Web Design or Development: Understanding the Difference

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It's an easy mistake to make, but there are significant differences between web design and web development. In this blog, we break down the key distinctions to help you fully understand them and find the appropriate support for your next website project.

What is Web Design?

Web design is the process of creating a website without using any code. This is accomplished by utilising a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress and leveraging pre-built themes to construct the site.

Seeking inspiration for choosing a website theme? Visit ThemeForest.

Benefits and Limitations of Web Design

Compared to web development, web design is substantially more cost-effective and less time-consuming, as designers utilise existing website themes that offer numerous functionalities similar to those of a custom-built website. Making changes to your website will also be much easier, as many pre-built themes incorporate a drag-and-drop builder, allowing you to effortlessly manipulate the layout and functionality without the need for coding.

However, accidents can happen, and it's advisable to hire a professional to assist you in making changes, as even minor alterations can have a detrimental impact on your site if not executed correctly.

While themes have limitations in their built-in functionalities, restricting web designers, many CMS platforms offer plugin options that allow you to extend the functionality of your chosen theme. Therefore, you're more than likely to include all the essential features your website requires.

What is Web Development?

Web development is the process of building a website using coding languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Like web design, this is often accomplished using a CMS like WordPress. However, for more advanced websites, developers may utilise platforms such as Drupal.

Benefits and Limitations of Web Development

Although the cost is significantly higher than that of web design, web developers can create a truly unique website, limited only by your imagination (within reason) and budget. However, depending on the complexity of the website, the timeframes can extend for several months, which is one of the main limitations, alongside cash flow, as web development projects can become an expensive endeavour.

In conclusion, both web design and web development are excellent options for your next website project. However, it's crucial to understand the stark differences between them and weigh the benefits and limitations we've discussed to make an informed decision that aligns with your website's requirements and circumstances.

For more information on building a website, read our blog post 'Content Management Systems (CMS): Which One Should You Choose?'