Components of a Website

February 14, 2019 | Development Insight

Website development is a highly complex, highly technical, field. In this article, we use analogies and metaphors to dig deep into the components of a website.
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Due to a recent change in the direction we want to take our blogs, this page will either be moving or removed entirely in the coming weeks!

Setting the Stage

In this metaphorical story, the internet is one gigantic car show. Internet users are patrons of the car show, looking at the cars. The goal is to get those patrons to vote for your car.

Metaphorically, when a visitor to your website buys a product, or becomes a customer/client, they have voted for your car.

Do you own a vehicle to enter? If not, you have no chance of getting votes. Sure, you can hold your own private car show. However, the internet is the largest event and has the largest prizes.

Even if you do own a vehicle, this is the largest car show in existence. You need to ensure people will look at your car, so that they will vote for your car.

Before we talk about how we can make your experience, at the car show, much more favorable, we must first dive into the automotive world.

Comparing the Options

When you are searching for vehicles, you have a few options.

At the high-end, you can choose a vehicle that is more expensive and limited in quantity. Around the mid-range, you can choose a vehicle that is moderately priced and is more available.

Towards the low-end, you can find a vehicle that is inexpensive and very common. Alternatively, you can manufacture a vehicle from scratch and have something truly one of a kind.

Regardless of what you choose, each of these vehicles can be customized. However, the type of vehicle you choose will determine what type of an audience you will attract.

Manufacturing a vehicle is like building a website from the ground up. Everything on the website is specifically customized for the very specific purposes required.

There is no third-party content management system, no third-party plugins, no third-party themes, there is only 100% pure custom development.

If you are looking for something very specific, something you cannot accomplish with other solutions, then a custom solution is the way to go.

High-end vehicles are like using Laravel, Django, CodeIgniter, Cake PHP, Yii Framework, and other frameworks. They provide a base in which websites can be built on top of.

They are cheaper than manufacturing a website from scratch but are still excessively expensive. These types of websites are great for clients who can’t afford a 100% custom solution, but still need something that both mid-range and low-end solutions cannot accomplish.

Mid-Range vehicles are like using WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and other content management systems.

Typically, these come with a lot more functionality by default and can be extended easily through third-party plugins, add-ons, themes, and modules. These types of websites can range vastly in price, depending on the exact project specifications.

Low-End vehicles are like building a website with a web builder. Such as, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and other drag-n-drop solutions. These solutions are much cheaper! However, they often have a lot of limitations and cannot be easily customized.

Another alternative is a kit car. Which is a vehicle that you can pick and choose components. However, the downside is you must put the vehicle together yourself. While there may be many options available, not all parts will fit together properly.

The cheaper end of mid-range websites (WordPress) is very similar in this regard. With WordPress, you can get a third-party theme and many third-party plugins and quickly piece together a website.

Most businesses will only ever need a mid-range website. Low-end websites are great for personal websites, or hobby-based websites. High-end and Manufactured websites are more suited for the likes of Facebook, Google, and other websites that see an extreme amount of traffic.

Excidium Tech focuses on building websites within the mid-range realm.

Selecting the Vehicle

Before we can even enter the car show, we must first figure out where we want our vehicle to be. Search engines are like organizers for the car show. Without them, you would have total chaos.

Vehicles would be randomly spread out throughout the show. There would be no defined entrances or exits. No paths would exist and there would be no categorization of these vehicles.

You have two options for placement in the car show. You can either build a vehicle specifically for placement. Or, you can be placed by a robot once you enter. Search engines have bots that crawl websites and then attempt to determine where to place the vehicle.

If you inform the robot of your vehicle’s specifications, the robot will validate it and then place you where you want to go.

At the entrance, the extreme-traffic websites will be found. These exotic vehicles are unique to themselves as they were manufactured from the ground up. Then you will have your high-end vehicles and then your mid-range vehicles.

On the outskirts of the car show, you will have your low-end vehicles and vehicles that the robots didn’t know where else to place. There are cars outside the car show, but that is the deep web and not currently relevant.

How do we determine where the vehicle needs to be placed? That depends on your target audience.

If you want to target a high-end audience, building a low-end car won’t help. Do you want to target a younger, hipper, crowd? Entering a stock low-end vehicle, or a mid-range kit car, probably won’t go over too well.

We must focus on who your target audience is. Excidium Tech will work with you to determine who your customers are and who you want your customers to be.

Let’s say we figure out the audience, now we must select a vehicle and build it to draw in that crowd.

A mid-range vehicle is often the best of both extremes. It has a lower initial cost, can be extremely customized, and can often compete with high-end vehicles.

That is, if it is built properly.

Building the Vehicle

So, we have decided to build a mid-range vehicle. For the website world, we choose WordPress as our content management system.

