The Role of the Website Developer
Many people don’t really understand the difference between a website developer and a website designer. The website developer is mainly involved in the technical side and the designer is mainly involved in the creative or aesthetic side of web design.
So let’s look at the role of a website developer – In most cases a website developer should take instruction from the lead designer on a project. It is the lead designer that is creating the part of the website, visible to the outside world and it is the lead designers’ job to drive the project in the right direction to achieve the creative vision. The website developer on the other hand needs to understand the creative brief and make it happen from a technical point of view. Having said that, it is never that black and white and this means strong communication is vital for the project to be a success.
Website Development Structure
When starting any website design project, the developer first looks at the structure of the website. This is done in a number of ways but more than often some basic tools like flow charts are used to visually represent the website. A rule of thumb is, if the flow chart structure looks visually simple, you are on the right track. On the other hand if it looks complicated – start again. As always a website developer needs to have the users of the website in mind when developing the website structure. A well laid out structure will lead to a better user experience and convert more visits into business leads.
Website Development Platform
After consulting with the website design team and deciding on a good structure for the project, the job of selecting a platform to build the website on becomes the next question. Again this is a collaborative process and usually the client manager will need to be involved in this stage. Questions need to be answered like; does the client need a content management system to update content in a non-technical way? Or, are there any special requirements like internal servers, firewalls or cloud based technologies? Getting this side of the website development wrong can lead to scrapping the project half way through and starting again.
Building the Website
Now that the website development groundwork has been done, the task of building website begins. This is the comfort zone for most website developers and is the time in the process that they feel most at ease. Although this process has a number of stages the end result should be a working website that can be presented to the team for analysis. Of course this is not the finished product but it is something that can help the team test the logic and flow of the website and get a good feeling for the overall design of the website. This stage is “make or break” for a project. The skeleton of the website is built, the design concept is applied, and a question has to be asked; does it have what it takes to be a great website when polished?
Website Development Debugging
As with all software projects, a great amount of time is needed to debug each and every part of the website. Most website design agencies will use software to do this and then apply the changes step by step. But one of the best ways to debug a website is to get people not involved in the project to spend time on it. Watching them navigate through the website will help the website developer and the website designer understand the user experience in more detail.
Of course this is not a full list of the role of the website developer but we hope it has given some insight to the two roles and how different the role of a website developer is to a website designer. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please feel free to contact our website design agency in Dublin Ireland.