Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Do you know the difference?

What are the differences between a web designer and a web developer? And which one should you use?

It’s easy to get web designers and developers mixed up. They both help build websites, but they’re involved in very different areas. Additionally, many firms differentiate design and development as the difference of whether they are using their creative talents (design) as opposed to placing graphics, text, logos and functionality into a platform or theme (development).

Most importantly, you need to understand the differences because design and the art of creativity or creating some uniquely custom OR at the direction of a client takes considerably more time to implement on a website as opposed to simply placing your imagery, logos and text into a theme. Simply put – design cost more than development.

STILL CONFUSED? That’s understandable, but here’s another way to look at it.

Suppose you see a website you like, and you share that with a designer/developer. A developer can take your provided photos, logos and text and place that content within a theme or design platform in very short order. Often the end result is something that looks awesome and very “custom” because what makes a website polished and professional is high rez imagery and good call-to-action wording, ‘hero’ words, etc.

A 5-page website DEVELOPED such as above could be implemented in a day and cost as little as $1000-$1200.

Now, let’s take that same website as described above and take things into the realm of WEB DESIGN.

You may want to be moderate-to-very meticulous about how you want each photo cropped. You may want to direct and dictate every font choice and size. You may decide you want graphics to “swoosh” in and for there to be other special effects. We can easily work with you in that mode and do so for every page of the website. We can also ensure that the mobile design takes on different looks for each page and change the font styling and size for each page on mobile, different from desktop. You can dictate nearly every aspect of headers, navigation (and how to displays) and more.

Doing this significantly increases the time on the project and the pricing. The same $1,000-$1,200 website can easily become $5,000.

Most of our clients want something very unique, very custom and they want each page “just so”. We can do that, as long as you understand ahead of time, that working in that manner will increase costs.

If you are like many of our clients, you want to “get something going now” and be able to grow it in times and as your business flourishes. Many come to us with a small budget and the want the “best bang for their buck”. The best strategy for that scenario is web development, because you can get a high-quality, polished look at a much lower budget.

When you are discussing design strategies with your consultant or rep, be sure to share YOUR expectations of how the process best works for you. You can also visit OUR PROCESS PAGE to see how best to strategize a great project from start to finish.

In summary:

Developers implement a designer’s vision and build a website’s core structure using coding languages, while designers are more visually creative and user-focused. Developers use their programming knowledge to breathe life into the designer’s creative vision.

Think of developers as construction workers, and web designers as architects – both necessary, but different, skill sets – with significant differences in pricing.

Call and speak with one of our consultants and we’ll listen to your specific needs and provide options to deliver on the perfect design or development campaign.