What Are the Differences Between Web Developers and Web Designers?

There's a good deal of cross over between web developers and designers, but what are the differences between them? And which would you rather be? We explain all.

For starters, web design is designing a website and web development is building the website in code, designers will be expected to code and developers will often be expected to know Photoshop and Illustrator.

So while the line separating designers and developers is very blurred, you would expect designers to be naturally better at the creative stuff, while developers should be better at technical things, like using JavaScript to create order entry forms and not just for animating on page elements .

But we can essentially break these roles down into 3 job roles.

1) Front-End Web Designer

Responsible for the planning, layout and rendering of a website visual in a program such as Photoshop, Illustrator or Fireworks.

2) Back-End Web Designer

Without 'back end' skills, a 'front-end' web designer would not be responsible for coding their design into a HTML and CSS replica. They'd get someone else to do that for them.

But generally a web designer with 'back end' skills will be able to convert their visual concept, into a fully working HTML, JavaScript and CSS layout.

However, due to the cross over between web design and development, the job title 'Front-End Website Developer' is often used to describe the same skill set. Here all the confusion!

3) Web Developer

The main role of a web dev is to take a website's functionality beyond what is possible with HTML and CSS by hand-coding complex programming and scripting languages ​​on a bespoke basis.

For example, this would include the creation and testing of coding languages ​​to create all the different kinds of website functions from the algorithms behind price comparison websites to posting simple data within a contact form.

Summary

Hopefully that's cleared up the definitions of each job role for you. Just be aware that many people (employers included) probably do not know the difference.

Meanwhile, the average web designer salary is £ 30,000, the average salary for web developer jobs is £ 35,000, demonstrating how a career with programming languages ​​is definitely more lucrative than design.

Presently there demand for web developers is rapidly rising as the internet becomes an increasingly integrated part of everyday life. However, demand for web designers is falling. So now looks like the ideal time for them to start learning back end coding and change with the needs of businesses online.

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