Website Design – Hardware and Software Tools You May Need

Before you start your new website or edit your current website, you need to consider what hardware and software tools you might need to support your efforts.

When it comes to the hardware you need, it can be very simple or quite complex depending on your specific needs. Of course, if you’re going to create a new website (or even view your new website later), you’ll need a computer. Easy enough right? Not necessarily. We prefer to work on Apple Macintosh (OSX Leopard on MacBook Pro) as we do a lot of graphics intensive work and have previously invested in Adobe Creative Suite software (Photoshop, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc.). It’s just as easy to create your new website using your Windows PC, but we recommend you stay away from using Windows Vista (any version) and migrate to Windows 7 or stick with Windows XP. These operating systems are simply much more stable and reliable.

Another consideration for hardware should be some form of backup disk or removable USB memory stick. It’s important to back up all of your website data to removable media in case your computer crashes, breaks, or is stolen. When you create website files, most of your data is stored on the website hosting servers, but in many cases you have many other “builder files” that usually never make it to the hosting servers. If you lose this data, in many cases you have to start from scratch. Another piece of hardware that many forget is an HD video camcorder. If you’re planning on embedding videos on your website, you should invest in something halfway decent; You can usually buy a good video camera that also takes “still pictures” for under $500.00.

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When it comes to the software needed, this can be a bit more complicated, again depending on your website design goals. At the very least, you’ll need some sort of text editing software, FTP (file transfer software), graphics creation software, and over time, a host of other tools.

Here are some of the most common themes to consider when planning your website product design.

COMPUTER

Do you currently own a computer that can process large files (e.g. video files) quickly and efficiently?

WEBSITE SERVER

Planning to host your own website portal? If so, do you know what kind of hardware and server software you need?

BACKUP HARD DRIVE or USB STICK

Do you currently have some sort of backup hard drive equipment or plan?

VIDEO CAMERA

Will you be creating custom videos for your website and if so, do you have an HD video camera ready to use?

MOBILE WEB DEVICES

Are you planning to make your website mobile web friendly? If so, do you have an iPhone and an iPad? Android phone? BlackBerry device? These are required for test purposes!

WEBSITE CREATION SOFTWARE

Do you have website building software (e.g. Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Front Page) installed, licensed and ready to go?

GRAPHIC EDITING SOFTWARE

Are you planning to create your own website graphics or edit images? Do you have the necessary software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop or Photo Studio)?

DATABASES

Are you planning to create a database for your website and if so, do you know what software you can use for it?

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