Blog 10

1. Describe the five stages of integrating information architecture into the web development process.

Research – Provides a contextual understanding that forms the foundation for development of an IA strategy. Begins with a review of background materials and meeting with the strategy team.

Strategy – This provides a high level framework for the IA, establishing a direction and scope to guide the project through implementation.

Design – Involves the creation of detailed blueprints, wireframes and metadata schema to be used by programmers, graphic designers, content authors and the production team.

Implementation – When the designs and strategies and finally put to the test. Involves organizing/tagging documents, testing, troubleshooting and developing documentation and training programs.

Administration – The continuous evaluation and improvement of the sites IA.

2. In terms of assessing technology, what is a gap analysis?

A gap analysis is the identification of the disconnects (gaps) between business goals, user needs and the practical limitations of the existing technology infrastructure.

3. When gathering content for content analysis, describe an approach that would capture a representational sample of a site’s content.

When capturing a representational sample of a sites content you should aim for broad mix of file formats, document types, sources and subjects. It is also possible that the existing architecture can be used to your advantage when looking for representational samples.

4. Describe the differences between structural metadata, descriptive metadata, and administrative metadata.

Structural metadata describes the information hierarchy of an object such as titles and discrete sections of content. Descriptive metadata, as the name suggests, describes the object itself; topic, audience, format, etc. Administrative metadata describes how the object relates to business context; Who created it? Who owns it? When was it created? When should it be removed?

5. What are competitive and before-and-after benchmarking?

Competitive benchmarking involves using competitors’ standards as benchmarks for your own systems. Before-and-after benchmarking involves using your own systems previous standards as benchmarks for your goals.

6. What are the benefits of competitive benchmarking?

Competitive benchmarking gives you a better idea of how your system matches up to the competitors to ensure that you never fall too far behind. It challenges embedded assumptions and avoids doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason. It also bring new architecture features to the table that are being implemented by competitors.

7. What are the benefits of before-and-after benchmarking?

Before-and-after benchmarking encourages transitions from broad generalizations to specific, actionable definitions. It also identifies and prioritizes information architecture in the existing site.

8. What is clickstream analysis, and why is it important?

Clickstream analyses determine what path users take when navigating through the site and how long they spend on each page. This data, perhaps coupled with user feedback explaining their process, can provide very in-depth knowledge of how the average user acts when visiting the site and allows developers to base future developments off of that.

9. What sort of information can you learn about users from search log analysis?

Search log analyses provide details as to what users are looking for and what words and terms they are using to try and find it.

10. What should be the goals for surveying users from an information architecture perspective?

You should try to determine the users’ current level of satisfaction with the site, discover what could improve the site for them and find out what they most commonly are searching for.

Blog 9

1. What is the purpose of metadata? What are the categories of metadata?

The most common description of metadata is that it is data about data. A more precise decsription is that metadata is definitional data that provides information about documentation of other data managed within an application or environment.

2. What is a controlled vocabulary? How is a controlled vocabulary beneficial to a web site and/or organisation?

A controlled vocabulary is a list of equivalent terms, often in the form of synonym rings, or preferred terms. Controlled vocabularies are beneficial to sites because they allow for broader searches through content without having large effects on the effectiveness of the search system.

3. List the four main types of controlled vocabularies.

Synonym Rings

Authority Files

Classification Schemes


4. What is the purpose of a synonym ring? Give examples of terms that would be considered equivalent under a synonym ring. What might happened during a search if you didn’t use a synonym ring? (Give an example.)

Synonym rings connect sets of words that are equivalent for the purpose of retrieval during searches. Eg:


When synonym rings are not used the results of a search can become very limited. For example, “pocketpc” would not return the same results as “pocket pc”.

5. What is the purpose of an authority file? Describe how an authority file can educate users during search.

Authority files are lists of preferred or acceptable terms but do not include synonyms or other variants as synonym rings do. Authority files are best used for categorisation to ensure that all documents are labelled in a consistent manner.

