Web Design And UI/UX

Web Designer vs Web Developer: What Is The Difference?

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 23/02/228 min read
Web Designer vs Web Developer: What Is The Difference?

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Web Design
  • Web Development
  • Difference Between Web Designer and Web Developer
  • Web Designer vs Web Developer: What Is the Difference?
  • Which One Should You Pick?
  • Key takeaways
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

With almost 90% of our world transformed into a digital reality, web creation is one of the budding career paths. We all have heard of terms like web designing and web development. While they almost sound like similar job profiles, there is a significant difference between a web designer and a web developer. 

When it comes to the difference between web designer and web developer, most of us have a basic understanding that a web designer is like a graphic artist. In contrast, a web developer is responsible for coding. However, that is not the only difference between the two.

There is a huge difference between them in reality. This entails clear and marked differences in their skill sets, job profiles, salaries, and what actual work the two professions entail. 

Let’s understand the differences between these two by taking a closer look into each area of work separately.

Web Design

The role of a Web Designer

A web designer is the one responsible for the look of the website. Their task is to enhance the style and overall feel of it. Their go-to software to do this job is Photoshop and Corel Draw, which help make the website look more appealing. The layout and the visual elements of a website are part of the web designer’s responsibility. 

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Not only do they ensure that a website is good to look at, but they also make sure that it is user-friendly. They take care of the general structure of a website and its layout and construct conversion-generating elements within that layout. The web designer needs to design the web page in a manner compatible with different devices and mobile-friendly.

Web designers are also responsible for creating and managing web design contracts, website briefs, website proposals, and design questionnaires. While designing is the primary task of a web designer, research and testing are an embedded part of their job profile. They also overlook performance checks, content creation updates, maintenance, and site mockups. 

Types of web designers

Before we dive right into the major difference between a web designers and web developers, we also need to understand the various types of web designers and the skills they need to possess to become web designers. 

There are three broad categories under web design – User Experience (UX), User Interface (UI), and Visuals.

1. UX Designers

They ensure that the website is rightly structured to increase engagement. 

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They are the ones that create human-centric designs based on data-driven decisions. Research and testing are a crucial part of their job.

UI Designers

UI designers are concerned with enhancing the user interface. Their main focus is interactions on the website.

While a UX designer focuses on the structure, a UI designer works on improving the website’s usability to lead to more conversions.

2. Visual Designers

Visual designers are solely concerned with visual elements and the website’s overall layout. Their work combines both enhancing the attractiveness of the website and improving its usability at the same time.

Web designers use several software and tools such as website builders, CMS, designer editing software, photography resources, optimization and compression tools, and more. 

  • The Skill Set Web Designers Need

While the skills a web designer need depend specifically on their task in web design, there are a few important prerequisites for being a web designer. These are as follows:

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  • Conversion rate optimization
  • User journey mapping
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Interaction design
  • Clear knowledge of web accessibility standards
  • Branding
  • Knowledge of design tools and basic design software
  • Working knowledge of HTML and CSS
  • Color theory and typography
  • Strong communication skills and management

Web Development

The Role of a Web Developer

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Website developers perform the task of building and maintaining the core structure of a site. They are mostly concerned with the technical know-how of a website. They are the ones who do the actual advanced programming and coding and realize the ideas and concepts formulated by web designers into fully working websites.

Web developers are the constructors of the website. They also have to perform other tasks like testing and debugging. Several post-launch services are also included in the job profile of a web developer.

The developer is the one who transforms the blueprint as laid out by the web designer or a team of designers into a functional website. Apart from the crucial task of coding and programming, a web developer has to take care of hosting issues, provide constant support and maintenance services, and keep an eye out for the overall quality and functionality of the website.

Types of Web Developers

No matter what specific task they perform under the niche of web development, Web developers should be trained in using programming languages. The three major types of web developers include:

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1. Front-End Web Developers

They are responsible for recording the actual website. A front-end web developer must possess the knowledge of CSS HTML, other important programming languages, and CMS like WordPress. Coding and programming in visual elements of a website is their basic task.

2. Back-End Web Developers

Back-end developers code the database and the server. They are concerned with advanced programming languages such as PHP, C#, Java, Ruby, and SQL. Server right or back-end development concerns the “behind the scenes” of a website’s working.

3. Full-Stack Web Developers

Full-stack developers manage both backend and frontend development of a website. They know how these parts work and function seamlessly as one. They code web pages and configure servers, databases, and the programming interface.

The Skill Set Web Developers Need

To become a web developer, you require a more technical skillset, which includes:

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  • Knowledge of coding and programming languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP
  • Testing and debugging
  • CMS, such as WordPress
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Working knowledge of back-end and database management
  • JavaScript frameworks

The non-technical skills that web developers should ideally have been problem-solving, analytical thinking, strong collaborative skills, and communication. Additional knowledge of file transfer protocol and hosting solutions gives web developers an added advantage and expands opportunities.

Difference Between Web Designer and Web Developer

Now that we have understood what web design and web development are, let’s answer the question, what is the difference between web design and web developer.

