Making your website work

Close up of Mac laptop

When a website works well, you probably don’t notice why. But when a website doesn’t work you can’t miss it. Which is why our team is committed to building websites that not only look great across all devices, they load quickly and work seamlessly. Our team of experienced developers work across a range of platforms (WordPress, Umbraco, TerminalFour and e-commerce platforms).

Planning your website

Although our experience is vast, we won’t bombard you with technical speak if that’s not your bag. We will tailor our approach to what you already know so that you’re comfortable and involved in how your project is progressing.

Our project planning is organised, transparent and thorough, so we’ll work out exactly how much (or little) support you’ll need and agree with you exactly how your site build will go.

Working with you

One thing you can be relaxed about, if your site is HeX-built, it’ll look spot on, work flawlessly and we’ll make sure you have the training you need to be able to maintain it. And we’ll still be here to help you – if you’d like, we can keep your content and social media on point with a maintenance contract.

How do you build a website?

We want to give you a little insight into how a website is built.  The behinds the scenes elements but without too much jargon. So we wrote a summary of the basic coding languages used to build a website. Each of these coding elements are used together to form a web page.

HTML

HTML was invented and developed in the mid-1980s by Tim Berners-Lee. It is an acronym and it stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It is the coding language on which the internet is based.

HTML code is used to describe structure of web pages, then a web browser interprets the code and displays a web page accordingly. HTML effectively labels pieces of content. It holds text as content itself and links to other elements such as images, videos, documents and files.

According to the w3c (World Wide Web Consortium):

HTML gives authors the means to:

  • Publish online documents with headings, text, tables, lists, photos, etc.
  • Retrieve online information via hypertext links, at the click of a button.
  • Design forms for conducting transactions with remote services, for use in searching for information, making reservations, ordering products, etc.
  • Include spreadsheets, video clips, sound clips, and other applications directly in their documents.
  • With HTML, authors describe the structure of pages using markup. The elements of the language label pieces of content such as “paragraph,” “list,” “table,” and so on.

XHTML

XHTML is a variant of HTML that uses the same structure as XML (Extensible Markup Language). XML has all the same elements (for paragraphs, etc.) as HTML but the structure is slightly different. To pass as XHTML, the code has to follow more strict rules than HTML. This will speed up the load time of pages built using XHTML and also make the code easier to read and maintain.

php

PHP is a server-side scripting language, Originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. PHP is not sent along with the XHTML and SCSS to user’s browser. It sits inside (X)HTML and pulls in scripts and content, then when it is read by the server it is typically transformed into (X)HTML. The PHP reference implementation is now produced by The PHP Group. PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page, but it now stands for the recursive acronym PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. As HTML describes the structure of a web page, CSS is a language which describes how web pages look.

Using CSS the author can create rules or styles to control colors, layout, define fonts and sizing. It can also be used to create lines, shapes, gradients and animate certain elements on a web page (amongst other situations). It can be used to adapt web pages to different types of devices, such as large screens, small screens, or printers.

CSS can be written inside of an HTML document, coding this way is called inline styling but these styles are only applied to the page on which those CSS styles sit. So when CSS is in a separate file it can be linked to multiple HTML pages. When applied properly this makes it more powerful and it is  easier to maintain.

Sass

According to the creator of Sass:

Sass is an extension of CSS that adds power and elegance to the basic language.

There are two variations of Sass, the first is its original version, purely called Sass, but the most recent, and most widely used version is SCSS (Sassy CSS).

When writing SCSS one uses CSS but Sass makes a more efficient structure available, which cuts down on repetitive code. It also adds extra functionality, including variables, nested rules, mixins, inline imports and more.