What’s the Difference and Which One Do You Need?

Web design and web development are two terms that are often thrown around interchangeably. While they both go hand in hand when creating an effective website, there are some fundamental differences between the two. Understanding those differences will play a huge part in deciding what you need for your own project.

What is Web Design?

To put it simply, web design is the process of creating the visual representation of a website. This can include the website’s color scheme, layout, content, and user flow. A web designer is often very creative. They use programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create a prototype of the website while accounting for design principles, branding, readability, and industry trends.

Aside from just aesthetics, web designers are also concerned with user experience and creating an intuitive environment for the user. The key to good design is identifying the simplest approach to attain the website’s goals, whether that be e-commerce purchases, contact form submissions, or even brand awareness. Web designers take all of this into account to create a visually pleasing and effective website interface.

Once the overall prototype is completed, it gets reviewed by the client and sent over to the web developers.

What is Web Development?

If you think of a web designer as an architect who creates a blueprint, the web developer would be the builder who creates a house based on that blueprint. Web developers use code to turn a design into a functioning live website. Oftentimes, web development is further separated into two groups: front-end and back-end. Front-end development focuses on the client-facing side of the website so it will display the designs mocked up by a designer, and back-end development focuses on the server side to ensure database connections and overall functionality.

Developers use a number of coding languages to achieve their goals. HTML and JavaScript are frequently used, along with PHP, Python, and .NET.

To sum it up, web developers are the technical side of the website building process. They’re far less concerned with making something look visually appealing, they just want to create a website with clean code that works as it’s intended to.

Should You Use a Web Designer or a Web Developer?

As mentioned above, web design and web development work in tandem with each other. Whether you’re building a new website or making updates to an existing one, you really can’t have one without the other. Instead of asking whether you need web design or web development services, it may be beneficial to go to a company that can perform both to ensure that everyone working on your site is working towards a common goal. Think about it – using two different companies forces you to go through two different points of contact and work with two different teams that may have differing communication styles and points of view. By going to a one-stop shop, you can make the process of building a website a seamless experience.

Red Shark Digital is a superior full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in Web Design, SEO, Branding, and Digital Advertising. With offices across North Carolina including Raleigh, Greenville, and Wilmington, our team of digital marketing specialists are able to create catered solutions for your business needs. Our clients have allowed us to push the boundaries of web and creative design, while building innovative results for their company and their brand. These clients have encompassed multiple industries including higher education, healthcare, and major commercial franchises. Our wide range of clientele has allowed us to craft specialized strategies for businesses of all sizes while conveying our knowledge across a variety of platforms. We always strive to connect brands to customers, learn what we can do for your business today.

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