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What’s Behind a Website?

We make awesome websites that stand the test of time. Hear more from our programmers.

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Hear From Our Programmers

With markets busier than ever and endless waves of competition popping up left and right, how can a business truly hope to thrive in 2024? Plenty of assets come to mind: a prime location; a sound and adaptable business model; friendly and responsive customer service; and the list goes on and on. 

While those are surely important ingredients in the recipe of success, we live in an age where a world of information can be reached from the palm of your hand and where people expect results yesterday. That’s why there’s frankly only one fool-proof way to solidify your business as a modern, trustworthy option for clients to consider above all the rest: a bonafide and custom-built website. 

At Websolutions.ca, we appreciate just how integral a strong online presence can be to the success of a business or brand. After all, creating awesome, user-friendly websites is a huge part of our day-to-day jam – when we’re not busy running massive ad campaigns or managing dozens of social media accounts, that is. 

But from a business perspective, how can you be certain that investing into a website will pay off? To answer that, I reached out to our talented team - programmers Victor, Nicolas and Patrick, web designer, Juan, and the bossman himself, Josh - who were kind enough to share their expertise around why they believe having a website is such a game-changer, and how our unique content management system, The Kitchen, makes it all the more enticing for any business owner to consider. 

More on The Kitchen later, though - for now, let’s take a few steps back by answering that one pivotal question… 

Are Websites Really So Great?

TL;DR: Absolutely! In this age of digital supremacy, with over 5 billion people worldwide connected to the web in some way or another, establishing an online presence has never been so necessary. In fact, this idea of establishing and maintaining a distinct online presence is something our team unanimously agreed with. 

As Nick put it, digital real estate is so vital because “it’s one of the first places where a potential client will go for information.” Gone are the days of pre-recorded phone messages or hanging little signs on your door; when people want info, their first thought is to reach for their phone, which, according to Patrick and Juan, is a testament to the evolving nature of internet traffic. Having your business accessible and ready to meet clients where they are is key if you hope to attract and retain that traffic long-term. 

That idea of being accessible 24/7 is something Victor mirrored, as well. He highlighted the importance of accessibility, legitimacy and modernity being reflected in a business, and how a cutting-edge website can go a long way towards instilling those sentiments in a client’s mind. As Juan put it, if a client thinks your business is outdated or hard to reach, why would they put in the extra effort to interact with your brand?

Plus, websites offer nearly endless opportunities for users to interact with a business in ways they otherwise couldn’t, such as booking services seamlessly and asynchronously, registering for events or reaching out with specific requests or feedback. There really is no limit to what a website can accomplish for your business, or the ways in which one can be prepared such that it perfectly meets a client’s exact needs, like a dish expertly prepared by your very own personal chef.

Speaking of cooking... What is that delicious smell?

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Everything Good Happens in The Kitchen

It’s time we dive into the Websolutions.ca specialty and find out how our website development services stand out from website hosting platforms like GoDaddy, or even other web development firms. As mentioned earlier, we at Websolutions.ca not only take website development seriously - we take it to another level entirely. How do we accomplish this, you might ask? Well, it all starts in The Kitchen

Our custom-built Content Management System (CMS), eloquently named The Kitchen, opens up a whole world of possibilities for both our programmers and, more importantly, our clients. Nick describes The Kitchen as a “web portal” that acts as a user-friendly gateway into the foundation of your website, also known as the “backend”. Think of the backend as the internal organs of a site that are usually only accessible by a surgeon (or in this case, programmers). 

Rather than streams of data and code, though, The Kitchen’s intuitive interface only shows the client what they need to see, the meat and potatoes of their site: the content. With this level of access, Victor explains that the client is “no more than 3 clicks away” from adding, editing or removing videos, pictures, links and simple text on their website - a process that normally requires reaching out to the developers, a time-consuming ordeal that can cause frustrating delays and lead to your site’s content losing relevance over time. 

To achieve this, Patrick explains that The Kitchen cleverly divides different parts of a website into individual “modules,” each of which can be modified separately or made to work together to achieve one cohesive function. What’s more, during the development phase of our websites, these modules can be created from the ground up to perform unique functions that perfectly align with a client’s specific needs. 

Personalization and adaptability on this scale just isn’t something other websites can offer, and it’s part of what makes us so proud to provide these features to our clients. With The Kitchen, you get the full course Websolutions.ca meal: ease-of-use, functionality and customizability. Good things really do happen in The Kitchen!

A Blueprint for Success

Now that we’ve established how unique and handy our CMS is, let’s take a look at how a website project typically begins for our team. What’s the first step?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the very first thing our programmers look for when embarking on a new project is information; LOTS of it! Specifically, our programmers comb the minds of our clients for every tidbit they can gather about them. What’s their brand like? Who are their competitors? How dynamic is their industry or field? 

