Ever wondered if you need a web developer or a website designer for your next web project? If you think they are both one in the same person, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear that a web designer and a web developer are two different skill sets, but can also be combined into one.

Let’s help you figure it out, shall we?

The Role of a Web Designer

The simplest definition of a web designer is a professional or skilled individual who is responsible for creating the look and feel of a website. Their main concern is that the entire website looks as it is supposed to and abides by a client brief, but also can help give advice on the best practices that will enhance your website’s appeal to the public, and make it stand out from the competition.

In other words, if you want a brilliant looking website, that makes you want to browse through its buttons and pages and read the content it offers, a web designer is the right guy or gal for the job! 

Did you know that if your website looks boring and has no appeal or unique qualities to it, not many people will want to visit it, or even recommend it to anyone? The design of a site is crucial in keeping people’s attention long enough for them to enjoy the experience. 

Whether they start doing a search through your pages and looking for further information on it, it doesn’t matter, that’s a bonus. It is the first 5 seconds from when you pop up into Google’s search, and the initial click to open up your website that matters.  

The Specifics

A web designer will be the person to go to if you want to discuss a website’s colors, branding, and layout. They will listen to clients’ needs and specifications, and either advise a better way or abide by the requests and come up with a mock-up, which is like a prototype of the final design, to show you. 

They will include pictures, layouts, buttons, various elements throughout the mock-up, as if it should look once it’s completed, for your approval. It is, however, not as simple as it sounds. When looking for skilled web designers, you should realize that they don’t just do the pretty stuff, but the knowledgeable ones also know what brings in the crowd. 

For instance, where to place a ‘Call to Action’ button, or where the best place for the content placement should be, and more. They will organize it for you meticulously.

The Role of a Web Developer

Once the web designer has completed the mock-up and gotten the approval of the client, it goes on to the web developer to ‘make it come alive’! These skilled individuals are responsible for building the entire website and making sure it functions. All the nitty-gritty items on the mock-up that the web designer drew, should all be working.

The buttons need to be clicked, the pages need to be opened, the call to action needs to lead to a landing page or somewhere relevant, the scroll bars should work, and more, and these are all done by the developer. 

As important a job as the web designer has, it is just as important for the developer to carry it through to completion. If for instance your website is being built on a WordPress platform (which is a highly recommended idea and one you should opt for), the developer will choose the right template and customize it to match the elements on the prototype drawings, or in some cases, they will build one from scratch and create an entirely new theme. 

In summary 

So, as you can see from the brief explanations above, having both in hand is worth it, especially when you’re looking to upgrade your existing business site or create a new one.

Oh! And the reason why we suggest using a WordPress platform, is that once the developer has completed his work, he can show you how to manage the back end yourself if you need to do simple tasks such as upload an image, add content to the web page or include product information. You too can feel like a web genius for a day!

Web stock photo by Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock