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How Web Design and Web Development Differ

Published: April 03, 2018
How Web Design and Web Development Differ

Home > How Web Design and Web Development Differ

Do you need a web designer or web development? Is there even a difference?

These are questions I hear quite often. Part of the confusion comes from the fact that many people, even within the industry, tend to use the terms interchangeably. Combine that with the fact that most business owners don’t really know the distinction, and you have the recipe for the kinds of little misunderstandings that take place all the time.

To help you realize what separates the two – and more importantly, to ensure you get the kind of web design or web development you need – I’d like to offer a few quick points that can clear things up…

Web Design and Web Development Are Related (But Not the Same)

Although you will often hear businesspeople and their creative teams talk about design and development as if they were the same thing, there is technically a slight difference. Generally speaking, web design involves the graphic and artistic elements of a website. Web development, on the other hand, speaks to the technical coding that has to be done on the backend.

Obviously, these two areas overlap a bit. However, when industry professionals talk about “web development” what they usually mean is working with apps, programming, and customized features. They are referring to the process of building and testing online tools (like shopping carts and databases) that work behind-the-scenes on a website.

Web Design and Development Can Often be Handled by the Same Person or Team (But Not Always)

In most cases, the person or company you hire for web design will also be happy to take care of any web development you need. However, that’s not always the case, particularly if you have some very specific needs.

For example, suppose your company needs to integrate supply chain solutions into your new website, requiring real-time connections to inventory databases or updated currency calculations. A normal business web designer might not be equipped to handle that kind of job. So, you would want to ask specifically about web development.

Custom Web Development Is a Unique Specialty in the Web Design Industry

There are a handful of firms and professionals who specialize in dedicated web development. These are people who not only program brand-new apps from scratch, but can take existing pieces of software and modify them to fit a specific situation.

If you have need of these types of services, it’s best to discuss with your business web design team early. That way, you’ll find out whether they can handle such requests, have to refer you to someone else, or need to bring in an outside vendor to assist with the job. None of these outcomes is a big deal, but they are all easier to manage at the beginning of the web design project then at the end.

It’s Important to Know What You’re Getting From the Start

Most business owners won’t really need to know much about the distinctions between web design and web development. After all, they’re simply going to ask for what they need and let the process take care of itself. However, if you’re thinking about getting a new website for your business, you should double check that you know what kinds of coding and programming are included in your proposal. Otherwise, you could end up with a site that looks great but doesn’t do all the things you need it to.

Looking for an experienced and affordable business web designer and developer in Philadelphia? Contact Biondo Creative today to see how we can help!