So, you’re looking to get a website built. Awesome news! It means your business has moved from an idea or hobby to a fully fledged business. Well done.
So, your next question might be:
Do I Need a Web Designer or Web Developer?
But before we go there you need to work out what you need in a website.
What is it that you want it to do?
In most cases, you want it to generate sales and leads. So it needs to be on target, user friendly and easy to navigate.
Secondly, you’ll want to set yourself a budget. Having a website designed can be an expensive process if you don’t have your ducks in a row. Knowing what you want will go a long way in ensuring you get what you need from the get-go.
Thirdly, you’ll need to decide if you need a web designer or web developer. Trust me, there’s a difference.
What is the difference between a web designer and web developer?
A website designer, put quite simply, designs while a website developer develops. I know it sounds quite basic and a bit “ah-der” putting it like that, but it’s the easiest way to get it right.
A web designer will work with you on all aspects of your site from branding to your overall vision. They will ensure your website has a good user experience (UX) for both you and your customer. A web designer works on the design elements of your website from graphics to functionality. In a lot of cases, they will use a pre-developed theme to build your site.
The use of a pre-developed (or pre-made) theme means the cost of your website is reduced as you are not paying for a site to be custom developed. Pre-made themes include Divi, Bridge, Avada, Primrose etc. just to name a few. There are literally tens of thousands of WordPress themes on the market. Some free and some paid. I generally recommend going for a paid theme as you can guarantee on-going support and regular updates.
A good web developer can customise pretty much anything and they can even modify pre-made themes to suit your exact needs. They will do this using a Child Theme of the parent theme – the parent theme being the theme you have selected to style your site on.
A web designer may also know coding and how to modify certain elements through the use of HTML and CSS and a web developer could also have design skills. But while there may be multi-disciplined people out there, it’s best to pick someone based on what you really need.
So, do I need a developer or designer?
Deciding who is best for your web project will come down to what you need in your site. If you’re a service based business looking to generate a web presence and leads, then a web designer will be the perfect choice. If your project requires multi elements, complicated systems or a specific app integrated, then a web developer will be your best choice.
You may think an eCommerce store is complex and needs a developer. In most cases, a small to medium business can have a website built on WordPress and Woocommerce with a high level of functionality. All good WordPress web designers will be experienced in these programs. Even add in extras such as Afterpay, upsells and complex shipping matrix can be handled by Woocommerce and add-on plugins.
It’s worth noting that a lot of the time, you will pay more for a highly skilled developer than a web designer. This is mainly because of the extra work a developer has to put into your site. As I touched on earlier, a website built on a pre-made theme cuts the website build time down compared to a custom built site as the coding is already done.
Ask yourself this question: What is it that I really need?
Hiring a developer may be unnecessary if the features you are after can be achieved with a good theme and reputable plugins. This also makes managing and editing your site a lot easier as well. A site built solely on coding will be hard for you to edit and most developers discourage it mainly because it’s very easy to break. A full stop in the wrong place could bring your site to it’s knees.
If you are looking for a complex set up or a dedicated app integration, then you may be best to head to a developer who can specifically code your site to your business needs.
A site built with a page builder is a lot easier for someone with limited tech skills to edit as the coding is hidden within the element.
In short, assess what it is you really need. Do you need a site fit for Myers or do you need a website that is going to showcase your business in the best light, yet be easy to maintain and edit.