Why have a database? Isn't HTML enough? You need a database Do I really need a database for my website? In most cases the answer is YES. I can think of only a few websites that don’t use database these days. Many have more than one. And it’s not uncommon to have 5 or 10 or more all running at the same time on the same website. If your goal is to show a couple pictures and display some text, then No you don’t need a database. But if that is the extent of your online goals, you probably aren’t going to be overwhelmingly successful either. Here are some things to think about in regards to using a database in your website. OUTGOING INFORMATION The great thing about a databases is that they can take your website to a completely new level. Not only can you store and manage your entire site’s content in a database, you can organize it and display that content in completely interactive ways. Example #1: Contextual Content. One thing I love to do is have images and ads in various places of a web page that change depending on the page topic, month of the year, how long the person has been on the site, or what pages the person has already seen on the site. For example, once the person has visited 5 or 6 pages on the site I may want to start showing them a 20% off coupon in the side bar. The only way to track and implement this kind of activity effectively is with a database. Example #2: Minimize the work. I have built websites before that use only one page. The HOME page. The links in the navigation bar don’t lead to any other page, they simply lead back to the home page. The difference in this case is that each link tells the database to show a different block of content on the home page. The person visiting the site doesn’t know the difference. It looks like they are physically changing pages. But the page is actually pulling it’s information dynamically from the database. The site now is completely unlimited in what is can display. This one page site can now easily display 1000+ pages worth of content with not one additional HTML page being constructed. The content can be changed at any time, pages can be added or deleted, and the navigation structure is updated instantly. And it can be updated from anywhere in the world. Example #3: Responsive links. One of my favorite features that I’ve created is a hit counter for each individual navigation link on the site. The navigation bar was set up to look at the hit count and display the links in popularity order. So as people browsed the site the links would float around to reveal the most popular link(s). The links that people most often visit became the top of the navigation and the ones that people didn’t care so much about sank to the bottom. This had amazing results and actually provided a ton of information about our visitors and their interests. I could come up with dozens more examples of uses for databases and ‘dynamic’ content. Here are a few. Auto-responder series, test taking, student management, calendars, work schedules, shopping carts (of course), golf tallies, sports ‘winning’ team selectors, online polls, online registrations, application collection and SO much more. INCOMING INFORMATION Websites are incredibly interactive. To be successful we have to change our thinking about what they are capable of. Not only can you provide information and services TO your visitors, you can also gather highly valuable information FROM them. There’s literally no end to the things web surfers will give you. They’ll give you all sorts of video (YouTube), expertise (countless forums), opinions (blogspot), audio (iTunes), etc. It’s your job as a website owner to be able to get that information from them. That’s were a database comes in. Once you get information from your visitors, you need a way to store it, and then more importantly you need a way to organize and retrieve the content. A database makes that easy. Once you know the needs of your web visitors, you’ll be able to provide even better products and services to them. Here are some common things that databases are used for. (This is not an exhaustive list. There are countless uses for a database) Email mailing list User forums Incoming contact requests and information Booking and reservations Automatic email series Hit counters Gathering visitor statistics And so many more… If you are thinking about setting up a website, you may want to take a few minutes and think about how a database can make your life easier. You can easily turn your new website into a tool that will work hard for you 24/7 rather than just a cute display of flashy graphics. A database can be just what you need to accomplish that. Why have a database? Isn't HTML enough? You need a database Do I really need a database for my website? In most cases the answer is YES. I can think of only a few websites that don’t use database these days. Many have more than one. And it’s not uncommon to have 5 or 10 or more all running at the same time on the same website. If your goal is to show a couple pictures and display some text, then No you don’t need a database. But if that is the extent of your online goals, you probably aren’t going to be overwhelmingly successful either. Here are some things to think about in regards to using a database in your website. OUTGOING INFORMATION The great thing about a databases is that they can take your website to a completely new level. Not only can you store and manage your entire site’s content in a database, you can organize it and display that content in completely interactive ways. Example #1: Contextual Content. One thing I love to do is have images and ads in various places of a web page that change depending on the page topic, month of the year, how long the person has been on the site, or what pages the person has already seen on the site. For example, once the person has visited 5 or 6 pages on the site I may want to start showing them a 20% off coupon in the side bar. The only way to track and implement this kind of activity effectively is with a database. Example #2: Minimize the work. I have built websites before that use only one page. The HOME page. The links in the navigation bar don’t lead to any other page, they simply lead back to the home page. The difference in this case is that each link tells the database to show a different block of content on the home page. The person visiting the site doesn’t know the difference. It looks like they are physically changing pages. But the page is actually pulling it’s information dynamically from the database. The site now is completely unlimited in what is can display. This one page site can now easily display 1000+ pages worth of content with not one additional HTML page being constructed. The content can be changed at any time, pages can be added or deleted, and the navigation structure is updated instantly. And it can be updated from anywhere in the world. Example #3: Responsive links. One of my favorite features that I’ve created is a hit counter for each individual navigation link on the site. The navigation bar was set up to look at the hit count and display the links in popularity order. So as people browsed the site the links would float around to reveal the most popular link(s). The links that people most often visit became the top of the navigation and the ones that people didn’t care so much about sank to the bottom. This had amazing results and actually provided a ton of information about our visitors and their interests. I could come up with dozens more examples of uses for databases and ‘dynamic’ content. Here are a few. Auto-responder series, test taking, student management, calendars, work schedules, shopping carts (of course), golf tallies, sports ‘winning’ team selectors, online polls, online registrations, application collection and SO much more. INCOMING INFORMATION Websites are incredibly interactive. To be successful we have to change our thinking about what they are capable of. Not only can you provide information and services TO your visitors, you can also gather highly valuable information FROM them. There’s literally no end to the things web surfers will give you. They’ll give you all sorts of video (YouTube), expertise (countless forums), opinions (blogspot), audio (iTunes), etc. It’s your job as a website owner to be able to get that information from them. That’s were a database comes in. Once you get information from your visitors, you need a way to store it, and then more importantly you need a way to organize and retrieve the content. A database makes that easy. Once you know the needs of your web visitors, you’ll be able to provide even better products and services to them. Here are some common things that databases are used for. (This is not an exhaustive list. There are countless uses for a database) Email mailing list User forums Incoming contact requests and information Booking and reservations Automatic email series Hit counters Gathering visitor statistics And so many more… If you are thinking about setting up a website, you may want to take a few minutes and think about how a database can make your life easier. You can easily turn your new website into a tool that will work hard for you 24/7 rather than just a cute display of flashy graphics. A database can be just what you need to accomplish that.
  • Design Strategy
    The design of any project must be both elegant and usable. The focus of About Web Design is to provide state of the art functional design elements for almost any project. Ranging from simple web sites or mobile phone solutions to complex data-driven user interfaces, About WD can design the entire layout or simply focus on individual functional elements within the overall site.

