Web Developer vs. Web Designer

When hiring a web professional, who do you look for: a web designer or a web developer? There is a lot of confusion between the two titles in terms of which specialist is best for your website and which can produce the best website for your business.

Web designers are typically concerned with the visual aspects of a website. They are experts in HTML, CSS, graphic layout, animation and establishing the visual flow of your website from a design perspective including where to place text, images, navigation elements, menus and icons. They can also be your best guide in how to present the brand and “voice” you wish to portray through colors, fonts and the styles of images that appear on your website, from photos to illustrations.

Web developers are more involved in the structure and basic programming of a website, plus should have a fair knowledge of what sort of programming to use in order to best achieve a website’s goals. Developers are rarely true web programmers, those who can write code in their sleep, but do have at least a basic knowledge of what type of programming is needed, as well as the ability to tweak code as necessary. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the actual navigation and linking within a website fall under a Web Developer’s skill set, as well as the overall functionality of the website.


Since websites are rarely the same in terms of looks, feel and their ability to generate information or products to the end-user, there can be a lot of overlap between the Web Designer and Web Developer. When trying to find someone to best suit the needs of your website, be sure to include a list of what you would like implemented within the site and let the designer or developer tell you if they are a good fit for the job.

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