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When you read about creating websites, you will frequently come across the terms “web design” and “web development.” Since so many people use these two phrases interchangeably, it’s easy to get them mixed up in your head.
However, these terms refer to two distinct areas of expertise in the web development industry.
If you want to hire someone to develop your own website or if you want to do Do-It-Yourself, it is important for you to have an understanding of what each one implies and how it operates (in a general sense).
In this post, we will discuss what is web design as well as web development, covering how the two are distinct from one another and how they are connected. Let’s hop right in!
An Introduction To The Fundamentals Of Web Design And Development
To begin, it’s important to emphasise the fact that the phrases “design” and “development” refer to very distinct aspects of the process of creating a website, despite the fact that their definitions are sometimes misunderstood.
Having this distinction under your belt will assist you in communicating more clearly about your website. In addition to this, it will be very simple to identify instances in which they are being utilised inappropriately.
Let’s begin with some definitions that are quite fundamental.
Putting together a website requires mostly completing two different kinds of work. They are as follows:
The term “development” refers to the process of constructing the framework of the website through the utilisation of code in order to produce a site that is functional and ensure that everything is operating as it should. This is the most important element to keep in mind: the primary emphasis of web developers is to convert an old framework into the appropriate code.
Web design, on the other hand, is concerned with determining both the appearance of a website and the ways in which visitors will engage with it. Although designers may occasionally work with code (in addition to a wide variety of other tools), their primary concerns are with aspects such as look, layout, and usability.
If you’re familiar with WordPress at all, this is analogous to the distinction between plugins and themes. Both of these things will make modifications to your site that will significantly alter it.
However, plugins (created by developers) are what provide new features and functionality, while themes (created by designers) are what change the appearance and feel of the platform. This is an oversimplified way of looking at it, but it may help you get a better grasp on the important distinctions more quickly.
The Interplay Between Web Design And Web Development And How It Works
Work on the website’s web design and development is required before the site can go live. This is true for virtually every website. These two areas of work are not separate from one another but are instead deeply intertwined. This is a significant part of the reason why people frequently get them mixed up.
In point of fact, because these two ideas cover such a wide range of topics, the manner in which they interact to produce a website might vary greatly depending on the interests and requirements of the individual user. The construction of a website, however, may be broken down into its most fundamental steps as follows:
Organizing one’s thoughts and accumulating information.
At this stage, the individual or group responsible for developing the website will inquire of the client regarding the specifics of what should be included in the end product. The next step is for them to begin conceptualising the breadth of the website.
This comprises the features that it will need to have, the primary sections or pages that it will have, and any other fundamental components.
In most cases, the majority of design work is completed prior to development. The layout of the website, including its style, its structure, and other aspects, is planned out, either on paper or as a simple mock-up of some kind.
The client will then either give their approval or make any necessary adjustments to the design. This phase comes first for a number of reasons, the primary one being that the subsequent one is encountered far more frequently.
When compared to the process of redoing an already-coded website, making modifications to the appearance or functionalities of a mock-up is a lot simpler to accomplish.
After a convincing mock-up or prototype has been created, the developer (or developers) can begin their work. They construct the actual website itself, either beginning the process entirely from scratch or making use of a framework of some kind to expedite the construction process.
Most of the time, they will begin by constructing the fundamental framework of the website. After that, they will integrate the necessary specific functionality and features where it is required.
Because of the complexity of websites, it is highly likely that there are a great many things that have not turned out exactly as planned throughout the course of the first three phases. Because of this, it is common practice to conduct a testing phase.
It is essential for completing the project successfully and ensuring that everything is functioning as it should.
Again, there is a lot of leeway in this procedure. A tiny and straightforward website might not call for as many stages, but a significant e-commerce endeavour might warrant a complete strategy in order to guarantee that nothing goes wrong.
Having said that, you should now have a better understanding of how web development and web design operate together.
What Each Of These Things Means For You Specifically
It’s possible that after reading all of this material, you’ll still feel somewhat confused. Having a grasp of the differences between web design and development can be useful in a number of different contexts.
Let’s take a look at two of the applications that are most likely to occur.
Employ/hire someone else to assist you in the development of a website.
When considering having someone else design a website for you, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of what goes into the construction of a website. If you go into the situation without any prior knowledge of what to anticipate, you run the risk of employing the incorrect personnel or failing to adequately explain your requirements.
If you are considering outsourcing your website, the first thing you will need to do is think about how many individuals you would need to recruit.
After all, there are many that are solely concerned with web development, while others split their time between web design and development. Both employing a sole freelancer and a committed team come with their share of advantages and disadvantages, as outlined below:
Hiring a person who is both a developer and a designer can save you a lot of money, and it also eliminates the possibility of miscommunication occurring between the many people who are working on the website.
This strategy is a fantastic option for sites that are either modest or don’t require a large number of features. On the other hand, there is some validity to the old adage that says “jack of all trades, master of none.” It is possible that a single person does not possess the abilities necessary to design a website that is both aesthetically pleasing and intricate in terms of its functionality.
It will cost more to hire a developer and a designer, but you will have access to a specialist in both areas. Each individual will have the opportunity to direct their complete attention toward perfecting one facet of the overall product.
When this occurs, communication may become more difficult, but the difficulty of the situation can be reduced by working with a company that has both designers and developers on staff. This is the most expensive choice, but it is also the one that offers the greatest possibility of obtaining the site of your dreams.
Organizing one’s thoughts and accumulating information.
On the other hand, what if you are not interested in hiring anyone but rather want to try your hand at constructing websites on your own?
You should have a good idea of the choice you’ll have to make by this point. Should you put more of your attention into learning web coding or web design?
Both are eventually within your grasp. However, your best chance is to begin by concentrating on the one that makes the best use of both your talents and your interests. Web design is likely to be the career route that is most suitable for you if you are creative, someone who is focused on visuals, and have an eye for style.
On the other side, development is the path to take if you are technically oriented and enjoy the thought of fiddling with a website’s underlying code.
The fact that developing a website is a relatively difficult task is probably not going to come as much of a surprise to you. What you may not have understood is that it is also a multi-stage process, which requires at least two different skill sets. This is something that you may not have realised.
Knowing the difference between web design and web development will be of great assistance to you in the event that you are considering building a website on your own or hiring someone else to do it on your behalf.
Keep in mind that there is a significant amount of overlap between the two and that some people engage in both activities. In addition, in order to achieve the desired result of an appealing and highly effective website, the two components must collaborate in a seamless manner.