42 Web Design & Development FAQs Answered

Have some questions about your website? Or perhaps a website you’re planning to build for your business?

If you’re not a seasoned web developer or web designer, it can be a challenge to know how to build a website from scratch or improve an existing one.

After all, successful websites convert customers. If your website isn’t quite there yet, you’re in the right place. At Distribute Digital, we offer our clients a range of award-winning web design and web development services.

To explain further about the work that we do, here are the top 43 questions about web design and web development answered.

Table of Contents

Have some questions about your website? Or perhaps a website you’re planning to build for your business?

If you’re not a seasoned web developer or web designer, it can be a challenge to know how to build a website from scratch or improve an existing one.

After all, successful websites convert customers. If your website isn’t quite there yet, you’re in the right place. At Distribute Digital, we offer our clients a range of award-winning web design and web development services.

To explain further about the work that we do, here are the top 43 questions about web design and web development answered.

What Is The Difference Between Web Design And Web Development?

One of the most common questions relates to whether you need to hire a web designer or a web developer for your project.

The easiest way to tell the difference is that web designers are responsible for the visual aspects of a website. This can include layout, typography, images, colours and other elements which impact the overall look and feel of a website.

In contrast, web developers work under the bonnet of your website to build it and also give it some fine-tuning. This mostly involves working with code to build or adapt the functionality of a website.

The work of web designers and web developers is very different, but is designed to work in tandem with each other. Therefore, it is usually the case that both web designers and web developers will work on your project.

Also, both specialists work alongside others that have a hand in building and marketing your website. For instance, SEO specialists, PPC specialists, copywriters, illustrators and video marketers.

What Does A Web Designer Do?

To get ultra-specific about the differences between a web designer and a web developer, let’s start with web designers.

Web designers map out the user interface (UI) of a website. Often, web designers create a plan for a website using a wireframe. From there, they will add in how the website should look in terms of the visual elements and overall content.

Other considerations for web designers include ensuring the design is responsive, accessible and current in terms of design trends. Designers will make continual refinements to the design through client collaboration and testing as part of their meticulous process.

What Does A Web Developer Do?

Web developers are responsible for all the technical elements involved in building and maintaining a website. This can include front-end development, back-end development, full-stack development, database management, deployment and general maintenance.

As coders or programmers, web developers handle all tasks that can affect how a website operates. Developers may work with technology such as HTML, PHP and JavaScript, depending on how a website has been built.

Do I Need A Web Designer Or A Web Developer?

Often, the answer is both! That’s because websites must be designed beautifully, but they must also work correctly.

In certain cases, it may be preferable to hand a task over to a web designer or a web developer. Generally speaking, design-related issues (i.e. a difficult-to-read font) would be given to a web designer. If the website had issues loading correctly or was glitchy, web developers would be the specialist to opt for.

In the rest of these questions, we’ll answer all queries related to web designers first before moving on to web developers. So if you’re more interested in web development, scroll down the page to find the relevant section.

How To Become A Web Designer

Web designers often gain formal education in web design, digital media or interactive content. A background in art and design is also desirable to get onto the relevant university courses.

Beyond formal education, web designers should have a portfolio which demonstrates their keen eye for colour theory, layout, typography and user experience on the web.

An (essential) skill which cannot be taught is understanding how to work well with clients. That’s because any website which a designer will create has to meet various commercial objectives. Furthermore, there is lots of communication back and forth with clients, from getting the initial brief to perfecting the final elements.

Therefore, anyone wanting to become a web designer should ensure they meet all criteria, not least have a clear passion for the industry.

How To Design A Website

No two websites are the same in types of scope or scale. But what every website must have in common is a solid plan for the design.

Sometimes an initial design for a website begins as a sketch on paper to map out the idea for the layout and the navigation. Though, web designers mostly use digital tools such as Figma to formalise the design, so that other members of the team can also collaborate on the project.

Web designers must consider every visual element of a website, including the differences between desktop and mobile navigation. This covers everything from the favicon (that little icon next to the title of the browser tab) at the top of the page to the footer at the bottom of the page.

Should I Hire A Freelancer Or Agency To Design My Website?

Both freelancers and agencies offer different things in the world of web design.

However, the simple fact is that when hiring an agency such as Distribute Digital, you will benefit from a wide spectrum of talent and input to create your website. That’s because we are a team made up of more than just web designers and developers, but also business and marketing specialists.

