leader can perform informal training for staff by attending a kiosk in a staff area, e.g. a canteen.. • Daily email: If permitted, a daily email could alert staff to content that has been added or changed on the site. 44 Website Review The purpose of a review is to establish if Website Goals are being achieved and, if not, what corrective action is needed. In the first phase of the Development Cycle (Website Planning) we learned about SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Figure 14. Website Review as a phase of the Website Development Cycle. For example, you might have set goals to: 45 • Attract 15% more donations by 2010. • Improve brand recognition among 18-30 year olds by 30% by 2010. You must now assess if these goals have been achieved and – most importantly - how the website contributed to them, e.g. how many funders used the website as an element in their decision process. To do so, you will need to examine several data sources to reach a firm conclusion. These could include financial numbers, a survey of funders and website traffic. By triangulating all these sources, you can establish how the site has performed. You must then ask the question – was the investment worth it? If so, great! If not, what went wrong? If the goals were realistic and achievable, then why did you fail? One way to find out is to conduct a SWOT analysis. SWOT Analysis A SWOT analysis is an appraisal technique that relies on four categories to evaluate an online venture. These are: • Strengths: What are we good at, e.g. navigation, content, maintenance? • Weaknesses: What should it be good at, but are not, e.g. maintenance, responding to feedback, writing good content? 46 • Opportunities: What is happening outside the business that could prove beneficial to the website, e.g. growing broadband penetration? • Threats: What is happening outside the business that could undermine us, e.g. new security threats. A SWOT analysis evaluates the design, content, code and governance of a site against a series of industry standards. If the results of this audit are negative, it suggests some rework is needed. Among the aspects that could be included in such an audit are: Design • Architecture: Does the site structure reflect the visitors expectations? • Design: How well does the basic page layout reflect good design practice? Content • Appropriateness of Content: Does content match expectations for subject matter? • Quality of Content: Is the content authoritative, comprehensive and accurate? Has it been written according to web writing guidelines? Has it been edited? Construction • Accessibility: Does the site adhere to WAI Standards? • Code: Is code well written and structured? Governance • Resource: Did you invest enough in the website in terms of the people & time needed to manage it? • People: Are there enough people with the right skills to look after the site? • Processes: Are there documented processes that say how the site is to be managed and maintained? • Tools: Do staff have adequate tools to complete their work in an efficient manner. Based on the results of such a review, you can identify where extra work is needed. Similarly, you might decide that the original goals are no longer relevant. For example, as a result of organisation change (a merger or takeover), new goals have emerged. If so, you need to return to the first step of the Development Process and start a new round of planning. About the Author Shane Diffily has many years experience in website management. He is currently employed as a Senior Analyst with iQ Content—one of Europe’s leading web consultancies (www.iqcontent.com). As an experienced writer, Shane has published several articles for the respected design journal Alistpart.com. He has also written numerous case studies on technology and business for The Irish Times ‘Business2000’ (Ireland's leading broadsheet newspaper). Shane lives in Dublin, Ireland. Visit www.diffily.com for more articles and advice about website management and maintenance. 28