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What is the difference between Web Design & Web Development?

You know me, I like to start at the beginning so lets look at the difference between the two first.


You’re looking for the right person to help establish your company’s web presence, and you keep coming across the terms ‘web designer’ and ‘web developer.’ To the layman they are pretty much the same, but to the experts like Back2Back they are worlds apart. Especially when it comes to updating or building a website.

Web designers and web developers work hand in hand toward the same goal, making eye-catching websites that also do the job, their skill-sets often overlapping. It’s like being a runway model, not much point if you have the looks and the figure but are too shy to walk in front of people. However, they both play different roles in the process, though you will find the occasional professional who is highly skilled in both.

The simple distinction between the two is that a designer crafts the experience the site is going to provide, and the developer is the person who puts it all together to make the vision of the designer a reality.

Example of Web Design

Web design - A closer look A web designer's job is to take the vision and the goals of the client and plan a site that will fulfill that vision and achieve those goals. They will work on things like colour schemes, fonts, different visual elements, and the types of content that will be on the site. They will develop a layout for the site and its pages and will make decisions on the different types of functions that need to be available. They also design how visitors to the page will interact with these functions.

Example of Web Development

What exactly is a web developer? The web developer is the professional with the technical expertise to actually build the site and make it work. They understand the various coding languages like JavaScript, (always think of coffee when I see that word… be right back…..), HTML, CSS, and they know how to use them to make a functional website.

When it comes to building a website or an app, the web developer is the professional that actually puts the components together and writes the code.

So there you have it, that’s the difference between the two, now, which one is better to work with?

As a beginner (potential customer), you have the distinct advantage of not having any preconceived ideas of which is more important. There is nothing swaying you towards one discipline over the other.

The factors which decide the need for a developer, or a designer are going to be decided by the goals of your project. If you are looking to add new features or to integrate your site with other applications, then the skills of a developer will be needed. If you are looking to update a site with a new look or layout or improve your user's experience than the skills of a designer will be more relevant.

All of that being said, most projects will require the skills of both. A successful website needs to be well designed to be appealing and user-friendly, which is, of course, the ultimate goal, and the design concepts will need the technical support of a professional who understands how to program functionality in the back end.

Finding the right professional to do the job can be difficult, and in many cases, you are going to need two or more professionals working in collaboration with each other.

Here at Back2Back, we handle all of this for you, like our name suggests Back 2 Back, end to end, start to finish!

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