What is the Difference Between Web Development and Web Design?


Business owners and entrepreneurs, who are involved in Internet marketing, often ask Google about differences between website design and development. Investing in the services of a digital agency, you must understand that these terms are completely different and require unique sets of skills. So is it necessary for you, as a company owner, to go deeper figuring out this question? Every specialist will say yes. The following article is for those who want to get some clarity on the topic, learn the process of site development and design creation, and generally to stretch horizons.

Briefly, designers are responsible for the appearance of pages, interface, and user-friendliness. The initial objective of developers is to make everything work correctly without any drawbacks using a programming language (code). But, of course, these two processes are closely related to each other. Maybe even more than you think. Knowledge of a coding expert will breathe life into the vision of a designer. What your potential clients see on a screen, how they interact with content, the success of your SEO… It all depends on the work of these two people.

What does modern web design include?

Visual aesthetics and usability are two aspects of web design. Each of the elements that a visitor sees on the device’s screen must be not only eye-catching but also harmoniously combined with the general concept of a site. The process of implementing solutions can be compared with an architect who draws a construction plan of a beautiful building. The creation of a welcoming atmosphere and environment for your potential clients is the foundation of everything. Great sites are the real work of art. And it is hard to describe a project as successful if it doesn’t bring new customers, huge sales, and income. The following points are a set of objectives of a modern web designer:

  • using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Framer, and other software tools for creating the layout;
  • creation of a logo or corporate identity design;
  • planning the structure of web pages;
  • selection of perfect color combinations and schemes;
  • choosing fonts, images, animations, and other graphic components;
  • placement of a call to action button (CTA).

UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) are two keys for opening a door to success. And a designer is a person without whom every online strategy will fail. The favorable outcome of this stage depends on the competence of the people working on your project. Cooperating with dedicated and passionate experts, you will get a creative web design that satisfies every visitor and stimulate to interact. Clear navigation and structure will contribute to achieving your goals. A web designer should have an aesthetic sense, understand color psychology, be aware of the latest trends.

What is web development?

Functionality — it is where everything starts. It means that developers using programming languages based on a design project must build a functional site. The process of web-programming can be divided into two categories: front-end and back-end. Let's take a closer look.

Front-end developers work with the visible part. In front-end development, experts must be proficient in:

  • HTML: a markup programming language with which the page structure is formed (headlines, paragraphs, lists);
  • CSS: a style sheet language used to style a site written in a markup language (color, fonts, size of elements); thanks to CSS any browser will understand how to display components;
  • JavaScript: a language that was created to respond to user actions, it makes the content interactive.

Back-end experts are responsible for the invisible part of a site (downloading information from the site server, sending messages, searching for needed information). Back-end starts when a user types the query and press Enter. It is the process that unites the server with users. To develop the server part, every programmer should have skills of working with PHP, Java, Python, and frameworks like Node.JS, Yii, and others.

So, do business owners, ordering a website design and development project, need to hire both front-end and back end specialists for creating a site? Well, not necessarily. There is another option. You can search for a full stack developer. It is a person who works with two sides of web development, masters a variety of skills for creating both client (front-end) and server (back-end) software. A full stuck developer possesses everything needed for the creation of an entire site without any help.

To cut a long story short. As you may see for making the best web design, website professionals have to put a lot of effort and resources. In our fast-moving and globalized world, everybody can explain why sites became an integral part of marketing. However, the role of two specialists involved in the process can be misunderstood, as the line between these two concepts is gradually blurring. The tasks of both designers and programmers are listed above. What knowledge they should have, which tools and platform to use. So, developers must focus more on code understanding, and linear, logical thinking while designers — on creativity. But it doesn’t mean that designers cannot learn a markup or a style sheet language to make content more interactive. Or developers are not aware of the latest tendencies and principles for making sites more user-friendly and don’t understand the potential needs of visitors. The most important thing here is an integrated approach. All stages from the formation of visual layouts to the promotion and optimization must be carefully executed.

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