Differences Between Web Design and Web Development

Just because web development and website design sound the same, doesn’t mean they are. Think of it like dessert and desert. They sound similar, sure, but they couldn’t be further from each other.

To break it down in its simplest terms, web development deals with coding and making a website that’s accessible to users, and website design deals with the aesthetics and creative design aspects of a website. They’re both important to have and one doesn’t really work without the other.

What a Web Designer Does

From the outside, people might think website design is just picking what colors the site should have and what fonts you should use. They do that, but that’s barely a fraction of the job.

Designers conceptualize what they want the website to look like. Once they go through every painstaking detail that comes with choosing a cohesive and pleasing design, they then start creating a wireframe for the site. A wireframe is essentially a blueprint for the website. It’s a visual guide that gives an example of how the website should look through a skeletal framework.

What a Web Developer Does

Remember how in every other scene in “The Matrix” there was a person frantically typing on a computer? What they were doing was coding, and that’s pretty much what web development is: coding and putting together a website. Once the design has been established and the wireframe is completed, a web developer will turn that concept into reality by coding the website. Developers might use HTML, Javascript or another coding language to make a website come to life.

What They Have in Common

It might not seem like there’s a lot of middle ground between the two positions, but they have some similarities with each other. Just like web development, website design requires you to understand a formula or flow of how a website should look. And just like a web designer, web developers need to be creative sometime with their code, and they need to think outside of the box to create a site that fits a designer’s needs.