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What is web development really?

Web development simply means the work involved in developing a site for the worldwide web. This work comes in two stages, front-end development and back-end development. Just to be clear a web designer focuses on the visual whereas the web developer works in code to develop a site. The front-end developer takes the visual design of a website and builds it in code using such tools as HTML to structure the site and CSS to layout the visual styles.

Web developers also called programmers take the design created and build a fully functioning website. Developers take the design and break it up into its components using code. They can turn a static layout into an interactive dynamic presentation.

For small or medium sized companies looking to redevelop or upgrade their website, they can often get confused as to which skillset they need to employ i.e. a web designer or a web developer. There are individuals who have both sets of skills, but very often a web designer will have to pass the files of an existing website over to a web developer for the required developments to be undertaken.

Web development focusses on how the website works and how customers will be able to navigate through it and make purchases. Web developers have extensive knowledge in web coding as well as specialized programming that can fully customize websites. Also, the developer has the required knowledge of what the marketing needs of a website are.

Here are some pointers to remember when developing your website:


  • Brand: the first thing you need is to understand is your brand before developing your website.  
  • Market research: the number one thing you need to know when hiring your first web developer is to find out exactly what your customers’ needs are and to be aware of changing trends. The world of technology moves and changes rapidly.  
  • Communication: you need a team who can communicate with you as well as someone on the team who is very good at keeping you up to date on your project.
  • Solution: you need a team that are going to provide a functional solution to your business problems. Make sure that your web team has good business, design and development skills. This is important because many web developers are more interested in supplying all the bells and whistles than doing what needs to be done which is looking after your needs.
  • Search engine: in business, you want to be competitive. As part of the development process, your team should know how to make your site search engine friendly. This is the foundation of having a competitive advantage.
  • Recommendations: ask for recommendations from other business associates.

As part of your web development project, it is imperative to keep you site in line with current trends. A good web development team will have the required knowledge at hand. Development will probably be your highest cost for the first few years, so be prepared to spend money to find and employ a team that suits you.