Web design and web development are two very different terms that describe very different stages of the website building process. Unfortunately, they are often used interchangeably, resulting in much confusion.
Web designers and web developers do work closely with each other but rely on fundamentally different skill sets to perform their duties. Understanding the role of these parties and what they contribute to a finished website can help you come to terms with the overall process of building a website, from start to finish.
If you’re looking to build a website but have very little tech skills or knowledge, never fear. Newpath Web have been designing and developing websites for over fifteen years now, working with some of the top companies around Australia. Our experienced team of developers are comfortable working with a wide array of CMS (content management system) platforms and our designers have the ability to create beautiful, engaging visual experiences. As a top web design company in Melbourne, we know what it takes to build a website that will succeed.
But enough about us — let’s learn a little more about the difference between web design and web development!
There are many ways that you can make your website stand out from the crowd. An obvious one is through engaging design.
Humans are visual creatures. As much as we want a website to work seamlessly, we also want it to look good — particularly if it’s a site that we visit often, such as our favourite social media platforms. You only have to consider the recent fuss surrounding Twitter changing its font to understand the significant impact that design can have on our overall web experience.
The process of web design can be broken up into two categories, referred to as UX — user experience — and UI — user interface. As is the case with web design and web development, these two categories are often confused, so let’s break it down.
UX refers to the experience an individual has when interacting with a product, in this case, a website. A UX designer considers how their choices regarding colour, font, navigation, structure, and more, will impact the relationship a user has with the end product. It is less about how these elements appear and more about how they make the user feel. UX designers, therefore, spend a lot of their time conducting research, creating personas, and testing prototypes.
UI, on the other hand, can be thought of as the hands-on process of physically designing the assets that make up a website. It tends to be reserved for digital products (such as websites and mobile applications). A UI designer will consider every single visual element of a page, from buttons to typography.
If your website is a car, the web developer is your mechanic. They are responsible for building and maintaining the engine room of your website, making sure it is functional and protected from external threats.
Web developers tend to use a type of software known as a CMS — content management system — when building a new site. The alternative is coding a site from scratch, which is an incredibly complex and time consuming process. A CMS, on the other hand, is user-friendly and helps build websites that are secure.
Popular CMS platforms include WordPress, Drupal, and Kentico. Using a CMS streamlines the development process and makes it easy for website owners to create, upload, and delete content once the developer has moved on from the project.
The web development process is much more than just sitting behind a computer, furiously typing at a keyboard. Web developers meet with clients from the very initial stages of a project to gain an understanding of what they are hoping the website will achieve. Early planning is crucial to ensure a website performs as hoped and is pitched at the client’s target audience.
The work of a web developer doesn’t end once a website goes live. Most websites will require ongoing maintenance to deal with bugs and security issues.
Newpath Web — with you from start to finish
Here at Newpath Web, we’ve helped countless businesses build state-of-the-art websites. As a full service digital agency, our team is stacked with experienced designers and developers, who work hand in hand to cover every step of the website building process.
We believe that the best websites come from thorough planning. Our business analysts conduct in-depth market research to help develop clear goals and objectives. When it comes to design, our UX and UI specialists have the ability to incorporate the latest industry trends to ensure your website is modern and speaks to your business. And if you don’t know your WordPress from your Drupal, it’s not an issue — our developers can take care of all the technical work for you.
Contact Newpath Web today to learn more about our comprehensive web development services.