What’s the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development?

Web design primarily concerns the site's form, while web development is focused on function.

Here are some basic definitions of web design and web development to illustrate their differences. I'll also provide a brief overview of which discipline you may want to learn.

What is Web Design?

Web design refers to the aesthetics of a website, i.e., the look, feel, and functionality of the page from an end-user’s perspective. To build these elements, web designers merge innate creativity with learned skills in graphic design, color theory, typography, composition, user interface (UI) / user experience (UX) design, and digital marketing.

What is Web Development?

Web development refers to writing and managing the code that makes websites function. Essentially, a web developer brings the web designer’s ideas to life. Web developers wield expertise in programming and scripting languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby & Java, and various code libraries, frameworks, and database technologies.

Which Should You Learn?

If you’re more of an artistic, creative type, then web design is likely the path for you. If you’re more of an analytical problem-solver, then web development is a better fit. That said, web design and web development go hand-in-hand. For some people, specializing in either design or development is the way to go. Many web professionals will benefit from learning overlapping skills in each discipline, increasing their effectiveness, job prospects, and earning potential.

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