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By Samuel .W. Ndungú, Special Member KCSFA

A website/web application is computer program that uses web browsers and web technology to perform tasks over the Internet. Businesses and companies will approach IT gurus (web applications developers) to design them a website for different purposes, but without any extensive information of what it will entail to implement their ideology. The business/entrepreneurs/company’s expression of what they need (functional requirements) is the most important stage of website development; functional requirements determines:

1. The environments/programming languages to be used for development – Cases (i) E commerce websites, (ii) informational website, (iii) portals

(i) Businesses seeking to sell products via the website (where one can scroll the products available, inquire, pay through the same environment and wait for delivery) will require an ecommerce website designed with shopping carts and payment integration features.

(ii) Businesses seeking to make a digital awareness of services they offer, explain features of products or makes awareness of brands. E.g. church website, school website, agricultural firm website, and any other informational website (a website without complex technical backend programming – this kind of website will commonly contain contact forms to reach clients who would have questions or interested to inquire for services). These kind of websites does not limit web developer to design the website using a specific language as they require any language that is able to portray the user interface as convenient as the client would be satisfied that the intention is met to his potential customers. One can use JavaScript’s frameworks like AngularJS and CSS. (Developer should be careful to determine the sensitivity of the business information, and ensure the codes/environments used are reliable in terms of security)

(iii) Businesses seeking to manage some entities online. E.g. managing users of a credit Sacco, managing other website contents, students learning environments and any other platforms that seek management capabilities online.

2. The hostage packages and company to host with – The packages include the storage capacities, security offer, subscription periods and costings. Informational website would require a smaller storage size compared to a management system which will require a bigger storage in sense that a lot of information/data is stored in the server.

– The client usually has the idea of what he wants, but rarely you will find a client with the technical knowledge of what it will take to implement his idea. Customers without the knowledge of what it would entail to implement their idea tend to find themselves away from their budget, getting compelled to postpone the service acquisition to later dates when they would have the approximated amount.

– Web developers should make good terms with the client to avoid future crisis. Case: A client was designed a website 3 years ago, but he did not have good terms with the designer (The designer was arrogant because of his incompetence, he felt under paid, the client was not cooperative). The client later gets enlightened about the technology and now want some upgrade/redesign of the website. So he seeks another website designer to assist him, but the initial website designer denies the new designer the access of login details or even the change of hosting client account…. (the site was registered via the initial web designer’s client area). What do you think caused this problem to the business owner? Who should register the domain and hosting account/client area?

– Web developers should engage the client with sincerity into a detailed explanation of the common knowledge that the client would be required to have about the website development (Especially if the client is blank about technology).

Trends in web development

1. Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

These are websites without any external programs for download; they are purely web based. In 2019, 65% of online shopping orders through the website were made with mobile devices(lunars.com). PWAs in 2020 will be written with CSS, JavaScript, React, or Angular. Besides great user experience and no need for programs, PWA could send push notifications and provide users with offline access to cached content.

2. Artificial Intelligence and Bots

These include Chatbot. The application can know what the web visitor would want and respond instantly. They are integrated in websites and in social media web applications e.g. Facebook. Big companies adopt this technology to keep a reliable 24/7 response service to their customers. These bots save a lot of cost, because they cut the cost of hiring developers for another UI/UX platform.

3. Single page application

These are websites where all information is found by scrolling and loading to other redirection to other pages. Websites made with this technology attracts attention to visitors with their instant responses and creates a fast communication.

4. Voice Search Optimization

5. Motion UI

6. JavaScript Frameworks (Vue, React, and Angular)

7. Serverless Applications and Architecture (Cloud computing)

8. Responsive Websites (RWD)

9. Push Notifications

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