Writing for intranets vs for the public

Where I used to work I wrote and maintained intranet websites used by the company's staff.

Having left for some time and just dipping my toes into coding for the public web, there is a distinctively different feeling which I am getting compared to coding for an intranet.

I have listed some reasons below for the difference. Note that these are from personal experience and may or may not apply generally.

On a public site:
- there is a potentially huge audience, site needs to be able to take heavy load
- consideration needs to be given for different browsers
- the threat of attacks like XSS is ever-present
- for non-business sites at least, data is less critical

On an intranet site:
- most company intranets (I would expect) have a fairly small audience
- IT could specify the use of one kind of web browser
- the threat of attack feels less real since there is a sense that staff are less likely to sabotage their employer
- many applications written for companies serve some business function or other so data is quite critical

Granted, these are important things to consider for any website but I think one should be able to appreciate that the priorities of the two are quite different: public sites requiring more attention on performance and security, and intranet sites requiring more on data protection (backups and also database security).

Personally I think it is nice to have some experience in both contexts specifically because it gives a greater appreciation of each of these.
Permalink | Posted 3:13PM 29-6-2011 by Quentin.


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