Web Designer vs Web Developer: What’s the Difference

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Did you know that there are about 1.8 billion websites as of January 2018?

With this vast amount of websites, most don’t get any visitors. The competition is tight and many sites don’t survive, eventually becoming invisible and forgotten in the public eye.

To stand out among the millions of sites, you’ll need a good designer and a skilled developer. But aren’t these the same thing?

Truth is, they are very different. Not sure how to distinguish a web designer vs web developer? Uncertain which role you should hire first?

We’re here to sort this all out. Here is our quick guide explaining their differences and what each role can do for you:

1. What is a Web Designer?

A web designer is someone with a broad set of graphical skills. Among these skills involves visual design for a website.

In this case, the design aspect pertains to the customer-facing side of the website, known as the “front end”. This means the web designer focuses on the appearance of the website. This includes the layout, font, color schemes, and graphical enhancements.

Web designers are all about the user experience. To the point that they are sometimes referred to as experience designers or UX designers. They concern themselves with creating websites that are user-friendly.

After all, it only takes 50 milliseconds for a user to decide whether the website is worth visiting or not. Making the first impression is what a web designer focuses on.

2. What is a Web Developer?

Web developers are quite different from their designer counterparts. Their functions come in two different forms. These are front-end development and back-end development.

While the skills involved in these two overlaps, they hold different purposes.

Front-end web developers take the website’s visual design and build it in code. For some sites, this might be the only form of web development needed. When it comes to complex projects, however, back-end development comes into play.

Back-end web developers work on more advanced programming and interaction on web pages. They focus on how a site works and how the customers get things done on it. This includes working with code that interfaces with a database.

It may also include creating features for the website. For example, shopping carts for e-commerce, which connect to online payment systems.

3. Web Designer vs Web Developer: Skills

There are a set of different skills required when it comes to web design and development.

Web designers need to have a visual flair. They need to have skills related to visual design and how to layout a website. They need to understand how people and search engine crawlers alike view a website.

Designers, on the other hand, hone skills related to backdoor building. They need to have a strong sense of logical patterns. The tools they use, which we’ll discuss below, involve complicated algorithms and endless lines of coding.

One job requires visual creativity and the other requires logical puzzle-making. How do these skills come into play? We’ll discuss that next as we look into the tools they use.

4. Web Designer vs Web Developer: Tools

It’s true that the lines for both jobs get blurred sometimes. Web designers may learn to code while web developers may also pay attention to the visual aspects of the website.

One of their main differences shows in the tools they use for their tasks.

As web designers focus on the visual aspect of the website, they tend to use the Adobe Creative Suite. Notable tools in this package include Photoshop and Illustrator. They also have other design software in their arsenals, such as Dreamweaver and GIMP.

With these tools, they delve towards graphic design. This includes the website’s layout, the logo design, branding, typography, and even color palettes. They also pay attention to the placement of call-to-action buttons.

Many designers also get familiar with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These programming tools aid them in designing living mock-ups of the website or web app.

Templating services like WordPress are also within their reach. It aids them in creating websites using themes and widgets without the need to code.

Web developers make use of a different set of tools. Whether this is in the front-end or the back-end, they use their coding expertise to ensure that the website functions. Coding tools like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the bread and butter for a web developer.

They also use other tools like LESS or Sass, which are CSS preprocessors. They also use libraries and frameworks to ensure the system works at its finest.

Front-end developers do not use mock-ups or pick color palettes. After all, those are within the designer’s field of work. Instead, the developer brings the mock-ups to life.

This is where the knowledge of UI design comes to play. It allows them to pick the right technology to deliver and match the desired appearance and experience.

5. When Do They Work Together?

When they work together, they begin to answer both ends of the project. Web designers create the visual layout, from the color schemes to the typographies. Everything that would wow the user when visiting the site is in their list of interests to emulate.

After the designer finalizes the site’s appearance and layout, the web developer comes into play. They start making these visuals run as planned. They make sure the buttons work and the links are live.

Other portions that involve system coordination and background processes are under the developer’s range of tasks. While the designer’s visuals wow the customer, the developer makes sure that it functions right.

Hire the Best Web Designer and Developer Today!

By knowing the difference between the web designer vs web developer, you begin to understand what it takes to bring a website or web application to life.

Do you need someone to work on the appearance of the website? Or do you need someone who makes the website work behind the scenes? Or by chance, you need both of them?

Whichever you choose now, we offer web solutions to help you with your website. Contact us today and we’ll help you get started.

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