Do you design websites or develop them?
It’s a good question, and our answer is…either, both, yes and it depends.
Let us explain.
Why does it matter? Two reasons: you need to know what you need, and you need to know what you're getting. Helping our clients determine their needs and educating them on our skill-set ensures maximum value and mutual success.
the process: building a site
PREP WORK → CONSTRUCTION → PUBLISHING
In building a website, the first step is always to create a wireframe. Wireframes serve as maps to help distill and organize content, sketching out the use of the space that is available onscreen. An important thing to note: a wireframe means little without a brand to give it identity. The brand speaks to a company's values, personality and niche within the market. Name, logo, color palette, typography, imagery—all of these elements coalesce to form a brand. Not to confuse you, but we develop brands through our use of design.
Once we have that design in place, we transfer it to the computer and start building it out. This is best initiated with HTML, the simplest form of programming language, which helps divide a website into three basic sections: header, body, and footer. The real meat of the work, when we design AND develop the site, is executed most effectively with CSS. CSS is the cascading style sheet that tells the document how it should look, like when we add color or margins or format fonts. You could say it is the skin to the HTML bones.
Then, when it’s all ready, you go live. When coding from scratch, that process takes a bit longer because more tools (such as code program, transit, hosting site, etc.) are necessary to publish it. That’s part of the reason why we typically utilize existing domain platforms like Wordpress and Squarespace, which support customizable and functional website development. Coding is still required, but the input is much easier, which means that our clients can easily add or remove information on their own once the site is built.
The Decision: Which is it?
So, do you need a designer or a developer, or some mixture of the two, to build your site? It's an important question in determining how to achieve maximum value and maximum impact, and one that we at Circa want to help potential clients answer. [Our graphic should serve as a guide as you consider your needs.]