Web Development Services
At Still Waters Software, our goal is to bring the web technology to your organization, in whatever form that might take. We offer a broad range of web design and development services, all geared to help you achieve your goals.
Many sites have a common need for a password protected area of a website - useful to service a small or well-defined group of site visitors. The level of security will depend on the sensitivity of the information; spanning the range from a system that stops casual browsers (and web-bots) from accessing non-sensitive information to a system that protects personal information.
Simple Member Privileges
For Boy Scout Troop 4, the troop wanted to make Scout contact information, along with pictures and other personal information, available to other members of the troop, but not available to anyone outside of the troop. At the same time, the troop did want to present a 'public' image, accessible to the web. This site has two basic levels of permission:
- Public home page for general description of the troop, its activities and whom to contact for additional information, and
- a password-protected 'micro'-site, available to all members of the troop, containing the semi-private, contact information, pictures and other operational information for the troop.
The password is distributed freely among the troop, providing sufficient protection against the casual browsers.
Owner-Only Content Management Privileges
For the Hopkinton Youth Commission, the commission wanted the ability to manage the committee information, esp. agendas, minutes, etc., because of the change frequency. We developed a secure password protected Administrative area that gives them editing control over:
- Agendas, Minutes, etc.
- Volunteer opportunities within the community, and
- Event announcements and press releases
Shopping Cart Account Privileges
Of course, the highest level of security and privacy comes with individual visitor account setup and maintenance. Here, visitors have password access to their account where they can manage their shopping cart, downloads, newsletter subscriptions, previous invoices and any other personal details. Client information is stored in databases using password encryption methods.
Forms and scripts are an integral part of many websites. Typically, these sites gather some information from the visitor, perform various amounts of processing, then perform some follow on action.
The nature and degree of complexity is nearly limitless, but there are a number of common scenarios:
- Double Opt-in Confirmation
Double Opt-in confirmation covers many different situation, all focussed on guaranteeing email subscription information is confirmed by the subscriber. Subscriber information is registered into an owner managed database, but only after the site sends an email to the subscriber and who must reply with confirmation. Either the website owner or the subscriber can then manage subscribers and chosen preferences through a password protected mechanisms.
Many sites include a Tell-a-Friend capability to allow website visitors to easily share interesting content with friends. Server-side scripts send an email to designated recipients. A best practice with this capability is to clarify that no email addresses are collected, only used for the purpose of emailing the information.
- Order Configuration with Email Receipt
A step up in complexity is to include order calculations and backend processing that can provide immediate estimates or feedback on requested information. At a visitors request, estimates and other derived information can be forwarded by email. This sort of script-based application can prove invaluable in sales lead generation and order fulfillment, especially when order configuration can be completed on-the-spot.
- Custom Applications
Web-based applications can be arbitrarily complex, performing all sorts of calculations and back-end processing on behalf of visitor information. For instance, a custom Google-Map application for Boy Scout Troop 4 performed route calculations, and custom list generation, including detailed maps for their Christmas tree pickup service.
Sites such as The Programmable Web give you some idea of the thousands of sites that are making their information available to other websites. During our discussions, we will explore these areas and more as we understand the role of your website in your organization/business.
If your organization requires minor and/or infrequent updates to your website then it may be that simple, manual updates to your site might be cost effective. In situations such as this, a simple site maintenance program might best fit your needs.
However, if your business requires daily, weekly or monthly changes, and you have in-house staff that can assume the responsibility of those updates then it may be more effective to have us install a Content Management System or build an application for you. In these more complex situations, a content management application would allow you to manage databases that contain supporting website information or make changes directly to the content itself.
Through our needs discussions, we can help you determine the best content management solution to fit your situation.