Plus, as a registered company based in the UK, this may offer your business more familiarity and reassurance compared with working with a freelancer. That’s because freelancers can be based anywhere in the world, and may not have official documentation or even a public address as us agencies have.

Although there may be cost differences between working with a freelancer vs. an agency, ultimately you need to consider the cost of a poor outcome for your website, especially when your business relies on the results. Therefore, working with a professional web design agency is well worth the investment.

New to working with a web design agency? If there’s any part of the process you’re not sure of – just give us a call!

Can A Web Designer Use Wix?

Technically yes – web designers can work with Wix. Though, as Wix is based on pre-made templates, it can be very limiting for designers to be able to make impactful changes to a website. Likewise, there isn’t the ability to build websites from scratch on Wix as other platforms provide.

If you currently have a website made with Wix, we can advise on how to move forward with a new platform, especially if you aren’t seeing good results with your current setup.

How Much Does A Web Designer Cost?

The cost of a web designer all depends on the scope of services required. For instance, minor adjustments to a website won’t cost the same as designing a new website with 100 pages.

Please contact us with details about your project so that we can provide you with a more tailored quotation.

How Long Does It Take To Design A Website?

The actual design of a website can take between a few days and a few weeks to complete. However, the development will most certainly take longer.

Similar to the cost of web design, we can advise on a timeframe as soon as we understand the scope of the project. Rest assured, we’ll keep you updated throughout so that you know what to expect from us.

How To Create A Website?

There are hundreds of steps involved in creating a website (hence why it’s a professional job!).

Some of the things that need to be considered include:

  • Domain name
  • Hosting provider
  • Security certificates
  • CMS or ecommerce platform
  • Website design
  • Website building
  • Written content
  • Visual content
  • SEO implementation
  • Testing and launching

These steps have been narrowed down, and are also far from exhaustive. But in essence, to create a website, you have to establish its presence on the web, and then build out all of the content and functionality.

When a website is fully functional on both desktop and mobile devices, and also meets any commercial objectives in terms of the design and content, it’s then ready to be launched.

It’s also worth noting that creating a website in itself isn’t the end of the story – instead, all websites need regular maintenance to keep them fully functional, secure and SEO-friendly.

Website Templates Vs Custom-Built Websites: What’s The Difference?

When creating a website, you have the option of choosing a premade template or having your website custom-designed and built.

Website templates feature a cookie-cutter design that has limited customisation options available. The template can be built by anyone, which may mean there’s limited support if something goes wrong. Also, any other business can use the same template meaning it won’t be original.

In some cases, website templates are absolutely a good choice for the likes of bloggers or start-ups due to their upfront low cost. That said, it’s always going to be preferable to have a website which is custom-made with both your business and target audience in mind.

Custom websites are built specifically for your business, meaning the design is completely unique to your brand. The features will also be chosen based on what your website needs, rather than giving you too much or too little.

Although custom websites cost more money and time to make, they ultimately are created to generate the maximum results for businesses. So if you want a website that looks exquisite on desktop and mobile – custom design is the way to go.

What Is Web Development?

Now we’ve concluded what web design involves, it’s time to move on to the building and maintaining of websites which is also known as web development.

Web development can take a website from the initial idea to a fully built product, meaning web developers are usually involved at various stages of the process.

Often, when a website isn’t running optimally a web developer is required to identify and fix the issue such as glitchy code. So when we think of web development, this relates to all technical aspects which affect how the website performs and functions.

What Do Web Developers Do?

The daily tasks performed by a web developer vary depending on the stage of the process a website is at.

When a website is still being built, web developers work closely with web designers to take their designs and create fully functional websites in response.

However, as web developers are also responsible for maintaining the technical aspects of a website, they can undertake tasks related to the performance of the website as a whole. This can involve maintaining websites they have previously built or helping clients optimise their websites in general.

What Problems Do Web Developers Solve?

There are far too many to name here! But some of the common issues that web developers solve relate to user experience (UX) such as responsiveness or the overall functionality of a website.

Additionally, issues relating to cross-browser compatibility, security, accessibility, data storage or removal and debugging. Plus updating the website in line with new technology.

How Do Web Developers Fix Bugs?

When a website has a bug this will result in some aspect of the site not working as it should or not at all. Debugging is the term to describe developers in the process of fixing a bug.

As for what this involves, that all depends on the root cause of the issue, which developers will need to identify within the code first. The steps taken to fix the problem can include choosing the right framework, updating the framework regularly, using debugging tools, following coding standards and writing tests for the code.

