WebTrax Web and Mobile Solutions

Web Solutions

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Our web development experience is extensive and varied. We have created websites on all platforms, using a large variety of languages, frameworks and standards.

The following sections describe our approach to web development, and some of the services we can provide.

Our approach

Standards based

We believe all websites should conform to all applicable open standards. We will develop all websites to the latest stable standards in HTML, CSS, metadata and accessibility.

Open source

We have developed applications in many different languages and platforms, but we now tend to concentrate on open-source solutions. We have found these have a number of advantages to clients, including:

More flexible solutions

With open-source languages and frameworks we are not limited in how we can tailor the solution to meet your needs. We can see 'inside the box', and if necessary tweak the internals to exactly meet the requirements. This is not possible with proprietary products.

Better support

This might sound strange, but in our experience we can get far quicker and better responses to problems from members of the open-source community than we can from proprietary products.

Quite often it is actually the developers of the products who will respond to issues.

Being able to see inside the code allows us to see where problems might be arising, as opposed to guessing what is happening within the black-box of the proprietary product.

Mobile friendly

As more and more users access websites from their phones or tablets, we believe it is essential to design your website with them in mind.

Our websites are designed to automatically reshape themselves to a layout that works well on smaller screen sizes.

Cross browser compatibility

We develop our websites to look their best in the latest standards-compliant browsers. For earlier, less standards-compliant browsers, the sites may lack some of the eye-candy, but they will still function as well as they do in the latest browsers.

Normally, we will not tailor the design to look good in Internet Explorer 6. If you have a special need to ensure that it does, we can do it, but unfortunately, due to the complexity it comes at a cost.

If we use Javascript to provide extra functionality, it will not be at the expense of users who do not have Javascript enabled, unless the functionality can only be delivered by Javascript, eg Google Maps based applications.

What we can do

Web applications

WebTrax has created many web applications, typically database driven, and ranging from flexible event calendars through to full business administration systems involving hundreds of different functions.

We have developed these systems in many languages and products, but our primary development language now is PHP and we use the web application framework CakePHP to enable us to produce complex web applications in the most cost-effective, maintainable way.

AJAXy web applications

Even if you don't know what AJAX means (and you don't need to), you may have noticed how websites are now more interactive and responsive. A typical example is the auto-suggestions presented on search fields, but the principle can be applied to the whole application to eliminate much of the delay involved in waiting for full-page reloads typical of 'old-school' web applications.

WebTrax has extensive experience in developing complex JavaScript based functionality within the application to significantly improve the user interface.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

If you want your staff to be able to update the information in your website, you will probably want to use a Content Management System (CMS). This enables authorised users to create and edit content on your site in a controlled manner, without them having to know HTML or CSS.

WebTrax has experience with a number of different Content Management Systems. There is a bewildering array of CMS's available to choose from, and picking the ones that will still be operating in 5 years time is not easy.

We tend to recommend Drupal (drupal.org) for most clients. It is one of the top 3 most used CMS's, the most famous implementation being whitehouse.org, and like the other top CMS's has amazing flexibility due to the large number of add-on modules that can make it do almost anything.

Search engines

One of our first major developments involved the creation of a full-text search engine for Australia's federal and state legislation (scaleplus.gov.au).

We then went on to create the Culture Portal (culture.gov.au), one of the Federal Government's most popular portals. This site indexed over 4 million pages of cultural information from over 4,000 websites.

Culture Portal front page

We have done a number of other complex search engine based systems using a number of different products since then, so if you have a need for a web system that integrates full-text searching, come and talk to us.

Geospatial visualisation

Integrating your database information with mapping systems like Google Maps can provide a very useful tool for visualising the relationships between various aspects of your data.

We can geo-code, ie get the latitude and longitude of your data from any postal address, then use this to display the data on Maps in any way you like.

Here is an example of one we have developed.

coworker search screen shot

Mobile friendly

All of your websites should now be designed with mobile users in mind. On current trends a large proportion of your users will be accessing your website from mobile devices, so you must design the site with them in mind.

For more information, see our Mobile solutions page.

Accessibility

The need to make your website or web application fully accessible to users with disabilities is essential, and in many cases mandatory due to government legislation or standards.

If the site is designed with this in mind from the start, there is very little overhead involved in creating a fully compliant and accessible website.

WebTrax is well qualified to produce websites that conform to the latest WCAG 2.0 standards having worked on a number of them. We can also provide accessibility reviews to advise you on how to upgrade your sites to the latest accessibility standards.