6. Create an authority file for abbreviations of the Australian states and territories (Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory).

QLD, Queensland

NSW, New South Wales

SA, South Australia

ACT, Australian Capital Territory

VIC, Victoria

WA, Western Australia

NT, Northern Territory

7. Describe the purpose of a classification scheme. How does a web site benefit from a classification scheme?

A classification scheme is a hierarchical arrangement of preferred terms. These schemes benefit sites by providing a tool for information architects and indexers to work with.

8. Create a classification scheme for several major dog breeds based on whether the dog is toy, small, medium, large, or giant.

Toy Small Medium Large Giant
Chihuahua Affenpinscher Bulldog German Sheperd Saint Bernard
Pug Beagle Boxer Rottweiler Greyhound
Pomeranian Dachshund Golden Retriever

11. What topics would the following codes retrieve under Dewey Decimal Classification:

a. 025.524

Information search and retrieval

b. 787.87092

The Man Who Invented The Electric Guitar: The Genius Of Les Paul

c. 641.623

Food and Drink – preparation

d. 634.772


e. 522.29


16. What is the purpose of thesauri? How is a thesaurus beneficial to searching on a web site?

A thesaurus is a semantic network of concepts, connecting words to their synonyms, homonyms, antonyms, broader terms, narrower terms and related terms. Unlike traditional thesauri that help people go from one word to many, this type of thesaurus actually does the opposite and tries to remove the ambiguity of language to provide more accurate search results.

19. Consider the preferred term “car”. List a variant term(s), broader term, narrower term, and related term(s).

VT: automobile

BT: vehicle

NT: sedan

RT: road

20. Consider the preferred term “sword”. List a variant term(s), broader term, narrower term, and related term(s).

VT: blade

BT: weapon

NT: claymore, katana

RT: bow

Blog 8

1. Describe what Google Analytics is, the functionality it provides, and how it might be useful when designing/maintaining a web site.

Google Analytics keeps track of traffic on your website, whether it is increasing or decreasing, and can inform you where people are visiting your site from, including referrals from other sites and even geographic information. This can be incredibly useful for designing and maintaining sites as it gives the developers a greater understanding of how best to tailor the site to its users and even informs them of other groups that may benefit from a partnership.

2. What is the purpose of the “Admin” module in Drupal? Describe the various features offered by Drupal’s Admin module.

The Admin module of Drupal is what allows someone to modify and configure the entire site. The module simplifies the already existing administration functions and attempts to make them faster and easier to use.

3. Undertake the following tasks for your Drupal web site assignment:

a. Establish a Google Analytics account and configure it to work with your Drupal web site; and

b. Add the Admin module to your Drupal web site.

Could not add the Admin module due to the functionality of Drupal Gardens.

Blog 7

1. What are some of the reasons that might warrant the need to use a search system on a website?

A search system would be needed if a site has large amounts of content or very diversified content. These search systems fragment sites and make it much easier for users to find content relating to a specific topic.

2. Why is an Information Architect interested in search systems?

Information Architects are interested in search systems because they have a greater understanding of how search systems function and can implement various functions to have the system produce the most accurate results possible.

3. Describe the core components of a search engine.

The Search Interface is the area where users input their own query for the system. The Search Engine is the component that actually searches through the content. The content is a collection of all of the information that the search engine would be required to search through. The results are the pieces of information that the search engine returns to the user based on their query.

4. What is a search zone? What are the approaches for creating search zones?

Search zones are sections of content that have been indexed separately from the rest of the content to eliminate irrelevant content. Search zones can be created by segregating documents based on their content or by assigning documents logical tags.

5. Explain the difference between recall and precision in terms of search results.

A search systems recall is determined by the number of relevant documents it returns compared to the number of relevant documents in the collection. Precision is based on the number of relevant documents returns compared to the total number of documents in the collection.

