Commissioning a website: How to work with your web designer/developer

Laptop, tablet, mobile scketch.

Hello, I was planning a brief blog post to help small business owners who need a company website by explaining who is who, what means what, what the are costs, what to do and expect.
But when I sat down and started collecting the most common questions clients ask before we start working together, the result was about 6,000 words.
So I decided to split it in a series of posts, and here we are, post n.2 on all you need to know when commissioning a website (find n.1 here), 100% jargon free!

First things first:
Web designer, Web developer, Programmer. What is what?

Web designer, web developer, programmer sketch.

Web designer (like me): We have some knowledge of coding (normally mainly css and html) and a lot of knowledge in design and user interface design (how to make your website easy to use so people can find what they are looking for quickly).
A web designer can normally build a simple to medium-sized website based on a content management system such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and customise the look and functionalities of it to make it match to your small business’ needs.

Web developer: Often has some knowledge of design, and definitely a whole lot of knowledge in code. A developer can build your whole website for you if you only need basic design, or can work in team with a designer, do the whole setup and even change the way some plugins work or create new plugins for you if required.

Programmer: In most cases you won’t really need a programmer.
There are many different kinds of programmers, but, in general, They all use software to build the core code of a website.
You may need one if you want your theme to be built from scratch or a website that is not based on an existing platform (this is becoming less and less common as standards become more and more important and platforms offer the cheper option with a wide range of customisations).

In my opinion the very best is to have a web designer working in team with a developer.
This can of course be a little more expensive, but you have both the design and the tech sides of your website professionally cared for.
Alternatively, I often offer my clients the choice of starting with me first, having the option to call in a developer only when and if needed.

What you can expect from a web designer/developer:

  • A website matching your brand in tone of voice and design.
    Your logo should be there, and your colours, and the images you use to represent your company in your brochures and advertising spaces.
  • A fully working website, tested on different devices (I.E. laptop, tablet, iPhone, Android) and browsers (I.E. Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari).
  • Training on how to edit and mantain your website and/or blog.
  • If required, basic on-page SEO (Search Engine OptimiSation).

Next post in this blog series will be about what your web designer/developer will expect from you, to be able to do an excellent job. Coming soon!!

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