What exactly does a web developer do? Ask that question to anyone that has ever worked with a web developer before and you are likely to get broad description of tasks and technical skills that describe a person in the field. Even if you ask someone in the web industry that question, chances are the answer you get from one person to another will still vary significantly.
Why is that the case for people in the web industry when so many other IT fields have seemingly clear lines of separation? In the web industry you have your web designers, the web developers, web application developers, software engineers, UI/UX developers and all sorts of other developers with various titles. All seem to do many similar things, yet claim to somehow be distinctly different. Still you can take a web designer from one organization and a web developer from another organization, compare the two and find that their day to day duties are practically the same.
There is actually a reason for all this apparent disorder. Over time, the process of building websites and web applications has became more and more refined. People with skills in certain areas of that process have gone on to focus solely on those specialized skills, thus creating various subsets of the web development field. Many unique skill sets and specializations have been brought into existence from the business of building websites. Some developers have a more focused skill set in certain areas. Others are more broad with their development skills. As a result, a web developer can be many different things to different people.
Regardless of what your title is, the skills you have, or whatever it is you contribute to a project; the goal of a worker in the web industry is essentially the same. It’s to simply produce a website (or in some cases a web application). So why is this important for businesses to understand?
Anybody that has done business in the realm of web development knows that if your aren’t careful, you can easily waste a lot of time, money, and effort working with the wrong people. For someone with a project in need of a web developer, a title is meaningless. Matching the right skills to your needs is more important than any title. You have to be sure that you have someone with the right combination of skills and experience to complete the task, regardless of whatever title is applied to that person.
This is aside from all the other, more intangible factors that go along with personnel selection in human resource matters. Add this layer of confusion to the process and selecting the right web professional can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, there are many skills testing services available that allow those that may not have the technical background necessary to better evaluate web professionals. This allows businesses to have a greater degree of certainty that the people they are hiring at least have the skills they need to get the job done.
Remember, your website(s) should be driving and growing your business. If its not, then you are probably not using it right. Look around when you are out in crowd of people sometime. Look at all the people that have their faces glued to some screen. The screens may come in various shapes and sizes, but all of them have one common thread. There is information on those screens.
Those people are all looking for something through those screens. They have various reasons for looking, but for the most part, they all intend to use the information they are looking for to make a decision about something. It could be something like finding a place to eat, comparing prices for merchandise, looking for a services provider, or simply keeping up with friends and family. These are consumers and most of these are purchase related decisions.
To get your website in front of those customers, you have to have a good website. This is why having an effective web presence is vitally important for your business. And to have the best website possible, you need to have the best web developers working on your website(s). So to answer the question; if you have a website, then yes you do need a web developer. Whether they are full time, part time, or contractual; depends on your circumstances and how much you will need them. But one thing is for sure. If you let your website sit, untouched for too long; it will fall behind that your competitors and just cost you more to get it up to speed in the long run.