Today we want to talk about the differences between Web Design and Web Development, because although it has been rooted under the same term “Web Design”, in reality they are two very different concepts.

Web design

Web Design

Web design refers to both the aesthetics of a website and the user experience that its visitors will have. This involves the layout, colour selection, type of fonts to be used, design of animations; in other words, everything related to the visual aspect. But it also includes that the layout of the aforementioned elements work together, in order to allow better navigability.

In Web Design different tools are used, ranging from graphic design software to prototyping applications. It is also necessary to have knowledge of HTML and style sheets (CSS) in order to give shape to the ideas proposed.

Web design is generally divided in two:

UX Design

Based mainly on the user experience, it considers all the necessary aspects for visitors to feel at ease on the website, which implies a friendly design whose navigation is appropriate and intuitive.

UI Design

It focuses on the aesthetics of the website, including all those visual aspects that, in addition to making it eye-catching, should be related to the brand design.

In itself, both UI design and UX design complement each other and both pursue the same purpose: an attractive website that generates visits and conversions. Therefore, when considering a web design, prototyping tools such as Figma, Adobe XD, InVision, Marvel, among others, are often used to evaluate and test these aspects.

Web developer

Web Development

Web development refers to the functionality in a web environment, that is, creating a product or service intended for use on the Internet. For this type of development, it is common to use programming languages such as PHP, Java, Python, Go, C#, Dart, Javascript among many others, and it is common for these to interact directly or indirectly with a database management system.

Of the most widely used products in the world of web development, we can mention CMS such as WordPress or Drupal, these are developments that abstract many of the processes necessary for the simple administration of websites or web services, without writing code or programming knowledge. 

Of course, these environments allow you to extend their functionality and scalability by writing additional code, which in itself will depend on the specific functionality desired. To this end, they provide an API (application programming interface) that makes it possible to speed up the development of new features, in addition to interacting with the CMS core. In fact, in the specific case of WordPress, it also provides an API Rest to interact with it as a Backend, a term that we will explain a little later. 

But continuing with the definition of web development, since the last decade it is mainly divided into two aspects:

Frontend development

Mostly known as client-side development (what is rendered or displayed only in our browsers), this refers to the implementation of web design. It has to do, therefore, with all the interaction elements that will be displayed on screen, usually using HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Some Javascript-based frameworks or libraries such as Angular, React, Vue and Svelte can be used for this purpose, as they save time and improve the quality of the code.

There are other technologies that can deploy solutions for the web environment, such as the Flutter framework, which does not use HTML, CSS or Javascript for client-side rendering, but its own 2D rendering called Skia. 

Backend development

This aspect focuses on the server-side functionality, i.e. here all the necessary processes are carried out to serve the information that the Frontend will display to the end user. These include database queries, calculations, logic actions, data modification or update, security and resource optimisation, among many other tasks.

Programming languages such as PHP, C++, C#, Go, Java, Python, Javascript and frameworks such as Symfony, Django, Spring Boot, Next and Express to name a few are commonly used.

As an additional point, different communication methods can be used between the frontend and the backend, such as a REST API or GraphQL, to transfer data between the two systems.

Understanding the complexity and versatility of the web environment, we must agree that web development goes hand in hand with web design, since starting from the latter; a fully functional web product or service can be built. Although it is true that the implementation of one or the other will depend on the type of product to be built.

A fully informative website will require more emphasis on web design, although it will also make use of web development for server configuration or CMS implementation. 

However, a website that must fulfil the functions of an administrative system or an online shop, for example, will require more attention to web development, due to all the processes involved for it to function correctly. But, it will also require a friendly and intuitive user interface.

Web design and web development are two different concepts that are often used interchangeably. Both aspects are important for the creation of a successful website, and their implementation will depend on the type of product you want to build. Within web design, there are two important branches: UX design and UI design, while web development can be divided into frontend and backend.

In conclusion, these marked differences between web design and web development make it necessary to have specific skills for each discipline. Whether you want to dedicate yourself to offering web services or you are looking to implement your business in the cloud, we believe it is important to know both concepts, and understand the role of each of the professionals in these areas.

Thank you for reading, until next time.