Daily Archives: July 10, 2013

Technique: How to put your Site Together

The words technique and technology come from the same Greek root, techne, which means ‘hand’.  The Latin equivalent is manus, from which we get the word manufacture. So,the heading technique covers the hands-on aspects of website design and maintenance.

If you engage a designer or consultant to manage your site, this heading will help you understand what they are doing so that you can engage in constructive conversations.  If you are going it alone, it will help you appreciate what is possible with your CMS.


When cars became cheap they had major implications for organisations.  The same applies to most technological innovations.  Telephones, typewriters, faxes, desk-top computers … all changed the way organisations work.  A website is a technological innovation.  Just because it is a set of text files on a server somewhere in the world, doesn’t mean it makes fewer demands upon your organisation.  Websites become moribund because their organisations are unable to adapt to their use.

How do you keep your site up-to-date?  It is best to plan what you want the site to do before you go online.  However, many organisations inherit a moribund site and lack the resources to carry out a major review.  So, whether you do it yourself, ask an employee or volunteer to do it or engage a consultant / designer, what do you need to understand?


I shall name common problems and techniques and show you how to steer your own site.  This is important even if you engage someone else to look after your site.  If you understand what they’re doing, you can make suggestions and stretch the boundaries in realistic ways.


There are loads of applications (software tools) that might potentially be helpful.

  • Social media can support your website or do the job you need without a website
  • Analytics – how do you get and interpret information about your site’s performance?
  • Search engine optimisation, keyword research and all those things that affect how your site functions.
  • Loads of applications help you write code and prepare graphics and animations for websites.
  • Content management systems
  • Various cloud resources help you share stuff online.

Many of these are free and some are very expensive.  How do you make the best choices? If your designer is using an application, how can you follow what the designer is doing?  I’ll interpret the jargon and explain what to expect.