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As mentioned earlier, there is a wide difference between a web designers and web developers. The major distinctions between the two are:

  • Web designers are responsible for enhancing the usability of a website while developers have the task of improving its functionality. 
  • Web designers are concerned with the appearance of a website. On the other hand, Web developers are responsible for focusing on the structure of the website.
  • Designers conceptualize the idea for a website, while developers create the fully working model of that idea/plan. It depends on the web developer whether the website’s plan is feasible or not.
  • Another major difference between web designers and developers is that developers need to have mostly technical knowledge for coding and programming the site. On the other hand, the designer has to deal with the research, analysis, and creativity aspects of making a website.
  • Web developers can be front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers, while web designers work with either user interface, user experience, or solely visual elements of designing a website.
  • Another difference between web designers and web developers is in the tools used by each. A web developer uses frameworks and coding libraries, issue tracking platforms, and CMS. Web designers are more concerned with using design and editing tools such as Corel Draw and Photoshop. They also need tools for wireframing and prototyping. 
  • Web designers do not need to know advanced programming languages, while a developer has to be skilled in using CSS, Ruby, Python, jQuery apart from basic HTML, PHP, and Java. 
  • Web designers are concerned with how the website looks and feels on the outside, while web developers are concerned with how the website works.

Regardless of the difference between web design and web development, both are important to creating and making a website visually appealing. The two roles are dependent on each other, and one cannot produce a quality website without collaborating with the other.

Which One Should You Pick?

Web design vs web development? What exactly is the career path that you are more inclined towards or is more suited for you based on your current skill set?

To decide which niche you are more inclined towards, you should start asking yourself what interests you more. Is it the look of a website, or is it the coding process behind it? 

Figure out which role is more fulfilling for you as an individual. You could do a quick internet search or enroll in short-term web design and web development courses to closely take a look at what suits you best.

It is equally crucial to be aware of the financial aspect of each job profile. Make sure you know the average salaries of a web designer and a web developer as that greatly factors in during the process of choosing a career path. Your current education, skill set, experience level, and other demographics are important factors to consider.

Another great way of making sure you are on the right career path is to list the skills set required for each profile and compare it with the list of the skills you already have or ones you might be interested in learning.

Make use of the resources available on the internet in the form of ebooks, guides, short courses, and videos that can further enhance your understanding of the difference between being a web designer and a web developer.

Both web design and web development are extremely lucrative careers. Without a doubt, selecting any one of them ensures your skillset won’t go obsolete.

The internet is not going away at any time and will only innovate and get better. Thus, the need for talented web designers and web developers will always be in high need.

Key Takeaways

  • A web designer is responsible for making the website look more attractive. They enhance the style and feel of the website by using software like Corel Draw, Photoshop, and more. 
  • The layout and the visual elements of a website are part of the web designer’s responsibility. 
  • There are three niches under web design, User Experience (UX), User Interface (UI), and Visuals. 
  • Website developers perform the task of building and maintaining the core structure of a site. They are mostly concerned with the technical know-how of a website.
  • There are three broad web development categories: front-end, back-end, and full-stack web development. 
  • Apart from the crucial task of coding and programming, a web developer also has to take care of hosting issues needs to provide constant support and maintenance services.
  • With the technical skills required for coding, web developers should also have non-technical skills like problem-solving, analytical thinking, and strong communication skills. 
  • Web designers conceptualize the idea for a website, while web developers create the fully functional model of that idea/plan.
  • Web designers are concerned with the appearance of a website. Web developers, on the other hand are responsible for focusing on the structure of the website.
  • Another major difference between web designer and web developer is that while a developer needs to have mostly technical knowledge for coding and programming the site, the designer has to deal with the research, analysis, and creativity aspects of making a website.

Conclusion

We hope that this blog post has provided you with a better understanding of the difference between a web designer and web developer. Web designing and web development are two very different job profiles and despite the difference between a web designer and web developer, both are equally exciting career choices.

If you are intrigued by the look and appeal of a website and colors, typography, and editing software are what you enjoy working with, then you should look more into the realm of website designing.

In case you have been long fascinated with coding languages and want to learn to program or already have a knack for PHP, Java, HTML, or other advanced languages, you can try your hand at website development and see if you enjoy the process. 

FAQs

1. How much money exactly does a web designer make?

A web designer in the US makes approximately $65,195 every year. The hourly rate for a web designer currently is about $28-34 per hour. The salary for a web designer typically starts from $15.12 and can go up to $42.67 per hour.

2. What is the future of web design?

Web design has a bright future and is one of the skills that is going to be in high demand in the years to come. Web design is in fact one of the fastest-growing digital sectors in the US and has an expected annualized growth rate of 4.4 % and beyond.

3. What career opportunities are available after training in web development?

After completing a web design course, some of the career opportunities include front- and back-end web development, web application development, design, and layout analyst, senior web analyst, and web marketing analyst.

4. What do web developers do daily?

Web developers meet with prospective clients or the management in order to discuss website needs. Their job profile also entails writing code using different programming languages and testing apps and interfaces and coordinating with the rest of the team to determine a website layout.

5. What language is best for web development?

The top four languages for web development that are widely used are Python, PHP, C#, and Java.

6. What is the salary for a beginner web developer?

A typical beginner-level job in web development in the US, currently pays $49,000 per year, on average, according to Glassdoor. This can range as high as $69,328 for developers who have prior experience in the field.

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