There is a clear difference between a website designer and a developer. But it’s not uncommon that you’ll hear people using terms such as “web designer” and “web developer” interchangeably. The reason for the confusion is that web design and web development companies tend to use either “web design” or “web development” to refer to the entire web development process in creating websites.
Understanding Web Design and Website Development
You don’t want to waste your time delaying the project you wanted to start? Let me proceed in explaining these two terms for you.
The process of crafting out a website layout, including all of its graphical elements is what can be referred to as Web Design. Web templates are created using image editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop. It gives it the look and feel of the web page being created. Its end product is a layout and design of the website that the client requires from the web designer.
The completed web design does not contain any code. Instead, another staff uses this graphical template to develop pages using their own codes. Some parts of the web site development involve use of code, while other areas use pure graphics.
Web development on the other hand, is the term reserved to describe the design of the back-end of the website. Website’s back-end isn’t visible to the normal users. However, they respond to a set of command by the users and output content on the site in a correct format (front-end).
Web development team creates database-driven web sites using server-side languages such as PHP, ASP, and .NET. and ColdFusion. Web development also refers to the design and development of the database structures – creating tables and users, assigning privileges to the user on certain tables, and grabbing data on those tables on the front page.
Web Designers vs Web Developers: Differences in their Roles
1. Role of Web Designers
Web designers are creative people, who have a knack of getting inside the minds of their clients and crafting out their visions. They use these inputs from the clients and convert their vision into creative work of art to captivate the attention of thousands of viewers.
Designers of websites have amazing sets of skills in typography, usability, and design of user interface. They usually use tools such as Photoshop, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator to design graphic designs. Most of them often spend their time browsing through sites like Getty Images, iStockPhoto looking for beautiful and relevant images for their web sites.
Some argue that the role of a web designer should also include creating web pages. Some web designers can convert PSD templates into HTML pages using CSS. CSS stands for cascading style sheet. A web designer that is also a front-end developer can use CSS to define the layout, design, color, size of the different elements of the web page.
2. Role of a Web Developer
In their personal computer, they usually have some program development text editors. They may have a Zend Framework install, Firebug install on their Firefox Browser and several of other web development tools. Some of them are also responsible for testing, analyzing, and uploading the web content on the server.
You’ll also see them wracking their brain why their code didn’t work out. They love to visit online forums dedicated to developers. They read a lot of online documentation from PHP.net, MySQL and jQuery sites to find solutions to the crisis they got themselves in. While some refers to them as web programmers, developers skills often surpass that. Think of them as a programmer with lots of technical knowledge.
Who Should You Choose: A Designer or a Developer?
It depends on what you’re trying to achieve. You’ll likely need both of these people to work along with your web project. If you want to renovate your old website’s design or want a completely fresh design, hire a web designer. But then again, you need to know how to choose the right web designer for you.
Once the web design aspect of the whole web project is completed there are still a lot to be done. You still want to include some dynamic functions to the website. And if you want to build an e-commerce website, you need to hire a web developer. While there are many developers out there, choosing the right web developer for your specific project can be challenging.