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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Web development is the process of hard coding all the web design elements into a responsive and functional website.
The web development process 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.
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 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, the developers create an information hierarchy for web design. This hierarchy is 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. Here the 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.
Web developers start off with procuring the design files from the web design team. Then they analyze the design files and choose the appropriate tech stack. Once chosen, they hard code these design files according to the client.
HTML is best for creating static web pages. Web developers opt for HTML if the website is simple with few complexities.
For more complex projects that require the website to be dynamic and responsive, developers use Python and other programming languages.
Sometimes, developers can even use different programming languages for different web pages of the same website.
When the final website is ready, it goes into staging to add content to it. During this stage, you can also make any changes before the website finally goes live. After this, the developer links the website with the server to launch it.
A website requires backend coding and a server link if it’s for storing dynamic data like a blog, retrieving information. A web developer needs to utilize languages like PHP for writing queries combined with a database like My.SQL
Even after the development, businesses approach web developers for maintenance. This includes fixing bugs, 404 errors, crashes, speed fixes, etc.
Content Management Systems like WordPress are great for modern-day web development because the process is straightforward and requires less coding.
Web developers can also add interactive web elements to websites including sliders, CTAs, contact forms, live chat features, etc.
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.
Choosing a full stack developer for website development is definitely the best choice for you.