Many people decide they want a website for their business, project, blog, community, etc., but they’ve never worked with a developer before. Here are a couple of very short lists to convey what a web developer does, and does not, generally provide. These are not rules, of course — many web developers wear many hats at one time or another. In fact, I have provided all of the items in the “is NOT” list.
A Web Developer is:
- a consultant in the technical aspects of a website including, but not limited to: hosting providers/environments, domain registration, content management platforms, e-commerce functionality, site functionality, site performance and database functionality.
- or can be a search engine optimization (SEO) consultant and implementer. However, SEO is a practice that generally goes beyond general website development and involves fine tuning a website for targeted search keywords.
A Web Developer is NOT:
- generally, a website designer (someone who specifies website structure, flow, navigation, content containers, color scheme, fonts, etc.). While many web developers can provide website designs, many customers would be better off using a website designer to specify the site design before development begins.
- a graphic designer (someone who provides logos, fonts, graphics and stock photography). Note: Graphic designers are not always skilled in the technical aspects of website design.
- a content provider (of images, articles, textual copy, photographs, graphics, etc.).
Although a web developer could be a one-stop shop for all of a client’s needs, asking a web developer to provide design or content is pretty much like asking an auto mechanic to decorate a house.