5 Important Points About Database Driven Website


If you are starting in web design, it is easy to get lost in the sea of confusing jargon. It gets worse because every new day comes with new technologies, which require you to stay up-to-date with all these new ideas. One key idea that is being mentioned in this field is database driven websites and how important they are in e-Commerce.

The debate on how scalable your database is and how or effectively it integrates with the web design has also been ongoing. As a web developer, you need to sift through all the confusing terms to appreciate what really matters in your project. This will help you understand how the web page is connected to the database and how you can optimize the performance of your new website.

Here are some key points to understand in order to choose a web design format that suits your goals:

  1. Dynamic Vs. Static Websites

If you have tried to delve into data driven web design you must have come across these two terms. Here is a brief breakdown of what each entails:

  • Static website: This website does not change every time the browser loads a page. If a user clicks a button, nothing changes on the layout and content of the page. The only changes occur when the user loads a new page or when the admin loads another page on the web browser. The content is stored on the web file system and it will always be presented in the same format.
  • Dynamic website: As the name implies, these pages change every time they are loaded without the webmaster having to make the changes. If a user clicks on an image or text, some changes are observed on the particular page. The fact that the content is stored outside the web file system makes it easier to manage and you can manipulate data quickly.
  1. Database Driven Websites

A database driven website is the best example of a dynamic website. The web page grabs information from your database and inserts the same on the web page every time it is loaded. In case there are any changes to the information in the database, the web page (which is connected to the database through programming) will also change automatically. These websites are more effective and they are commonly used for large industries.

  1. Examples of Database Driven Websites

If you are a web designer then you must have in mind the type of website you are building. This will help you determine whether a static website is best suited for your clients or not. Common database driven websites include:

  • E-Commerce platforms: These businesses leverage data driven websites because of the expected changes in prices, offers and services. This guarantees the information internet users find is always fresh and up-to-date.
  • Content Management Systems (CMS): If the website is going to use a CMS then it is database driven. Users can easily update content on the website even without the need for any specialized programming skills. These CMSs include WordPress and Joomla and they have an easy-to-use editor to allow publishing of content, editing and deleting.
  • Blogs: Most blogs and online community forums are database driven because they involve regular updates by users. Whether people are leaving comments or liking a website there is immediate change on the page.
  1. Database Driven Websites Cost more

Every website owner wants to know the entire cost of the website right from design to launching and maintenance. As a web designer, you have to factor all things in order to give the best estimate. Of course, you have to determine if they require a static or dynamic website. If you are building a database driven website, the cost will be higher for various reasons:

  • Database costs: Dynamic websites require databases be it MySQL Community Server, Oracle Express Edition or any other. If you are creating an e-commerce website, you need a database to support shopping carts, discussion forums, registration systems and much more. Depending on your hosting package, you might not get a database allowance and you might have to upgrade for better performance. This comes at a higher cost.
  • Custom database design: If a website requires a database design built specifically to suit it the cost will go up. Such factors such as efficiency of data structure, functionality and development lead to higher costs of the website.
  • Database connectivity: Before the website becomes operational, more codes are needed to optimize the database and make it possible to process, retrieve and manipulate data. This adds to the cost of the database driven website.
  • Back-end administration: Database driven websites end up costing more due to the needed technical database services. Whether the owner goes for in-house or remote database administration, these services add to the cost of the website.
  • Initial database population: Setting up the database also calls for technical skills irrespective of whether the database platform is custom-design or pre-built. Initial database population by a database administrator increases the cost of these websites.
  • Backups: If there is a database, backup services are invaluable. Backups come with a cost and in most cases you will have to depend on more than one; both offline media storage and cloud backup for instance.

With time, the database driven website will need upgrades to increase capacity. This is unavoidable because a business website operates optimally when there is enough database capacity. Such upgrades by web developers or database administrators require more investment.

  1. Advantages of a Database-Driven Website

Why should you advise your clients to go for a database driven website? Here are some strong ideas:

  • It is easier and faster to update content. A few clicks are all the webmaster needs to update the content. Changes are made almost in real-time
  • It is ideal for an eCommerce site where different products need to be added, prices changes and offers introduced.
  • No need for specialized HTML knowledge or expertise to change content on the website.
  • High scalability: Every business grows with time and a database driven website offers room for growth. Changing graphics, layout or interactivity can be done anytime.
  • Reduced chances for error: Physical data entry by employees is bound to lead to errors, which can lead to downtime, bugs and other problems. Rectifying such problems on data-driven websites is easy and this improves user experience.

A database driven website enhances a company’s performance online. As a web designer, you now have some points to consider as you consult with your clients.

