Beginners Guide To Business Website’s Back-End Functionalities

By Nikiwe Phala
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Have you ever wondered what’s behind a Website or an Application? If this is a question you’ve asked before, you’re probably interested in the backend development. So what does it entail exactly? Well, it’s a complicated job– and one that’s in very high demand. There’s a lot that goes into website building, and its overall design can seem like a daunting step in the process.

The back-end of a website is a combination of technology and programming that is like the bones of a website. It consists of three parts that a user never sees or interacts with: a server, a database, and an application. They work together to deliver the website pages and data a developer requests from the server.

To make the server, database, and application to communicate with each other. A back-end developer builds and maintains the technology that gears these mechanisms that, together, permit the user-facing side of the website to even exist in the first place. To deliver the functionality and desktop-like experience, the back-end of a website is always running in the background.

These mechanisms must adapt to languages such as; Python, Net, Ruby, Java, and PHP to create programs. Also using database programs such as; MySQL, SQL Server, and Oracle to manipulate the information and data requested by the front-end system or software to deliver it to the user.

After communicating with a business owner and understanding what their needs and technical requirements are, back-end developers use the aforementioned tools to create web applications with clean, well-documented code.

Given that, the technology that powers the web is open source, leading to the many choices back-end developers use for building the structures of these components.

It’s time to update your website, but first. As you undertake this new project, there are certain features and functionalities you MUST adhere to for an SEO-friendly website. After all, this is an investment into your business, and its best to get it right the first time.

A content management system (CMS), is a software application that allows for anyone or a non-technically minded user to organise and retain all the content that is on the website without depending on a developer to add or change content on your website.

If you have a team of individuals that need access to your website, a CMS allows you to customise their user roles and permissions so they can only contribute as required. This ensures that contributors only have access to what they need and prevents them from accidentally changing something.

To illustrate, even if you take a post down after its related event, you can store it within the CMS should it be needed again later.

Many CMS platforms have hundreds of customisable add-ons for any use case. Some of the most popular ones are WordPress plugins for e-commerce, Drupal, Joomla, and Magento. A specific CMS that you choose will depend on your business’s needs. However, not all websites require the same features and functionality. Your business may only require a few pages of content, or you may be building an eCommerce site that requires a variety of product pages. Regardless, there are aspects that all CMSs have in common that will help you manage your digital presence.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO )software is a tool helps your website by greater searchability and visibility in such a way that drives traffic and potential leads to your website. One of the key advantages of SEO is, your website will rank higher in search engines creating brand awareness for your business.

When your website appears on the first page of major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Potential customers are more likely to trust your website because it has a strong web presence in search engines than brands who are not.

As a small business owner, you should utilise SEO to build a strong web presence, a well-structured, clean, and uncluttered website that compels a casual visitor to stay longer to find exactly what they’re looking for on your site. This will eventually increase the conversion rate.

To deploy some of the best SEO strategies, include keyword optimization to drive qualified traffic from search engines directly to your website. However, keep in mind that when most people search for a product or service, they include a location. Therefore, including to your website:

• Your postcode
• Your town
• Your area in general

Location-based SEO, also known as geo-targeting will optimise your content to appear for your targeted location.

While an SEO meta description won’t increase a page’s ranking on its own. The back-end of your website should offer an option of adding meta descriptions to your content and updating its titles. Title tags and descriptions tell search engines and users what your page is about, and they are the first impressions many people have of your page.

The title tags are used in three key places:

  • Search engine result pages (SERPs)
  • Web browsers
  • Social networks

They describe the content on each page of your website and explain how it relates to a user’s search query. Furthermore, when used properly, they can act as a ‘hook’ for your advertising in search engine results. Search engines such as Google often display the meta description in search results, which can influence click-through rates from search results pages (SERPs).

When you don’t tell search engines and social platforms which page description to use, they decide for themselves. This could result in an unflattering appearance for your page snippet. The text could be cut off, important details could be lost, and irrelevant page data could appear.

Defining the text you want to use allows you to ensure the best, most relevant content appears. This is useful for improving SEO, as adding in certain words in the meta description will make your site appear in certain searches.

Analytics tools help you to understand who is coming to your site and how much time they’re spending on it. This kind of insight is great for analysing the effectiveness of certain pages or content, and measure whether your optimization campaign is guiding traffic to the right pages.

Platforms such as Google Analytics track the performance of a campaign, and which keywords attract the most visitors to your site. Including, what number of new visitors your search engine optimization campaign bring to you. Along with, segmenting your analytics results according to new/returning visitors, and referral sources.

Although Google Analytics is commonly overlooked, it is a very useful feature and one that could improve your analytics experience and eventually improve your business immensely.

Being able to track where your visitors are coming from is a valuable opportunity to drive the right leads, improve engagement and your ROI during the campaign. Additionally, when you benchmark your campaign performance you will be able to correct your campaign in the future, and modify it to match browser your customers are using and, the type of computers they are viewing your content from, and be able to budget effectively. It’s worth investing a little time in analytics!

If you’re getting started with building a website, you might be wondering exactly what a web hosting is, and how it can benefit you? A lot of people tend to think that registering a domain name is good enough to get a website active. What they fail to understand is that a domain is as good as your name, a name by which others may recognise you. To get a website active and live on the internet, you need to host your website.

The right kind of web hosting plans can offer your site a lot. Without the proper web host, you run the risk of having a website that loads slowly (or not at all). Basic web hosting is typically some form of shared hosting, in which multiple sites, often in the thousands, share space on a single server owned and maintained by the hosting provider.

If you’re using a website builder, such as WordPress you won’t need to worry about a web hosting provider as your site is hosted through them. WordPress experts to manage your server for you, and help you get the best levels of performance possible.

Other, web hosting providers offer rentable space on computer servers to store and operate your website as well as a connection to the internet so that your website is accessible by online visitors. Typically the hosting plans provided by a web hosting providers include:

  • Shared hosting
  • Reseller hosting
  • Virtual private server(VPS) hosting

Some providers offer managed hosting services(like WordPress), wherein advanced support services are provided to hosting customers, including automated backups and security.

Although, there are designs of web hosting available to you, not every style will be suited for your website. With a little bit of research, one can get good web hosting services at an affordable price.

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