Web Design and Web Development Explained

April 17, 2015

Web Design and Web Development ExplainedThis is a question we get asked often, and that’s why we decided to dedicate this page to answering it in full. This is an important distinction that has to be fully understood when you are planning your website. It is especially important when your planned website needs to be more than an online business card but have other functions. 

Before we go into concrete detail, we can offer an analogy that comes to mind. The difference between a web designer and a web developer is alike to the difference between an interior designer and a home builder. A decorator can choose wallpapers, light fixtures, and shades, working in a given space. An builder has all the tools to shape the space itself, moving walls, adding stairwells and rewiring electrical outlets. Once he is done, the interior designer can move in to decorate the finished space. 

Such is the difference between a Web Designer and Web Developer. The web designer works on the outward look and feel of a website, while the web developer defines its structure and calibrates its inner workings. Let us explain in more detail:

Web Designer Functions

  • Graphic Design. This is the look and feel of the website. It includes color schemes, backgrounds and pictures. Everything that makes a website appealing and easy to read or browse. It also includes branding and takes your logo and product into account when integrating them into your website.  

  • User Interface and Usability. This relates to ease of use more than it does to pure aesthetics. It means arranging menus in such a way that the user will have easy access to different parts of the site. It has to do with fonts, text color and background contrast, and line spacing. It is much like someone designing a restaurant menu, placing items into groups and arranging them in a logical order. Read more about UI in a specialized article by SWS.

In short, a web designer paints a picture, but it takes a web developer to make it work. There is more to to be said about web design that you can read about in another article, but for now let us proceed further and explain Web Development. 

Web Developer Functions

  • Coding and Programing. Like a contractor that brings an architect’s blueprint to life, the web developer produces the framework that is based on a web designer’s plan and vision. It will have moving frames, responsive features and mobile screen compatibility. The website will have drop down menus, slideshow galleries and everything else that makes a picture into a functioning site. Read more about custom web development in our specialized article.

  • Functionality Development. When a website deals with data input, such as any customer login information, e-commerce transactions, or forms of any kind, a mechanism has to be set in place to process it properly. It is your store back office, or a restaurant’s kitchen where the meal is prepared before it is served to your guest on a beautiful plate. 

Without those two functions, a web design remains just that - a design. A non-moving picture on a wall. Without a web designer’s work, a fully functional website runs the risk of being dull and unappealing. For a well balanced website, you need both web design and web development. 

Not many web specialists have a good balance of those skills, but we at SWS employ specialists of both kinds. Putting their work together for the enjoyment and benefit of our clients is our source of professional pride. Contact Superior Web Solutions today and launch your web project tomorrow.