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The Difference Between Web Design and Development

The importance of a well-made website cannot be understated in the modern world of digital marketing. In essence, a business without a website is like a storefront without a window – it’s your customers’ first impression and you must get it right. 

To do so, employing the talents of a web designer and developer will be key to web success. They will ensure your digital storefront not only looks good but works well too. 

A study commissioned by Google and conducted by Deloitte in 2019 found that site user conversion rates could be increased by improving load times by 0.1 seconds. So if you didn’t think web developers were an important tool in your marketing arsenal, think again. 

Similarly, this 2011 study found that users can assess your web page based on visual appeal in 0.5 seconds – so first impressions matter! This is where web designers come into play. 

As a white label digital marketing agency, the team at Agency Stack offers the best of both worlds in web design and development, and ensures each of its clients are satisfied with each website’s performance. 

Whether you measure that performance based on visits, conversions, subscriptions, or something else is up to you. All we can offer is the opportunity to improve your digital-storefront. So how exactly do web designers and developers do that?

Architect vs Builder

The easiest way to distinguish a web designer from a developer is their primary purpose: a web designer focuses on the aesthetic elements of the page while a developer puts these into place and makes them functional. 

You might consider the designer to be the architect and the developer to be the builder.

The designer uses tools and skills such as Adobe Creative Suite, UX/UI design, logos, colour palettes, and wireframes, to perfect what the site user actually sees. 

The developer uses tools and skills such as HTML/CSS/JavaScript, frameworks, libraries, and on-site search engine optimization.

Of course, there is starting to be more and more overlap between these two roles and the skills that a person might possess. 

Architects might never pick up a hammer, but an increasing number of designers might have basic skills in HTML and coding. 

But let’s continue distinguishing those differences…

Types of Web Designers

Just as some people only have skills in design or development, some designers may only specialise in user experience (UX) or user interface (UI). While they often overlap, these two very niche design elements are equally important so your team should make sure to tick both boxes. What’s most important to understand is that all web designers consider a website’s aesthetic form in tandem with its function.

User experience designers

User experience relates to a user’s overall, well, experience with your website. The level of enjoyment each person gets from navigating your website is the main KPI of any UX designer and they will often consult with users for feedback and data to understand pain points and positive features. Elements such as layout and designs are most important to these designers.

User interface designers

UI designers understand how individual design elements are perceived by a given user and how likely the user will be to interact with each piece of the puzzle. 

As compared to a data-driven UX designer, UI design is more down to the look and feel of website elements as understood by the expertise of the designer.

Visual Designers

If you can’t afford the services of two separate designers, or you find someone with the skills to manage both, you’ll be dealing with a visual designer. These experts combine the skills of UX and UI to maintain every visual element of a website. 

By employing a visual designer you are not only saving time advertising for and hiring multiple people, but you’ll save on salaries too. Alternatively, Agency Stack offers expertise in both fields and can manage your entire website behind the scenes.

Types of Web Developers

Likewise, there are two skill sets in web development that will be key to perfecting any website. The layman may not realise that every website comes with a ‘front-end’ and a ‘back-end.’ These are effectively the parts that a public user does and does not see, respectively.

Front-end developers

Anything that can be seen or interacted with on any given website has likely been handled by a front-end developer. They will make sure that every button clicks, every image re-sizes, and every menu tab unfurls on cue. 

Using coding languages, these developers will work alongside the design team to understand exactly what they’re envisioning for the final product. Once understood, they will put each working element in its place.

Back-end developers

Without a back-end, your website will surely crash or at the very least disappear from search engines like Google. 

As the internet evolves, so too does the job of a back-end developer. They will manage coding databases, server frameworks and programming languages to keep a site up and running. Not to mention, they will keep abreast of the evolving world of search engine optimisation.

Full-stack developers

As visual designers are to web design, full-stack developers are the ultimate web developer. They have the skills to manage both front-end and back-end development to ensure the website is functional and built to the designer’s liking.

What Do You Need?

We understand that each marketing agency is different and your unique team is what sets you apart. This means you may not have the capacity to produce each part of a website and that’s where Agency Stack comes in. 

Our team of web designers and developers can produce some beautiful online real estate from which your clients can strut their stuff. If you need to get some digital storefronts online, Agency Stack has got your back. 

Contact us today to fill the gaps in your agency’s capabilities.