What Is The Difference Between Web Development And Web Design

Even though they sound similar, web design and web development are quite different. Both are fields related to building websites, yet each has a different approach. Their main difference is in the way they work. In this article, we’ll look at how web developers and web designers are different, how they are alike, what they do and how they work together. 

How Is Web Development And Web Design Similar?

One person can be both a web developer and a web designer. But in most cases, they will only be one of the two. Both a web developer or web designer can create a website for any type of business. In some cases, a website project will have two different people working together, one developing and one designing. 

In short, the one thing in common between web developers and web designers is websites. A person will choose to pursue each career depending on their preference between coding and designing layouts. 

Now let’s look at how they are different and how they work together for a common goal. 

web developer

What Is The Role of A Web Developer

Web development is all about building websites from the ground up. This means, using lots of custom code to build a website from scratch. A web developer uses all the coding languages at their disposal to create custom websites any way they want. 

Web developers work on the back-end of a website project. They don’t worry about what colors to add or what fonts to use. They get that information from the web designer or brand strategist.

When they have all the branding information, they insert it into the code.

UX design works directly with web developers to create seamless experiences for the user. The UX designer sets up the framework and the developer builds the construction.

What Is The Role of A Web Designer

A web designer works on the front-end of a website project. They are more visually oriented than web developers. In many cases,  a web designer is also a graphic designer. A web designer does need to know at least a little bit of coding but can get by without it. In a web design firm, a web designer won’t touch the code at all, only the visual aspects of the design.

Similar to how web development is part of UX design, web design is more akin to UIX design. That’s due to how UIX is more about the visual interface and not so much about the actual working systems.

Creating websites as web designers nowadays is easier than ever. With the expansion of simple website builders like Wix and Squarespace, there are now more niche web designers than ever before.

More robust builders and themes like Divi and Elementor, bridge the gap between developers and designers. 

web designer

How do They Work Together?

Web developers and web designers don’t always work together on projects.  It depends on the size of the website and the client’s specific needs. The most common cases when they will work together is on a custom and unique website project. 

For example, a site that needs a lot of animation and interaction. Or a custom design for an e-commerce store with granular UX design and omnichannel integrations. 

For websites of that magnitude,  the UID designer and web designer will work together to create the face of the site.  In many instances, it’s the same person doing both roles. 

After the visuals are done, the UX designer and web developer will build the site with the code languages best suited to the website’s goal. It will most likely be a mix of HTML, CSS,  javascript and other more specific languages like python and ruby on rails. 

Are You Interested in A Career in Web Development or Web Design? 

Starting a career in web development or web design is not that difficult. There are plenty of courses available online to learn at your own pace. Also, you can find full career programs from top-notch institutes. 

We suggest you also look into the User Experience and User Interface design so that your knowledge is richer. Try doing both development and design before deciding which to concentrate on.


Over To You

Are you a web designer or developer, are you maybe a web unicorn who does both? Leave a comment for a fellow creative looking to expand their horizons.