Differences Between a Web Designer and a Web Developer

The terms “web designer” and “web developer” are used interchangeably by most people, albeit incorrectly.

This is likely because many companies describe the services and descriptions of both roles similarly. The reality is that these terms refer to two radically different components of the website development process, each requiring a different set of skills.

Despite their similar sound, web designers and web developers perform very diverse tasks and distinct roles. Designers focus on the front-end and visual components of a website, which determine the usability and overall user experience (UX) of the website. Developers, on the other side, are responsible for taking the thoughts and ideas that have been presented by the designers and coding them into fully functional websites.

What skill sets do the two roles require and how distinct are their differences? It will be difficult to establish these without delving into clear definitions of the two professional roles.


Web designers are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining websites and web pages by assembling a variety of visual design components.

They are usually not tasked with understanding how the coding behind their designs works; on the contrary, their primary responsibility is to create interfaces that are aesthetically beautiful and ensure consumers have a great user experience when visiting the website.

They may use computer languages ​​such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, in addition to other graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and GIMP, to aid them in the process of developing captivating designs.

There is a common misconception that a bachelor’s degree is necessary to break into the web design industry. While it wouldn’t hurt to get a bachelor’s degree in a field like design, communications, or marketing, a standard four-year college degree is unlikely to provide you with the skills you need to succeed in a job. like a web design.


A web developer is a type of programmer who specializes in creating applications related to the World Wide Web or distributed network applications. They may also be referred to as web application developers.

These are often run over protocols such as HTTP, which are communicated from a web server to a client browser using corresponding programming languages ​​such as HTML/CSS, C#, Ruby, and PHP, to name a few. cite just a few. When developing a website or a web application, a web developer often focuses on the back-end, also known as the programming component of the project.

Web development is one of those disciplines where, once a programming language has been mastered, the majority of the rest of the skill set can be acquired through practice. This means that people who want to become web developers can come from a variety of educational backgrounds.

Although a formal degree is not required to work as a web developer, many employers prefer employees with formal training who come from an IT-related industry and have expertise in web development.


The skill sets needed for successful web designers vary greatly and depend on the exact position and expertise of each individual designer. To be more specific, however, some crucial skills include the following:

  • HTML and CSS knowledge,
  • Ability to create a responsive and interactive design,
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO),
  • User journey mapping, etc.

In addition to a solid technical background, web designers should also have a variety of soft skills under their belts. For example, you must have good communication skills in order to communicate effectively with customers to appropriately set and manage their expectations.

The tasks and responsibilities of web designers are rather vast and extensive. Nevertheless, the primary responsibility of a designer is to create the structure and visual components of a website.

Their goal is often to make sure the website is attractive to the eye, easy to navigate, and keeps users on the site for as long as possible. This not only requires thinking through and building the basic foundation and layout structure, but also the elements that drive conversions.


The primary responsibility of a web developer is to build and maintain the fundamental framework of a website. Their employment involves a lot of technical effort, including the use of difficult coding and advanced programming languages ​​in web development. In a nutshell, what they do is take the ideas and concepts that have been crafted by the designers and turn them into real, living, and fully functional websites.

It can be helpful to compare the work of a web developer to that of someone in another industry, such as the construction industry, to better understand this function. When it comes to creating a website, a web developer performs the same function as a construction company when building a brand new house.

Finally, web developers need certain technical skills to perform their tasks. The list below may not be exhaustive, but these are the main skills a web developer needs for a successful career:

  • Programming languages ​​such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.
  • Testing and debugging
  • JavaScript frameworks like jQuery
  • SEO knowledge and application
  • Expertise in content management systems such as WordPress and Joomla
  • Backends and databases


When it comes to the creation, construction and ongoing maintenance of websites, web designers and web developers play an important role. Ultimately, the successful delivery of a quality product depends on the interdependence of the two businesses.

The main distinction is that developers are primarily concerned with the more technical components of the project, such as coding and programming. Designers are in charge of the aesthetic and intellectual work that needs to be done in order to ensure a successful user experience and user interface.

Additionally, web developers require a good technical understanding. This involves having a solid understanding of complex programming languages ​​as well as frameworks. Although some level of research and analysis is required, the work of a web designer is less technical and focuses more on the visual and aesthetic characteristics of a website.


The terms “Web Design” and “Web Development” can be confusing for small and medium-sized businesses looking for a new website or a redesigned website. And both professions are important for an employer. One of the options for finding a suitable specialist is through the LaborX website. Where you can find not only developers but also bitcoin jobs options for people interested in cryptocurrency.

But most companies prefer to hire in-house designers who design the layout of the website and then send the design files to a programmer who completes the web development process.

Both roles are distinct and highly relevant in setting up a company’s website. So, a web designer has his playground and a web developer also has his arena – the two people are not really interchangeable.

About Byron G. Fazio

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