Most of our customers are small businesses without large technology budgets, which is part of the reason that our core software stack is composed entirely of Free/Open Source Software. This provides several advantages to both Rain Dog Software and our customers, including:
- No software licensing costs
- No vendor lock-in
- Total flexibility
- Standards compliance
Our primary server-side language is Python. In a normal business web site, Python code does all the "heavy lifting". It is our language of choice because it provides an excellent balance between power and simplicity, allowing us to deliver robust and feature-complete products quickly and without unnecessary complications.
Python, on its own, cannot power a website. There are several ways to harness that power and direct it to web development, and our platform of choice is...
To bridge the gap between Python and your browser, we use Django. It acts as a wrapper around Python and gives users and developers quick access to dozens of common web application requirements, such as...
- Database Management
- User Management
- Administration Page
- Security Improvements
And much more. If Python is our engine, Django is our high-tech dashboard with all the gizmos.
Not everyone wants to be a web developer. At Rain Dog Software we expect our clients to want to control their site's content without editing HTML or having to pay a developer an hourly rate just to fix a typo. For this reason, all our Business Class (and higher) packages include an Administration Page. This is a protected section of your site (ie www.mysite.com/admin) that you can log in to, and use visual tools to change site content, add new users, and generally manage your website.
For example, one of our earliest clients, Chinook Plumbing, wanted their front page to show a list of services they offer to their customers. Since those services may change over time, we included the Administration Page with a Services section so that the office manager can log in to the site from her desk to add and remove services in just a few clicks.
Similarly, they also requested a section of their page for a Monthly Giveaway. Obviously this section would need to be updated regularly, and there's little sense in contacting the web developer and paying an hourly fee (not that we'd mind of course). The simple solution was to plug another data field into the admin page and connect it to the home page. Any element of your site can be controlled this way, either through a general Content Management System or a page custom-built to your needs.