Web Designer vs Web Developer

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Too often the terms web designer and web developer are used interchangeably and are thought to mean the same thing. Although they may share many similarities, they are not the same thing.

It is true that they both work in the production of websites, but generally speaking that is as far as it goes. While a website designer is involved with what the visitor sees including the design and layout of a website, a web developer on the other hand is usually in charge of the technical side of things, it involves the site’s functionality which could be creating a program or element of a website.

So let’s explore each role in a bit more details.

How Are They Similar?

Unfortunately, there is a lot of overlap and integration needed between web design and web development. One can ask the question is a single individual able to do all of these things? There are some people that that have experience in both and can easily take on the role of either a developer or a designer, but most people choose to stick to one or the other.

Some designers are going to be able to do some coding as far as programming, where some programmers that are developers will be able to do some of the visual coding

Difference between Web Design and Web Development

Web Designers

Web design is typically accossiated with the process of designing the look and feel of a web site, which includes the page layout and often the graphical elements on a page as well.

A Web Designer will create the design by using programs such as Adobe Photoshop, which then provides the framework for the look and feel of a web page. It is a common occurrence these days for most to also have a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS (along with a few other Internet languages) so they can implement their designs for the purposes of site’s content layouts.

Web designers see the web differently than most. They are influenced by design ideology, are current with design trends, able to spot low resolution graphics in a single glance, these individuals are responsible for bringing the WOW to your website.

A good web designer should instinctively understand the visual aspects of marketing and what drives people to react to visual stimulation. They know what looks good and bad, and how to visually brand your company. They understand how sight drives feeling. To make your site look and feel the way it should, the web designer is right.

Web Developers

Web developers see the web the same as everybody else should. Web developers think logic, efficiency, functionality and maybe design.

Web development typically refers to the programming required to construct the “back end” of a website. The back end is the area of the site that isn’t seen by visitors, but which does the work required in order to present the right information in the correct format to the visitors.

Knowledge and Experience in website building languages such as CSS and HTML, and quite a few other Internet programming languages such as PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, Coldfusion, Perl, Java, is needed when you are a web developer.

Web Development also covers database design and development and can also be used for client-side scripting such as JavaScript and Java. It is essential that a developer must be able to collaborate with web designers and customers to get the desired effect.

In short Web development programmers create the functionality for the website, as well as do usability testing on the site, at least for the functionality they create.


So there you have it the difference between a Web designer and a web developer. They are the yin and the yang of building websites and they need to work together to assure that the website does everything that the site owner requested.

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