April 4th, 2018

Understanding Web Design vs. Web Development

Website owners often use the terms “web design” and “web development” interchangeably to refer to the process of creating a website. However, these two terms refer to two distinct but equally essential areas of website creation. Understanding how these terms differ from each other and how they each contribute to a website can enable you to choose the professional services you need for your own site.

Web Design vs. Web Development

Web Design

Web design, at its most basic, refers to all of the pieces of a website that people encounter when they visit that site. For instance, the layout, graphics, photos, videos, text, colors, and branding of each web page fall under the purview of the web designer, whose job it is to take these elements and craft them into a visually appealing and engaging whole. Each website created by a web designer will utilize the basic design principles of balance, contrast, emphasis, consistency, and unity to create a look that will appeal to visitors and accomplish the goals of the website owner.

In addition, web design refers to the elements of the site that affect its navigation and usability. For instance, the web designer will concern himself with creating a site that not only looks good but is also easy to navigate and use. The web designer may build mobile friendliness into the layout, or use the design to highlight new products that the company is touting. The end result should be a site that accurately represents the business, appeals visually to visitors, and is easy for them to navigate.

There are many elements of a website that come under the purview of a web design services company. Despite the fact that web design refers to the outward-facing elements of the website, it includes more than just the layout. It also includes all of the elements that come together to form a cohesive whole, such as the graphics, colors, branding, and text. It also includes the fonts that are used, and the HTML that is used for the layout. An experienced web design company in Texas can take all of these elements and combine them into a polished product that accomplishes the goals the business has for its site.

When deciding who to hire for your website, then, you should consider which aspects of your site needs reworking. If you find that your site needs a facelift, requires an update in branding, is difficult to navigate, or is generally unappealing visually, a web design company in Texas may be the best option for obtaining the services you need.

Web Development

Web design, as mentioned above, refers to how the site looks and how visitors interact with it. Professional web development, on the other hand, refers to the back-end elements of the site that visitors never see. It refers to the elements of the site, such as the programming, that transform the design from a static layout to a fully functioning website. These elements are not often flashy, but they are essential, because without competent website development, the web design will never work.

Once the web design is complete, the web development firm breaks down each page into its most basic elements, determines how they will interact, and adds the programming language and other elements necessary to create that interaction. For instance, creating a link between pages or telling a navigational icon where to link on each page is the job of the web developer.

One of the most basic functions of web development is to utilize programming languages like PHP to tell the site how to operate. It is this programming that tells each element on the page where to link to, what other elements to interact with, etc. In addition, web development creates interactive pieces such as forms, e-commerce (like shopping carts), and more that allow visitors to accomplish tasks on the site. Web development also refers to the special applications and software applications that the website requires to function effectively.

Finally, web development can refer to more extensive work, such as custom built applications, that are powered by databases. Depending upon the complexity of the development work required, a team of skilled programmers instead of one developer may be required to properly complete the web development.

Interactions between Web Design and Web Development

While web design and web development are two separate areas of website creation, they often interact and overlap during the creation of a website. For instance, if your website needs a facelift, chances are you will need both a web designer to create the layout and a web developer to complete the back-end work that will make the new design functional.

Because of this interaction between web design and web development, professionals in both areas are often capable of doing work in both. For instance, web designers often have at least a basic knowledge of programming languages, while web developers often have a basic understanding of what makes for good web design.

Because web design and web development are so closely connected, many web development companies possess the ability to do both web design and web development. If your website needs work, hiring one of these companies to create your website means that you will enjoy both web design services and web development services that will enable you to create an appealing and functional website that meets your business’ needs.