6. Consider the following search engines:

a. Search engine A retrieves 600 documents out of a total of 8,200 documents. Out of the 600 documents retrieved, only 500 are relevant out of a total of 923 relevant documents. Calculate the recall and precision rates for the query.

Recall = 500/923 : 54% : mid-range recall

Precision = 500/600 : 83% : high precision

b. Search engine B retrieves 131 documents out of a total of 8,200 documents. Out of the 131 documents retrieved, all 131 are relevant out of a total of 923 relevant documents. Calculate the recall and precision rates for the query.

Recall = 131/923 : 14% : low recall

Precision = 131/131 : 100% : exact precision

c. Search engine C retrieves 700 documents out of a total of 8,200 documents. Out of the 700 documents retrieved, 0 are relevant out of a total of 923 relevant documents. Calculate the recall and precision rates for the query.

Recall = 0/923 : 0% : no recall

Precision = 0/700 : 0% : no precision

d. Search engine D retrieves 5,000 documents out of a total of 8,200 documents. Out of the 5,000 documents retrieved, 923 are relevant out of a total of 923 relevant documents. Calculate the recall and precision rates for the query.

Recall = 923/923: 100%: total recall

Precision = 923/5000: 18% : low precision

7. What is the purpose of a stemming tool? Explain the difference between strong and weak stemming. Provide examples of strong and weak stemming.

A stemming tool expands a term to include other variation of the term. Eg. computer/computers/computation/computing etc. The previous example is a case of strong stemming whereas weak stemming would only go so far as to expand for plurals of a term. Eg. Speaker/Speakers

8. What are two main issues to consider when displaying the results of a search?

Which content components to display for each results returned and how to list of group the results.

9. How many documents should you display in a search result?

The numbers of documents that should be displayed is dependent on how much information is shown for each results. The more information is displayed, the fewer the number of results displayed should be.

10. Describe some approaches for sorting and ranking search results for display.

Sorting alphabetically, sorting chronologically, ranking by relevance, ranking by popularity, ranking by users’/experts’ ratings and ranking with pay-for-placement.

11. When sorting search results alphabetically, why is it a good idea to omit articles such as “a” and “the”?

It is best to omit “a” and “the” because users are more likely search for something like “The Guide To Building” under “G” rather than “A”.

12. How does “best bets” ranking operate?

“Best bets” are manually selected recommended documents that are selected based off of their popularity or are chosen by an expert after their own analysis.

13. What are four key factors to consider when designing a search system interface?

The level of searching expertise and motivation, the types of information needed, the types of information being searched and the amount of information being searched through.

14. What are some of the ways search system designers can help a user when no results are returned for a query?

Offer the user a way of revising their search, provide them with tips and other advice to improve the search, provide a means of browsing content and provide a human contact if all else fails.

Blog 6

1. What is the purpose of security permissions in a CMS? What are the various permission options provided in Drupal?

The purpose of security permissions is to control which users are capable of performing certain actions on the site. Drupal allows administrators to control who can publish, edit and delete content, who can view certain content and who cannot.

2. What is a “theme” in Drupal? How do themes make designing web sites easier?

A theme is a design used in Drupal to determine how each page will appear in terms of colour schemes and general structure. Themes make designing and creating sites quicker by allowing users to change elements of multiple pages through one interface.

3. What are “blocks” in Drupal? How do blocks make designing web sites easier?

Blocks are what Drupal uses to hold the content on sites. They are essentially containers to allow users to separate and reposition content without resorting to manipulating CSS files or other codes.

4. What is a Google Ajax Wizard? How can Google Ajax Wizards make adding content to a web site easier?

The Google Ajax Wizard is used to pull information from third party servers and apply it to a site without the administrator actively performing any tasks. This is best used to update information such as news sections.

Blog 5

1. What is the goal of a label?

The goal of a label is to effectively communicate by causing the right association for the user while also ensuring not to take up too much physical space or the users cognitive resources.

