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Web Designer or Web Developer – is there a difference?

Web Designer or Web Developer – is there a difference?

You may hear the terms “web designer” or “web developer” and be a little confused. They’re the same thing, aren’t they?

These terms are often used interchangeably, it’s true. Companies will sometimes use both these terms when advertising the services they offer, as a way of “covering all their bases”  However, a “web designer” and a “web developer” refer to two quite different aspects. They will each possess unique skill sets. While their roles may overlap in the development and construction of a website, their skills are employed in different areas during the website building process.

What’s a web developer?

A web developer, often called a programmer or a coder, builds a functioning website from the ground up. In actual fact, web development is the process through which any good website, mobile app or other similar web platform is created. A web developer writes the information, using HTML or other programming languages, which will enable the website to function correctly. He or she takes the concept of a website and turns it into a working site. Web developers will build very basic, static but functional, sites or more dynamic, interactive sites, utilising user interactivity. Elements such as links, buttons, content sliders and multi-functional images would all be included as part of a dynamic site. The web development languages are the platforms through which these specific instructions are communicated and subsequent actions are initiated.

What’s a web designer?

Before a web developer can proceed, he or she needs to know how it should all work. They need to have a good grasp of the vision the client has for the site. That’s where a web designer comes in.

A web designer, quite literally, designs the website. First, he or she will establish the objectives of the site; how the client wants it to work and what they want to achieve. The designer will then wireframe the website design. After that, a web designer finally moves into the design stage. A web designer and a web developer may work together at this point to build the different aspects of a working website. Web designers will consider several aspects or principles of design when planning a website. A website should look good but it must also function well, provide a positive user experience and meet the client’s objectives.

Design Considerations
  • Layout – The website’s physical layout is an important aspect for web designers to consider. Web designers will ensure an even combination of heavy and light elements in order to create a balanced layout. A good website will combine both to best effect. It will also employ a good balance of images and content. A website needs to give relevant information, but not so much that the user is bored. Likewise, the appropriate use of images can provide visual anchoring for accompanying informational text.
  • Colour – A web designer will balance the use of colour, using either contrasting colour for bold effect or complementary colour. Colour may be used to emphasise or highlight certain areas of a website.
  • Arrangement – When arranging the various elements of a website, consistency is a critical web design principle. The journey through the website must make sense and be logical for the user. A well thought out navigation menu, for example, will provide visitors with a smooth and streamlined website experience.
  • Integration – Ensuring the various parts of a website are well integrated and unified is another important consideration.  The human brain organises information in a visual way, by grouping different elements into categories. This is the basis of what is known as the Gestalt theory. Utilising the principles of the Gestalt theory when designing a website will make the difference between a straightforward and inviting website, or a confusing and complicated website.
Conclusion

If you’re looking for a new website or a re-design of your current site, it’s important to consider the aspects of both web design and web development. A website should incorporate good design principles to provide for an enjoyable user experience. It should also utilise well thought-out programming language to ensure optimum functionality. Read more about the importance of a good web presence.

Is it important to have a web presence?

Is it important to have a web presence?

Actually, perhaps the question should be: “How important is a good web presence?”

Any man and his dog can cobble together a basic website these days. It isn’t difficult to write a couple of lines, find some images somewhere, put it together and go live. Voila, you have a web presence!

Yes, you can congratulate yourself on your brand new website – but is it a good one? Unless you’ve done your research and put together a game plan, your little contribution to the world wide web is akin to a drop of water in the ocean.  You’ll be practically invisible if there’s nothing particularly different about your site. Search engines won’t even rank you if your images are awful and your content is lousy. Your site will be the proverbial needle in a haystack, so to speak, (which turns out to be notoriously difficult to find). Unless you’ve given extensive thought to its design and functionality,  it will probably be difficult to navigate and your visitor won’t stay long.

I was recently asked what the point of having a website is. As it turns out, it’s an excellent question. It also goes halfway to answering the question we posed at the beginning of this post – how important is a good web presence?”

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What is SEO and how do I get it?

What is SEO and how do I get it?

You may have heard a lot of buzz about SEO content. But what exactly is it? And how important is it?

Search Engine Optimised (SEO) content is information that is written in a specific way. The purpose is to ensure that the web page or pages the information is on ranks well in search results. The desired result is obviously to bring increased traffic to the site. Search engines take into account the way that internet users search for subject material. This includes the use of keywords and relevant content. Incomplete information or missing data results in a page being ranked lower by search engines. Less traffic as a result of less clicks presumably means less exposure and/or profitability.

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What’s so amazing about Shakespeare?

What’s so amazing about Shakespeare?

Okay, so this dude’s pretty famous, he’s earned a fairly decent rap when it comes to spinning an entertaining yarn, and he’s certainly no “flash in the pan”, “here today, gone tomorrow” writer. Proving the old adage that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’, Shakespeare’s works (apparently some 38 plays and 154 sonnets) are still alive and doing quite well today. Meanwhile, the many feisty lords who were around at the time have been decaying for centuries in their tombs.

This year marks the 400 year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and literary buffs all over the world are taking the opportunity to celebrate his life and works.

So what was so amazing about Shakespeare’s works? Why is he widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language? And what did he get so right in writing his plays and sonnets that has guaranteed their enduring longevity and popular success?

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The importance of punctuation and grammar

The importance of punctuation and grammar

Nothing is more frustrating or hilarious, depending on your point of view, than terrible punctuation and grammar. I’m sure everyone else thought the attached caption was very funny – apart from Grandpa!

While we’re generally happy to let certain ‘rules’ slide when we’re texting or tweeting, it’s really important to make sure we get it right when we’re in a professional capacity. Poor grammar or punctuation can make it difficult for our audience to understand the information that’s being given. Visually, the experience is clunky and jarring. The reader may need to go through the information several times to figure out what we’re getting at. Incorrect or difficult phrasing can dramatically change the meaning of the text. And unfortunately, it can also give the impression that we don’t actually know what we’re talking about.

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