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The Many Shapes of Website Development

A laptop with a Squid Game business card sitting on top

Written by Kellie Watson, Director ~ MarkIT Space

21st March 2023


Website Development

Website development is a complex process and involves many different forms and shapes that ultimately result in users having an enjoyable experience when they visit a website. However, not all web development agencies are created equal. There are several different types of agencies, each with their own areas of expertise and services.

If you have ever watched Squid Game, one of the most popular TV series on Netflix, you'd know that the pink guards are ranked in hierarchy by the shape on their mask. The more sides to the shape, the higher their rank. So the lowest-ranked guards have a circle on their mask, the middle-ranked guards have a triangle, and the highest-ranked guards have a square. I think of website service providers in a similar way in that they can fit into one of three shapes, and the more sides they have, the better quality they are. There are three predominant specialty areas that website creators typically originate from. Many agencies are great in one specific area, some in two areas, and a few in three. Typically, however, and like everything, the better they are, the more you pay.

This article will explore the different types of web development agencies, including digital marketing agencies, web design agencies, web development agencies, and full-service web development agencies. We'll also provide tips for choosing the right agency for your business needs.

The Three Sides to Web Development

Web development is an umbrella term (and another shape associated with Squid Game) encompassing the entire process of creating a website, including many different aspects. It includes not just the design but also the development and marketing strategy. The web development process involves many technical components which are essential for creating a functional and effective website. All of these aspects are needed to create a successful website.

When looking for a website service provider to develop or redesign your website, it's important to know that no two agencies are the same and will specialise in different areas and types of websites. Each type of web development agency has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the best one depends on your business needs, goals and budget. The following sections will describe the various sides of web development.

The Squid Game Umbrella
The Squid Game Umbrella

The Web Design Side

Web Designers are a type of graphic designer that specialise in creating visual designs specifically for websites. For some reason, "Web Design" seems to be the term many people use as the umbrella term instead of "Web Development". Perhaps it rolls off the tongue easier! Or it could be because it's the most visible aspect of a website, like the frontman of a band - why do they always seem to be the best looking? We often know the main singer's name in a band, but the drummer or guitarists are less well-known. Web Designers are kind of like Jon Bon Jovi in that we all know who the lead singer is, but can anyone besides super fans name any of the other band members?

True web design is the visual side of a website: its look and feel. Web designers are responsible for these all-important aesthetics. The frontman needs to look their best! The lead signers of the web world use their artistic vision to create a website's layout, colour scheme, typography, graphics, and other design elements, ensuring it's visually appealing and functional. Ideally, they would create designs using software such as Adobe XD or Figma that are specifically used by professional web designers. However, thanks to the ease of drag-and-drop website builders that are abundantly available, web designers often create entire websites very quickly using these tools.

While web design is an integral part of the web development process, it is not the only aspect. Would you prefer an acapella website or the entire orchestra?

The Digital Marketing Side

A Digital Marketer's approach to web development comes from a strategic marketing point of view. They use their understanding of online marketing to promote a business's website and attract potential customers. They develop innovative strategies and tactics to help a website be successful. When it comes to 'the band' analogy, the digital marketer is like the band's manager.

Digital Marketers also come in different shapes and sizes. They are an important side of website development as they specialise in promoting a business's products or services online. Their services can include content marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), social media marketing, and email marketing.

A successful website needs a well-thought-out marketing strategy. This involves creating content that speaks to your target audience, optimising it for search engines like Google, and measuring its success through analytics using tools like Google Analytics. It can include running campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook or producing email marketing campaigns. All these components help to ensure that your website reaches its intended audience and drives traffic to your site.

Digital marketers have their finger on the pulse of today's ever-changing digital landscape. They understand how to reach and effectively engage with audiences, helping businesses make informed decisions about their online presence. With creative problem-solving skills and an eye for detail, they can ensure a website performs optimally.

If you were to hire a digital marketing agency to design and create your website, like web designers that don't have the technical coding knowledge, they rely on drag-drop website builders to build entire websites. A website created by a Web Designer may look stunning, but a website created by a Digital Marketer is likely to rank high in search engines and convert visitors into customers.

The Tech Side

Web development is a technical and complex process that can include integrated components such as databases and coding in various programming languages. When it comes to shapes, the Web Developer has got to be a square. That's because they are very knowledgeable, having to know server-side and client-side scripting languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and others. Also, they must be able to think outside of the box when it comes to problem-solving, testing and debugging.

Web Developers are the techs responsible for the functional aspects of a website, such as creating special features and coding the site, so it appears as intended in various browsers and devices. This includes ensuring that all code is clean and error-free and ensuring the back-end code is secure and optimised for performance. If the Web Developer was in a band, they would be the less visible band member in the background, focusing on correctly hitting all the right notes.