2. Why is labelling an important aspect of web site design?

Labelling is important to web design because web communications are vastly different to real world communications and labels aid the process by providing the users with visual clues to educate them about new concepts and help them find familiar ones.

3. What are the aspects of a good labelling system?

As is was stated before, a good labelling system should ease communication with the users and ensure that they find what they need with minimal effort and time.

4. List and describe the types/varieties of labels?

  • URLs
    • acquire a keyword-rich domain
    • descriptive and brief
    • use hyphens rather than underscores
  • Page titles
    • should be 64 characters or less according to W3C
    • give users a basic understanding of the page
  • Contextual links
    • hyperlinks to other pages
  • Headings
  • Textual labels
  • Iconic labels
    • provide a more visual representation of the content
  • Index terms
    • can describe any content
    • represent the meaning of the content

5. Why do index terms facilitate faster searching and make browsing easier?

Index terms make searching faster and easier by providing broader results. This is accomplished by searching for keywords related to the search term as well rather than solely that term.

6. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using iconic labels.


  • More aesthetically pleasing
  • Easier to recognise than textual labels


  • Limited conveyance of meaning when compared to text
  • Riskier to use in most cases

7. What is the purpose of “scope notes”?

Scope notes are used to decrease any ambiguity and provide more accurate results. Scope notes allow the system to recognize some comparable terms as well, further increasing the accuracy of results.

8. How do homonyms and synonyms affect label design?

Homonyms and synonyms can mean different things depending on their context. Because of their ambiguity it is recommended to avoid using either of these when designing labels.

9. Why is it important to be consistent when designing a labelling system?

Consistency means that the system will be relatively predictable and allow users to learn how to effectively use the site quicker.

10. Why is it better to have a narrower scope when designing labels?

It is best to focus on a particular topic relating to a specific audience. This allows for more better tailored content rather than broad but mediocre content.

11. List and describe the key issues that affect the consistency of a labelling system.

  • Style
  • Presentation
  • Syntax
  • Granularity
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Audience

12. What are the main sources of labelling systems?

  • Your own site
  • Comparable and competitive sites
  • Controlled vocabularies and thesauri

13. Create a labelling table for a web site of your choice. Comment on the quality of the labelling system. Are there any inconsistencies? How would you improve the labelling system?

14. What are the advantages of using controlled vocabularies and thesauri as a source for labelling systems? Provide some examples of controlled vocabulary and thesauri resources.

Controlled vocabularies and thesauri are generally created by professionals with subject-specific or library backgrounds to ensure accurate representation and consistency. Examples:

  • Taxonomy Warehouse
  • ThesauriOnline
  • Controlled vocabularies
  • Web Thesaurus Compendium

15. Describe the three most important sources for creating a new labelling system.

  • Content authors
  • User advocates and subject matter experts
  • Users


Blog 4

1. What is a mark-up language?

Mark-up languages specify code for formatting the layout and style within a text file. HyperText Mark-up Language (HTML) is one of the most well known and widely used.

2. Describe the processes involved for creating a web site using HTML and uploading the site to a web server.

  • Create files for your web page
  • Connect to the web (create a hosting account if you have not already done so)
  • Upload files and the latest versions of all dependent files
  • A link is created to your files on the new servers

3. Contrast the differences between creating web site using HTML and using a CMS.

CMS’s are generally designed to be easy to use for individuals who have little to no coding experience. They contain numerous pre-built functions and a user friendly UI. Traditional HTML on the other hand is nothing but code. It provides maximum flexibility but is also far more complex and can be daunting to new users.

4. Describe the options and processes involved for installing Drupal.

5. What is Google Adwords used for?

Google Adwords is a service provided by Google to help organisations advertise their sites/goods/services to particular audiences. The Adwords service only requires organisations to pay when people click on the new ad itself.

