In today’s digital landscape, it’s hard to find a web designer that doesn’t have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS or a web developer that can’t put a decent wireframe together.

If you’re strictly looking at the general outline of each role however, the distinction becomes clearer.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between web design vs web development and what you may need for your next website project.

We’ll also discuss the web designer and web developer roles within an agency and the benefits of working with one.

What is Web Design?

Web design encompasses everything that you see on a website, including its visual aesthetics and the overall usability.

This is also known as user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design.

Key aspects of web design include wireframes, mock-ups, branding, color palettes, typography, layout/format, and graphic design.

Web design is primarily focused on a site’s visual appearance and less concerned with the systems and code used to make it all work.

Web designers bring digital experiences to life through the use of color, imagery, typography, and layout.

That being said, many web designers are able to use HTML and CSS, as it helps with their designs and can allow them to bring a mock-up to life when necessary.

Web designers often work with platforms like WordPress or Shopify to create websites for their clients.

These content management systems (CMS) allow them to create websites without writing a single line of code, while also enabling clients to manage their websites easily.

What is Web Development?

Web development involves every line of code that makes a website work, from the front-end design code (HTML/CSS) to the back-end server code (PHP/Java).

The front-end code is responsible for displaying the website to the user; a designer creates the mock-ups, and a front-end developer makes it work on a website.

Back-end code is in charge of managing the database and serving that data to be displayed on the front-end.

Key areas in web development include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (front-end), PHP, Java, and Python (back-end), CSS preprocessors (i.e. LESS or Sass), and frameworks, libraries, and version control tools like Git.

Front-end web developers rarely create mock-ups or choose color palettes, as these are provided by the web designer.

It’s a developer’s job to bring those mock-ups and designs to life.

That being said, understanding the designer’s intentions requires some knowledge of UI/UX best practices.

How To Choose A Web Design Agency

Freelancer vs Web Design Agency

As you can see, there is a lot of crossover between web designers, front-end developers, and back-end developers. It’s common to find an individual who claims to cover all three areas, but within a team, you’ll often find people specializing in each specific area.

At White Peak Digital, for example, our web design projects include a project manager, graphic designer, web designer, front-end developer, and a back-end developer.

A study found that users judge a website’s aesthetics within 50 milliseconds. This highlights the importance of working with a professional web design agency that can create visually appealing websites that make a strong first impression

This can scale all the way down to simply a project manager and a web designer, depending on a project’s specific needs.

A project manager works closely with the client and the rest of the team throughout development. A graphic designer focuses on branding and logo design, the web designer puts together website wireframes and mock-ups, the front-end developer implements those designs on the website, and the back-end developer makes everything work behind the scenes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between web design and web development?

Web design focuses on a website’s visual aesthetics and usability, while web development involves coding and programming to make a site functional.

How does a web design agency benefit my business?

Working with a web design agency gives you access to a team of experts who can create a visually appealing, user-friendly, and functional website. This can lead to improved user experience, increased brand recognition, and higher conversion rates.

What roles can I expect to find within a web design agency?

Typical roles within a web design agency include project manager, graphic designer, web designer, front-end developer, and back-end developer. These experts collaborate to ensure a polished and functional final product.

Do web design agencies provide ongoing support and maintenance?

Yes, many web design agencies offer ongoing website support and maintenance to ensure that your website remains up-to-date and functional. This may include regular updates, bug fixes, and performance improvements.

We hope you found this article insightful. If you have any questions about our Brisbane web design team or how we can help with your website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

To your success,