The Difference Between a Web Designer and a Web Developer | Web Design and Development

So, you have an idea of a website, but are wondering who you need to hire to get the job done, a web designer or a web developer. Usually you need a combination of both, but still, knowing what each provides will help you better determine who is best to do the job for the website you have in mind. The two are very different things, both visually as well as technically. To better understand what each does, you simply need to understand what web design is in comparison to web development.Web design is the visual part of a web page. This is what the visitors will see, what they will be attracted to. Go to any website and see what the design offers. It includes the colors, the lines, images, and text. Though most likely you will be providing the text to your website, the web designer will be the one that is going to be putting it in the page and placing it in a way that the visitors will be able to see it and be attracted to it.

The design of a website is essential to ensuring that the visitors are attracted and actually stay in your website beyond the initial click. Visitors are easily deterred by a website due to its design, so make sure that the web designer is both visually talented, as well as very organized. The graphics and the overall look to a website are completely reliant on the designer.On the other hand, web development is what happens behind the scenes. This is the web site on the other side, the part that the visitors do not see. It is simply the programming creating the “back end” of a certain website. The format, information, and graphics are inserted through this type of development, in a way that they do not interfere with each other and are easy to click through. Dynamic script languages are used such as ASP, PHP, ASP.NET as well as ColdFusion.Usually both jobs are done by someone that is capable of both, simply because no one these days turns individually to a designer and developer. Also, the term web design is far more populated amongst the masses, and even web developers are turning to that term in order to gather clients. The correct combination of both is essential and if you do not plan on working with an individual developer and designer to get the web design and of course website up on the internet, then you need to find someone capable of doing both. It is preferred and a great way to not worry about mis communication and dealing with two different people and their creative differences.

Phases of Website Design and Development | Web Design and Development

A website goes through several phases of development. From gathering initial information to the creation of your web site, and finally, its uploading and maintenance, you need to closely co-ordinate with your designer to get the best out of your efforts.Developing a website is a serious thing, demanding plenty of investment and planning. You expect it to serve as a round-the-clock advertising and sales medium of your products or services. For ensuring that it serves the objective effectively, you need to hire a skillful web designer, and then co-ordinate with him through every phase of development.Phase 1: Collection of InformationGathering information is the first step while designing any website. While putting up a plan regarding development of a website, many factors have to be taken into consideration. It involves a good understanding of the company, its business objectives, target audience etc. Purpose of the site has to be well-defined. It should be clear whether one wants to provide information, sell a product, promote a service etc. You also have to be clear about age, education, background etc. of your target audience. You also need to make out what kind of information will the target audience be looking for on your site.

Phase Two: PlanningWhen you have all the information at your disposal, it is time to chalk out a plan for your website. Make a detailed sitemap including all main topic areas of your site as well as sub-topics. It would serve as a guide as to what content would be on the site and help to develop an easy-to-comprehend navigational system. It is during this stage when the web designer decides about the technologies to be implemented.Phase Three: DesignIt is time now to determine the look and feel of your website. Your field and target audience are key factors to be taken into consideration. For instance, a dental design website needs a sober look and to-the-point approach. In design phase, you also need to incorporate elements such as the company logo or colors to strengthen the identity of your business. In this phase, communication between the client and designer is crucial to ensure that the final website suits your needs and taste.Phase Four: DevelopmentThe actual development of website begins at this stage. The designer takes all the individual graphic elements from the prototype and uses them to create a functional website. Home page is the first one to be developed, followed by the interior pages. The design and navigation contains all the elements previously decided on. On the technical front, code needed for front-end and back-end web development is written at this stage.Phase Five: Testing and DeliveryThis stage involves giving the website final touch and testing it on different parameters. A website has to be tested for the complete functionality of forms or other scripts, as well as for compatibility with different web browsers. As part of testing, the designer must ensure that the code written for your website validates. Valid code means that the website meets the current web development standards. Once the testing is done, the website is uploaded using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program to your server. Most designers offer domain name registration and web hosting services as well. Once you set up these accounts, and the web site uploaded to the server, it becomes public.Phase Six: MaintenanceYour task is not done once the site is uploaded. A site has to be well-maintained to keep it on good search engine rankings and bring visitors. You need to provide fresh content, products or services on a regular basis to preserve user interest. You also have to work consistently to promote your site on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Most visitors will reach you through these search engines. Hence it is imperative to ensure that your site ranks well on the selected keywords. You also need to promote your interests in social media and do proper networking.

Choosing the right web designer is of critical importance in this regard. You must hire a designer who has got relevant experience of designing the sites in your niche. For instance, if you are a dentist and need a website to promote your services online, choose a developer who has proper experience of web design for dentists. Every field requires certain kind of web design skills. Choosing a web designer with the required skill set would ensure that the site you get is exactly as you required.