There is often much confusion regarding the difference between website design and website development. Many people think that these two vastly different disciplines are one in the same.

While website design deals with the creative aspects of the website such as layout, colour and so forth to capture viewer interest, website development, or the building of a website refers to all the behind the scenes, technical aspects of the website, that enable it to actually function online.

Because website development relates to the technical aspects of your website that you don’t necessarily see, it is often easily overlooked by business owners but to Google SEO. When however you are looking to create a new website or even update an existing one, it is vital to have at least a basic idea of what your website design and website development company does and be aware of the critical points that need to be checked to ensure that the website is successful and that you ultimately get what you want to achieve out of the process.

There are so many web design companies today which offer cheap websites. While a good website need not cost you the earth, the promise of a quick, cheap website solution is rarely well planned and professionally executed. So while people often see these cheap, quick solutions as a temporary stop-gap, they may not bring you the business results that you really want and could actually damage your brand.

Why is a thorough web development process so important?

The primary goal of your website should be to offer the best user experience possible, converting visitors into customers. When your website pages, or any elements within the website are not engaging (and relevant) and or result in errors, this is frustrating to customers and is one of the key reasons why they will leave your website.

A comprehensive website development process is extremely important, because without it, your website won’t work for all your customers the way that you need it to. In this blog post we will uncover the key considerations that you would need to take into account.

The other critical components that need to be considered when it comes to creating a new creative website include website design, website content/copywriting and search engine optimisation. We have covered these in a series of blog posts to provide you with all the information you need to make the process of engaging with a web design and development company, a little easier.

The 6 key features of effective website design & development

1. Attention to detail

The visitors to your website are likely to notice any little design flaws and technical errors on your website. These errors can include headings and copy which have not been formatted properly; watermarks that have been left on stock images; place holder text (lorem ipsum dolor sit amet) that has not been replaced with relevant text and so forth. Little oversights such as these do not reflect well on your professional image and essentially make the website look tatty and unfinished.

While it is most definitely the responsibility of the website development company to check that the website which is delivered to you is absolutely perfect, it is always a good idea to cast your own eye over the final product to ensure that you are 100% satisfied with your new website.

2. Effective website debugging

One of the key functions of a good website design/developer is to ensure that every element of the website works as it should.

All the pages of your website should view correctly, while the various functional elements on each page, such as buttons, links and forms should not present errors. Your website developer should have the knowledge required to create a website that works well and should be capable of using debugging tools to eliminate issues before the website is published live on the internet.

In addition to correct spelling and complete text, as we mentioned in point 1, websites which contain pages or page elements that don’t work properly may be flagged as untrustworthy by leading search engines such as Google, which in turn will negatively impact the position of your website in search results.

3. Cross browser & device compatibility

In order to reach as many prospects as possible, your website must function perfectly across all the major browsers (Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari etc.) on mobile and desktop devices, as well as view correctly on all of them. Your website developer should perform cross-browser testing in which he reviews and compares your website functionality and styling across the key browsers and operating systems to ensure compatibility with all major desktop and mobile devices.

4. Security and regular updates

No business website is too small to be noticed by hackers and no industry is immune from online threats. In fact website hacking is not only about stealing data, such as customer and transaction information, hackers often want to create an online location (your website) where they can hide malware so that any visitors to your website will become infected. This is often how malware is spread.

A good website agency will ensure that your website is as secure as possible at the launch stage. Apart from good website development practice when building the website, your website agency should test the security of your website (often referred to as penetration testing) using reputable, commercial website security tools. In essence these tools emulate the methods that hackers would use to compromise your website and provide the developer with a detailed report of the issues that need to be fixed.

Security testing at the launch phase of your website is however not enough as online technologies are always evolving. Look at the most recent Penguin update and the negative impact this is having on many brands. We recommend monthly updates and website security testing to ensure that your website is running optimally at all times.

5. Web analytics

Web analytics enable you to review data about your website including the visitors who viewed your website and their behaviour. Knowing which pages are the most popular; what content your visitors spend the most time reading; what day of the week and time of the month is the busiest and so on, is vital when you are wanting to optimise your website content to attract more prospects.

A professional website design and development agency, such as Cape Town based online marketing company, The Formula, will automatically link your website to web analytics tools and will provide regular, meaningful reports or show you how to read the analytics yourself. They will also provide you with professional advice and guidance regarding what changes or updates will maximise the impact of your website.


6. Ability to update content

So many business owners fall into the ‘build it and forget it’ trap in which they launch their company website and then fail to update content for months or years on end. While this may have been standard practice years ago, modern search algorithms such as those used by Google, demand regularly updated, fresh and relevant content. This content can include blog posts, social media feeds or updates to page content on your website.

Modern search engines will reward those websites that offer the best user experience, by placing them high in search result rankings.

Offering your customers the best website experience is key to more conversions and loyal customers!

Your website is ultimately the online representation of your company and brand, so it is imperative that your customers and prospects enjoy the best experience possible when visiting your website.

Whether you are running a simple 5 page website or an intricate e-commerce website, a good visitor experience is achieved through thoughtful, intuitive website design and professional website development practice which ensures that every technical element of your website works as it should. A cheap, quick to build website will rarely achieve this.

At The Formula, a digital marketing agency in Cape Town, our talented, experienced team of fanatic marketers and professional website designers and developers can assist you with every aspect of your online marketing. Our purpose is to help you grow your business! We realise that this may sound cliché, however your success is truly our success – and we sincerely believe that.

Let us guide you to plan, design and develop an affordable, yet professional, modern website that will help your business to soar.

Call Garth or Shiraz on 021 556 5661 or email us: to set up your FREE online marketing consultation with us

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