Websites have come along way in recent years - extended functionality, dynamic content, online applications, mobile websites, client-side-scripting - but in many cases designers are still being engaged to produce websites with application-like functionality. If you're looking to develop a website, identify if you're developing a website or a web application before engaging the right IT professional to assist you with the project.
In the early day of website development, most websites were static. Created using HTML, these sites were simply online brochures with limited or no added functionality. Nowadays, websites can be very complex, almost reflecting applications in their own right with dynamic content and extended functionality. These sites delve into the realm of Web Applications. If you're looking to build a website, it is important that you identify the difference between Websites and Web Applications and then put together a team that has the expertise to develop what you need.
A simple static website is very much akin to an online brochure. There is often little functionality/back-end programming required, and the major work is in establishing the "presence". When developing a website, a graphic designer/web designer can be a great asset to helping you develop your brand online - much as an interior designer can help you design the look and feel of a room.
However web designers are often not trained in back-end programming. So if you're looking for something more from your website, it may help to engage an programmer.
Website Applications/Progressive Web App
If your website has a level of complexity to it, or additional "smarts", then you're looking to develop some application-like functionality into the site. If this is your intention, it is important that you engage an IT professional with back-end programming experience.
While a web designer will be of great assistance in developing the look-and-feel of your site, often their expertise does not extend far beyond that. And to implement additional functionality they will often suggest that you use a platform such as Wordpress (or similar) to achieve the level of functionality you require. While this is OK for some situations, it's more about fitting your objectives into the capability of Wordpress rather than desiging the back-end to perform the functions you want in the best way possible.
Now this is not to be interpreted as an "attack" on Wordpress, but it has to be realised that it is a service produced for the masses. And as such, the generalisation of the software can often mean that it is not always suited to specific requirements. A more ideal solution would be to use a web designer to "design the experience" and a programmer to develop it to your specifications.
The added benefit of involving a programmer with back-end expertise is that they can provide specific advice and guidance into how to best implement your processes for the best result.
if your website requires back-end coding, (and application-like functionality), consider using both a designer AND a programmer for the best result. The result is likely to be far superior to using a general "built-for-everything" platform by building a more efficient system that is designed for the exact functionality you need.
So before engaging a IT professional to assist you in developing your next website; first assess what you are trying to created and then engage the professional most likely to be able to assist you in providing a solution. If you're looking for a simple website, a web designer with a graphics background will be able to provide you with a great looking website. However if you require content management, searching, updates or analysis, be sure to use a designer for the "look-and-feel" but make sure you look to a programmer for the applications. By sticking to this rule, you can ensure that you obtain what you are looking for from a professional that has the skills to deliver.
DCODE GROUP is an IT consultancy that specialise in custom-built, web-based applications. If you're looking for a website, we can work with you and your designer to implement a look-and-feel that you desire on a platform that is built specifically to your requirements to ensure that you get exactly the functionality you envisaged. If you're building a website and need assistance with the coding, Contact us for an obligation free discussion
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