Did you say developer?

We have already described several types of website professionals in our last blog, and have even given you ideas about preparing and designing a website yourself. Now we’d like to dive a bit deeper into another professional who can help create your website:  a developer. A website developer is the technical person who gets your website to do what you want it to do – strong functionality, interactivity, displaying multiple media formats like audio and video, etc.  The developer does the hard behind-the-scenes work, to make your website work easily!

Let’s talk a little about what a developer’s job entitles. A developer is essentially a programmer, who takes design and content and puts it online by writing custom scripts to accommodate your website needs. There are many different types of scripting languages, such as CGI, Java, MySQL, HTML, etc., and most developers are experienced in a variety of them, since certain languages are better at doing specific things – like pop-up boxes, flash videos, hover-over text, fill-in-forms, etc.  The developer also makes sure the layout makes sense to your viewer, so it’s easy to find and access information.

In addition to helping your website look good and function well, a developer must make sure your website is viewable on any type of device, like a Blackberry or iPad, and on any type of web browser, like Microsoft™ Internet Explorer, Mozilla™ Firefox, Netscape™ Navigator and Opera.

People hire developers for very technical and robust websites.  Remember, though, if you hire a developer, either you or the developer will still have to do the messaging and the design of your website.  If you are lucky, between you and the developer, you will be good at all three components (messaging, design, and development).  Or if you want more of a balance in your website, then you can hire a team of professionals who specialize in different parts of the website development process. This will give you the most comprehensive package.

Now you should be fully equipped to start or improve your website.  And, to help you keep the momentum, our next blog will have questions and answers from marketers, designers and developers, to give you more inside information to make your decision much easier.  Until then, you may enjoy reading about Carl Sagan, the astronomer who made astrophysics seem easy.

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