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Loud Dog Engineering Deliverables

By on May 19, 2008 in Web Engineering

As part of almost every web-related project, we execute our designs in standards-compliant client-side code for delivery to our client. These technical deliverables almost fall into one of three buckets.

HTML templates.

As part of the design process, we identify unique pages and common modules and use this knowledge to design templates that can be extended to create every possible page on a site. Our design and engineering teams then work closely together to produce these templates in standards-compliant HTML and CSS, which we test on our local staging server. Once the templates have undergone thorough cross-browser testing, we deliver them as a package to our client and their team for completion and build-out.

Our deliverables package includes all client-side code required for the templates (HTML, CSS, JavaScript and images) and may also include documentation describing what server-side functionality the design calls for, a copydeck, and Flash animations and widgets if the design calls for them.

Built-out static site.

In many cases, a CMS is not required and is an unnecessary expense. For sites that change infrequently or have many highly-designed pages (most marketing sites), we recommend creating the entire site in static HTML. Although this does increase the cost of changes and reduces some search capabilities, it allows for much greater flexibility for individual page design and may be more cost-effective than a CMS-driven site. Once we’ve built out a static site, we can either deliver it to your engineering team for hosting, or host it on our servers.

Built-out CMS-driven site.

We often provide end-to-end services, including selection of an appropriate CMS and engineering of any server-side applications. We are responsible for the entire process, and provide a single point of contact for your website and online needs.

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are several reasons why a client would want to use an HTML template approach. Our clients get the benefits of our advanced client-side engineering expertise, while using more cost effective internal engineering resources for the build-out or integration. Some clients have an existing CMS platform and engineers experienced with managing it or their website is tightly tied to sensitive internal applications that their team is already responsible for.

The main disadvantage of an HTML template approach is that the client is responsible for approving and accepting our technical deliverables and managing the build out of the site. If they don’t have this expertise available, this can be a daunting task. Additionally, once the site is up and running, most maintenance and small changes will be the responsibility of their in-house team. Although we can assist in some cases, this is rarely cost-effective.

We occasionally are asked to provide design files only, for production by the client team. We recommend against this, as our design and client-side programming processes are tightly (and rightly) integrated, and combine to create better results.

Hey! This wasn't written by a gang of elk! It was written by , who does awesome work at Loud Dog, a digital branding firm in San Francisco that helps businesses express themselves authentically via identities, websites, and marketing collateral.

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