Just like the automotive world, there are many aftermarket components available. For a small price, you can apply a rather large modification. Third-party themes are like vinyl wraps, they are pre-cut for a specific vehicle and only need to be installed.

Customizations to a vinyl wrap can be much more difficult than if you choose to go with a custom paint job instead. A custom paint job being like building out a custom theme for WordPress.

We use Divi, which is a third-party theme that provides us with stencils. This allows us to do custom paint jobs at a much lower cost. Customizing the stencils is a possibility, which allows us to create unique designs. We can also still do custom paint work altogether, we are not limited in those options.

Before getting into the design aspects, we first must plan the mechanical aspects of our vehicle. We have so much to think about! Engine, bolt-ons, drivetrain, braking system, suspension, frame reinforcement, wheels, tires, lighting effects, hoods, fenders, bumpers, body kits, and everything else.

WordPress is effectively a torn down vehicle. So, we must begin piecing it all together. If we went the kit car route, we’d only install a free/cheap theme, many free plugins, and then call it a day. We prefer using aftermarket components, which costs money.

We have so many parts to choose from! Some parts will be more effective, and some parts won’t. The parts must be selected for the audience you are after. Choosing the right rims, tires, spoiler, bumpers, side skirts, and everything else is crucial.

This is a long process, just determining what components we will need to order. This is typically covered when consulting with a client and isn’t something that can be done quickly.

Some service providers have a default for every client they work with. Regardless of the client, the target audience, or anything else! They simply provide the client with a boiler plate vehicle. This wouldn’t be bad if it works out in the end.

However, if you end up in the wrong category or not able to reach your target audience, this can be bad. While we use similar components for each of our own builds, these components aren’t critical to the preferences of the targeted audience.

Once we figure out everything, then we can start building the vehicle!

Improving the Vehicle

As we continue to add weight, your engine will become less effective. If WordPress is the frame and engine, adding plugins will result in your website becoming slower.

Adding resource-intensive plugins will result in the website loading at a very slow speed. So, we need to ensure we optimize the website. You have two options. Turbo-charge or supercharge the engine.

Turbo-charging the engine is like front-end optimization. Compressing images, implementing browser caching, as well as minifying and combining JavaScript and CSS files.

Supercharging the engine is like back-end optimization. Page-level caching or implementing a program designed for server-side caching. While both result in similar outcomes, page-level caching can be fairly resource intensive. Server-side programs can provide caching much more efficiently – for several reasons.

Many service providers tend to forget performance or optimization of a website. Many will only approach it with a turbo-charger.

We prefer to use both a turbo and a supercharger in our configuration. For this, the hosting environment needs to have very specific features – or we must go with the less effective page-level caching.

Once we have the design, mechanical, and performance aspects figured out, we now have a vehicle that is ready to be entered in the car show.

However, we aren’t quite finished just yet.

Defining the Vehicle

As we mentioned, search engines are responsible for organizing the car show. We need to tell those search engines what our vehicle is and optimize the vehicle for effective placement.

Each category has a limited number of spots. If you aren’t in one of those spots, you end up way in the back and will see less of an audience.

So how do we do this? We need search engine optimization.

If you have videos on your website, we can get those videos into Google Videos.

Selling products through eCommerce? We can get those products into Google Shopping.

Planning on writing news articles? Well, we can get those into Google News.

Want to fixate on a local audience? Then we can focus on Local SEO. Which will help inform patrons, from your area of residence, about your vehicle.

Our goal is to be placed in the best spot in our preferred category. We want the largest amount of traffic possible.

Why? Because, patrons have a limited number of votes. And, we don’t want to risk them using up all their votes before they get to your vehicle.

We have other options as well! We can fixate on advertisement. Which, we can place ads all around the car show. This will allow us to reach a very wide audience.

However, they aren’t always that effective. If you are showing ads to the wrong audience, they won’t really care about the ad.

Additionally, people don’t like ads. So, people may ignore them just because they can. Also, some people have special glasses that remove all advertisements from their view.

Why is SEO so beneficial? Because, it allows you to place your vehicle where your target audience is already going to be looking. Before you build the vehicle, we must know where they are looking.

There are many aspects to SEO. Content is critical, because search engines will use content to determine if you’ve defined your vehicle properly. If you have not, then you can be penalized for it.

You don’t want to have the same vehicle as another person. Duplicate content can result in one or both vehicles being placed in the outskirts of the car show.

You also want backlinks. Which is like another vehicle owner saying, “If you like this vehicle, you should go check out that vehicle over there!”

Backlinks are a huge part of what makes SEO more effective, which is a specialization that we don’t have. We do work with SEO specialists, who handle off-site SEO.

