Web design is a tricky subject. Great web design needs functional web operations, well-written content, graphic design knowledge, and marketing prowess to create a website that is greater than the sum of its parts. The process is tough, but the jargon can be tougher at times. The digital marketing industry uses a lot of very particular and technical terms when describing web design, which can make the process a little obtuse to outsiders and clients. One question we encounter frequently is, “What’s the difference between website redesign and web development?” They sound similar, but these two aspects of digital marketing are quite distinct.
We’re here to answer that question with a thorough run-through of the terms and what they mean for your business!
Web Design vs. Web Development: The Difference
Web design is the process of designing websites, with special emphasis on content production, graphic design, and page layout.
You may hire a freelance web designer or work with larger web design companies or web design agencies, depending on your need. It typically doesn’t involve hard coding, which we’ll return to when we talk about web development.
Web development, on the other hand, is the process of building, publishing, managing, and maintaining a website.
This usually involves database management, programming, web design, and technical maintenance. Depending on how the website is built, this could require hard coding, but this will be dependent on each project’s needs.
So, what does that actually mean?
Web designers will focus on perfecting flow, imagery, user interface, and branding. Web developers, on the other hand, own the function and operational efficiency of a website through SEO elements and technical health checks.
If a website is a car, a web designer can change tires, buff out scratches, and repair windshields. Using that same analogy, a web developer is more like a mechanic who deals with the actual functionality of the engine underneath the hood.
How Are Web Design & Web Development Projects Different?
It’s important to note that web design is technically a subcategory of web development. Again, both these disciplines should work in tandem. The type of digital marketer who can apply schema markup and other off-page SEO elements to a website often does not have the artistic grounding to perfect the flow and branding of a website.
The same is true for a web designer. Web designers are great at thinking through how users need a website to look and function, not how search engines read the site. Any successful web development or web redesign project needs both areas of expertise to truly shine. Google’s algorithmic updates and industry-specific changes in branding make it all but impossible to specialize in both web design and web development simultaneously. It really takes two different sets of knowledge!
Splitting those disciplines into two positions is the best approach to ensure you have top talent in both areas.
However, those two positions need to work together when creating the build while still remaining distinct. This is called “full stack web development,” which means that both front end and back end web work are blended to create a great website.
That’s where JSL Marketing & Web Design shines!
JSL Marketing’s Full Stack Web Design & Web Development Process
Our process will look a little bit different from client to client, but generally, expect the following when working with JSL Marketing & Web Design on a web design or a web development project.
- Learn Client Goals: Our team meets with the client to talk through the client’s needs. Does this website need to be e-commerce compatible? Who are the client’s main competitors? What does the existing website look like? Do we need to build a new one from scratch, complete with more powerful SEO elements, or will a graphic design “facelift” on front-end web elements suffice?” Once we have all those questions asked, we move on to Step 2.
- Research: Our team dives into the current website to customize a project plan that will help the client get where they need to be. Are there accounts we need to access? (i.e., hosting, etc.) What content will be transferred over? Do we need to write new content centered around the keywords that will help the website rank well on Google to make the site perform? Is the current branding sufficient, or does it need to be tweaked? Once we have answers to all those questions, we can layout a customized project plan, including benchmarks and due dates, for the client. Once that plan is approved, we transition to the fun part.
- Develop the Project: The content is written, the web template is selected, and the website is built! This stage will depend on the amount of work scoped out in step 2. If we have thirty new pages to write and optimize for search engines, that will take longer to finalize than creating a few new branded images and logos. We’ll make sure to schedule a cadence for project updates and set a preferred communication style to ensure the client is taken care of as we finalize the build.
- Final Approval: Once we have the finished product, we present it to the end client for final approval. We walk through every page, each piece of content, and every image to make sure it’s up to the client’s standards. We also thoroughly test every element of the site in this stage for quality assurance. Once we receive approval, then, and only then, do we set the final site live. Don’t worry; we’re still around to answer questions and even possibly provide support as the client familiarizes themselves with the new site.
Websites work best when cross-promoted on other marketing channels. Google and other search engines rank sites based on the number of site users, so the more traffic you have, the better. That’s one of the reasons we recommend promoting a new website extensively through other marketing mediums. If the client is interested, we’re happy to take a deep dive with them through their current marketing situation. We’re happy to discuss all of the following with you.
- Pay-per-Click Advertising: Use highly targeted ads on Facebook or Google to reach your perfect customer! This type of advertising is billed “by the click,” which means that advertisers only pay for users who click their ads. That means you’re only paying for what you need.
- Content Creation: As mentioned previously, we’re happy to write additional website content for a website redesign or design project. However, sometimes you have additional content needs, whether it’s blog content, industry-specific white papers, or mailed brochures. Our content specialists will work with you to discuss what those are and the style of voice you need your content written in.
- Email Marketing: Your customer base is one of your greatest marketing assets. Those existing customers already recognize your brand and, statistically, are much likelier to purchase again. Some studies estimate that the odds of reselling an existing customer are between 60 and 70%, versus 5 to 20% for a new customer. Use automated email campaigns and email blasts to draw those likely repeat customers back to your brand!
- Social Media Marketing: Some 70% of the US is on social media. Reach those people with custom-created social media content! There’s a reason to market your brand on social media for every business, whether it’s sharing industry-specific content, communicating brand news to your followers, or showcasing product and service reviews. Talk to our team to discuss your unique business situation.
- Photography & Videography: Crisp, clean, and beautiful photos and videos tell stories for brands! Statistically, we’re much likelier to remember images than the written word. Branded photos and videos are a great way to cut through all the advertising “noise” your users hear and ensure they remember your brand. We’re happy to talk through whatever your unique photography and videography needs are, be it product shots, FAQ videos, or demonstration shorts.
- And More!
Marketing, like web design and web development, is part science, part art. Our team knows how to find that happy medium of evidence-based expertise and artistic panache to drive success for our clients. We have thirty 5-star reviews on Google and a litany of satisfied clients on our testimonials page that speak to that! More importantly, however, we have an amazing portfolio of web design and web development projects under our belt!
Contact us today at 877-514-0276 to experience the JSL Marketing & Web Design way.