I had my first experience with web design about 10 years ago and coming back years later I have noticed A LOT has changed. There is far more open source components available and the whole experience has matured considerably. Just doesn't seem like near as many of the simpler things have to be done custom anymore.
All that being said I am in the planning stages of a new website and I am trying to identify how I need to go about implementing various aspects of the design. I am trying to determine how much of what I need is within the scope of a normal developer's abilities, how much is open source & what will have to be custom.
Outside of the layout which obviously more or less needs to be done by a decent designer how many of these features are readily available or very simply integrated?
- User Accounts for Current & Previous Orders
- Automatic password & username retrieval
- Uploaded image database - 90 day hold w/ Auto Resizing
- Ecart - Micropayment processing (Believe so far Paypal & Amazon Checkout are the only 2 that do Micropayment Processing)
- Ability for Multiple Order Processing
- Ability to "Like" on Facebook
- Ability to Tweet about site
- Ability for Twitter/Facebook Post Credit (if user likes or tweets they receive a credit)
- SMS Integration (One way ...I only need it to send out)
I guess the difficulty of implementation will ultimately decide at this point whether I need a designer, developer or both.
you are right. The time of Dreamweaver, Frontpage etc is long gone and the time of various CMS has begun. I am a big fan of Joomla and I have created many, many Joomla sites for my clients. You should try to to get used to a proper CSM as well /snip
If you want your site to have the professional, user friendly feel, then you will need a professional web designer. He/She will design your website, but that's it.
Then you would need a web developer, and he/she will develop your website and give it all the functionality you request based on the design given by the web designer.
Note: there are people that do both designs and development, but usually they would tend to be really good at something, and OK-ish at the other.
I guess the important question, as far as development goes is, do you want your website to run on a Content Management System (CMS) or do you want to start from scratch and get the developer to custom code your whole domain logic.
Basing it on a CMS would be considerably cheaper, but the downside is, it won't be as flexible as building your own thing from scratch.
I hope that has made things clearer for you.
I'd have said a good web designer who is decently versed in programming and knows how to use the right tools for the tasks at hand. However, given that your requirements include eCommerce, I'd opt for either a web design/development firm/agency or get a good developer on board (in addition to a web designer) who clearly knows how to deal with eCommerce, security, and everything that has to do with highly sensitive user data.
There might be web designers who know their way around eCommerce, but a) they are rare, and b) I'd rather rely on someone who specializes in the area of eCommerce.
I think I am going to end having to go with both...hard to expect anyone to excel at totally different types of thinking. Most seem to either be artistic or analytical ..rarely exceedingly both.
@Bluelude1 you are right, it is hard to find someone excellent in design and development. An option is to find a company that have team ready for this, but that usually mean higher price.
With the higher price you should be getting some consistency though which is nice. I like to see if new concepts are going to work and then hand them off to qualified people once they prove they warrant the expense.
Same principle as Paul MacCready and his planes made of Mylar, aluminum & piano wire
You Are Solving The Wrong Problem « Aza on Design
djoca - btw I really like the work of the company in your signature. That is the type of company I would hand something off to once it works.
Your website isn't very complex but it's not a piece of cake either . My recommendation is that you find a great designer and have him do the complete design . If and only if he/she can do ALL the code then ask him/her to do the code as well . Otherwise just take the design and give it to a coder .
There are no need of any programmer or developer for making/designing a website. This is because of new advanced software and tools i.e Dreamweaver, FrontPage, Adobe flash etc.
Using these software's you will be able to make a beautiful webpage by your own design formats. And also update or change any website by the means of time. You may contact online tutors and also read article that how to using/operating Dreamweaver, FrontPage or Adobe Flash.
Dreamweaver, Front page and Flash… really – you can't be serious.
Use of Dreamweaver is Still here. It's not going anywhere for a while as I'm still using it everyday and it's still a necessity for basics, static, and some dynamic sites.
Anyways going by the list you have now, (always prepare for growth) If I was you, I would hire a designer to take care of the design and implementing processes. The easiest is of course what others have said and fastest unless you want a very unique design. Use CMS. CMS is nice, but the templates used are bland in my opinion, and each template has their own pros and cons due to the designers'.
Everybody has their opinions about CMS, what's available but for the most part they do the same things. Each with their pros and cons so you may want to look into them. But it will also require the designer to have knowledge of what you're thinking of using as well.
Anyways, CMS will take care of your social media, user accounts and so on with plugins or what not. But you're also talking about an E-commerce store, so what kohoutek said is also a very good option (specializing). Cause you will need a store database integraded. Included customer support tickets and etc.
You won't really need a developer unless you need something unique and not available anywhere else. And for the most part... it's mostly been done somewhere before, and sometimes available for use.
Another thing you'll need to add to your list is SEO optimization and etc. Once the site is up, you will need to market the site in order turn your visitors into paying customers and returning customers. Such as social media, site ranking, sponsor exchange, email marketing and etc.
Also, don't forget split testing and tracking to get more valuable info from your visitors, and so on.
One thing about your posts , instead of heaving a technical headache while learning to use the one of the CMSes of today you can scout around and ask the designer/coder to provide support and also do the in page SEO . The advantage here is that a good webdesigner will also put a heavy emphasis on page speed and that alone is tremendous help . A lot of CMS are bloatware and they become even more sluggish as you add more load to them .
I totally agree with you ApocalypseXS. Speed, still trumps usability, but don't forget accessability. Keeping the design simple, and easy to find related topics are what users want, and Always keep the end users top priority.
Anyways, I wasn't suggesting Bluelude1 to learn all this stuff. Let the designer handle most of it and learn from the designer how to add/remove content, basic stuff and etc.
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