Web design or Web development – what’s the difference?

Website Design

Web design and web development information from our Cornwall marketing agency

In today’s digital age, businesses must have a strong online presence. And to achieve that, they need to have a well-designed website that effectively communicates their message and represents their brand. But when it comes to creating a website, two terms that are often used interchangeably but have distinct differences are web design and web development. In this article, we’ll explore the difference between web design and web development and why it’s important to understand the distinction.

Web Design: The Look and Feel

Web design refers to the visual aspect of a website, including its layout, colours, typography, and graphics. It’s the process of creating a user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and intuitive interface that enhances the user experience. In simpler terms, web design is all about creating the “look and feel” of a website.

Web designers are responsible for creating the overall visual design of a website, as well as the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). They work closely with clients to understand their business goals, target audience, and branding requirements and then create a website design that aligns with these factors.

Web designers typically use tools like Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, or Figma to create wireframes and mockups of a website design. They also work with developers to ensure the design is functional and responsive across different devices and platforms.

One of the most critical aspects of web design is user experience. A well-designed website not only looks good, but it’s also easy to navigate, intuitive to use, and provides a seamless experience for the user. Good web design considers factors like user behaviour, usability, accessibility, and information architecture.

Web Development: The Functionality

Web development, on the other hand, refers to the process of building a website from scratch or customizing an existing website template. It’s the process of turning a design into a functional website using programming languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP.

Web developers are responsible for coding the website and making it work. They work with the design team to ensure the website is functional, responsive, and compatible with different devices and platforms. They also implement features like forms, databases, and content management systems (CMS) that make the website dynamic and interactive.

Web development can be divided into two categories: front-end and back-end. Front-end development involves coding the parts of a website that users interact with, like the user interface, forms, and animations. Back-end development involves coding the parts of a website that users don’t see, like the server-side code, databases, and CMS.

Why Understanding the Difference Matters

Understanding the difference between web design and web development is essential for businesses looking to create a website or redesign an existing one. It helps them determine their requirements and find the right professionals for the job.

If you want to create a website that looks great and provides a seamless user experience, you need to work with a web designer. A web designer can help you create a visual design that aligns with your branding and business goals, ensuring that the website is intuitive and easy to navigate.

On the other hand, if you need a dynamic, interactive website with advanced features like databases and content management systems, you need to work with a web developer. A web developer can help you code the website and make it functional, responsive, and compatible with different devices and platforms.

It’s also important to note that while web design and web development are distinct disciplines, they often overlap. A good website requires both a strong visual design and functional code. Web designers and developers must work closely to ensure that the website meets the client’s requirements and provides an excellent user experience.

71% of business leaders expect to invest in their website to grow their business this year.*

Your competitor is in that group.

*KPMG report on Canadian business.

Your business deserves a great website.

Learn more about websites here: