What is Website Development?
Your web pages look great because of the behind the scenes work done by website developers who take care of all the details involving code. The developer can work at the front or the back end of the process.
The front-end deals with all the aspects that the user is going to see and experience when they visit your web design pages – the drop-down menus, the layout, and other interactions.
At the back end, the developer is concerned with details like the server hosting the website and the application running it. There is no front end without the back end, and there is no point to the back end without the front.
Why Hire a Website Developer?
Nothing is stopping any business owner from creating their own website. But is that the best use of your time and effort? There is nothing stopping anyone from building their own office building, computer, or car. But it means acquiring skills, that unless you want to get into the business of house building, computer manufacturing or car repair, are not relevant to your business life.
Marketing, presenting, and promoting your business are essential tools to grow your income, but that doesn’t mean that you need or should take every photograph, write every word and build up every design from the ground up.
A website is a vital business asset, and to get the best and keep running smoothly and professionally; It makes sense to employ the professional services provided by a good website development company. Web developer companies save you time and money because they are proficient in all the technical aspects of building and maintaining a website.
What Kind of Web Developer does your Business Need?
The world of agency web design is like any other profession; it has its generalists and its specialists. Some web developers specialize in being experts with some systems, and others prefer a different set of tools. Before you can think about what kind of web developer you are looking for, you need to define your brief – scope out what you want to achieve from working with website design services.
Writing down what you need from a web developer allows you to:
• Understand the scope of the project and your expectations of success. By knowing what you want to achieve, you can assess performance.
• Choose the right candidates by removing the ones that don’t fit your brief because they don’t have the skills and experience for your project.
• Save time because your web developer can get on with implementing the work rather than spending time working out what you want them to
• Get a better estimate of website design cost and time from your web developer because the necessary work plan has maximum clarity.
When you have your brief written down and defined, you will know:
• If you are looking for design elements (new logo, different layout) or functionality involving coding (adding a custom image slider or a shopping
• The section your web developer works – design/front-end, back-end, or full-stack because you understand the nature of the work needed.
• If you can work with a freelancer as a one-off project or if you need a more permanent or project-based solution for restructuring and daily
The front-end of a website is like the front of the house in a restaurant or theatre. It is the customer-facing side. The front-end developer aims to ensure that when someone visits a website, they find it easy to understand and access whatever browser, device, or operating system they use.
• Prioritizing the user experience above all other considerations.
• Producing and maintaining any web application, interfaces, and websites.
• Ensuring web pages work across all formats and devices for the user.
• Creating tools to improve browser interactions and performance.
• Maximizing the use of SEO best practices and new techniques for high ranking.
• Test web pages to make sure they work as intended and fix any issues.
The skills and tools needed include familiarity with coding languages, frameworks, and libraries. The specific tools change and develop with new advances in technology.
The back-end website developer’s work like the back end of the system is hidden from view but is crucial to making the web pages and website work. The back-end developer deals with the server, application, and database.
The areas covered by a typical back-end developer include:
• Creating, managing, and integrating the database of your website information to create your design
• Using back-end frameworks to create and use the server-side software that is part of the website structure.
• Dealing with web server technologies and integration with cloud-based functions and computing.
• Expertise with server-side programming languages, operating systems, and API integration.
• Developing, deploying, and maintaining the content management system, so adding content is
• Security issues – implementing security and protection to avoid malicious attacks as well as back-ups and
• Reporting – the analytics and statistics are all generated and saved in the back end of the system
The back-end developer works extensively with code and server languages.
A full-stack developer is a generalist who can work the front-end and the back-end. As a generalist, the full stack developer works with the database, operating system, and some programming languages. Although described as “full-stack,” no website developer is going to be an expert in every aspect of the website operation; each will have their areas of expertise.
The idea of having one person who can do it all is an attractive proposition, but it is like having a handyman round to do some household maintenance – they can do a bit of carpentry, plastering, bricklaying, and maybe electrics and plumbing. The generalist DIY’er is not an expert in any of the skills and has strengths in some areas more than others.
For small projects, one person to offer the complete package works, but you need to check the mix of skills and the strengths offered for your brief because, like with household maintenance, it may be better to get some expert help for specific areas. A team with a mixture of skills is best for complex projects finished to a high standard involving many technical areas.
Website Planning Process
Before you start work on creating or redesigning a website, you need a plan and a structured method in place to control the project.
Your website consists of a domain name, URL structure, and all your content.
Your domain name is your online identity, and each domain name is unique. Ideally, your domain name is the same as your business name. If you are rebuilding or creating a website, it’s worth checking to see if a domain name reflecting your business name is available. Otherwise, stay with the domain name you already have for consistency.
URL is Uniform Resource Locator, and it is the page address and will include your domain name and some other location details. Every page on your website has an URL. When you review the URL structure, you are looking at how you organize your content.
The content covers everything that shows on your web design pages – text, images, and anything else available to a visitor.
