The Difference Between Web Design & Development


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The point is that web design and web developments are different disciplines and concepts, although the term “web design” has become generalized and almost standardized. This term is used to refer to both web design and development. It is also used in a general way to refer to companies that are dedicated to the web.

Web design and web development are two aspects of the website building process that require unique and specific skills. Their professionals – designers and developers – are involved in entirely different areas.

As an organization, you must keep these differences always in mind so that, among other things, you do not buy ” piggyback”. So today seems like a good day to go over the differences with you.

Web Development vs Web Design

Web design refers to both the aesthetic part and the usability of the website. A web designer uses tools like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, or even Sketch to create the website template and user interface to get their job done.

While web developers have the responsibility to turn that web design into a functional website, web developers also use sophisticated tools, such as the famous integrated development environments. Still, with a simple text editor, they can bring your website to life using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and other programming languages. As you can see, both profiles are necessary, but they have different skills.

What specific characteristics does web design have?

Web design must always consider the client’s objectives for their website and the architecture and hierarchy of the information on it. Also, the web design team should start by creating wireframes or prototypes before moving on to the design phase.

Web designers use basic design principles to achieve an aesthetically pleasing template that provides a good user experience. I leave you 3 of the different principles that are essential to me.

1. Unity

Unity is the relationship between the different parts of a website template and its composition as a whole. The unity is related to how the human brain visually organizes information, grouping the elements into categories.

2. Balance

A web designer cares about creating a balanced template. Therefore, in the web page elements, he uses the correct ratio of dark and light colors to keep the web design balanced.

3. Contrast

Contrasting colors are those that are opposite on the color wheel, according to color theory. Thanks to web design, design professionals can also observe contrasting colors, shapes, sizes, and textures to draw users’ attention to a particular section of the website.

It is worth mentioning that a modern web designer, in addition to making your website look good and usable, you can use HTML and CSS to create their designs.

Is there only one type of web designer?

Fortunately, and thanks to the fact that the web now reaches everyone, different types of web designers are worth knowing:

User experience (UX) designer

The job of a web UX designer is to keep your website visitors hooked. Through research on user needs and demographics or prototype testing, the user experience designer knows exactly how to create a website that the audience will enjoy.

User Interface (UI) Designer

A user interface designer helps you improve the way the user interacts with the elements of the website. Its main objective is to transform the ideas and values ​​of your brand into a website that is easy to navigate.

A UI designer focuses on the aesthetics and appearance of the website; in contrast, the UX designer researches to build a solid foundation for an experience optimal user.

Visual Designer

Visual design is a discipline that studies information systems. The visual designer is a mix of UX designer and UI designer. In addition to improving user needs, their job using creative and coding skills is to solve design problems and help conceptualize the brand’s unique style and tone.

How do I know if I need a web designer?

If you need to hire a web designer, what you need is to answer the following questions affirmatively:

  1. Do I need a new template for my home page?
  2. Do I need to conceptualize a new website for the brand?
  3. Do I need to edit photos and videos?

What specific characteristics does web development have?

In web development, professionals are called developers or programmers. As we have said before, its function is to transform the design or the designer’s concept and build a fully functional website. Typically a web developer takes the design and breaks it down into small static template components on a dynamic website.

To do this, it uses mainly HTML, which you can program by declaring it directly or using a dynamic programming language such as PHP or JavaScript. You can also develop websites using CMS like WordPress or Drupal or Frameworks like Symfony or React. The use of CMS allows clients to be minimally autonomous, updating their websites later if they need it.

Like designers, developers can also have specific roles. For instance:

Back-end Developer

Backend developers (server-side) work in the environment where the website structure is designed, and the program uses relatively complex languages ​​such as Java, MySQL, C #, PHP, etc. Usually, your code will never be seen as it’s on the webserver and in the databases, not in the browser as in front-end development.

Front-end Developer

The client-side developer (front-end developer) typically relates more to web design than the server-side developer (back-end developer). This is due to the fact of working using more HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create the elements that the user can see on the screen. Its objective is to use tools and program components with which the user can interact.

How do I know if I need a web developer?

If you need to hire a web developer, what you need is to answer affirmatively to the following questions:

  1. Do I need to develop a new form?
  2. Do I need to create a mobile application ?
  3. Do I need to troubleshoot my server?
  4. Do I need to optimize for SEO ?


Suppose you have just created your company, and you are looking to develop a new website, or are even looking to redesign your old website. In that case, I think it is essential that you know how to differentiate between “Web Design” and “Web Development.”

You probably know professionals who are engaged in both activities. However, the process often goes through the design team creating the website template and then sending the files to the developer team to complete the website’s development and life stage. Keeping this in mind will help you avoid misunderstandings and save money.

At Kobe Digital can find the best web design services in Los Angeles and for more information send us an email.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.