6. Describe some of the major security concerns for a Drupal web site.

According to Gábor Hojtsy, a Drupal 6 maintainer, the 10 biggest security risks to Drupal are the following:

  • SQL injection
  • Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
  • Authentications and sessions
  • Insecure direct object references
  • Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
  • Security misconfiguration
  • Insecure crpytographic storage
  • Failure to restrict URL access
  • Insufficient transport protection
  • Unvalidated redirects

These are all issues which, according to Gábor Hojtsy, can be solved using Drupal functions but many people are unaware of them.


Blog 3

1. Why is it difficult for people to reward good IA?

Most Information Architecture goes on behind the scenes meaning that most good IA is never even noticed.

2. Explain what is meant by “Top-Down IA”.

Top-Down IA attempts to anticipate the users’ major information needs, essentially knowing what users will be searching for before they even get to the site.

3. What are some common questions a user has upon landing on a page on a web site?

Where am I?

How do I search for what I need?

How do I navigate this site?

What’s available on the site?

What’s important/unique about this organisation?

How do I contact a human?

4. Explain what is meant by “Bottom-Up IA”. Why is Bottom-Up IA becoming increasingly important?

Bottom-Up IA means embedding the IA within the content itself, often through the use of metadata, and supports browsing and searching. Bottom-Up IA is becoming increasingly important because users are becoming more and more likely to bypass Top-Down IA by using tools like Google.

5. What is an organisation system?

Organisation systems are the main way of categorising or grouping a sites content.

6. What is a site-wide navigation system? Provide a screenshot of an example.

A site-wide navigation system is a system that aids the user in understanding exactly where they are in a site and where they can go. A common example of a site-wide navigation system is a side bar with links to the various pages of the site.


7. What is a local navigation system? Provide a screenshot of an example.

A local navigation system lets users know where they are and where they can go within a particular portion of a site.


8. What is a sitemap/table of contents? Provide a screenshot of an example.

A sitemap/table of contents provides a condensed overview of and links to major content areas and sub-sites.


9. What are site indices? Provide a screenshot of an example.

Site indices are supplementary navigation systems that provide an alphebatised list of links to the contents of the site.


10. What are site guides? Provide a screenshot of an example.

Site guides are supplementary navigation systems that provide specialised information on a specific topic, as well as links to a related subset of the sites content.

11. What are site wizards? Provide a screenshot of an example.

Site wizards are supplementary navigation systems that lead users through a sequential set of steps and may also link to a related subset of the sites content.


12. What is a contextual navigation system? Provide a screenshot of an example.

Contextual navigation systems are consistently presented links to related content. Often embedded in text, and generally used to connect highly specialised content within a site.


13. What is a search interface? Provide a screenshot of an example.

A search interface is the means of entering a search query.


14. What is a query language? List some Boolean operators and provide examples of queries using these operators.

A query language is the grammar of a search query. Boolean operators can be used to further refine the results of a search.

Boolean operators:

AND – eg. Java AND Oracle AND SQL

NOT – eg. .Net AND NOT Java

OR – eg. apache OR weblogic OR websphere

Examples provided by Boolean Black Belt

15. What is a query builder?

Query builders are ways of enhancing a query’s performance. Spell checkers, stemming and synonyms are all examples of query builders.

16. What is the purpose of a retrieval algorithm?

Retrieval algorithms are the part of a search engine that determines what content matches the users query.

17. What are search zones?

Search zones are subsets of site content that have been separately indexed to support narrower searching.

18. What are search results?

Search results are the presentation of content that matches the users search query.

19. In terms of content, why are headings important?

Headings are an important way of signifying the main focus of the proceeding content and letting users know if they have found what they are looking for.

20. What are embedded links?

Embedded links are links to other sites, or pages within a site, that are embedded in the content of a page. Embedded links are commonly seen embedded in text.

21. What is embedded metadata?

Embedded metadata is information that can be used as metadata but must first be extracted.

22. In terms of content, what are chunks?

Chunks are logical units of content.

23. What are sequential aids?

Sequential aids are clues that suggest where the user is in a process or task and how far he/she has to go before completing it.

