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Web Design Vs Web Development

The terms web designer and web developer are used interchangeably in the media and ads. But, they are not the same thing. Design includes what the visitor sees on your website, development includes the site’s functionality.

A website includes several distinct factors

Appearance and experience:–color scheme,primarily the graphics, navigation elements, etc.
Material:–products, information etc available.
Features:– features involves interactive features that the web site offers to the visitors and the necessary facilities needed to provide them.
Functionality – the site from a prospective customer's includes things like program navigation,interactions and usefulness.

Look And Feel

Look and feel includes overall appearance of the website. A Graphic designer decides on what colors and fonts to use and how to layout each of the sites pages.

The graphic designer needs to have a good appreciation for aesthetics and feeling for what combinations of colors and imagery will project the image that the website owner wants visitors to have of the site.


Material is all of the text that is found on a website and contains everything from the privacy policy to a very powerful sales letter extolling the benefits of a product and inquiring the visitor to part with their tough earned money and everything in between. If it is created text then it is part of the information. You need a copywriter and editor to create good content.


Features involves all of the interactive aspects of a web site and includes animation. The common denominator is that programmers using the various web programming languages that work possibly on a web server or in a web browser produce all of these functions.

Flash can be applied to animate graphics. Perl, php and java are programming languages applied on the web server to create advanced dynamic web pages. These pages can work individually but most commonly with a database to create all of the functions we have come to assume from a website.

JavaScript is used in browser to develop a lot of cool effects such as swapping images when a mouse moves over an image, links changing colors, etc. JavaScript works in the user’s web browser instead of the web server.

There are also other backend programs that are transparent to the visitor such as form digesting, content managing and other administration programs that make it feasible for non-programmers to manage some aspects of the website’s data.

All of these programs have to be incorporated into the HTML code to be used on the website.

Design Vs Development

The fact is that, there is a lot of overlap and incorporation needed between web design and web development. When you toss in content creation and functionality testing, it turns into a real mess.

Can a single particular person do all of these things? There are a lot of people who can do all of these things but most people only do one or two of the tasks.

Web design generally includes content formation and look and feel while web development includes creating the features and testing its functionality.

Web designers need to be efficient with graphic design tools like Photoshop. Most also know HTML so they can implement their designs. On the other hand, using animation on the site and layout for the site’s content are also part of the web designer’s obligation.

Several site owners provide the content for the website but a web designer needs to be able to spin and rewrite the content if necessary. Web designers also generally do the functionality testing for the navigation and site loading speed.

Web programmers develop the functionality for the website, but all of that functionality must be incorporated into the HTML pages on the site. On the other hand, the HTML content could also be integrated into the program. Web developers also do functionality testing on the site, at least for the functionality they develop. So the programmer also needs to have some HTML awareness as well.

In both case the web designer and web programmer need to work jointly to ensure that the website does everything that the site owner expected.

Base Line – Only massive companies can afford to hire individual experts in content creation,graphic design, programming and usability testing when developing a new website. In most other cases, the web designer and web programmer are two distinct people who must work jointly to create a productive website.

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