Important to realize, the jmexclusives Website Design & Development team is here to update you with useful and most recent content on various web technologies. For instance, how to survive every tide it brings with it. But, What is the difference between website design & development? In the early days of the web, the answer was simple: designers design and developers code.
However, in today’s world, you can find a web designer who doesn’t know at least a little HTML and CSS. Hence, you won’t have to look far for a front-end web developer who can whip up a storyboard. For one thing, most people learn web coding because they want to create the next Facebook or find a job in the industry.
To enumerate, web development broadly refers to the tasks associated with developing websites for hosting via intranet or internet. Whereby, the web development process includes web design, web content development, client-side/server-side scripting, and network security configuration, among other tasks.
What does Website Design & Development entail?
Website Design is also known as Website Development and both of them involve either website styling or structuring. And it’s also a good choice to learn general introduction to coding since it’s super easy to get started.
Whether you’re looking for a career or just want to learn how to code, learning how to develop a web is simply for you. However, if you’re strictly speaking about the general concepts of website design & development the distinction is a little more clear.
All in all, these two roles play a major part in building the websites and apps we know. With this in mind, web design & development ranges from creating plain text pages to complex web-based applications. Such as social network applications and electronic business applications. In that case, let’s try and understand the key principles involved during website styling and structuring.
Below, allow me to answer the following questions;
- What is Website Design?
- What is Website Development?
- And also, What is Website Redesign?
What is Website design?
In the first place, web design governs everything involving the visual aesthetics and usability of a website. Such as color scheme, layout, and information flow.
In addition to everything else relating to the visual aspects of the UI/UX (user interface and user experience). Some common skills and tools that distinguish the web designer from the web developer are:
- Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator) or other design software
- Graphic design
- Logo design
- Placing call-to-action buttons
- Wireframes, mockups, and storyboards
- Color palettes
Mostly, web design focuses on what the user actually sees in their computer screen or mobile device. Moreover, less so about the mechanisms beneath the surface that make it all work. Though the use of color, images, typography, and layout bring a digital experience to life.
What is Website development?
Important to realize, web development is the coding or programming that enables website functionality, per the owner’s requirements. It mainly deals with the non-design aspect of building websites, which includes coding and writing markup. In general, website development can be split into two categories — front-end and back-end.
On one hand, the front-end or client-side of an application is the code responsible for determining how the website will actually display the designs. And that’s mocked up by a designer. On the other hand, the back-end or server-side of an application is responsible for managing data within the database. Hence, serving the data to the front-end for display.
In other words, it’s the front-end developer’s job to share the most overlap with the web designer. Some common skills and tools traditionally view as unique to the front-end developer are listed below:
- CSS preprocessors (i.e., LESS or Sass)
- Frameworks (i.e., AngularJS, ReactJS, Ember)
- Libraries (i.e., jQuery)
- Git and GitHub
Front-end web developers don’t usually create mock-ups, select typography, or pick color palettes. Rather the designer provides them. It’s the developer’s job to bring those mock-ups to life. That said, understanding what the designer wants requires some knowledge of best practices in UI/UX design.
This is to enable the developer to choose the right technology to deliver the desired look and feel and experience in the final product.
What is Website Redesign?
To enumerate, just as the name would suggest, a website redesign is a process of redesigning your website. But the truth is, not all website redesigns are the same. Sometimes, you literally are just slightly updating the design.
For example, you might have a WordPress Website that is a couple of years old, and you might want to adjust the fonts, colors, and imagery of the site. In this example, you might keep the exact same WordPress Theme and just be updating the CSS and images within the same theme.
According to thomasdigital.com — Complete Guide on Website Redesign, this occurs, for instance, if you have an existing website and are thinking of a revamp (redesign). But, How do you go about that? Having said that, allow me to introduce you to the three main phases of the website redesign project. Including,
- the content phase,
- design phase, and
- the development phase.
So, using the following list as our guide, What does each phase of a Website Redesign entail?
1. Content Phase:
The Content Phase is where most people go wrong and wind up paving streets over cow paths. With that being said, you definitely don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater and not use the existing content from your current website.
The process seeks to look at your website with fresh eyes while leveraging all of your existing collateral.
Front-end/Back-end Website Design & Development
Notably, while launching a new website might not be quite as complex as flying a plane, there are enough variables to warrant a thorough checklist with each launch. As an example, for the Wright Brothers, when they first invented the airplane and were testing it for military use, they found that there were too many crashes. Especially, to find airplanes reliable as a military machine.
