Differences Between Web Development and Design
Are you right for a web development or web design kind of career?
Understanding Web Development and Design
Web development and design are often used as interchangeable terms, but although some of their duties overlap, web designers and web developers work in two distinct spheres of website production.
While different, both web designers and web developers work hand in hand to create a visually pleasing and structurally sound website. It might help to picture a Venn diagram—in one circle are web designers, who are experts in the graphics and layout of a web page, and in the other circle are developers, who build and program the technical aspects of the site.
Where the Overlap Happens
You can usually be a great designer or developer, but it's rare to find one person who excels at both. However, there are a few overlaps.
- WordPress and other content management systems allow someone to do both design by selecting themes and development by adding widgets and plug-ins.
- Designers and developers have the common goal of websites that have good usability and accessibility.
- Both work with content producers.
If you're looking at web development and design careers but aren't sure which direction to focus on, take a look at the following chart for a side-by-side comparison.
Career Comparison Chart
|Web Development||Web Design|
|Sample Job Titles||Web Programmer, Web Developer, Information Architect, System Administrator, Project Manager||Web Graphic Designer, User Interface Designer, Webmaster, Content Developer|
|Average Annual Salary*||$111,620||$82,370|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, 2019 Edition
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.