Our approach to website development
Rouge is a flexible web development company that is just at home crafting code as it is designing graphics. Wherever possible we use open source code that is standardised, validated and tested. If you need an eCommerce website, a content management system or a bespoke database driven website, Rouge is the web development company that can supply and support the right technology for your professional business web project.
Rouge was started in 2003 by Stu and Andy. We had been working together since the mid 90’s hand-crafting some of the first business websites (museum pieces now!). In a world where IT and design were separate worlds, we felt we had something quite unique. There was a sort of alchemy when our skills combined; branding & advertising mixed with development & coding made websites work!
Rouge is still very much based on this model. And we have built a team of developers and designers that work together, in one space, to deliver marketing, design and development solutions for our clients. Helping them achieve their business needs.
There’s nothing we love more than a tricky, unusual or interesting development challenge.
6 Reasons to choose Rouge...
- Experienced. Over 13 years at the cutting edge of business websites. Tick, tickity tick.
- Over 200 custom websites, web applications and online marketing materials successfully delivered.
- UK based team. Our designers, developers and SEO experts solve problems together.
- Bespoke design to ﬁt to your requirements, market and brand.
- Delivering a customer’s eCommerce website is just the beginning. We will partner with you to ensure that your marketing, and your website, are both fully supported.
- We love what we do – and you’ll ﬁnd us friendly and plain speaking (even our developers!).
With technology changing so quickly, writing future proof code is essential. New browsers and devices are appearing all the time. Writing high quality, standardised code avoids having to rewrite code for every new device release. To meet coding standards best practices we endeavour to:
- Separate the presentation, content, and behaviour.
- Ensure markup is semantically correct and well formed
To maximize search performance and user experience, we will develop with and test against Google’s webmaster guidelines to help Google find, crawl, and index your site. The principles of design, technical and quality guidelines will be applied throughout the process to deliver you the most user and search friendly platform.
Rouge develops sites with responsive pages – a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. In other words, your website will have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s browsing device.
We learned our craft hand-coding websites (long before programs like Adobe’s Dreamweaver, were developed) so are able to ensure that our code is as beautiful and as effective as our visual design!
Making websites and web applications accessible means ensuring the maximum number of visitors can view and interact with content and functionality. Many web users have disabilities which means they may not be able to view or interact with content in the same way that non-disabled users do. Websites and web applications should be designed to work across as many platforms and browsers as possible. View our accessible-web-design page.
In the Hyper Text Mark-up Language (HTML) an attribute is a characteristic of a page element. It could be the colour of a font, for example. Attributes come in name-value pairs like name=”value”, colour=”red”.
Breadcrumbs or breadcrumb trail is a menu navigation method used in user website interfaces. It allows users to keep track of their locations within programs or documents by showing a path related to the Home page or the related parent of their web page or document.
Cascading Style Sheets
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a language used for describing the look and formatting of a document written in a mark-up language. It is most commonly paired with HTML which defines the structure of page or document. CSS allows the separation of content and style. A single, separate style sheet can be applied to many pages creating efficient mark-up. Any number of different style sheets can also be applied to the same page. This is useful if the visitor want to view the content on a different device or browser. This could be a mobile device, audio browser, print page etc.
Content management system
A content management system is usually a web based application that allows the creation, publishing or modifying of content from a central interface. It allows technical or non-technical content producers to manage web content, often collaboratively or in a workflow process. At Rouge we use a number of content management systems. We’re expert designers and developers in WordPress and Drupal content management systems.
If a technology, practice or feature is depreciated if usually means that it is no longer current and to be superseded. For example, a number of elements and attributes are deprecated in HTML 4.0, which means that more recent attributes are recommended.
The declaration is an instruction to the web browser about what version of HTML the page is written in. It is (or should be) the first item in an HTML document.
Extensible Markup language
Extensible Markup Language or XML is a language that was designed to describe data rather than display data. It has similarities to HTML but unlike HTML it’s up to you to define your own tags. It’s unusual in that it doesn’t do anything, it’s purely descriptive. I.e.
