Computer Programming vs. Web Development: The 5 Major Differences | 2022


To the layman, the terms “computer programming” and “web development” are generally interchangeable, but in reality they refer to significantly different practices and processes. In this article we try to remove the ambiguity between these two terms and the type of professions related to each specialty. We will tell you, in non-technical language, how they are different from each other by highlighting their distinguishing features.

Programming vs Web Development

As the name suggests, computer programming is the system of writing a computer program, consisting of a series of commands that a computer follows in order to achieve the necessary result. Web development, on the other hand, is a series of actions that create a type of web application or website. Although the two specializations often overlap in their similarities, there are some important differences that are worth pointing out, especially if you want to start a career in one of these fields.

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What is computer programming?

A computer program is a set of instructions or a piece of code created in a programming language and executed by a computer to perform certain tasks. To create computer applications, programming is used.

To communicate with computers, programmers use a wide variety of programming languages, including Java, Python, JavaScript, and C++. It is the job of the programmers to translate the solutions into a language understandable by the computer. Programmers write computer programs, run the programs on computers, test them to see if they work as expected, and modify the programs as needed.

The process of creating a computer program generally involves the following phases:

  • Define the purpose of the computer application
  • Design the different work pieces that make up the entire application
  • Write the computer code to start manifesting the designs
  • Debug code to troubleshoot issues
  • Test the program as an end user to check for other issues
  • Launch the application
  • Get feedback and post next versions

What is Web Development?

Website development covers a variety of topics, including database management, web development, and web design. Activities performed behind the scenes to create a website’s stunning appearance, fast performance, and seamless user experience are known as web development. You can divide web development into two main categories:

Front end development

The interface development of an application is sometimes referred to as front-end development. It is the face of the website that the user sees and interacts with. Using CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, front-end developers turn static design into dynamic websites.

Back end development

Some websites are mostly “read-only”. This means that they simply display content and information. In this case, little or no backend development is required. However, most modern websites offer features such as user login and history on an app basis. For such working applications, the server side of things must be developed and managed. This is where data is stored, processed and where requests are processed. This is called back-end development. Fullstack developers are those who handle both front-end and back-end development.

Programming Vs. Development: Side-by-Side Comparison of the Differences

Computer programming

Web development
1. Defined as writing, compiling and executing a set of computer-understandable commands/instructions to cause the computer to perform defined tasks. Web development is the process of developing a website from its design, interface development, and backend feature development.


A programmer is often responsible for developing the codes for desktop programs and applications, as well as improving the current software standard and adding new features. A coder’s job also includes finding and fixing bugs. They can use any programming language such as Java, JavaScript and C++ to create their application.

Web developers write code in frontend languages ​​like HTML5, JavaScript and backend languages ​​like PHP, Phyton. These come together to make up the client side (interface) and server side (database operations, etc.) of a dynamic website.


A computer programmer doesn’t have to be a web developer.

Every web developer is familiar with programming languages. A programmer who can create web applications is a web developer. So, all web developers are programmers to some degree.


Programmers don’t always have to worry that their computer programs also work on mobile devices.

In today’s global web landscape, all modern websites need to be mobile-friendly and therefore web developers need to know how to design responsive and mobile-friendly websites from the start.


A programmer may have to consider the operating system the program will run on/compatible with.

A web developer will need to determine which web browsers their website/web application will be compatible with and develop the site accordingly to be compatible with most modern and popular browsers.


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