Source: Twitter – @B2Community

6 Interesting Tricks to Reduce Web Development Cost

6 Interesting Tricks to reduce Web Development Cost


As a Web Entrepreneur (Webpreneur), you can do quite a lot of things to reduce the web development cost. Thus, you are not just at the mercy of the web developer’s knowledge to decide on the efforts required to build your product. When you choose a best web developer for your development, s/he will surely come up with some of the suggestions I have given below to reduce the development efforts, but you can also do your thorough  groundwork and ensure that you get the product development done in optimum efforts.

[1] Detailed Functional Specification:

IN MY EXPERIENCE of almost 2 decades, I have come to a conclusion that one of the most common reasons of incurring more efforts than planned is due to ambiguous requirements or not drafting a detailed Functional specification document. An incomplete, superficial or short (bullet point) functional specification is not only going to delay the development, but also going to create a lot of unplanned or unforeseen work for the web developer too.

If you spend quality time in drafting your functional specification document to the minutest details, then it helps you to visualize your web product screen by screen and up to the field level details. The same detailed functional specification document helps the web developer to imagine all the programming scenarios and eventually helps in more precise effort estimation, which will not deviate too much from actual efforts.
Thus, spend quality time in drafting each and every feature of your product to the minutest details.

[2] Wire-Framing:

WIRE-FRAMING IS A process, which can help you imagine the “design” or “layout” of your web pages. This process helps you to think about the details you want to capture on each screen. It also helps in deciding the navigation or page flow and thus gives you an opportunity to make your web product friendlier even before it is built. Wireframing can be done on plain papers, simply by sketching out your web pages with details in it, or there are many useful and free software, which help you draw these web pages and navigation. Simply Google – “Wireframing Tools” or “Online Wireframing Software” keywords and you will get many such tools, which you can use it for free. These software are very user-friendly and mainly designed to be used by layman without any technical or programming knowledge.

When you have wireframes ready for each of your screen, then it reduces a lot of efforts of the web designer to design your web pages. It also reduces a lot of iterations between you and the designers, which would have occurred had there been no wireframes in place. Thus, wireframes not only help you visualize your product in greater details and help you refine your product concept, but also help to reduce the design and development cost to a great extend.

[3] Database Architecture and Technical Specs:

IF YOUR DETAILED functional specification and wireframes are ready, then you can insist web developer to create a database architecture and write down crucial algorithms or module details as part of Technical specification document. Like detailed functional specs and wireframing help a product owner visualize his product, similarly Database Architecture and Technical Specification document enables web developer to technically visualize your product.

This step can identify many gray areas and help the web developer and yourself foresee any technical hurdles in the way and plan and prepare for it. Many webpreneurs or even web developers skip this step and directly jump to programming, which can turn out to be a mistake as you will need to keep on revisiting and changing your project architecture more often and in an haphazard way. This will not only delay your product development but also make it technically unstable and un-maintainable and incur more efforts and cost at later stage.

[4] Ready-made User Interfaces or Themes:

EVERY WEB PRODUCT needs a “theme” or “user interface”, and it takes a lot of efforts to visualize and create a user-friendly, modern, and responsive theme (adjusting to all devices like mobile etc) for your product. You can simply cut-down on this efforts by selecting a ready to use User Interface (UI) Library or themes available at a very low cost. Normally these themes are very well designed, intuitive and well supported libraries which cover broad spectrum of web elements. If you have designed your wireframes already like I mentioned in above section, then it will become very easy for you to select a most suitable theme for the product.

This way, you can do away with custom web designing efforts and directly give a ready-to-use theme to your web developer who can simply integrate it to your needs. To find a suitable theme you can visit many Theme selling websites or simply Google “ready made website themes” or “ready made admin – full featured admin theme” keywords and you will find marketplaces selling such theme at a fraction of a cost.

[5] Ready-to-use Open Source Scripts or Plugins:

IF YOU HAVE followed the step of creating detailed technical specification document as mentioned above, then you will identify a few common modules, which can be reused from either a open source community over Internet or your web developer may have such a module already available with him/her. In every web products there are some very common modules like – Login, Registration, Forgot Password, Content Management System (CMS), Contact Us form and so on. Depending upon which framework you choose to develop your product , you can search for the ready made scripts for these modules in the chosen framework community and reuse them and if required customize them if you have any particular requirements around them. This will help reduce the development efforts and time considerably.

