Web design and web development: what exactly is the difference?

The terms “Web Design” and “Web Development” are often confused and therefore end up being used interchageably, when in fact they are two very different things.

Web designers look after the look and feel of your website. They use graphic software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create a template for your website, which can then be turned into a website in a variety of ways, from a simple HTML based site to a complex, dynamic web application written in a web language such as ASP.NET, Java and ColdFusion.

So, bespoke web design simply refers to a design created especially for your website’s needs (rather than using a ready-made template), regardless how this design is then implemented on the site.

Bespoke web development, on the other hand, requires the ability by a qualified programmer to write new code from scratch, which will deliver whatever functionality is needed in a web page.

Make no mistake, true bespoke development is highly skilled, time-consuming and therefore (you have guessed it) very expensive indeed. If you have ever requested a quote from a web developer, you will have first-hand knowledge of this.

But fear not, because the web community is a wonderful thing, and it always comes to the rescue of businesses and individuals on a budget.

Content Management Systems, or CMS, are pieces of software created by teams of (very clever) developers with two main objectives in mind:

  1. Allowing web designers to quickly apply their templates to a pre-developed framework, ready to deliver dynamic functions such as database integration;
  2. Making it possible for website owners without an extensive knowledge of web languages to update their content easily, through the use of an uncomplicated and secure control panel.

Some of the best known CMS platforms are WordPress (which is used by over 60 million websites worldwide), Drupal and
Joomla
. Each offers slightly different features, so it’s usually up to the web designer to choose the best platform for the job.

The best part is, most of these systems are open-source, which means you can install them for free, customise them for your individual needs and use them to drive any type of website, including commercial ones.

In addition, most CMSs offer automatic update systems which keep your website working correctly when servers and browsers change to newer versions.

What does all of this mean for your business? Quite simply, your website can now boast similar features to a bespokely developed site, without massive setup costs and the financial burden of ongoing website maintenance.

WebRightNow has a long experience of customising CMS platforms to deliver the exact look and feel required by the design, with all the added advantages offered by dynamic, stable and widely used systems.

Please get in touch for a quote or take a look at our web design packages to get on the web right now.