What is web design and development and why is it important?

In this increasingly digital age, every business is only really as good as its website. That’s why it’s so important that you have one that’s engaging, professional, functional, and true to your brand.

The terms “web design” and “web development” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they are actually slightly different things.

Web Design

Web design refers to the visual design of a website, which includes things like appearance and layout. It primarily concerns the user experience (or customer-facing) aspects.

Website design is usually performed by web designers or graphic designers. Generally, they will use two main tools. The first is hypertext markup language (HTML), which is the standard coded language used for creating websites. The second is cascading style sheets (CSS), which determine how fonts, colours, formatting, and other design elements appear.

They may also use content management systems (CMS) to create and publish content.

Web Development

By comparison, web development covers more of the back of house work. Web development includes things like web design, network security configuration, search engine optimisation, performance, loading speed, and user experience.

There are three main types of web development. The first is front-end web development, which concerns things like layout, design, interactivity, and mobile responsiveness. 

The second is back-end web development, which covers hosting, web applications, and databases. 

The third is full-stack development, which combines both front-end and back-end development. At Tomedia, we specialise in full-stack development, so that we are able to offer our clients comprehensive solutions that cover their web development needs from A – Z.

Whereas web design may be performed by web designers or graphic designers, web development is typically performed by specialised web developers.

Like web designers, web developers may use hypertext markup language (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS) during the development process. They may also use a variety of other popular programming languages, such as JavaScript, Python, Ruby, PHP, Golang, and MySQL. At Tomedia, we specialise in JavaScript, PHP, MySQL plus Web Frameworks such as WordPress, Laravel, Ionic, Electron and many more.

Generally speaking, when it comes to creating high quality websites, an approach that combines both web design and web development is recommended.

A website that has been designed and developed well will be:

  • Simple, consistent, and aesthetically pleasing in its visual appearance
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Responsive for mobile, tablet and desktop
  • Packed with great content
  • Functional
  • SEO optimised
  • Secure
  • Fast to load

Why should I hire a professional, instead of doing it myself?

It’s true that a lot of platforms exist that can help you to build a website. These include WordPress, Blogger, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, and WooCommerce. These sites are easy to use, and make web design and development simple for small business owners. However, we would strongly recommend seeking advice from a professional who specialises in these areas, especially if it is your first time making a website.

There are a few reasons for this. The biggest one is that the majority of these services rely on templates. This means it can be difficult to create a design that is 100% unique to you and your business. 

By comparison, a web designer or developer will create a website that is totally custom made, and tailored to you and your business.

Other advantages of choosing a professional include that they will be able to provide you with ongoing technical support. They are able to provide assistance with the more complex aspects of creating a website.

What does the web design and development process look like?

At Tomedia, we believe that every business deserves a great website. That’s why we specialise in affordable web design solutions that don’t cost an arm and a leg. 

Our standard web design package is as follows:

Web Design 
Design consultation
Concept designs
Two review sessions (one before development, one before launch)
Mobile/tablet responsive design
Quality assurance and testing 

Web Development
Full site development
From $2,500 for business websites


From $5,000 for eCommerce websites

Alternatively, if you would like to create a more tailored solution for your business, we would be more than happy to design a custom web maintenance plan for you. We can also create custom packages that combine our standard plan with other services (such as website maintenance, social media marketing, digital marketing, or logo design).

Please note that all pricing is an indication only. A full quote will be provided following discussion of the scope of works required. This is subject to variation based on inclusions.

Depending on the products and services used during development, additional fees may also apply for certain subscription services and products (e.g. Australia Post Shipping Options via WooCommerce). Prior to any subscription services being used, you will always be informed and asked for your approval.

A 20% deposit is also required prior to the commencement of the project, which is not refundable. The remaining 80% will be due upon completion. This can be paid in instalments over the course of the project.

Here’s what the website design and development process looks like at Tomedia:

1.   Initial consultation

At your initial design consultation, we’ll ask you some questions so that we get to know you and your business. Some of the questions that we might ask include:

  • What does your business do?
  • What products or services do you offer?
  • Who are your current and potential customers?
  • What are your long and short-term goals?
  • How would you describe your brand identity?

We’ll also ask you some more specific questions about what you’re looking for in a website, like:

  • What sort of a message do you want to be giving your customers through your website?
  • What functions or features do you need from your new website?
  • Do you have a preference for a certain type of hosting or website platform?
  • Do you have any ideas that you want to share?
  • Do you have a particular preference for certain styles or colours?
  • Do you have any examples of other businesses’ websites that you like?

2.   Research

After your design consultation, we’ll also do some of our own research. We will look at who the leaders are in your industry, who your direct competitors are, and what each one is doing with their website design.

This will help us to find out:

  • What a “good website” looks like for your industry
  • What elements or features should be included in your new website design
  • What web design elements are being overused by others in your field (and should therefore be avoided)
  • How we can make your site stand out from your competitors’

3.   Concept designs

Once we have a good idea of what your perfect website looks like, we will start brainstorming ideas and putting together a concept design.

We will usually begin by creating a mood board of different font, colour, image, and design samples. This will help you to visualise what we have in mind for your website, so we can be sure that we’re both on the same page.

We’ll also prepare some digital concept designs to showcase different design options.

4.   First review session

We will present our concept designs to you, and you will have the opportunity to provide your feedback. For example:

  • What do you like about our concept designs?
  • Is there anything you don’t like?
  • What would you like changed for the final design?

5.   Design and development

Based on your feedback on our concept designs, we will then start working on designing and developing your new website.

6.   Second review session

At this review session, we will share the final copy with you. You will then have another opportunity to provide your feedback. If there’s something that you’d like changed, we can tweak your final design accordingly.

When you are 100% happy and have approved our design, we will provide you with the login details and access to your new website.

Get started

At Tomedia, we make your website dreams a reality. We’ll take care of everything from start to finish, and deliver a beautiful, functional design that works for your business.

Website design and development can be offered as a standalone service, or as part of our more comprehensive suite of website management services for business owners. This also includes website maintenance and hosting services. To find out more about our other website services, click here.

To find out more about how our web maintenance services can help your business, contact us today at [email protected] or 0419 697 016.