Bill Gates, the world’s most successful entrepreneur once said, “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.”
Having an online presence is a need of today, and no business can survive without it. And obviously, we are not talking about any website or an app or a software solution. We are here talking about a smart and strategized solution developed by professionals.
But here’s the catch.
Most entrepreneurs, who decide to get a solution developed, are often confused about where to go, whether they should contact a professional website development company or a software development company. Not many know the difference between web development and software development, and this is what we are going to today.
In this article, we are going to discuss the main differences between web and software development, and will also talk about when to hire a web developer or a software developer for your project.
So, let’s begin.
Web Development vs. Software Development
Both of these terms are highly confusing, especially for those who are not from a technical background. Most people either interchange the meaning or consider them to be the same. However, understanding the difference between them is very important, especially when you are looking to get an online solution developed for your business. You must be clear whether to opt for web development services or software development services.
Some may wonder why knowing the difference matters when both of these include writing codes and developing online solutions. Yes, you are right. Though both of these are more or less similar but not the same. The type of work they do is different and knowing about is important to find the right set of people for your project. So. without further ado, let us understand them both separately.
What is Web Development?
Web development is the process of developing a website for the internet. Be it a single page layout with plain text or a complex multi-page website with high-end animations and graphics, everything comes under web development.
Though there is a common presumption that web development includes writing codes for both front-end and back-end. However, this is not the case. The process of web development includes everything from web design to development to testing and deployment.
So, if you are someone looking to get a website developed for your business, you must contact a proficient website development company or highly experience web developers. There are many companies that offer custom web development services for people who are looking to get a customized website developed based on their specific requirements.
The whole process of web development is divided into two parts:
Also known as client-side development, front-end development is the process where a web developer works on the front end part of a website, i.e., the portion which a user sees. Many companies offer professional front-end development services to their clients and develop user-friendly and engaging websites that are not only easy to use but eye-pleasing too. Getting a front-end developed from a professional is very important as this is the most vital part of your website and users connect with it.
Also known as server-side development, it is the backbone of your website. This where all the coding is done. A user does not interact with the back-end but this is equally important because this is what decides how your website will work. One must opt for the best web development company for getting the back-end developed because if anything goes wrong here, the website will be non-functional.
When to Hire Web Developers?
Web developers are the ones who work on your website. They are responsible for the overall functioning and look of a website. Right from choosing the right technology to choosing the right set of tools, they decide everything and develop a website from the scratch. Not all developers are aware of all the technologies, and hence, you must find the one that specializes in the technology you want to use for your website.
For example, if you want to get your website developed using PHP, you must hire PHP developers, and if you are planning to get a website developed using WordPress, you must approach a WordPress developer.
Just like web development, web developers are also classified under three categories:
i) Front-end Developer: The one who works on the front-end/client side of a website. A front-end developer is the one who takes care of everything starting from the graphics to themes and fonts. They also decide the navigation and website flow.
ii) Back-end Developer: The one who works on the back-end/server-side of a website. A back-end developer is the one responsible for writing the codes and making your website functional. They work on building the whole infrastructure of your website and work on its scalability and robustness.
iii) Full-stack Developer: A full-stack developer is one who has complete knowledge of both the back-end and the front-end development. If you want to get a complete website developed from scratch, you must hire full-stack developers as this will save both cost and time.
Now that you have understood what web development is, let us move on to understand the nuances of software development.
What is Software Development?
Software development is a much wider term when compared with web development. It refers to writing series of code to create various computer software and applications in a specialized computer-coded programming language. And to understand what software is, it is a set of instructions developed to tell a computer what to do.
Chrome, MS Office suite, Skype, Slack, etc. are a few examples of computer software. Software development is a much-demanded career in the IT industry. And to get efficient software developed, you must contact a professional software development company as they are the ones having both immense technical expertise and development skills.
The software development process is known as Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and follows six main steps:
1. Market Research: Before you plan to get software developed, you must do extensive market research and brainstorm all the possible opportunities to ascertain the product’s viability.
2. Requirement Analysis: This is where all the technical and user needs are analyzed, and an outline is drawn to understand all the other requirements.
3. Software Design: This is where things like architectural design, relevant components, front-end representation, and user flow of the software are determined.
4. Development and Implementation: Everything that has been decided in the earlier stages is implemented. Here the coding of the software product is done.
5. Testing: Once everything is designed and developed, a series of tests are conducted to determine its functionality.
6. Deployment and Maintenance: Once the software developers are satisfied with what they have developed, and no errors are found, the software is then deployed. After the release, the regular update and maintenance of software are done by the maintenance department of the software development company.
Software are hardware-independent and can be classified under three major categories:
The system software is used to run hardware components of a computer. OS like MS Windows, device drivers like USB Drivers, utility software like WinRAR, are a few examples of system software.
Application software is a custom software designed for users to accomplish a specific task. MS Word, Google Docs, MS Access, etc., are a few examples. To get any of this software, one must opt for custom software development services as they are the ones who create a product based on specific requirements.
They are the ones that help programmers to write their programs, codes, and instructions. Eclipse, Coda, Notepad++ are a few examples of programming software.
When to Hire Software Developers?
Software developers are the ones who render a wide range of custom software development services. They are experts in designing and developing software, compatible with desktops, smart phones, and other electronic devices.
Software developers are responsible for writing codes that make your computer work. Not just design and development, they are also responsible for debugging code errors, upgrading user interfaces, and more. So, if you are looking to get software developed for your specific need, you must reach out to a skilled software development company, and hire experienced software developers who match your requirements.
Summing it Up
Talking about the key difference between software development and web development, here are a few points to consider:
Architecture: Software development works only for the client-side whereas web development focuses on both client and server.
Design: Software is usually simple and basic whereas websites are filled with high-end graphics and animations.
Content: Software has panels with static content whereas websites have both static and interactive content.
System: One can access software only from a computer where it is mounted, while a website can be accessed from any platform having an active internet connection.
Host: Software development does not require any hosting as opposed to web development where hosting is a must.
So, considering all these above points, and based on your requirements, you can easily choose whether you are looking for web development services, or software development services. Once you know this, you can easily hire the experts and get a professional solution developed.