Website Design v/s. Website Development

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Website Design v/s. Website Development

Web development starts where designing ends. Though Web designing and web development may sound synonymous to each other, they are two very different topics. Web designers and Web developers need to have different skill sets. While a designer works on the front end of a website and renders his creativity into the website for an aesthetic feel and user interface, a web developer, on the other hand, takes the design and transforms it into a fully functioning website.

In essence, web design refers to both the aesthetic portion of the website and it’s usability. Web designers use various design programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, Fireworks, etc. to create the layout and other visual elements of the website.

Web Developers, on the other hand, take a website design and actually make a functioning website from the ground up. Web developers use HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and other programming languages to bring life into the design files and make the overall website functional.

The Fallacy

Both the terms are usually mixed together in today’s era. For instance, it can be frustrating for a webmaster to get things done from a freelancer or agency not knowing the difference. This may not seem like a big problem, but it is when it comes to paying for their professional services. The original job profile of both are listed below-

A web designer is sort of a graphic designer who researches into user experience of the web pages being developed and renders his creativity in the art of web designing.

Writing, modifying and debugging software for websites, writing codes to generate web pages, access databases, and business logic servers is the front for the web developer. He works with designers and content writers and ultimately tests and documents software for websites.

So now it is clear that web designers and developers are not the same, they are two completely different jobs.

The Common Webmaster

As time is progressing, people are increasingly becoming adept at doing both. There are a  few factors responsible for this- like WordPress and other Content Management System enables to design by selecting themes & development by adding widgets and plugins and due to designers and developers familiarity with HTML, CSS & JavaScript. Both also have the common goal of usability and accessibility of the website.  

Skill Set required

The developer needs to have knowledge of website building languages like CSS, HTML along with scripting language. For websites with complex, database driven content, knowledge of Perl, PHP, etc. is required.

The designer should have a solid foundation in design fundamentals and have knowledge of graphic software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Job Profile

The web developer writes codes to implement page designs. He builds and maintains databases and other tools essential for running or functioning of the site.

The web designer designs web page content ( text, images, video) and the visual look and feel of the website right from layout to color and subsequently to graphics. He also helps in navigation and usability of the website.

Final Words

Companies, especially small & medium sized ones fall prey the most when it comes to employing webmaster services for designing or re-designing their website. Although there is numerous jacks of all trades, we believe in having dedicated master designers who create the layout and then hand the design files over to an equally competent programmer who completes the development stage. Hopefully, like us, by now you would be clear in allocating the appropriate task to developers and designers, as per their area of expertise.


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