What’s the difference between a web developer and a web designer?
The terms are interchangeable in many circles but are they really the same? It depends!!
A person who chooses to call themselves a web designer might decide to do so if they’re better at design than coding. They might enjoy taking previously created templates that are already built and redesigning the photos and/or colors to suit the new project. Some web designers are strictly graphic designers… they literally design the website as an image and then hand it to a developer who can make it happen online. Then some web designers actually use the title because they believe that more people search for that phrase when looking for their services, even when they’re usually coding.
In general, people choose the word “designer” to express the notion that they’re a creative who uses their vision of what the finished product should look like to guide their preferences while working on projects. Some web designers work at a lower rate because of their lack of coding experience and some charge extra because of their design prowess. Most web designers will be able to at least alter existing code when necessary and can do a lot of filling in for missing graphic designers. Some web teams are required to work with whatever media is provided by the graphic design team and some are expected to obtain or create the media in a manner that would be user-friendly to viewers online.
Web designers are concerned with the appearance of the front side of the site that visitors see and are helpful with sales funnels and what the industry terms “UX” or “user experience”. They might also be helpful with tasks like ad design for banner and display ads.
A person who calls their self a web developer is probably much more capable with a website’s backend or interactive features. They might also be great with design but they just want to showcase the fact that they know coding too! They know how to take the design and bring it to life online with elements that engage the viewer and with scripts that work to complete tasks. A web developer would, for example, be adept at creating and using databases and would be able to make the site responsive to various sized viewing devices. They would be able to ensure that the site is optimized for search engine ranking and would keep the site secure.
Some web developers charge less when performing web design duties and a little more for complex scripting or programming. In general, developers tend to charge more because of the many benefits they provide. For example, they can integrate software or scripting that works on your own server eliminating the need for third party subscriptions to services for mailing campaigns, analytics, chat, or form processing.
So which should you hire for your project? Ideally, a person or small team offering both UX design and web development is the best bet. Many designers and developers, as they progress in their careers become aware of the fact that being solely one or the other is not profitable, so they do both. How well a person does both depends on factors like talent, skill, experience, and attention to detail.
A full-service web agency like Eliyahna Creative or an advertising agency will have staff ready to handle requests for both web design and web development as well as SEO and graphic design. This kind of agency is the perfect answer for most business projects online because it allows you to keep everything together so that the developer knows what the designer recommended and the SEO works with the developer to ensure premium placement and exposure after publication.