What is the Difference Between a Web Designer and Web Developer?

February 2, 2018
Posted in: Web Design, Web Development

Creating a website is a complex and advanced process that takes time and requires the expertise of different peoples. Some of those people are web designers, and some are web developers.

But aren’t they the same thing?

No! They’re very different. Designers mainly handle strategy and creative (the layout and look and feel), and developers handle coding, scripting, programming, and databases (the functional elements of the site).  Let’s learn a bit more below.

Web Designer

A web designer plans and designs what the site is going to look like and how the users are going to use it. Designers create a wireframe of the site, which is basically the blueprint of the website. They will use such software as Photoshop or Sketch to design the final layout of the website. A web designer will know what makes a site look great and will be up to date on the latest trends in web development. Without web design, developers wouldn’t know what to build.

Web Developer

There are two categories of web development: front-end and back-end.

Front-end development implements the visual design of the website. A front-end developer will use HTML code to create the structure of the site, and will use CSS which allows you to change the color, fonts, etc. They will also write JavaScript, which lets them trigger certain interactions within a page. They create everything the client will see.

The back-end developer creates everything that keeps the site running, such as the database and related programming using server-side languages like PHP. Back-end developers will generally install and customize a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, which creates much of the base structure of the website, then build upon it.

As you can see it could be very difficult to create a site without either. Hopefully this post helped you understand the difference between web designers and developers!

Jessica Bennett

Content Specialist
613-801-1350
[email protected]
Jessica is a contract content specialist here at Machine, and helps us populate websites, handle social media, and review our work. View full profile