People often get confused when it comes to using the terms web designer and web developer. They are both involved in the task of web development but in very different areas, the web developers build the code structure of a website using complex coding languages while web designers are more visually creative focusing on the user.


What is web development?

Web development is the task that is associated with developing sites for hosting via intranet or the internet. Web development process involves web designs, web content development, clients side or server side scripting and network security configuration. A website can either be a simple one-page site or it could be an incredibly complex web application so that when you view your website on the web on a browser, it gives details of all processes involved in web development.


Who is a Web developer?

A web developer is a programmer who specializes in the development of the world wide web applications using a client server model. They are also responsible for designing, coding and modifying websites from layout to function and according to a client’s specifications. Web developer just usually focus on a few languages so you can either focus on the frontend programming of a website using the HTML, CSS and JavaScript or the server side programming like the PHP, JAVA, RUBY and .net.

There are different job profiles of a web developer as well. The different roles include;

– Front-end developer role: front-end development is known as client side development. It mostly involves programming all the public facing visuals and elements as part of a website design. Front-end developers often have to collaborate with web designers, also they must have strong programming skills such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript as they work with elements that are visible to the users.

– Back-end developer role: Backend refers to the hidden layer that the users cannot see when they visit a website. They must have strong programming skills because the backend layer forms a dynamic connection between the frontend and the database. To get the backend layer working, you must know at least one of the programming languages such as Python, JAVA, PHP, SQL, C##, RUBY, etc. You also need the knowledge of server side frame works such as NodeJS.

– Full-stack developer role: this is when you work with both the knowledge of a front-end and back-end developer. A full-stack developer is someone who has a good understanding of how the web works at each level, including setting up and configuring Linux or window servers, Coding server side API’s, running the client side of the application using the JavaScript, operating and querying databases and structuring and designing the webpages with CSS, HTML and JavaScript.


Who is a Web designer?

Web designers create layouts which are usually pleasing for visitors. The work of a web designer is critical in making sure that visitors spend more time on a website. They analyze the latest trends in web design, respective design, principles and norms, follow what the user expect when visiting a website. Web designers also focus on adding branding elements on a website without making them too abrupt compared to the rest of the design. Since web design covers a lot of responsibilities, web designers can specialize in specific areas of the website.

There are different job profiles for a web developer as well;

– UI Designers: The UI designers deals with the user interaction. They make sure that the users are able to interact with the elements that are present on the website. The user interface is everything that a visitor sees when they access a website. It needs to be designed in a manner so that it fits the users expected work flow.

– UX Designers: The user experience designer which is the UX designer makes sure that your website is able to keep the visitors engaged. They analyze data before finalizing any design on the website. Also the UX designers run complex tests and restructure the website when needed to keep the user experience optimal.

– Visual designers combine the skills of both a UI designer and UX designer. The visual designing refers to creating interfaces that are both visually pleasing and convenient to use. They must also respect the voice of a brand, so visual design both involves creativity and programming.


Differences between a web developer and a web designer

– Web developers build the user interface using HTML, CSS and JS languages.

– Front-end developers can use styling preprocessors, JavaScript libraries and frameworks to fasten development.

– Front-end developers provide the markup design to back-end developers to implement a dynamic website.

– Back-end developers create the backbone of the website using languages like PHP and MySQL.

– Web developers also use versioning tools to keep a history of the previous builds to quickly and effortlessly move back to a previous version.



– Web designers use software tools such as Adobe Photoshop Framer, or Sketch to build the final layout design of the website.

– Must have good skills in graphic design and logo design.

– Have a good feel for user experience, to identify the simplest approach possible to attain the desired function.

– Web designers must keep themselves up to date with the latest design trends.

– They also need to keep in mind the branding of the website, color palettes to be used, and the typography and readability of the website.

Salary Trends

The average salary of web developers in the U.S is $59,108 while the average of a web designer in the U.S is $49,693 per annum.

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