Digital design and other shiny toys

New websites: care and feeding of

Posted on by Paul

I’m often asked about support options for websites, and while each contract is different, I don’t just upload a site then forget about it. The new Chris Moore Art site went online a couple of weeks ago but I haven’t stopped working on it. This was a small project for a single client, but the post-launch work will give you an idea of what’s involved in supporting a website.

Design editing based on user reports

During development the site was tested on as many browsers, devices and operating systems as possible, but testing is not the same as day-to-day use. Real users will always turn up things the developers miss. Nothing terrible was reported, but I tweaked the page layout to help viewers with Internet Explorer version 8 or earlier on small displays. The same changes also helped netbook users running Firefox on Ubuntu:

Chris Moore website on smaller displays

I also disabled the homepage slideshow. I’d hidden it from older versions of Internet Explorer because of known issues with this browser, but it was still causing a delay when loading the page. We always had a fallback image for display if the slideshow was unavailable, so we’re using that for now. It’s better to temporarily lose the slideshow than cause problems for site users.

CMS updates

The content management system (CMS) used to run the site was updated a day after launch. Just to add to the fun, the CMS plug-in we’re using for the image gallery functions also had a major update. I had to test everything, re-write some of the custom code we’re using for the image gallery, then re-publish the site. This took a couple of days.

New site functions

As soon as the site went online I started work on the print ordering functions. Anything involving payment processing can be tricky so we deliberately split site development into two phases. This meant the main site was online as quickly as possible, rather than waiting for me to finish everything. After a week’s work the print ordering functions were ready.

Ongoing work

Still to come are updates to the art gallery section when this is opened to the public, more mobile device work and anything else that pops up.

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