Web Development Team Building Consultation

Quote Provided

$1000/hr plus travel and expenses onsite; $100/hr via Zoom conference

Building an internal development environment is critical for the success of your team. Having source code managed and centralized allows your team to work together and track changes to the code and design assets. In addition, development environments allow your team to work on changes and modifications locally without affecting your production websites.

Category:

Overview

As a website is a living and changing thing, ongoing support and education is critical to the continued success of this team. Expected Web Development knowledge ranges from the customer experience (UI/UX) to the technical choices used to implement the website, through the server and network infrastructure to deliver the website and domain name requests. This can be overwhelming when starting out, as such, ongoing support and education is a must.

There are several general components to creating a Web Development team. Broken into several categories, each of these topics has its own depth of sub-topics. This service is a discovery of how your credit union can establish your own development team and to evaluate the your existing capabilities, educate, and discuss how to satisfy your needs to be successful.

Depending on the discussion and evaluation, certain aspects may result in actual implementation, installation and configuration of software, while others may progress into documentation delivered to your team, or finally, some discussions may simply be educational opportunities.

Trust Me

I, David Damstra, am the Vice President of Marketing and Creative Director at CU*Answers. I have been employed with CU*Answers for over 13 years. During this time, the Web Services department has grown from 5 clients and monthly revenue of $250 to supporting more than 100 client websites and revenue of more than $25,000 each month, in addition to all of our internal corporate website projects. This team grew from a team of one, to a current staff of 5 web developers, web quality assurance support staff, as well as, a creative marketing team and content marketing team. Building this department included developing internal workflows and tools that made this growth and management possible.

In addition, the tool of choice for CU*Answers’ website creation is WordPress. I am the co-author of the book WROX Professional WordPress, currently in its third edition.
Developing a web development team involves both technical and business development components. In this regard, I am uniquely qualified to assist Honor in building your own web development team.

Internal Infrastructure and Source Code Management

Building an internal development environment is critical for the success of your team. Having source code managed and centralized allows your team to work together and track changes to the code and design assets. In addition, development environments allow your team to work on changes and modifications locally without affecting your production websites.

Chain of Events

  1. An applicable Web Services team member will educate your credit union on the benefits and reasoning to utilize a Source Code Control and Management System.
  2. We will discuss and evaluate which platform would be best suited for your operations, whether it be internally or externally structured.
  3. Web Services will assist in setting up this platform for use by your developers to manage your source code.
  4. We will review best practices on source code management with applicable members of your team.

Considerations:

  • Access requirements needed
  • Necessary integrations (Active Directory vs. standalone)
  • Management of System
  • Backup and business resumption
  • Best practices on source code management
  • Deployments to the hosting provider

Developer Workstations

Developer workstations allows the web developer team to work on the project without affecting the production version. This can be accomplished through various technologies each with their own advantages and disadvantages. In addition, working with a Content Management System (CMS) based website presents its own challenges in that changes made to the live website are not replicated in the local development and staging environments.

Chain of Events

  1. Web Services will work with your team to discuss the various methods for building a local development environment.
  2. We will then discuss and evaluate with your credit union to select a local development environment for the developer workstations(s).
  3. Web Services then will show and provide developers a toolset for working with a local development environment, including asset development and compilation and other tools of the trade.
  4. Collectively we will discuss best practices on website development workflows.

Considerations

  • Security and access requirements for developers
  • Complexity of systems and the developer’s ability to manage and maintain them
  • Employee skill sets
  • Existing configurations of workstations
  • Quantity of workstations

Continuous Integration and Deployment

Being able to commit changes from your development environment and deploy them to your staging or production site is the final step in the pipeline. Having this process be reliable and consistent is crucial to your ability to deliver quick changes or fixes when needed, or larger adjustments when desired.

Chain of Events

  1. Web Services will work with your team to discuss the various methods for deploying to staging and production
  2. We will then assist you in selecting and implementing a continuous delivery pipeline on the developer workstation(s) and source code management platform.
  3. Web Services then will review best practices on website development workflows, including content management.
  4. If applicable, a discussion around the subject of DevOps may be included.

Considerations

  • Requirements of internal teams and the various methods for previewing and staging changes
  • Hosting environment constants and services (WP Engine)
  • Rolling back changes and updates

External Infrastructure

In addition to website hosting, a web development department may be responsible for Domain Name Services and registration, backups, business resumption.

Chain of Events

  1. Web Services will discuss and educate your credit union teams about the responsibilities of managing the hosting infrastructure, updates, maintenance, and potential issues that may occur.
  2. We will discuss DNS infrastructure with your team.
  3. Web Services will then review the capabilities and constraints of WP Engine hosting infrastructure in preparation for backups and business resumption needs.
  4. We will then discuss the testing of high availability capabilities.

Considerations

  • Hosting environment constraints and services (WP Engine)
  • Existing teams and procedures for managing internet-based services

Security and Maintenance

WordPress websites are popular because of the ease of use and the capabilities that can be easily added to the website. This popularity also makes them a constant target of attack. Maintaining and securing a WordPress installation is essential to a healthy website.

Chain of Events

  1. Web Services will discuss general website security issues with your team
  2. We will review your hosting provider’s included security infrastructure
  3. Next, we will determine what additional security steps may be necessary and implement them as needed
  4. Web Services will then evaluate caching and content delivery networks for improved performance
  5. We will then plan steps for ongoing WordPress core and plugin maintenance
  6. Finally, we will evaluate instrumentation and tools for monitoring the health of the website and hosting provider

Considerations

  • Hosting environment constraints and services (WP Engine)
  • Existing teams and procedures for managing internet-based services

Internet Retailing, Stores, and CU*Answers

Your website is your central pillar for your marketing. It can be simple to update and change and has the highest potential visibility. Often it is the first impression you make to prospective members, and also provides an opportunity for member self-service.

Chain of Events

  1. Web Services will will discuss CU*Answes’ Internet Retailing initiatives and how they can be included in your credit union website, notably:
    • Direct Login Widget enhancements
    • Secure Forms and Request Center
    • Mobile App Banners
  2. We will discuss online store concept and how they can be adopted.
  3. We will cover the Online19 initiative and how that may affect future changes to your website.
  4. Web Services will then review A/B testing for website changes

Considerations

  • Capabilities and the needs of existing teams at your credit union

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