Unit21: Web production


Courses Introduction Criteria Assignments Notes Links


ITQ Presentations

ITQ Art & Images

FD Unit4

ND Unit3

ND Unit10

ND Unit15

ND Unit21

ND Unit24

On-line evaluation form


The Basic Principles

Some notes and links to illustrations and tasks can be found at this link. These will guide you through the main things you need to know to get started.

More notes on planning a web site


Why do people make websites?

The same reasons people write books, articles, scribble on walls or publish things, really. To make money, to entertain others, to provide some factual information, try and get you to do something or just because they feel like it. Sometimes you'll get a combination of these. The most common types of website are the commercial ones - people or organisations who hope to make money by selling a product or service - and those that individuals publish just for fun.

Let's look at each type in a bit more detail.

Commercial sites

Many organisations are now looking to make money, one way or another, from their websites. Whilst some will sell a product or service there on the page, others may merely use the website to promote their outlets, catalogues or simply get themselves better recognised in the market place. So even a website that doesn't try to sell you something on the page and carries no obvious adverts can have a commercial purpose. It is a matter of judgement, though, as to what the main practical use of a website may be, and this might vary between users. Google is, of course, a marvellous information resource but is a commercial business site. The free services being their hugely successful way to get a brandname and their expertise in the field recognised worldwide so that their lesser known chargeable services become easier to sell. For a typical research or casual interest user, though, Google can be safely categorised as an information site. They will be virtually immune to, and probably have never noticed, the business promotion aspects.

Information sites: mostly factual

Newspapers, libraries, archives etc. It is almost as if the world was wating for an easier way to get information and now we have it. For a generation that tends not to read books or go to libraries in the first place to borrow them unless their tutor drags them along to do so, being able to get facts and figures on-line as and when they want it and where they want it, is brilliant. As mentioned above, yes, there may be some commercial interest involved here and there but the many factual information sites out there are used for that not their commercial purpose by most visitors.

Sites that promote particular views

You'll find plenty of these. Information, perhaps, but maybe not necessarily reliable. People like to express their views on things so political sites fall into this category. The Britsh Government's vast range of sites falls largely into this category too by virtue of the fact that in many instances the Labour Party will seek to do what it can to preserve its hold on power and be, how shall we say, economical, sometimes with the facts it publishes. You should be able to rely on the likes of National Statistics and sites still run by independent minds within the Civil Service. It is because it is so simple nowadays to create a professional-looking and authoritative site with the right logos, colours and styles that the tasks contained in Evaluating Websites are worth doing to help you distinguish the good from the bad and the plain ugly.

Entertainment sites

Even though many of these will be commercial too, they are worth listing as a separate category as many people will use them purely for entertainment value. Music, free games, image galleries, film and video preview and downloads, sites related to tv series, films or drama are all visited with no product being bought or particular considered.

Calculating download times

The law and websites

Page updated 25 September, 2009 Content and design © Andrew Hill