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Web Design vs. Web Development, What’s the Difference?

Web Design, Web Developer, Website Creator, it’s all the same right?  what IS the difference between web design and development. Learn here.
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Web Design vs. Web Development, What’s the Difference?.

Developer or Designer?

Web Design, Web Developer, Website Creator, it’s all the same right?

Believe it or not, there are unique characteristics to each of them.  Some focus on just user experience, while some have unique skill sets that enable them to dig deeper into the actual nuts and bolts of your website, and use their coding skills to tweak everything about your site.

This article will uncover the differences between a web designer and developer and explain the situations where it is best to use each one.

So Let’s get started.

What is a Web Designer?

To put it plainly, a web designer makes your website look good.

They focus on the style and overall feel of the page, using design software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Muse, or one of the many WordPress page builders to customize the website’s visual elements.

They also use code like html, css, and javascript to craft their pages.

Web designers tend to have a speciality, which we will now explain.


User Experience (UX) designer.

User Experience (also known as UX) is what keeps the visitor on your site.  These guys (and girls) focus on building a website that is user friendly and easy to use.

A good UX designer does their research and also conducts thorough research into the demographics and needs of the site’s users, not to mention tons of prototype testing and site restructuring.

Because website design is so much more than just putting some images and text on a page, It is critical that a UX designer have a working knowledge of graphic design.  Good design lends itself to happy customers. Consider this: 94 percent of negative website feedback was design related.  Anything from typographical elements to color schemes can impact your users’ opinions of your site (and your company).

Think about it.  If your site is easy to use and aesthetically appealing, chances are the user will revisit it, as well as recommend it to friends.

This means more sales right?


User Interface (UI) designer .

A UI web designer’s focus is the way users interact with elements, or the interface, on your website. They do this by translating complex brand ideas and values into a website that’s enjoyable and easy to navigate.

So what’s the difference between UX and UI?

Pay attention, its subtle:

UX involves research into building a solid foundation for a positive user experience, while UI focuses on the aesthetics (the look and feel) of the actual website.

Did you catch that?

Visual designer.

A visual designer is basically both UX and UI. Their job is to not only improve the user journey using their creative and coding skills, but to solve design issues. 

They also help to conceptualise a brand’s unique style or tone of voice.

In essence, they’re a master of all web design trades and their specific roles can vary hugely depending on what you want.

Mandatory Self Promotion – Our experts are all of the above!

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What is a web developer then?

Basically, a web developer’s role is to create the website from the web designer’s concept

Remember, web developers build, and web designers like the envision. 

A developer usually specializes in designing website apps, while, a web designer focuses more on what the user will enjoy doing.

Ok so how to developers and designers work together?

Basically, a web developer builds a website’s framework using software like Javascript and JQuery, aiming to craft a smooth-running website.  They pour the foundation for web designers to build upon.

 Just like designers, there are specific roles for web developers.

What are the specific roles for web developers?

We’re glad you asked, here we go!

Back-end developer

The portion where the website’s core structure is designed is known as the backend.  Think of this as where all of the programming languages are spoken to create the “how” portion of your site.

These developers are experts in programming and using complex software languages like Java, SQL and C#. The work they do is not seen by users because it involves coding on the web servers and databases, not on the browser (unlike front-end developers, which you’ll soon find out).

In short, a back-end developer creates logical, functional websites using various programs and languages.  Additionally, they also spend a lot of time testing and fixing bugs.

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Front-end developer

Some refer to this as client-side development. 

Actually a front end developer is more connected to web design than back-end development because it involves using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create things the user can see, like client lead forms.

Much like a back-end developer, those developing the front-end have coding skills but they build frameworks the user can actually interact with.

Full-stack developer

A full-stack developer is a one stop shop.  They work across different stacks (or layers) including both front and back ends.  Our team are full stack developers, probably some of the most experienced in Louisiana.  As experts in all areas, they are ready, willing, and able to meet your website’s needs.

Information overload!  Now you’re probably asking:

Do I need a web designer or a web developer?

Now that you know the differences between web development and web design, it’s time to learn just which one you need for your project(s).


 Your project is:  You need a:
 Design a new homepage Web Designer
 Create a new contact form. Web Developer
Create a web application Web Developer
Envision new website branding Web Designer
Fix server issues or errors on your site Web Developer
Edit photos or videos Web Designer
All of the above BlakSheep Creative


We can help you with that!

Still unsure?  We’ve got you covered.  We can handle all of your designing and coding for your project, at a price you can afford.  We’re Baton Rouge’s best full stack development agency for a reason. And we do it at a price you can afford.  Get an estimate today.  Find out why.

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joshua guilbeau baton rouge blaksheep creative graphic designer branding specialist

Joshua Gilbeau

Joshua is an accomplished graphic designer and branding expert with over 10 years of experience creating design solutions for a range of clients including non-profits, restaurants, colleges and universities, healthcare organizations as well as small business owners.

He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife and three kids who keep him on his toes. He enjoys spending time outdoors when the weather permits or kicking back with a good book.

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