Home – New Forums Tech talk Website Developer vs Website Designer

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  • #975100
    SamanthaE
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    Hi All,

    Can someone let me know if there is a difference is between a website developer and a website designer? Or are they the same thing?

    If they are different, which do I need if I have the content but need someone to build the website?

    Thanks,
    Sam

    #1072368
    JohnSheppard
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    Designer does the graphics art/visual design
    Developer puts it all together into production in computer code called HTML, CSS and Javascript. :)

    A lot of people use the terms interchangeably because I suppose each role needs to be aware of the other’s (or maybe cause they don’t know the difference).

    Well at least that’s how I see the difference..maybe others have a different view…

    I would go to a developer, but it doesn’t really matter, just go to someone who knows what they are doing :) They all work teamsies anyway.

    Edit: Some would say go to an seo guy first. Perhaps this is wise, definitely go to someone who understands marketing as well as their trade.

    #1072369
    Samith
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    Spot on John! Web designers are usually only design the website pages using a graphic editing tool like PhotoShop, and web developers implement that design into a fully functioning website :)

    #1072370
    websitedesigner
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    Yep and if you are a freak who does both, you’re a diviner

    #1072371
    BrettM33
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    Designers are primarily just that – a graphic designer. They do all the design up and make it look “pretty”. Some designers can also code the frontend of the website (html, css) and some don’t; even though Javascript is technically frontend coding it’s more of a developer thing than a designer thing. ;)

    Web Developers can usually handle the frontend coding (html, css, javascript) AND the backend coding (php, .net, ruby etc) as well as the database programming such as MySQL.

    Not every site needs backend coding – though most will require a small amount such as the script that will handle the contact form submission for example.

    websitedesigner, post: 90637 wrote:
    Yep and if you are a freak who does both, you’re a diviner

    No offense to you if you do both, but I would avoid people that state they do both….. you know what they say; A jack of all trades, a master of none. :)

    However some companies can handle all the work for you under the one roof as they have multiple people working on different parts of it such as one for the design and another for the programming and/or work with subcontractors that handle the stuff they don’t specialise in. :)

    #1072372
    onlineiq
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    Yes, I would definitely steer away from someone who said they could *themselves* do both. Best result which web development companies have is both designers and developers. Design comes first (and should follow analysis of business goals), and then this design is implemented by the developer.
    Some designers can do simple implementation of their designs, and some developers do ok design, but in essence these are almost opposite skill sets.
    I work with many independent designers and then have my developer implement them to be living, breathing websites.
    Having said all of this – in layperson’s language, many people use web developer and web designer interchangeably.
    Whatever you do – it should start with an understanding and alignment of your business plan and goals – as the key in the end is not how good it looks, but what your site visitors do when they first get to your site. You need a clear and obviously stated ‘conversion’ strategy. eg. I want to get people to sign up to my newsletter, or I want people to buy my product, or to call me. This is where it all needs to begin.
    Good luck.
    cheers
    URsh

    #1072373
    SamanthaE
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    Hi All,

    Thanks so much for all the information – I now have a clearer picture.

    So I suppose this leads to my next obvious question – which one do I need? :confused:

    I just want a basic information website to outline my services, but I would like to option to be able to upload information.

    Am I calling website designers who will contract out the development? I see that most contacts on here have web design.

    Thanks,
    Sam

    #1072374
    onlineiq
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    Hi Sam,

    Most web companies have both, as well as the person to talk you though it to start with, so the designer is working with the right business goals from the beginning.

    As you will have seen in this thread, it is best to have people do what they are best at, not a hybrid of both skill sets (though for very simple sites, many web designers can organise this for you). There are other considerations too with registration of web names, hosting and so on, so probably it is a good time for you to call a few people and have a conversation.

    You are very welcome to call or PM me and I can explain how we work, and then you can compare that with others to find what the best way forward for you is.

    regards
    URsh

    #1072375
    nitro-it
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    Most ‘designers’ these days will just bundle your info into a pre-built template utilising an existing CMS platform…so no ‘development’ necessary.

    So yeah, as others have said, get in touch with a website designer.

    #1072376
    smallbusinesswebdesign
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    Some pretty good answers here…I think ill save my two cents.

    #1072377
    websitedesigner
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    Hi CondorCreative I wasn’t talking about myself, I don’t do either very well (I have a team thankfully) but such people do exist. I have one contractor on my team who kills it at both, they are a rare find hence the name.

    #1072378
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
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    As others have said, there is a definite difference.

    My personal background is in software development, so I am a web developer – but I work closely with a couple of graphic designers, so we can offer the complete package. :)

    This is the way most web development works – cooperation between the types of people needed to get your website up and working as you need.

    Kathy

    #1072379
    Nikita
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    PerfectNotes-Kathy, post: 90932 wrote:
    My personal background is in software development, so I am a web developer – but I work closely with a couple of graphic designers, so we can offer the complete package. :)

    Kathy

    It’s good to note that designers and developers really hate one thing in common – front end development (i.e. cutting designs into html, CSS, Javascript). The battle can go for ages – who’s going to take responsibility for that? Designers or Developers?

    @ BranchingOut

    In this particular case web designer should do the job perfectly – 5 pages website driven by CMS. Might need a help of copywriter if cannot provide copy to designer.

    #1072380
    BrettM33
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    Be careful that if you hire just a designer, make sure that they also can do the front end coding themselves OR sub-contract the coding to an experienced local developer.

    Otherwise you may end up with them getting the work done by one of these cheapo PSD > XHTML places where you don’t know what the result will be.

    #1072381
    Craig_Longmuir
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    Webfunk, post: 0 wrote:
    The way I see it is….

    Designers handle the front-end parts of the website. That is, designing the website & building it into a functioning website using code known as html & css.

    Developers deal with the back-end, like programming for more dynamic sites, build databases, more technical aspects… They would use code like javascript & php.

    If all you are looking for is a simple website with information about your business, then you would go with a designer. But if, for example, you have a real estate site and need to through listings, you will need a database, and therefore a developer.

    Does that all make sense?

    id agree with this version…

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