Why Is It Important For A Web Designer To Know How To Code?

Contrary to the popular belief that web designers should not worry about web development, geeky programming codes can actually help the creative bunch to a great extent. Almost every web designer has a basic knowledge about HTML and CSS. However, they often feel that a detailed knowledge about coding will make them abandon their Mac Pros, afternoon coffees and Photoshop brushes.

I do not feel that a designer’s creativity can get hampered if he becomes a code jockey. In fact, there are chances that his designing skills will get better and sharper. Are you wondering how this is possible? Here are some reasons why it is important for a web designer to know how to code:

#1. Better Design

Web designers have a great knowledge when it comes to color theory and typography. However, he should always look for ways to expand his skill-set. He must make sure he becomes unparalleled with his vision and talent. Just as a painter needs to learn about bristle qualities, paint compositions and canvas types to become a complete artist, a web designer will find it easy to execute his ideas if he knows the intricate details of the development process.

#2. Better Communication

It is natural for a web designer to find the techno-jargon of the developers totally alien to his ears. And it is obvious that he will find it hard to understand when exposed to a discussion among developers. However, efforts to know coding and working with codes will make him familiar with the terms, and as a result, “meaningful” conversions with developers will help him design more efficiently.

#3. Better Expression

The official website of WordPress has a message at the bottom: “Code is Poetry“. What is the meaning of this message? It means that the power to transform a code into something visual is the highest form of art. If a web designer can write his own codes, it will help him express in a better way. He will have the power to enhance his designs by creating pathways and developing wire-frames all by himself. The more he will know about the medium he works in, the better he will work in that medium.

#4. Better SEO

Why should we rule out SEO from the discussion? After all, SEO is also a part of a website. SEO helps a website get better visibility on the search engines. When a web designer is able to write codes, he is also able to design in such a way that will benefit an SEO campaign. And when a designer is SEO-friendly, it will just become another feather on his hat.

#5. Better Accessibility

When SEO knowledge meets the power to code, it creates better accessibility. A great accessibility helps in reaching more people via a website. Designers will not only develop codes for accessibility, but also understand every consideration. It will become easier for him to present information in a clean and coherent way, and visitors will find it easier to navigate.

Why Equity Partnerships For Web Designers Don’t Work

I would be willing to bet that every web designer or developer has been approached at one time or another to do work on a website in exchange for an equity percentage of the company. You see this a lot on ad listings sites: people pitching their great, million dollar to prospective web designers in hopes of enticing them in a once in a lifetime, business partnership which will be the next Facebook or Twitter. Not so surprisingly though, very few (if any) developers worth their salt entertain these offers, and there’s a few reasons why.

Million dollar ideas are a dime a dozen. GoDaddy ran a commercial during the Super Bowl which pointed this out in a comical way. Your great idea which you are certain will make a lot of money and make everyone in your life happy, has most likely been thought of by someone else. That’s OK though, people thought of Facebook before Mark Zuckerberg did, but for some reason he’s the one that made it work. This leads to the other issue with equity partnership proposals.

Web designers talk to owners of start-up companies all the time, and we work with many as well. We hear the great ideas, and in some cases the ideas are great. We feel the passion in the client’s voice in regards to how perfectly planned out everything is – how every corner has been covered, and we hear their excitement as visions of inflating six and seven figure bank account balances scroll past their eyes like a stock ticker. Then the work begins and the vision becomes complete. The website finally gets launched and the client sits back and waits for the money to start rolling in.

As a web developer who may have agreed to an equity deal with this client, I will be waiting for my first cut of 20% to come in. It most likely was a good idea and I probably did a halfway decent job on the site, although chances are if I actually agreed to do this, I didn’t have much experience at all with professional web development. But that’s neither here nor there. Hopefully I would have signed a contract, but anyone who signs a contract most likely understands that it’s about as valuable as the paper it’s printed upon unless you pay an attorney to look it over, amend stipulations in your favor, and then have the client re-do it. This almost never is an option. If you, as the developer, requested this, the client would almost certainly find someone else. But let’s say it was all done legit with a real contract and attorneys for both parties went over it with a fine toothed comb, leaving me as the web developer waiting on my first check of 20%.

