Website design means different things to different people. If you meet a graphic designer, it means laying out what the website should look like; if you meet a programmer, they will tell you that it is about programming how the functionality on the website operates; but if you meet a business owner looking for a website, they will assume that it includes all of the above. So, for the purposes of this limited discussion, we will be discussing what business owners should expect for different budgets, in terms of the quality of design and functionality, and how much internet traffic they could expect to see as a result of their quality.

All new website design starts with a basic examination of what you have to work with; the target market, and the products and services your company provides. A website is then built upon the foundation these two factors.

The target market is decided by what products your selling, and the price/quality of said products. Once you understand where the bulk of your market is coming from, you can begin to whittle down what it is that they will respond best to; what website design would work effectively and efficiently to convert website traffic into customers.

While this is all well and good, the website design doesn’t just happen in a vacuum; it requires an understanding of branding, and what works best with the product range available. If your website is going to be selling wood furniture and the target market is mainly women, you are still probably going to want to use a colour scheme which resembles wood, rather than something which meets the tastes of the target market precisely. Website design is principally a balancing act.

This part of a website design is generally known as a front end design, but it is about a lot more than just the basic appearance of the website; front end design is the part of the website that normal users can see and interact with. Involved in the process of building the front end of a website, you’ll have to include graphic designers (creating the appearance) and front end developers, who ensure that the website looks like the design by programming website browsers to render the information they’ve created into the appearance of the design, and then making sure that the website functions too.

After you’ve got the basic understanding of how the resulting website design is decided upon down, you then need to consider how you’ll be paying for this. As this is just the front-end design of a website, it can be done very quickly or very slowly, depending upon how many times you want it to be designed. If you’re not prepared to spend a lot of time and resources on perfecting a design, you can use a basic wordpress theme and then customise it with some basic design work to meet your requirements for less than £2000. If you are prepared to spend the time and resources on the job, then you could easily end up spending £10,000 on the front end design and development.

After you’ve got the front end of a design worked out, you then need to decide on what the back end functionality of your website will consist of. The backend of a website is how the website’s database, server, and applications interact with one another. It determines the management tools you’ve got at your disposal, and is a very important part of large, complex websites and ecommerce websites in general.

The types of management tools we’re talking about could be stock management facilities, ecommerce tracking, supplier management, payment gateway integration; just to name a few.

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