Websites and Apps
When it comes to websites and applications, Netsemblage takes a back-end first approach. Not that we don’t value the importance of design and user experience - we certainly do - but it’s not the design that has the potential to bankrupt your organisation, leave gaps in the way forward or leave a sizeable carbon footprint.
The one thing that most designers and agencies overlook is the importance of choosing the right back-end. Most often they will choose a non-enterprise solution (i.e. WordPress, Magento, …) without considering issues further down the road - or how irresponsible and wasteful these solutions are when it comes to the environment.
Deciding on the way forward should instead be a matter of asking a simple question: What do multinational corporations like Google, Amazon, eBay and others use? The answer is - not one solution, but a loosely coupled assembly of services.
Where individuals and SME’s think of integrated solutions that ‘do it all’ - the reality is that this is woefully inefficient, limiting and troublesome. Most organisations don’t realise this until they start to grow - or try to cast a wider net in an attempt to capture more markets.
Integrated solutions like WordPress, Drupal, Magento and others - even platforms like Wix and Squarespace - try to meet every requirement, that is:
Content Management System
Web page generator
Dynamic content engine (i.e. User engagement, e-commerce, …)
Aside from being a poor model for growth, it is difficult to ‘get out’ once all the data is in, it runs wastefully and inefficient at scale and will inevitably lead to considerable unnecessary cost. These things should instead be separate solutions - which they generally are in the enterprise sector.
Netsemblage and NAKARMA have made it their goal to bring enterprise solutions to organisations of all sizes, from basement projects to global service providers - at no extra cost compared to popular solutions. A lot less in fact if you factor in the cost to the environment, from meadow to dinner plate.
The Core: Content
The most important part of your project - if not the entire organisation - is content. Articles, white papers, blog posts, newscasts, manuals and more - content is where it all starts. The most attractively designed website still won’t attract any visitors or users if its content isn’t engaging.
Instead of thinking of content as something that is strictly part of a website, it’s better to think of it as the central core of your entire organisation or project. Content should be the central element in the organisation, a repository of information for staff, customers, suppliers and partners. A system that websites and applications are merely connected to - as outlets that can be easily upgraded and replaced.
It can be as simple as a file manager, a text editor and a collection of files and folders - or it can be a full enterprise content management system, but either way: it exists independently from your websites and applications.
Websites and applications are one of potentially many different outlets for your content - nothing more, nothing less. Netsemblage offers a full range of support and setup services for content management as well as offering free tools.
Public Pages: The Front-End
With content managed separately - potentially that of the entire organisation - it becomes a lot easier to create content outlets such as websites and applications. The best way to do this is with a static site generator like Hugo - which takes the content you selected to be published, runs it through a custom designed or off-the-shelf web design template and generates the website.
The result is what is known as a static website - because there are no moving parts. No database to hack, no pages to be generated on-demand - nothing to limit it to a single server or location. Not to worry: No moving parts does not mean an absence of rich media or animations - those are handled on the users device, not the server.
As a result the website’s files can be copied onto a delivery network with locations all over the globe, ensuring your users view the website from a server that is nearest to them. Near zero loading time, near zero waste. Best of all - it’s free to get started thanks to a myriad of delivery networks that offer free plans. Only when things get big and requirements get specific do these providers start charging, at which point it’s only fair. Given the independent by design nature of the website - it’s easy to shop around for the best deal.
Host the files on GitHub, Gitlab or anywhere else, connect the delivery network and you’ll benefit from a solution that regenerates the site automatically when content is updated and delivers it around the world in a flash. For free.
Secured Features: Back-End Services
Dynamic data - such as user logins, user profiles, protected content and e-commerce are where non-enterprise solutions fall short most of all. They can re-generate and copy web pages to different locations - but not their databases, meaning services such as user login and shopping and are tied to a single location. The further removed a user is from the database - the more reliability, performance and quality are reduced.
Netsemblage back-end solutions are designed from the ground up to be distributed around the world, ensuring a fast and seamless experience regardless of the users location.
But this is not without cost as it requires renting virtual servers - or server clusters - around the world. We therefore recommend start-ups and smaller organisations to start with specialised 3rd party services that usually work with a transaction fee - eliminating most of the cost to setup, deploy and maintain a large infrastructure. When a certain volume of traffic or sales is met - it will become more cost effective to migrate to a self-hosted solution. Netsemblage will be there every step of the way to help your organisation avoid the pitfalls and keep cost to a minimum.