When I started my business of creating websites, I called myself a website designer without knowing what that really meant. “Website designer” seemed like the clearest way to communicate my services to a potential customer.
Thanks to some ready-made design templates, I was able to pull off some attractive websites. This approach worked for low-budget clients.
Then, I won my first project with a client who had specific expectations around graphic design. The ready-made design templates I had been using wouldn’t cut it.
I needed the help of a graphic designer.
Here’s where I tell you the difference between website design and website development. But, if you’re asking this question, then there’s more that you don’t know that you don’t know. Keep reading the rest of my story after I tell you the difference between design and development.
Website design is the process of designing the layout and graphics for a website. Design often includes the selection of fonts, colors, and photography for the website. The website design is delivered as a PDF.
Graphic designers are frequently hired to do the creative work of website design.
Website development skills are not required to design a website.
Website design skills are not required to develop a website.
Back to me and my first experience with hiring a graphic designer for help with website design….
I wasn’t thrilled about spending the money to hire a designer. But, I had to do it.
My time was running short and I just didn’t have the design chops. The graphic designer I hired produced the complete website design and provided me with all of the design assets. My part of the work became straightforward with the design assets at my fingertips. With the help of a designer, I built a beautiful website and the entire process was less stressful. My client was ecstatic and I’ve never regretted the investment of money for that design.
That decision to hire a graphic designer transformed my business. Hiring a specialist to help me with one piece of a larger plan was a lightbulb moment for me. That’s when I decided to go for the agency model. Maybe you’ve heard the buzzword “agency model” and not really understood what it really meant. The agency model is a way of doing business where somebody brings in the business (that could be you) and then specialists work on the different aspects of the website project to completion. Your role is to coordinate the specialists: graphic designers, developers, SEO’s, copywriters, and branding experts. As your agency grows, you might even choose to step away from the project coordination and hire someone for this responsibility, too.
That’s the agency model. Somebody brings in the project and then specialists carry out the project.
When I began operating with the agency model, the design quality of my portfolio improved and a new type of customer showed up to request my services. This new customer had a larger budget and higher expectations. My rates and revenue increased exponentially.
Your ideal client wants a beautiful, secure, and functional website that brings in sales. As the website professional, you know there are many pieces that come together to create this finished product. It’s your job to bring the pieces and people together and deliver the final results. So, stop asking yourself how you can possibly learn and do everything that is required to be successful. Instead, find and connect with the specialists you need to help you build a successful agency.