Technology is an integral part of our daily lives, influencing everything from communication to entertainment. Behind every website we visit, there are web designers and developers who have crafted its appearance and functionality.

But who are web designers and web developers, and what are their responsibilities?

Web designers are responsible for the visual and interactive aspects of a website or web page. They use their creativity and skills to design or improve websites that are attractive and user-friendly. Web developers are responsible for the technical and logical aspects of a website or web page. They use their coding and problem-solving skills to implement or enhance websites that are fast and reliable.

In more simple words “A web designer focuses on the aesthetics and user experience of a website, creating the layout, visual elements, and overall design. In contrast, a web developer builds and maintains the website’s functionality, using coding languages to implement the designer’s vision and ensure the site works smoothly.”

If you are curious about the web industry and want to learn more about these two professions, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will explore the main differences between web designers and web developers, and how they work together to create amazing web experiences.

What is web design?

Web design is a website’s visual appearance, aesthetics and usabilities like colour combination, layout, information flow, and everything else related to the visual aspects of the UI/UX. 

Some common skills of a web designer are:

  • UX/UI and visual design
  • SEO
  • CMS
  • Digital Marketing
  • Basic Designing Tools 
  • HTML & CSS
  • Web Server Management
  • Colour palettes
  • Typography
  • Branding

Web design is what the user sees on their electronic devices and not about what is behind the system that makes it all work. Web designers provide the digital experience to life using colour, pictures, typography, and format.

Suppose you are reading news online, checking your social media, listening to songs or connecting with your friends or colleagues; you depend on some technology for all these tasks. Behind every technology is a team of web designers and developers who have built and maintained it to ensure it looks and works flawlessly.

Nowadays, web designers are also learning programming languages like HTML and CSS to boost their careers. It is also easier for them to work with the team to create live web application mockups.

What is web development?

Web development is all about creating, designing, building, and maintaining websites and web applications that can be accessed online. It involves a combination of programming languages, frameworks, and tools to create and manage dynamic web content.

It is divided into two parts—frontend and backend

An application’s front end is also known as client-side, which determines how the website will illustrate designs created by a web designer. 

An application’s backend is a server-side that organizes data within the database and operates that data to the front end to be depicted. 

Did you know?

It just takes 0.9 seconds for the users to make an opinion. So, ensure that the first few seconds when users land on the website provide them with a good experience.

Frontend web developers- Many people think that the tasks of a frontend developer are similar to a web designer, but that’s not true.

Frontend web developers don’t make mockups, select typography, or select colour palettes—the web designer does this. It’s the web developer who fetches those mockups to life.

Web designers are well versed in UX/UI design knowledge so that web developers can deliver the desired result by choosing the right technology.

Frontend web developer uses skills and tools listed below:

  • HTML/CSS/JavaScript
  • CSS preprocessors 
  • Frameworks 
  • Web template design
  • Libraries 
  • Git and GitHub
  • On-site SEO

Related Article:- Front-end Development vs Graphic Design

Backend web developers manage the business logic and data on the application’s backend. They write the APIs to stream between an application’s front and back ends. 

Programming languages and software needed for backend web developers are:

  • Server-side programming languages like PHP, Python, Java, C#
  • Server-side web development frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Symfony, dot NET
  • Database management systems 
  • RESTful APIs
  • Authentication and security 
  • Servers

Web developers who know both the front and back end of a technology stack are full-stack developers.

Web designers vs web developers—significant differences at a glance

Now that you have learnt what web designers and developers are and how they differ let us now look at their significant differences.

Most web designers do not code 

It is true that some web designers do not code, while others have at least a basic understanding of coding. Web design is a multidisciplinary field involving various skills, including graphic design, user experience design, and coding.

In some cases, web designers may focus primarily on a website’s visual and user experience aspects and leave the coding to web developers. These designers may use tools such as website builders or content management systems that do not require coding skills to create and customize websites.

However, other web designers may have a more comprehensive skill set that includes coding skills. These designers can create custom designs using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and may have a more hands-on role in the development process.

Web designers decide how the website looks and feels. They use software like Photoshop for creating images and designing layouts and high-fidelity mockups, and they use tools like Invision Studio. All of these do not require coding.

Web developers do not create assets.

Web developers use their coding skills to give life to the website by converting web designers’ wireframes and mockups into code with the help of HTML and CSS. They don’t have to make visual assets like the images behind buttons, colour schemes, and fonts. They need to use code to implement them into the page.

Web developers are generally more expensive than web designers.

Hiring web developers is way more expensive than hiring a web designer. A web designer may charge more or less depending on their experience, portfolio, and reputation. A web developer may charge more or less depending on the complexity, functionality, and size of the website. The average salary for a web designer in the UK is £25,000, while the average salary for a web developer is £32,000.

The average cost of employing a web developer is $25 to $36 per hour, as per ZipRecruiter; on the other hand, the average cost of hiring a web designer is $20 to $29 per hour.

As coding becomes universal among the talent pool, the difference in charges decreases irrespective of their expertise; whether you hire developers or designers, you pay for the experience.

Also read: Guide to Outsource Graphic Design

Basic Principle

The web designer’s job is to develop unique designs to fulfil the client’s requirements. By using basic design principles, they create a visually attractive design for a more satisfactory user experience – from a balanced website design and colour correction to clean navigation and usability. 

On the other hand, web development is more about possibility and utility, determining whether the website will succeed or fail. Visual hierarchy is one of the essential principles of web design in the web-building project.

Web Designer and Web Developer

Web DesignerWeb Developer
Job FunctionFocuses on the visual and aesthetic aspects of website designFocuses on the technical and functional aspects of website design
Skills RequiredGraphic design, color theory, typography, user experienceCoding languages, software development, data structures
Tools UsedAdobe Creative Suite, Sketch, Figma, InVisionIDEs (Integrated Development Environments), text editors
OutputWireframes, mockups, visual design, user interface designWeb applications, websites, server-side scripts
Front-EndKnowledgeable in front-end technologies, such as HTML, CSSExperts in front-end technologies, including JavaScript
Back-EndMay have basic knowledge of back-end technologiesExperts in back-end technologies, such as PHP, Ruby, Python
CommunicationCollaborates closely with web developers and clientsCollaborates closely with web designers and clients
Work EnvironmentWorks in a creative, design-focused environmentWorks in a more technical, programming-focused environment
SalariesLower average salary compared to web developersHigher average salary compared to web designers
Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Should I Hire a Web Designer or a Web Developer?

This question has no definitive answer, as the best choice will depend on your specific requirements and preferences. A web designer may be a better option if you want to redesign your website. This person should have strong design skills and experience with visual elements like colour and layout.

On the other hand, if you want someone with strong technical skills who can help you execute and maintain a website, then a web developer may be an excellent choice. This person must know coding languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and SQL.

If you are building a website from scratch, you must hire both a web developer and a designer. If you partner with an outsourcing agency to develop your website, they already have both on their team to do the job.

Also read:  Graphic Design Vs Web Design

Final Note

A web designer decides how your website looks; conversely, a web developer brings the website to life. Web developers must know programming languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It is a joint effort of designers and developers to build a visually appealing and completely functional website.

Whether you want to hire a web designer or a web developer depends on your business needs and goals. If you need clarification about which role would best suit your company, contact an outsourcing company like Invedus to fulfil your business requirements.

About Anjelina

Anjelina combines her background in computer science with her passion for technology to specialize in custom web and mobile app development, as well as digital transformation consulting. With a focus on innovation and user experience, she has helped numerous clients across various industries achieve their technology goals.