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What does a good Freelance Web designer do?

I’ve posed this question because quite a few people are under the impression that web pages are just a form of on demand fax. One client wanted me to simply scan his leaflet an d put it on the website as ‘the site.’ Others simply think its basically just a form of an MS-Word document.

Save you money when designing a web site.

No middle men managers running expensive cars, you simply pay for the web designer’s time. Obviously a great way of saving cost if you are a small business looking for a cost effect web design solution.

Try printing a page not knowing the paper size!

Think about this, if a website was just a bit of word processing all we would need to do is print on paper the page and leave it on the desk know that people from all over the world could find it. And being on nice paper see it exactly as you see it. Obviously, paper won’t do that for you. So there must be more. It’s the more that makes website development that bit more complicated. Its not printed once on nice paper. It appears on different screens and on different browser software that constantly get upgraded. So the website is in a more fluid system with possibilities than you’re good old Canon Printer over there with paper that is always A4 portrait. Try printing your document without knowing the paper size or if it is in landscape or portrait orientation. Maybe you begin to see slightly why developing websites is not word processing.

Vouchers giving away a million pounds

If the voucher is stuck on an alley no one ever will use, no one is going to find it. That’s the same for a webpage put on a web server ‘somewhere or other’; It needs to be found and that’s the skill of search engine optimisation.

There seems to be lot of jargon on Web Development sites. What does it all mean?

Web pages can be developed on the “client side.” Basically all the information you will see is sent to you web browser like Internet Explorer and rendered to produce a page which may have some local processing power. For example you can select a number of items on the page and browser will show the total. This is often called Client side coding, to contrast it with programming that is run on the web server somewhere in the Internet.

Examples of Client side processes and scripting are:

HTML is the stuff of website development. HTML dictates how your content is presented to you by the browser. It is closely associated with CSS which helps define how it all should look, for example font colours or size.

JavaScript is almost as common as the html used to render pages on a browser, being programmable it can be used to dynamically affect the webpage or perhaps vet input on a website form.

Ajax Asynchronous JavaScript this uses the programming language JavaScript to carry out more complex processes than simply making website text and images appear.
The well known Adobe Flash Player is fully programmable and interactive, so much so that complete websites can be developed using it. Microsoft Silverlight also enables animation and video in a similar manner.
jQuery is a collection of JavaScript routines use to simplify and improve performance a webpage.

Freelance Website development using server side coding: PHP or ASP

As opposed to running computer programs on the client side or browser to do processing, one can run them on the server. From the point of security, a hacker can easily read what the designer wrote for the webpage as it is sent to the browser. This means it is possible to doctor this programming code. If the code is run on a server an external observer shouldn’t be able to see it, thus making the website development more secure.

Examples of languages/systems used on the server side are ASP, ColdFusion, Java Servlets, JSP or WebObjects, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, SSJS Server-Side JavaScript,, .NET and .NET MVC Frameworks