Web Design vs Web Development — What's The Difference?

Published on: January 31, 2023


As businesses shift to the digital landscape, the need for web design and development is bound to increase. While novices often mix web design and application development, these are different fields. 

For web development, a team of web developers works to create code and modify the website's layout while focusing on its functionality. Web development includes developing the website's content and structure to working with web hosting providers and search engine optimization experts to make your site visible. 

On the other hand, web design requires web designers to create a compelling and user-friendly website from start to finish. This includes developing the site's concept, designing its layout and graphics, choosing font style, web page styling, branding, etc. 

By 2027, the worldwide Web Development market is anticipated to be worth $89013.17 million, up from its 2021 valuation of $56000.0 million. And the size of the graphic design market in the USA is estimated at $12.7 billion. Also, 75% of users judge a website's reliability based on how professional it seems. This means the demand for graphics and web design is only going to increase in times to come.

Let’s get started with the basics before dwelling on website design vs. website development.

What is web design?

Web design plays a major role in digital marketing as it helps businesses create an attractive and user-friendly website that caters to their mobile customers (92%). It involves creating and maintaining a website, designing its user interface, coding its content, and integrating it with other services such as e-commerce and social media platforms. With the rapid growth in mobile searches, businesses need to create a website optimised for mobile devices. 

Google reported that mobile searches have increased by more than 55% year-over-year, and mobile searches now account for more than half of all Google searches. This trend will likely continue in the years ahead, making web design an important factor in any successful digital marketing strategy.

Web development has evolved into a more data-driven discipline in recent years. Web designers now have access to robust resources that allow them to monitor visitor activity, enhance content for search engine optimization, and evaluate the effectiveness of various design options. Use this data to tailor your offerings to your audience's tastes and needs.

What is web development?

Building websites and other online-based software are known as "web development." Web development entails using markup languages like hypertext markup language (HTML), cascading style sheets (CSS), and JavaScript. When building mobile applications, websites, online apps, and more, web developers rely on web technologies like ASP.NET, PHP, MySQL, and other programming languages.

Web development is an ever-evolving field that can be difficult to understand. As a customer, it's important to have some basic knowledge of web development so you can make informed decisions when selecting the right provider for your project. At its core, web development involves creating websites or applications that are accessible on the internet. 

It ensures your site looks well on desktop computers, tablets, mobile phones, and all the other devices people use to access the internet nowadays.

Coding languages like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript/jQuery, and frameworks like Bootstrap or ReactJS are used to build dynamic websites with user-friendly features like online form submission and e-commerce support. Building a website that functions as intended and delights visitors is always priority number one (UX).

Web Design vs. Web Development

Web development and web design are two distinct disciplines in website creation. Both are essential for creating a successful website but have different roles. Web design and web development are often used interchangeably, but they each refer to distinct processes within the broad umbrella of web production. Web design is creating visual elements that attract and direct viewers, while web development is constructing the actual structure of a website. 

Let’s take a closer look at the two to understand the difference between website design vs. web development

#1. Primary areas to focus

Web design focuses on a website's visual aspects, including its layout and user interface. It involves using HTML, CSS and other coding languages to create an aesthetically pleasing look for users when they visit your site. The difference in designing and developing a website rests on how creatively web designers think and execute innovative solutions. Their goal is to make visitors want to stay on your page longer or return in future visits. 

On the other hand, web development is concerned with how websites function from behind the scenes. It involves writing code so users can interact with content through forms or databases while ensuring all elements work together properly without any technical glitches. Developers need a good command over programming languages like JavaScript or PHP and an understanding of database structures to build dynamic websites that effectively meet customer needs by providing them access to information quickly and easily.

#2. Tasks involved

The web design tasks are usually related to creating an intuitive experience for website viewers. It focuses on the elements that will be visible and interactive for users. In short, web designers create the look and feel of a website.

Web development tasks involve coding and scripting to build websites from the ground up. It makes websites functional by connecting the elements designed in web design to the backend databases that store information like usernames and passwords or product catalogues. Web developers write code to create interactive features such as forms, shopping carts, search bars, and more. They also may be in charge of optimising a website’s performance and security.

