Web Design vs. Web Development: Which One Do You Need?

Jonesen TeamIndustry Insights

Web design vs web development: what’s the difference? We’ll show you.

They sound similar, but they’re two separate and very different services. Depending on your needs, you may require only one or the other. Or you might need both.

But don’t worry. We’re going to teach you the difference with simple explanations. To find out which of these services you need, read this guide.

What is Web Design?

Web design is mostly artistry and aesthetics but also has to do with a website’s functionality. The web designer’s primary purpose is coming up with the look and layout of a website.

Web designers usually have a degree in art or graphic design. They use color theory and other such knowledge to design a website that visually represents the client’s type of business/mission statement. They also use digital art tools like Adobe Photoshop to help with this.

Additionally, a good web designer also designs with useability in mind. After all, a pretty design isn’t worth much if no one who sees it can find the content they’re looking for. Thus, web design also includes an organized navigation system and other UX (user experience) elements.

However, web designers do not necessarily implement this design onto an actual website. That’s where web development comes in.

What is Web Development?

Web development picks up where design leaves off. That is, they take the design and implement it onto the client’s existing website. Or, they use the design as a blueprint and build a new website from scratch.

This typically requires a full education of coding languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript. However, they may also use a CMS (content management system), a program that makes it easier to put the site together.

This way, they don’t have to build the whole site from the ground up entirely with tedious coding. Although, they will likely have to check the code to make sure it’s in order.

Also, using the CRM may not require coding knowledge at all. In that case, general staff without programming skills can be trained to use it.

Are Web Design and Web Development Always Separate Services?

Web design and development are two distinct services. For instance, while web developers are excellent programmers, they may know absolutely nothing about color theory and graphic design.

Similarly, a web designer doesn’t necessarily possess the coding knowledge required for web development. Or they simply don’t specialize in it and therefore don’t offer it.

But this doesn’t mean that these two distinct services are always separate. On the contrary, there are many companies (like Jonesen) that offer both services. Whether or not that equals two separate fees is at the company’s discretion.

Web Design vs Web Development: Which Do You Need?

Now that you know the main distinctions of web design vs web development, you can decide which is best for your needs. If you have a graphic designer on your staff and you just need someone to build a site, it’s web development you need. If you or your employees can build the site but you need a professional design to work with, hire a web designer.

Or, perhaps you need both. In that case, it’s always best (and usually cheapest) to hire a single company that offers both services.

Speaking of which, we offer both of these services. Contact us here to learn what we can do for you.