Why Use an Agency?


The Intricacies of Web Production and Programming

by: | June 17, 2011

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.

This job has become a science. There are two components, the coding in HTML, CSS, Flash, Javascript, AJAX, the rise of the dynamic HTML5 (the languages or mark-up that make things work) and the knowledge of platforms like Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla (the systems that sit “behind” the design and allow you to update and change site features), that make this part of a team so valuable. There is also the wide range of unforeseen glitches the marriage of any of the aforementioned technologies could create. It is rare to find one or even two people that are well–versed enough in strategy, design, and production to evaluate and deliver the possible solution your organization needs. One-man shows usually have a few specialties that they always use, despite what may best for your website.

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.Get In Media

Part 5 of this series discusses the problem solving and accountability benefits of using a web agency.

Posted in: Affiliate, B2C, Branding, Content, E-Commerce, Facebook, Link Building, Local Search, Optimization, Rich Media, Usability, Why Use an Agency?

About the Writer:

John Prinzo is a Rollins College graduate and has an MS degree from Full Sail University in Internet Marketing. He began his digital career as a Project Manager for Lightmaker in Orlando, FL – a renowned digital agency. He is currently the Digital Marketing & PR Specialist for Orlando Health. John is an avid music fan and writes and photographs as a freelance music journalist. He collects his music coverage on his Orlando music blog, Kisses & Noise. His focus is on project management, digital strategy, copywriting, SEO, social media, blogging, and rocking out.

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