What’s the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development?

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Last updated on Nov 3rd, 2022 at 04:11 pm

Do you know the difference between web design and web development? Perhaps you are you looking to get a website designed but not sure which service to ask about. Or maybe you’re interested in a career with a web company but aren’t sure which path to take. So you’re wondering, what’s the difference between web design and web development?

This is one of the most common questions we see related to websites. So we decided to address this frequently asked question and break it down for you. Let’s get started…

What is web design?

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Web design or website design is the term used to refer to the visual design of a website. This means the color scheme, the layout, the user interface (UI), the user experience (UX), and all visual aspects of the website. The website design is the general look and feel of the site.

A web designer is responsible for designing the look and concept of the website. When a client is looking to get a website done, the web designer will review the brief provided with the details of the client’s needs, ideas, and vision, and let the client know what’s possible and what’s not according to their capabilities. When the designer designs a website, they have to design it with user experience in mind.

You might be surprised to know that it’s pretty common for a client to want a lot of fancy features and movability on their site, such as text boxes sliding in, words fading out, pictures rotating, etc. but there is a limit on how much of that you should incorporate. If you have too much going on at once, it’s very distracting for the site visitor and it slows down page load speed – which is not good. The web designer will know what’s best and what works well.

What is web development?

Web development is the technical development of the actual website which is done using programming languages. A web developer is responsible for the technical build of the site; the coding and development. There are two divisions of website development, back-end development and front-end development.

Developers work on constructing the site in either the back-end or the front-end. They create, handle and maintain all the coding that brings the website to life and makes it functional. Web developers work with programming languages to code the site and, depending on which development work they do, different programming languages are used.

Front-end developers write and manage code for the actual website and use 3 main languages: CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and JavaScript. Front-end developers also work with WordPress coding.

Back-end developers focus on the server database, data and server requests (the backend stuff that no one sees.) They work with PHP, SQL, Java and more.

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In Summary

The difference between a web designer and a web developer is the type of work they do. Put simply, a web designer works on the visual aspects and the design, and a web developer works on the coding that’s responsible for making the website function and come to life.

Even though web design and web development mean different things, it’s common for companies to use these terms interchangeably as well. This is especially true if someone handles both at once, then they may refer to it as either-or.

Looking to get a website designed? Contact us at Digital Consulting with a brief explanation of your requirements and we’ll be in touch with a quote.

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