In fact, something like 1 in 5 flights ended up failing due to some type of human error. To solve this problem, they came up with the pre-flight checklist and reduced the number of crashes to less than 1%. Similarly, it’s easier to look at a web developer description. Thereby, splitting the skills into the three areas mentioned below:
- client-side languages,
- server-side languages, and
- database technologies.
1. Client-side Languages
Here are some examples of Client-side Languages:
- Microsoft Silverlight
2. Server-side Languages
Server-side scripting is a technique that website developers use to build the backend of a website. Why is that so critical for your new site? The end user’s computer (i.e. the person using the website) limits a web browser’s storage.
Thus, the websites need to host the files and images that make the site work in a database on a web server. Server-side scripting involves constructing the framework. This allows the database on the webserver to communicate with the web browser of the end user’s computer.
To make it work, the developer embeds scripts on your website so that, when someone using your site takes a particular action. The server can display set images or information. The server-side code is also inherently more secure. To make sure the person using your website has no direct access to the source code, proprietary databases or data beyond what’s specifically shown to them.
The following are examples of Server-side Languages:
3. Database Technologies
The final set of skills to look for in a web developer is the database technologies they are familiar with. In order to work properly, every website needs a database to store its code, images, files, and other data. These relational database management systems (RDBMS) are the most popular for web-based applications.
Here are some examples of Database Technologies:
- Microsoft SQL Server
- IBM DB2
How is Website Design & Development different?
Simply put, a web designer’s focus is the look and feel of a website. Whereas, a web developer focuses on the technical side of things. On the contrary, a developer who does client-side programming will have a direct impact on the look, layout, and feel of a website.
A web designer uses graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. As a result, to create the logos, graphics, and layout that determine the look and feel of a website.
The web developer still has to understand the aesthetics and art direction of the web designer. For instance, if they are handling client-side scripts. Thou, their concern is with functionality and features, like the shopping cart on an e-commerce website.
But, Are there any required skills for a good website graphic designer & developer? Of course, Yes! For sure, you need both basic skill sets in design and development order to build a proper website. Even though, a designer may not even have to write the code.
In this case, a graphic designer will create a visual representation of the website’s layout. While the web developer will use code to make the layout a reality. Still, other web professionals have honed their skills in both disciplines:
- For a website designer, knowing how to code can help them communicate better with the web development team.
- For a website developer, understanding the art direction of a website can help them write better code.
Required Skills in Website Design & Development
Someone who has mastered both makes an excellent project manager, offering a perfect mix of form and function to a web project. Above all, make sure that you have a full understanding of other skills in elements such as; Front-End, Back-End, and even Full-Stack.
Surprisingly, I used to think that you were either a web designer or a web developer. Or maybe you were one of those rare unicorns who did both. But either way, you either worked on the design of the site, or the code that made it work.
Having said that, consider the following skills as add-ons of a good if not best web design & development guru.
Front-end Developer Skills
They are all brought together by the front-end dev, who writes a series of programs. Thereby, binding and structuring these web elements and making them look good and add interactivity. These programs operate through a browser.
Back-end Developer Skills
By the same token, back-end developer skills call for the developer engineers who know what is going on behind the scenes. Not forgetting, this is where you store the data, and without this data, there is no frontend. The backend of the web consists of the server that hosts the website.
Certainly, an application for running it and a database to contain the data. The backend dev uses computer programs to ensure that the server, the application, and the database run smoothly together. They need to analyze what a company’s needs are.
Also, to provide effective programming solutions. To do all this amazing stuff they use a variety of server-side languages, like PHP, Ruby, Python, and Java.
Full-stack Developer Skills
Above all, if no decision has been made, consider becoming a guru in website design & development using the full-stack developer skills. Full-stackers take care of both the frontend and the backend.
In order, to know how the web works on all levels. You need to determine how the client- and server-sides will relate. “Naturally, working up to this level of expertise will take longer than you think, as there is more to learn.” — says Joseph Mucira, the founder and chairperson at jmexclusives.
Basically, I hope the above website design & development blueprints will be of great help towards your online presence journey. But, if you’ll need further intervention, please feel free to Contact Us or even share your thoughts in the comments box below this post.
Finally, if you are still in demand for more useful and related content on website design & development, put into consideration the following links.
- Content Design and Development Guidelines
- Website Redesign – The Complete Guide
- Techopedia: What does Web Development mean?
- Cybermill: Creative web design in York and Selby
- Web Development – Techopedia Review