Thursday, April 18, 2013

Website Development: The Perfect Job For Spock!

Last week we introduced a simple method for inexperienced website owners to manage the process of building and optimizing a website. An easy way to think about building a successful, fully-optimized website is to consider the following important tasks, and who might perform them:

1. Website Design
2. Website Development
3. Content Creation
4. Conversion

To build an effective, fully-optimized website, you'll need the help of experienced professionals to perform each of these tasks. But, as we noted last week, not all website design and development professionals actually understand what they are doing! So after you learn about these tasks (hopefully why you're reading this blog!), it is essential that you, the new website owner, hire the right people, and guide the work.

Remember: Knowledge is power! If you missed last week's post, you might want learn about Website Design, and the differences between design and development, before moving onto this week's topic: Website Development.

After your hire a professional website designer to create a visually-appealing website, you will need to hire a developer to make the website work for both users and search engines like Google. Unfortunately, since these tasks are so different, and require different parts of the brain, you will rarely find a professional who can perform both with the talent and energy you require.

Those with a dominant right-brain are often more intuitive and creative. Since website design is about the appearance and feeling of your website, the best designers are often right-brained. Those with a dominant left-brain, on the other hand, are often more logical. Naturally, since website development is about the technical aspects of the website--the inner workings behind the beautiful appearance--left-brained people are often the best developers.

Spock: the ultimate left-brained character, and a potentially great website developer!

After the designer performs his work, the developer takes control of the site and codes each page. The developer makes sure the website is browser-compatible and that the website loads quickly and efficiently. The developer must not make any mistakes, or the website will not work at all!

At this point, though, the web developer has to develop the site based on the web designer's work. Remember: if you're guiding this process, you already made sure that the designer created a site that can be easily optimized! In certain cases, a website will not be able to optimized because the designer included unworkable elements.Web crawlers, for example, cannot index Flash technology.

Whoa! Did that last sentence seem a little too technological? Well, this is the way a developer will talk to you about your website. Of course, you should learn a little about these technical elements of development, but more importantly, when searching for a developer, make sure he/she can explain the technical elements to you in simple language.

Unfortunately, many web developers simply do not know what they're talking about--especially in terms of website optimization. Many developers only know how to make a site work for browsers. But a bad developer's mistakes might prevent most search engines from crawling your website. As a result, your website will not be added to the various search engine's databases--not because the site is in violation of search engine optimization (SEO) guidelines, but because search engines have no access to the website.

For this reason, make sure you learn a little about development and hire only the most intelligent, logical website developer--someone like Spock!

Quality website development is the second step to a fully-optimized website that will attract the customers you deserve! Check back next week for part three: Content Creation.