Hiring a digital service provider can be confusing.
Who does what exactly?
Do you need a web developer? A website designer? An IT specialist? Or a graphic designer?
Googling “computer person” that does “internet stuff” doesn’t work. Digital service providers have different skill sets and different areas of expertise.
Web developers oversee and manage website projects similar to how a custom home developer is responsible for construction of a home from the design phase to completion.
With a custom home development project, the developer utilizes their own employees as well as subcontractors like plumbers and electricians to get the home built. The developer also quarterbacks everything to keep the project moving forward from start to finish, making sure things get done right and on time.
It’s the same thing with a web developer in the digital world.
From a technical perspective, the main responsibility of a web developer is website functionality — getting your site to do what you want it to do.
Whereas a web developer is primarily concerned with website functionality, a website designer is focused on aesthetics. Their goal is to make a website visually appealing.
Website designers also focus on the usability of websites.
- Is your site easy to navigate or does it confuse and frustrate your visitors?
- Does your site provide the information your visitors are actually looking for?
- Does your site instil confidence in prospective clients?
- Is it easy for visitors to get in contact with you?
- Does your site prompt your visitors to take some type of action and move them toward becoming a client? After all, you’re in business to serve clients and run a successful business, right?
Can a web developer and website designer be the same person or firm? Yes.
My office is a perfect example. Web development and website design are two separate things, but we do both.
IT stands for “information technology” and an IT specialist usually has little or nothing to do with your website.
An IT specialist implements and maintains your company’s computer network. They also handle an organisations’s hardware, software, security issues, email systems, etc.
Even though I have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering I normally don’t touch IT stuff. It’s too specialized and complicated. I outsource that stuff to my IT guy.
And my IT guy refers web development projects to me for the same reasons I refer IT projects to him. Everyone focuses on what they do best. Digital technology is too sophisticated these days for any one person to know everything.
While the previous three professionals work with websites and computer systems, graphic designers specialize in creating custom graphics, logos and images. Their work can end up on your website as well as in traditional print media like brochures and catalogues.
A good graphic designer can take a basic concept and produce something unique and amazing that you never could have done on your own.
Graphic designers combine art with technology to convey a visual message about your company, your product, your service or your cause.
Often the difference between a good and great website is the quality of your visual elements. Good graphic design work can make you look like a pro and your competitors look like amateurs.
If it’s in your budget I always recommend using the services of an experienced graphic designer.