Question: What’s the difference between web design and web development?
Answer: Web design is the process of creating a visual look-and-feel for a website, and web development is the process of turning that design into a functional website with data and interactivity.
Web Design vs Web Development: Overview
I’m going to take a minute to address a common misconception that comes up in more than half of my sales calls.
If you think web design and web development are interchangeable, you’re not alone. It’s safe to say that a large chunk of my clients had no idea that the two were any different before we met. To be frank, I don’t blame them or you for not seeing a difference in the two, because they’ve been convinced to believe a website is a single commodity, even though it was never meant to be that way.
Understanding the Differences
In my opinion, there’s two primary reasons people have trouble understanding the differences between web design and development:
- Freelancers are always looking for more business and they cut their rates by offering both design and development services to attract more customers. This results in customers thinking that all you need is one person to make a website.
- Also, since you technically can’t have a working website without both design & development, it’s not unusual for web design agencies to completely skip over the fact that they have two types of experts working on a single project. This results in clients thinking websites are made by a single person, rather than two completely different professionals.
Even though web designers and web developers have a symbiotic relationship, it’s important to realize the differences between the two so you can understand how much a website should cost.
What is a Web Designer
It’s likely that you’ll interact with your web designer more than your web developer on a web design project. That’s mainly because they’ll be the ones to build the look-and feel of your website based on your existing brand and expectations.
The Web Designer’s Role: A good web designer is expected to understand the limitations of modern web bowser technology and he or she will work within those constructs to create an accurate picture of your brand. The web designer will create brand attributes (typeface, color palette, graphics) and he or she will arrange the information architecture (IA) of your website (the way in which information is laid out on pages and how navigation is structured on your website). Good web designers base designs on data and research, as opposed to instinct, and they will work towards a design which conveys your target message.
What is a Web Developer
TL;DR Summary: Web Design vs Web Development
Good question! Well, since you asked – here are the main takeaways that will help you understand the differences between web designers and web developers:
- First off, web designers and web developers are not the same.
- Successful websites usually involve both web designers, and web developers.
- Professional web designers create a unique look-and-feel for your website and mostly focus on design and research.
- Professional web developers add functionality and interactivity to the designer’s graphic prototype to create a fully functional website or web application.
That wraps things up for today! Be sure to check our web designer hiring guide!
Do you know anybody who is great at both web design and web development? Let me know in the comments below!