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Web Design vs. Web Development: Differences to Help You Choose The Right One



Web Design vs. Web Development: Differences to Help You Choose The Right One

Web Design vs Web Development, What’s the Difference Between the Two?

Whether you want to build a new website from scratch or you just want to update your current website, you might be wondering if you need the services of a web designer or a website developer. 

Nowadays, the terms are even used so interchangeably that it’s easy to get them confused. This can lead to employing the wrong strategy in building your website. 

So when you need a specific service for your website, it’s crucial you know whether you need a web design service or a web development service.

Well guess what? that’s what this article is about.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the differences between Web Design vs Web Development and we’ll help you decide when to choose each one for your projects.

So keep on reading this article.


Web design refers to the visual or aesthetic appearance of your website and how the different components add up to create a user-friendly environment for your business on the internet.

Think of web designers as architects of a building. As an architect would create the plan of a building before building it, so will a web designer model the layout of a website before the developer can start developing it. 

In essence, web design is concerned with everything that has to do with the visual appearance of a website and how users can interact with it. This includes components such as color, theme, graphic, content, and everything else that relates to the visual aspects of the user interface (UI) & user experience (UX).

In simple terms, web design focuses on how a site looks and how users interact with it. Web design governs what users see on their computer screens or mobile devices when they visit your site. A good web designer must be able to use the principles and tools of web design to create a site that looks great and appeals to your target audience. This is because if they like what they see, they’re probably going to stick around.

It might interest you to know that about 73% of businesses today are investing in web design to gain an edge over their competition.

So hiring a good web design company would help you reach your business goals by generating more leads or improving your online sales.

A web designer isn’t concerned with building your website from scratch, rather, they use design programs to create a prototype of your homepage and unique internal pages. This gives you a big picture of how your website would look like and also serve as a building block for developers when they get to building your website.

Some of the design programs used by web designers include Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, GIMP, Figma, Canva, bootstrap, Weebly, etc. 

Also, the design phase of your website allows you to provide feedback about the design and tell your designer what you like, what you don’t like, and the changes you’d like to effect on the current mockup.


Having talked about web design, let’s see what web development is all about.

After completing the planning and design process of your website, a web developer, often called a programmer, steps in to make the design function as it should. 

So if the designer is the architect, then the developer is the engineer.

Web developers build a functional website from the design made by the web designer. They make the design prototype of a website come to life and function as a website.

Developers add interactive functionality to your website, whether it be live active links, CTA buttons, or sliders.

For instance, if a design features 2 CTA buttons on the homepage, those CTA buttons have to be hard-coded into the site in such a way that they respond correctly when users click on them. The same goes for every other element in the website such as contact forms, a simple hyperlink in your content, sliders, or even the navigation bar.

Web developers may choose to work with content management systems (CMSs) like Joomla or WordPress, but they’re also able to build your website from scratch by coding with programming languages such as HTML, PHP, and CSS.

So if you need a website or plan to update an already existing website that require people to register and create profiles or collect leads, then you need a web developer.

Note that there are two subcategories of web development; Front end (client-side) and back end (service side) development.

FRONT END DEVELOPMENT is the practice of producing HTML, JAVASCRIPT, OR CSS code for a website or a web application to enable users interact with them directly. Front end development is all about what the user can see on the website like the graphic user interface including beautiful sliders, flashy buttons, navigation buttons, colourful images, etc.

Now since a web designer doesn’t know much about coding, it becomes the role of a front end developer to create an environment that the user can see and touch, by combining several tools including HTML, CSS, and JAVASCRIPT.


Web Design vs. Web Development: Differences to Help You Choose The Right One

This is simply the part of the website which the user cannot see and interact with. It’s all about how to system works. 

The back end runs on the server side but communicates with the front end so that everything works out fine. Essentially, back end developers control the server data and request by coding on the web servers and databases, and not on the browser. 

So a website where users submit forms with personal data (such as creating an account), or saving an article for a blog would require back end services.

On the other hand, fullstack developers are well versed in both frontend and backend development. They’re the complete package when it comes to web development.


If you need a new website for your online business or you just want to tweak the look and feel of your current website, you might be wondering if you need a superb web design or a fantastic web development service. Our table below will give you a quick overview on when to choose each one;

ProjectWhat You Need
Build a website using the design from a website designerWeb development
Create an appropriate color pattern for your websiteWeb design
Create a wireframe to suit your existing web design IdeasWeb design
Choose the right fonts for your new or existing websiteWeb design
Create a mobile appWeb development
Fix server/hosting issuesWeb development
Edit visual content like photos and videosWeb design

Hiring Web Design and Web Development Company

Since we’ve grouped the two disciplines into separate categories, it’s easy to think you’ll have to hire Web design company and development company separately. But that’s not true.

If you’re like most business owners, you don’t have the time to juggle client emails, paperwork, and creating a website, an agency full of experts is a great solution.

We can’t wait to get your web design and development off to a flying start.