What is the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development?

What is the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development?

SEMrush

When looking for ways and services to create a professional-looking and user-friendly website, businesses need to employ the skillsets of both web designers and developers.

These days, it’s common to hear these two terms used interchangeably, but they present two completely separate professions and workloads in regard to website creation.

If you’re looking to create a business website and need adequate services, it’s crucial that you understand the difference between web design and web development.

The Simplest Distinction

To put things simply, web design has everything to do with the appearance and usability of the website. This includes the visual elements and navigation used to entice the audience and engage them further. Adobe Photoshop and other visual design software are the most common tools in the arsenal of every web designer.

On the other hand, web development works internally on the website’s functionality. Web developers take the visual elements created by web designers and employ various coding techniques in order to make these elements work smoothly and beautifully. They tend to work the most with programming languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, and so on in order to create a functional and secure website.

The Essence of Web Design

Web designers have to work closely with the brand owners in order to create the style and visual appeal of the website to match the branding and ideas of the businesses they’re working with.

These creative practices have to be intertwined with the technical aspects of the site’s usability as well. The visual elements have to represent the brand as part of digital marketing but they also have to provide intuitive and easy navigation as well as a user-friendly interface for the potential users.

Web design focuses heavily on color balance. The lighter and darker elements of the design have to be proportionate, without one outweighing the other.

Contrast is also an important aspect to be addressed in web design. Thanks to the contrasting colors, sizes, shapes, and textures, web designers can create a more vivid and effective website that effectively engages the target audience.

Emphasizing or highlighting the most important page elements is also the work of a web designer. Without the proper highlighting application, website users might fail to take the right actions and get the most important information as soon as possible.

It’s also essential to deal with consistency as only consistent design and visuals can provide the users with a smooth and user-friendly browsing experience.

Finally, web designers have to make sure that the overall website appearance is uniform. This particular aspect of unity will combine the visual elements with the ease of navigation and overall branding to create an informative and effective website that works well both for the brand and the audience.

The Essence of Web Development

Once they have the visual elements created by web designers, it’s time for the web developers to take the stage. They incorporate these elements into the backend portion of the website, making it work the way web designers and brand owners have imagined it to work.

To understand it better, one could imagine web designers as photographers while web developers are – developers. They develop the photos taken in order to make sure the visuals translate well in the canvas that is a business website.

The role of web developers is to utilize the visual elements available by separating them into different components and then providing adequate support for these components through effective coding and programming languages.

It’s not uncommon for web developers to utilize different Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Joomla in order to facilitate the entire programming process and provide a simple way for maintaining regular updates and site maintenance.

They get to further improve the functionality of one’s website through the application of interactive elements such as AI assistants, content sliders, active links, CTA/social media buttons, and so on.

In Conclusion – They’re Not the Same

It's rather easy to confuse web design and development these days, especially when there are a handful of people who can do both. Also, companies who don’t have a web design and development team but want to outsource these tasks can be troubled by the blurred boundaries associated with web design and development services.

The bottom line is that your web designer will create the layout and visual aspect of your business website, while the developers will then take that layout and make it work through elaborate codes and programming languages.

You should never expect one person to do the entire work for your website. If you want to get customized website layouts and unique visuals, you will need the help of a web designer before you start working with a web developer. Otherwise, you should stick to the generic website layout themes that are available as pre-designed options within popular CMSs.

Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael's work at Qeedle.

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