The ever evolving world of professional web development
We’re pretty hardcore PHP and JavaScipt users. Standard fare in many ways, but I did conclude over the summer that it’s limiting our abilities a bit. That’s probably unduly harsh when you look at some of the content we churn out, but I always want our product to be better. First place to look? The foundations of the business – our tools.
Bespoke web design has to be open minded, you simply do not have any choice. I would actually be inclined to say that about any business (I have a little motto “if you aren’t willing to evolve then only luck will keep you alive”). Resistance to change is a terrible thing, and it’s a real breeder too, once it starts infecting your work choices, life choices, any choices really, it’s downhill from there!
So, I started canvassing where we are going next. I’m lucky that some really awesome developers work for us, and as a result I get to encounter some very interesting people and skills. One of the frameworks I was considering moving our future development to (or at least some of), was a thing called Meteor, pointed out by the Director of a very interesting company in London called Digital Mail. There is no doubt it is hugely capable and has a great future ahead of it. One tiny issue though – it wasn’t at stable or v1.0 release yet, only on preview so far. As the leader of a specialist bespoke web design company – that sadly presents too much risk for me and my clients.
So I took a step back. What frameworks out there will enhance our skillset by offering us more power and options in what we can do, yet still be on the bleeding edge of technology – the goal being we can deliver outstanding Web Design in Surrey? Ah, please enter the room, Ruby on Rails.
Now coincidentally, we’ve just started talking to a potential client who wanted some Rails work done, so things have fallen into place quite nicely, in some ways.
We’re in the process right now, of developing a proprietary, recruiter focussed Rails platform for our Recruitment Web Design products. The benefit with it being Rails based, is that it is still capable of being hugely customised, which rings true with our bespoke web design ethos. The front end of the application remains flexible (unlike many PHP based systems, hello every rigid template driven CMS out there). It’s still coded in ordinary, flat file structure HTML5, JS, and even PHP where needed. We can also have far more optimisation features available, reducing the very common slowdown regularly seen on standard PHP/MySQL CMS driven sites. Less emphasis on a template system gives so many more options on how a project is envisioned.
I seem to be giving PHP a bit of a slaughtering here – which is quite unfair. It’s a great, great language. Sadly we’ve just outgrown it.