Fails Testing Before Launch, Bop Design Principal Jeremy Durant Stresses Importance of Website Backend

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San Diego website design agency determines core content management system features all businesses should anticipate during website development.

The news surrounding the failure of President Obama’s recently launched healthcare website,, continues as the "Washington Post" claims that the sign-up page failed initial user testing.

“Businesses are often surprised by the 12 to 14 week long design and development phase it takes to produce a website,” said Jeremy Durant, business principal of Bop Design, a San Diego website agency. “It’s difficult to realize a large portion of that time website design agencies are hard at work making customized changes to fit your business needs. Between tweaking header typography to adjusting image resolutions, the time put into the backend saves the client valuable hours after the completed site is handed over.”

Website backend features Durant lists as a “must have” include:

User-friendly content management system - The core of a website is the content management system (CMS) that it runs on. CMS allows companies to log into the backend to modify copy, upload images, create new subpages, change the navigation, and much more. “A clunky, inefficient CMS sucks time and energy when users need to refresh a webpage or solve website problems,” said Durant.

Easy navigation - Building a backend that reflects unique company verbiage can save time spent explaining to colleagues where they need to navigate to in order to make changes. Website developers should use company lexicon and map a backend experience to mirror it.

Flexible calls to action - Most company websites feature calls to action that differentiate them from their competitors. It ranges from rotating homepage images to news tickers to newsletter signups, but the most important factor is the ability to change these modifications if necessary. “If a company opts to switch from quarterly newsletters to monthly, the backend should allow the user to easily update that information,” said Durant.

Smooth style sheet implementation - A lot of time and money is put into designing the look and feel of a website. Building a backend to support it is critical. Applying code that automatically updates headings, paragraph text, navigation fonts, and background colors to match the company style sheet ensures the branding is uniform every time content is changed.

Auto-adjusted images - Adding images to a website is always encouraged to create a visually appealing interface. Depending on the page housing the visual, the backend should predetermine upload rules such as image size, justification, text wrap, and quality. Durant explained, “Not having fixed attributes leaves the guesswork on the user, resulting in unorganized, irregular, and unprofessional images.”

“If a website is a living, breathing resource, then the backend is the heart that supports it,” Durant said. “With a customized backend to fit your company needs, you’re saving valuable time that would otherwise be spent wrestling website updates.”

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Jeremy Durant
Bop Design
since: 10/2009
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