The more details our team can gather, the better equipped they’ll be to begin planning out the overall architecture and scope of the project. Nick mentioned how this is also important to ensure a site can scale well into the future; in other words, knowing in advance that things may eventually change lets our programmers prepare for this from the onset by making room for adaptability and new features within the initial framework. 

Once the base exists, lots of different pieces are set in motion. Our Web Designer Juan begins his design planning for the home page, followed by any subpages. These components will make up the frontend - the part of the website that you actually see and interact with, including menus, videos, text, and the overall layout. 

Nick, Patrick or Victor will start working on the database structure (essentially how the information the site uses to function is organized) that will make up the bulk of the site’s backend, using mockups of the frontend as a guide to help them piece everything together. After some bug squashing, polishing, SEO (maximizing the visibility of a site in search engine results), testing for accessibility and performance, integration of The Kitchen, translating and uploading content, the product is sent off to the client for their final approval. 

And the rest is history - while we’ll continue to help with maintenance, at this point the website is more-or-less in the client’s hands. Armed with The Kitchen’s powerful functionality and features, they’ll be all set to update their site on the fly for years to come with just a few simple clicks.

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It Can’t be That Hard… Right?

 Even with such a massive oversimplification of the development process, it’s clear that building websites from scratch is an immense undertaking that requires plenty of effort, talent and collaboration. To further demonstrate this, I asked the programmers about some common misconceptions people often have regarding website development.

Firstly, programmers Patrick and Victor each expressed a similar sentiment: that the overall complexity behind building website features is often underestimated. With how nonchalantly we tend to view websites and the internet in general, it can be easy to overlook just how much work goes into making those sites function as they do without a million issues plaguing the experience.

Our programmers also noted how some people believe anyone can build a professional website with minimal programming knowledge using website hosting platforms. In reality, while platforms like Squarespace or Wordpress might seem intuitive on the surface, they’ll never be able to provide the same level of adaptability that a custom, professionally-built site does. The pre-built nature of these programs means your options to personalize a site’s features to meet your particular needs are severely limited.

Josh chimed in with a similar sentiment, noting that building websites the way we do can easily take hundreds of combined hours and, depending on the complexity and scope of the project, cost anywhere from $7,000 to well over $50,000 when all is said and done. The investment required for a website is dependent on the functionality and maintenance needed. 

For instance, sites that contain many different subpages and specialized features, or ones that integrate e-commerce (and the necessary security that entails), would end up costing much more than a site with just a few simple landing pages. Excellent, custom-tailored work takes time and effort, and our clients understand that the end result is worth the investment.

Nick brought up the interesting point that sometimes, clients may believe a certain feature they’re looking for would be too complicated to implement, which leads to them not even mentioning it during the planning stage. Our team loves a challenge, and often what a client thinks is complicated is actually totally feasible. From Nick himself: “We hate to leave a cool feature out of a website simply because we weren't made aware of it.” 

We’re pretty good at what we do here at Websolutions.ca, and turning the impossible into reality is just another part of the job!

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Some Final Thoughts

To cap off this exploration into the minds of our programmers, I asked them to ponder over their most and least favourite aspects of programming websites. 

They shared a unanimous agreement that one of the best parts of making websites is the satisfaction of seeing so much time and effort come together in the final product. Observing the interactions between the browser and server, for instance, and knowing what’s going on behind the scenes is something Victor pointed out as being particularly fascinating. 

Nick, meanwhile, appreciates the opportunity to flex his creative muscles when implementing unique features. He shared a few examples of his favourite features he’s worked on over the years, including tide tables for Hopewell Rocks on the NB Parks site and a Kitchen module to let real estate agents export specific reports to help them keep track of different properties with ease for Riviera Real Estate

The addition of The Kitchen adds a unique layer of complexity, as Patrick notes that while it can sometimes create additional work to ensure the frontend of our sites is able to keep up with changes down the line, “the modular nature of The Kitchen also lends itself well to problem solving” since it helps narrow down exactly where a problem is coming from.   

Time restraints are likely the worst offender for putting pressure on our programmers. Sometimes one seemingly tiny bug might need dozens of hours to identify, isolate and finally deal with, which can throw a wrench in the original timeline. Ensuring a website is 100% bug-free under a tight deadline can certainly prove challenging, but it’s nothing our team can’t handle. We’re used to working miracles under miraculously short amounts of time! 

Ultimately, there’s no task, feature or bug that the Websolutions.ca team isn’t willing to tackle head-on. We’re a seasoned group of talented, dedicated and creative people who truly believe in the value behind what we create. At the end of the day, I think our worklargely speaks for itself.

If you found yourself as charmed as I was by this learning experience or were inspired to find out more about having your very own custom-built website, don’t be shy to reach out. We’re always looking for our next project, and we’d love the opportunity to turn your vision into reality!

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