Thursday, November 30, 2023
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HomeDesignWeb Developers Vs. Web Designers: Key Differences Between The Two

Web Developers Vs. Web Designers: Key Differences Between The Two

In 2021, there were around 4.6 billion internet users worldwide and over 1.8 billion websites. However, when researching the industry earlier this year, I came across a study that showed that only 17% of all websites are active

So I went deep diving and found various reasons for the websites becoming inactive or being shut down entirely. However, some of the biggest reasons most websites failed were their design and development deficiencies. 

One 2021 GoodFirms study revealed that web designers and developers believe that most websites fail because of the lack of responsive design. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 13% growth in employment for web developers and designers as more and more people are going online. Most clients I have come across believe wholeheartedly that a killer website design is vital to a business’s overall brand. 

However, a segment of people, especially new hopeful online entrepreneurs, don’t know whom to hire to create a killer website to promote their business. 

Hi, my name is Shovon Joarder, and I am a digital marketing consultant. I run a small up-and-coming digital marketing agency that aims to provide businesses with affordable, top-notch digital solutions. My team and I work tirelessly to ensure we deliver quality every time through direct or white-label services. 

The web designers’ and developers’ research came from a client who asked me,” web designers vs. web developers, whom do I hire, and what’s the difference between the two?” After I answered all their questions, I thought this was something I should address fully. 

So I decided to create this simple web developer vs. web designers article where I tell you the key differences between the two. 

In the following passages, you will find what web designers and developers do, their types, and the skills they usually have. I will also give you a simple run down to know whom you need to hire, depending on your goals.

But before we dive into the web developer vs. web designer stuff, let’s check out what they are first. So without any further delay, let’s start!

The Job Of A Web Designer

The job of a web designer is to deal with how a website will look. They deal with the aesthetic part of a site while also ensuring it’s user-friendly. 

Web designers are responsible for creating the site layout, creating conversion-generating elements, and ensuring mobile responsivity for all the pages. 

When I’m working on a site with a client, I make sure they get to sit down with my design team and discuss all the things they want on their site. That way, the client understands a designer’s mindset, and the designer understands what the client wants. 

When the information is set, the designers start creating an interface and user experience based on an intuitive flow and something that will be entertaining for the users. 

Once the preliminary design is completed, designers will start usability tests and look at potential user feedback. This will ensure their design aligns with the current site trends and technologies. The web designer aims to create a modern website unique to the client’s brand. 

Modern-day web designers need to have a few different skills to make it. So here is a list of web designer skillsets that I look for when I’m looking to add a designer to my team:

  • Creativity and creative problem-solving is the number one trait for designers. 
  • They need to have a good understanding of design principles.
  • Obviously, their photo editing and graphic design skills need to be better than the average person.
  • They must be good communicators to ensure they communicate their design ideas.
  • They should have some understanding and experience with SEO.
  • They should be familiar with a few different coding languages, especially the most popular ones.
  • They must be detail-oriented.
  • They should have excellent interpersonal skills to ensure compatibility with other departments.
  • They should have at least a basic understanding of marketing and business strategy.
  • They need to have a basic knowledge of project management.

From my experience, these are the core skills that a web designer should have to ensure the seamless progression of projects. However, this is strictly from my experience running a digital marketing agency, and there could be different opinions. 

But I have found that clients love working with web designers with the abovementioned skills. The tools they need depend on the project and the designer working on it. 

Different designers like to work with different types of tools, and plenty is out there. So now that you know about a web designer’s skills and tools let’s talk about the different kinds of web designers out there!

What Are The Different Types Of Web Designers?

You need to understand that, like digital marketers, web designers vary in their roles, and there are specialty positions that web designers fulfill. 

In addition, web designers usually have unique specializations that they focus on. Here are three different types of web designers that you can easily find!

User Experience (UX) Designer

A user experience designer or UX designer is responsible for creating the layout based on user feedback and comprehensive data gathered from the target audience. Their job is to ensure that the users have a great time using the website. 

User Interface Designer (UI) Designer

The job of a UI designer is to look at the various parts of the web pages and understand how users will perceive the features and interact with them. 

Their job revolves around the personal interaction of users when navigating the site. Unlike UX designers, UI designers don’t usually make data-driven decisions, and their job revolves more around the look and feel of the site. 

Visual Designers

Visual designers offer a two-in-one service. They work on both the user interface and the user experience aspect of web design. Graphic designers make sure sites have the right balance of aesthetically pleasing features and intuitive functionality. 

They are also responsible for solving any design problems that might arise while ensuring the website represents the brand’s voice, ideally within the niche. 

Depending on your needs, you may need to hire a UI designer or a UX designer for your site. My team consists of visual designers who can assist our clients with their web design needs.

Web Development Vs. Web Design explained by Shovon Joarder

The Job Of A Web Developer

Web developers are responsible for building the website from scratch. It’s a technical job requiring them to know complex coding techniques and advanced programming languages. 

