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Web Design vs Web Development: A Business Owner's Guide

If you’re lost in space over the difference between web design and web development, you’re not the only one. But it’s an important distinction, one that’ll make the difference between choosing the right kind of support for your online business and struggling to get what you need. This article reveals in detail the differences between web design vs web development. As a B2B website design agency trusted with every kind of business website, we’re in the know. Here’s the inside track.

What is Web Design

What is web design? Think of web design as a subset of web development. Web design drives the visual aspects of a site, what it looks like, and how users interact with a site. A web designer is a talented creative with an appreciation of the power of a great visual impact. They’re also skilled at designing user journeys and experiences so seamless and intuitive it’s almost second nature to visitors. Some designers specialise in UI design, others in optimal User Experience (UX) design. When a site is just as good to look at as it is a pleasure to use, your web designer has nailed it.

What is Web Development?

So what is web development? Web development is primarily about the code. In this context ‘code’ means more than the html and other languages underpinning a design. It also covers every other aspect of website development including graphic design itself. Using coding and markup languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript and programming frameworks like .Net, PHP, Perl, Java, Python and more, a developer builds the functionality sitting behind the front-end created by the designer. The designer makes the user interface, the developer builds the machinery behind the pages to make things happen. Some web developers specialise in specific languages and technologies, others can handle everything. At Intuitiv, our chosen programming framework for developing the website logic is Microsoft's .Net Core.  

Web Design vs Web Development - Key Differences

You can see how web design and web development work together, and how important it is for the people concerned to communicate well from start to finish. Every good website development project involves both web designers and developers. Together they tick all the boxes from a brand and marketing perspective as well as a user experience and customer service angle. Neither is much use without the other. When they work seamlessly together, business magic happens.

While web designers tend towards creativity, web developers can be more technical. Web design deals with aesthetics while web development makes it all work securely and reliably. Web design is concerned with how websites look and feel, web development focuses on how the site functions.

You know you’re using a well-designed and developed site when the experience is so easy you don’t notice going through the stages. Whether you’re searching products or reading blog posts, watching video or buying something, everything is where it should be and works as you expect it to work. The User Experience and User Interfaces are perfect. When things get lumpy – maybe the shopping cart keeps hanging – user trust takes a nosedive.

What comes first, web design or web development? You can’t develop a website unless you know what you’re developing, so the design stage comes first. Once the basic foundation and aspects of site design and functionality are defined and described, the development process can begin. It kicks off with wireframing web design ideas, creating an exciting, clear visual representation of the look, style and layout, and goes from there. 

Oxford Web Design

You might be wondering why all agencies don’t blend in-house web design and development to provide a full-service resource. It’s so much better to commission Oxford web design services from an agency that also provides expert web development services alongside graphic design. Our clients certainly appreciate it, as you can see from our web design Case Studies.

Martin & Co is an excellent example, a county jeweller and official retailer of Rolex watches. Our wireframing process ensured perfect navigation and usability, including quick and easy access to product information and a slick and easy process through to buying online. Our design is clean and uncluttered, a pleasure to use. We also built a comprehensive Content Management System so Martin & Co themselves can maintain the site text, imagery and more with confidence.

Oxford Web Development

The key is in the language. Website design and development go together like peaches and cream. We have graphic design talent to dream up beautiful websites that work seamlessly to please visitors. The navigation takes you where you’d expect, from where you expect, and the experience leaves people feeling satisfied. Our skilled web development people make it happen, turning an idea into a hard-working, great-looking digital presence to attract attention, gain trust and help you drive high conversion rates.

Do you fancy exploring one of our web development case studies? Take a look at this one for Hoover Aftersales Service. Hoover needed a hard-working site to help their customers find the appropriate help and support for their products at times of need. They also needed a simple and easy route for customers to make contact to book service and repair appointments.

The differences between web design and web development – Covered!

As an extremely experienced Oxford web development agency we provide the full range of services, developing websites for every purpose including secure, seamless ecommerce and inspiring E-learning, stunning brochure-ware to every imaginable type of custom site. Our in-house graphic design, website design and web development expertise gives our clients more than the sum of the parts. We work together, we know each other, and we communicate between ourselves – and with you – frequently and effectively.

Now you understand the key differences between web design and web development, you can source your partners with confidence. In our experience it’s so much better to have a cohesive team on the case who work together well and understand each other. If you’d like to know more about B2B website development from Intuitiv, take a look here.

Or give us a call on 01844 888 777
or contact us.


Intuitiv Digital

2 Bridge Road
Ickford, nr Thame
Buckinghamshire
HP18 9HX