Information Technology (IT) vs. Web Development – What’s the Difference?

Information Technology (IT) vs. Web Development – What’s the Difference?

27 Mar

Author : Kyle Serebour, Categories : Web Site Development

it vs web development

Often times, a technical person within a company is automatically labelled as someone responsible for IT services. This sometimes holds true for companies that are not completely Web oriented. When it comes to Web companies however, it is easy to make the mistake of calling a Web Developer an IT Administrator, or vice-versa.

As it turns out, Information Technology and Web Development can actually be seen on two completely different parts in the spectrum of computer science. To understand their disparity, we’re going to look into clear definitions of both terms and then an accurate job description for both an IT Administrator and a Web Developer respectively.

What is IT?

In the scope of the Web industry, IT refers to the storage, transfer, manipulation and reception of data through computer networks. While it may not be evident at first, IT represents exactly what its name implies; the technology behind the standardization and coordination of information within an organization.

Now you may be wondering what the word “information” refers to in this context. The answer is relatively simple; information refers to any form of data used by an organization and its members. Data can be anything from a simple text file written on notepad to an intricate power point presentation. Any computerized data is considered information that can be stored and transferred within an organization.

IT also encompasses the management of computer networks within an organization. The connection between all peers is in fact a part of being able to transfer and receive information.

What is Web Development?

Web development is quite different, referring exclusively to the creation and development of websites for the Internet or Intranets. This is not to be confused with Web Design which focuses solely on the aesthetics of the website. To quickly draw the line, Web Designers will often make out a design or a series of designs for a website before it’s made, and the Web Developers will base themselves on the design to do the coding of the website afterwards.

Anything from a plain text page online to a complex robust social networking site such as Facebook or Twitter is the work of Web Developers. When it comes to big websites, however, Analysis plays an important part in the outcome of the project. Developers are in charge of technical analysis of the project, which involves a large amount of thinking, discussion and planning between the team members and the client.


After getting a rundown of each of these fields, it’s already noticeable that they are quite different. The IT Administrator deals with the management of information within an organization, while the Web Developer partakes in the planning & analysis of a project and handles the technical conception of websites or intranets.

However, to be quite frank, it’s not always something you can notice right away as you walk into a Web company’s office. We’re going to outline each job’s main duties and tasks to understand exactly what each does on a daily basis.

IT Administrator

  • Configures computer networks in the company to allow easy communication between coworkers.
  • Sets up and manages existing network infrastructure within the company, assuring an organized flow of data and constant internet connection for all employees.
  • Manages all hardware and software used by the company, assuring that the software licenses are valid and the tools are functional.
  • Manages the purchase of hardware needed by the organization (computers, routers, switches, servers, etc…)
  • Assures the data and information within the company is properly kept and properly backed up in case of data loss.
  • Handles troubleshooting for any computer hardware within the organization.

Web Developer

  • Develops websites with the knowledge of the most prominent coding languages and technologies.
  • Fixes bugs on existing websites.
  • Maintains websites.
  • Interacts with clients to understand their needs and goals.
  • Collaborates with web designers to help bring the concept to reality.
  • If needed, can handle hosting and domain name configurations for websites.
  • Creates accompanying technical documentation.

At first glance these two jobs might not be as different as people think, but after reviewing the detailed descriptions of each, we notice that there is in fact very little similarity between the two. Despite this, it is not uncommon to have a web developer also be in charge of IT services, especially in the case of smaller companies since there isn’t always a dire need for a dedicated resource. In the end, the moral of the story is that these two jobs are distinct and should be considered as such.

Now that you have a better understanding of the difference, you will surely know better than to ask an IT Administrator to program your website!

Tags : IT, web development, websites

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