What is web development?
To fully cover the subject of web development, we need to establish a key difference that will be used throughout. First, we have web design, which is the actual layout of a website. You've very likely heard of web design. Most design or marketing agencies will offer you "web design" as a side benefit to getting a full design package or a marketing plan. Web design usually requires a designer and someone with skill either coding or using a website engine like WordPress. On the other hand, there is web development. Web development includes the development of, creation (which includes web design) of and maintenance of a website. Throughout this post, I'll discuss the process by which we develop a website.
Development of a Website
The development of a website means the process of building the website via raw code (which is what we do at A Very Good Website) or via a website builder (such as WordPress). In this post, I'm going to explain what the process of building a website via the raw code is like as opposed to using a website builder. First, before developing a website, we determine what the goal is of the website, or web application is and how we will go about executing it. This can range from a very simple website that requires little new coding or could be a very complex web application that may require highly-customized coding that's based on the scope of the app. Once that's been determined, we start preparing the environment for which we'll operate, including working with clients to get brand information (colours, graphics, fonts, etc.).
Creation of a Website
Then, after the website development has been set, we start designing and structuring the website pages. This also includes a design for the header, footer, navigation, sidebars, and additional global page structures. We usually go through several rounds of revisions with the client to ensure that we design exactly what they envision. This process is the longest of three main stages. During this phase, we progressively build the website that matches the wireframe. The wireframe is a PDF layout of what the website will look like. Throughout development, functionality is added to the website for the navigation, header, footer, and other page structures, as well as additional elements that require movement, animations, or other features.
Maintenance of a Website
The final stage in the process of web development is maintenance. This includes the "after-care" of the website, maintaining content, and in some cases analysis of the website's effectiveness. Maintenance is an aspect of web development often overlooked because many either don't believe it's needed or simply do not understand how it can help them. The "after-care" of the website includes periodically checking for bugs, errors, broken content (images, links, etc.). The content maintenance includes updating the website with fresh content periodically (which also has an SEO benefit), and changing any content where necessary to reflect changes in the business. Finally, while not always the case, some agencies, including ours, offer analysis of the effectiveness of a website. This includes: monitoring an SEO plan, reviewing and improving based on results of metrics such as click-through rate (CTR) and the site's analytics.
To summarize, web development can be broken down into three phases: development, creation, and maintenance. Web development is typically conducted by a developer, and more often than not, in web development, a full-stack developer. A full-stack developer is capable of developing a front-end (user-facing) code and a back-end (internal components) code.
There are a couple things to remember if you've visited this article looking for a web developer or a web development agency:
1. Web development takes time - To ensure its quality, accessibility, and security, the project length can vary based on the scale and scope of the project
2. It's an investment; getting web development right should be of paramount concern, so hiring the right agency to do it, should be atop your list. I personally suggest looking for the value of an entire plan.
I hope this post gave you some informative help on your quest to find out what is web development?
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