4 Apps to Meet Web Development Challenges: GatherContent, TypeCast, GitHub, and Sprintly
Carrying out a Web project is increasingly complex: an army of specialists must design and produce a multiplatform product that can and must evolve over time.
This growing complexity is such that, without very tight management, the production of a site can easily stretch over 6 months, or even a year. To master it, you will need more advanced tools than simple email.
Here are 4 web applications that could well become essential to the success of a web project.
GatherContent is a Web application that proposes to replace the traditional "copydeck" or "content script" of a site.
TO DESIGN AN UPSTREAM CONTENT STRATEGY
It allows web strategists and ergonomists to design a content strategy for each page, by planning the content elements that should follow on the page: title, introduction, graphic, results, etc. This content model can then be followed by the client or by the web editor.
INTEGRATE SEO SPECIALISTS (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)
SEO specialists usually deliver their recommendations in the form of an Excel file containing the site's URLs and tags. However, GatherContent offers the possibility of integrating fields for the <titles>, <description> tags and even the URL to the page templates and inviting SEO specialists to get involved in the content strategy.
Being hosted in the cloud , GatherContent facilitates collaborative work. Pages can be in “Draft”, “Awaiting Approval” or “Approved” mode.
API: FOR EXPORT
It is possible to export content directly into WordPress and Drupal. But their API makes it possible to transfer all the content created in the application to any content management system, just by playing with a script. The method is longer, but the advantage lies in the possibility of working on the CMS of your choice.
LANGUAGE VERSION MANAGEMENT
A disadvantage of GatherContent is that it does not include the concept of language version. It is nevertheless possible to create a tree structure in several languages, but the versions of the pages will not be formally linked.
(For the curious, GatherContent was created with the Twitter interface framework Boostrap.)
As I have already mentioned , web design as it is generally practiced poses several problems , which are likely to create unnecessary delays and costs.
Typecast , for its part, allows you to do web design right from the browser. The web application offers more than 23,000 fonts and offers a preview of the design that has been created directly in the web browser.
Typecast can export the selected design as a web style guide automatically, as well as a web style sheet, so that it is directly usable by web integrators (CSS ).
For more information, I recommend watching this video explaining the redesign of Vogue.uk with TypeCast: https://vimeo.com/57105069 .
I've already talked about Github's potential for the public sector , but, at its core, Github is a file version tracking system that makes it easier for programmers to collaborate. For example, it allows:
– several people to work on the same files at the same time;
– compare versions and backtrack if necessary;
– to know who created what.
A change tracking system also allows the customer to see the progress of the work (or the stagnation of the work). It is for this reason that we suggest in our best practices that the customer obtains access to the tracking system.
Note that there are alternatives to GitHub, such as Bitbucket and Beanstalk.
SPRINTLY: A TOOL TO IMPLEMENT THE AGILE APPROACH
Sprintly is a web application that facilitates project management in an Agile context. It allows all project stakeholders to easily create user stories and prioritize them. It is therefore the kind of tool that encourages the involvement of all the players in a project, including the client.
The strength of Sprintly is that the application can connect to a change tracking system such as GitHub, which makes it possible to link user stories and changes made to the code.
The tools are there, all you have to do is use them. Oddly, one of the obstacles to their use could well be that these tools are not all free. For some agencies (or clients), it may be too “complex” to purchase an app that costs $150 per month. Or too expensive.
Moreover, all these solutions currently only exist in English.
- Will you be willing to pay for such apps?
- Will you be able to do this in your business context?
- Have you tried these tools? If so, do they have a positive impact?