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Web Design Experts vs. Developers

Web designers and web developers—really, is there a difference? If you have long thought that there wasn’t, you better think again. Both terms are used interchangeably, but upon closer inspection of the finer points of each, there are actually quite a few distinctions.

How are Web Designers and Developers Different?

Seeing as they are both in the web design industry and it their job titles are similar, it is easy to just lump web designers and web developers together, but there are reasons why you should not. Aside from giving these professionals the respect they deserve by clearly understanding the nature of their expertise, differentiating between the two can help you determine exactly which one you will need when building your website. Some areas of building a website are actually done specifically by a web developer and others by a web designer, so finding and determining the appropriate professional will help you avoid grasping at straws and instead hire the right one for the job. But keep in mind that certain companies that focus on web design do offer individuals in both these professions.

Differentiating between the two will also help you determine the right price to pay when hiring an individual or company. Statistics show that web developers receive a higher average pay than web designers. So knowing the difference can help you see when you are receiving an excellent dealt or possibly paying a little too much.

More Web Design & Developer Distinctions

website designer

To reach the core of what makes these positions unique from each other, we must clarify the distinctions of the web design and the web developer experts. First, let us take a look at the website designer.

1. The Web Design Expert

The website design expert, as the name implies, designs websites. This entails manipulating the visual aspects of a website including the optimal graphics, layout, text, and colours. But there’s much more involved in than that. Website designers need to know how to use graphic design programs (e.g. Photoshop) in order to create layouts for websites, and use other programs to apply those layouts to websites.

They also need to portray a website’s content in a manner that will exude an appropriate look and feel to the target audience. Though site owners should provide content for their websites, web designers are tasked to determine how this content is displayed, and make sure that the placement of the content enables visitors to easily navigate throughout the website. This includes ensuring that the navigation is smooth and the pages within a website cross-link properly.

Website designers’ backgrounds generally include graphic design and sometimes computer programming; they also possess knowledge regarding users’ experience and preferences. Basically, their main concern is how a website looks and “feels”, and how easily users may navigate through it.

2. The Web Developer

The website developer or programmer is more involved with the technical and inner workings of a website. This includes its functionality, programming, how the pages interact with the hosting environment and how users can complete tasks. Web developers typically know and use languages like PERL, JavaScript, and AJAX) and take an extremely practical approach to create a sensible web design. They also understand how web various interactive web components integrate to render a page, understand how to create databases and program the web applications to utilise them appropriately.

Web developers often also perform compatibility testing, which includes testing for a website’s accessibility and adherence to web standards.

Construction/ Web Design Analogy

To see an even clearer distinction between web developers and web design expert, you can compare them to construction workers and interior designers. The web developers are more like the construction workers; they build the foundation, make sure the structure is strong and that it functions the way it should. The web design professionals are more like the interior designers; they make the visual aspect of the structure more appealing and user-friendly. Neither does the other’s job, but often must work together to make sure the resulting structure- in this case, your website- produces the desired outcome.

Creating a Web Design: A One Man Job?

Can one person do both web design and development to create a proper site? There are a few individuals today who claim such, but generally, most working in the industry focus on only one or the other. To end up with the best of both worlds, hire a well-established web development companywhich also specialises in web design. These companies typically employ a team of experts to guide you in the creation of a beautiful as well as functional website. Their teams tend to include website designers, developers, copywriters and search engine optimisation experts, who will make sure your new website gets the publicity it needs on the search engine results pages.

Similar to the way Henry Ford invented the assembly line to streamline the process of developing vehicles, web companies with staff that specialise in various areas of expertise utilise the same techniques when deciding the components of a project that are best suited for a developer and the ones best suited for a web design expert.

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