03 Sep Web Designer vs Web Developer
You may know how you want your website to look, but another great question to ask yourself, is, “How do I want my website to behave?”
Never one to take a “me vs them” attitude, this may confound some. I will never pit my own kind against one another, so let’s talk about this, because it is a topic that is highly undiscussed, and one that is often misunderstood: web designers are not always web developers; just as illustrators are not always sculptor artists; just as authors are not always linguists; just as bartenders are not always mixologists; and workout junkies are not always trainers or nutritionists. There are distinct values in both sides of the website coin.
Some people may be both, but it is extremely unsafe to assume that one is the other, too.
I have realized that I can be both designer and developer, depending on the circumstance, because I know how to utilize my unique skills in order to execute the strategy necessary for physically creating what will visually work for a person or company in the best light possible, based on what their content exhibits. (Reminder: this is contingent on the content I am provided.) I can also take a design that someone else has created and develop a website in an uncomplicated way that reflects both the overall design, and the effectiveness of both the user and the customer’s needs.
If a web designer comes to me with a design, I can communicate with them to execute the said design as a developer in less than two weeks. If I am the designer and the developer, expect the website to be published in less than a month… if all text and image content is provided in a timely fashion, of course.
My work is accomplished quickly and with precision because I am happy to work long days and into the wee hours, and because I care a lot about personal timelines and deadlines. I am also the kind of person who is willing to go above and beyond for my clients. It shouldn’t ultimately be my responsibility to provide and search for stock images for content (unless I am hired as a photographer, and I appreciate those who do), but I’ll often do it, because I want the website to be beautiful, marketable, and something I would be proud for us both to put our names on.
A web designer is a person who brings the visual element to your desired website’s appearance.
A web developer is a person who creates the code that makes the website appear the way that you and the web designer intended, often including making it responsive, using SEO-improving capabilities, and handling back end necessaries such as templates and plugins to make your new website work in a supreme fashion.
Your first stop should always be a web designer. If they cannot execute the development of that design, that is when you will need to seek a web developer.
Further, and the most important thing: your web designer and your web developer (if not one in the same) should communicate and be able to work together, fairly seamlessly. After all, we are being paid to serve your best interest.
You wouldn’t ask someone to sketch something for you and then ask why they couldn’t make it animated. Make certain you hire both a web designer and a web developer when you need a new website; sometimes they are the same person.
I realize this stuff can be confusing for anyone who isn’t familiar with the web world, so please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! I’d be happy to answer or converse with you.