How to Create a Web Site Workflow

Creating a website workflow is an extremely useful undertaking for anyone who is planning on creating a high quality website. Defining a standard set of steps that takes the project from the beginning concept stage until the final launch phase will make the daily work more efficient because of the organization and deadlines that will keep all of the effort focused on moving forward. Creating a diagram of the workflow is very helpful for use when trying to explain the timeline and the different aspects of the creative process to other team members or clients.

Things You’ll Need
Pencil
Paper
Web design programs

Standardized Website Workflow
Write a “Creative Brief” for use in the workflow. This is a simple document that asks specific questions of the client that are designed to clearly define the project. See the resource box for an example of how to write a creative brief.

Determine the “Concept” of the website by administering the creative brief to the client. This is the first stage in the workflow and relies on the answers provided by the client when they are administered the creative brief.

Research any information related to the concept as defined by the client. This is the “Discovery” phase and will likely result in amendments to the project concept based on the findings of the research. The research must include an analysis of the competition, the ability to meet the needs of the client and the way that the website will satisfy user needs and problems.

Design the website on a visual level and begin testing of simple mock-ups designed with basic programs to explore “user-friendliness” of the concept. This step is done in conjunction with the next step and both must receive client approval before proceeding.

Gather the information for “Content Development.” This is the stage where the information that is going to appear on the website needs to be written, checked for accuracy and approved by the client. The content must be introduced into the design to identify any additional edits or formatting issues that need to be addressed.

Program the website template and the internal pages. This is the “Development” stage and requires a thorough check to verify that the programming is correct and that the site functions as desired. Test the site extensively with just one or two pages to identify any problems or programming changes that need to be made.

“Launch” the website and do a thorough check to ensure that all links, buttons and other components are functioning properly and without bugs. Perform the launch stage early in the work week to avoid potential issues with having to fix bugs during the weekend. Doing this during the week means that the full backing of the IT support company will be available. Weekend launches will mean that problems will not be fixed as they are reported and may persist for more than 48 hours. This hurts the company image.

Contact the client for the “Quality Assurance” stage. Set up the site maintenance schedule and verify that the site performs as expected according to the client’s vision of the project. Review the entire creative process to improve the workflow for the next project.

How to Create a Database Web Page

Although web designers usually use programming languages like HyperText Markup Language (HTML) to build webpages, businesses or individuals with large amounts of content to put online should create database webpages. To start building database websites, you need to download and install two outside programs onto your web server: MySQL and PHP. Once set up, these programs allow you to connect your webpages to databases and interact with your content.

Things You’ll Need
Active web server
Web editing program
Go to the MySQL homepage (see Resources) and download and install MySQL 5.1 onto your active web server. MySQL is an open source database program that will store the content for your webpage.

Go to the PHP homepage (see Resources) and download PHP version 5.2.8 onto your web server. PHP is a server-side scripting language that allows code to be embedded into HTML files.

Add desired tables and fields to your online database using the MySQL web interface. Once MySQL has been installed on your server, you will be able to access the interface through any standard web browser.

Add desired records to your database, using the MySQL web interface and making sure to include all necessary fields. Once the database website has been set up with PHP, entries can be added using your webpage instead of logging in to the web interface.

Open a new document in your web editing application and create a link between your webpage and your MySQL database, using the “define” PHP command.

Add PHP code to your webpage to perform database functions, such as searching, adding records and deleting records. Use the “mysql_query” PHP command to interact with your database.

Save the PHP webpage onto your active web server. This will allow the website code to communicate with the MySQL database.

How to Build Your Own Website Offline

Building an offline website is essentially the same as building an online website, with the one exception that the site is not made available on the Internet.

One reason to make an offline website might be to place it on a shared server in a home or workplace, so that anyone with a computer on the network can view the website but others cannot (this is typically called an “Intranet” website).

Another reason to build and maintain a website offline is for the convenience of the creator, possibly from going from offline to online.

How to Build Your Own Offline Website
The first step to building any website, whether offline or online, is to plan the content and organization of the site. Start by deciding what will be on the website, and then decide how it will be organized.

Create a new folder on your computer for your offline website.

Start a new file in your Web development program called index.html. A free piece of Web development software is listed in Resources below.

Place your content on the index.html file. For help with HTML code, see Resources for a tutorial.

How to Develop an HR Training Program

Human resources training programs typically involve creating materials to meet the needs of company personnel. Common topics include affirmative action and equal opportunity employment laws, compensation administration, payroll management and performance management. To develop a comprehensive training program, define your training needs, list your learning objectives and decide how you want to measure the results.

Discover what your target audience needs to know about the HR functions at your company. For example, ensure that your HR personnel know the rules associated with the Family and Medical Leave Act to avoid issues with complying with this federal legislation.

Identify who should be required to complete the training. Depending on the size of your company and the topic of the training, requiring completion of classroom lectures or online modules can be mandatory for all managers.

Determine the format that is appropriate for the target audience and topic. Classroom instruction with breakout sessions to conduct role-playing exercises tends to work well for interpersonal skill development, such as interviewing, handling difficult conversations and conducting performance reviews. To reach a wide global audience, Web conferencing seminars or Web-based training can provide a cost-effective alternative to classroom sessions.

Develop instructional content. For example, presentations containing text, graphics and multimedia should include a list of learning objectives, introductory text, explanatory content and a summary. Case studies and examples can provide extra support. Create a list of resources for participants. In some cases, you can find industry-specific training offered by associations and government agencies. For example, the HRTrainingCenter Web site provides access to tips on how to handle workers’ compensation issues, such as dealing employees who have preexisting injuries, creating a safer work environment and ensuring claims administration policies and procedures work efficiently.

Review your materials with subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy. For example, for a course on HR management, consult with experienced managers who have more than 10 years’ experience administering personnel, conducting workforce planning, recruiting and appraising.

Prepare a test to determine whether participants can correctly answer questions or follow procedures properly upon completion of training. Other measurement activities can include HR department operational measurement statistics, such as employee retention.

Conduct the training with a pilot group of participants. Ask participants to provide feedback on the accuracy and relevancy of the materials.

Incorporate feedback from your pilot group and release the course for access by the training audience.

Monitor training results and adjust and update materials as needed.

How to Design a House Plan Website

Designing a website for house plans requires some forethought in terms of not only gathering house plans, but also in terms of how you will organize the house plans.

Determining the architecture of a house plan website will be important for both the initial design of the website and for the ability to add more house plans as the website grows.

Placing the house plans in categories based, for example, on size or type of house will allow for easy additions to the website as its popularity and offerings grow.

Things You’ll Need
Computer with Internet connection
Credit card or PayPal account
Web development software
House plans in a Web-friendly format (jpg, gif, png or pdf)
File transfer protocol (FTP) client

How to Design a House Plan Website
Register your house plan domain name (YourDomainName.com) and purchase a hosting plan (see Resources below for a registrar/host). The domain name should include some indication of the purpose of your website, like InternetHousePlans.com. The hosting plan will make your website visible to anyone with an Internet connection and a Web browser.

A valid credit card or PayPal account is required for this step.

Design your house plan website, beginning by creating a navigation section for categories of house plans. A paid and a free Web development software package with which to design the website are listed in Resources below.

Add your house plans to the website, fitting them into the design.