Web Developers are the backbone of website development, keeping everything running smoothly and ensuring that websites function correctly and every element works together seamlessly. Their technical knowledge and coding skills are essential for a successful website.

Band Members

The Star of Web Development

Investing in an experienced full-service web development agency is the top choice for businesses that are ready for growth and looking for a new website or a revamp of an existing one. Full-service web development agencies are experienced in all three sides of web development and offer a comprehensive range of services, including digital marketing, web design, and web technology. They provide an end-to-end solution for businesses that want a complete online presence.

Full-service web development agencies often have a team of experts experienced in the different sides of web development, such as designers, developers, copywriters, and digital marketers. They offer a strategic solution ensuring your website achieves its objectives and goals and helps to obtain and convert leads. Full-service web development agencies can create custom website designs that are visually appealing, functional, responsive, and fast. They can also help with the creation of website content optimised for search engines, such as copywriting, photography, and videography.

Full-service web development agencies can also help businesses to promote their websites through digital marketing strategies, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing. With ongoing digital marketing and support services, they ensure your website is well-maintained, up-to-date, secure, functioning properly, and continues to achieve its goals.

While full-service web development agencies can offer many benefits, they may not be the best fit for every business. They tend to be more expensive than other web development agencies, and their services may be more than what some businesses need. However, a full-service web development agency may be the best choice for businesses that want a complete and seamless website development experience.

Choosing the Best Side of Web Development

When it comes to developing a website for your business, you can DIY, ask a tech-savvy friend or family member, hire a freelancer, or commission a web development agency. If your business is in the start-up phase and you are tight on funds, perhaps a DIY or low-cost option is best for the interim. However, investing in an experienced web development agency is likely the best choice if your business is ready for growth and, ideally, one that is experienced in all three sides of web development.

To help you decide which type of web developer to choose, your first step should be to determine your goals and objectives for your website, what features you would like to have on your site, and how you want visitors to interact with your content. For instance, do you need a website purely to have an online presence to show that you are a legitimate business? Then perhaps a low-cost Web Designer might be the best choice. Will you use your website as a marketing tool to attract leads? Then a Digital Marketing agency could be ideal. If your website is essential for your business, as you need it to sell your products and services, then a full-service web development agency is worth investing in.

The decision of which web development agency to choose can be daunting, and it's vital to pick the right one, as they will be responsible for creating your online shop-front that could last for years to come. It's also important to make sure they can work within budgets and timelines while maintaining quality standards. A few additional tips to help you find the right agency includes:

  • Making sure they understand your vision;
  • Making sure they have experience in the right technology and content management systems you need for your website;
  • Asking them about their portfolio and any other references that can help you make an informed decision; and
  • Considering their customer service policy and pricing structure.

Your web developer should be great at communication and be able to explain their ideas clearly, so everyone involved understands them. It's also important that your web development partner can explain complex coding concepts in a way that makes sense for you.

Ultimately, it's up to you to determine which web development agency best meets your needs. So, take some time to research each potential agency online and read reviews from previous customers. This will help you get an understanding of how responsive they are and what kind of quality work they produce. With this information, you should have a better idea of which agency is right for your project.

With careful research and consideration, you can find the perfect web development agency for your needs. Moving forward with this process should come with confidence, knowing you've chosen the best option available.


Having an online presence is crucial for businesses of all shapes and sizes. A website is often the first point of contact between a business and its potential customers. A well-designed and functional website can make all the difference in attracting and retaining customers, which is why it's important to outsource web development to the right agency that specialises in building and maintaining websites that meet the needs of businesses and their customers.

Since the terms "web design" and "web development" are often used interchangeably by people unfamiliar with the nuances of the web development industry. This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings about the scope of work involved in creating a website. However, understanding web development requires an integrated approach involving three distinct elements – web design, web development and marketing strategy – all of which contribute to creating a successful website project for your business.

With careful consideration and research into potential partners, you'll be sure to find an agency that can provide a comprehensive solution for your project. You can make an informed decision and select the best website developer to help your business succeed online. However, when it comes down to it, the success of your website will depend on how well all three sides of web development come together.

A successful web development agency should be able to merge all sides of web development together seamlessly. Regardless of which side a web developer comes from, they all strive to create visually appealing, user-friendly and intuitive websites for their visitors. Whether through custom coding or an existing content management system, web developers aim to provide an enjoyable experience for their users.

When you want to grow your business and online presence, this becomes ever more important in order to compete effectively in today's marketplace.

If you'd like to discuss your next website project with MarkIT Space, a full-service web development company, send us a message:


Great article - lots to think about and consider

Donna, 21st March 2023

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