Web Developer Versus Web Designer – What’s The Difference?

There is often much confusion on the different roles between the Web Developer and the Web Designer. When building a website, there are many components that go into the construction to ensure proper usability, functionality and aesthetic and it is important to know the difference when you set out to hire an agency to build your website. Both Web Developers and Web Designers play a crucial role in constructing, building and maintaining websites. The two roles work together to build and deliver a high quality and high performing product and require two different skill sets. The main difference between the Developer and the Designer is that Developers are responsible for all of the technical aspects of the website, such as coding and programming, and focus on functionality and structure. They construct the website itself. Designers are responsible for all of the conceptual and visual work to produce a solid and effective UI and UX. Web Designers conceptualize the look and idea of a website and create a mockup on UI and UX elements. They are responsible for creating the layout and visual aspects of a website that translates well across multiple devices. Web Developers code and program the site if they determine the Designers concept is both technically and financially feasible.

There are three types of Web Developers:

  1. Front-End
  2. Back-End
  3. Full-Stack


Front-End Web Developers code the website using various programming languages as well as Content Management Systems. This role mostly involves developing the visual aspects of a website that end-users will see when visiting the site. Front -End Developers work closely with Web Designers.

Back-End Developers code the site’s server and database using multiple advanced programming languages. This role mostly encompasses all aspects of the website that happens “behind-the-scenes” that the end-user cannot see.

Full-Stack Developers have a solid understanding of how the front and back end of the website work and function together and code both elements. Full-stack Developers also code API’s, query databases and setup and configure servers.

There are also three types of Web Designers:

  1. User Interface (UI)
  2. User Experience (UX)
  3. Visual


UI Designers contribute tothe experience the website provides to the end-user and also prioritize interactions. The main role of a UI Designer is to enhance the usability of a website and optimize the site in a way that encourages end-user conversions.

UX Designers are responsible forstructuring the website in a way that engages site visitors and delivers a positive user experience. The UX Designer conducts a great deal of research and testing to gather and analyze data, which influences their design choices.

Visual Designers work with the visual elements and layout of the website. They are responsible for the aesthetics of the website and ensure the interface is pleasing to the eye and easy to use.

Although both the roles of Web Developer and Web Designer may seem inherently similar, they are quite different and both roles play a crucial role in the production of a high-performing and high-converting professional website for your business.

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