To the average person, web development may seem shrouded in mystery. However, understanding what web developers do and how they work can go a long way towards helping you make better business decisions about your online presence. A better grasp of what web development services are out there will helping in decision-making and smooth the way to a website that works for you.
Although the terms are used interchangeably, web development is not the same as web design. Web designers typically put their focus on the front end of the site, that is, the part of the website that the user sees and interacts with. Web developers, on the other hand, work more on the backend of the website on the technical issues that give the website its functionality.
Before launching into a web development project, you need to have a clear digital marketing strategy. Web developers seldom work in a vacuum and need as much input as you can give them on what they should be developing, why they're developing it and who the intended audience is. Taking time to clarify your own thoughts and communicate clearly to the developer is well worth it.
Your digital marketing strategy needs to feed into a holistic approach to marketing your business online and offline. Having an integrated approach to all your marketing activities can help focus development on what's really needed and avoid unnecessary expenditure or costly mistakes. The web developer will benefit from seeing how your business transactions happen from start to finish.
A crucial aspect that happens at the beginning of every web development project is research. Some of that research is about what else is out there that is similar and what the competition is doing. The rest is research on the best tools available to get the development job done. This involves keeping up with the latest research and advancements in technology, platforms, browsers and tools.
Technology advances at an extraordinary rate with browsers and platforms continuously releasing updates, fixes and new products. Programming languages shift and new tools become available. Web developers need to stay abreast of every movement in the industry in order to stay relevant and develop sites that offer high levels of functionality across browsers and platforms.
Web developers typically work on functionality, but functionality doesn't happen in isolation. It must be integrated into a seamless user journey, simplified UX and appealing and intuitive UI. Web developers work closely with their web design counterparts to dovetail their efforts to create a site that functions smoothly, rather than several disparate parts that ultimately confuse the end user.
Websites must be built for a purpose. A results-driven web development service will focus its energies on creating a website that not only encourages customer engagement and brings in business leads and sales, but also reliable data and analytics around which the business can continue to grow. Development doesn't stop when the site goes live. Data will drive the site into the future.
Creating a website is a collaborative effort between the web development team, the web design team and the client. Effective web development involves taking the time to understand the client and their business. Making the effort to build a relationship of mutual trust and understanding smooths the development process and is more likely to result in a satisfactory outcome for all.
With web development, technical expertise is only half the equation. There must be a corresponding commitment to the client and to service excellence. Clients justifiably want to know their project will be completed on time and on budget, and if that's not possible, there needs to be transparency as to the process, the potential difficulties and the consequences in terms of money and time.
Web development that works isn't only highly technical and doesn't happen in isolation. It forms part of a holistic approach to branding and marketing, seeking to solve problems in context. It takes careful consideration of the short, medium and long-term objectives of the client's business and works towards generating results that will grow the business now and into the future.
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