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Website Design VS. Website Development

Client:  “Is there a difference between website design and website development?”

Having a website developed is a very different job than just having a website built or commonly referred to as designed.  Let’s start by examining the typical website build by using one of the many things we’ve heard over the years:

“I know someone who builds websites”

Whether it is a friend or family member most people probably know someone who can claim they “build websites” and will do it for a lot cheaper than a company specializing in website development. You will get what you pay for and if you are having this website built for your business then you need to treat the website as one of the most important aspects of your company.  Having a website built is not a very difficult job…coding html, adding pictures, and plugging in generic content. Most of our clients started out there and realized later that they had made a mistake and needed to view the website like they would any part of their business in order to be successful.

Their first website was built without any marketing, without any understanding of their competitors, and without any thought to the future of their business.  They simply opted for the cheapest option.   People who own retail stores spend a lot of time and money thinking about where to place items in the store and the layout of the store as they know this affects sales and the wrong choices will cost them money.  It is the same for websites.

“But I’m not selling on my website”

We hear this a lot and most of the time clients don’t realize that just because people aren’t buying products on their website doesn’t mean they aren’t selling.  You most likely are selling your services in some fashion whether it is a sign up or simply a brochure for your business.  You want people to like what you have on that website.

“My website won’t change after I get it up”

This is a sure sign of failure.  Your website should change after it is up and running.  You should be measuring traffic, user behavior, and running tests in order to increase your conversions.  The first generation of your website is just a guess of what you think your customers want to see.  Unless you have detailed market research then how do you really know what your customers want and what type of website will produce the highest conversion percentage?  And remember online behavior is much different than brick and mortar behavior with they key difference being your competitor is only  a click away.

Developing a website is not a one and done type of project.  Just as a retail store can change the location of a few items and see a better return so can a website.  Next time you get a quote for a website design or build ask what you get for that.  How many people didn’t call your company this month because they didn’t like what they saw on your website?  Isn’t it time you moved beyond:

“My brother in law builds websites” ,  “My sister has a friend who builds websites for cheap”.