My name is  
Jurgens du Toit.
Systems Developer.
Problem Solver.

About Me

Technology and Solving Problems are my passion. I'm a South African that loves my wife, life, and coding.

I'm writing a book!

The Logstash Config Guide

Buy it now on Leanpub

11 July 2011

Quick Guide To Creating A Website Quickly

By Jurgens du Toit

The last two weeks I had the privilege of staying in a house on the beach near Mosselbay. This time of the year whales start coming into the bay, and, if you’re lucky, you can spot them breaching or displaying their flukes or fins. This inspired me to create WhaleSpotter, a site that uses Twitter to help people spot whales along South Africa’s south coast. It took me less than 2 hours to do it. Here’s how.

###Know exactly what you want to Do

This speaks for it self. Spend a few minutes to lay out what you want, and how you want to achieve it. If you need to write it down, explain it to someone or whiteboard it, do it. This will save a lot of time later in the process, as you won’t track back or waste time with features or ideas that doesn’t fit.

###Keep it Simple

Keep the number of features down to a minimum. If you can fit everything on one page, do. This is quick and dirty, not long and elaborate. You can expand it later. Your aim now is to get something up and running.

###Know and use your Tools

Frameworks cut down a lot in development time. They provide functionality and structure so that you don’t have to work on it. I dev’ed my own MVC framework, Backend, so I used that. It provides a nice templating system, along with basic configuration, caching and utility functions. Use what ever you’re comfortable with, as long as it reduces the work you have to do, not increase it.

###Use Resources wisely

Other resources can also cut down on time taken to get your site up. I used Google Images to get a logo. Look at Themeforest for a design that will work for your site. Copy and paste code from your own projects or open source projects on the web. The site was in part inspired by, and I copied some of the twitter parsing code from the GitHub repo.


Know where you’re going. Keep it simple. Know your tools and options. Outsource as much as possible.

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