So, what it is really that distinguishes a good website from a poorly designed web site? The topic is as broadly debatable as Windows over Linux is but it all boils down to the two important keywords: development and design! A good web designer offering web site design services must know the difference between the two words.
Web development in itself is a broad term for any activities related to website, web application, web solution, e-commerce development, web content development, client-side / server-side coding, web solutions and web database system. Web development usually refers only to the technical aspects of building a website.
Web design on the other hand is perceived as the artistic side of creating a website that involves the visual styles, layout coherence, color theme considerations and all other factors that has something to do with the general appearance of the site, vis-à-vis its functions.
Therefore, we may conclude that web development equates to a programmer’s logic craftsmanship while website design is a product of an artist’s imaginative and creative ideas. If this is true which I’m sure most website design firms and individual web designers in the Philippines would agree that a good website must be a combination of digital landscape and well planned programming logic. The dilemma however is that majority of web designers falls short of these two important aspects. Worst, most website developers do not realized these qualifications. I don’t have anything against talented and enterprising individual with knowledge on web design and development but there is more than simply knowing the basic of html and image editing to come up with a commercial grade website. We must put in mind that a website is our business or personal identity online. It is the sum total of our being and our business that is accessible to clients and prospective clients. It means therefore that a website is our front line to the information age and that should be well planned and designed in order for it to serve its purpose.
There are however rampant offering on “create your own website in minutes” application and other template-based website. I’m baffled by these ideas simply because it directly contradicts to what I have just discussed above. Choosing to publish a website from a template equates to buying a white cardboard box in the department store and stamping it with your product’s name, no branding, no image building, no identity! It’s like the usual “Special Patis (Fish Sauce) label you see all over the wet market. All of them claim to be special but the sad truth is that non of them are.
As I have mentioned already, there are two important keywords in the subject, they are Website development and Web site design. Development is of course straight forward and can be learned in school. However, design is a rather different zone in the battlefield of web design. As the word design implies, it has something to do with creative ideas carefully woven by an artist – a full fledge designer who is there to collate the meaning of symbols, colors, sizes and positioning of every element in a website. It is ironic though that most web design firms out there offers template based website that are available in many template stores, worst many of them are available for free. So to say, if you have your prestigious business website made from templates, chances are that you have a twin website somewhere in the internet with only its mole and hair different from yours – the logo and text content, but they are visual replica of each other.
So if you happened to be reading this in search of a good website design firm, check out if the firm has a certified graphic artist and not just a programmer who read a crash course in image editing offering templates and who promised to create your website in minutes. Web site design and development involves careful planning, collaborating of design ideas, and putting together appropriate contents to capture the visitor’s attention and to properly reflect your business’ image or professional reputation..