Quality assurance takes a lot of time in web development. Why is this such an issue? Very simply put - each browser has different settngs built in that support HTML code in different ways. Most currently released browsers support HTML in the same way. However, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6, released in September 2002 and replaced by IE 7 in October 2006 did not support even the most basic web standards - so much so that Microsoft had to create a special hidden tag that we developers add to all web pages. This hidden tag essentially allows us to create a second version of the page just for Internet Explorer - meaning twice the work for the same result...thus higher costs.
Because even Microsoft is soon to stop support for IE 6 (after all they released IE 8 in March 2009) and that it sometimes literally doubles the work, many developers are charging extra to create special code for IE 6 or refusing to support it at all. Frankly, we're struggling with this issue and have opted, for now, to strongly encourage people to upgrade on the sites we develop but not charge a specific "tax" for it....as long as clients understand that some of the cool things they see on the web these days simply won't work at all on IE 6.
We just love this site. Beyond being mesmerizing, it serves as a cool messaging tool at events. Holding an event where monitors are available? Go to Visible Tweets, enter in your twitter name, click full screen and watch people become hooked on reading your organization's tweets. The service also pulls in all mentions of your twitter account adding an even more powerful, and interesting, effect.
Lots of fun and an effective way of getting people to follow you on twitter. http://visibletweets.com
Believe me when I say I don't believe the world needs another web developer's blog. Other web development firms have done a great job of using blogs to give us a wide range of topics on best uses of the web. In fact, when we walked out of our first meeting on our web site re-design there was no blog on the list. But then the very words I use with our clients kept haunting me - your web site is a tool not a brochure, use it as such! Maybe our blog could actually be a useful tool for our clients and others struggling to navigate their business online.
What do people looking for web development want? In my experience they want an understanding of what the web affords them without long technical explanations. It's very hard to explain useful web technologies as I watch eyes glass over. No worries - I get it. Time is short and people want to use technology not learn it.
So here's my commitment for this blog. I will take commonly asked questions and key web trends that I think are key for organizations and promise to discuss them well in 250 words or less. No techno-speak, simply how I'd explain it if asked in the check-out line at the grocery store (it's happened). This is harder that you may think but let's see how it goes. Hopefully, people will find this useful.
Principal and Founder
P.S. To keep me honest there's a word count below each article.