Creating a new website requires several skillsets, two of which are website design and website development. The two terms might seem interchangeable because they’re both essential to the process of building a new website, but there are some differences. Today I will cover a few distinctions between website design and website development and how they work together to achieve the end result of a great website.
How Are the Roles Different?
While web designers and developers work hand-in-hand to produce a website, the primary focus of each is different. This contrast is necessary to create a balanced website that not only meets the clients expectations visually but also includes sound search engine optimization (SEO) strategies and remains functional.
In the Spotlight vs. Behind the Scenes
A simple way to separate the work of the website designer from the developer is by thinking of the site in two main aspects. Generally, designers will focus on the portion of the website visitors can see. This requires them to focus on how users will navigate the site and digest or interact with the content.
Developers, on the other hand, will focus on the back end of the site (the area users can’t see.) This is where all of the working parts live and make the site interactive. Web developers are often referred to as either a front-end or back-end developer. In short, the front-end developer’s role is similar to that of a designer—building the area of the site users can see. The back-end developer will dig deeper into the technical aspects of the site, like the content management systems (CMS), form submissions, and data transferring.
Aesthetics vs. Logistics
Building a website is similar to building a house. The goal is to build something aesthetically pleasing and unique with a strong foundation and functional space. Web design and development can be defined similarly: the design portion of the process focuses on the visual aspects of the site and leveraging these items to enhance the user’s experience. This might include
- Creating a layout that is easy for users to follow and guides them to the important areas of the site,
- Utilizing consistent and cohesive brand elements such as typography, color pallets, and graphics, and
- Incorporating relevant, eye-catching media such as a video or compelling images.
Once the design is mapped out, the visual elements provide a blueprint for the web development process, and now it’s up to the developer to make the site interactive and work from a logistical standpoint. Their focus might include
- Establishing the appropriate platform on which to build the website,
- Incorporating usable features like ecommerce features, forms, and plugins, and
- Writing and manipulating code to achieve the designer’s visual goals and allow the site to run quickly and efficiently.
Design Software vs. Coding Language
How Are the Roles Alike?
Designing and developing a website involves a lot of collaboration between the two skill areas, and some overlap does occur. More people are being trained to possess a little of both of the skills, and content management systems (CMS) can also allow people to dive into both skills at a beginner to intermediate level.
Essentially, website design and development bring creative and technical skills together to create a beautiful and logical website. By sharing the same main goal, they can create a site that is friendly for users, increases brand awareness, and generates leads.
If you are looking to design, build, or update a website, Blue Frog Marketing can help. Our web designers and developers can help you create a more visually appealing and engaging website as well as assist with a strategy to improve your appearance in search engine results. Contact us today!