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Table of contents
What is Website Design?
These are some of the main roles of a web designer:
Web Designer Can’t Ignore Coding Completely
What is Web Development?
Here are some of the main roles of a web developer:
Web Development Career Planning:
Final Thoughts:
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Difference between Web Design & Development

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Ashwin Goyal
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18 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


Web designing involves transforming an idea or a story, into a visually alluring design. This design layout is then used for building the user experience for the website. in this article, we will discuss the difference between web design and development.

What is Website Design?

Web design involves creating and designing the website’s look and feel. Similar to an architect who designs and draws a plan of the house before building it, a web designer also designs a model layout of the website before a web developer starts coding and developing it.

Web designing is not easy it is complicated to integrate the various aspects of the website and create a welcoming, user-friendly environment. Web design involves writing a plan to develop a user interface design. The role of a web designer is as important as the developer, as, without an appealing interface and wonderful user experience, the development cannot be well experienced and appreciated by the end-user.

A perfect website cannot be created immediately after reading or understanding the specifications defined. Web designers need to first understand the scope, the purpose of the website. They will then roughly visualise the designs and draft or sketch the design. From draft sketching, they move to wireframes, mock-ups, and then arriving at the final design. Some of the areas covered under web design are:

  • Graphic designing
  • Logo designing
  • Web layout designing
  • Placement of call-to-action buttons on the website
  • Branding
  • Working on Wireframes, mock-ups, and storyboards
  • Deciding the Colour palettes
  • Typography

Web design designs the face of the website, it designs and works on what the user will see on their computer screen or mobile device. With a balanced use of colours, images, typography, layouts etc. Web design helps in bringing a digital experience to life.

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These are some of the main roles of a web designer:

  • Using software tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Framer, or Sketch to build the final layout design of the website.
  • Have good skills in graphic design and logo design.
  • Have a good feel for user experience, to identify the simplest approach possible to attain the desired function. This includes the layout, buttons, images and the general format of the website.
  • Web designers need to keep themselves up to date with the latest design trends. It’s also important to keep design consistency that is made popular from other web giant companies, such as Google and Facebook. This makes the website environment and interfaces easier to navigate and use, as it is already familiar to the user’s eyes.
  • Web designers have to also keep in mind the branding of the website, colour palettes to be used, and the typography and readability of the website.

Web Designer Can’t Ignore Coding Completely

Web design and web development can both require some level of programming knowledge.

Qualified web designers should understand the code better than graphic designers and understand design better than programmers. As the creator of beautiful web pages, it is their ultimate goal to make a website that will shock users. Shortly, the designer is the one who determines how the end user will view the process of navigating the site or web application.

Web designers work with developer closely, the teamwork makes perfect results. So it’s necessary for web designer knowing the coding language to get better cooperation with the web developer.

Design tools for web designers:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Sketch
  • Dreamweaver
  • AI

What is Web Development?

If web designers are responsible for designing what the users get to see on their screen, then web developers are the ones who are responsible in turning these designs into a live fully functional website. Web development involves using various web languages and software tools for developing and building a website.

There are two types of web development, front-end and back end. Front-end developers are the bridge between the web designers and back-end developers They work on three main development languages; Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript (JS). These languages help in developing a full-fledged website, right from designing the main layout, to inserting images and videos, using different types of typography and fonts, form interfaces, and more.

Back-end development involves controlling the data and requests from the server. If a website contains dynamic data, it will require full-fledged back-end services. For example, websites which require users to submit their personal data for creating an account, need to save this data and make it accessible for a later stage. Hence the website also requires a database connection. These database connections can be directly connected to the server itself. Back-end development involves using server languages like PHP or ASP.NET | Open-source web framework for .NET. It also involves writing database queries by using languages like SQL or MySQL.

Now that we have a clearer understanding of the difference between web design and web development, we know that both play an important role in web building and that one cannot exist without the other. To sum up, the web designers need to understand the design principles and creatively come up with unique layouts and web developers need to focus more on logic-based thinking and understand coding and how the technology works.

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Here are some of the main roles of a web developer:

  • Building the actual interface through which a user interacts with the website. This interface is built by front-end developers using HTML, CSS and JS languages.
  • Front-end developers can use styling preprocessors, javascript libraries, and frameworks to fasten the process of development (see my previous article).
  • Front-end developers provide the markup design to back-end developers, so they can implement a dynamic website, and submit all the required data on the server and databases.
  • Back-end developers create the backbone of the website using languages such as PHP and MySQL.
  • Both front-end and back-end developers can use the same development environments or IDEs (Integrated Development Environment). These are software application tools where you code and build the structure of the website.
  • Web developers may also use versioning tools to keep a history of the previous builds. This will help them to quickly and effortlessly move back to a previous “unbroken” version if required to do so.

Web Development Career Planning:

  • Junior Web Developer focuses on executing development independently and can meet the needs of company business lines, and the ability to use frameworks, libraries, and tools to solve specific business problems. Besides, they required some potential for them.
  • Senior Web Developer is able to work alone and have an ability to assist the development team to lead the technical planning and design in the business project.
  • Web Developer Expert is generally the leaders of the front-end team. What they do is to provide a whole strategist for the front-end team, and constantly look for “breaking points” in the business and technology fields. At this stage, they manage dozens of web developers.

Final Thoughts:

  • Keep in mind that both have essential roles and the web would not exist without one or the other. I can tell you that from my experience nothing will come easier than the rest.
  • Working full-time as a front-end developer and interacting regularly with both designers and back-end developers, has shown me that all of the roles we just discussed have their own quirks in one way or another.
  • Just keep in mind that focusing on one language at first is the best way to get yourself started. Once you get motivated and take the first step, the rest will be less of a challenge.