What is Web Development?
Web development is the building and maintenance of websites; it’s the work that happens behind the scenes to make a website look great, work fast and perform well with a seamless user experience.
Web development skills are in high demand worldwide and well paid too – making development a great career option. It is one of the easiest accessible higher paid fields as you do not need a traditional university degree to become qualified.
The field of web development is generally broken down into front-end (the user-facing side) and back-end (the server side). Let’s delve into the details.
Web development includes many types of web content creation. Some examples include hand coding web pages in a text editor, building a website in a program like Dreamweaver, and updating a blog via a blogging website. In recent years, content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla have also become popular means of web development. These tools make it easy for anyone to create and edit their own website using a web-based interface.
Comparing Front-End and Back-End Development
What you see and what you use, such as the visual aspect of the website, the drop down menus and the text, are all brought together by the front-end dev, who writes a series of programmes to bind and structure the elements, make them look good and add interactivity. These programmes are run through a browser.
The backend developer engineers what is going on behind the scenes. This is where the data is stored, and without this data, there would be no frontend. The backend of the web consists of the server that hosts the website, an application for running it and a database to contain the data.
The backend dev uses computer programmes to ensure that the server, the application and the database run smoothly together. This type of dev need to analyse what a company’s needs are and provide efficient programming solutions. To do all this amazing stuff they use a variety of server-side languages, like PHP, Ruby, Python and Java.
Why web development is important for all types of business?
There are ways to promote without investing heavily into a web presence. However, having your own website is much more beneficial, and here are 7 reasons why your business should eventually move to owning a website:
Full Design Control
Your company may change or adjust the range of products you provide, pricing policy (holiday discounts, etc.) or even company structure, which you need to reflect on your page. Owning a website allows much more detailed customization’s, as compared to using a landing page.
Increasing Brand Awareness
Having a website allows adding a fav-icon to the page, creating RSS-feed to keep your audience tuned on latest updates, using comments to gather valuable customer feedback and replying to it, posting links to your site at forums and blogs. Many additional tools allow increasing brand awareness and customer pool.
Saving Money on Advertising
Instead of paying for expensive offline and online ads, you can invest into SEO-promotion of your own page, which brings lasting results, as the funds you spend to promote your own page are the funds well spent. However, please do not mistake paid traffic Rudy Mendoza mentioned with investment into high-quality content, responsive website design, market trends analysis and well-thought special offers.
Saving Time on Asking Questions
Whenever your customers need to know something about your business, having a contact form, a live chat, an option to comment or a phone number is a step towards them, which increases a possibility of sealing the deal.
Confirming Your Credibility
Everybody understands that building a professional website involves some serious investment, which most likely means the company is not going to disappear the next day, so the customers are more prone to order from you.
Referral Programs and Discounts
Having your own page allows implementing a referral program or issuing discounts to your customers through the billing system. This is a feature free ad boards and social network groups cannot provide.
Your Website Works 24*7
Ticket system allows accepting and invoicing orders even if you aren’t in the office, meaning that the website can earn money while you sleep.
Website Development Process:
Step 1. Gathering Information: Purpose, Main Goals, and Target Audience
This stage, the stage of discovering and researching, determines how the subsequent steps will look like. The most important task at this point is to get a clear understanding of your future website purposes, the main goals you wish to get, and the target audience you want to attract to your site. Such kind of a website development questionnaire helps to develop the best strategy for further project management.
Step 2. Planning: Sitemap and Wire frame Creation
At this stage of the website development cycle, the developer creates the data that allows a customer to judge how the entire site will look like.
The sitemap allows you to understand how the inner structure of a website looks like but doesn’t describe the user interface. Sometimes, before you start to code or even work on a design, there’s a necessity to get approval from a customer that everything looks fine so you can begin the next phase of developing. In this case, a wireframe or mock-up is created. A wireframe is a visual representation of the user interface that you’re going to create. But it doesn’t contain any design elements such as colors, logos, etc. It only describes the elements that will be added to the page and their location. It’s artless and cheap in production sketch.
During the design phase, your website takes shape. All the visual content, such as images, photos, and videos is created at this step. Once again, all the info that was gathered through the first phase is crucial. The customer and target audience must be kept in mind while you work on a design.
The website layout is the result of a designer’s work. It can be a graphic sketch or an actual graphic design. The primary function of the layout is to represent the information structure, visualize the content, and demonstrate the basic functionality. Layouts contain colors, logos, images and can give a general understanding of the future product.
Step 4. Content Writing and Assembly
Content writing and compiling usually overlaps with other stages of website creation, and its role can’t be underestimated. At this step, it is necessary to put in writing the very essence you’d like to communicate to the audience of your website and add calls-to-action. Content writing also involves the creation of catching headlines, text editing, writing new text, compiling the existing text, etc., this takes time and effort. As a rule, the client undertakes to provide website content ready to migrate to the site. It is better when all website content is provided before or during website coding.
Step 5. Coding
At this step, you can finally start creating the website itself. Graphic elements that have been designed during the previous stages should be used to create an actual website. Usually, the home page is created first, and then all sub-pages are added, according to the website hierarchy that was previously created in the form of a sitemap. Frameworks and CMS should be implemented to make sure that the server can handle the installation and set-up smoothly.
All static web page elements that were designed during the mock-up and layout creation should be created and tested. Then, special features and interactivity should be added. A deep understanding of every website development technology that you’re going to use is crucial at this phase.
Step 6. Testing, Review, and Launch
Testing is probably the most routine part of a process. Every single link should be tested to make sure that there are no broken ones among them. You should check every form, every script, run a spell-checking software to find possible typos. Use code validators to check if your code follows the current web standards. Valid code is necessary, for example, if cross-browser compatibility is crucial for you.
After you check and re-check your website, it’s time to upload it to a server. An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software is used for that purpose. After you deployed the files, you should run yet another, final test to be sure that all your files have been installed correctly.
Step 7. Maintenance: Opinion Monitoring and Regular Updating
What’s important to remember is that a website is more of a service than a product. It’s not enough to “deliver” a website to a user. You should also make sure that everything works fine, and everybody is satisfied and always be prepared to make changes in another case.
The feedback system added to the site will allow you to detect possible problems the end-users face. The highest priority task, in this case, is to fix the problem as fast as you can. If you won’t, you may find one day that your users prefer to use another website rather than put up with the inconvenience.
The other important thing is keeping your website up to date. If you use a CMS, regular updates will prevent you from bugs and decrease security risks.