Need someone to build your business website? If this is your first time, but you’ve done some prior research, you’ve likely encountered the three different labels used for people who create websites – web designer, web developer and web implementer. Which one do you need?
First off, a web designer is a professional or team that designs the look and feel of your website. They will work with you on things like the layout, colors to be used, you brand or logo design, and so on. As opposed to what a lot of people think, web design not only involves aesthetics. A designer should know about marketing concepts – for example, content organization, call to action, etc. – and apply them in a way that helps you reach your goals for the site.
A web developer, on the other hand, is someone who utilizes a designer’s mockups (pictures of the intended appearance of the website) to build a serviceable website. If the plan is to use WordPress, the developer may create a custom theme based on the mockups, or customize an existing theme or template based on the same. Also, developers may insert additional features or functionalities to an existing website, or assist with other technical tasks, such as troubleshooting.
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Somewhere in between a designer and a developer is an implementer. However, take note that an implementer may be unable to provide certain things.
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Let’s say you’d like to open a hair spa. The following are what your website should be able to do:
> Tell people what services you offer
> Let clients book appointments
> Get people to leave their email address so you can forward information (new services, special deals, etc.)
> Provide your contact details so people can communicate with you
You’ll likely need a design/development team or implementer for this rather average list of needs. There are plenty of WordPress plugins that you can use for the aforementioned tasks, so you have no need for a full custom website.
Here’s example number two: on top offering hair spa services, you want to begin selling products and signing people up for hairstyling seminars. You will thus need the following additions:
> Ecommerce features, SSL and a payment gateway
> Inventory management that synchronizes your online and physical shops
> More complex booking process for hair spa services and hairstyling seminars with a limited number of attendees each
> Different levels of access for workers or team members
There could be existing tools you can use to satisfy these demands, but at the same time, you may also need something that is specifically made for your site. If that is the case, a developer is what you need.
Once you know the similarities and differences among a web designer, developer and implementer, it will be easier to find the right professional to create your website.