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You may have heard these terms used interchangeably, but web design and web development aren’t exactly the same. If you’re looking to hire someone to help you with your website, it’s important to know the differences, and why you need a web company (like DenWeb) that does both things well.

Web Design

Web design refers to the visual, aesthetic parts of a website (what it looks like) as well as how it functions (user experience). 

A web designer starts by finding out what the client’s needs are, and also a little about their personality as a company and what their preferences are. Then it’s the designer’s job to take that information and translate it into something eye-catching. Usually, this involves an information architecture. 

When an architect designs a building, they create a blueprint with details of how everything will fit together. If the house needs to have four bedrooms and a master suite on the ground floor, the architect has to make a plan for how to achieve those goals.  A web designer does the same thing, but with information. How is the site going to arrange information so that users can find what they need?

Once they’ve made a plan, web designers can move on to the layout which is where their creativity really shines. Great web designers understand design elements like color theory and balance. They also know what information to emphasize, and how to make it stand out. Designers use programs like Photoshop and codes like HTML and CSS to create these layouts.

Web Development

If the web designer is like the architect, then the web developer is the contractor. Web developers are the ones who take a design and bring it to life. Developers must have solid programming skills and be fluent in HTML,  Java and other coding languages to make a website interactive and dynamic. 

Web development is an ongoing process that doesn’t stop once a site goes live. A great web developer doesn’t just create a site that functions properly.  They also manage hosting issues, test for and fix bugs, employ relevant SEO techniques, and monitor site security. 

Web development is often unseen and underappreciated, but without it, no one would ever see the web designer’s amazing work. Developers are a crucial part of making a designer’s creative vision a reality.

The Best of Both

If you’re a small business owner looking for help with your website, you will want to make sure you are hiring someone who’s a pro at both the design side and the development side. The beauty of a web company like DenWeb is that we do it all, including managing updates, site maintenance, cyber security, and all of the annoying day-to-day issues that might pop up. 

Whether you go with us or with someone else, we hope this has helped you understand a little bit more about the differences between web design and web development so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

Lily Dunn

Author Lily Dunn

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