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The Difference Between Web Design and Web Development

August 10th, 2018

When you think about the difference between web design and web development you can compare it to the difference between architecture and construction. One deals with the appearance inclusive of the layout, colors, interaction between links etc related to a website or application while the other deals with the implementation or the “how” part of the process. This includes method of implementation and programming of the website or software.

When designing a website the designer must be very imaginative and creative. In addition it is necessary that the designer contact the client and fully understand what is required; the priorities and requirements. This will enable the designer to create a suitable design for the requirements. Colors also needs to be taken into careful consideration and also the appearance as it relates to the client’s marketing needs and wishes they may have..

Consider web designing for the Coca Cola Company as an example. The designer would need to consider the color and as we all know the most dominant color of Coca Cola is red. So it would not be wise for the designer to hint at the company to put another color as the more dominant one when designing their web site. Also the company’s lively and young image suggests a design that will closely match a youthful and vibrant look. This can be accomplished by adding videos, texts that has stars coming out from them and any additional graphic that will create a spark in a younger crowd.

Web development on the other hand involves implementing the design from the website design model.

The developers may need to perform a feasibility study with the designers in the initial phases of the website development. Sometimes the expectation of the designers is very high and often exceeds the limits of the technology available to the developers. Thus the developers may need to find the best way they can develop the website without interfering too much with the look and feel of the product.

As with our Coca Cola example; once the company accepts the design presented to them the designers will then present the model to the developers. The developers in turn will analyze the model and decide what is possible and what needs to be reconsidered or altered. Then an actual technical solution that best suits the design will be implemented. It is not necessary that the developers know why certain colors are preferred; they just need to follow the design specifications. However, the developer may call a meeting with the company and the designers to inform them about anything that is beyond the scope of their technology and decide on a more suitable way of developing their website.

To ensure quality work which is expected by all clients it is essential for web designers and web developers to work together. It is important to note though that both of them have different parts to play in the overall development of the website; one is focused on the appearance and the other on the foundation just like architect with its constructors.

When Web Development Starts to Take Into Account the User

August 10th, 2018

Up until a few years ago, web development was gone about in a utilitarian kind of way. Something needed to get done, and a quick and logical solution was found for it. Technologies such as cgi, asp, ajax all came about to give answers to difficult questions such as how to create dynamic pages. Php eventually won out by being the most efficient and easy-to-learn language along with MySql databases. With great support and free software, these were the best web development solutions out there for the common user.

It is that common user that made this evolution happen. When people who were not trained in web design started making their own websites, then finally the most accessible web development technologies became commonplace. But still, web development was not being done in a way that was turned toward the user. It was done in a functional way that solved any issues that arose, but did not ultimately help the user get around a site or ever find the website. That is when the push for css-based design and url re-write mods came to be.

One of the heroes of this movement in my mind is Dave Shea. He pushed for standards in web development and for the use of CSS-based designs that minimized the amount of html and improved the versatility of websites and made universal access and compatibility a must. By keeping the user in mind, designs became more artistic and creative. Javascript and Flash often get in the way of a good web experience for many users and CSS takes care of that partially by creating desired effects without having to use these two programs. Of course, there are always limitless possibilities with Flash design, but in terms of usability, it is inferior to CSS.

The push for Search Engine Optimization has also pushed web developers to make websites with easy to remember url’s and well organized content that makes sense to users and search engines. Google’s algorithm becomes smarter and requires that page content be readable to humans and not just robots. Good use of headers and semantic page content as opposed to spam-dexing has become more commonplace. Web development has helped with this by generating attractive url’s and, through css, has done image replacement for header tags for design purposes.

5 Tools Every Web Developer Should Have

August 9th, 2018

Web development is a very satisfying job but can be very tedious with all of the coding and testing you have to do. Different tools can make this job much easier no matter what you are coding, whether it is a basic web site using just HTML or if it is a database driven web application. I have compiled my 5 favorite tools to use when I am doing web development, of course you will have your own set of tools.

WS Ftp is a great FTP program which has certain versions that can be obtained for free and used as long as you would like. You can set up different profiles and access different web servers file systems so you can upload, download, create and delete files on a remote web server.

Apache Web Server is a free web server that can be installed on a Windows or Linux machine and can be used to test web applications and web pages you have created without having to purchase web space.

MySQL Administrator can be installed on any computer and then used to connect to a remote server and access the MySQL database. This program gives you great functionality in creating a new database and tables and is a lot easier to use the MySQL command line and just as powerful.

TextPad is a very powerful text editor that can be used to write just regular text documents or can be used to write code for web pages and any other program. Best of all this program is free to download from their web site. TestPad color codes the text you type assuming that it understands what you are writing. Color coding text really helps developers get there ” correct when you are working a large coding projects.

MSPaint is a program that comes free with Windows but I find in to be a very valuable program when I need to make quick changes to graphics or even some where complicated changes to graphics. MSPaint can be a very handy tool, which you can even use to design your entire web page. As a starting web developer I designed many pages using just TextPad and MSPaint until I was able to purchase more expensive programs.

I tried to keep the tools in the article to free tools for starting web developers to use and not have to purchase $300+ programs to design a web page for someone. The five tools listed above are my personal favorites to use as a web developer. As always keep your eyes open for new tools that provide you more functionality and a low cost or no cost as all.