Web Design and Web Development: Do You Know the Important Differences?

Web Design & Web Development

The terms web design and web development are often misunderstood. Business owners sometimes think the terms are interchangeable, but each function has distinct responsibilities and deliverables. Understanding the differences will enable your business to have a dynamic, functional, and interactive website.

Web Design Versus Web Development

When a website is under construction, two different elements are involved. Each requires a different skillset to complete its role in the completion of the website. Convergent1 understands the importance of originality in both the appearance and content. The artistic element, which includes the creation of a color palette that functions within modern web browser constraints, falls into the realm of the web designer. He or she will also be responsible for selecting the typeface and graphics. The designer will construct the information architecture of the website as well as the navigation. Everything that is visual is the responsibility of the designer, and creating an attractive site that promotes your brand and product is the ultimate goal. The technical and analytical elements of the website fall to the web developer. He or she writes code that allows the various parts of the website to function seamlessly. It’s today’s highly mobile society, it’s essential to have a website that functions across all platforms. Your clients use their computers, tablets, and phones to access and interact with your website, as well as to make purchases and pay bills. These functions fall into the development phase of your website. According to Rasmussen College, both design and development are required to construct an attractive fully-functioning website.

Web Design Specifics

The primary focus of the web designer is to create an original website that provides simple navigation for the consumer and a color palette that compliments the business logo. The web designer creates a straightforward layout that provides flexible placement of graphics, easy purchase options, and an inviting visual experience. Designers consider the needs of the company’s customers and translate it into a positive user experience. Content creation can include pages for frequently asked questions (FAQs), company facts, product descriptions, blog articles, images, charts, videos, and purchasing information. The goal of each website page is to build upon your brand and create customer loyalty by keeping critical information above the fold, providing an opportunity for closure, incorporating directional cues, including lots of white space, and by loading pages and graphics fast. If your company goal is having the customer visit result in the purchase of a product or service, the designer will create a closing page with a testimonial or positive review nest to the “purchase” or “buy now” button that brings the buyer to the shopping cart. Keywords and phrases that consumers commonly use in searches will be placed in appropriate text locations to boost your website’s position in the search engines.

Web Development Specifics

The web developer writes the code that brings all the pieces of the design together and makes them function in a smooth fashion. This allows the website visitor to move effortlessly between pages and links. Developers must be proficient in several coding languages including Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Java, JavaScript, Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and jQuery. These coding languages provide the developer with the tools he or she needs for the behind the scenes actions to function correctly. Contact boxes, mailing lists, shopping carts, chat boxes, and pop-up windows all depend on the skilled coding of the developer. The developer also works to provide the best website experience for the consumer through excellent performance. Looking ahead to future needs is also the work of the developer, and the framework should allow for easy expansion and code manipulation as business growth and needs demand it. Website viewers want access to websites while they are on the go. Today’s mobile society requires functionality on numerous platforms, devices, and browsers. The developer takes the web designer’s mock-up and converts it into a functioning multi-platform website that provides a pleasant and valuable experience for the visitor.

The Combined Effect

The web designer and web developer work together as a team to create great content, new features, and to resolve problems. Together they build a website that performs to meet the needs of the business while providing content and functionality for the visitor.

When business owners understand the difference between designers and developers, they will choose a firm that offers both areas of expertise to build their website. A unique website with valuable and attractive content that functions across all platforms should always be the goal when contracting with a web design and development company.


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