Web development is about creating the programs that run your website's services. Sometimes, people use the term "web development" to enclude web design as well.
During the development phase of the website, you will have programmers working to produce programs that are run as part of your website. The complexity of the program depend on the complexity of your website and what services you want it to offer. Some websites do not require any development. Those are known as static website and they contain just text content. They provide information, not services.
Many web services provide tools and utilities that make the development easier. Basically, they can provide you with a big chunk of the work for commonly used services. For example, if you need an e-commerce website, then you do not really need to develop a shopping cart for your website because this tools is readily available and you can have it installed on your server with little effort.
When looking for development companies in Richmond, make sure that they have a good reputation. Due to high demand, many companies are offering web development services when they are not really qualified to do that. By hiring a bad company, you can end up paying a lot of money for a useless website. It will be slow, cumbersome, and crashes all the time. Worse, you can end up losing important data. Make sure the developers working on your website are qualified programmers and that they already have significant development experience.
Another consideration is that, unlike design, development is platform-specific. This means that if the developers write the code using ASP.NET and a SQL Server database, then you can no longer get web hosting under Linux or use an Oracle database. Common development for Windows servers use ASP, ASP.NET, Visual Basic, SQL Server, and MS Access. For Linux, you would probably use PHP and MySQL.
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