Technologies used in websites

Your website: build it or outsource it? part 2

There is 2 kinds of technologies to consider when building any site that is more than strickly basic:

Server side
Server side technology happens on the computer that is hosting your website and it feeds your visitors with information that their browser can process. Like, say, you have a shopping cart built in ASP, the user enters the item they want to buy and their zip code and the server returns the amount for shipping. There are many technologies for server side programs but what they have in common is that they usually return standard web language to the visitor, therefor, they have little impact on the accessibility to the site. Languages used for server side technologies include (but are not limited to) Ruby in rail, ASP, Pearl, PHP, MySQL. They are used for sites that involve databases, e-commerce, dynamically generated content (like forums, blogs and myspace) and sometimes games.
Client side
Client side techology happens on the computer of the person visiting your site. It is interpreted or processed by the browswer or a plug-in of the browser. That means that if you use cutting edge tech, you might be leaving out those with older computers or browsers. There are resources on the web about demographics of user computers and broswers. You have to consider who is your target audience. If you sell a shooter that requires the latest 3D card, you can assume that your users have pretty up do date tech, but what if you have an info site about retro gaming? Client side technologies include (but are not limited to) java, javascript, html, css, flash, shockwave, quicktime, vrml, activeX. Additionnally, some users may disable some technologies, for speed or security reasons, like activeX or Javascript. That means they may be missing some crucial part of your site.

While all websites have a server side (minimally: the server) and a client side (minimally: the html) the client site is usually more accessible to new web builders. Also, if you don’t know html, how do you go about generating it dynamically?


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