So, you need a new website.
Why would you need to hire a web developer in the first place when you can hop on a website building site like Wix or Squarespace? Isn’t the idea of those services that anyone can build a website?
Yes, that is true. Most anyone can build a website, but the real questions you should be asking yourself are:
Do I have the time?
Many website builder sites will advertise that it is quick and easy to get a site up, but what they don’t talk about is the hours you’ll spend learning how to use their tool, deciding what fonts and colors to use, adding in your content and laying it out in a way you are happy with (and then probably rearranging everything the next time you log in), researching and adding add-ons or plug-ins for things like appointment scheduling, event listings, etc., navigating domain registration, hosting, and SSL certificates, and much more.
Will [insert website builder site here] provide the solutions my business needs to succeed?
This could be anything from displaying your yoga class schedule, to pulling your inventory from your Point Of Sale system so you don’t need to duplicate your efforts. Sometimes the tool you need is available through website building sites, but more often than not, it will be for an additional fee that isn’t advertised until you have too much time invested to turn back. Those add up and can end up being the most expensive part of your website.
If you answered no to one or both of the above questions…
The first step is to hire a designer. The designer will come up with the look of the website and create things like images, icons, etc. A pure graphic designer does not actually implement the site, instead they prepare a representation, or a road map if you will, of what the site will look like so the web developer can build it.
There are 3 main types of web developers, the key is hiring someone, or multiple people, who will fit your needs.
- Front-End Web Developer:
Front-end developers take your designs and turn them into code. They are responsible for the look and feel of the website, including making sure that your site looks good on all devices from the largest monitor to a smartphone. They also will optimize your site for users and search engines.
- Back-End Web Developer:
Back-end developers are responsible for building and maintaining the code that runs a website. This code connects the website to the server and ensures that data flows and is stored properly.
- Full-Stack Web Developer:
A full-stack web developer is someone who does both front-end and back-end web development.
Each type of developer will often specialize in different technologies, so be sure to look at your short term and long term goals for the site when interviewing developers to make sure they match up.
If you’re now thinking, “You’re telling me I need to hire not one, but potentially 3 different people (designer + front-end + back-end) just to build my website?” The answer is, most likely, yes. There are some unicorns out there that can do all three jobs, but there is another, more efficient option.
Hiring an agency like The BARK Firm can offer you all of these skill sets under one roof. Here at BARK, we have multiple designers and developers to ensure your website is custom tailored to what it is you WANT and NEED. We can also make sure your site is maintained well after launch, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Interested in learning more, and to see if we are a good fit for your website needs? Contact us for a free assessment.