For particularly complex issues, developers may collaborate with other developers or seek advice from other industry professionals.

Frontend vs. Backend Development: What’s The Difference?

If you’re not a seasoned developer, it can be tricky to know the differences between the different types of web development.

In a nutshell, frontend development focuses on all aspects which impact the user interface (UI) and client-side interactivity. This includes overseeing elements which relate to user-friendliness.

Backend development (also known as server-side) is everything which happens behind the scenes to keep a website operational and functional. For instance, server management and data storage.

Are Web Developers Still Needed?

Absolutely! The sheer amount of technical knowledge that web developers bring to the table can never be underestimated. 

While many people like to ‘have a go’ at designing or building a website, this is definitely no substitute for the years of training and practical knowledge that professional web developers bring to the table. Plus, developers are invaluable when a website has a critical error.

Do I Need A Web Developer Or Is WordPress Enough?

Everyone is going to have a different level of technical competency when it comes to using WordPress or any other CMS.

Often, WordPress can appear deceptively easy to use, especially if using a website template. However, no website is immune from issues, meaning developers are often needed to either build or maintain WordPress websites.

Likewise, if building a website from scratch, web developers are usually heavily involved in the process and for good reason.

Can A Software Developer Be A Web Developer?

Job roles such as programmer, software developer and web developer can indeed be interchangeable. Since programmers and developers use many of the same tools and coding languages, it is possible to cover both specialisms.

What Is Drupal Used For?

Drupal is used to build and maintain websites along with other forms of digital content. As a free and open-source tool, Drupal can be used by individuals or agencies, including web developers.

What's the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?

Both HTTP and HTTPS are commonly seen within the URL bar before the main address of a domain.

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is the original response application layer protocol which is designed to connect web traffic with hyperlinks.

HTTP defines a set of request methods. While HTTP is still in use, it has widely been replaced by HTTPS.

By adding an ‘S’ to HTTP we get HTTPS. Simply put, HTTPS means the website is secure.

Often, when a website has been encrypted with an SSL certificate or TSL, HTTPS will be displayed instead of HTTP.

What does all of this mean for website owners? Securing your website with HTTPS is always preferred.

In fact, when a website does not have the correct security credentials, users may be warned that the website ‘is not secure’ which will result in fewer visits and conversions.

Web Design & Development Questions

As is often the case, sometimes websites require a mixture of web design and development expertise. Depending on the issue, we can assign the correct team members for the job.

But based on some questions that might involve both specialisms, here are some queries we’ve solved for you.

What Is A CMS?

CMS stands for content management system. A CMS makes it possible for someone to create, edit and publish content on their website.

The most common example of a CMS is WordPress, which is a popular tool for websites that have a blog, since different plugins can be used to optimise the content in terms of layout and SEO-friendliness.

Before creating or updating a website, it’s a good idea to look at all the CMS platforms available, since it’s essential to find the right fit based on your needs. If you’re unsure how to choose a suitable CMS, our team would be more than happy to chat through the options with you.

What Is Website Tinting?

Website tinting is a feature of the Safari browser on iPhone iOS 15. When activated, website tinting will add a section of colour within the top section of Safari. The colour will adapt depending on the colour of the page that the user has open.

Users can activate or deactivate website tinting by going into their iPhone settings.

When building or maintaining a website, it is good to be aware of website tinting, since this may impact the user experience.

What Is Responsive Web Design?

According to Hubspot, 54.4% of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. This means your website needs to be able to keep up! In other words – your website should be responsive.

When a website is responsive, it will automatically adapt to the screen size of the device it is being viewed on.

In contrast, when a website isn’t responsive, it may load okay on a desktop computer, but the design may be completely cut off on mobile devices. So for instance, images and text won’t fit within the screen size. As a result, users will struggle to read the content and the bounce rate of that website will be high. Conversions will definitely be impacted also.

Having your website professionally designed will ensure that responsiveness is prioritised throughout. This involves designing separate versions for desktop, mobile and tablet devices and thoroughly testing all formats before launching.

How Do I Make My Website Responsive?

If our talented team here at Distribute Digital build your website from scratch, we’ll ensure it’s responsive.

However, fixing an existing website that is non-responsive can be a little more challenging, depending on how the website has been built.

In either case, our web developers and web designers will be happy to take a look for you. From there, we’ll put together a plan of action to make sure your website looks great on all devices and screen sizes.

