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Web Design vs Web Development: Major Differences Everyone Should Know



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Having trouble choosing between web design vs web development. Here are three of the biggest differences and how to decide which is right for you. Did you know that there are nearly 1.8 billion websites in operation right now? But you’re considering making some changes to your site to stay relevant, how do you know if what you need is web design vs web development? There can be some overlap between the two, and it all comes down to the agency or the skills and bandwidth of the individual person you work with. But, there are some key differences that can help you understand who the right person is for your project. Here are the differences between web design vs. web development you need to know.

The Web Designer

This role is focused on the branding, design, and overall aesthetic of a website. It’s less technical and the core job function is building website layouts for web developers. Here’s what a web designer does:
  • Even though most web designers will know some coding, they are more focused on aesthetics than the technical components of a website.
  • A web designer’s job is to translate the elements of a brand to a website.
  • If you have any changes you want to be made to the color, layout, and overall look and feel of your website, this is the person who makes those changes.
  • A web designer will work with copywriters and graphic designers to create content for the site. Typically, under the guidance of a creative director.
Here’s how you’ll work with a web designer:
  • Web designers work directly with clients, meaning you’ll likely interface with them frequently during the duration of a project.
  • Good web designers are naturally creative, so they’ll likely have ideas to bring to the table and want to mull over concepts with you.
If you don’t need a lot of customization done to your site, you can get away with only working with a good web designer. Quality web designers know how to use content management systems like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace.

The Web Developer

The thing with website content management systems is that they are limited. Even though you can alter templates, only a web developer is skilled enough to create a completely custom site. If you want an interactive site that’s responsive with custom tools and features, you’ll need to also work with a web developer. Here’s what a web developer does:
  • Works with creative directors and web designers to make the site “do” what the client wants it to
  • A web developer can build a website from scratch, they don’t need a content management system to create a website
  • Even though a web developer can create a custom content management system, they also know how to dig into content management systems and customize sites
  • They build tools
  • Will be tasked with technical SEO
  • They aren’t concerned with things like “branding” and “how it looks.” They care more about how it works.
Here’s how you’ll work with a web developer:
  • When you work with an agency the web designer and the creative director are typically the liaison between the client and the web developer. You may see them make an appearance on important calls.
  • They talk in code and are analytical and systematic people.

Web Design Vs. Web Development: Which Should You Choose?

The most successful branding, marketing, and communications strategies are holistic. Meaning that every strategy, campaign, and tactic is tied together toward reaching a singular goal. But, even though there are tried and true best practices, every company, audience, and industry is different. The best way to know which direction you should go when deciding between web design vs. web development is to schedule a consultation with us. We’ll go through all of your options and make sure you get what you need. Click here to get in touch!

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