Web Design vs Web Development - What is the difference? 

The Difference: In Short

When you are searching for a website specialist to create a website on behalf of your business it is important to understand the different terms associated with the various stages in the project. For the most part, your website project will include both website design and website development - In short, design is mostly about the visuals, how users interact and experience the website and requires a deep level of understanding about what your business does, who your target audience is and what you are aiming to achieve. Development on the other hand is generally what goes on behind the scenes, generally you, as a client, will not have much interaction with the development side of a website project, but in essence development is the engineering of the website, taking it from a set of static designs and transforming those designs into a fully functioning website that can be accessed by your users browser and interacted with. 

What is Website Design?

Web design is the process of creating the visuals for your website, the front end design that users will see. Your designer, if they are good, will take time to learn about your business, your target or dream user, understand what their primary objectives will be when coming to your website and also understanding your goals for those users.

Knowing a good designer

Most designers will be able to create a design that are visually appealing, but not all will take the time to optimise designs to ensure your website not only looks great but also guides users through a journey to ensure the information they are looking for can be found and also prioritise content.


In general, as a client you will be involved in the web design process to ensure a) you are happy with the designs and feel they correctly represent your brand and b) to bounce ideas off, you are likely to know your business better than anyone else and therefore will have insight and challenge what has been presented to you. Only through collaboration can a website be designed to ensure it delivers a great experience to your users and leaves them feeling good about your brand. 

Get in touch to discuss your project.

Contact me

What is Website Development?

Once the website designs have been signed off on both ends, the website will move into the development phase of the project. This is essentially the process of turning the static designs into a fully functioning website. This is done through a variety of coding languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.

Whats makes a good developer?

A good web developer will work to ensure that your website follows best practices, accessibility, performance and creating a good base on which to build out your SEO content. If a website has been developed without these key factors being covered then it could look great and function properly, but search engines such as Google will be likely to lower your rankings, no matter how good the content you have produced is.


 TIP: Google Lighthouse Scores 

You can check if a web developer is good before you start a project by checking their google lighthouse scores. To do this start by looking at their portfolio, navigating to a site they have produced, then (using google chrome) right click and press 'inspect' - This will open a panel that is filled with code that you may or may not understand. In the top menu of this panel you will see 'Elements  Console  Sources etc.) go to the link that is called 'lighthouse' from here you can generate a report that will give each of the 4 key categories (Performance, Accessibility, Best Practices and SEO) a score out of 100 - The higher the score the better, generally anything above 70% can be considered good and any in the 90% are very good.


Once a website has been fully developed and thoroughly tested, you will likely receive a link from your agency to be able to view and interact with the site and begin uploading your content through the CMS system such as WordPress, Webflow, Shopify etc. that will be  providing the tools to change and update your content. 

Any Questions?

If you have any questions regarding Website Design and Website Development please feel free to get in touch.

Why You Should Update Your Website in 2022? 


1. Keeping up with the times

We all know that trends tend to move quickly, what was fashionable 2 years ago, is no longer fashionable today, and the same can be said for website design.


If you have a website that was last updated 3+ years ago, the chances are, it has started to look outdated. "Well that's fine" you might say, you might not be someone who is interested in fashions, and that is okay, but when a new user lands on your website and it looks outdated and old, while your competitors have brand new well designed websites, it doesn't give the best first impression of your business and could immediately be losing you enquiries without the user ever reading a word on your website.

A new website also gives you an opportunity to refresh your identity and align the design, copy and imagery to where your brand is today.

2. Relevance

Are you the same company today that you were 2 years ago? My guess would be no. The working world has changed drastically in the last 2-3 years and the chances are your business has had to adapt to work around the limitations that were imposed on us.


If your website is still talking about your staff members and having 'great office culture' when your team is now sat at home in their kitchens and bedrooms making whatever space in their house they can into an office, well then your website is out of date. If your website refers to your physical locations for customers to browse your goods when you shut up shop and moved to an ecommerce platform, well again, you need to take a look at that content and update it.


It is important to keep your website relevant to your business today, as this can lead to potential conflicts with users. When your website says one thing, and the business operates differently, this can lead to disgruntled customers and damage your brand.

3. Bugs!

Websites are like cars, when they are brand new, they are smooth, shiny, and easy to live with, but after a few years they get scratches, things go wrong and they need repairing. Technology moves so fast that what was new 5 years ago when your site was built, is now a bit old and can leave its mark on your website.


You may have bought a plugin to add some functionality to the website, but if it has not been updated or maintained then it may not be functioning as intended and could be preventing users from performing an action that leads to enquiries for you. Most of us have come across an issue on a website, eventually giving up to find another website that works and provides the information we were looking for. This could be happening on your website, so at the very least you should continue to visit your own website and ensure it is running as expected with no bugs and up to speed.

