Website designers may or may not be a computer programmer, but most have at the least some programming skills. Many website designers are also web programmers, which means they not only are the architect of how a page will appear on the Internet but also implement their own designs through programming. They can thus be called part artist/writer and part computer expert.
One of the most important tasks of the website designers are the creative design of web pages, usually by working with a client who articulates certain needs or functions that the web page must fulfill. Website designers tend to be excellent in working with graphics software, like Photoshop®, and many are also very good with programs like Java®, which can animate graphics. They frequently have experience working with a variety of media programs to add sound or film clips to web pages. Overall, the goal is to create pages with a specific design, a uniform graphic set, and eye grabbing details. Depending upon the needs of the client, a web designer may also write content for pages, though sometimes they merely edit and program content that clients provide.
There can be a great difference to no difference between website designers and a web programmer. Programmers may only implement designs by programming in HTML, XTML, and various other Internet languages. They may set up special functions like shopping cart software, and they may be responsible for maintenance of existing web pages and introduction of new data. Web designers, especially one with lots of programming talent may also do this. In fact many website designers offer both design and programming services. At other times, designers are the graphic specialists, integrating the client’s requirements into artistically rendered pages that are easy to use for visitors.
Web designers must keep abreast of current trends in the Internet industry. They must figure out what services are expected, what graphics are most likely to be received well and enjoyed, and how a page will rank high in search engines. By working with clients they get a sense of what basic functions the web page (or multiple ones) must serve, but they may also help clients formulate plans on how to keep web pages most approachable, and graphically interesting. Many are terrific artists who may have worked in other fields of graphic design prior to becoming website designers.
A lot of debate exists on the qualifications needed to become a website designers. Some people are not college educated but have been navigating and programming pages for so long it doesn’t matter. A number of freelance website designers have at the least taken classes in art and design, and may have taken a few programming classes specific to different programs that can help them best create pages. Others have extensive programming or design background and hold undergraduate degrees.
Degrees tend to be less important than demonstrated ability when choosing a website designers. Instead of viewing credentials, evaluate the pages a person has constructed to see if the aesthetic value is close to what you want. Check pages to be sure all aspects are functioning appropriately and to determine if the website designers/programmer is equally skilled at implementing functions needed on your site.
Suppose for a moment that you have decided to build a store. You are not going to do the actual work yourself because you are going to hire a contractor. Your contractor will design and construct your store for you. When completed, she/he will give you the keys to your new store.
How would the store construction evolve? Would you simply say to the contractor "Build me a 4000 sq. ft. store. How much will it cost?" and leave the contractor to provide all the design elements, the colors, textures and furnishings? No, you would not, and your contractor would have no idea how to quote you a price. While the contractor could provide you with a 4000 sq. ft. store, it is unlikely that it would meet your wants, needs, or desires. You know your business better than anyone. So you provide the contractor with a guide to how your store should be constructed, what it should contain, and how it interacts with your customers. This is why we ask our prospective clients to complete a preliminary questionnaire.
Your contractor does all this after signing a contract with you. The contract spells out a role for each person involved in the construction. If you can provide some of the labor, your costs will be lower. If you provide the right input, you are assured that your store will truly be what it is you wanted.
Nobody knows how you want your store to look, feel, and communicate better than you do. Your contractor can make some educated guesses about your business and place those assumptions into your store, but will you be really happy with the results? And wouldn't you expect the contractor to charge you more for providing these things instead of you providing them yourself? Time is money, and contractors don't give away their time.
So, what do you do? You provide the contractor with input about how your store should look, feel, react, communicate with others and then your store gets built the way you want it. It says what you want it to say. It's comfortable, easily navigational to your customers, provides your customers with the services or products you offer, and it looks good. You're happy.
Now a little substitution for this analogy: Replace "contractor" with "Web design Developer", replace "store" with "web site", replace "design elements", "colors", "textures and furnishings", "info" and "input" with "content". Now read the analogy again.
That is the function of a website design developer . The more input you provide, the more effective your website design designer is able to meet your hopes and dreams for your site. You provide the building blocks the designer uses.
May we also comment that a web design designer wears other hats which are not common to contractors of buildings. Web design company designers also act as a business consultant (advising their clients of how they can best profit from the endless possibilities of the Internet in relationship to their business' web site), interior decorator (graphic design and color coordination of the client's web site), real estate agent (finding the best quality web host for the best price and pursing registration procedures), and advertising agency (advising clients of promotional techniques and offering services such as search engine registration). All of these job functions make a quality web developer's services quite valuable. We do not know of many building contractors that wear these many hats, but as as web developers, we do! We can help you establish the ultimate web presence of your dreams.
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