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24 ways to impress your friends

What It Takes to Build a Website


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Bevan Stephens

Hooray! So excited that 24 Ways is back again. Really great article, thanks Drew!

Here’s another one for the list:

Never lose sight of the user needs and business goals
No matter how experienced you are, it’s so easy, with the ever increasing layers of complexity involved in designing and building websites to lose sight of the big picture. Its important that everyone on the team is educated about the top level goals of the project so they can see how their part fits in. Design principles can be great for this.


“If Internet Explorer is brave enough to ask to be your default browser, you can be brave enough to tell your client they need to build responsively.”

Great article, but that quote is definitely the shining star!

Nicolas Chevallier

Yeah! 24Ways back!
It’s really difficult to establish methods and tools that will be sustainable over the long term.
For a 4 years site, it must finally start over almost everything : change version control system, deployment scripts, javascript library, CSS framework …
Each year process development / deployment becomes more complex … and simplifies !

Kelvin Castelino

A superb article, but as said in the final conclusion, not all things can be considered always due to different constraints and different ways of working or different clients..
But some areas were definitely an eye opener..

Asbjørn Floden

Nice list of things not to forget when building a web site/service. However, as an interaction designer and former developer, I agree with Bevan Stephens: Don’t loose sight of your client’s clients!

The title “What it takes…” instead of “How to…” actually implies a perspective on the people who will be using whatever web site/service to build. It is therefore a little sad to see that “What it takes” is mostly concerned with technological aspects, although a nice emphasis is also placed on the human dimensions of team and client.

If people won’t or can’t use your web site/service, then why build it?

Ivan Wilson

Good News: Things have changed in 10 years.

Bad News: Some things haven’t changed in 10 years and we seem to be missing them a bit. That is, we’re losing the attention to detail that makes a difference. And in some cases, we are basically reteaching everyone again (aka accessibility and progressive enhancement). Unfortunately, these are the kind of things that are done with one tool – the one between the ears.


Great post, thanks – a great way to kick off 24ways and some very useful things in here.
I’m a big advocate of all of these ideas and I’ll be showing the rest of the team this post asap to try and get them on this wavelength!

Lewis Cowles (@LewisCowles1)

It’s actually a fantastic article, although there are a few nibbly bits I would have to disagree with, like MAMP Pro… The main content and message is solid, and I suppose underlines the following sentiment I express to new starters at my business and certain clients that appreciate my cheek.

“There is little low-hanging fruit that has not been visited during dog walks, be considerate, get a team of professionals to avoid upset or leaving a bad taste…”


“In 1994 we lost Kurt Cobain and got the world wide web as a weird consolation prize.” #Amazing. I Could not sum up 1994 any better, and althought I was 8, I think we should petition for 1994 to be reduced to just this bit of news

Perhaps another thing that could be mentioned is know when to be dynamic, and when to serve flat files. With the advent of services like Disqus, most blogs can do without the overhead of not serving static core-content focusing on the business-end more than the technical wizzardary!

Nicole Rhoads

I really enjoyed the section on working collaboratively. I’m a one-person team and sometimes it’s difficult to work collaboratively with others who can’t conceptualize the differences between image comps and prototypes. I’ve found my life in general is much easier if I do the rough planning, then actually solicit feedback on a (somewhat) functional prototype.

I’ve often wondered whether sacrificing detailed comps in favor of prototypes made me a bad person; I feel better now. Thanks!

Great article!


Thank you very much for the great opener this year. A very short article for it’s comprehensiveness. You should write a book on this, i would buy it :)

Looking forward to the next 23 articles!

Raùl S.

Excellent Post
It’s always great to learn something new, or just polish old skills.
Some of the points mentioned here are going straight to my new toys/projects.
Hope to see more soon.

Impress us

Be friendly / use Textile