Database Driven Website Design

Database Driven Website Design - Simplicity IT

Ensuring Your Website is Properly Tested Before Launch

If the word launch has associations with countdowns, spaceships and Cape Canaveral what about as far as a website is concernedc Whereas launching a new site might not be quite as grand as pressing the button to send a rocket to space, the principles are the same: is this thing good enough to flyc

Chances are you will have tested elements of your site during the build process. However, it pays to run through a final checklist to make sure. The best websites are accessible, usable and abide by coding standards. You can break your checklist down into several categories:

Content and copy:

– Are the fonts consistent from page to pagec What about text sizec

– Make sure no sneaky holder paragraphs remain, such as Latin passages

– Do all headings, subheadings and copy refer to the right thingsc

– Check grammar and spelling. A good tip is to read pages from the bottom up – errors that you might previously have overlooked become obvious

– Copy and paste text into a word document for an automatic spellcheck

– Does each page have a clear purposec

Links, forms and layout:

– Check all links and email addresses

– Complete all forms and make sure they process properly (and send messages to the correct email accounts)

– Is page layout consistentc Headings higher or lower on each pagec Do logos and columns move aroundc

– Try changing the browser’s font preferences. Does this cause a problemc

– What happens when you shrink the browser windowc Does anything get skewedc

– Are all images in the correct place and of correct resolution and qualityc

– Try your site in different browsers, particularly Internet Explorer (old and new versions), Firefox, Opera, Safari and Google Chrome

– If your site is an e-commerce solution, check the links to shopping carts, payment methods and individual items


– Do all links open in a new tab, new window or the same windowc

– How about your error pagesc Do they make it easy to redirect to the previous page (or the homepage) and offer suitable informationc

– Does the font colour contrast enough with the background to make it legiblec

– How long does each page take to loadc

– Is there a contact link on each pagec

– Do you have an XML site mapc

– If an e-commerce site, is the shopping cart, purchase button and payment screen clearly visiblec

Coding and web standards:

– Have you tested your site at http://validator.w3.orgc This can check both (X)HTML and CSS syntax. The benefit is both from an accessibility perspective (web readers will decode verified sites easier) and also from a search engine optimisation point of view.

– Are all page titles, meta data and H1 tags correctly marked and full of appropriate keywords for the search enginesc

– Try running your site through both and The former tests your site for certain accessibility standards, and the latter checks for around 50 web standards that can improve the functioning of your site.

Of course, you can go more in-depth on nearly all of these points to ensure that your site is up to the highest standard. However, if you follow these steps prior to launch, then you’ll be in a great position to see your site take off without a hitch.

About the author: Oliver Pluckrose is the Head of Development for Online Business Solutions UK Limited (OBS Group) a web design company based in London. Formed in 1998, OBS Groups ethos has always been to provide simple, end user-driven business web design services and intranet development for a sensible, fixed price.


9 thoughts on “Database Driven Website Design”

  1. Can Anyone Tell Me What Type of Website Programming/Design/Language This Is (Database Driven)?
    I am doing research an possibly creating a website and I would like to utilize the same style/type this company, Hunt Auctions does. If you click “Completed Listings” on the top banner you’ll see a database appears, which shows different dates. If you click a date, it brings you to the list of items sold on that date. There is also a search function. I notice the url address does not change. This type of database is what I want. I was hoping someone could enlighten me to what this database/programming/format etc this is.

  2. Whats the easiest way to create a database driven website?
    I designed this website for my families business and it has got too big to manage now what with all the price changes due to the fluctuating currencies! I would like to make it simpler to manage by turning it into databased driven, but I knew nothing about web design and programming until i started playing around with dreamweaver and created this site! So there I am thinking oh yeah im sure it wont be that hard but OMG I really cannot get my head round it with the PHP and SQL etc.. Could I not put all the info in access or excel ??

    I feel really lost now and as I am new to this I was hopeing someone out there could point me in the right direction!

    Thank you

  3. How does a database driven website operate files in the back end?
    I am trying to design a website with a very heavy database. Does anyone know how this works?

  4. Recommendation Building a e-commerce (database driven) website books?
    I am looking to build an e-commerce website driven my some sort of a database (i.e. Microsoft Access or Excel) to store the products info. This way, when I update the stock and prices, I can easily do this via the database rather than editing the webpage itself.

    I am not a expert in website creating, however I would consider my skills between a beginner and intermediate user of several website designing software such as Macromedia Dreamweaver and Microsoft Frontpage.

    My question is, does anyone know any good text / reference books, magazines, online tutorials where I can buy to help me to create my very first e-commerce website. The books must contain details such as step-by-step guide from start: creating a webpage to finish: setting up web hosting and uploading it.

    Many thanks

  5. 1) Learn computer programming. Without that you’re not going to be able to write the programs you need. (Not “learn a programming language” – first learn programming, then you can learn the languages you need.)

    2) Learn SQL.

    3) Learn Javascript and either ASP or PHP, depending on what’s avalable on the server you’ll be hosted on. Learning how to use them in AJAX wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

    4) Download scripts of eCommerce sites written in the language you choose. The best way to learn is to see how it’s done.

    5) Being able to use “website designing software” is one step before becoming an entry level website developer. Using a program and writing code are completely different.

    6) Delete Front Page from your computer and never think of it again. Only Microsoft servers (the minority on the web) can run the junk it creates, and only Microsoft browsers can render it properly. The same goes for any Microsoft product – saving a Word document “as HTML” doesn’t give you a usable web page.

  6. Typically, PHP handles database operations. You should read some tutorials on SQL + PHP. A brief overview is to:
    *Connect to database
    *Select database to use
    *Perform database operations

    PHP has many functions to handle all of these things, so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

    edit: To elaborate on the security comment, ALWAYS sanitize user input. For example, if you have $user = $_POST[‘username’]; you should always, always do:
    $user = stripslashes($user);
    $user = mysql_real_escape_string($user);

    This takes out any harmful input that the user might have entered.

  7. You can find many web designers at websites like , you can just post your project at the website and let many web designers bid for your project. You can hire whoever you like.

    Do not pay any money afront however.

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