Web Development

At Netsemblage we develop websites according to the JAMStack principle. This means that the publicly available pages - which generally make up the bulk of a website - are generated ahead of time instead of being generated on-demand. This not only greatly improves security and performance, it also reduces impact on the environment significantly.

Websites generated in this manner are commonly referred to as ‘static websites’. This refers to pages being generated ahead of time and the absence of database driven events on the website, not the absence of rich media and animations as they are rendered on the end-user’s device - not the web server.

This doesn’t mean that static websites are unable to handle dynamic content such as secured or paid content, online shopping or social media either - they just handle it in a different way.

Public pages such as articles, blog posts, product presentations, company profiles and the like are generated ahead of time, while dynamic data such as members-only content, user profiles, shopping carts and the like are rendered on-demand. A common technique on static sites is to use JavaScript to fetch data from a variety of servers which is then inserted into the website dynamically.

Not only does this simplify using different providers for different services, it means that the bulk of the website will never go down for maintenance, never experience security issues and never experience fluctuations in performance.

Another benefit is that your company’s content can exist separately from its outlets (websites and applications) - allowing them to be changed and updated more easily while your content stays unaffected.

As for our development style, Netsemblage follows the principle of progressive enhancement for the core website. We develop using a mobile-first approach, while simultaneously assuming old devices and browsers as the default clients. We make sure that the website will display properly and nicely using only older and proven techniques, before adding newer and more attractive features. Should a visitor be using a new browser or device - they will see the website with all the bells and whistles enabled, if not they will still see a good looking site. For the core website we use JavaScript to enhance the user interface and user experience, but if a user visits the site with JavaScript disabled the site will work fine all the same.

We develop mobile first as that influences a sites ranking among search engines, which deem the mobile experience as one of the more important factors in their internal indexes. Using a mobile first approach along with responsive design allows for a consistent user experience across varying screen sizes and devices.

Mobile first + responsive design + progressive enhancement = websites that look good and rank well while being capable of servicing the widest range of customers.

Netsemblage has a strong focus on efficiency - so we don’t use any bloated frameworks for the core of our websites. No Bootstrap, no JQuery - just hand coded CSS and vanilla JavaScript. For applications we may use a JavaScript framework such as Svelte or Vue.js - but only when it truly serves a purpose. By default we assume plain clean HTML, CSS and JavaScript without any extra bloat. Our sites and lean and performant.

The only framework we do use by default is Hugo - which we feel offers the best combination of features and performance today. It is highly performant, flexible, and energy efficient. Hugo is capable of re-generating websites with hundreds of pages in mere seconds, where others such as Jekyll, Gatsby and Hexo take minutes. This not only allows for fast website updates, it is far more environmentally responsible.

Get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss all the options.

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