In the most simplest terms, website design refers to a straightforward website design or e-commerce website that is typically used to serve a normal-sized business. You can think of website design as the customer-facing side of the website as a website designer is primarily focused on the appearance of the website and how customers interact with it. With good website design, your website should not only be attractive, but it should also be extremely easy for your customers to navigate their way through your website.
Web development, on the other hand, really refers to what's happening behind the scenes of a project more complex than a basic website design. Instead of being concerned about the appearance of a website, web developers make it a priority to build custom applications that are technically sound with clean code. If you want a more customized solution for your business such as building a reporting application to measure the performance of your programs, you will need to involve a web development team.
Which Do I Need?
As you can see, website design and web development can be two very different things. For your brand's forward-facing website, you'll need to hire a website design firm. For a customized solution or application, you'll need to hire a web development team or a design firm capable of custom web development. This is why it's a prudent decision to find a digital marketing firm that offers specialists in each area to collaboratively build your project.
Partnering with a digital marketing agency that employs designers and developers in-house can help to ensure that a hands-on approach is taken with all of your projects.