Web Design and Web Development: Are They Different?
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by | Aug 31, 2020 | Uncategorized

It’s one of the most common misconceptions that web design and web development are the same. The practices are different, but both are vital if you want to create a functional platform for your business.

According to HubSpot, 90% of people leave a website if the design is poor, and Standard Firms say that 47% of people expect a website to load within two seconds.

Both are incredibly important, but to understand why we need to uncover the differences between web design and web development.

What Is Web Design?

Web designers make sure your site looks good and use their technical skills to create visual elements. They also use HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) to create unique designs and customise the visual elements to meet a company’s branding requirements.


The Web Designers Main Role 

The look of a website is essential because if a user doesn’t find the overall design appealing, they’re more likely to go elsewhere. Most web designers sit with clients to discuss their branding and make sure it remains consistent among all marketing channels.

Most designers start with a concept and create a template based around it. Once the base design is complete, they move on to the graphics and visuals. The most popular web design tools are InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

For a web designer to carry out their work effectively, they need to possess a multitude of skills, including:


The majority of web designers understand how essential typography is to a company’s brand identity. There are so many fonts to choose from (link to branding guide here), but the right designer will make sure your typography works with your brand and not against it.


It won’t shock you to learn that a designer must have the necessary skills. Working with shapes, logos, and a variety of graphic design tools enables professionals to create unique elements for a website.


Did you know that there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world? That’s a lot of competition. Successful web designers know how to make a site stand out. They use their imagination, along with creative skills, to provide unique designs for their clients.


What Is Web Development? 

Website development is the process of taking a design and turning it into a workable reality. If web designers are the visionaries, developers are the technicians. There are many different forms of web development, so let’s take a look at them.

Front-end Development 

When a design is complete, front-end developers translate it into code. They use HTML for the website structure and CSS to configure the elements such as layouts, buttons and the general style.

Advanced developers also use JavaScript to improve the interactivity. One of the best examples of front-end work is the process of customising a WordPress website.

Back-end Development 

Back-end development demands more technical ability because it focuses on how a website works. Back-end developers provide higher levels of functionality for sites, including integrating shopping carts and user accounts.

Both front and back-end developers possess many skills, including:


It comes as no surprise that web developers are a tech-savvy bunch, and their skills should never be underestimated. Most developers know how to use advanced software and can even create their own.

Testing and Debugging

Webpage errors cost clients, so developers must be aware of any issues so they can fix them promptly. Continuous testing is vital for website usability and identifying bugs.

Responsive Design 

Responsive design is vital in this age – especially with 53% of website traffic coming from mobile devices in 2019. To make sure users get the best experience, developers must make sure that the website fits a range of screen sizes. If the responsivity isn’t on-point, then customers will go elsewhere.


So What Is The Difference Between Website Design and Website Development? 

When we look at web design and web development, we can see they have a lot of similarities. While many people begin by specialising in one area, they often acquire skills in the other to provide a comprehensive service.

One example of this is responsive design. Both designers and developers need to know how to create websites that work on a range of devices, so many choose to develop their skills and branch out into new areas.

Working with CSS systems requires a lot of technicality and creativity, and a lot of designers combine their services with website development to meet the needs of their client.


Are The Specialities Merging? 

Full-stack developers are defining the website design industry, with many professionals choosing to offer a complete experience. The ability to take a basic concept, create a design and see it through to the finish can be very profitable for web professionals.

While some people still prefer to specialise in either web design or development, many realise that their clients would prefer an all-in-one service rather than having to source professionals for different roles.

You should think of web design and development encompassing a whole industry. Neither is more important than the other and for an effective website, both practices should be applied.


The Bottom Line 


With many clients hoping to simplify the website development process, professionals have many opportunities to scale their business. A lot of companies choose to offer templated designs to provide affordable web design for their customers.


If you’re thinking about asking a professional to build your website, think about the following things:


  • What can they offer you?
  • Do they specialise in mobile responsiveness?
  • Which services do you require for your platform?


Finding the right company to build your website can be challenging, but it is possible. If you’re looking for a simple website to showcase your services, then there are plenty of professionals that offer basic design, development and customisation.


If you’re searching for the best web design agency in the UK, it’s best to find one that offers templates, customisation and bespoke website build from scratch.


Now you know the difference between web design and web development, you can choose the company that suits your needs and create an online platform for your business.