"Web Designer" vs "Web Developer"

In your lifetime, and especially if your job involves interaction with the internet, there is a very good chance that you have heard the terms “Web Designer” and “Web Developer”. Oftentimes, the two phrases are used interchangeably by someone who is not familiar with the industry. "Designer" and "Developer", they’re the same thing, right? Well, think again. We look under the hood and break it down for you.

So what exactly is a Web Designer?

Web Designers are, by nature, creative. They get inside clients heads and realize their client's vision. They take this vision and masterfully convert it into an aesthetically pleasing, artistic design that aims to impress potential viewers. Designers tend to:

  • Study typography, user interface design, and usability.

  • Use tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and DreamWeaver.

  • Slice images, write HTML5, code CSS, and draft or edit copy.

So what exactly is a Web Developer?

Web Developers are, by nature, more technical. They tend to have excellent problem solving skills and are generally good at math. On a daily basis, a developer will:

  • Write code in five or more different languages including HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, [PHP, ASP, ColdFusion, Ruby, Python, Perl, etc.], and MySQL.

  • Work with some kind of text editor, an FTP client, three or more web browsers, and development plugins such asFirebug.

  • Know what an API is and how to develop with it.

Are there people that do both?

It is quite common for Web Designers and Web Developers to take on tasks that are outside of their personal skillsets, but very rare to find one that embodies the best qualities of both a designer and developer.

When looking for someone to take your website to the next level, it is important to know the strengths of the person designing/programming your site. Sometimes you end up trading off design for development and vice versa.

When meeting with a web design company, ask questions like: How much design experience does your team have? How many programming languages does your team work with? What does your team know about SEO development? What graphic design tools does your team employ?

When you know a little background information, you can make better choices as you look for a web design company.

The Nola Web Creations Team

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