We speak to many new companies that are just starting up as well as established company owners that use the terms ‘web design’ and ‘web development’ interchangeably. The truth is that these two terms are completely different whilst in the process of creating a web design or maintaining your website.
A Web Designer will create the visual design aspects of a ‘front end’ website, which includes everything a user will engage with once they’ve entered your web address (www.your-domain-name.co.uk) into the URL of a browser. They come up with the overall look and feel of the website based on the creative brief you’ve provided and then turn this into your brand image for your clients to view.
Web Designers are not only responsible for making a website designs pleasing, but they also play a huge part in ensuring the website is user friendly by making it as easy as possible for all users to complete the desired function whether its making purchases across your eCommerce website, engaging with contact forms or joining your monthly newsletter. There are multiple ways to achieve this through multiple combinations of clear navigation and user-friendly page layouts on all devices (mobiles, tablets, laptops, and computers, etc), it can include the tiniest details, even down to the size and colour of a link button.
Unfortunately, Web Design is massively underrated as a skill set and good design requires professional training, many years of work experience, and continuous personal development. Web Designers need to keep up to date with the latest design trends and technologies that are available.
If they’re not skilled in web development then they also need an awareness of how the development team will build the website, along with knowledge of how search engines will rank your website as the main aim is to have a website that brings you results not just visitors.
Once you’re happy with the look, feel and layout of your website design, it will be handed over to a Website Developer to be finished off into a live functioning website that can be published online.
As well as creating a fully functioning front-end website, they will also build the back end of the website where data and requests are stored, for example, submissions to a contact form. The back end will also often include a CMS, this can be something like WordPress, Magento, Joomla, or even a complete custom-built system for your business (Content Management System) where you can edit page content including products, etc.
Now you’ve read the above you can see both skill sets are completely different. They both play a major role in the website build process. One cannot exist without the other and they are required to work in sync to ensure a client receives a website that looks great, works well, and ultimately drives more sales for their business.