4. SEO Opportunities Await

Google and other search engines such as Bing are always updating their algorithms to serve their users with the best suggestions. The Algorithm is a large beast that takes into account so many aspects of your website, from the content and how users interact with it, to the code that makes up your website.


If you have an old website, it is likely that the code used to build the website no longer meets Googles high standards, so even if you have had the best written blog articles and all your content is on point, it is unlikely that google is going to be ranking you Position 1.


Your website may have been built when you first started your business and at the time you weren't aware of making your website appealing to search engines so you just chucked something together on a page builder like Wix or Elementor which are great for easily getting a website up and running, but have lots of 'bloat' that lead to slower load times which Google isnt a huge fan of! You may also not have written your content in a way that is appealing to googles algorithm.


Taking this into account, by updating your website in 2022 you now have a new opportunity to optimise your site and its content to try and influence search engines to rank your site as high as possible on their results page.




So there you have it, 4 reasons as to why you should update your website in 2022 to ensure that your website is helping rather than hindering your business. If you would like to have a discussion with me for advice on updating your website, then please get in touch.

Get in touch to discuss your project.

Contact me

WooCommerce Vs. Shopify - Which is best?

woocommerce vs shopify


When looking at market share,  WooCommerce is the biggest Ecommerce platform coming in with 25% of the market share. WooCommerce is an open source platform designed to be used with WordPress CMS and offers a wide range of customisation.


WooCommerce is an ideal solution if you already have a WordPress website and are looking to bolt-on an online storefront, this means you do not have to build a separate website and it can simply integrate with your current website resulting in an easier to manage system for your employees and a better experience for your users who do not need to be rerouted to another website.


WooCommerce also benefits from being completely open source, this means that there is a community of developers creating free and paid plugins to expand WooCommerce's functionality meaning.


Another benefit of WooCommerce is its price, it is completely free! The only costs that are involved in adding WooCommerce to your website are any paid plugins that you may need to add special functionality to your website, but for the most part WooCommerce will work for most businesses out of the box.


The main drawback of WooCommerce is that its default styling can leave a lot to be desired as it has no prebuilt themes you will need a web developer to style the storefront to match the rest of your website, this also has its positives though as it means you can really ensure that the Ecommerce side of your website is completely custom to you and can be pixel perfectly altered to appeal to your end user.


While Shopify doesnt have the same market share as WooCommerce, it does have momentum behind it and is growing at an exponential rate and has the biggest increase in 'interest over time' according to Google.


Shopify is a subscription based service meaning it comes with a monthly fee starting at £19 for a basic plan, all the way up to £259 for their advanced package which offers more functionality (these costs include hosting). Their value package is a great way to get your online business up and running but if your store ever requires any special functionality then you are likely going to need to upgrade your plan in future.


Out of the box, Shopify offers a variety of themes/layouts which allow you to showcase your products in a variety of different ways and you can choose which layout works best for your requirements. While the out of the box themes are all great, there are limitations on what styling can be applied to match your brand's identity and only a few themes are free with additional charges applied to their premium themes.

Comparing The two platforms

So, you are ready to get your Ecommerce store up and running, but which platform should you choose? Well there is no one-size-fits-all answer as it depends on your needs as a business.


If you already have a WordPress website then the answer is easy, go with WooCommerce. It integrates seamlessly and can be styled by a developer to match the rest of your website, it offers analytics so you can compare your year-on-year performance, track your orders and as standard won't add any additional expenditure to your business.


If Ecommerce is only a part of your website, then again go for WooCommerce and use WordPress as your CMS. WordPress is the king of CMS systems and pretty much any website functionality you can think of, can be built on the WordPress platform.


If Ecommerce is the primary functionality of your website and you don't plan to expand it much further than being a digital storefront with perhaps a few blog posts and core pages, then Shopify is likely a better choice as long as you are prepared to take on a rolling monthly fee and happy to upgrade your plan to unlock features.


Another scenario in which you may opt for Shopify is if you are just starting out with your online business and not looking to spend thousands on your website, then Shopify can be largely configured by you, as long as you are tech savvy and have an eye for design, then you can definitely get something up and running yourself. If however, you are not so tech savvy then you can get assistance from a web specialist to help you with your Shopify website.


For the most part, both platforms offer a great service and both can be configured by a web specialist to aid you with your Ecommerce venture.


For more information or to chat about how I can help please get in touch.

Copyright © Keir Nicholson 23
crossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram