The Intricacies of Web Production and Programming
Strategy defines. Design enlivens. Production and programming develop. Besides the specifics of strategy and design (content, marketing copy, SEO, IA, UI, UX) there is a world of specialization when it comes to the programming and development (back end) of a website. You do not want to leave this to a novice.
Your information architecture is well-defined, the content strategy is agreed on, and the design combines a flawless representation of your brand while underscoring the website’s goal to convert. Now, onto the fun (or not-so-fun) stuff!
A producer or technical designer breathes life into the static designs you approved. He will make the buttons work, the navigation link, the drop-down menus appear and, overall, give a site all the functionality it needs to make your information or products easy to find and evaluate.
There are myriad programming languages, technologies, platforms, third-party integrations (everything from Facebook links to something like a hotel booking engine or real estate listing feed) that can be used to add information and value to your website. An experienced producer or technical designer specializes in these, has experience with them, and can help the rest of the team make informed decisions about what is best for the site and your budget.
The same goes for programming; different hosting environments require the website to be coded differently. A competent programmer must understand how your website is going to function, where it is going to be hosted, and what technologies are going to be used before they can do things like make your contact form work so that the Welcome, Confirmation, and Forgot Password emails are automatically triggered. This person builds the database or place where your site and/or client information is stored. He or she builds and implements the search function in your site and gets it to “talk” to your database. The programmer can build custom administration tools for you to update your website or do things like collect resumes online or can suggest certain pre-built administration tools or platforms that work better and tailor them to your system, all valuable to running your business online.
Part 5 of this series discusses the problem solving and accountability benefits of using a web agency.
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