You can build your website using code (HTML) and tailor a bespoke solution for you. It will take slightly longer to build, but your website development company can easily make any changes or solve issues with the code.
Alternatively, you can use a prebuilt CMS system like WordPress that allows users without coding knowledge to make updates. Although it is possible to build your own website with a CMS system like WordPress, most businesses use website developers to put the web design pages together and then use the administration panel to create and upload content.
The level of interaction needed with visitors like online shops, contact forms, live chat, and other actions need different levels of web developer skills.
You have a clear idea of what you need your new or redesigned website to do for your business. Putting it all down in paper together with an indicative website design cost makes recruiting a web designer or developer a straightforward process.
The website designer and developer will also take you through a planning process because they will need to know:
• Your goals – what do you think this project is going to achieve for your business in terms of targets defining
a successful outcome.
• Target audience – the website needs to appeal to the people you want to attract, which means understanding
your customers’ personas.
• SEO – building in SEO friendly features like fast-loading pages, mobile-friendly formats, and the right content
• Content – this covers everything from landing pages, blogs, video, brochures – anything your customer sees
on your website.
The web designer/developer will work with use cases (samples of how it is to visit your website), sitemaps (a representation of your digital landscape), and wireframes showing a skeleton of the site structure for functions and features.
Before your website goes live, you want to know that it is working in every part – that’s where website testing comes in to play. It can be done before launch or as a routine check while your website is up and running.
There are two aspects to website testing:
• Looking for issues, and
• Looking for improvements.
All the links, forms, and other interactions on the website should work as expected. When you ’click here’ something should happen. Functionality testing goes through all the pages and checks that everything works.
There are old browsers and new browsers, and each of them displays your web pages slightly differently. Checking for web browser compatibility means that your website performs the way you expect regardless of the browser. The appearance may differ because of the way some older browsers display web pages, but all the buttons should function.
This test covers how the website displays and performs on mobile phones and other screen sizes.
This part covers the user experience – can they do what they came here to do? This process also includes catering for those with disabilities and general ease of getting around the site. The above are basic tests of how the website works, but there is a whole range of other ways of testing a website:
Performance – is anything slowing it down like heavy images, or excess files.
Stress – how many people does it take to crash your website?
Security – how vulnerable are you to cyber-crime.
Accessibility – full-on compliance with accessibility guidelines.
Content – typos, clunky language, stop words.
Regular website testing across all areas keeps your website at optimum performance.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design means the website responds differently to each screen size. It’s a bit of behind the scenes magic that means your website looks good on a desktop, mobile, and any other device used by someone looking for your type of business. Before using responsive web design, your options were to have a website that viewers on a mobile phone had to zoom, pan, resize, and scroll through in a desperate effort to view the content. Or create a website for mobile users in addition to your official website. Responsive web design dynamically changes its parameters of screen size, orientation, and colors to make the user experience as seamless as possible and not dependent on viewing the site either on a desktop or a mobile. The website design skills needed to build a responsive web site are mostly the same skills necessary for making any good website but with some extra design elements.
Benefits of Choosing a Responsive Web Design
A responsive website gives you:
• Cost savings – you build and maintain one
website for all your online presence.
• Built-in Flexibility – your potential customers
see the best version of your website.
• Better user experience – the viewer doesn’t put
in any effort to see your content.
• Higher search rankings – the ability to view on
mobile screens matters to Google.
• Time Saving – when you add content or make
changes, you do it once on a single website.
A responsive website isn’t the answer for every business need because some websites are image-heavy and slow to load. But more than half of all searches are on mobile devices, and that number will grow. By not being mobile-friendly, you are missing out on engaging with a good chunk of potential customers – possibly your best customers. Your business model may mean you prefer to have one website for mobile users and another for desktop users. Responsive websites can also change elements like banners and adverts in unexpected ways. The bottom line is that a responsive website despite the adaptions you need to make to structure and content is vital to your business because your customers are moving to consuming and shopping differently. It benefits you to have one site that does it all. You don’t have to worry about tailoring your content to different screen sizes or giving your visitors a poor user experience when you have a responsive website.
Separate Mobile Website vs. Responsive Website
A mobile website is a site where all the content suits mobile phones. They have a separate URL and are often sections of the full website. A responsive website uses the same website but makes it optimal for viewing the content on a mobile phone screen. A responsive site works on any size of screen, but dedicated mobile site services only mobile phone searches and no other devices. Responsive sites tend to rank higher on the search engine page because there is no friction through the need to redirect the searcher to a mobile-only site – it’s the same website for everyone. It is quicker and easier to maintain one website than having to update both the main website and a mobile site – savings on staff time. Mobile sites have a slight edge in affordability than responsive websites when it comes to setting one up, but you need to balance the long-term costs of running two sites. A mobile site can load slightly faster on a mobile phone than a responsive website because the mobile site is good to load straight away. The responsive site must pick the best format.
