For most of the general public – including a lot of our new clients – the process of “web design” basically comes down to drawing a site that looks fantastic, and then uploading it to the Internet. In other words, they want something that’s essentially business art, and so that’s where they tend to focus most of their time and attention.
That’s understandable, but it also misses out on another half of the process: web development, where we turn artistic and business ideas into a functional reality.
Put simply, web development is the engine under the hood of your shiny new website. It’s what allows the site to load correctly for every single visitor (regardless of what kind of system or browser they are using), to process e-commerce transactions online, to collect leads and download digital documents, and so on. In other words, it isn’t something you want to ignore when it comes to choosing the right web design partner.
With that in mind, here are a handful of things you need to know about web development:
Web development can make or break your business website’s profitability. Although the look and layout of your business website might be the first thing visitors notice, it’s the site’s compatibility, features, loading time, and expandability that will ultimately make you profitable over the Internet. The two go hand in hand – good web design doesn’t mean much without great developers behind it, and vice versa.
Custom web development can give you a unique competitive advantage over other companies. Anyone can go out and buy a great web design, from an artistic standpoint. In fact, there are lots of graphic arts students around the country who can make your site look fantastic on a computer screen. It’s the features and custom apps that you add, however, that are so hard for competitors to duplicate and keep up with. That’s why good web development isn’t just a competitive advantage, but one that’s hard to take away.
Web development is an area where being thorough is important. All business websites go through some bit of development, even if it’s only a matter of converting pages to HTML. Don’t settle for a team that just goes over the basics, however. Being thorough (especially when it comes to things like testing for stability, compatibility across browsers, and implementing new features) makes all the difference. That’s because even the best web development ideas are useless if they don’t work when it matters most.
It’s a good idea to ask your design team a few questions about development. You don’t have to know a lot about web development to ask the right questions. Instead of just looking at samples and portfolios, be sure to inquire about the programming background that different team members might have, what sort of functionality your new business website will have, and what kinds of upgrades, apps and databases might be available in the future. From their answers, you’ll be able to tell whether your web design team takes development seriously, or just wants to do enough to get hired.
Great web design is important, but strong web development is what allows your site to grow and become more profitable. To find out more about the process of taking your business to the next level over the Internet, why not schedule a free meeting with a member of our team?