What Is the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development?

Posted on 15th April 2020

There’s a relatively strong chance that you interpret ‘web design’ and ‘web development’ as one and the same thing. In reality however, they are in fact two entirely different processes. More often than not, reputable website design companies will offer design and development as part of the same package.  Nevertheless, just because you are proficient in web design does not necessarily mean that you are able to offer professional-quality web development services. Confused?  You needn’t be – it’s actually a relatively simple principle.

Web Design

Kicking off with web design, this is the term that more often than not is used to describe the process of creating a website. Technically speaking however, web design refers more to the ‘front end’ of the website – i.e. the visual elements of the site that the user interacts with on-screen. Web designers focus on the creation of websites that look stunning and present the required information beautifully. They have a strong grasp of the most important elements and principles of design, which must be brought together to create a cohesive website that is comprehensively pleasing to the eye. Not only this, but they also work on the creation of the best possible user experience, by thinking of exactly how the intended target audience will interact with the site and each of its pages. This means taking into account not only how the site comes across visually, but its primary navigation systems, layout of information and so on. One way to look at web designers would be to consider them similar in many ways to an architect or an interior designer. They come up with the vision, they produce the plans and they essentially decide exactly how the project needs to go ahead.

Web Development

As for web development, this differs from web design in that it incorporates work on both the front end and back end of the website. A web developer will take whatever vision has been agreed on for the final product and bring it to life. They use the required software and coding to build the structure and implement the visual elements of the website, in order to produce a working version of the site’s initial blueprint. The developer will transform a beautiful yet static design into a living, breathing online presence. A web developer will build front end functionality and general optimisation of the website. From page loading times to setting up online payment systems and basically making the site do what it needs to do, this is where a developer comes in.

Blurred Lines

As already mentioned, these days it is relatively normal for experienced professionals and agencies to offer both web design and development as part of the same service package. One thing’s for sure, you cannot expect your website to look the part or perform as it should, without equally heavy focus on both design and development. Say Web Design is both a web design and web development agency, meaning we have a team of designers and developers on hand to help you with your website goals. Get in touch with us today for more information.