24. What are identifiers?

Identifiers are clues that suggest where the user is in an information system, or a breadcrumb explaining where in the site he/she is.

25. What is meant by “invisible components” in IA?

Invisible components are the components of an IA system that are manifested entirely in the background. Users are rarely required to interact with these components.

26. What are controlled vocabularies and thesauri?

Controlled vocabularies and thesauri are predetermined vocabularies of preferred terms that describe a specific domain. For example, a controlled vocabulary would allow a retrieval algorithm to take into account that “Email”, “e-mail” and “electronic mail” are all the same thing.

27. What is best bets?

Best bets are the preferred search results that are manually coupled with a search query. Editors and subject matter experts determine which queries should retrieve best bets and which documents merit best bet status.

28. List some of the difficulties with organising information.



Differences in perspective

Internal politics

29. What is meant by the term “taxonomy”?

Taxonomy is the process of grouping and categorising information.

30. What is hierarchy a natural way for humans to organise information?

31. List some design rules when designing a hierarchical organisation scheme.

Keep a balance between the breadth and depth

Obey the 7+/- rule

There should be no more than 5 levels vertically

Cross-link ambiguous items if it is really necessary to do so

Try to keep new sites shallow

32. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of a hypertextual organisation structure.

A hypertextual organisation structure allows each page to link to a large number of other pages. However, this also means that there is very little in the way of organised structure and can make it quite difficult for users to find a specific page. Because of this, sites with a hypertextual organisation structure greatly benefit from an effective search engine.

33. What is social classification?

Social classification involves the use of tagging and folksonomy to classify information. When a large number of people get involved new organisation and navigation patterns emerge and make social classification easier.

34. What is meant by the term “folksonomy”?

Folksonomy is a system of classification derived from the practice and method of collaboratively creating and translating tags to annotate and categorise content.

35. Arrange the list.

Albany, New York

El Paso, Texas

The Hague, Netherlands

H20: The Beauty of Water

Lord of the Rings, The

New York, New York

Newark, New Jersey

Plzen, Czech Republic

St. Louis, Missouri

Saint Nicholas, Belgium

XVIIme siècle

1001 Arabian Nights

1-2-3 of Magic, The

.38 Special

$35 a Day Through Europe

#!%&: Creating Comic Books

a. Did you put ‘The Hague’ under T or H? Why?

I placed it under H. Despite starting with “The” the focus of the term is in fact “Hague” and as such I consider the “The” to be a secondary concern when classifying.

b. Did you put ‘El Paso’ under E or P? Why?

This was placed under E. Even though “El” does mean “The” (and my method of classifying “the” was explained previously) I alphabetise foreign words according to their English spelling regardless of their meaning. Otherwise the term “El Paso”  would actually need to be placed under S as “paso” in Spanish means “step” and that would only serve to confuse readers.

c. Which came first in your list, ‘Newark’ or ‘New York’? Why?

In my list New York was placed first as I believe that when alphabetising an list empty space should always be shown before filled space.

d. Does ‘St. Louis’ come before or after ‘Saint Nicholas’? Why?

St. Louis comes first as “St.” is simply an abbreviation for “Saint” and should be placed according to its proper elongated spelling rather than its more informal shortened version.

e. How did you handle numbers, punctuation, and special characters? (Justify your answer.)

In this list items beginning with numbers were listed directly after any beginning with letters and were placed in ascending order. Those beginning with special characters were difficult to place but in the end I decided upon placing them according to how often the characters are used in general. For example, “#” is rarely used in everyday life (with the obvious exception of Twitter hashtags but that was not the context of this list) and for that reason it was placed last in the list preceded by the fairly common “$” and constantly used “.”.

f. Assuming the italicised terms are book titles, what might be a more useful way to organise this list? (Justify your answer.)

If that is the case then the most logical thing to do would be to not have these items listed together at all as book and locations have no logical reason to be listed together. Instead there should be two separate organised list; one for book titles and one for locations.

g. If the cities represent places you’ve visited and the book titles are ones you’ve read, how could chronology be used to order the list in a more meaningful way? (Justify your answer.)

