Want to build a house? You’ll need an architect. Want to build a digital ecosystem? You’ll need a developer who understands the keys to successful back-end website development. Your website is your company’s home on the web, and without the proper foundation, it — and your company’s reputation — can crumble.
Your site’s back-end, also referred to as “server side,” is all the processes and interactions that make your site function, update, and change — but that audiences never see. Simply put, back-end development is the foundation of your website. And your back-end web developer is the master architect who ensures it’s lain correctly, checks its health regularly, and fills any cracks that may appear.
Successful back-end web development includes three key components: site structure, content management, and security.
Have a Site-Structure Blueprint
Before you even draft a blueprint, a significant amount of planning and strategy has to happen. Get ready to spend some time on this step, because successful planning can take six to eight weeks. You would never build a house without first determining how many bedrooms you need, whether you want a basement, and where you’ll put the garage. Similarly, your website’s strategic goals and functionality will determine its foundational footprint.
Answer the following questions to unearth your basic web-development needs.
- Who is your audience?
- How will they access your site?
- What is the purpose of the site?
- What kind of user information will you be gathering and securing?
- What are your key performance indicators, and what kind of data will you need to support them?
You’d never set a budget and design for a house without knowing whether it would fit on the lot, right? The same goes for a website, but the “lot” is your technical infrastructure. Do you have the capacity and ability to host, secure, and maintain the website? Can you handle the kind of traffic and bandwidth you anticipate needing?
Prioritize Content Management
These days, building a website with a content management system (CMS) is a given. The good news is that you don’t need to blow your budget on an enterprise-level product — even a massive site like CNN.com runs on WordPress. Other popular CMSes include Joomla, Drupal, Sitecore, and Adobe.
Your CMS should allow you to easily edit the information appearing on your site from your homepage to each individual piece of content you publish. With WordPress’ new update to Gutenberg, more and more CMSes are built using modular content and layout blocks to make content management easier than ever.
Pro Tip: Ensure your analytics tracking code is dropped into the code on your site before launch to start measuring your KPIs on day one.
Keep Things Secure
Internet security is more important than it ever has been, making it a nonnegotiable when talking about back-end web development. Keeping data thieves away from your servers and databases is, perhaps, the most important step you can take toward securing the privacy of your employees, your customers, and your sensitive corporate information.
Without the proper back-end infrastructure and security, you could be at immediate risk of incurring a major cyberattack. Your back-end developer should integrate security software into your site and enable HTTPs – an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that encrypts sensitive user data and shows users that your site is secure.
Ultimately, these keys to successful back-end web development lay the groundwork for your site to support user traffic, manage the content that sets you apart, and instill a sense of trust with audiences.
Contact us to get started on a website that has the right foundation.