Do you know the difference between web design and web development? Many people make the mistake of using these terms interchangeably, but they differ in many major ways. 

Knowing the distinction between these two fields is important, especially if you don’t know yet which one to pursue. Here’s a quick comparison between web development and web design to help you get started:

Definition of Web Design and Web Development

Web design refers to the process of designing websites in a visually appealing and meaningful way. It’s focused on the website aesthetics, user experience, and usability of web pages.

Web development, on the other hand, is concerned with the internal structures of websites. It’s a process that deals with the functionality and interactivity of a website.

Both fields have inherent similarities such as providing a seamless web browsing experience. But in real life, they’re extremely different fields.

Common Job Roles 

A web designer’s main goal is to achieve visual consistency through the manipulation of creative assets. This often involves developing a visual layout, choosing the right color schemes, and arranging text and images.

Web designers not only make websites stand out visually but must also meet standards in usability. It is an integration of aesthetics into web utility.

On the other hand, a web developer’s role is more technical and complex. It often involves website maintenance and database construction.

The role of a web developer doesn’t end with the launching of a website. They still have to perform post-launch work such as debugging and internal support.

Simply put, a web designer focuses on how a website looks, while a web developer focuses on how a website functions.

Skill Requirements

Web design and web development also vary in terms of the skills needed. While there are specific skills that both must possess, there are also others that are unique to each.

For web design, an in-depth understanding of web design principles is a must. Web designers must also be aware of web accessibility standards.

Other skill set requirements in web design is conversion rate optimization, wireframing, and using design software. Soft skills are also necessary such as the ability to effectively communicate and manage expectations. 

In terms of web design, more technical skills are required. These include debugging, learning complex programming languages, and JavaScript frameworks.

Web developers must also have a good eye for detail. Analytical and problem-solving skills are also needed. 

Basically, web designers aren’t required to have web development skills and vice versa. But they can tremendously help when building websites.


Web design is concerned with aesthetics, experience, and usability. Web development is focused on functionality, interactivity, and backend processes.

Web development is more technical while web design is more visual. They also require different skill sets for practice.

Despite the solid differences, both web design and web development are essential in website building. In most cases, they’re interdependent roles that wouldn’t be complete without the other.

Knowing the difference between web design and web development is essential to find which one is for you. Haven’t made up your mind yet? Browse through our programs here at MSM Unify to find out more programs.