Even though most people at some stage of their working week look at a website in some form or other most people have no idea how a website is actually created. They don’t understand website design nor do we expect you to but it does help to understand how 99% of websites are created.
Website Design Explained
Themes and Templates
Don’t worry I am not going to go into deep technical depth here. But it is first important to know that there are hundreds of ways of creating a website. Not of all of them even require a design and you can easily create a website using a template or a theme. To use an analogy using a theme or a template for your website project is like buying a house off a plan that many other houses are based off of.
Your end result will look like all the other houses in your estate bar the internal furniture and paint, think the words and some of the images. Many, many websites are created using this method and there are thriving online market places where you can get both free and paid themes and templates for your website.
We do not use this method. We could explain at length but suffice to say we design all our websites from scratch.
So What Is A Website Design?
Again leaning on the house analogy. The website design process is where we sit down with you take your input and design (using Adobe tools) and actual visual of your website home page and other pages. We draw the design online and share this with you. It isn’t a working website it is just (like the house) a plan.
Most website design companies follow this process. How they get to this stage and what tools hey use varies hugely but suffice to say you end up with a design that you are happy to convert (build he house) into a website.
Harking back to themes and templates many people come to us with a theme and say – this is much cheaper and faster why can’t you do this for us. It may be (we think it isn’t) but our direction for many years is that all our customers from a simple brochure to large eCommerce sites get bespoke designs.
Website Design to Website Development
Once you are happy with the design this is where website development comes in. Again as we mentioned above the programming languages and systems that are used to deliver the end product are many and varied. Suffice to say at the end of a website development process you end up with a working live website.
Your content (words) and imagery should then be added to it and pages populated till you are happy.
The development system we use delivers a system that runs on a content mangement system (CMS) called WordPress. WordPress is used by approx 25% of websites worldwide. Its popularity comes from its ease of use, depth of support and amount of useful free and paid add ons that make it a perfect system to have.
For you the end user is that you can easily edit the content on it.
Website Design Project Next Steps
From reading this far you now see that there is both website design (the visual creation) and website development. But people tend to group them all under the one heading of design. Most website design companies either are one person shows who do all of the above or in our case we split it between design and development.
Once a website is delivered it is really just the beginning. One of the reasons we use the WordPress CMS (as do hundreds of thousands of other people and companies) is that a website is forever changing and you should be adding to it regularly with new content, keeping the existing content up to date and making sure it is fresh and relevant.
I would estimate that this website that you are on now changes its content every single day. From changing how sentences are structured, fixing errors, adding new pages and deleting old ones we are always making sure it is up to date.
So as a website owner you should think of this all the time. It helps with your marketing and search results and most importantly ensures that your customers find up to date and relevant information.