<title>The Hoarse Whisperer</title>
<publisher>Penguin</ publisher >
File Transfer Protocol
File Transfer Protocol or FTP is a method or transferring files to and from a server. Unlike HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) which will just make a server request regardless of whether or not it thinks it can complete the connection, FTP needs to establish a connection and ensure it can deliver or receive ‘packets’ before it begins transferring data.
Headings are structured HTML elements that describe section headings and titles. They are defined with tags that range from <h1> to <h6>, with <h1> being the most important. Users and search engines alike use headings to make sense of content structure. It’s important to use them in the correct way. There should ideally be only one <h1> per page with the other heading tags nested within the more important tags above it. Like so:
<h1> main heading </h1>
<h2> sub heading 1</h2>
<h3> sub, sub heading 1</h3>
<h2> sub heading 2</h2>
<h3> sub, sub heading 2</h3>
Hyper Text mark-up language (HTML)
HTML is the language that webpages are written in. HTML is a mark-up language which means that it describes the structure of the content rather than the style. Style Sheets are applied to HTML documents to manage the look and feel of the content and layout.
The LAMP ‘stack’ is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, an open-source Web development platform. It describes the server operating system (Linux), the server software (Apache), the database technology (MySQL) and the programming language (PHP). It is the usual technology foundation for Drupal and WordPress, the content management systems that we like to work with here at Rouge.
MySQL is the world’s most popular open source database. It is most widely used in web applications and the database described in the LAMP Stack (above). A database stores and manages the content and user information in a content managed website. Twitter is an example of a large provider who uses MySQL.
PHP is an open source scripting language used to create dynamic web pages. PHP is the foundation of WordPress and Drupal content management systems (cms) used by Rouge to deliver responsive, interactive websites and web applications. PHP is server side and cannot been seen by the user in the browser. It uses a similar syntax to C and Perl. It is the ‘P’ in the LAMP stack (see above). Well known websites like Facebook also use PHP.
Responsive web design
Responsive web design allows the same web content to be displayed on large or small screens and devices (desktop, tablet, phone) without the need to create a different website version for each device. In many cases it replaces the need for mobile versions of websites, reducing development costs. Here at Rouge we use a framework called BootStrap which is the starting point for all responsive development. It allows us to deliver mobile friendly websites and web applications quickly and efficiently buy reducing development and testing time. We have many examples of responsive web design – Try looking at the websites in our portfolio on different devices!
RSS – Rich Site Summary is technology that provides a feed from web based content and makes it available to other users. The users’ browser constantly monitors the site and informs the user of any updates. RSS removes the need for the user to manually check the website for new content.
A screen reader attempts to interpret the content of a web page and provides an audio or braille output. Screen readers are aimed at users who are unable to read a monitor or mobile touch screen and could be visually impaired, learning disabled or illiterate. Like screen based browsers, there are many screen reader types available. Choice depends on the particular disability or cost. Ensuring that mark-up is formatted correctly and content is readable ensure the maximum number of users can access content.
This is clearly defined on Wikipedia.
Taxonomy is the classification of content. In website and content terms it allows us to create content that relates to other content. It is useful if the site is made up of categories, sub categories of similar content. An example would be content for a recipe site where ‘starters’, ‘main courses’ and ‘desserts’ could be main categories and ‘beef’, ‘pork’, ‘chicken’ could be sub categories of ‘main courses’. Well organised and predictable content makes life easy for the content editor, Drupal web development and the end user.
Validation is the process of checking the quality and markup, scripting and CSS of a website or web application. Ensuring that code is valid and well-formed means that users (real people, both abled and disabled) and SEO spiders can access the content. Code validation is one of a number of tests we do before a website is put live. A site has to be working exactly as designed before we will sign if off launch.
Rouge Media is a creative branding and digital design agency. We service our customers and clients best by being able to provide design and development services here from our studio in the South of England, just outside of London. We don’t have remote partners or overseas developers. This allows us to deliver great digital marketing materials and projects using the most appropriate and latest technologies.