The Fundamental Differences Between Web Design & Web Development

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If you are a new business owner, you will be looking to build your very own website to ensure that you too have an enabling presence in the digital world.

However, most new business owners often get confused between web design and web development, and this issue is often exasperated by the use of words like “web design company” and “web development company” by agencies that offer website development services to describe themselves.

If you go to Ahrefs and write these two “keywords”, you will find out that both of them have a very healthy monthly search volume. The keyword “Web design company” has a volume of 3900 and the keyword “web development company” has a volume of 900.

web development

web design

This signifies that businesses are definitely searching for the right agency partners by using both of these two terms interchangeably and while there might not be a major issue in doing so while searching, muddling the meaning of these important terms can certainly be problematic in other important areas.

When you are in the process of building your website or getting one developed by an outside partner agency, then you will get to know that web design and web development are two distinct parts of the overall process of getting a website built.

Differences Between Web Design & Web Development

A discussion about types of Web Design & Web Development
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To clear you up on this issue and make your concepts better, here is us explaining the fundamental differences between web design and web development.

What Is Web Design?

Web design can be best described as the process through which the user experience related aspects of a website are planned, conceptualized, and arranged. While in previous times, web design only used to refer to a website’s aesthetics like its graphics, layout, and images, modern web design has increasingly become user-centric, focusing on functionality, navigability, and UI/UX. Modern web design isn’t just used to refer to website design anymore. It now includes the design of other digital entities like apps as well.

Responsive-web-design-devices

On top of this, modern web design has now become mobile-centric as compared to being desktop-centric back in the 2000s and early 2010s. Users now access websites through a wide range of devices including smartphones and tablets, so optimizing web design to suit user experience on these devices has becoming increasingly crucial to ensure success.

You can also refer to web design as any work done on the front end of the website. This includes the creation of all graphic assets, layouts, design plans, navigation elements, or any other element with which the user directly interacts with.

Becoming a web designer in today’s digital landscape requires complete knowledge of UI/UX elements.

What Is Web Development?

Web development is the process of hard coding all the web design elements into a responsive and functional website.

Web development is the cornerstone of all digital mediums that are in use today. Web developers are the main individuals responsible for each one of them ranging from apps to websites.

Coding

A web developer’s job description doesn’t include any design aspects at all as it is generally concerned about coding, programming, and markup based tasks related to websites. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the most important programming languages for website development. Content management systems have made it easy to run through web development as minimal coding is required in them and making any changes to your website content is also quite simple.

Modern-day website development helps create responsive websites i.e. websites that are not static and respond to each user’s environment in a different and appropriate manner.

Front end coding, server-side coding, and database management are the main pillars of website development.

The Web Design Process:

The end goal of any web design process is to ensure that the final website is user friendly and according to the client’s business and brand objectives. To achieve this aim, web designers start their process first by procuring the client’s initial requirements. Then based on these requirements, an information hierarchy is created for web design. This hierarchy is what will be used a guide to run the overall process from hereon as it details how all the elements will flow through the medium of the website.

Next up, after the planning stage, comes the execution stage, where web designers create mockups and website wireframes and show them to the client for approval. If approved, these designs are then digitalized as graphic assets via using an appropriate tool like Adobe Photoshop.

The Web Development Process:

Web developers start off with procuring the design files from the web design team. They then analyze these design files and choose the appropriate tech stack that will enable them to hard code these design files in the way that the client has envisioned.

HTML is used for creating static web pages. When web developers have a very simple website task at hand comprising of a few pages with little to no complex requirements, they opt for HTML.

For more complex projects that require the website to be dynamic and responsive, Python and other programming languages are used.

Sometimes, developers can even use different programming languages for different web pages of the same website.

When the final website is ready, it is sent to staging so that content can be added to it and any changes can be made before the website finally goes live. All that is left after this is to link the website with the server and launch it.

A website with needs for storing dynamic data like adding a blog or retrieving information that a user might have provided in the contact us form, will require backend coding and a link with the server. A web developer is required to do both these tasks through utilizing server languages like PHP and languages for writing queries on the backend database like My.SQL

Web developers are often required even after this for maintenance of the website like fixing bugs, 404 errors, crashes, speed fixes, etc.

Modern-day web development can also be done using Content Management Systems like WordPress as they allow the process to be much more streamlined by required very little coding on part of the developer.

Web developers can also add interactive web elements to websites including sliders, CTAs, contact forms, live chat features, etc.

Full Stack Developer – The New Option For Developing Websites:

A full-stack developer, basically put, can provide both web design and development services to you easily. Conventionally, a full stack developer is basically an agency that lets you leverage their team to get stellar websites developed.

If you too want to get your website developed, then opting for a full stack developer is definitely the best choice for you.

ShahRukh Aziz

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