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Web designer vs. web developer: what the heck is the difference?

January 10, 2020

Categories: Marketing

Web designers and web developers are both integral parts of building a website. While some smaller shops may have one person do everything, each requires a different skillset, so it is much more common for a company to have a designer and a developer. Think of a floating car: Yeah, it can float, but it’s not a boat!

Although the lines may blur at times, the most obvious difference is that the web designer is responsible for the design and the aesthetics, while the web developer is the invisible guru of the coding side.

Web designers: it’s all about looking good

Web designers decide where the images will go, where to place the buttons, what the color scheme will be, user guidance content, and other related activities. For these design types, its about intuitive thought and generating emotion, since they spend a lot of time developing the look and feel of websites.

Their job is to create the overall performance and style positioning of the website for better user experience and visual perception.

Once they get the look and feel of the site, its time to take their design and make it work. That’s where the web developer comes in.

Web developer: living by the code.

Web developers are tasked with creating a front-end interface such as a web page or app. They create pages in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, based on the designer’s vision. Web developers like to take things step-by-step and paying close attention to the details. They tend to see the world as a vast collection of data that can be shaped to their purposes.

But its not just about the component that users see, but also with which they interact. Website developers are responsible for how well the website performs and its continued maintenance.


In a nutshell, you have the creative types, web designers, and logic-based code types, the web developers. Because of their different mindsets, it is tough to find a good web designer who is also a good web developer. That’s because web developers aren’t accustomed to creating beautiful web pages. And web designers aren’t required (or would want to) think logically to develop an appropriate functioning web application. However, both are an essential function in building a website.