The differences between being a Web Designer and Web Developer are larger than you might think. On the surface, to the everyday person, it can sound like it’s the same job. You might think that the two could be interchangeable. That’s not the case however. They do both work together to produce the end product, a beautiful fully functioning website, but their roles in getting to this end are far from the same.

Web Designer

Let’s start off with a web designer. A web designer is like an architect, and the finished website is like the building they are making the blueprints for. The web designer takes the needs of the client, the information that they receive from them, and along with research makes a layout for the site that they think would best fit with what the client is trying to accomplish. They take colors, areas of functionality, and the content from the clients and lay them out in a way that is both visually appealing, and makes sense from a usability standpoint. Usually, the web designer uses programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Experience or some comparable program to make these “blueprints”. Unlike actual blueprints, these designs are more than just lines and words. These blueprints look exactly like the end product should. Once the design is approved by the client, it moves over to the developer.

Web Developer

If a web designer is an architect, then a web developer is like the construction crew. The developers are the ones who bring the designs to life in the form of live, fully functioning websites that anyone with access to the internet can view. They use coding languages such as HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP to create these sites. Like a construction crew, sometimes you need more than one developer to finish the project. In larger companies, you may have developers that specialize in certain areas. Like construction crews need people to lay pipes, pour concrete, build the frame, put in electricity and so on, some sites require someone to build the front end of the site using HTML and CSS, and someone to develop the stuff behind the scenes using PHP or other languages to grab data that users input and to do other cool things.

In some companies the designer and developer could be the same person, but in our company we have designers and then we have developers. We both play important roles in getting the sites from concept to reality. We also have different views about what is possible and what isn’t when it comes to websites. This can sometimes cause disconnects when designs call for things that are difficult to implement. In future blogs I will discuss a few of these disconnects and how we as a team work through them. Stay tuned...

Until next time,

Zach