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Website Design vs Website Development

Team #jmexclusives is here to update you with useful and most recent content on the world of technology. How to survive every tide it brings with it. What is the difference between website design and development? In the early days of the web, the answer was simple: designers design and developers code. 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.

Most people learn web coding because they want to create the next Facebook or find a job in the industry. However, 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 for you. However, If you’re strictly speaking about the general concepts of website design and development the distinction is a little more clear. These two roles play a major part in building the websites and apps we know.

website design vs development

The website design and development roles play a major part in building the websites and apps we know.

Website design

It governs everything involving the visual aesthetics and usability of a website—color scheme, layout, information flow. And 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
  • Layout/format
  • Placing call-to-action buttons
  • Branding
  • Wireframes, mockups, and storyboards
  • Color palettes
  • Typography

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.

Website development

It governs all the code that makes a website tick. This can be split into two categories—front-end and back-end. The front-end or client-side of an application is the code responsible for determining how the website will actually display the designs. That is mocked up by a designer. 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. 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:

  • HTML/CSS/JavaScript
  • 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.

Skills to look for as a web developer

It’s easier to look at a web developer description. Thereby, splitting the skills into the three areas mentioned above: client-side languages, server-side languages and database technologies.

Client-side languages

Client-side scripting refers to the creation of web applications that execute themselves within the browser of a user’s computer. For instance, storing user data in cookies, simple flash games, or other forms of interactive web applications. This also includes using languages like HTML, CSS or JavaScript to build the layout, look and feel of a website.

Here are some examples of client-side languages:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Flash
  • JQuery
  • Microsoft Silverlight

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 web server to communicate with the web browser of the end user’s computer. To make it work, the developer embeds scripts in your website so that, when someone using your site takes a particular action. The server can display set images or information. Server-side code is also inherently more secure. To make sure the person using your website has no direct access to source code, proprietary databases or data beyond what’s specifically shown to them.

The following are examples of server-side languages:

  • ASP.NET
  • C
  • Java
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby

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:

  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • MySQL
  • IBM DB2
  • Apache
  • MongoDB

Website Designer vs. Website Developer

The line between a web designer and web developer is often blurring because there is a lot of overlap. Generally speaking, a web designer’s focus is the look and feel of a website. Whereas, a web developer focuses on the technical side of things. However, a developer who does client-side programming will have a direct impact on the look, layout, and feel of a website. Moreover, both web designers and developers often know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. For larger-scale web projects,  the distinction is often much more defined:

  • 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.

You need both skill sets in 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.

Someone who has mastered both makes an excellent project manager, offering a perfect mix of form and function to a web project.

Front-End, Back-End Or Full-Stack?

A front-end dev

This takes care of layout, design, and interactivity using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They take an idea from the drawing board and turn it into reality. What you see and what you use, such as the visual aspect of the website, the drop-down menus and the text. They are all brought together by the front-end dev, who writes a series of programmes. Thereby, to bind and structure the elements, making them look good and add interactivity. These programmes operate through a browser.

The backend

The developer engineers know what is going on behind the scenes. 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 programmes 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 dev.

If no decision has been made, consider becoming a full-stack dev. 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, as there is more to learn.


Other Useful Links:

  1. techopedia
  2. techterms
  3. codeconquest
  4. simpleprogrammer

If you are looking for a Website developer, designer, customizer or even manager, please feel free to send us an email through info@josephmuciraexclusives.com or visit our contacts page.

1 Comments

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