A new website is like the elusive Planet X – it’s out there but nobody can see it. This is really the crux of the equity partnership problem. Getting a new website noticed takes time and money. The time component can only be overcome if you happen to get an advertisement on television in front of millions of viewers, or if you get a write-up on one of the major news networks, or maybe if you’re Tweeted multiple times by Lady Gaga or Beyonce with their endorsement. If you can’t get this type of instant marketing, then it will take time. Time and money – in most cases, lots of money.

So as a website developer, when approached by a client to do an equity split in exchange for thousands of dollars worth of work to get a website launched, the first thing that pops into my mind is, “if he/she can’t afford to pay me $5000 to develop their website, how are they going to afford to spend three times that amount, or even more, to get the website bringing in enough visitors and producing enough business to actually be able to pay me back for the time I spent, in a somewhat timely manner? And, will that one year contract even be close to enough time to pay me back given these circumstances?”

The clients that it would be worth while to do an equity split arrangement with, where I as a developer will actually make my money back in a timely manner, and then some, don’t need to enter these arrangements and more importantly, wouldn’t want to enter into one of these arrangements, because it would be cheaper just to pay up front than give a percentage on their million dollar idea.

Brief Overview Of Web Application Development Industry

Can we imagine how a future technology will look like? No one could except maybe some gurus being deeply involved in the process of its evolution. Still a regular analyst is able to make certain predictions by investigating the history of the branch and finding out some interesting and promising tendencies. So let us ponder about web development and its future a bit!

Web Development: The Beginning

The initial concept of computer network was shaped rather long ago, yet it took considerable time for the technology to go beyond American campuses and to come to ordinary people’s houses in all major cities of the world. It was a real breakthrough from the start – wow, now I can send letters to my friends, and they’ll get them just in a few minutes! But this was only a beginning.

The networking evolution took the technology to a fascinating new level after HTML was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990. When first browsers appeared, it became clear that people have got extra tools for communication. Exchange of multimedia content and knowledge became really easy for anyone who has access to the Web. Still, each user had his or her special needs. That created great, ever-growing demand for special web applications.

Modern Web Technology Trends

This market continues growing really fast. As more and more applications and platforms are introduced to the worldwide user community, the demand for smarter solutions does not become lower. Users which get new online tools for education, business, or fun begin to want more – higher speed, better operability, richer knowledge sharing. This factor drives the industry further growth.

Another important trend is the massive Cloud technologies adoption. What does Cloud bring its users? First of all, it is mobility and independence. Independence from operational systems and hardware. All data is stored and processed online while connectivity and security levels remain the same or even better. So more and more people are beckoned to perform their daily operations via the Web. This means even larger potential clientele for web application development companies all over the world.

Waiting For Faster Industry Growth

The analysis of major tendencies in the web development industry can help to evaluate its future trends. The rapid growth during the 2000s resulted in lots of innovations and breakthroughs which gives us some information to imagine the technology’s face of tomorrow.

Cloud migration is speeding up and major Cloud providers will undoubtedly gain several times more users during the next decade. That will mean much more load for their networks and, as a result, new smarter networking solutions. Gradually, the Web will likely be the main place for universal business, educational and social activity. That will surely require better tools for online sharing.

As for the implementation of all those solutions, the geographic distribution of roles will probably get larger. More and more web development projects will be outsourced in order to reduce expenditures and gain competitive advantages. The demand for good offshore contributors is met by the emerging quantity of IT outsourcing companies in countries with less developed economy. Due to lower prices in those locations such companies are able to provide nice offers for their clients from US or Western Europe.

Some locations are likely to gain more weight in the overall web development outsourcing industry. Eastern Europe, and especially Ukraine, tends to become more attractive place for project owners from the economically developed countries. Good technical level combined with relatively low prices make local web app development companies provide very high ROI rate for their clients.