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The Internet has taken giant leaps over the past few years but has your business progressed with it?
It's vital to have an online presence now more than ever, so that you're able to stay ahead of the competition as well as those that have already realized the huge potential of going online.
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Web Page Design – The Components That Are Involved

Web designers generally possess the knowledge of multiple professional individuals, as discussed below, but it's important to understand that there is a huge difference between a web developer and a graphic designer.

A web developer is an individual that is proficient in coding and assembling (or developing) the back-end code of a program or web page. Designing websites would not be possible without such a person as it's not an easy task and takes extensive training. This individual might have a limited graphic design background.

A graphic designer on the other hand, may be seen as the artist of the project and has the important job of designing the visual asthetics of a website. Their core competency revolves around the creative design and presentation - they should also be able to design logos, poster, flyers, business cards and other visual materials. Graphic designers that offer website design services would generally outsource such work to a competent design company since they're not completely proficient in coding and they don't have web development skills.

Web development would be the process of utilizing both of the above individuals as well as possibly a marketer in designing websites that are fully capable of representing a business online. Web designers are usually individuals that possess the knowledge of the professionals discussed above, in addition to marketing skills – they should be capable of implementing the entire site design process.

Unfortunately, there aren't many great designers out there and those that claim to be, generally only know the basics and use software to make web pages. They may be able to make amateur sites but they lack the knowlege to fix key issues or customize a website further by adding additional functionality. The above underlined terms, generally refer to the same thing (individuals offering web services) and can be confused but one should know a 'developer', in gereral, knows different coding languages and how to develop software, games and so forth, while a graphic designer does visual designs instead of code.

Web pages developed with only text and no graphics will not be able to draw a potential client's attention. A web page designed with only graphics and no back-end, will not work properly and is prone to errors (coding standards are now a requirement by search engines like Google, for websites to rank higher and be placed on the first few pages of search results).

Therefore, using a proper web designer will ensure that the development project is done right the first time, while making and saving you money in the long-run (as you won't be paying for something that was done wrong initially!

Is It Vital To Get My South African Business Online?

Lets elaborate on how clients, who've never heard of your business before, evaluate your business. The answer is not a simple yes or no response, even though other developers may sway you to think otherwise.

In all honesty, if you're a very small business owner and your business caters to a limited number of customers in the low income group, then having a business web presence may not be worth your investment (an example would be a sweet and snacks retailer catering to local customers).

However, if your business is growing and you have clients across many income levels then getting an online presence is vital. Designing a business website will be your professional online storefront showcasing your expertise and services while educating users on how you excell at what you do!

By not having a professional website, what you're doing is turning away online clients to competitors. Also, acquiring a professional website doesn't mean using the cheapest provider that you've found. Design software does exist and some designers will use it but a true artist needs to know how to sort out issues when they arise and not provide you with an incomplete project. You'll end up paying more to fix all your issues in the end! So get a website but make sure it's done right the first time.