Web Development and Web Designing – Know the Difference


If you’ve ever played around in WordPress or SquareSpace, you know it takes more than being competent with a mouse to click your way to a great website. User friendly platforms like these are great for people who just need to get their name out on the web quick. But if you’re going to be relying on your website for any kind of serious conversion, you’ll want more than just a quick fix.

What Makes a Website Great?

An effective website comes down to four crucial elements:

  • Appealing visual design
  • Clear navigation
  • Strong content
  • Mobile-friendly

These days it’s not enough to have a fabulous website for desktop users. Now it has to work well and look great on mobile devices, too. According to Hubspot, “one-third of people use their smartphone as their primary device to access the internet.” What’s more, “34% of online retail purchases now happen on mobile devices.”

To check both “clear navigation” and “mobile-friendly” off your list, your development need to be on point. Your web design is the other critical piece to the successful web presence puzzle.

What Is Web Development?

When you visit a website, there are two parts: the front end and the back end. As a website visitor, you’re looking at and interacting with the front end. However, as you scroll, click, and fill out forms, the back end is dictating how the website works.

In other words, think of “development” as synonymous with “functionality.” Web developers are the contractors of the internet. They’re in charge of making sure the lights turn on when you flip a switch and the water’s always running. You’ll need to have strong development to make sure that your videos play, your links all head to the right place, and your contact form is collecting and sending info correctly.

What Is Web Design?

If web developers are the contractors, web designers are the interior designers. Web designers make sure that each visitor’s first impression is a positive and profound one. Your web design is what sets you apart, establishes your brand, and ensures that visitors are relaxed, reassured, and inspired to spend their valuable time on your site now and in the future.

The design of your website can make or break your online presence. Even if you create incredible content and have a fun, interactive website, people will bounce away instantly if the page is hard to look at.

While it’s tempting to want to pick your favorite colors and make your site all about your own personality, your design really should be all about your end user. Whether you have an ecommerce site, offer software-as-a-service, or just want people to call and schedule an appointment, the person you’re trying to reach has to love the look and feel of your site.

Which Is More Important?

Both are equally important. If you want to have a website that encourages visitors to stick around, learn more about you and your business, and make grand gestures – like buying your products or signing up for a free trial – you need to have functional web development and seamless web design.

Many business owners are surprised to learn that today’s web design goes beyond pretty colors and graphics. In fact, researchers have discovered that there are distinct patterns website visitors follow when they read text on a page or interact with features. A good web designer will understand these patterns and set your site up for success from the start.

At the same time, web developers use the latest marketing techniques and features to make your site appeal to the largest audience. In addition to making your site function as it should, web developers test your site on the latest mobile devices (think: iPhones, Androids, tablets, e-readers) and different web browsers (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and even good ol’ Internet Explorer).

Having a strong website is nothing to scoff at. Make sure you’re making the best first impression possible by having high-quality web design and development. If you’re looking for a website that you can’t help but visit again and again, we can create a custom solution tailored to your exact needs. Tell us about your problem and we’ll offer a custom website today.