If your business doesn’t have a website no one will know about you. Everything is done on the web now.
Customers want online shopping options, online customer service available 24/7, and the ability to read about you and your company any time they want.
But, if you don’t know anything about websites, the idea of having one created can be overwhelming.
A good website is an expensive investment that takes quite a chunk out of your marketing budget.
So, here in this article, we give you a brief course on web development 101.
In the end, you will understand what web development is, what the most important aspects of a website are, and how to best choose the development team to work with.
All this will give you a beautiful site that didn’t break the bank.
Web Development 101: Behind the Design
Everyone understands the concept of a website and what a good website should look like.
Better yet, everyone knows when they are looking at a bad website. But, you probably don’t know how much work is invested in making a great website so great.
So, what is website development and what goes into the process? Read on to find out.
What Is Web Development?
The basic definition of web development is creating and coding how a website looks and functions on the internet.
Web development takes a bunch of code and ideas and puts them together on a domain. All of that nonsense becomes a beautiful website.
Most business owners specialize in their own niche but don’t have a deep understanding of web development. When you need a website you go and find a professional.
This is where finding a web developer comes into play.
What Is A Web Developer?
When your toilet is overflowing and sewage is coming up from your bathtub do you grab a wrench and start pulling stuff apart? No! You call a plumber!
When you have a business and you need a website do you just wing it and throw something up there expecting it to have amazing results? No! You call a web developer.
Web Developers are trained professionals that understand everything about creating a website.
They have experience in a variety of platforms and coding languages. Most web developers create teams to be able to provide a full stack website design service.
What Does A Web Developer Do?
So, you know you need to call them but, what is website development and what are the different specialty areas to make sure your web developer can accomplish?
A web developer and their team should be able to accomplish creating an entire soup-to-nuts website and be able to handle hosting if necessary. These different aspects of the site have different titles.
So, what are the different elements of a website and what does a developer need to understand to create them?
Here, we break down the aspects that make a well-rounded development team, the front end, the back end, and full stack development.
Front End Development
The front end of a website is everything your customer can see.
This includes the look of each page, the menus, the forms you can fill out, the clickable buttons. Everything your customer can interact with, read, and view on your website has been put there by a front-end development specialist.
You can save some money in this aspect by suggesting using a pre-made theme that you like for your website. WordPress sites can still look quite custom while still using a less expensive pre-made theme.
When you use a theme you don’t have to pay for the framework to be created so you save some money on labor.
Your front end developer can focus on the customizable aspects, the menu functionalities, and the other items that will be customized for your business.
Back End Development
A back-end developer is more adept at the internal workings of the website. This is the stuff your customer will never see but is what makes the user experience seamless.
The back end developer uses web development languages like Python, Ruby, and others to customize all that invisible code to give the front end what it needs.
This code exists in the guts of the site which will be housed in the server or hosting location. This coding makes sure the data being housed is not interfering with the front end’s functionality.
Full Stack Development
A full stack developer is a developer/development team that can handle both front and back-end development seamlessly.
When you are building a website from the ground up this type of developer is your best bet. Their team will have a complete working knowledge of your entire site and server.
This way, when you have an issue with the site you only have to go to one place to get the problem solved.
Keep in mind that full stack development can come with a higher price tag since it gives you so much convenience.
Most Important Aspects Of Web Design
In today’s marketplace, there are a set number of things that every customer is going to expect to find on your website.
The basics are going to be a description of your company, the members of your team, your contact information, and what your business offers.
It is also imperative that your website includes a blog function so you have more of an opportunity to drive traffic to your site.
It’s not just about making a pretty and functional site. You also need to make sure your developer is keeping your search engine optimization (SEO) in mind.
There are methods of developing the back end of a site to be more beneficial for search engines crawlers to find your site.
When seeking a developer make sure they know a little about SEO and how they can set you up to be ready for people to find you. Thinking about the end result at the beginning is important to be able to rank well in Google later.
You also want a simple process on posting new content on your site. A good developer will put you in a system where you will easily be able to add content to your blog, change content on the site, and add things that are missing with ease.
Ask if they can walk you through the process of doing these different changes before they let you off on your own.
If you’re using something user-friendly like WordPress this kind of stuff becomes simple. Through simplicity, it gives you confidence that you won’t break anything on your site.
Your web design should also be featuring a call to action for your customer on multiple pages throughout the site.
When your customer first clicks into your website, what do you want them to do? Read your blog? Give you their email? Buy your product?
Whatever you want their initial action to be should be front and center as soon as they get there. Ask a potential developer if they are familiar with creating calls to action that convert.
Bringing It All Together
We hope this beginner’s web development 101 article has helped you have more of an understanding of this process.
Since web design itself, is so complicated it can feel very overwhelming when you are pouring thousands of dollars into something you don’t understand.
This is why you need to make sure you are aligning yourself and your business with the right development team. The right developer can take your vision and turn it into reality.
Remember though, the golden rule also applies to this, you get what you pay for. Going with the most inexpensive developer will get you the most inexpensive results.
It’s always best to go with the mid-level quote you receive if you “click” with multiple developers. But, if you haven’t had a good connection with anyone but the highest quote it is going to be worth the extra money.
The awful headache of going with someone to save money and then spending months on edits and revisions? Simply not worth the initial savings.
Speaking of payment, just like when you hire a contractor to work on your home, you should be expecting to pay installment payments for your website. Don’t ever pay the full cost up front.
At the very least, the arrangement should be a 50/50 split of half up front and half at the completion of the project.
If the team you are working with can give you a more detailed break down of costs than you can break up payments per phase of development.
Either way, make sure you have a clear understanding of when monies will be due, how much those payments will be, and what is expected to be accomplished before the next payment is made.
Looking for a development team that is ready to work with you? Meet our talented crew here.
Ready to start a web development project but need some more information first? Feel free to contact us here and we will go through everything with you.