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The role of the website designer is changing

Posted on September 23, 2016

 

Web design is one of the fastest-moving industries out there, and those people and businesses involved in it must learn to adapt to its rapid changes, otherwise they will be stuck in the past.

Specialisation and the rise of teams

At one time, most websites were built by one web developer. Creating content, designing the look of the site and building the site could be performed by just one person. Now this may still be true for small simple sites or for businesses that do not view their website as being a crucial component of their success but, for larger companies, this should evolve.

As websites become more complex and the competition for the top places in the search engines hots up, it is essential that websites are designed with search engine optimisation in mind. This is why an SEO expert is needed to make sure that the content, design and build are optimised for Google and the other search engines.

Many sites need a team of specialists in different areas, including designers, content creators, developers, coders and SEO specialists. An ecommerce site, or a membership site, will also need security experts to make sure that no personal data can be compromised or that the site can be taken down by denial of service attacks.

A website is a critical part of most businesses, so it pays to engage the best web specialists that can build one to reflect the values of a company.

There may be rare individuals who specialise in all the areas of web development, but most businesses will benefit from working with a team of web specialists.

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Multi-channel

Websites are often one component of a multi-channel content marketing campaign. Website content is part of a suite that includes social media, blogs, television and radio, as well as more traditional printed magazines and newspapers.

The web designer will need to collaborate with specialists in all these channels to make sure that the business’ content across the various channels is consistent and congruent.

More scrutiny

As websites become more complex and increasingly expensive to produce, businesses are expected to closely scrutinise the performance of their website. The effectiveness of a website is not a matter of opinion; it is something that can be tested and tracked. Variations in page content can be analysed using split testing where a portion of visitors sees one piece of content, and another section different content. With split testing, such factors as changing the headings or using alternate images can be tested for their impact and effectiveness.

Following testing, changes may be needed. This is an ongoing process, which means that it is helpful to have web designers committed to a long-term relationship with their clients so they can modify the website whenever necessary.

The challenge

The world of websites is evolving, and web designers and developers need to be flexible and prepared to rise to the challenge of these changes.

A web designer needs to regularly update their skills. A website that was cutting edge in the 1990s is not suitable for the year 2016 and beyond – even though some companies still have websites from that period.

At Engage Web, we specialise in growing your business online through great web design, content marketing and SEO.

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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