Why Is My Website Slow To Load?

Websites or pages which are slow to load can push up the bounce rate, while reducing conversion rates. This makes slow-loading websites or pages a huge issue! 

Regular speed testing (on all devices) along with studying Google Search Console data can identify pages on a website which aren’t loading fast enough. Doing so will also provide clues about why the affected page is lacking in speed.

Often, the reason depends on how your website has been built, along with how it has been maintained. 

While not exhaustive, a lack of (or issues with) any of the following can cause a website to be slow to load:

  • Bandwidth 
  • Bugs in code 
  • CDN
  • Excessive media on page 
  • Plugin issues 
  • Hosting provider
  • Hosting location

Google also states that “the majority of mobile sites are still slow and bloated with too many elements.” 

So for our web developers and designers, we’ll look at these factors and more to determine the cause.

How To Fix My Slow To Load Website Or Web Page

Based on what we know causes websites to be slow to load, it’s a case of identifying the fault(s) and coming up with appropriate solutions.

For instance, the largest contentful paint (LCP) is one of the metrics used to measure how fast a page is to load. Specifically, the LCP tells us the number of seconds it takes to fully load the element that has the largest file size.

Working through all of the elements which are slowing the site or page down is how to fix a slow loading website. This starts with checking the hosting plan of the website. Plus ensuring all of the behind-the-scenes elements of the website are correctly optimised for speed.

How Often Should I Update My Website?

Websites should be updated regularly to ensure they are secure and functional.

From a content perspective (i.e. headings, text and blog content) search engines prefer regularly updated content.

As for the design of your website, design trends not to mention technology is constantly evolving.

There’s no fixed timeframe as to when a website design expires. That said, if a website has poor conversions, isn’t responsive or simply doesn’t represent your business to its full potential online, then a website design may be in order.

Can I Build A WordPress Website Without Hosting?

Yes, it is possible to build a website on WordPress without purchasing any hosting. However, for that website to become live, it will require a hosting plan.

Usually, a WordPress package is purchased in conjunction with hosting. Although if creating a test or demo site, technically hosting isn’t required.

How Long Does It Take To Build An Ecommerce Website?

We would love to give you a fixed time frame in terms of weeks or months. However, the time it will take to build an ecommerce website really depends on the scale and complexity of the website.

As a professional web design and development agency, we work closely with our clients to keep them informed about timescales. So rest assured you’ll never be left in the dark when it comes to knowing when your ecommerce website will be ready to start taking orders.

How To Build A Consulting Website

Similar to building any other kind of website, you need to start with a plan.

For a consulting website, some of the considerations may include:

  • Which sector does the consulting business specialise in?
  • What is the target audience of the business?
  • What features does the website require?
  • How can the website help the business achieve its commercial aims?

Plus, as a business owner, you might have other thoughts and ideas you’d like to incorporate.

From there, our team will get to work on bringing your consulting website to life.

How To Create A Landing Page Without A Website

It is possible to build a singular landing page, whereby everything needed to inform and convert users is contained within that one page. There are several website builders and tools whereby this kind of website format is possible.

That said, it’s important to make sure a singular landing page is really right for your business. Limitations of a one page format can include the lack of navigation, blog and internal links, meaning the functionality of the overall site may be reduced.

Where a one page landing page does make sense, there can be potential benefits for PPC campaigns.

As with similar queries on our list, we can advise you personally about the best option based on your needs as a business.

How To Create A Widget For A Website

Widgets can be built using HTML, CSS or JavaScript code. This code needs to be written, tested and implemented into the website in order to create the widget.

However, depending on how a website has been built, it may be possible to use plugins to build a widget instead.

All widgets need careful testing and monitoring over time to ensure they are fully functional and responsive. So do keep this in mind also!

Who Creates The Look And Feel Of Websites?

Web designers are typically responsible for the visual aspects of a web such as the layout, colours, images and fonts. 

Though any website creation is usually a collaborative project, especially here at Distribute Digital. 

For instance, our SEO team may make suggestions which are implemented into the web design to make the layout more SEO-friendly.

Learn more: Why Web Design Is Important For Your Brand

Can ChatGPT Create A Website?

We actually asked ChatGPT for this one and the response was a firm ‘no’.

While there have been lots of advances in AI technology, as things stand robots cannot plan, build, launch and maintain your website for you. Therefore, website developers and designers remain as invaluable as ever.

