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

For the layman, the terms ‘computer programming’ and ‘web development’ are usually interchangeable, but in reality, they refer to significantly different practices and processes. In this article, we try to clear the ambiguity between these two terms and the type of professions tied with each specialism. We’ll tell you, in non-technical language, how they’re different from one another by pointing out their distinguishing characteristics.

Programming vs. Web Development 

As implied by its name, computer programming is the system of writing a computer program, composed of a series of commands that a computer follows in order to get the necessary outcome. Web development, on the other hand, is a series of actions that creates a type of web application or website. While the two specializations often overlap in similarities, there are stark differences worth pointing out, particularly if you’re interested in starting 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 carry out certain tasks. To create computer applications, programming is used.

To communicate with computers, programmers employ a wide variety of programming languages, including Java, Python, JavaScript, and C++. It is the job of programmers to translate solutions into language that the computer can understand. Programmers write computer programs, run the programs on computers, test the them to see if they’re functioning as designed, and modify the programs as needed.

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

  • Chart out the objective of the computer application
  • Design the different working parts that make up the whole application
  • Write the computer code to start manifesting the designs
  • Debug the code to fix any issues
  • Test the program like an end user to check for other issues
  • Launch the application
  • Get feedback and release subsequent versions

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What is Web Development?

Development of websites covers a variety of topics, including database management, web development, and web design. The activities carried out in the background to create a website’s stunning appearance, quick performance, and seamless user experience is referred to as web development. You may divide web development into two main categories:

Frontend Development

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

Backend Development

Some websites are mostly ‘read-only’. This means they just display content and information. Not much, if any, backend development is needed in this case. However, most modern websites offer functionalities like user login and history, depending on the premise of the application. For such working applications, the server-side of things needs to be developed and managed. This is where data is stored, processed and requests are responded to. This is called back-end development. Fullstack developers are those that take care of both front end and back-end development.

Programming Vs. Development: Side by Side Comparison of Differences

  Computer Programming


Web Development
1. Defined as writing, compiling and executing a set of computer understandable commands/instructions to get the computer to do defined tasks. Web development is the process of developing a website from designing it, developing the interface and developing the backend functionalities.



A programmer is often in charge of developing the codes for desktop programs and apps, as well as for enhancing the present software standard and adding new features and functionalities. The work of a coder also includes finding and correcting bugs. They may use any programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, and C++ to create their application.


Web Developers write code in front end languages like HTML5, JavaScript and Backend languages such as PHP, Phyton. These come together to make for the client-side (interface) and the server-side (database operations, and so forth) of a dynamic website.




A computer programmer need not be a web developer.


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




Programmers need not always worry about their computer programs also working on mobile devices.


In the current global webscape, all modern websites must be mobile friendly and so web developers must know how to design responsive, mobile-adaptive websites from the get-go.





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


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