Look around the web and you'll usually notice three things:
- A good site will have good user management.
- There are a lot of poorly designed sites out there.
- Someone is blabbing about it on Facebook.
We're here to help you with all three. You already know we can design great sites -- but did you know we can make user management for your site a breeze too? If you're a developer, you know that implementing user management can be a pain. Even something as simple as creating an account for a user to login and store basic credentials can eat a few hours out of your precious budget.
For example, to create a user, you not only will have to figure out if the username or email address is taken, you will have to figure out if the password meets certain requirements on length or complexity. You also have to wonder if the "user" really is some automated robot that's about to create 1,000 accounts and send an infinite amount of Xanax discount coupons or personal enhancement ads to your friends and family -- all from a fake user account with your nice upstanding company name tacked onto the end -- which could create some tense moments between you and Grandma at the big summer BBQ. (Grandma just got her first email account, and thanks to you, her first piece of inappropriate spam).
So, you've figured out ways around that with some nice validation checks and maybe a free captcha generator that prints out those nice squiggly letters that surely no robot could ever figure out, right? But, once Grandma finally gets her account set up, you're going to have to worry about her forgetting her password -- or wanting to change her email address or username, and then you've got a whole other set of problems to worry about.
What about social networking? Won't you want your Grandma and her knitting group to help you build the popularity of your site by forging friendships with other users on your site, and talking up all the great points and usefulness you've provided them? As a developer, you might typically need to set aside a good week of hardcore programming to turn out some sort of respectable social networking, and by that point, you've spent one week of your two week budget just on user management and social networking.
This was life before Facebook Connect. If you haven't heard, Facebook Connect lets you allow users to login to your site using their Facebook username and password:
What that means to you is that you've now got a bonafide login system, password retrieval system, and one of the best social networking engines available -- all with about 5 minutes of your time and just a few lines of code. Users can now interact with your site just as they normally would, except they have the built-in convenience of not having to create a new account just to be on yet another site.
Facebook's Developer pages make it really easy to get started. I could explain it all here, but I won't waste your time when their instructions are every bit as good as mine. Just follow the short, simple steps and you'll be well on your way. If you want to see it in action before you integrate it into your site, checkout this nice little demo that Facebook provides: http://www.somethingtoputhere.com/therunaround/