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Hello there!

Today we cover the question: What’s the difference between web design and web development. These are two closely-connected principles, although they are vastly different. In a nutshell, web designers design what a website should look like, using programs like Adobe Photoshop, in order to test layouts, themes etc. whereas a web developer makes that design happen by writing/implementing the code that’s required to make the design work. Let’s drill down a little more into the types of things each role does.

Web Designer

The web designer is responsible for designing the website in accordance to the client’s needs. This means that they’ll design what each page of the website will look like and even how each page connects together, laying the foundations for the creation of internal links. Usually, when designing pages, a web designer will create a wire frame – a very basic visual representation of the layout of a page – which is incredibly useful to help both the client, as it allows them to get a grasp on how the page will look and offer up suggestions as to what needs to be added, changed or removed, and also the designer themselves as the wire frame process is a lot quicker than creating a mock-up in a graphics program to present to the client who may require extensive edits.

During this process, the web designer will also create the colour scheme (and supply the relevant rgba/hex codes etc. to the developer), create or edit any images that are required to be on the page and also format the text – this could be copy straight from the client or it could even come from an agency’s own copy writers that have been hired to take on the project. A skilled web designer has extensive knowledge and experience in design balance, colour contrast and unity within the whole design.

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Web Developer

The web developer then takes this design and using their skills turn the static design into something that is fully interactive. That is, they write or implement code (HTML, CSS & JavaScript for the more basic websites) in order to create the website. Whilst the designer creates the visual representation of the page, the developer implements these designs. The designer puts together an image of what a navbar looks like, but it is the developer that builds it, and makes the links work properly, for example.

Once the site has been built, the developer tests it extensively in different browsers, including mobile browsers, to ensure that the design has “come to life” and that everything works properly. Once the designer is happy that the website is looking and working the way they envisioned it and the client is also pleased with the work, the developer then moves the website off of a local test server and publishes it online.

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So, to conclude, you can see how these roles are separate but also vastly important. While it’s true that a web designer may indeed be able to build the page they have designed, or a web developer also may have a flair for design, large digital agencies will employ the relevant specialists to each role. This allows for a much more efficient way of creating the perfect website for a client. I hope this post helps to clear up any confusion between the two roles, but if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be glad to help!

Author
Joe Smith

Commander-in-chief of SiteJacket, Joe's the go-to guy for all things SJ. He enjoys Web Design, tea and painting tiny plastic spacemen.