Web consultants are not synonymous with web designers, web developers, or even webmasters. Each of those terms have specific connotations that I will outline below, but a web consultant is someone who knows quite a bit about ... wait for it... the web, and are available to consult with to determine your best practices for doing things on it. A good web consultant is someone who is not just a consultant, but an actual practitioner of the best practices for all of the following:
- Web design including:
- css (including the most current version which is 3 at the time of this article)
- responsive grid systems (such as bootstrap)
- cross browser comparability
- graphic design elements
- user flow
- Online Marketing including:
- calls to action and effective lead funneling
- social media platforms
- search engine optimization
- content creation and dissemination
- Coding and scripting including:
- open source code languages/scripting platforms
- database functionality
- API Integration
- server side scripting
- client side scripting
- Hosting and domains
- whois data
- DNS settings
- redemption and registrar practices
- backup and restoring data
- privacy data
- Email and security
- SSL Certificates
- spam filters
A web designer focuses almost exclusively on the elements of web design. They sometimes deal with code, but they are not typically experts with it. Same is true for hosting and domains... they typically don't want to deal with it and will have you set up your site with a third party registrars and hosting. They also dont think about marketing much if at all.
A web developer stays more on the code side of things primarily working with the databases and scripting languages that your website uses. Sometimes they can create things from scratch, but more often they are experts in one or two different systems or platforms like wordpress or joomla. They don't like working with design much but they do sometimes deal with hosting and maintenance. Marketing and content are generally afterthoughts.
A webmaster works with the website once it is published. Once the web developer and designer are done and the website is online and getting traffic the webmaster steps in. They understand hosting and maintenance along with domains and email. Marketing and content are sometimes included in their skill set but not all the time. They rarely can develop things with code, but can usually support code and possibly update it though most of the time they will have you go back to the original developer to get those things done.
And there you have it... in a nutshell at least. None of these disciplines are mutually exclusive, but it is rare to find one individual who can do all of those things and keep up with the constant evolution and changes in the online realm. It's kindof like the medical field; the general practitioner needs specialists to keep the patient healthy. Geekdom has many levels and specialists too. You don't want your family doctor operating on your heart just like you dont want your webmaster redesigning your website.
But, just like a hospital has all the specialists and general MD's in one place, a company can employ all of those different types of geeks to provide a complete solution to you and your business. If you were curious Your-Web-Guys is one of those companies. We handle all of the above for our clients with our team of dedicated professionals that are all under one roof. Tell us about your company below, or to get more information about what we do and what it costs.