When going through a major website update – whether starting from scratch or re-building your current site – there are many factors that come into play. Scope of project, capabilities, portfolio, overall budget, and timeline are integral in project planning and decision making of such an endeavor. To determine your best partner, however, takes time and understanding of what you are exactly looking for.
When taking on such a project, you might start by using a search engine, like Google, to begin your research.
So, you’ll find yourself here. What will you search for? Will you begin your search looking for a web design partner or a web development partner? Will you use other keywords? Google itself receives over 63,000 searches per second, every single day, all searching for similar things as you, the reader.
When it comes to web designers and web developers, the difference between the two can often be intertwined, yet in actuality they are very different. Web design and web development describe two very different aspects of services and skill sets from both agencies and individuals. As the two are often interchanged, it is important to know the difference when searching for your own website project. Otherwise, you could end up with the incorrect partner!
That’s exactly why we are here and exactly why we’ve written in this blog – to provide clarity around these two different services.
What is Web Design?
Web design and web designers think about the design process differently from others, in the sense that they focus on wireframes, code and content management. These designers consider how users engage with websites in the sense of interaction; that is, how can they help to increase useability across pages?
Great design isn’t just about how one integrates buttons and forms; instead, it is about creating a website that aligns with strategy and goals. The strategy and goals are set in the beginning of every single project, in an effort to identify why each party is present and why the project is happening.
Web designers, in a nutshell, focus on what you can see, the external, visual aspect of one’s website. The homepage, the structure of contact pages, or service pages. As such, they often work through a different and unique approach to building a website.
Here are the five steps that web designers typically take when it comes to working through a new project:
1. Identify goals
With any website project, web designers identify what the goals and objectives are, be it generating new leads, engaging new visitors or increasing time spent on the website. This is the initial framework of any project.
2. Outline the scope of the website
If the goal of a client’s website is to generate leads, for example, then the scope of the website – what pages need to be included, or specific timelines that should be addressed – will be outlined in this portion of the project. The scope of the website aligns with goals and objectives.
3. Wireframes and wireframes!
Source: Usability Geek
Every client loves to see wireframes – the way in which a web designer recommends that the content be laid out and the sitemap created. Once this portion of the project is taken on, then content and features can be addressed. That’s when web designers get to the fun part – what the website will actually look like!
4. Content ideation and creation
When wireframes are created and approved, writers can move to the content stage of the journey. Creating content for individual pages takes time, as writers need to consider target personas while also building content for SEO. Once copy is complete, web designers can pull all of the puzzle pieces together.
5. It’s time to pull together visual elements
Once the wireframes are complete and the content is created, the visual brand is delivered. That is, the two portions of the project plan come together to create real, genuine website mockups. Some website designers move through this portion of the project from scratch, from the ground up, while others already have a clear set of brand guidelines to work from.
At this point, the website designer’s job is all but done. The designer, at this time, has completed the necessary elements of his or her job and send to the website developer, who has also been involved in the necessary steps along the way.
The web developer makes design a reality.
Source: Tech Launch
That is truly the simplest way to describe the job of a web developer.
Developers take the design from the web designer and break it into components. This could be through the form of HTML or other programming languages, such as PHP, to develop website pages for publishing. Many developers opt to use Content Management System (CMS) to execute development and allow for easy maintenance and implementation.
Once the developer receives wireframes and designs from the web designer, the shell of the website will be created with content and design to an actual, engaging website. Developers should work alongside the web designer to create the ideal balance between presentation – that is, the designs presented to the client – and performance. This process can often be the most time consuming in that it is the web developer’s job to ensure the end result is smooth and seamless in terms of site speed and engagement.
While many can get confused when it comes to the difference between web design and web development, the two actually actin synchrony with one another. The web designer works to create the initial external view and structure of a website, while the web developer takes the designs and turns this into the actual, literal version of the website as it is. After testing and delivery, the web designer and developer completes such a project, and the website then moves to maintenance.
To learn more about website design and web development for your business, learn more here.