Given that most of the world today regularly use the internet and head straight to Google when they are looking for products, services or solutions, the importance of a robust website which can stand up to modern challenges is obvious.
If you fall within this category, don’t panic! Simply carry on reading to learn how you can get the ball rolling and begin building an authoritative web presence.
With over 10 years’ worth of digital marketing experience across many different industries, I have worked with a varied roster of clients to help them achieve their potential through my website development, digital marketing, search engine optimisation and consultancy services.
My clients have included everything from small start-up businesses to major national and international companies.
Although my clients are varied in size and operate across different industries, they all have one thing in common: they have all seen measurable results and ROI by utilising the expertise of me and my team.
This page is an introduction to website development and is intended to give you a basic understanding of what website development is, what goes into it, what it includes today and provide some pointers as to when you should consult a professional.
Feel free to reach out to me via email if whilst reading this page you would like any information clarified or feel as if you could benefit from my professional services.
How I Can Help
Whether you are having a stab at building your own website and would like a little guidance or want to entirely outsource your project to me, I am here to help you achieve the very best results both in terms of your website and your long-term growth.
My website and blog are teeming with resources which you can introduce you not only to website development, but other important aspects such as search engine optimisation and digital marketing.
Speaking of which, this is what makes me different from most other website development and design professionals and agencies; my digital marketing experience enables me to build not only a robust and modern website, but a website which is fully optimised and ready to start converting leads and contributing to your overall growth.
Traditionally, website development and digital marketing (such as search engine optimisation and PPC) are handled by two different individuals or companies. With me, you get the best of both worlds all under one roof.
Whether you are looking to create a brand new site or improve what you already have, I am experienced and equipped to help you achieve it in the simplest and most efficient way.
What Goes into Website Development?
In short, a lot!
I could quite comfortably write hundreds of pages on web development and still not scratch the surface of all the individual aspects, elements and processes which go into designing and developing a website.
The specifics of web development depend on what you need from your website, for example a restaurant’s website development process is going to differ quite substantially from that of a clothing brand selling their products through theirs.
Given that each individual developer has their own workflow and way of designing an end-product, there are hundreds of angles which can be taken and thousands of possibilities. Generally speaking, there are five key stages –
- The initial idea
- Mapping out a structure and design
- Getting your tools together and conducting the actual development phase
- Hosting and launching
- Promotion, ongoing optimisation and tracking
Unsurprisingly, the third step is the most difficult part which takes the longest amount of time. Developing a website can take months, especially if your project is particularly large and complex.
Websites Built for the Modern Day
As technology advances at a rate we never thought possible and more people are taking to the internet on devices other than traditional computers and laptops, the way websites are being built is continuously changing.
This not only makes it more difficult to build and launch your own website as an amateur, it means that your site must fall in line with today’s web development standards in-order to be effective. If you don’t have a website purpose built for the internet today, you may as well not have one.
Most web traffic now comes from smart devices such as mobile phones and tablets, and your website needs to therefore be built and be fully optimised for mobile use.
But what does this mean, exactly?
Well, websites which are built and optimised for modern internet usage habits (primarily mobile use) will reformat itself and display properly regardless of which device it is being viewed from.
This is known as mobile optimisation and it is a key component of all serious websites today.
Not only is mobile optimisation important for user experience but it is also a key ranking factor. Google has introduced its Mobile First Index and will soon refuse to display websites which aren’t optimised for mobile in search engine results… not something which is ideal if you are trying to increase traffic to your website and boost your conversion rate.
DIY Website Builders vs Professional Development
When you are looking at creating a website, you have three options –
- DIY website builders
- Content management systems
- Professional development
Each of these come with their own pros, cons, costs and considerations. It all depends on the functionality you want from your website and the potential that each system holds.
Although it has become easier to build websites with little experience, they are not always the best option.
DIY website builders
By this I mean services such as Wix and Squarespace. They are popular choices and offer an easy way to build and launch a website, however, they are much less powerful than content management systems or professionally built websites.
DIY builders are usually very visual and incorporate drag and drop functionality to enable novices to build websites. Although this sounds good, they are not the most flexible solutions, have limited scalability and are best for small websites and blogs which only require something simple without lots of bells and whistles.
Content management systems
WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! fall under this term and offer solutions which whilst being powerful are also quite abstract. Different CMS providers offer differing levels of functionality, with WordPress being the simplest and Drupal some requiring some existing knowledge of website design and development.
Typically, content management systems will use pre-made themes (either free, premium or custom-made ones) as the backbone of your website and then enable tweaking to be done by yourself. This, of course, also requires knowledge of HTML, etc, albeit at a more basic level.
If you are serious about your website and want complete control over it, professional development is the way to go. By being fully in control, your possibilities are limitless, and you can take your site in any direction you choose.
Although professionally developed sites require more time to be built and require more maintenance, they provide you with the best opportunity to stand out amongst your competitors and drive serious results to promote your overall growth.
Which of these three solutions is best for you is only a decision you can make, and you need to think carefully about the nature of your business, your size, your goals and your needs.
4 Key Areas of Web Development Which I Can Help You With
As I mentioned before, website design and development is a vast and dynamic discipline which has many different approaches, methods and elements. Because of this, I cannot go into detail about the ins and outs of web development here.
Instead, I am going to briefly introduce four key areas of website development where I have expertise and experience. If you then want to learn more about them, either drop me a line via email or click through to one of the pages which goes into detail.
Your site’s design – its look and feel – is a vital part of the development process which requires a lot of careful thought and attention. Together, we can design something which fits your vision and ensures you get exactly what you are looking for. When you are happy with the final design, we will create full mock-ups, so you can see exactly how the finished product will look.
This not only lets you see your end-product before it is finished but also enables us to avoid unnecessary delays – you get to see exactly what you are getting before it has been done.
Learn more about website design
I touched upon this earlier – most of your sites traffic is likely to come from mobile devices, and this is why it is important that your site is responsive and optimised for mobile. All website designs produced by myself and my team are responsive as standard.
With the Google Mobile Index making it a requirement to have a responsive design optimised for mobile, this is not something which can be avoided.
Learn more about responsive design
Redevelopment and Fixes
If you already have a website design which you like but isn’t working as it should, we can get under the hood and fix it for you! I have worked on several redevelopment projects and I am able to fix all errors, so if there’s a bug you just can’t get rid of then feel free to get in contact to see how I may be of assistance.
It does not matter if your current site is new or old, was built by another professional or whether you are relying on a pre-made theme, I can help fix any website where there are persistent problems.
Learn more about redevelopment and fixes
Your website needs to be fast… lightning fast, even! Phones, tablets, internet browsers and computers are all getting faster, and your website needs to keep up with consumer demand for speed. On average, over 80% of visitors will leave if your website or its pages take any longer than three to five seconds to load.
If you have a website which is running slowly, I can diagnose and fix the problems for you, or build you a lightning fast website from scratch if you currently don’t have one and are on the market for a professional such as myself to build one for you.
Learn more about website speed testing