Bill Watts - July 27, 2020
We recently built a new website for WJWatts Consulting (the website that you are using right now). The previous version of the website was created in the spring of 2017, and since then we identified some changes that we wanted to make.
The design of this new website is very similar to the previous version, which we are very happy about. We had a designer create the previous version, including the overall layout and color selections, and we still like what she created for us. Some updates were made to the design, including a new Blog page.
The HTML and CSS for this new website was created by Bam Pow Software Solutions. Bam Pow was excellent to work with, and we are very happy with their finished product.
The previous version of the website had several accessibility issues. It was not easy to navigate for users with screen-reader software or non-traditional input devices, often used if a person has eyesight issues, manual dexterity issues, etc.
Bam Pow did a great job of making the HTML accessible for this new website. For example:
- The first element on every page is a hyperlink for "Skip to Main Content". To see this, go to a page in the website and then press the "Tab" key on your keyboard. "Skip to Main Content" is hidden for normal usage but visible when needed.
- Colors, contrasts, and font sizes were adjusted in the website to promote better readability.
- The structure of the HTML itself was standardized to conform to industry standards.
Website accessibility guidelines are defined by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. I used the Axe extension in Chrome to check for accessibility issues.
The previous version of the website used actual HTML text files. This made maintenance of the website very difficult, especially for any changes that would need to be applied to every page of the website.
This new version of the website is built as a C#.Net MVC website. A "layout" file allows for global control and consistency across all pages. C#.Net Routing allows for consistency in the URLs - the page URLs didn't change from the old website to the new website. The website content is stored in the C#.Net files themselves, instead of being stored in a database, to simplify the complexity of the technology.
The files for the website are now stored in Microsoft DevOps, allowing for source control and version history, to have a record of all content changes and a safe place for a backup of the files.
The website is hosted in GoDaddy. GoDaddy was fine for static HTML files, and it can still be used for C#.Net hosting, but it has some limitations.
Someday, the website will be hosted in Microsoft Azure. Azure has an excellent interface with Visual Studio, and it offers superior C#.Net hosting options.
Unfortunately, GoDaddy doesn't currently support .Net Core 3.1 hosting, so I downloaded all the webpages as static HTML files and deployed those to GoDaddy, instead of deploying the .Net Core application.
Previously, the website did not address new options for HTTP Response Headers. This would lead to substandard security in a .Net Core website.
This new website gets an A+ grade on its Response Header test from Report URI.
These Response Headers were not overly difficult to implement, especially with the help of that testing website, and they greatly improve the overall security of the website.
These Response Headers will be available when the hosting is tranferred from GoDaddy to Azure.