Different kinds of Web site

Note to self: In an article on A List Apart called How to Plan Manpower on a Web Team, Shane Diffily defines three classes of (large) Web site:

  • Basic: brochureware – pages with pictures, possibly even the one page Web site. Tools might include Dreamweaver, Photoshop.
  • Dynamic: Content stored in a database and pages built on the fly when readers visit. No ‘log-in’ or purchase or membership. Tools might include text editor to code the templates and the Web application (blog system, content management system)
  • Transactional: Log-in for purchase or to interact with a Web application that is part of the business model of the organisation (e.g. mark an online register or use a VLE course specific to your class). Tools might include the business process model and databases, and ‘rules engine’ or application development system.
This forms part of a discussion about calculating the staffing needed to develop and maintain a Web site or Intranet in a large organisation. The whole page will be useful for the Web Design module on next year’s Foundation Degree course, but this three-fold classification is especially appealing as a way of explaining which tools to use for which job.

The other dimension will be John December’s audience analysis checklists and tables, and perhaps I can get the students to think about the goals of a Web site project in relation to the threefold analysis above.

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