The Big Difference Between Web Design & Website Development

Between Web Design & Website Development

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Web design and development may sound the same, but they’re not. Designing a website is completely different than building it, and knowing about their differences is essential to properly set your budget, expectations and time-tables for designers and web developers.

This article will explain the difference between web design and web development.


What is Web Design


What is Web Design

Aesthetics – web design involves creating the look and feel of your website. Web designers work to keep the design harmonious and to make a bold statement about the brand of the business. They ensure that visitors will land on responsive web pages that grab their attention through clean-cut graphic design and easily-digestible web content.

What is Website Development

Coding – website development handles the behind-the-scenes of a fully-functioning website. A web developer builds the site and brings ideas to life through animations.

Web developers may work on either the front end (more visual) or back end of the website (more functional; how the website works) — or both.

For example, a front-end developer might use CSS (cascading style sheets) to determine a homepage’s layout. In contrast, a back-end developer might write code that integrates an e-commerce site’s shopping cart to a secure online payment gateway.

Types of Web Designers

Pulling off an aesthetically pleasing web design is not easy at all. There are actually various types of designers who work in different platforms to achieve the overall design with all other visual elements. For larger companies, separate tasks are often distributed to multiple designers on a team.

User Experience (UX) Designers

Think about the last time you ordered a product online. Were you able to find it? Were you able to order it? Did it arrive on time? UX designers specialize in the functionality of a user-friendly website or app to make the products or services usable and engaging.

User Interface (UI) Designers

What happens when you click a button? Will something appears if you swipe left? What page will appear if a visitor clicks a particular icon?

These are some of the things a UI web designer considers when they tackle the design process of your website’s user interface. UI design values your user’s visual experience. The UI web designer gets their creative juices flowing to ensure that visitors can navigate your page, mobile app, or web application easily, whether they use their mobile device or others.

Visual Designers

A visual designer works to make the websites’ graphics that are impactful and complement the completed product. They are sometimes a mixture of both UX and UI.


Web Developer Type


Web Developer Types

Bringing the design to life usually requires the amalgamation of skills that multiple people specialize in.

Front-end Developers

Ensures that anything you see on a computer screen is responsive and performing well. In front-end development, they work on the client-side development of ensuring that the core structure, design, behavior, and content of the actual website delivers value to your site visitors.

Back-end Developers

Back-end development involves managing the server-side of the website. It saves and arranges data to guarantee that everything on the client-side of the website functions well. It is the part of the website that you cannot see and interact with.

Full Stack Developers

A full-stack developer enjoys the best of both worlds. Full-stack web developers design complete web applications and websites. They work on the back-end, front-end, and anything in between.

Required Skillsets

To achieve a compelling web design, an in-house team or a freelance web designer should have a solid foundation in color theory, color schemes, and other prominent design principles, such as choosing your unique color palettes. Web designers need to be creative in designing the elements that dictate how the website looks. Aside from Adobe photoshop, a web designer should be knowledgeable in HTML, CSS, and Java.

On the other hand, web development requires technical and logical skill sets. A web developer should know various programming languages to build websites (not just a no-code website builder). On top of that, they should possess problem-solving skills to incorporate the important elements of your site and make it work.


Coding Skills


Level of Coding Skills

Both a developer and designer are expected to have technical knowledge of how to code, but it differs on the degree of mastery one should put into. Web building needs advanced coding adeptness and updated programming knowledge of new coding languages. In contrast, web designers don’t need to go that deep as they should add more detail to their designs.


Web design focuses on creating websites that are visually appealing and helpful in simplifying the message of the brand. Meanwhile, web development focuses on building the site’s functional aspects and bringing the products envisioned to life.

Web design and web development work closely with each other, and it’s essential to know the difference to know how things will work for your freelance developer or designer. At Direct Allied Agency, we have an in-house team to do all the things you need to create websites just for you. Send us a message to get started.

About the Author
Owner of Direct Allied Agency, Kevin Khoury standing outside and looking into the camera