Feb 21, 2018

The difference between web design and web development

designer versus developer

Today, many people use the two terms “web design” and “web development” interchangeably. However, the truth is these terms reference two fundamentally different aspects of the website building process requiring two unique skill sets. Why is it important to know the difference as you look for someone to design and develop your company’s website? Let’s see if we can provide some clarity.

In a nutshell…

Web design refers to both the aesthetic portion of the website as well as its usability. Using various design programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or XD, web designers create the layout and visual elements of a website before passing the baton to the web developer.

Web development then takes the website design and layout to create a functioning website using HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and other programming languages to bring design files to life.

A closer look…

Let’s take a deeper look into website design. Web designers are responsible for the customer-facing or “front end” part of a website. They are concerned with how a site looks and how the customer will interact with it. To begin, a web designer must consider what the client’s objective is and then set the website’s information hierarchy to help guide the design process. Using several basic principles, the web designer is able to achieve an aesthetically pleasing layout that is also user-friendly. Their designs are ones that customers want to navigate around because they make it so easy and intuitive to do so. Not only do web designers make a site “look pretty,” they truly dictate the usability of a website’s interface.

Now, let’s take a deeper look into website development. Sometimes referred to as programmers, web developers take the design created to build a fully functioning website. Overall, website development comes in two different flavours, front-end development and back-end development. Although some of these skillsets overlap, they do have very different purposes.

Front-end development refers to taking the visual design and building it into code using HTML for the structure of the site, CSS to dictate the visual styles and layout, and perhaps even some Javascript. Back-end development, on the other hand, deals with the more advanced programming and interactions on web pages focusing on how the customers get things done on the site using certain functionalities. Some back-end development may even be required to create new functionality from scratch if there is no existing software tools or packages that can be leveraged.

Blurred lines…

Companies looking for a website re-design of their existing website or looking to create a whole new site from scratch may be confused by the blurred line surrounding the terms “web design” and “web development.” Although there are individuals that are able to perform both roles, we have dedicated designers to create your website layout and then hand the design files over to our dedicated programmers who complete the development stage. If you’re looking for a new website, contact us today and our experienced and professional web team will begin making your dreams come true.