Is it necessary to have a CS background to start and run a website?

harveymacharveymac Posts: 3subscriber
edited September 2016 in Building A Website That Works
Hi everyone, my first post here!

I don't have a background in CS so I wouldn't be able to code a web app, but I want to start a website. With the advent of wordpress and themes, does one really need to know how to code on their own or have a dedicated developer who is always monitoring the website? Or would a website not even require that kind of attention if the owner did not wish to constantly iterate the application? Which leads me to my next question...

What does one need to know about web development to start and run a website without a CTO? Some questions I have revolve around:

- What kind of hosting is required
- How data gets stored and how it can be saved/transferred
- What kind of platform to use (wordpress?) and what the implications of that choice may be for the short or long term
- If there are any limitations when it comes to theme customization
- What kind of security issues there are

So, can one get by without having a web developer on their team, or could they just use a theme and be off and running with their own version of e.g., Yelp in minutes? I understand that every so often, there might be a bug or the owner may want to customize the theme, but if the theme were built well is it realistic that one never need to hire a CTO or freelancer to work on the site?

Where should one start if they wanted to start a web app without a CS background and don't plan on learning how to code? Or is it just a bad idea to do this?

Are there any resources that help answer these basic questions?

Please be kind. Thanks!

Comments

  • kiwigurukiwiguru Posts: 1subscriber
    Hi,

    It is a common issue startups face, that's why we want to provide instant websites no programming required, so that our clients can focus on developing their core business. The website is ready-to-use or just a bit customization.

    In my experience, building a website could be time-consuming and costly, but result is not guaranteed. It is very important that you need find the right person, or just waste time and money. Many people including myself have the experience that keep waiting months and months, spending more and more, but just cant get what expected.

    Again, the key is to find the right person. Write to me if you want more information.

    Thanks.


    Luke
    kiwiguru.com - build instant ecommerce websites
  • Chris NierhausChris Nierhaus Posts: 11administrator Bronze Level Member
    Hi, harveymac!

    You definitely don't need a background in CS (although it certainly wouldn't hurt), but some basic understanding of HTML and CSS would be helpful and allow you to modify the Wordpress template you've picked out. Any major framework modifications could probably be outsourced and you would be looking for a PHP Wordpress developer, when you do ask around. You probably wouldn't need a full-time developer, just someone to do one-off projects when you need them. You probably won't be able to make your own Yelp using templates, but that's what developers are for. Just make sure you have all the functionality specifics before you hire one for the project.

    I would say to make sure you choose a hosting service with fast customer support and a good backup system. Many times, even installing a plugin or making an update to the Wordpress version can break the site and you want to restore as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

    For hosting, I use to use Hostgator, but found the spam and successful hacker attacks to be too much, so I've switched to Siteground. Hostgator can keep you on a support call for over an hour sometimes and Siteground will respond right away and they also give you reports on site sweeps looking for hacks and viruses every morning.

    Most hosting has a one-click install for Wordpress, so being able to have the tech savvy to install Wordpress isn't really an issue anymore. You should probably still have a graphic designer, content producer and marketing person around to craft an effective site (unless you're a solopreneuer doing it all yourself).

    If you want to get a handle on basic code, I highly recommend the free site Codeacademy and I also really like the paid tutorials from Sitepoint and Lynda.com. Just getting hosting, installing Wordpress and modifying some code and graphics would be such a great learning experience. I recommend jumping right in and having fun with it ;-)

    I hope this helps. Best of luck!
  • harveymacharveymac Posts: 3subscriber
    Tinbug wrote:
    Hi, harveymac!

    You definitely don't need a background in CS (although it certainly wouldn't hurt), but some basic understanding of HTML and CSS would be helpful and allow you to modify the Wordpress template you've picked out. Any major framework modifications could probably be outsourced and you would be looking for a PHP Wordpress developer, when you do ask around. You probably wouldn't need a full-time developer, just someone to do one-off projects when you need them. You probably won't be able to make your own Yelp using templates, but that's what developers are for. Just make sure you have all the functionality specifics before you hire one for the project.

    I would say to make sure you choose a hosting service with fast customer support and a good backup system. Many times, even installing a plugin or making an update to the Wordpress version can break the site and you want to restore as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

    For hosting, I use to use Hostgator, but found the spam and successful hacker attacks to be too much, so I've switched to Siteground. Hostgator can keep you on a support call for over an hour sometimes and Siteground will respond right away and they also give you reports on site sweeps looking for hacks and viruses every morning.

    Most hosting has a one-click install for Wordpress, so being able to have the tech savvy to install Wordpress isn't really an issue anymore. You should probably still have a graphic designer, content producer and marketing person around to craft an effective site (unless you're a solopreneuer doing it all yourself).

    If you want to get a handle on basic code, I highly recommend the free site Codeacademy and I also really like the paid tutorials from Sitepoint and Lynda.com. Just getting hosting, installing Wordpress and modifying some code and graphics would be such a great learning experience. I recommend jumping right in and having fun with it ;-)

    I hope this helps. Best of luck!


    Hi Tinbug, thanks for your reponse. Are you a developer? Is website security primarily a host issue or how does one get attacked?
  • Rohit_webGuyRohit_webGuy Posts: 12subscriber
    Is website security primarily a host issue or how does one get attacked?

    Security is mainly a coding issue. If your code has loopholes then even a secured server may get attacked. In a website where people put insensitive data or financial transactions are going to happen, it is mandatory to integrate SSL. Try to test your database transactions keenly. And don't over think about security, even Google, FaceBook are getting hacked.
  • CaseyOCaseyO Posts: 35subscriber Bronze Level Member
    Of course, not. You can make a website for your business using the help of a website designer or some other services. As for me, I like using Webstarts website builder for my projects, and it works perfectly for me. I can totally recommend it to you too
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