#3. Skills required

Web designers

Web design skills are usually based on creativity. The role of web designers is to ensure visual consistency in branding elements and offer easy-to-view options to viewers. This requires creativity to choose colours, fonts, images, and other design elements that appeal to users. 

Software Knowledge

Knowledge of software used in web design, such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, is essential. Experienced designers have the technical skills to manipulate images and create professional graphics to cater to website requirements. 


Web designers should also understand HTML (HyperText Markup Language) to ensure their designs are properly displayed on websites. HTML knowledge helps create interactive website elements such as drop-down menus or image galleries. 

UX Design

UX (User Experience) design involves understanding how people interact with websites and apps, then designing with those interactions in mind. UX designers must consider how users navigate a website or use an app to create a positive experience.

Web Developers

Becoming a good web developer requires several skills, both technical and non-technical. Technical skills include knowledge of programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and frameworks such as Ruby on Rails and Angular. Non-technical skills are just as important as technical skills in web development. Good communication and strong problem-solving skills are essential, as developers must be able to work with clients to understand their needs and develop solutions.

Software Knowledge

 Knowledge of software packages used for web development requires understanding how different programs work together and can make coding much more efficient and accurate. Web developers' most popular software tools include HTML and CSS editors, frameworks, and content management systems. HTML and CSS are the core languages used to create websites, and web developers use specialised editors to write, edit, and debug code. Web developers also use frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation to provide them with tools to develop websites quickly. Content management systems allow web developers to create, manage, and edit website content without writing code.

Coding Languages

A good understanding of coding languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP is essential for web development projects. Strong knowledge of these programming languages allows a developer to write efficient code quickly and accurately. 

Database Knowledge: Knowledge of database programs such as MySQL or Oracle is often necessary when working on larger projects or creating databases for dynamic websites that require quick access to large amounts of data (such as ecommerce sites). 

Debugging Skills

Experienced software developers can leverage debugging skills to quickly find problems within their code and fix them before they cause any major issues with the website's functionality or performance. These skills are crucial for ensuring that websites run smoothly without any bugs or errors.


The cost of a web design project depends heavily on its complexity and the scope of work required. Generally speaking, a simple website may cost $5,000 to $25,000, while more complex websites can easily cost upwards of $40,000 or more. It is important to note that these estimates do not include the cost of hosting nor any customization or content additions after the initial launch of the website. 

On the other hand, web developers charge an hourly rate ranging from €30 to €200 an hour, depending on their experience, expertise, location, and project complexity. For instance, projects like building an e-commerce store or a custom web application with complex features could range from $50,000 to $150,000 or even more. Additionally, if certain elements, such as shopping carts or integration with third-party services, are needed, additional costs would have to be considered depending on their complexity.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, web design and development are distinct disciplines that often overlap. Web designers are responsible for creating attractive user interfaces and ensuring users can easily navigate a website. On the other hand, web developers are responsible for coding the back-end of a website, ensuring that it works properly and is secure.

While both roles are important for creating a successful website, the two jobs have different focuses and require different skill sets. Web designers must have an eye for aesthetics and be able to create user-friendly websites. Web developers must understand how to use code to create secure and functional websites. Both web design and web development are essential components of a successful website.

Choosing Square Root Solutions for web design and development can boost your business's digital presence. Our web designers and developers specialise in helping businesses and entrepreneurs create the perfect website for their needs. We have years of experience in web design and development and have a team of talented and experienced professionals dedicated to creating user-friendly, beautiful websites that reflect the brand’s vision. With Square Root Solutions, you can be sure that your website will be modern, professional, and secure.

It is time to make an excellent choice for businesses looking for exceptional web design and development services in Ireland. Connect with our experts.

Sarah Scully - Chief Marketing Officer of Square Root solutions!

Sarah Scully

Chief Marketing Officer

Sarah is a chief CMO at Square Root Solutions. As a software developer, she excels in developing innovative and user-centric software solutions. With a strong proficiency in multiple programming languages, she specializes in creating robust and scalable applications. Besides her passion for software development, she has a keen interest in culinary adventures, enjoying a variety of unique and interesting foods.

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