    Regardless of the purpose or target audience for your project, About Web Design strives to provide a cutting edge solution for you.

  • Database Design
    OUTGOING INFORMATION - The great thing about databases is that they can take your website, phone app, or software to a completely new level. Not only can you store and manage your entire site’s content in a database, you can organize it and display that content in completely interactive ways. Some uses for databases could be providing contextual content, minimizing disk space and production effort, uniformity of information, responsive links, or simply keeping content fresh, changing and current. But there many other reason you might need dynamic data as well.

    INCOMING INFORMATION – Websites are incredibly interactive. To be successful in this era we have to change our thinking about what they are capable of. Not only can you provide information and services TO your visitors, you can also gather highly valuable information FROM them. There’s literally no end to the information web surfers will give you. They’ll give you all sorts of video (YouTube), expertise (countless forums), opinions (blogspot), audio (iTunes), etc. It’s your job as a website owner to be able to get the valuable information you need from your visitors.

    That’s where a database comes in. Once you get information from your visitors, you need a way to store it, and then more importantly you need a way to organize, retrieve, and analyze the content. A database makes that easy. Once you know the needs of your web visitors, you’ll be able to provide even better products and services to them.

  • Project Solution Examples
    The projects that About Web Design has been involved in have been too many to count. Ranging from simple one page web applications to full data-driven corporate websites. But beyond that we have produced other more specifically technical solutions as well. Some of these include iPhone apps (BlackBerry and Andriod too), Google gadgets, custom navigation bars, custom database import tools, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) operations, AJAX tools, multi-lingual options, and more.

    In addition AboutWD often takes on video and audio projects as well. Integrating video effects and audio creates a unique and pleasurable experience for the user.

    One of the fastest growing areas of web design is the implementation of OpenSource web applications. The great thing about OpenSource applications is that the code base for the programs are usually free. This means that our energy can be focused on installing, configuring and visually enhancing the applications rather than needing to build them from the ground up. That saves our customers time and money.

    Some examples of OpenSource web software: Magento shopping cart, PHPBB discussion forum, Spark instant messenger, Wordpress blogger, SugarCRM customer relationship management, Joomla content management, Drupal content management, Live Help instant chat, PHPlist mailinglists, Moodle classroom, PHPlinks… and the list goes on and on.

  • Web Consulting
    If you need an expert opinion on which direction to take your current website, or if you are just starting to investigate options for a new website, web expert Rob Goodwin is currently available for consulting.

    Rob can advise you on anything you may need from web hosting and open-source solutions to custom design or module creation. His vast knowledge of internet development and custom solutions can help you.

    So whether you need a new website, search engine help, do-it-yourself options, custom database integration, a shopping cart, Flash graphics, or anything else, Rob Goodwin of About Web Design can help get you focused in the right direction.

    About Web Design consulting fee is currently $85/hour.
    Design and web programming fee is by per project qoute only.

  • Contact About Web Design
    Please call to schedule an appointment today.

    Rob is available to meet with you in person or over the internet using SKYPE, GoToMeeting, or other IM solution.


    Rob Goodwin
    Direct Line: 503-984-1443

    Email: Design@AboutWD.com