What is the difference between web design and web development?

From time to time you may see the terms web design and web development intermingled and while they may be related, they are very different concepts.

Web design is the process of laying out web pages. Where to put the text, the images, the logo, the buttons – which fonts to use etc. A good web designer will have the skills to make the page attractive, intuitive and provide an overall good user experience.

Web development is the process of making a website functional. So a web designer can lay out a page and position buttons on that page – the web developer handles the functionality of those buttons. Imagine a registration form – the designer will design what the user sees (text boxes, dropdowns, checkoxes etc) and the developer will handle what happens when the user clicks on the submit button. They will look after error handling (valid inputs), business logic, saving details to database, and communicating messages back to the user. The developer will use technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL, and server-side programming languages (e.g. Java, PHP, C#, Ruby, Python) to achieve the desired functionality.

Not everybody has web development skills however and platforms like WordPress, OpenCart, Joomla exist so that web designers can create websites without the need for web development skills. WordPress comes with some great functionality out of the box and can be extended by hundreds of thousands of third party add-ons. We use WordPress for the majority of our business website solutions.

At ClearSoft, we are web designers and web developers – so that means that when a client comes to us with requirements that can’t be satisfied by WordPress or the other open source platforms – we can build them a website with custom functionality. We can apply our design and development skills to build out the solution as requested – and that’s where we believe that we can stand out from the crowd.


Web design and web development are complimentary but different things. Think of a web designer as a painter/decorator and the web developer as an architect / builder. By working together they can build beautiful and functional sites. At ClearSoft, we’re your one stop shop for web design and development.

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