As a part of our new series 5 Essential Elements of a Successful Web Strategy, we’re going to look at web development to understand the role it plays in a successful company website.
We sat down with Kreig Durham, a development lead at Soulheart, to learn some more about the work he does.
What do you like about working on web development?
I’ve always been a builder and a tinkerer. When I was a kid, my parents would buy me toys only to find them taken apart a few hours later! I was driven to discover how things worked and to learn to build them myself.
I want what I create to have a positive impact on other people. Today, it seems like the whole world is on the web, so I’ve decided to focus my efforts on creating something meaningful in this space. When a website launches and I know that I had some small role in its success, it’s a great feeling that keeps me motivated and excited about the work that I get to do at Soulheart.
What is web development?
I like to think of development as website architecture. Developers create websites and make sure that they are functional on both desktop and mobile devices. It’s creative and very structured at the same time.
At its core, development is all about words — but in a programming language. Every day I’m writing code that translates clients’ ideas into realities. It takes a lot of work and persistence (the other day I spent an hour trying to figure out what was causing a webpage to go blank — it was a single word that I had spelled wrong!).
In the end, it’s all about creating a website that works well for a user, looks good, and accomplishes the mission of the brand.
How does web development work?
Development begins with a discussion with clients. There are a lot of moving parts in the development process and everything builds on itself, so it’s extremely important to have a crystal-clear vision of the direction we want to go with the website. We also make sure we’re on the same page with expectations regarding the scope and time frame of the project as well as what it entails.
After this initial consultation, a designer usually sends me files that show me how the whole website should appear at the end of the process. I break everything down into blocks and use HTML, a coding language, to make sure that the layout, styling, and text itself match the client’s description.
After that, I’ll work on the functionality of the website, which includes things like making sure forms perform correctly and menus lead to the right places – essentially, making sure that the right thing happens when users click. Once everything is looking good and working well, we launch!
Thanks, Kreig, for talking to us about your work!
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