Have you ever tried talking to an employee in a web development company in USA and found out that you were loose with the term, “web design” and “web development”? While those two seem like they could be used interchangeably, they are two different concepts that have the same conclusion. Let’s have a look at the difference between these two terms.

What is Web Design?

You have a story to tell, how do you give your narrative? You might consider writing a book, shooting a video, or making an illustration. These are all good alternatives, however, it’s even better to create a platform that can accommodate all these forms. You hire web designer to help you transform your story into an aesthetically pleasing design.

In essence, your web designer is responsible for the feel of the website. You know the way you speak to an architect about your expectations and then the architect brings your vision to life? That’s exactly what a web designer does.

As easy as this sounds, web designers do a lot of work before they create that perfect website design. In fact, if you hire web designers to work on a project and you give them the specifications today, you might not get the results for a week. The process of sketching, providing wireframes, mock-ups, and revisions are truly overwhelming.

What Does a Web Designer Do?

A web designer will use software tools like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Sketch to come up with the final layout of your website. This requires a good understanding of graphics and design in general. They also need to be skilled in identifying the best practices for intuitive user experience. This includes the layout, photos, color palettes, buttons, and the overall format.

Web Development

What is Web Development?

We’ve covered the design aspect in detail. To understand web development, try to think about those who bring the design to life. How do they do this? How do they initiate interaction? Web developers are those professionals who use special languages and tools to create a functioning website. The development is based on predefined syntax and constructs which are universal so that, irrespective of the tool used, it’s well-understood and interpreted.

This sounds like a lot to do, doesn’t it? To be honest, web development is very wide, and it seems complicated initially. This is why it’s further divided into two categories: front-end development and back-end development.

Who are Front-End Developers?

These are middle-men between web designers and back-end web developers. Why do we say so? A front-end web developer is concerned with building the interface, the layout, as well as the interaction between the user and the back-end of the website. If you don’t understand what the back-end is, you will in a minute.

For front-end development, three major languages are used:

  1. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
  2. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  3. JavaScript

With these three, a developer can create a fully-functional website that includes images, text, animation, forms, etc. It’s not unusual when you talk to employees in a web and mobile development company to see people who have more tools in their arsenal. However, for the sake of simplicity, these will suffice.

Who are Back-End Developers?

Back-end involves requests made to the server-side of the website. Any website that contains dynamic data will require a website developer to handle the back-end development. What is dynamic data? Dynamic data includes forms that are submitted that contains your personal data, saved articles to be posted on your blog later, or even automated messages to be sent. Basically, if your website needs you to save data which will need to be accessed later, then you should hire the services of a back-end developer from a web development company in the USA.

Speaking about data, the saved information on your website will need a database connection. A direct connection to the server is what facilitates this database connection. This then requires proficiency with tools and languages that serve this purpose. Before you hire a web and mobile development company, you’ll need to be sure they understand how to use server-side languages like PHP or ASP.NET. They also need to be able to write database queries using languages like SQL or MySQL.

Web Developer

What Do Web Developers Do?

In Summary, web developers are tasked with building the interface that allows the user to interact with the website. A web developer has to be proficient with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, and other relevant skills. The specifications can be shared among a front-end developer and a back-end developer. For these two professionals, they can use an integrated development environment to ensure a seamless workflow.

Who are Full-Stack Developers?

For the sake of completeness, we have to talk about full-stack developers. In every web and mobile development company, we have a set of professionals who we refer to as full-stack developers. These developers have a good knowledge of the web design aspect, front-end development, and back-end development.

Kindly note that they are not necessarily experts in all facets, however, they see the bigger picture and they have the basic skill needed to turn your idea into a fully-functional website.


We admit that there’s a thin, blurred line between the word “web developer” and “web designer,” especially for small and medium-size companies. This is primarily because some companies offer services which entail both design and development. Also, they are essential to one another; you cannot have a development project without design and vice versa.

With the details provided in the article above, we hope that you now have a clear understanding of the distinction between both roles, and have a better idea of what’s expected of you. Contact us today to hire web designers and dedicated developers.