Most business people understand inherently what web design is, but what about web development? It’s not unusual for new clients to ask us about the difference, and to wonder which one they really need.
Let’s see if we can clear up some of the confusion for you…
Web Design vs. Web Development
We should start by explaining that the lines between web design and web development are pretty blurry. The definitions overlap (more about this in a second), but generally speaking web design refers to the process of creating and launching websites with static pages, text, and images. Web development, on the other hand, usually involves some kind of programming, usually because the client wants or needs their new website to do something that requires some sort of custom functionality.
For example, websites like Amazon and Weather.com are highly interactive, and are able to do things that other websites can’t. That’s because a lot of coding has been done behind the scenes to develop custom apps that run inside the website itself (and inside of a visitor’s web browser). Users just see the website, and not the underlying software, but it’s there doing an important job.
Technically speaking, all web design could be considered web development, since there is some degree of programming involved. But the line is usually drawn between static websites and integrated web applications that perform specific tasks.
So Which One Do You Need?
Web design and web development usually go together, and will most often be performed by people within the same company. So the question isn’t usually “do you need web design or web development?” but “do you need web development in addition to web design?”
The answer really comes down to what you want your website to do. If you simply want potential customers to be able to find your business online, and see basic information about who you are and what you do, then custom programming probably isn’t needed. Likewise, if you just want your website to perform simple, basic tasks (like collecting email addresses for a newsletter sign-up, or allowing you to offer a handful of products for purchase), then your web design team can probably take advantage of existing plug-ins without developing something new.
But if you want to do something exceptional with your website, then web development is definitely an option to consider. In fact, the bigger your plans and dreams, the more benefit you can get from having a strong team of designers and programmers work together.
Web development is all about business functionality, and especially adding new, previously-unknown features that your employees or customers want. If you’re looking to break new ground – online or in your industry – web development could be every bit as important as good design.
Contact Weblinx at 630-551-0334 and tell us about your next web design or development project. We would like the opportunity to work with your organization.