Web Designer vs Web Developer: What Are the Differences?

Topics: Web Design, Web Development Written on November 28, 2022 by Surfaced Media
web designer vs web developer

Roughly 5.07 billion people worldwide use the internet.

With such a large percentage of the population using the web, almost any business needs a strong online presence to grow and succeed. This starts with a good website, and there are various elements to creating a site for your business – you may even have one already that simply needs some work.

When looking at a web designer vs a web developer, there are several differences. Knowing what these differences are will help you determine which you need to help your business.

For a comparison between the two, read through this web developer vs web designer guide.

What Is a Web Designer?

A web designer is responsible for the overall look and feel of a website. This can be done using HTML and CSS, but often also involves other software like photoshop. Not all web designers are the same, and they often specialize in certain areas.

Types of Web Designers

A UX web designer is dedicated to providing a good user experience. Their role is to make sure your customers enjoy using your website, as this will keep them on there for longer and encourage them to come back. To do this, they need to do thorough research into your target audience to figure out the demographics they’re designing for.

A UI web designer works on making the interactivity of your website better. The UX designer will focus on making your website functional and enjoyable to use, while the UI designer will make it look and feel good to users.

Visual designers essentially take on the responsibilities of both a UX and a UI designer. They solve functional issues, while also improving the aesthetics of your site. They have a broad set of skills that they can employ depending on what you need.

What Is a Web Developer?

In many cases, a web developer will work to make a designer’s concept become a reality. While the designers act more as visionaries, developers are the builders. Using tools like JavaScript and JQuery, a developer will build the framework of websites to make sure they function properly.

Like designers, there are multiple types of web developers.

Types of Web Developers

A back-end developer has a high level of skill when it comes to complex coding languages like C# and SQL. They use this to build the core structure of websites on servers and databases, alongside testing and bug fixing. As such, this part of the website isn’t seen by users and determines the core functionality of a site.

Front-end developers work on the client side of a website – everything that the user sees. This involves using coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build out a site. The work a front-end developer does will dictate what users see on their screen and how they can interact with a website.

A full-stack developer can do it all. They can work on both the back end and the front end to get everything done. As an expert in all areas, a full-stack developer can often be considered the best web developer for a full website build.

Web Designer vs Web Developer: Which Do You Need?

The details given above should give you a better idea of whether you need a web designer or a web developer. Sometimes certain tasks can overlap, so either a designer or a developer could be capable of doing them. For other tasks, it’s clear that only one of these would be suitable.

To get a quick idea of whether you need to hire a web developer or a web designer, the below projects can be associated with one or the other.

  • Designing a new homepage layout – web designer
  • Creating new branding for a website – web designer
  • Editing media such as images and videos – web designer
  • Building a new contact form – web developer
  • Fixing server/hosting issues – web developer
  • Creating a mobile app – web developer

These are just a few examples of some of the tasks that go into creating a website. Your specific needs will determine whether you need a web developer or a web designer. For larger jobs, such as building an entire website, you’re likely to want both to make sure everything is done well.

You may be uncertain about which would be best for you, or even what specific tasks you need. This is where web development agencies like Surfaced Media come in. We can discuss your wants and needs, then determine the best way to get the results you’re after.

With a solid strategy in place, we can balance work as needed between our web developers and web designers so that you can get the perfect website. We also offer several other services that may be able to help your business, such as social media strategy development, PPC management, and SEO (search engine optimization).

Creating the Perfect Website for Your Business

When looking at a web designer vs a web developer, the developer is who builds the core of the site, and the designer is the one that gives it the right look and feel. Knowing which you need will depend on what you’re hoping to produce.

Every business is different, so you’ll want your website to represent your brand and appeal to your audience. At Surfaced Media, we have years of experience in both website design and development. To find out more about what we can do for you, click here to contact us today.

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