What Differentiates a Web Designer From a Web Developer?


When you want to get a website created for your business or personal reasons, one of the biggest question a person generally wonders is, do I need a web designer or a web developer? The truth of the matter is, they are not all that different; they have somewhat of the same goals- main goal being to create an epic, flawless website for their customers. Of course, however, there are keys ways that make how they achieve those goals, different.


Before diving into major differences, in a nutshell here are the definitions of both.



Web Design is the aesthetic element of a website. The layout, theme, colours, usability, all of those fall under this category. Generally, web designers use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to create these elements for a website.


Web Development is the technical element behind the design to make it come to life. Developers use CSS, HTML, Javascript and other programming languages in order to create the functioning elements of the site.



A web designer is always to keep in mind the goals and objectives of the client. They want to stay true to the client’s needs and visions at every stage, and make sure they see the progress after each stage. This is so when the site is developed, the client is aware of everything upfront. That way they have exactly what they want, and if they want any changes, they can say it earlier on, instead of later when it is all done. The transparency makes it easier for all parties that are involved.


From an information architecture that sets the websites information hierarchy, to the design process- that is the overall job of a web designer.



Now as for the developers part in all this, it comes after the design is fully complete. The developer will take this design and make it fully functioning. Before the developer does any work on the site, the design is simply a non-moving image. After the coding is added by the developer, the site comes to life- navigation, images, texts, all are now moving parts.


In order to develop the pages, they will either use HTML or more advance coding like PHP. The site goes from being static to dynamic. At this stage as well, the client needs to be involved. Remember that they have a vision, and it is the designer and developers job to make the vision come to life.


Just because designers and developers have set roles and responsibilities, it is very common for the two to know the skills of the other in order to work better together.



Will this design be able to work with this coding? Will this code change the way this site is laid out?


Those are amongst some of the things both parties keep in mind when working on their individual tasks. Importantly, if a designer does not know the programming side of things, it will be hard for them to determine how the end user will view the site or application, and how they will navigate it.


So, while they are not all that different, website designers and developers both have very unique features, as well, that go into the creation of a website.  

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