Many people get confused with the difference between web development and design. Though they work hand in hand, it is actually two aspects that come together to build your website.
Designing your website
To clarify, designing a website entails what the look and feel of your website will be, how it is structured, what the menus and buttons will looks like, and where they will be strategically placed. It includes various images, graphics and logos. In order to build a website, one first needs to design it, much like designing a house or a car before it is built. Even the textual content is considered in design before content is added. In fact, the development process simply cannot start without first designing how the website will look. Coding knowledge is not necessarily essential for the graphic designer, however a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS is a huge advantage in assisting the development process, especially if the graphic designer is also responsible for the content or copywriting of the website.
Developing your website
Once your website has been designed and the client is one hundred percent happy, the development or building of your website can take place. Development is essentially the implementation of the design. This is where the developer uses programming knowledge and skills to develop your website. Without the developer, there is no design, and without the design, there is nothing to develop. Most developers have design skills and have harnessed their creative side simply out of necessity and many graphic designers have done the same, learning a little code to facilitate the process.
It is rare however, that one person is proficient in both the creative side of design and the technical side of development. They are out there, of course, but usually both designer and developer work hand in hand for both a functional and dynamic website, as well as a site that is aesthetically pleasing. Remember, your website needs to reflect your brand, but without the technicalities that come with being a developer, your website may end up looking like a beautiful “Picasso” painting, but without any functionality whatsoever. What’s more, no-one will see this beautiful piece of art (ie. your website), because it is not linked to the marketing aspect of having a website online. Now what is the point of having a website, (a form of online marketing), if no-one will see it, right?
Choosing a Development and Design Company
So now that you know the difference, you may ask, “am I getting the best from my agency in both design and development?” Though most developers and designers work together on a project, most designers may outsource developers and vice versa. You may also want to inquire about the agency’s marketing strategy for your website. Online marketing has become a specialty all of its own these days, but that is for another blog. However, most agencies do cater in varying degrees for online marketing.
For more information, please see the webTorch website.