Web design and web development

Alexandros Nasiopoulos on 05-08-2019. Modified on 16-09-2020
Web design and web development

Web design and web development

Maybe you think that web design is the same as web development. You may know that it is not the same and you are looking for someone who specializes in web design. Or maybe you don't care and you are just looking for a company to create a new website.

Whatever the above, it is certain that you are often searching the keywords "web design", on Google. It is also certain that web design is not the same as web development.

Web design and web development at a glance

Web design refers to the look and feel of a website as well as its usability. Web designers use programs like CorelDraw or Adobe Photoshop to create various visuals or designs for the website.

Web design and web development

Web development includes front-end development (client-side) and back-end development (server-side) and relates exclusively to the website code. When we say website code we refer to both the aesthetics of the website (HTML, CSS, javascript, jquery, bootstrap) and the website functions (PHP, SQL, javascript, jquery, ajax)

Web design and web development

Web design in detail

The second image you see represents part of our homepage. The drawings in the image are graphic designs created on CorelDraw by a web designer. At this point, of course, you may be wondering what the difference is between a web designer and a graphic designer.

A web designer is aware of the aesthetic rules that a website should have to attract the attention of the visitor but also be relaxing. He also builds the layout to fit properly on all devices ie PCs, tablets and cellphones that can display a webpage. He is also aware of and takes into account the Search Engine Optimization rules and he creates 'small' (few kb) designs, for optimum website speed. A web designer uses an RGB color palette and can also have HTML, CSS and javascript knowledge.

A graphic designer, on the other hand, puts more emphasis on art and looks at drawings from an artistic perspective e.g. drawings with a pencil and paper. A graphic designer uses a CMYK color palette and he knows what the drawing will look like, once it's printed.

Web design, however, does not end there. Web design can include a UX designer and a UI designer who does not necessarily know any coding language.

UX designer - User Experience designer: A UX designer is responsible for the user experience in a website, product or application. User experience can be analyzed through user interviews, user features, Google Analytics and information architecture, scientific research into web design and testing.

UI designer - User Interface designer: A UI designer takes the findings of the UX designer and puts them into practice. He is responsible for how items are arranged within the page on all devices. He specifies the distances that objects will have, the color, size, and style of the letters and buttons and generally all the elements on a web page.

Web development in detail

Web development is done by front-end developers and back-end developers. However, a full-stack developer can take over the entire development of the website, that is, being a front-end developer and back-end developer.

A front-end developer (client-side developer) takes the features that the website should have from the UI designer and code what you see on a website: its appearance, the way sliders move, the color change in buttons, icons, etc. He is also responsible for the proper appearance of the webpage on all devices. He has excellent knowledge of HTML, CSS, and javascript. Front-end developer can also be a web designer.

Up to this point, that is, the design by the web designer, UX designer, UI designer and the front-end developer, the template of the website has been created without any functionality. This template can be used in this form, to create static websites.

The one who will give 'life' to the site, that is to develop its functions, is the back-end developer. The back-end developer (server-side developer) builds or code what you don't see on a web page. He has excellent knowledge of at least one programming language, usually PHP. He also has excellent knowledge of SQL and at least one database management system, usually MySQL. To provide the best user experience, he must also have very good knowledge of javascript programming language, jquery library, and ajax programming techniques.

Once the website features are programmed, the SEO Specialist's turn comes to insert the last lines of code and perhaps the first content of the website.

An SEO specialist or Search Engine Optimization specialist is responsible for inserting structured data, minifying all CSS and JS files and generally implementing all those On-Page Search Engine Optimization techniques which will make the website search engine friendly.

Web development or website building in practice

In practice, due to the abundance of ready-made templates and the (almost) exclusive use of open source cms, the actual process of website building usually differs quite a lot from the one described above.

There are countless ready-made templates and constantly new ones are created for all kinds of websites that are both responsive and beautiful. For 50-60 € one can choose from a variety of ready-made templates for a Wordpress or Joomla site. HTML templates cost even cheaper and are sold in a price range of 15€ to 25€, usually.

If you consider the CSS and javascript knowledge required and the time and effort it takes to create a template, buying it is certainly a very advantageous option and in most cases, a one-way road. Of course, a web designer or front-end developer or a full-stack developer can interfere with the template's CSS or javascript and modify some elements to properly represent a business and/or satisfy the client.

As for the back-end development, the functions of a website or online store can be created using a cms in just a few days. Cms allows the creation of websites in a graphical environment using a mouse and keyboard, without requiring any knowledge of any programming language. In cms, templates, functions, and SEO are added with the installation of plugins.

Web Application Development

Of course, some companies have recognized the absences and the problems of open source CMS platforms and have created their own custom web applications, with code written by their web app developers and SEO by SEO specialists. In this case, we refer to 'Web Application Development' or 'Web App Development' rather than just web development. (But how can one get traffic from Google by targeting the keywords 'Web Application Development'?)

Such web applications can, for example, be a conference and scientific papers management application, a deals platform, a hotel booking application or even an online store.

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