They differ from web designers as they are responsible for the execution of the website rather than its aesthetic. While a web designer comes up with innovative features, the developer’s job is to make sure those features are functional. 

Their job can include coding and configuring frontend and user-facing features to working on the backend servers and databases that support the front end. A developer’s job isn’t over even after the site goes live. They must conduct post-launch tests and provide ongoing support. 

After delivery, work can be anything from regular maintenance and bug fixes to scheduled site updates. Now that you know the job of a web developer, you should know that, like web designers, there are a few different types of web developers. 

If you’ve read other blogs about web development, you already know they use various tools to work and have a wide range of skills. I will tell you about them next. Here are the web developer skills my development team looks for when working with developers:

  • They must be familiar with various front-end coding languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript.
  • They should be familiar with various backend coding languages like PHP, Java, and Python.
  • They must possess analytical skills.
  • They need to understand and experience working with content management systems (CMS) and e-commerce platforms like WordPress.
  • They must have good communication skills to ensure proper collaboration.
  • They need to be creative at problem-solving.
  • They should have some experience working with APIs.
  • They need to have project management skills.
  • They must have good interpersonal skills.
  • They should have the ability to multitask.

So these are the skills developers have in my team. I’ve seen that developers with these skills thrive in the digital landscape. Now that I’ve told you about their work and the skills they must possess, let’s talk about the types of web developers and their tools!

The Types Of Web Developers & The Tools They Use

Web developers, like web designers, have different specialization fields. It means there is just not one type of web developer. 

Instead, depending on your need, you will have your choices between a few different types. Here are the types of web developers that I work with!

Backend Developers

Their work is behind the scenes. Backend developers work on the functionality of your websites. Their work includes coding databases to server frameworks and advanced programming languages like PHP, Java, and Python. A backend developer ensures your functions properly and keeps functioning in perpetuity. 

Frontend Developers

Frontend developers are responsible for what users see when they interact with websites. They use programming languages like HTML, CSS, Javascript, and others to bring the visual elements on the page to life. 

They need to work hand in hand with the design team to ensure they create the best features and site elements that represent the project properly. 

Full-Stack Developers

A full-stack developer is someone who can do it all. They are the jack of all trades who can work on the front and the back end. It depends on where their services are needed. While they tend to be expensive, the market always has a high demand for them. 

If your project is massive or has a big budget, you should work with a front and back-end developer. However, sometimes, a full-stack developer may be all you need. 

But the biggest thing to remember when working with web developers and designers is to see if they possess the abovementioned skill regardless of the job they will be doing for you. So now that you know what the different developers are, let me tell you about their tools!

Types Of Tools Used By Web Developers

Web developers use a wide range of tools for developing sites, and you may find that web designers also use some tools. That’s because the design and development of sites go hand in hand. So here are some of the tools web developers use:

  • Code editors
  • Version control systems
  • Web application frameworks
  • FFrontendapplication frameworks
  • API tools
  • Prototyping tools
  • Project management software
  • Internal communication software

Web Developers Vs. Web Designers: When To Hire Whom?

The differences between web developers and web designers are apparent, as you can see from the job description and responsibilities I iterated above. However, having web designers and developers for your project might be what you need, but that all depends on your goals. 

Your goals will determine whether you need a backend developer, a full-stack developer, a UI or UX designer, or a visual designer. 

If you need an essential website, you may be ok with hiring only a designer who can test the usability and provide feedback on site design. 

However, suppose you have a complex project with advanced features and functionality. In that case, you will need to hire developers. The key difference between web developers and designers comes from the task they need to achieve. 

If you are hiring web developers and designers, here is a table of example tasks that you can use as a reference to know whom you need to hire:

TaskWhom To Hire?
Designing Page LayoutsYou need a web designer.
Building Contact FormsYou need a web developer.
To Create Mobile AppsYou need a web developer.
Establishing A Website’s BrandingYou need a web designer.
Fixing Server And Hosting IssuesYou need a web developer.
Editing Site Photos & VideosYou need a web designer.

Web Design & Development Go Hand In Hand

As you can see, despite stark differences between web developers and web designers, their services are usually intertwined. 

You may only need a designer, or if it’s a bit complex, you will need a developer too. It’s one of the reasons why I usually talk to my clients, understand their needs and provide them with an affordable web design and development solution. 

However, both services are typically required for a good, fully-functioning website. If you have a project in mind and are still wondering whom to hire, reach out to me without any cost. 

Send me an email, reach out to me on my socials, drop your question in the comments below or simply schedule a free consultation by arranging a meeting. 

I promise you, you and I together will find the best solution possible within budget. And that’s about it for today. I will come back with something new about web development and web design for you soon. Until then, see ya!

Shovon Joarder
Shovon Joarder
Shovon Joarder is a professional digital marketer with experience of 8+ years. He leads a small team and marketing agency based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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