[6] Third-party ready-to-use tools / widgets or API:

WHEN YOU WRITE a detailed functional specification document, you will identify many modules, which look very big but are also very common across many websites. For example – a Booking Calendar, Rich Text Editor, File upload controls, PDF creators, Image Cropping, Drag and Drop feature and so on. Instead of developing these features from scratch if you conduct a basic research on Internet to find if there are any third-party, ready-made web-services available, then that can be integrated with your website. This will avoid any custom development required for that web-service and thus it can reduce the development efforts to a great deal. These third party tools or web-services, are available in the form API or downloadable scripts which your web developer can integrate in your application. These are available either free or a small one time or monthly recurring cost, but this is certainly very low than developing your own module. Using such ready made tools, Scripts, APIs or Plugins not only reduce the development time, but also eventually reduce the testing efforts as these tools or scripts are already very well tested and supported.

You must spend wisely and not poorly when it comes to getting your products developed, there are such 18 Tips for Webpreneurs , which can help you not only save thousands of dollars in development but also enhance the success probability of your venture.


Employee to Entrepreuer

Employee to Entrepreneur – Ensuring a smooth Transition.



If you’re fed up with your job, it may seem like there are only two steps to becoming an entrepreneur. The first is to quit your job, and the next step is to start a company. While it is possible to transition successfully from employee to entrepreneur, it’s a little more complex than that.

Here are the 12 steps you’ll need to take to become your own boss.

1. Determine what you’d like to do.

Some people call this finding your passion, but it’s more than that. Think about your skills, abilities and experience. Consider what you can realistically see yourself doing for hours each day, for weeks and years.

2. Think about what others will pay for.

A viable business is the intersection between what you’d like to do and what others will pay for. Remember the “Jump to Conclusions Mat” from the movie Office Space? Todd loved building it, but no one was going to buy it. It wasn’t a viable business opportunity.

3. Interview ideal customers.

Find a few people that you think would be your ideal clients. Ask them about their biggest needs, fears and aspirations related to the business idea you plan to pursue. Are the benefits of your product or service in line with their real needs? Also, make a note of the words they use, as they’ll eventually help make your marketing more authentic.

4. Design your marketing and business plans.

Today’s marketing involves content creation, social media, email outreach and more. Make sure you know how you’ll approach each of these alternatives to introduce your idea to customers. At the same time, lay out a business plan that details how you intend your business to function. It doesn’t need to be super formal, but it does need to cover your operating structure, product, delivery systems and expansion plans.

5. Set up your business on a small scale.

If you can, test your company idea by launching on a small scale on the side, while still working your day job. This gives you a no-risk opportunity to test your ideas, get your first clients and see if the business will hold up over time before you leave the security of your current position.

6. Assess feedback and adjust.

Running a small-scale operation will help you determine which parts of your idea are great and which ones need adjusting. Take customer feedback seriously and make any necessary changes before you begin scaling up.

7. Assemble a team.

If your idea seems viable, determine who you’ll want on your business leadership team when you eventually launch full time. Depending on your personal experience, you may need help in areas such as finance, marketing, customer service and production.

8. Secure financing.

For a small venture, this might mean saving up some money to get through the first few months or taking cash from your 401(k). If your aspirations are a bit larger, you may need to think about how to procure venture capital or other outside investment.

9. Set up the structure of your company.

At the same time, you’ll also want to decide what kind of company structure to register. Do you want to incorporate, form an LLC or create a partnership? Get this taken care of legally and carefully define the roles and investment of each of your leadership team members.

10. Leave your job.

When you’re ready, leave your day job. This may feel like an amazing relief after all the work you already put in, but trust me, more work awaits. Although it may be tempting, be sure not to burn any bridges as you leave — you never know when you’ll encounter former bosses and colleagues again, and you may need to work with them in the future.

11. Set up a working budget.

With your full-time schedule now devoted to your business, set up a company budget. This should include payments for marketing expenses, salaries and other important purchases. Just be sure not to waste money on frivolous expenses!

12. Scale up your business according to your marketing plan.

Finally, all that’s left to do is to work the plans you’ve carefully laid out for yourself. Of course, that plan may change over time as you encounter and overcome obstacles. But, this is it — you’re a full-fledged entrepreneur. Congratulations!

As you can see, becoming an entrepreneur requires a lot of work before you even consider quitting your day job. However, if you follow each of the steps listed above and your idea still seems viable, you can leave your life as an employee and become an entrepreneur instead.

There are still many challenges you’ll face, but for most entrepreneurs, the benefits of meaningful work and self-direction are much more important.

Have you dreamed of leaving your job to be an entrepreneur? Share your plans for making the transition in the comments section below.


Credits: Twitter – @sujanpatel , @EntrepreneurIND.  More About Author – Sujan Patel