The overall aim of this project is of design a system to help the rapid development of dynamic website.
The target users are SME/individuals were costs, both financial and time, need to be kept to a minimum at all times. It also aims at allow these organisations to produce a worthwhile and profitable web presence without the need to develop specialist skills. It does assume some user knowledge of HTML, but this is discussed in greater length in the report.
The project was a success although not all the functionality required for full product was produced.
Internet usage has risen massively in the last few years with estimates of the number of people using the web worldwide currently at half a billion . In the U.K it is estimated that 40% of all households and 90% of businesses now have access to the web . With this huge market to access, there is a large potential for profit to be made through this medium and the current sites that are doing so usually fall into two categories. The first of these are sites that offer a range of free or very cheap services, e.g. news, webmail and online calendars. These sites aim to encourage users to repeatedly come to the site and be exposed to advertising. Revenues come from advertisers or affiliate programs. Sites such as MSN and Yahoo fall into this category and they currently top the charts as the most visited sites in the UK . The second group of sites are ones that generate money directly form the user by selling goods or services over the web. Proven success stories, such as Amazon, demonstrate that this is viable way to make money. Many retailers such as Tesco and Dabs,
the computer equipment distributor, have shown that the addition of an e-commerce site can usefully supplement income generated from more conventional media, e.g. high shop, mail order, by adding an e-commerce site to their infrastructure.
A major impediment to individuals and organisations not going into this field is the high initial cost of setting up the website. Most of this cost comes from acquiring the necessary skills to build the site. Despite the collapse of dot.coms, the web design industry is still one of the fastest developing service sectors. The price charged for setting up a site capable of generating significant revenues can be upwards of 250 thousand pounds. These prices are justified by the large development effort required to create these sites. Industrial placement experience in the web design industry has that even though most sites look different and
often appeal to different markets, their fundamental framework is very similar. The basic functionality of most web sites can be mapped onto one framework that can subsequently be personalised. Despite this, many developers spend time recreating the same basic structure
each times. Given the above, it is clear that there is a need for developer-friendly tools that can be used to create revenue generating web sites cheaply.