Web Design vs. Web Development: What’s the difference?

When you are looking to develop a new website for your business, who should you be looking for? A web designer or a web developer?
For an Industry outsider although these two terms are more often than not used interchangeably, and rightly so thanks to the overlap that exists, a closer analysis of each reveals very clear distinctions that define each as they have come to be.
And understanding these similarities and differentiators is important so you know exactly what you want when building a website.

What is Web Design?
Well as the name implies, Web design focuses on the front end or customer focused part of the website and more specifically, the design aspect of the website. Using Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator) or other design software along with  creativity and intuitiveness, web designers pay special  attention to the following features that create an overall visually aesthetic and user-friendly website that ultimately creates a positive user experience:

-optimal graphics
-typography
-Wireframes, mockups, and storyboards
-special relationships
-layout
-flow
-text
-Logo design
-Branding

A web designer also will be involved in creating; maintaining and updating the websites content along with determining the navigation so a website doesn’t just look pretty but is actually functional too.
Find Out More- Web Design Sydney 

What is Web Development?
On the other end of the spectrum, web development is concerned with the ‘back end’ of a website. More technical than web design, a web developer also known as a programmer focuses on curating the inner workings of the website by way of deploying different programming languages such as HTML, CSS, Word Press and Joomla! along with Perl, ASP, PHP and Java as required.

Web Development comes in two varieties; Front End and Back End Web Development.
Front End web development involves a considerable amount of interaction between the front end developer and the web designer as this focuses on how the website will actually display the design and function.

Back End Development is more complex and technical focusing on thorough programming to make a site function flawlessly. This involves the back end developer having a good grasp of how interactive web components may integrate, creating features like e-commerce stores, creating web forms and API’s r even creating new functionality from scratch to meet the users need for custom built software.

Web Design and Web Development – Working collaboratively
Can a web developer be a web designer and vice versa? Yes absolutely!  Design and development are converging to become hybrids in nature where developers/designers can see the life cycle of a project from conceptualisation to delivery. Web designers can equip themselves with skills like HTML and CSS to undertake front end development and web developers can start to become interested in understanding the principles of graphic design using programs like Adobe Photoshop but can one man do all? Whilst cross knowledge can provide a competitive advantage, depending on the nature and size of a project, having a team of web designers and web developers with clearly defined roles is more practical.
So to conclude, whilst the two terms are often used interchangeably and rightly so, thanks to the increase in availability of educational resources, the two are actually two ends of the spectrum that work separately yet collaboratively to achieve the one common goal; bringing your ideas online!