We handle on-site SEO. At least, the technical aspects of SEO. We do not handle content services by default either, which is what you say to the patrons as they visit your vehicle. We do work with content specialists, who can help with content.

Why is content so important? Not only does it help with SEO, but it also helps with conversion rates. In this metaphor, conversion is when you receive a vote.

Even though you manage to get a patron to look at your vehicle, what you say to them will play a huge role in conversion. You need to know what you are talking about.

Also, you need to look professional when you are saying it. Additionally, you need to answer any question they may have.

What you say needs to be relevant, precise, and effective. A content specialist can help tremendously.

Engaging with your Patrons

So, we have the vehicle built, it is defined, and people are looking at it. Now we need to engage with those patrons.

Can they sit in the vehicle? Should we permit them to start the vehicle up and rev the engine a little? Are they permitted to open the hood or look all around the vehicle? The more ways you engage with the patrons, the larger the chance of receiving a vote.

If you sell products at a physical location, you want to sell those products online as well. Metaphorically, this is like placing a “Vote Now” area right at your vehicle. Alternatively, they would need to leave the car show to vote for your vehicle.

Getting patrons to sign up for a newsletter can also be beneficial. Because, you can send them updates on your vehicle and welcome them to come back and check out those improvements.

Lastly, social media is a fantastic way to engage with those patrons. If they have viewed your vehicle and have voted for your vehicle, social media helps with word of mouth. They will talk about your vehicle. Which encourages other patrons to come see your vehicle.

The more patrons who view your vehicle, the greater number of votes your vehicle receives.

Maintenance and Improvements

The longer your vehicle sits at the car show, the greater the chance it will begin to wear. A sitting vehicle will begin building up rust, paint will fade, oil will thicken, and gasoline will turn to a gelatin-like substance. Routine maintenance is critical to ensuring your vehicle remains in tip-top shape.

In addition to routine maintenance, the vehicle must constantly be improved. If your vehicle remains unchanged, it can result in receiving much fewer votes. Receiving fewer votes can result in you losing your placement.

Even if you start with the best spot, your vehicle can be moved to the outskirts of the car show. If the vehicle becomes outdated, then new patrons will take one look at your vehicle and move on.

Having a worn down, outdated, and bad looking vehicle can send patrons straight to your competition. You’d be much better off without a website altogether. Because, it can have a negative impact on your business outside of the internet.

If someone takes to social media and talks about how horrible your vehicle is, people will begin avoiding your vehicle entirely.

Speaking of reviews, every business must keep up to speed on what may be said about them on review websites. Showing you are compassionate and willing to work things out will be largely positive.

They may only have an interest in high-end vehicles, talking about how “mid-range” your vehicle is. Honestly, it doesn’t matter about that person. However, showing people you want to figure out what that person didn’t like about your vehicle is great public relations.

You cannot please everyone, but how you interact with those you cannot please can go a very long way.

Securing the Vehicle

The is probably one of the most critical aspects of a vehicle. Unfortunately, many service providers completely ignore website security.

In order to secure a vehicle, you first must understand how people may steal the vehicle. The same goes for websites. You must know what is insecure and how people may exploit those vulnerabilities.

Most service providers are not fabricators or capable of manufacturing parts. Even manufacturers and aftermarket manufacturers can implement vulnerabilities.

One car manufacturer had an issue where their all-wheel drive system resulted in a drive-shaft breaking off the vehicle at higher speeds.

The same car manufacturer also had a gear shifter that somehow ended up slipping out of park and causing the vehicle to roll freely.

No one is perfect and vulnerabilities do exist.

It is impossible to know every single vulnerability possible. However, there are many things that can be done to help tremendously.

Installing an alarm can deter thieves. An immobilizer can increase the time it takes to steal a car. Simply, this primarily helps increase the chances of someone realizing a car is being stolen.

You can also hire security guards, have dogs for security, or secure the vehicle within a fence.

Regardless of how you approach security, it cannot increase the difficulty of patrons to view your vehicle.

You can usually tell who is about to steal your vehicle. Because, they will usually ask you very odd questions.

A large amount of malicious web traffic will use automated tools to find known vulnerabilities.

If you have a very specific model of vehicle, time can increase awareness of that model’s vulnerabilities.

Upgrading the vehicle from time to time can reduce awareness of vulnerabilities. Most commonly, existing vulnerabilities are fixed in newer models of a vehicle.

We approach security by using a firewall. This is like adding security guards and a fence around your vehicle.

We use a blackhole tactic, to catch suspected thieves in advance. This is like adding security cameras and paying attention to questions being asked.

We also utilize a tool that permits banning people specifically. This is like having law enforcement remove a bad acting patron.

We also routinely upgrade your vehicle, all aftermarket components, and fixate on studying known vulnerabilities.