It’s also essential to remember that ultimately, any website must speak to humans. Therefore, even with the AI tools that do exist (i.e. ChatGPT), businesses must never lose sight of their audience – this is one of the main risks of using artificial intelligence, and why human input is still required for most things.

Plus, don’t forget that AI is built for speed. Yet, to create original and highly impactful websites and content, it takes a lot of time and energy. Rather than see this as a downside, a quality user experience makes the difference between getting ahead of your competitors or falling behind.

Even from an SEO perspective, AI-generated content does not provide good ranking potential, even before getting to copyright issues!

So although we humans need a lot of tea to get through the day, we’re here to stay as far as your website building and maintenance is concerned.

How To Add Captcha To My Website

Pesky spam clogging up your mailbox? Bots scraping your content or trying to hack your site using leaked passwords?

Adding a CAPTCHA to your website is for the benefit of your business as well as your users.

One of the simplest ways to protect your website is to sign up for Google’s reCAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA Enterprise. This will give you a piece of code which needs to be pasted into the code of your website. It will automatically generate authentication-based actions to determine whether a user is genuine or not.

Crucially, Google reCAPTCHA has eliminated the need for interactive tests (i.e. clicking on an image or entering in a piece of text). Instead, it may ask for things such as an email verification.

Other CAPTCHA tools also exist. If you currently have a lot of spam traffic or messages, then speak to us about getting a CAPTCHA system set up on your website.

What Are Some Of The Most Common Website Problems?

  • Websites that have a high bounce rate (lots of quick exits)
  • Poor web design
  • Not generating enough leads
  • Lack of mobile compatibility (responsiveness)
  • Outdated design trends or functions
  • Low rankings on search engines
  • Security issues
  • Slow to load pages

Recognise any of the above, or have any more to add to the list? Whatever issues are holding your website back, our team are here to help.

What Makes A Good B2B Website?

Similar to B2B SEO, a B2B website is going to work best when it’s been created, built and optimised for the correct target audience.

Since it’s B2B, it’s a given that this means relevant businesses interested in your products or services, rather than the general public.

Once the audience has been correctly identified within the design and functionality, their needs should be considered within the content too. In short, this should involve getting them from A to B as seamlessly as possible as they make their way through your website.

If you’re keen to see the range of B2B and B2C websites we’ve worked on, check out our Case Studies page.

What Are The Signs It’s Time For A New Website?

Some of the top signs include a lack of responsiveness, slow-loading pages, glitching elements, poor security, outdated design or a disappointing conversion rate.

A website which hasn’t been professionally designed, built or maintained will usually have the most issues. That said, at some point, all websites need updating so that they keep up with changing trends and technologies.

Another thing to look out for is if your customers mention they are having trouble accessing or navigating your website. User feedback can be invaluable in knowing when updates are due. Plus, listening to feedback will ensure that you concentrate any efforts to fix your website in the right way.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website?

The reason why you’ll only find vague answers to this question, is that we can only give a more fixed answer once we know what we’re dealing with. Namely, the size and scope of the project.

Naturally, every client has a budget in mind for their website. By discussing your needs with our web design team, we can then come up with a tailored quote.

Can I Build My Own Ecommerce Website?

Technically, we’re sure you could build your own ecommerce website. However, unless you have acute experience in web design and web development (plus all the digital marketing skills required!) ecommerce web design is usually best left to the experts.

That’s because the world of ecommerce is super competitive, and users expect a first-class experience when browsing and shopping on websites. If websites are poorly built or don’t seem secure your customers will soon head elsewhere.

It’s worth noting that if you do have some ideas in mind for your ecommerce website, handing the task over to a professional agency doesn’t mean these can’t be incorporated.

However, going it alone without the time, tools and knowledge can actually cost your ecommerce store more in the long run. So let us help you there!

Distribute Digital - Web Design & Development Agency Birmingham

Still have more questions for us? Or perhaps you’re ready to roll with a new website to be expertly built and crafted by our team? 

If we haven’t met yet, we’re Distribute Digital – a web design and digital marketing agency based in Birmingham. 

Head over to our Web Design Services page to learn more about the work we do, and view some of our website examples in action. We can also provide a full suite of services to promote your website and business as a whole including PPC, SEO and social media marketing.

To tell us more about your project please fill out our contact form. You can also give us a call on 0121 3186 796 or email us at info@distributedigital.co.uk.