Web Design vs. Web Development

Published / by Ashley Vang

Numerous people often use the terms, web development and web design, interchangeably. A clarification of the two terms are in order. These two terms are not the same – and here’s why…

  • Web development refers to the back-end of a website – the page interactions and programming, while web design refers to the part of the website that interacts with customers. The latter is all about the appearance of the site, while the former focuses on the site’s functionality.

  • Web design refers to the process of web designing or webpage layout (which typically includes all of the webpage graphical elements). Web designers often use graphic programs like Macromedia Fireworks, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw and many more. Web development, on the other hand, refers to the art of making an operational website. Web developers are responsible for including all the essential parts of a website, including login, e-commerce capabilities (like online payments), online forums, shopping carts and the like.

  • Web design does not contain code. The webpage’s graphical representation is utilized by the same party as the foundation of a code. The coding aspect will be needed on website development.

To further clarify or to make the differences simpler and easier to understand, let us unveil the certain characteristic of people who handle web design, and those who handle web development. Web design generally involves creativity, imagination and a degree of vision (in terms of the overall aesthetic appeal of the website). Web development, on the other hand, involves technical, linear thinking and creating a practical interface that is both intuitive & efficient.

One last thing- you can meet a good web designer who does not know anything about PHP, HTML or JavaScript. However, you will never meet a good web developer who does not recognize the importance of web design.

Knowing the difference between design and development is of paramount importance, especially if you are after hiring a professional who will work on your site; a nebulous understanding of these two terms can be very costly, as you can inadvertently hire a techie who’s poorly equipped for the job.