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How is a BBC website made?

BBC Standards and Guidelines website

When you browse bbc.co.uk, you will see that there are many individual sites which you can visit. There are some very big sites, like BBC News, Sport or BBC iPlayer, and hundreds of smaller ones covering entertainment, education and subjects such as food or history. But how are these sites constructed?

Tim Furby | 9th September 2010

All of the BBC websites are built by web teams who strive to make the sites as engaging as possible. The teams can be roughly split into three different groups: content, design and technical.

Content

The people who decide what a website should contain, what you can do on the site and how it fits in with the whole of bbc.co.uk, are usually called content producers.

They are responsible for many things, such as all the text that you read and the sections and features on the site. They also manage the project in terms of time and budget. BBC News and Sport have journalists who, as well as making television and radio news, also contribute stories to the websites.

Design

BBC web designers give a website its overall look and feel. This means they design the site, the colour scheme, the layout of the features and the navigation.

They take their early designs and test them with audiences to check that the website makes sense, that people can find their way around the site and understand what the site is trying to achieve.

Technical

The technical teams at the BBC build the websites, or code the HTML, and upload them onto the BBC web servers. This is where all the websites live.

When you go online and visit the BBC, your computer receives the website in small chunks from the BBC web servers. As the BBC has millions of visitors a day, these servers are big, powerful computers.

The technical teams also build bigger pieces of software and computer systems which make it easier for the producers to create new websites and update existing ones.

For instance, when you visit iPlayer, all the programmes and the information have been made ready for you to watch or listen and stored on very big computers with lots of memory. The BBC News website stores all the articles published over many years so you can access them at a later date.

You will find many games and activities across bbc.co.uk, such as the ones in our educational websites. These games are often designed using special software that allows for animations and moving graphics.

Accessibility

The BBC designs its websites so that they can be used by people who may have some accessibility issues. They may be blind or deaf, or have problems using a mouse or keyboard.

If you would like to find out more about how the BBC can help you to access the websites, visit the BBC My Web My Way website.


Tim Furby

Tim Furby

Tim produces broadcast and social video, builds websites, designs mobile apps, and trains media professionals. He has many years of experience in working in digital media, including 10 years at the BBC as a producer and commissioning editor.

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