Feb27

What’s the difference between a web designer and a web developer?

Posted by Sarah Holt

Webdesigner2

To web industry professionals, this question is easy as ABC. But things aren’t as black and white when you’re on the outside. 

Small business owners have a lot on their plate when they’re getting set-up online. There’s domain name registration to consider and hosting options to look into. Then there’s the look and function of your new site to consider.

This is where confusion creeps in. Many business owners mix up the terms web designer and web developer, often confusing them as the same job description or misunderstanding what skills and capabilities they possess. So let’s clear things up.

WEB DESIGNER

A web designer is a creative person with specific skills centered on graphic design and the presentation of text known as web mark-up. While they may possesses a number of additional technical skills, such as server administration or light scripting languages like as JavaScript, they are essentially concerned with a how a page looks and uses various WYSIWIG tools to get the job done.

By nature, a web designer is adverse to getting bogged down in programming, databases and other infrastructural elements that power your website. They want to creatively produce potential web designs for your site using popular software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver and possibly Flash.

At times they may help you with logo design, branding and even the user-interface, that is, how people navigate through your site.  These days he is also proficient in customizing WordPress blogs since they are so important in SEO and content marketing.

WEB DEVELOPER

A web developer is more akin to a mechanic or technician, but this is not to imply they are not creative. They are essentially involved in programming the underlying code that connects a database to a website and makes a website ‘smart’ or dynamic.

You will also find them involved in building mobile applications and other interesting programs that accept user input and then display it in creative ways on a website.  Surveys, Voting Polls, Games, Credit Card Applications, E-commerce stores are all examples of applications built by a web developer.  They will generally be skilled in specific programming languages like PHP, C#, Java, Perl, Python and have a great understanding of backend databases such as MySQL or SQL server.

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