Web Design vs Web Development

Houston Web Design Company and Web Development Services

If you’re just starting out with your business website, you may likely need both web design as well as  web development depending on how complex your business  to launch it. The question is, when is it time to hire a designer and when is it time to bring in a developer? The answer isn’t always obvious, especially when it concerns an e-commerce site.

And because it isn’t obvious when a designer or developer is needed, a lot of decision makers decide to partner with a web services firm. That’s one sure way to get everything you’ll need (and want) for your business website.

What is the difference between web development and web design services Houston?

Building a website is a complex job. Think of it this way – when you’re building a house, you’ll need someone who can do the framing, the plumbing, the wiring, the foundation and so on. It takes so many experts because so much expertise is needed to build a solid home. No one specialist can do the job entirely on their own.

Websites are similar. Certain skills are needed to build the site’s structure and to link that structure to backend databases. That’s usually done during the web development phase. Then, certain skills are needed to add visual polish to the site. Elements like color, images, copy, branding, typography – this is done during the web design phase. This just concerns site creation, as once launched, additional work will be needed to market and rank the site.

While web developers may have some design skills and vice versa, web development and design are two discrete parts of a site. You shouldn’t expect a designer or developer to cover both parts of site creation. However, you should expect a full service digital marketing agency to do both.

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    When does a business need web design services?

    Every business site needs at least a basic coat of polish. You only get one chance to make a first impression, after all. It’s likely you’ll need web design services at some point, especially if:

    Web Design

    Your site needs a professional look

    Every site should have a professional look, but some businesses rely on it more than others. If your business leans on strong branding and visual communication to win customers, professional web design services can provide both. Web designers utilize best design practices (use of color, contrast, hierarchy, repetition, etc.) to make this happen.

    Your site requires custom graphics work

    Many businesses provide their own graphics to plug into their business site, and these can be plugged into a WordPress template without too much work. If graphics need to be developed from scratch, though, or if significant work will need to be done to an existing layout template, web design services will be required.

    Your site has issues with navigation

    Web designers are natural troubleshooters when it comes to site navigation, as many are experienced in design concepts like hierarchy and proximity. Using this knowledge, web designers can create navigation menus and bars that are more intuitive for visitors to use. This can keep people on your site longer.

    Your site isn’t converting well enough

    There can be a lot of reasons why a site isn’t creating as many customers as it should. Many of those reasons can be addressed by a web designer. For instance, if your site is difficult to understand quickly, difficult to read or difficult to navigate, web design services can correct these issues with better visual communication.

    When should a business hire a web developer for their website?

    Every business website combines form and function, and during web development that function is built out. If your site needs any of the following functionality, then web development services are necessary.

    Web Developer

    E-commerce features

    E-commerce sites require an array of features, most of which require a web developer’s help in building out. For example, e-commerce sites typically include a shopping cart feature, can take customer information and redirect customers to a secure payment page. Here, the site must be able to take and protect sensitive financial information like credit card numbers.

    Custom data management

    Web developers spend much of their time working on databases. This includes coding the databases so they are communicating properly with the front end. If your business site is going to handle inputs from visitors (even something as simple as a name), then you’ll need a functioning database to handle that information. A web development firm can structure that database.

    Site optimization

    Site optimization is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. Faster, more reliable sites are boosted by search engines and are much more customer-friendly. In short, an optimized site is a better site. A web development firm can help spot where performance issues are likely lurking and correct them to improve your site’s metrics.

    Custom web applications

    A web application is a piece of software designed to run in a browser. They can be designed to do just about anything, from word processing to storing customer information. If your site will require advanced features that aren’t typically found on most business websites, then a web development firm may need to put a custom application together.

    Web Development

    What other services should a web development and design firm offer?

    Web development and web design services are both primary elements of site creation. Creating a business site, though, is only the beginning. Once your site is launched, additional skills will be needed to improve its ranking in search engines and attract visitors.
    Skills like content creation and implementing best SEO practices don’t always come with a web developer or designer. Marketing tends to be a discrete part of a company’s online strategy, and so it can be tough to find. That’s why many decision makers make the decision to work with a full web service provider. In addition to web development and design, an experienced web services firm can implement SEO and content marketing campaigns. This way, your impressive new site will get the audience it deserves.

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