If you have complex information on your site, then the responsive approach attempts to scale this for the mobile phone user – with limited success. A mobile website has preselected the information that is available to the mobile user, and the assumption is that the phone user is not interested in performing any complicated tasks. Third-party services generally don’t work as well with responsive sites as it is challenging to integrate them fully. You can use third-party services like hotel bookings with a dedicated mobile site relatively easily. Both responsive sites and mobile sites provide a mobile phone user with access to your business, the web design process that is right for your business depends on the features and applications you need as well as time and money constraints.
Key Elements of a Responsive Website
Three vital components make a website responsive, and these are:
1. Flexible Grids.
2. Flexible Images.
3. Media Queries.
The grid is the foundation of your website. A flexible grid is a grid that changes its characteristics in response to external conditions like access to the website by a user on a mobile phone. You have the choice of exercising complete control over coding your own grid, or you can use a pre-built grid. As part of the web design process, the web developer pays attention to the layout sizes and spacings to provide the right web layout for the viewer. In this process, relative units of measurement are more important than pixels.
Sharing personal images has made everyone aware of how resource-heavy some images are. Images are essential to attract attention and sell your message but not at the price of creating a slow download because your potential audience will flit away.
Flexible images move with your flexible grid to be in the optimum format for the viewer through:
• Scaling – the image is smaller or larger, depending on screen size.
• Dynamic cropping – so the vital part of the image shows.
• Selection – a range of different versions for display is on the server.
• Hiding – depending on the search query, the image may add nothing.
Choosing how your images change for display on different devices allows you to control how you present your business
Media queries are the code conditions that make the choices that change the flexible grid and flexible images into the right presentation. This feature is possible by using cascading style sheets (CSS) that specify the correct elements for screen size, orientation, and color rendering capabilities. All three elements of the responsive design are necessary to make the magic happen and deliver the best user experience from your web pages regardless of the device.
What is a Heat Maps?
Weather maps and thermal imaging pictures all show you what is hot and what is cold. In terms of a website, a heat map can show you the hot areas where people like to hang out and the chilly cold areas where nobody wants to go. Because it is a visual representation using hot and cold colors, it is an intuitive way of picturing how your website performs.
Your visitors interact with the web pages using specific tools, and the types of heat map reflect this:
• Scroll maps – how far through do people go
before bailing and which bits of
the page get the most attention.
• Hover maps – track where the cursor is while
people are on the page as an indicator of their
• Click mapping – highlights the hot buttons
and links that people are happy to click on in
• Attention mapping – this color codes the page
for attention by using the visitor’s browser data.
Analysis of heat maps gives some general hints about web design and where to place information to get user attention. Stores have spent years learning to track product placement on the shelves to increase sales, and heat maps give websites the same general behavior analysis.
• Users read the top half of the page and avoid scrolling down.
• Images attract more interest than words.
• People scan content rather than read it in detail.
A personal heat map of your website is useful in moving your visitor from browser to buyer. Heat mapping helps you:
• See what impact changes have on user behavior.
• Place links where people want to click.
• Identify and use more engaging content.
• Modify buttons, so they get attention
As a visual tool, it is easy to understand immediately and in real-time. You get quick feedback on any changes or modifications you make to your content and functions so you can improve your conversion rates.
We’ve Got You Covered
Our professional team are experts at what they do from building in the front and back stack to picking the right colors and shapes. We put together the right team to take your vision and goals and deliver a web site that meets your needs. Not only for today but as your online business and presence expand.
We design, create, maintain, refresh, and keep you on top of the latest technology and processes. Whatever you need, we’ve got you covered with people who care about developing the best business websites.
Yes. Paid search is the same as Search Engine Marketing or Pay Per Click advertising. Businesses pay for the opportunity to place Ads in front of searchers. These indicate an interest in their products or services by the search terms used.
SEM is Search Engine Marketing from search engine providers like Google and Bing. The business ad appears on the SERP page generated if successful in the ad auction.
PPC or pay per click is the way you pay for your search engine marketing. When someone clicks on your ad, you get charged a calculated fee.
Paid Search Marketing is another term that describes the practice of paying for ads to appear on SERPs.
Paid social media advertising displays ads on pages where people are interacting with friends and family. Search Engine Marketing puts Ads in front of people who are looking for what the Ad is describing. The person on a social media site is in a different part of the buying funnel to the active searcher using a search engine to find a product or service.
SEM is the process of paying for ads to appear when a search engine operates. The ads are tagged to the keys words and phrases chosen by the potential customer. If the business ad is relevant, it goes into the auction for a position on the SERP shown to the customer.
Universal App campaigns are an automated ad campaign whose goal is to get downloads for your app. The ads appear all over Google – Search, Display, Ad Mob, YouTube, Discover on Google, and Google Play, as well as other locations.
You provide Google Ads with a budget, starting text, starting bid. Google Ads create optimized ads using this material and material available on your app listing. It's a Smart Campaign type that learns from successful conversions to repeat the winning formula.