Today someone asked me what all goes into making a professional website. When I was finished, I looked at it and thought, "Wow... what kind of nut tries to do this all on his own?" Perhaps this list can expand your understanding of what goes into web work, show you where you might want some help, as well as help explain why web design services can be so expensive.
Creating professional websites is a multi-discipline endeavor... these are some of the different common roles that often go into it. Not all websites require all of these, but I think more than you'd think do... there are lots of other, more esoteric roles (e.g. "content strategist") that get involved when you're talking serious business. I consider this a basic list.
- Creative director - works with the client to understand what messages they wish to convey; ensures that new branding and marketing fits the client's requirements
- Art director - works with the copywriter to devise the "overall concept" for the site, under the parameters set by the creative director
- Graphic designer - creates the artwork and layouts to execute the art director's concept
- Web designer - executes the designer's layout in HTML & CSS code
- Database designer - designs and implements the database(s) used to hold site data
- Web programmer: several functions, often several people hold this role
--- takes apart the designer's code and integrates it as templates into whatever framework is being used
--- glues the display of the site to the database; programs elements such as the administrative backend, content display systems, etc.; works with a web programming language, anything from PHP to Ruby to Python to C# to ASP and more.
- IT support - makes sure that a local development environment is available, working, and matches that of the server... has to know how to download, install or compile, and troubleshoot each of the pieces of software related to each of the roles above, and make sure they minimally match what the hosting server runs so that there are no surprises when transferring the site and trying to run it in the production environment