Security isn’t optional.

Would you leave your vehicle unlocked, with the windows down, and the keys sitting in the driver’s seat?

No! No one would do that.

However, this is exactly what happens when a website isn’t secured, doesn’t receive updates, and isn’t vetted for known vulnerabilities.

Future Incompatibility

One of the downsides to upgrading the vehicle and various components is future incompatibility.

If you upgrade your vehicle from one generation to the next generation, the aftermarket components may no longer work with the vehicle. Upgrading a single aftermarket component can result in other aftermarket components no longer fitting up properly.

Metaphorically, upgrading a turbo can require upgrading fuel injectors, the fuel pump, the exhaust system, and internal engine components.

If you don’t, you could potentially produce too much boost and blow the engine. If you get lucky, you will only blow a head gasket. However, a piston blowing out the bottom of your engine will do a lot more damage to the vehicle.

Realistically, any issues can result in your vehicle receiving less votes. Then you must bring someone in and work on these issues.

This is what we refer to as reactive maintenance. Because, you perform maintenance after a problem has occurred. Preventative maintenance is much more effective. Because, it solves issues before they become a real problem.

With Excidium Tech’s Hosting & Maintenance service, we provide preventative maintenance. While some problems can get through, this vastly reduces the chances of it happening.

Hassle-Free WordPress Development

When it comes to building a vehicle for a car show, there are hundreds of factors to consider.

Not all turbos are the same, some are much less effective than others. There are countless options for rims, some which look good on the vehicle and others which look horrible. Some aftermarket components are cheap, cheap looking, and can be more problematic than they are worth.

If you have ever purchased a cheap fiberglass bumper, you quickly realize how difficult they can be to paint. There are many different materials, selecting the right material is crucial.

Even after you have a vehicle built, the real work begins once you enter the car show. If patrons aren’t voting for your vehicle, we need to know why and fix it.

This is where analytics comes into play, because we can track how patrons are viewing the vehicle. If they leave after looking in the engine bay, we know we need to make an improvement there.

Knowing how patrons interact with the vehicle is crucial. We can adjust and see how those adjustments are received. You can’t just invest once and expect the vehicle to just perform.

This car show is indefinite, patrons are always changing what they are interested in and what attracts them.

Since there is so much stuff to consider, we have created a hassle-free service. We focus on the vast majority of everything required.

Excidium Tech will build you a vehicle that will be tuned for effectiveness. Metaphorically, you will have a high chance of receiving a vote if a patron views your vehicle.

Content plays a huge role in this and there is a lot of off-site search engine optimization that can also be highly beneficial. Our solution will take care of everything else.

From concept, to parts selection, to design, to building the vehicle, to entering the vehicle (in the car show), continuously upgrading the vehicle, and keeping the vehicle in great shape.

We will also keep track of your analytics, and provide you with analytic reports. Furthermore, we will make routine suggestions for improvement – to help increase the chances more votes will occur.

We will take out all the guess work. So, you can do what you do best.

Why choose us?

Metaphorically, Excidium Tech is a combination of an engineer, fabricator, and body shop. We are capable of manufacturing vehicles from concept to production. However, we want to build vehicles that will have a greater chance of success at the car show.

Maybe one day we will get into manufacturing vehicles. But for now, we love this side of the production line.

With that said, we are capable of fabricating components when aftermarket options aren’t available. Additionally, we can customize aftermarket components. However, that is if those aftermarket components can be customized.

We can handle everything that you need. If we can’t, we know exactly who we need to look for to ensure you are covered. We work with other professionals, who provide the few services we do not provide directly.

At the end of the day, who do you want working on your vehicle? A company capable of building a vehicle from the ground up, or a company who doesn’t know what a compression ratio is?

As with all things in life, you get what you pay for. Your website is an investment in your business, and it will return a profit. How much of a profit will it return? Well, that depends on who builds your website.

Cost is irrelative, because you can pay more for less. You can also pay less for more. There is a risk, a huge risk! Every investment has one.

That is why we will build you a prototype, with absolutely no risk and no obligation. We want to show you why we are the right choice.

Everyone can tell you why they are the best, but we are willing to walk the distance. We will build you a website with a homepage and up to two additional pages.

If you aren’t happy, just walk away! However, we have every confidence you will be happy. Which, then we can discuss the specification of your project and make an agreement to move forward.

So, you ready to experience what an exceptional-quality vehicle will do for your business? Contact us today and find out!

What our clients are saying about us!

I feel like I found a real gem of a developer with Chris. He’s extremely thorough and explains stuff in great detail, extremely knowledgeable, extremely fast, and charges less than he is worth. Dollar for dollar, it would be hard finding more value in a developer.

Kelly Johnson

Novanty

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