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Web Design vs Web Development, What’s the Difference?

Many small business owners start out being chief cook and bottle washer… and many attempt to create their own website until their business has generated enough money to have a professional create one for them. If you’re ready to take the leap and have a professional site developed, a good starting point is to understand web design vs web development and what the differences are. This is more of a traditional overview because there are some people who can be both, and there are some business who have a team to cover both aspects.

A web designer:

  • focuses on how the site looks and feels on screen
  • understands colour combinations, marrying the right colours for your brand
  • can suggest the right images that complements with your look and feel
  • are creative and can infuse your design with your personality

In my experience, many designers struggle with the technical aspects.  As an example using WordPress, they may know how to install the software, make your site look just as you want it to, and upload all your content however they haven’t secured your site or included technical functions that optimise your site for search enging and ease of use.

A web developer:

  • focuses on taking a design and making it functional on the Internet
  • understands programming languages (PHP, .NET, HTML etc)
  • has hands-on coding experience which allows custom functionality
  • are technical which means they are logical and linear thinkers

In my experience, many developers cannot think outside the box or put themselves in the shoes of the user.  As an example using WordPress, they know how to install the software, secure your site, make the site function they way you want it to function, however the banners they created do not align with your brand or they’ve created a unfriendly navigation and users struggle to find what they’re looking for on your site.

By working together, the designer and developer make a better team, than trying to do it all themselves.

To help you identify the best company to redesign your website, ask them questions related to design and development.  Don’t be shy about it.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Do you provide me one or two mock designs?
  • How many design changes can be made in the initial stages?
  • Do you source the images or do I?  If you source them, are there any additional costs?
  • What do you do to secure my site?
  • Will the development of my site include a back up procedure?
  • What happens if something breaks on my site? If you provide support, are there any additional costs?
  • Do you provide a manual or videos on how to update my website?

If you are looking for a new website, please feel free to contact us.  We would be more than happy to provide a quotation on a WordPress website.

If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.

Written by: Nicole Graham


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Established in 2007, Bauhinia Solutions is a boutique virtual business support agency with a team of dedicated and experienced business specialists, administrators, and virtual assistants.