If each item in the list was given a date and time (when you visited a place or when you finished a book) the list could be organised chronologically from least to most recent. This would also allow you easily view any new additions at first glance and better decide which place you would like to go or which book to read should you want to experience it again.

36. Seek out and provide screen shots of web sites that are examples for each of the following organisation schemes:

a. Topic/Subject

Consumer Reports

Screenshot (8)

Consumer Reports handles a very large amount of content and because of this the content is organised according to different subject matter such as Cars, Money, and Health.

b. Task


Screenshot (9)

Amazon is used specifically for the task of buying and selling various products.

c. Audience


Screenshot (10)

The OverAPI site provides cheat sheets for numerous programming languages. It was created specifically for coders and would not be used by anyone else for any other purpose.

d. Metaphor

The Invoice Machine

Screenshot (11)

The tabs on this page were designed to look like the tabs of physical folders providing a more organised and professional look.

e. Hybrid


Screenshot (12)

The CBeebies Australia homepage provides both show-based topical links and audience-based links for the parents using the site.

Blog 2

1. What is a Content Management System (CMS)? Describe the main characteristics of a CMS. Why might you use a CMS?

A Content Management System is a system to aid in the collection, management and publishing of content. CMSs can be implemented with simple interfaces to allow individuals with little or no coding experience create sophisticated functionalities. These CMSs are used to great effect in the creation of websites.

2. List 5 well know CMSs.






3. What is an open source CMS? Describe the main characteristics of an open source CMS.

An open source CMS is free to use and publicly available to anyone. As its name might suggest, its source code is open for anyone to see.

4. Describe the pros and cons of the following approaches to web development

Manual creation (in HTML)

Manually creating websites using your own code can be a long and oftentimes difficult task. It requires the creator to have significant knowledge and experience at coding. Despite this, many web developers, myself included, prefer to use their own code as it provides maximum flexibility and absolute understanding of the code should any modifications need to be made.

Commercial CMS

Commercial CMSs are generally very well made and powerful while also being supported by dedicated teams of tech support. Unfortunately this also means that they can be quite expensive to use.

Open source CMS

Open source CMSs are free to use and since the source code is openly available there is often a large variety of mods and add-ons created by the community. The large development community can also be something of a hindrance in some cases as it means there would not be any dedicated tech support for such a wide variety of potential problems that could arise.

Free CMS

Free CMSs are obviously free to use and require no prior experience but also provide the least flexibility of these 4 options.

5. What are the differences between Drupal and Google Sites?

All Google sites are hosted entirely on Googles and are designed for users that have no prior knowledge of coding. While this does make creating a site quick and generally easy it also means that there are fewer ways of customising the site as opposed to Drupal.

6. What are the differences between Drupal and Joomla?

Functionally Drupal and Joomla are quite similar. Although Drupal is more powerful and has more options more customisation it is also more difficult for those without experience to use.

7. What are the differences between Drupal and Plone?

Drupal primarily utilises PHP whereas Plone uses Python. Plone is a more advanced system and requires the user to have more extensive knowledge of some functions to get the most out of the system. Plone also requires a significant amount of configuration before a site is created.

8. Find examples of 5 sites made using Drupal?

The Economist –

Harvard University –


The White House –

Amnesty International –

9. Design a web site

Being that the website I designed is centered around video games and related news the target audience would not be any particular gender. According to, from 2006 to now the gender percentage of gamers has been around 60% male and 40% female although it has moved closer to 50/50 in recent years so I tried to make sure that the site didn’t have any design aspects that focused on a particular gender..

Gender statistics

Video games are generally enjoyed by and incredibly large demographic regardless of age and socio-economic backgrounds. As the majority of non-casual gamers are in their teens or 20’s the site was designed in a way that would not come across as particularly formal. It also contributed to my decision to add a news section dedicated to video game news.

10. Create a Google site