What’s The Difference Between Web Design and Web Development

What’s The Difference Between Web Design and Web Development?

Unlike some years back, today, creating a digital presence for your business goes past putting your website online. In this article we answer the question What’s The Difference Between Web Design and Web Development?

There are only so many businesses online, and chances are you are not the only one offering the particular type of products or services.

With every company striving to gain an audience, web marketing becomes a necessity for any successful brand.

Web marketing helps you reach a wider audience online thereby increasing the chances of conversions. It is the best way to improve overall brand awareness.

It also enables you to stand out from competitors and sustains your business’ growth by attracting more customers and creating a loyal customer base.

But before focusing on marketing, you need a website that will act as a central hub for your operations, the main place where visitors and potential customers can find you.

Web Design vs Web Development


To make a successful site, you need to understand the difference between web design, and web development. Let’s break down these two concepts, so you can be ready to grow your business at a moment’s notice.

Recently, some people and companies as well use the terms web design and web development interchangeably. This can be quite confusing for someone new in the industry.

These two terms refer to two different aspects of the website building processes that require a unique set of skills.


At some point, when I was building my first website, I did not understand why I needed a web developer and a web designer at the same time.

To me, the two were the same person and having both did not make sense at all. This is also due to the fact that often times designers and developers are expected to do both as well.

This leads to both often having overlapping skillsets, especially if you’re browsing freelance platforms, where competition is tough.

A Designer is Like an Architect

Let’s use a little analogy: imagine a web designer and a web developer are building a house. When building a structure, you need an architect to design it.

An architect expects you to tell them the kind of structure you want. Like how big the bedrooms have to be, and through where you can reach the bathroom, or which way the windows are facing. The architect then lays out your idea as a drawing.

The architect may also create a small model of your structure to make sure they get everything right before the real work begins. They’ll consider all the visual elements, a user’s journey through the site, in this case, and more.

In website building, you need a web designer who is like the architect in construction. The web designer is the one who transforms your ideas of the type of website you intend to create into a design.

Just like the architect designs the building keeping in mind the needs of those who will use it, the web designer designs your website based on how you want the site to serve you and your clients.

It goes without saying, the two have to be exceptional in their work and must work in synergy. The web design is handed over to the web developer like an architectural drawing is handed over to the builder.

The web developer then gives life to the design. Like the architect, the web developer is involved right from the start of the project. If a site was a house, they’ll additionally make sure all electrical installations and security systems are in place as well, making sure all the functions of the house are taken care of.

web responsive design

The Wireframe and Prototype

A good designer ought to understand your goals as the client, your brand personality, and your budget to balance all these needs with those of the user who must be able to maneuver the site flawlessly.

The web designer typically delivers an initial wireframe which is a layout of the elements of each web page. They will then use the wireframe to create graphics and images for the site using a design program.

The web designer creates a prototype like an architect builds a model. Next is the functional interface that mimics how everything on the page will work though none is tied to the back-end technology or database. These matters are typically taken care of by the web developer.


Armed with the prototypes from the web designer, the web developer comes in to implement the design. It is the developer who now creates programs and applications to bring functionality to the web designs. The web developer provides coding that makes websites work.

What’s The Difference Between Web Design and Web Development? - Coding

What Do Web Design and Web Development Have in Common?

Mastering web design and web development to the highest levels is not a simple task. Even though there are people who can do both, most companies prefer having dedicated designers who hand over the designs to developers.

Both web designers and web developers work hand in hand to create well laid out and user-friendly websites.

Both web designers and web developers;

  • Work with content producers.
  • Aim at creating a website with good user experience and accessibility
  • Are familiar with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS

For you to build a great website, you need both a web designer and a web developer. Typically web development is more technical to learn compared to web design.

Wrapping Up

We hope this article has answered the question of What’s The Difference Between Web Design and Web Development?.

As much as these two professions require different skills, a designer who understands coding will communicate better on the website functionality to the web developer. Vice versa, the developer will code a more user-friendly website.

We hope this article sheds some light on the subject and will help you create a better website.

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Author Bio
Mary Derosa is a passionate blogger and the chief editor at her own content marketing company PRable.org. Since college, she’s been interested in break-through technology and technical writing about innovative products and services that change our everyday lives for the better. She’s also interested in web design and photography