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.
website designer vs developer baton rouge
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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 your website’s actual nuts and bolts and use their coding skills to tweak everything about your site.

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

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 HTML, CSS, and javascript code to craft their pages.

Web designers tend to have a specialty, 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, a UX designer must 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 and 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 an enjoyable and easy-to-navigate website.

So what’s the difference between UX and UI?

Pay attention, it’s subtle:

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

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 conceptualize 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.

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 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 do 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 of 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.

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 is 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 homepageWeb Designer
 Create a new contact form.Web Developer
Create a web applicationWeb Developer
Envision new website brandingWeb Designer
Fix server issues or errors on your siteWeb Developer
Edit photos or videosWeb Designer
All of the aboveBlakSheep 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.

Picture of Joshua Guilbeau

Joshua Guilbeau

Josh is an accomplished graphic designer and branding expert with over 10 years of experience. With a range of clients including non-profits, restaurants, colleges and universities, healthcare organizations as well as small business owners, he has created design solutions that are both aesthetically pleasing and have a functional purpose. Loving father to his wife and three kids who keep him on his toes in Baton Rouge where he enjoys spending time outdoors when the weather permits or kicking back with a good book.
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