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What’s the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development

By Snap Agency March 23, 2018

Web design and web development. They’re two of the most common terms thrown around in the digital marketing world. You most likely already know that these two services are important to your brand, but where one begins, and the other starts may elude you. And that’s understandable. To anyone outside of a digital agency, web design and web development are so closely related that it makes more sense to think of them as one entity. But make no mistake, there is a definite difference between the two disciplines, and today we’re going to walk you through just a few of those fundamental distinctions.

What is Web Design

Web design put simply, is responsible for the look and feel of your website. A Web Designer will partner with a client and create an extensive framework on which a website can be built. It is the Web Designer who needs to envision how a user will interact with your site and formulate opportunities for further engagements. The Web Designer will help you to create your website’s long and short-term goals and refine your brand’s online image.

Web design is all about elements. Think of a Web Designer as a farmer. It’s their job to choose which crops will be most lucrative on the market and then plant those seeds and nurture those fruits and vegetables until they’re mature enough to be sent to a chef to be combined to make a mouthwatering meal.

While our Designers don’t get down and dirty planting cabbages or strawberries, they do use their time-honed skills to craft layouts, color profiles, custom graphics, typography, and more. Your website’s design needs to be an extension of your brand, not an intrusion. That’s why it’s so important for our Web Designers and your internal teams to maintain communication throughout the entire web design process.

What is Web Development

If Web Designers are farmers, then Web Developers are our chefs. A Web Developer’s primary role is to make your website functional. Once your Web Designer has created a stunning wireframe for your site, it’s the job of the Web Developer to make that design come to life.

A Web Developer will take your wireframe and bring it to life with cross-platform functionality and responsive design integration. Additionally, it’s the role of the Web Developer to make every aspect of your new site readable to search engines. Having a pretty website is great, but if Google can’t crawl said site, then you’ve just wasted hours of your time.

Our Web Developers are technological wizards that can code anything on just about any platform. From PHP to .NET, we’ve been there, we’ve done that. But, a Web Developer’s job doesn’t end once your new site has been built. At Snap, our Developers will continue to provide ongoing support and marketing services well past your launch date. Because after all, if you just received a new website, you should be able to use it whenever you want. From SEO to coding updates, with our full host of internal digital services, you can rest assured knowing that your new website is in good hands at Snap.

Why Good Web Design and Web Development Matters

The value of a well-crafted website goes far beyond its outward appearance. Ask yourself; when’s the last time you sat and waited for a slow website to load, and how long did you wait? Five; nine; 11 seconds? Anything longer than that and you probably just exited the page and went back to Google to click on the next search result listed.

You’re not alone in this. When just looking at words on a page, 10 seconds sounds like a trivial amount of time, but when you look at bounce rate data, a troubling trend emerges. Studies have shown that today’s internet users expect a site to load within 2 seconds or less, with estimated losses of up to 1% for every 100ms delay. Just to make sure we’re all on the same page; a ms is a millisecond, which is equal to a thousandth of a second (0.001).

That could mean that a one to two-second delay in load time is losing you hundreds or thousands of visitors. But what does all of this have to do with web design and web development? Simple; it’s your website’s design and development that will determine how fast or slow your site loads. Not only that, but it’s your website’s functionality and overall design that’s either going to attract or repel visitors.

The ROI Behind Good Web Designs and Development

Time is money, and in a digital space where your money literally depends on the time it takes for your website to load, web performance and design is a big deal; it’s why we invest so much time expanding our web design services. But load time isn’t the only determining factor when it comes to determining your website’s ROI.

There are quite a few reasons why people don’t trust poorly designed sites. Most commonly, we hear the following as to why users are either bouncing off sites or not converting:

  • The website has an inappropriate name, or the branding and messaging fail to make it clear what services or goods the company provides.
  • The website has a hard to understand, or busy layout, that lacks navigation aids.
  • The website has poor or no search facilities or indexes, making finding information hard.
  • The website uses unimaginative stock photography, an unprofessional design, or an inappropriate use of colors.
  • The website has a wall of text as the first thing the visitor sees above the fold, or the text on the website is too small or unreadable.

At Snap, we use the below formula to help our clients discover their website’s existing or improved ROI. If you’re still undecided about either redesigning your website or having a new website built altogether, we strongly encourage you to use the below formula to check your site’s performance. If the resulting number is anything less then you’re hoping for, then it’s time to talk.

(Leads x Closing Rate)(Price – Delivery Costs) = Web Design ROI

With over a decade spent in the e-commerce space and over 700 projects completed across B2B, B2C, and e-commerce markets, we know what’s what when it comes to web development and web design. If you’re looking for web design or web development services in Minneapolis or beyond, we urge you to give our web wizards a call today.