Web Design vs. Web Development. What’s the Deal?

The difference between Website Design and Development

What's the Deal?

In order to fully understand the concept of creating Websites, we need to clearly differentiate the different steps, skills and roles needed to execute a website properly.

Web Design

This is the core of Website creation. This stage of a project includes concepts, layouts, colour schemes, typefaces, and beyond. Before you even begin to start creating files and folders, you want to make sure you know how it’s going to look like at the start. It’s in you and your client’s best interest to make the website look pretty, pleasing for the eyes and easy to use for your visitors on all formats and browsers including computers, tablets and phones. This in other terms, is Responsive Web Design (i.e. it responds to whatever dimensions the screen that it is being viewed from. You’d be creating graphics, images and all sorts of other media to be featured on your website. While no actual programming is involved in Web Design, you do use HTML (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to create the raw layout of the website followed by CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) that will define the actual look of the website; hence the word styling in it.

Web Development

Often confused and categorized as one and the same with Web Design, Web Development couldn’t be further from the truth. It involves primarily with coding, hacking, programming (whatever you would like to call it) in several Front End and Back End Languages. I’ll touch base later on with what the difference is with Front End and Back End Development but for now, here’s what you need to know. Development includes bringing your website to life as if you only had HTML and CSS on a website, it would just be a Static website with no animation involved whatsoever, so Development helps bring it to life with near-limitless features such as drop down menus, rotating picture galleries, scrolling effects and even games. Front End Development involves coding with Browser supported languages including but not limited to:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript
  • AJAX

On the other hand, Back End Development involves coding from the Server end of things with the following languages (but not limited to):

  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • Java
  • Ruby
  • Python

Why should I care?

We’ll touch base specifically on what the difference between all these languages means to you, either as a casual coder or a career-minded individual at a later time, but hopefully this will help you begin to build a foundation of knowledge of where this all fits in the Media Industry.

For some further reading, refer to the following link:

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One thought on “Web Design vs. Web Development. What’s the Deal?

  1. Great article and start to your blog, Mike. This info is really useful to others so hopefully you can share this with your peers. I look forward to seeing what you develop over the following weeks.



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