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Depending on targets, tasks, scale, target audience and another huge heap of factors internet project's life cycle significantly differs. Let us distinguish static sites and sites for which the constant changing of content, functional and programm parts is vitally important. Here are two typical examples.

  1. Site of the company not large, offering wares or service not widely used. Generally, this site has tiny budget. Owner has to cut down expenses so site development is limited to creating design and static pages make-up. Site may exist over a long time unchanged. At a moment new dynamic partitions may be added or site be fully restructured.
  2. Internet-shop selling goods of common use - cell phones, books, software. Customers are given a wide choice of trade agents and the order will be obtained by the one who presented its articles the best, offered reasonable price, acceptable delivery and terms. Nowadays a trading brand is valued high, for instance ABC company works for two years and have established image of successful shop that offers good choice, good price, and convinient delivery terms. Every process is trustworthy and regulated - it can be seen on the site pages. Visitor have to spend minimal time for information search and setting up order due to every element adjusted and no redundant action is necessary. All this features come as a result of long term methodical modification.

In that way, if you have the project of high competition, it is important to realize that the work is not finished once the site has been launched. There is much to do, possibly even make over. And with such constituents as scalable and flexible logical structure, reasoning of data flow and programm design, having content, design and logic been divided - all these doesn't offer advantages, simply (in high competition conditions) gives site a chance.

What might happen to the shop made once and for all. As is the case the shop is launched, it's effectiveness is evaluated, then decision about further work is taken. No choice of testing and debugging is considered.

More successful story. For instance it's becoming clear that the shopping cart filling process is not that comfortable/accompanied by programm failure (well you are lucky with manager who noticed it in time). The problem is posed to change certain elements of visual design and corresponding programm modules. The problem would increase if no possibility of major changes had been envisaged with the system from the beginning - at worst significant part of work would be scheduled to remake, including graphical redesign and programm coding. Laboriousness of such a changes may run up to 50% of original project cost and even more.

How can you estimate the developer capability to create really flexible site? Ask him how much would one or another update be and compare it with starting project cost. Of course, you cannot forsee what improvements will be required in the future, but approximate estimation of improvements order can be performed. Take into account that another developer would ask noticably higher price for rework or update since he will haveto spend time to learn the system.

In reality developer may face the fundamental changes at the initial stage as well - when the coming processes are not fully clear to customer himself, due for example to business specificity.

Maximal flexibility we associate with static site that is assembled and supported manually at all. The price for such a flexibility is enormous laboriousness (cost) of support, which leads to support impossibility with site grown to certain scale. Automated sites lose with flexibility, but give the possibility to render automatic data handling processes, which by and large is the pure requirement for the site existence. The automation limit we can observe at internet services offering customer to make the site on his own, based on ready templates and program modules. These sites look like each other as twins, with formal graphical differences - header above, column on the left, column on the right, content is in the middle. Zero flexibility at that.

Thus, it seems to be optimal the automation level that still allowes for cheap changes in design, structure, content and programm modules.In that case the project may successfully grow and develop for a long period of time.

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It makes sense to start web site creating from preparation of content, at least for principal sections. With content (partially) ready the developer must not puzzle over which sections are needed on the site. Moreover, designer will be able to express your ideas graphically. In that way the web site will serve as harmonious single whole.

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