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What is the Difference Between Web Development and Web Design

What is the Difference Between Web Development and Web Design

Thursday September 27, 2018,

5 min Read

If your business is not connected with technologies you would hardly think if there is any difference between web design and web development, right? Nevertheless, it might happen that you need to get a website. And you would probably ask Google how to do it. That’s when you might first meet such terms as design or development. And we are here to help you figure things out.

Briefly, web design is concentrated on creating a website appearance. Meanwhile, web development is making everything work with the help of the code.

But as you might guess, it’s not that simple.

What is web design?

Generally, web design is a process of creating the page “look”. It encompasses the page layout, colors, text styles, graphics, page structure, images and interactive elements.

The main stereotype about web designers is that they are only concentrated on making a website good-looking without deepening into the tech part of the work.

But the reality is the opposite. Being a good web designer means combining such skills as graphic design, interface design, UI and UX.

What do really web designers do?

It’s true that web designers are not directly engaged with the development part, nevertheless, they still care about functionality.

As we mentioned above, UI and UX are an integral part of web designers routine. UI stands for user interface meaning the everything connected with the way user interacts with an application or a website.

Meanwhile, UX means user experience. UX design is is the combination of all the aspects of how a website is perceived by users including user experience, usability, accessibility and increasing the satisfaction of interacting with it.

Convenient navigation, clear website structure and labeling are all the parts of UX. Summing up, the main task of the UX is making websites understandable, accessible and fine-looking at the same time.

The stages of website design creation

Now, when you know that web design is a complex process, let’s study the steps of its creation. Web designers are usually artists at heart so they start the work with sketching. Sketches might be drawn on paper or in any convenient graphics editor. The main purpose of sketch is to give a general understanding of the number of elements and their approximate placement on each page.

The next stage after the concept creation is wireframing. Wireframes are skeleton of the whole design as they describe the interconnections between all the pages and elements. They also visualize the page's layout and describe the functionality.

Afterward, web designer adds colors, content, typography, animations and other elements that create the final look of the website.

What is web development?

Web development is a term that brings together the creation of any websites or web applications working all across the Internet. Making a simple one-page site with plain text is web development. Building a multifunctional web application is also web development.

What is the difference between front-end, back-end and full-stack development?

Since the web environment changes rapidly and becomes more and more complex, developers try to specialize in one domain to stay competitive.

Generally, web developers can be divided into two groups: front-end and back-end developers. Nevertheless, you can also meet full-stack developers. So who are they and what’s the difference?

Front-end developer is working on the visible part of a website that user interacts with. The most frequently used programming languages used in front-end development are HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) – is used to define the content and structure of a webpage.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – is used to style HTML. For example, you can determine the text size or fonts used, add shadows, divide the text into columns, etc.

JavaScript – is used to make the content interactive. This language can be used both for website development and for video games production.

Back-end developer is working on a “dark side” of the web page, that users don’t see. They are using programming languages, for example PHP, and frameworks e.g. Node.JS, Angular.JS, YII2. Generally, developers use one or two programming language, so they are called PHP-developer or Ruby-developer according to their specialization.

Modern technologies are too complex to be an expert in many of them at the same time. For that reason, developers usually choose their specialization, just like doctors do.

Nevertheless, some developers, who are working in the industry for a long time, become full-stack developers. That means they have experience in both front-end and back-end. Having such a knowledge base they can build a website from scratch by themselves.

Nevertheless, when it comes to building a complex solution such as web platform or web app, it’s recommended to hire a team where every member is an expert in one technology.


Our world is moving so fast that the roles of web designers and web developers might be blurred. Many web designers learn the basic concepts of HTML or CSS to make pages more interactive. At the same time, web developers discover the main design principles to better understand the user needs. Nevertheless, we in GBKSOFT, always provide our clients with dedicated teams of skilled professionals.


  1. https://www.w3.org/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML
  3. https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript
  4. https://gbksoft.com/blog/
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