difference between web design and web development

As a website user, both web design and development might look the same for you. But it has remarkable differences between them. Web design is about the visible part of the website, its design and user experience. Web development is about the engine behind the interface, and is all about programming!

When executing a website or product, both have equal weightage! Each website design and development process are inter-connected. However, they’ve significant differences, such as technology, tools, process, and integrations.

It is important for website owners to know the differences to avoid any failure. In this blog, we’ll discuss differences between both and their processes. Let’s understand their definitions first.

What is Web Design?

Web Design is the process of designing the visual part of websites or web applications for web browsers. The process includes customer research, user journey, wireframing, layouts, UI, and navigation. It decides how users will look and feel about the website.

It also involves creating a responsive design that adapts to desktop, mobile, and tablet screen sizes. User engagement largely depends upon the website’s design. That being said, web design is a critical aspect, and it guides web developers about how programming should be carried out.

Also Read: How Does Website’s UI/UX Impacts Your Brand Reputation?

What is Web Development?

Web development is the programming part of building a website. It includes planning, building, and maintaining websites or web applications with the help of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and other programming languages. It also involves database and server management.

There’re many frameworks and programming languages for building websites. Most of the websites are built in PHP language. Other popular languages are Node.JS, Python, Ruby, Java, and ReactJS. Depending upon the complexity and scope of work, language is chosen.

Web Design Process

Web design and web development require an integrated approach to develop a quality and functioning website. However, they follow different processes.

  • First thing first; a web design project starts with a brief based on client’s expectations and needs, and is written by a digital project manager or digital producer, working hand in hand with a strategist. The brief includes details about the target audience and functionalities of the website.
  • Once the brief is completed, the web designer comes up with design ideas, sketches, and prototypes following the brief and brand guidelines.
  • Team comes up with design ideas, sketches, and prototypes according to brand guidelines.
  • The actual design of the website starts here and will follow multiple iteration and testing before being sent to development.

Web development will follow the design mockups and briefs

Web development process is crucial and must be aligned with design process. Let’s understand what web development process includes.

  • The development process can only starts after the development brief explaining all the functionalities of the website and all the design mockups have been delivered.
  • It requires in-depth knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and other programming languages and involves the integration of third-party APIs, and other tools.
  • The testing and quality assurance process starts once the development phase is completed.
  • Deployment in accordance with web standards is carried out after testing.
  • Maintenance of website is also a key aspect to avoid code failure. It involves backup, database management, security maintenance, and other technical operations.

Also Read: Code Quality | The Unsung Warrior in Web Development

Quick Note: Although they have many differences in execution, they’ve similarities.


Web design and development require common skill sets such as critical thinking, testing, analysis, and problem-solving approach.

Both web designers and web developers work together to provide the appropriate UX (User Experience) and smooth navigation of the website.

To develop a high quality and profitable website, the work of a professional strategist, a designer and developer is required. All design and development decisions should be made according to the brief and KPIs.

The Difference in Tools & Technology

Web design and development are two different parts of the web design process and require distinctive skill sets and tools, yet they are interdependent.

Usually, web designers work with Figma, Adobe Dreamweaver, Sketch, Google Web Designer, and Adobe XD. On the other hand, web developers have experience with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python, ReactJS, jQuery, etc.

Some technologies such as website builders enable to merge the web design and development to a single process, but it still requires design and technical expertise.

Final Words

Web design and development are different, yet intricate parts of a website, that requires specific design and technical skills, as well as the experience of a project manager. Our digital agency has delivered hundreds of quality websites to Sydney local businesses. All our websites are tailored to each of our clients. Looking to create one for your business? Email us at [email protected].

Content Source: https://sydneydigitalagency.com.au/revealing-fundamentals-and-differences-of-website/