Website Design And Development Are Two Different Things
by Andrew MIllar
If your aim is to create a website, where do you start? A quick Google search may have you confused about whether you need website design or website development. While they sound similar, they are two starkly different disciplines and understanding the difference between the two can save a lot of time and aggravation.
The lines between design and development can get blurred because web designers usually know a bit about development and developers often know a bit about design. The main difference between website design and website development is their focus. Website designers are focused on how a website looks and what the customer sees while website developers are focused on how it all works. Developers take the static design produced by a website designer and make it real.
To simplify it, website designers are artists and website developers are curators. The artists create the pieces and the curators assemble and explain them to visitors in a logical and understandable way. Giving a curator a paintbrush or asking an artist to lead a group of visitors would be a disaster. Each play a specific role with a specific set of skills.
When You Need Web Design
Companies that are starting to cultivate a web presence are usually looking for a website designer. Often, businesses don’t understand what kind of website they will need in the coming years as their mission and focus develop so it makes more economic sense to try on a couple different templates to get an idea of what they want.
Website designers can take a template design and customize it to fit the business. For a fraction of what it would cost for website development, businesses can have a site that looks unique but uses the same back-end coding that hundreds of other businesses use. A website designer can integrate company branding, company colors, and visual material in a way that is pleasing to visitors. They make suggestions on page layout and font from the perspective of the customer. Web design changes the aesthetic of a website but not the function. They are responsible for the ‘look’ of a site.
When You Need Website Development
Once you’ve tried a couple of templates, you may find that while each has parts you like and don’t like, none truly fit your business. This is when a website development team needs to step in. A website developer can take all those things you love about different templates and designs and meld them into a unique website.
Website development is an expensive undertaking but a necessary one. Website developers understand customer flow and how to effectively run a website. They keep the site fast and fresh without the customer ever knowing they are involved in making it all work. While a designer can make a website look nice, a website developer makes it feel nice with no waiting, loading, or broken pages. Website development is an integral part of a website’s evolution because a good website developer can optimize all those moving pieces that make a website look good in order to make it work just as well. They are responsible for the ‘feel’ of a site.
The difference between website design and website development may get blurred in production but they are distinct. Businesses who want to work on their website need to understand the differences between the two to gain what they truly want from their website revitalization. Businesses who are going for looks need to be on the lookout for a website designer but those who want to make their website work great are looking for website development. Both professionals can benefit a business each in their own specific way.