Web Development or Web Design: What is the difference?

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Our Google Analytics shows that companies are looking for both Web Design Company as well as Web Development Company. These terms are almost interchangeable nowadays as web companies use different descriptions of their services. These terms refer to two fundamentally different aspects of website building and require two distinct skill sets. It is important to know the differences when you are looking for someone to develop and design your company’s website. Let’s find out if we can help you.

Web Design vs. Web Development In A Nutshell

Website design is, in essence, both the aesthetic and usability of a website. Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular web design software. It allows you to design the layout and other visual elements for your website.

Web developers, on the other side, can take a website design file and create a functional website using it. To bring the design files to life, web developers use HTML, CSS, and Javascript as well as PHP and other programming languages.


Web Design: A Closer Look

Web designers should always start by considering the client’s website objectives. Next, they can move to an Information Architecture to establish a website’s information hierarchy. This will guide the design process. Web designers can then create wireframes, and then move on to the design stage. To create a visually appealing layout that also provides a great user experience, web designers can use a variety of design principles.

Design Principles

Balance It is important that web designers create a balanced layout. Web design refers to both heavy (larger and darker colors) and lighter (smaller and lighter colors). It is crucial to use the right proportions of each element in order to create a balanced website design.

Contrast– Color theory defines contrasting colors as colors that are placed in opposite directions on the color wheel. (See also complementary colors). Contrast is also possible in web design. Designers consider the contrast in sizes, textures, and shapes when designing websites. This helps to draw attention to specific sections.

Emphasis We briefly touched on this when we were discussing contrast. Emphasis refers to a set of design principles that emphasize certain elements of the website’s layout. It is important to remember that you can’t emphasize every page if you don’t highlight any of them. Imagine a page of a book with 80% of its content highlighted in yellow. Does it really make a difference? For direction, take a look at the Information Architecture.

Consistency Also known as repetition or rhythm consistency is a key web design principle. Clean, consistent navigation is a great way to provide the best user experience possible for your visitors.

Unity: Unity refers to the relationship between different parts of the website layout as well as the entire composition. Unity is based on Gestalt theory and describes how the brain organizes information visually by grouping elements into categories.

Web Development: A Closer Look

Web developers are sometimes called programmers. They take a design and create a website. The design can be described as an interactive “picture” of a website. Developers take this design and split it into its components. To create the different pages, developers can either use HTML only or incorporate programming languages like PHP. Advanced web developers might choose to use a Content Management System (CMS), such as Joomla or WordPress, to speed up development and give clients an easy way of maintaining and updating their websites.

A static website layout can be transformed by web developers using image and content slideshows, active states for buttons and links, and other interactive elements.

Final Words

Many small and medium-sized businesses are confused about the terms Web Design and Web Development. They may need a website designed or redesigned by a professional. However, many companies employ dedicated designers who create the layout of the website and then pass the files to a programmer to complete the development stage. Elegant Codes is a fully-fledged web designing and development company in Tanzania. We have a dedicated team of designers and developers to swiftly design your website. This article should dispel the misconception that design and programming are the same things.

Do you want your design your website or do you have a question that you want expert advice on? Fill the form below to request a free phone call from our expert.

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